PIZZA CHALLENGE!!! by Montana Grant
By angelamontana

Posted: January 14, 2024

Pizza is a favorite food across Big Sky Country. It seems like new Pizza joints are showing up as fast as microbreweries. Each new place has a variation of their ideal Pizza. Some are spicy, others thin, some seem to be like a cracker crust, while some require the buyer to take and bake. Grocery stores used to sell bake your own pies but that has stopped since Covid came around. 

Everyone has their own personal tastes and expectations about what makes a great Pizza. New York style, Chicago style, round, stuffed, square, thin, thick, big, small… There are lots of choices.

Montanans live in rural areas. Our travel is measured in hours, not miles. This means that only some Montanans, living in bigger cities, get delivery, or a convenient place to carry out a Pizza. 

We still love Pizzas, but Montanans need to make their own scratch pizza. I have been trying to match the best pizzas with my own variation that works best at home, or at Hunting and Fishing camps. You can also use Boboli crusts, English Muffins, French Bread or…

This recipe is where I begin to make my own Personal Best Pizza. Hopefully, this recipe will help you to make your own Personal Best. When we order a Pizza, it often is sided with cheese bread sticks. This recipe will create enough dough to make a pie and bread sticks, with a dipping sauce or two. Give it a try and make it your own!

Montana Grant’s Big Sky Pizza


  • 1 pkg. of fast Yeast. They make one just for Pizza.
  • 1 ¼ cups of warm water (110-115 degrees)
  • 2 tsp. of sugar 
  • 3 ½ -4 cups of flour. 2/3rds of the flour can be “all purpose” and one third is 00 flour. You could use just the 00 finer flour or…
  • 1 tsp of salt
  • Your favorite Pizza spices. Oregano, Basil, or an Italian Blend. Mixing some spices into the crust kicks the flavor up a notch. Fresh herbs are best. 
  • 1/3 cup of oil. The flavor infused Olive oil for Pizza is a good choice. Vegetable oil or regular olive oil will work also. 
  • ½ tsp of Cream of Tartar

Use a small bowl or cup to mix the warm water, yeast, Cream Of Tartar, and 1 tsp. of sugar. Whisk and let rest. It will be ready when bubbles form on the surface. 

Use a large bowl to mix the flour, salt, 1 tsp. of sugar, and herbs, if desired. When the yeast liquid is ready, make a well in the dry flour mix and add the oil and yeast liquid. Stir until smooth. If the dough is too sticky, add a little more flour to gain control. Once the dough is manageable, Roll and knead the dough on a floured surface.  Knead for 5-8 minutes. 

Now place the dough in a greased bowl and flip the dough so there is oil on all sides. Cover with plastic wrap and place in a warm place so the dough will rise. You can make the dough ahead of time and keep it in a cooler or fridge. 

When letting the dough rise, it should double in size. Punch it down then let it rise a bit longer. At a camp, I have found a wood stove, next to a campfire, can be a good place for rising. If there is a strong sunny place, you may have success also. At home, a warm, low oven or heater will work well. 

When ready to make your pie and breadsticks, cut 1/3 of the dough that will be used for the breadsticks. This will be baked on a separate baking stone or Dutch Oven. Roll out the crusts onto 2 stones, or parchment paper. In a pinch, I used a beer bottle of round container. You can toss or press the crust if you prefer. Corn meal on the stones allows the crusts to move and not stick. 


You can purchase premade sauces or make your own. Try using a small Tomato Paste can. Empty into a bowl and fill the can with half water and half oil. Flavored olive oils work well here. Add Pizza spices and a tsp. of sugar. You could also add dried onion, chili flakes or… Mix and set aside. This sauce is enough to cover the pie and have extra for a dipping sauce. 


Spread the sauce on top of the crust. Now add your mozzarella or favorite cheeses. Sometimes a ball of cheese, thinly sliced, is perfect. Now add pepperoni, sausage, sliced onions, or whatever add ons that you prefer. Cooking the pie means a hot oven. 400 -500 degrees for 12-15 minutes will do the trick. 

Some folks precook the crust for 8-10 minutes before adding the sauce and toppings. If you bake the pie in an outdoor grill, elevate the pie onto an overturned Dutch oven to keep the pie baking near the top of the closed lid grill.

For a campfire bake, use hot coals under and over a campfire Dutch Oven. Check the pie every 3-4 minutes to keep from burning. 


The final third of your dough is rolled out for the breadsticks. These will bake in the same way. Mix 2 cloves of minced Garlic and 2 tbsp. of melted butter. Brush this over the raw bread sticks. Now add the parmesan/ mozzarella cheese. Sprinkle with herbs. These bake well on a Pizza stone or a metal pan. A rectangular shape makes a traditional looking breadstick, when cut up. Bake for 9-10 minutes. 


You have already made enough pizza sauce to cover the pie and have extra for one sauce. Ranch, Blue Cheese dressings are also an option.

 For a tasty new option, try this east Garlic dipping sauce.1/3 cup of plain yogurt, sour cream, and mayonnaise. Add minced garlic to taste. Sprinkle in some paprika, salt/pepper/herbs. Top with fresh chives. The sauce should be smooth and not runny. This sauce works well on meats or any veggie, chip dip. 

The best part about being a Camp Cook or chef, is making your cooking unique and special. Have fun with tis Pizza idea and join the Pizza Challenge!

Montana Grant

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