So, if you read the comments on my first post, g.parker said, “So cool...how did you do the pizza? Our goal in dutch oven cooking is the perfect pizza...”
First of all, thanks for commenting. It’s fun to see a response to a blog after only a few postings! And, everyone else should check out her blog! http://ldswritersblogck.blogspot.com/
The secret to good pizza is pretty easy. I thought at first I’d just reply to the comment, but then realized that the answer demonstrates an important principle I’ve been learning about cooking, especially with the Dutch Oven. So, I decided to turn it into a post. That principle is: GIGO
Those of you who are into computers, especially in programming, already understand this term. For the rest of us in the real world, it means “Garbage In, Garbage Out”. If you make a dish with garbage, it's going to taste like garbage. The opposite is also true. If you use good stuff to make your food, it will taste great. So, to make good Pizza, don’t scrimp on your ingredients. A good dough recipe, good sauce, and good toppings make great pizza.
The first time I did it, I actually just used a pizza crust mix from that “Jiffy” company. It turned out pretty well. The second time, I found an actual rising bread recipe and did it instead:
- 1 ½ c. warm water
- 1 Tbsp yeast
- 1 Tbsp sugar
- ¼ tsp salt
- 3 Tbsp oil
- 4 c. Flour
Dissolve the yeast in the warm water, then add the sugar, a little at a time. After it gets all foamy, add the salt and the oil, beat for a few minutes. Add 2 cups of flour and beat, then add the rest of the flour gradually to make a soft dough. Knead it for 5 minutes or so, then set it aside to rise.
Then, fire up the coals.
First of all, in a 12” DO, get your sausage (I like Italian sausage, as opposed to the common breakfast pork sausage. Still the breakfast stuff is good, too.). Cook it crumbled in the DO with a bunch of briquettes underneath. Spread the grease around the bottom and sides as you’re stirring the sausage bits.
Pull the oven off the coals, pull the sausage out and sprinkle some garlic powder or garlic salt kinda liberally across the bottom of the DO. This will make for a great flavoring in the crust. Spread the dough out over the bottom of the oven. I like it pretty thick, so it’s more of a deep-dish. I don’t remember if this crust recipe makes one or two. I think it does two 12”-ers.
Spread on the sauce. Honestly, I just bust open some Prego. Shhhhhh… Don’t tell anyone. I’m sure there’s a great recipe for pizza sauce out there. When I find it, I’ll do it all from scratch and then post it here for you all.
A little bit of grated mozzarella, then start layering on the toppings. Here’s where the real critical make-or-break stuff happens. Get good, fresh toppings, and be liberal with them. Put on the sausage, the pepperonis (and please, more than one pepperoni per slice…), the fresh onions, the olives, etc… Just go for it and lay out what you like.
Finally smother (and yes, I mean smother) it all in a deep blanket of more mozzarella.
Put the oven back on the coals, 8 under, 16 above, and bake it for about a half hour or so. When the top cheese is melty and brown, and you can see the crust is done, then pull it off.
I cut it with a plastic knife and serve it right from the Dutch, so to speak.
It’s incredible, and since there’s so much food on the crust, it’s very filling.