Stated as “Best Pizza in America” by the New York Times, this might be the best pizza camp dough recipe you’ll find on the internet.
Joe Beddia, with his amazing pizza-making skills, has made a cult of pizza enthusiasts. So much so that hundreds of people have bought his culinary thesis “Pizza Camp” and taken inspiration on pie-making craft. His pizza is honored as the “Best Pizza in America” by Bon Appetit magazine and recognized by The New York Times. Now that’s reason enough to try his recipe.
Joe Beddia’s pizza camp dough recipe is a combination of all-purpose flour and high-gluten flour, along with water, yeast, and salt. The dough is fermented for at least 24 hours at room temperature, which allows the yeast to develop flavor and texture in the dough.
Talking about the salinity level in the dough, Beddia advises us to take 2 tablespoons of kosher salt for 5 cups of flour, which works out to be about 2.5% salt content. This is within the range of typical pizza dough salt content.
With that being said, let’s jump into Joe’s what’s referred to as “the best pizza in America” inspired camp dough recipe:
Joe Beddia’s Pizza Camp Dough Recipe
Beddia learned the craft of making pizza in Philadelphia and aced it before presenting it to the world. If you follow his recipe precisely, you’ll end up making immaculately crisp, wholesomely chewy, and dangerously addictive pizzas at home.
Ready to take the risk? Let’s dive straight into the recipe:
- 1 + ½ cups cool water
- 1/2 teaspoon active dry yeast
- 2 teaspoons of sugar
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon + ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
- 3 + ½ bread flour
Directions to Make the Dough
- Take a large stainless steel bowl and whisk the water with sugar, yeast, and olive oil.
- Mix in flour with a dough hook attachment for 5 minutes or until incorporated at a low speed.
- Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let the dough rest for 30 minutes.
- Using damp hands or a dough scraper, knead the salt into the dough until the dough is smooth.
- Seal the bowl with plastic wrap and place it in the refrigerator for 24 hours to allow for slow and long fermentation.
- Scrape the dough onto a well-floured, clean work surface and shape it into a large ball. Knead the dough real nice until it looks visibly smooth.
- Divide the dough in half and let it rise for 3–4 hours on a floured surface covered with a kitchen towel until it doubles in size and feels smooth and soft to the touch.
- When you press your finger into the dough and the dough rises up, it means your camping pizza dough is now ready!
Now, I know it’s a lot of kneading and waiting but trust me once you get your hands on this pizza dough recipe, all other pizza shells will starts tasting insipid.
Build the Fire and Enjoy your Campfire
Now that your camp chef pizza dough recipe is ready, all you need is the person in charge of your industrial grate and the fire pit. He/she must understand how to generate and control high heat as there might not be a thermometer during the campfire to accurately check the heat. Remember, along with a solid pizza camp dough recipe, the key to a great pizza crust is heat (exceeding 700 degrees makes it even better).
A preferable option would be a thin-crust pizza, which is prepared with a hot fire, a few swift flips, and a watchful eye. Besides, make sure to use a strong, thick industrial grate and welding gloves. However, any incredibly sturdy grate will work. Moreover, make sure your grilling equipment is prepared
For instance, for simple flips, you can use two large, wide grill spatulas. To get the coals ready for a pizza, it will take you around an hour. So while you wait, sip on some beer or wine and then get your ingredients ready.
Get Ready to Make the Pizza
Now that your camp chef pizza dough is ready, it’s time for you to put your pizzaiolo hat on and cook your pizza. Here’s how you can make a perfect camping pizza:
- First of all, keep the ingredients simple. Use your favorite red sauce and some olive oil, garlic, and cheese to drizzle over your pie. Try keeping your pizza thin and light for the convenience of camping.
- Punch the dough to deflate it and divide it into sections based on thickness. Roll out the dough on a floured surface to the desired size.
- Add flour to the dough to prevent sticking, then coat one side with olive oil before grilling.
- Par-bake the pizza, add toppings, and continue grilling until bubbles appear
- Use spatulas to check the underside and flip it over to grill the other side briefly
- Amp up your pizza by adding ingredients of your choice on the cooking side, and return it to the grill
- Remove your hot and delicious pizza from the grill, put it on the cutting board, and relish your slices of delight while enjoying your camping experience.
The Final Verdict
If you are in pursuit of crafting the finest pizza dough, then Joe Beddia’s recipe won’t disappoint you. His artistic approach to teaching the pizza baking process is immaculately beautiful but it might not be that straightforward. So be ready for some trials and errors before crafting “that one perfect pizza dough”.
When it comes to Joe’s pizza dough recipe, salt plays an important role. There are critics who do not fully agree with Joe’s salinity ratio but you can always experiment and decide what suits you the best. After all, for salt, it’s always “add as per taste”.
Lastly, If you are a true pizza enthusiast and skeptical about buying Joe Beddia’s “Pizza Camp” book then I would suggest you go for it. Even if you do not end up making that perfect pizza shell, you’ll anyway enjoy the process of making it, or at least reading the book.
Thanks to Joe Beddia for his amazing pizza insights. Now it’s your turn to make the “Best Pizza in America”.