Dutch Oven Cooking – French Bread Pizza

Dutch Oven PizzaFrench Bread Pizza In A Dutch Oven

Cooking in a Dutch oven on a campfire is a fun way to save money, prepare delicious food, and satisfy your pioneer spirit. If you like pizza and relaxing next to a campfire, then French bread pizza in a Dutch oven is a a meal you are sure to enjoy!

Although I don’t always cook like a pioneer, when I do, I use my Dutch oven. 🙂 My cast iron Dutch oven is a very versatile part of my homestead cooking. I use it to cook on our wood stove in winter and in summer I use it on the campfire in our back yard. Of course, I have a bit of a thing for cast iron. If you do too, check out my post ‘Cast Iron Envy.’

Dutch ovens
Yes, I admit it…I have Dutch oven envy!

If you don’t have a Dutch oven, you can still make French bread pizza in foil or a pan on a grill over your campfire. It tends to get done on the bottom faster than the top, but it tastes good anyway. So I’ll share how I made extra pizza in a stainless steel bowl at the same time as the Dutch oven pizza, just in case you want to try it.

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French Bread Pizza in a Dutch oven or stainless steel bowl
You can bake French bread pizza in a Dutch oven or a stainless steel bowl over a campfire. Left – bread pieces arranged in my Dutch oven. Right – pizza topped and ready to cook in a stainless steel bowl.

 

French Bread Pizza

The most time consuming part of this process is getting your bed of coals ready for cooking. Once you’ve done that, everything else is quick and easy!

  • Prepare a bed of hot coals in your campfire.
  • Grease your Dutch oven, pan, or foil with oil. You can use vegetable oil, shortening, or lard…whatever you have on hand.
  • Cut French bread into serving size pieces and slice in half lengthwise.
  • Arrange bread pieces in Dutch oven, pan, or on foil.
  • Spread each piece with pizza sauce or pesto (I used pesto), or top with slices of fresh tomato.
  • Add toppings as you desire (I used sweet peppers and mushrooms).
  • Sprinkle with shredded cheese and Italian seasoning.
  • Place lid on pan.
  • Bake on campfire…see below.

 

Baking pizza on a campfire
I had too many pieces of pizza to fit it all in the Dutch oven, so I put the extras in a stainless steel bowl, covered with a lid, and baked it on a grill. The coals on top of the Dutch oven heat the pizza from the top for more even baking.

Baking On A Campfire

Baking your pizza in the Dutch oven will give the most even cooking experience. Place the Dutch oven on a nice bed of coals and put hot coals on top of the lid.

It doesn’t take very long to bake. Our pizza was ready in 12 to 15 minutes. Sweep coals off the top and use a utensil to lift lid and check pizza after about 10 minutes. When cheese is melted, carefully remove Dutch oven from fire (a log grabber works well for this) and allow to cool a few minutes. Remove pizza with tongs.

 

French bread pizza in a Dutch oven
The Dutch oven works really well for making French bread pizza.

 

Baking your pizza in foil or a stainless steel pan on a grill also works pretty well. The foil has a tendency to stick to the cheese, so I don’t use this method, but it works in a pinch. For best results, ‘tent’ the foil over the top of the pizza to reduce sticking, then place on a grill over hot coals. Check often.

 

French bread pizza cooked on a grill in a pan
The pizza in a stainless steel bowl on a grill took longer and the bottoms cooked faster than the tops.

 

To bake your French bread pizza in a metal pan or bowl, use a lid or foil to hold heat in. Place pan on a grill over hot coals and check often. The bottoms of bread are likely to burn quickly if the fire is too hot, so adjust as needed.

 

French bread pizza on a plate
Lap top pizza

 

Enjoy!

Once your pizza is done, you can sit next to the fire, munch on your tasty dinner, and commune with nature!

I enjoy cooking Dutch oven meals for a number of reasons. It helps save on energy bills. The food tastes great. I love camping and cooking outdoors. And hanging out around the campfire is a fun way to spend the evening!

Save Some Dough

In summer, when the house is already hot, I don’t want to turn on the oven and heat up the place even more. We rarely use our air conditioner, but if you do, you’ll pay to heat the oven and then you’ll pay even more to cool the house down again! So cooking outside will save you even more money. That appeals to my inner cheapskate FrugaLisa. 🙂

 

Dutch oven in a bed of coals.

And Besides, Campfire Cooking is Fun!

People enjoy campfires…it takes us back to our humble beginnings, when all of the cooking (probably not pizza!) and heating was done with a wood fire. So I guess it makes me feel a bit more like a self reliant pioneer to cook on a camp fire. It also gives us a reason to relax around the fire in the evening, eating good food, talking about our day and our plans, and listening to the sounds of nature. It sure beats watching tv or looking at your phone!

Do you cook in a Dutch oven? What is your favorite recipe?


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