The best food to eat around the campfire is unapologetic comfort food. It’s hot, hearty and, after a long day of trekking through the woods, it satisfies the body and soul. And if you believe a flavorless and freeze-dried meal, wolfed down in solitude, has ever made a hiker happy, Molly Herber, Staff Writer at the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS) and wilderness-foodie-extraordinaire, will disagree. Herber instead recommends a recipe that’ll knock the wool socks off any camper: backcountry pizza.
“It makes people think of home. It’s fun to share. And it makes people shocked that they’re able to make something as fun and tasty as pizza when they’re out camping,” Herber said. In addition to being delicious and easy to make, Herber said that part of what makes backcountry pizza such a great camp recipe is that it’s communal. “You’re not making a pizza just for yourself. There’s a lot of bonding that comes from it.” Pizza will warm and fill you up, and should set you to sleep with enough energy to push through the next day of your trek. Plus, it can be made in 40 minutes or less. Follow NOLS’s own backcountry pizza recipe below.
Backcountry Pizza by NOLS
1 tsp. dry yeast
1/2 cup lukewarm water
1/2 tsp. sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
1 cup flour
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 cup tomato powder
1/2 cup dehydrated veggies
1 tsp. oregano
1 tsp. garlic powder
pinch of salt
pinch of ground pepper
4 slices summer sausage
1 cup shredded mozzarella
1. Mix yeast, warm water, sugar and salt in a bowl. Add flour, continue mixing until you have a thick ball of dough, then put the dough in a small container or baggie. Store the dough in a warm place (like the inside of your jacket) for 10-30 minutes to allow for it to rise.
2. Coat the frying pan with olive oil. Knead and spread the dough in the pan until it forms a circular crust.
3. Cover and bake, on low heat, for 3-5 minutes or until crust is golden brown.
4. Flip the crust, apply the sauce and toppings. Cover and bake for an additional 3-5 minutes, or until cheese is melted. (To speed things up, add a splash of water in the last minute or two of baking).
5. Remove the cover and let the pizza sit for a minute or two. Cut into slices and serve. (Serves 3-4 people.)
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