Braai Pizza (it’s a thing!)

No need for a special oven on your next trip; instead, simply pack a terracotta plate – the kind that serves as a base for potplants – and you’ll be churning out crowd-pleasers over the fire in no time. 

To start you off, we’ve found the ultimate recipe for making delicious braai pizzas.

Tip: Vacuum-packed mozzarella is the easiest for travelling.

 

Pizza dough

As with any dough, making pizza dough is an art – the more you make it, the better you’ll get a feel for the perfect consistency.


Makes four large or six smaller pizzas

• 1tsp sugar

• 1tsp instant dry yeast

• 1 cup water, room temperature

• 2 cups cake flour

• 1tsp salt

• 2T olive oil

• coarse white flour (also called wheat flour), maize meal or polenta for dusting bases

 

Put the sugar and yeast in the water. Wait until the yeast starts to bubble – this should take about three to five minutes.

Sift the flour and salt into a mixing bowl. Make a well in the middle and pour in the yeast and sugar mixture. Add the olive oil.

Knead the dough for three minutes or until smooth to the touch. Cover with a damp tea towel and leave to prove for 30 minutes in a warm area (close to the fire is good).

Once the dough has doubled, knead it again to get the air bubbles out. Divide into either four or six portions.

Using your hands, flatten and stretch each portion to make a pizza base that fits the terracotta plate (we used a 36cm-diameter plate).

Dust the bases with the flour, maize meal or polenta, and set them aside on a well-floured surface until you’re ready to add the toppings.

Napoli sauce

Triple the recipe and have a jar at hand for every trip. Not just good for pizza, this sauce can be used in a potjie or as a base for a chunky sauce such as chakalaka.

Makes about two cups  (450–500ml)

• 2 red peppers

• 4 anchovy fillets, minced (optional)

• 3 cloves garlic

• 3T tomato paste

• ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil

• 1 can crushed tomatoes

• 1T dried sweet basil

• salt and pepper

 

Char the red peppers on an open flame. Once they’re blackened, remove from the heat, place in a bowl and leave to steam, covered with clingfilm, for five minutes.

Peel the blackened skin off the peppers, remove the seeds and add the pulp to a blender, along with the anchovies, garlic, tomato paste, and olive oil.

Blend to a smooth purée, pour into a bowl, add the canned tomatoes and basil, and mix well. Season to taste.

If not using immediately, decant the sauce into a sterilised jar.

Braai Pizza

Dust a clean terracotta plate (bought from your local nursery) with coarse white flour, maize meal or polenta – this will allow the pizza base to slide more easily onto it and prevent it from sticking to the plate during cooking,
and give it a nutty flavour.

Preheat the plate on a braai grid over medium coals. Ensure it’s piping hot to get a well-bubbled and crispy crust on your pizza.

Assemble each pizza on a well-floured wooden board.

First spread the Napoli sauce (three tablespoons per pizza) over the base – not right up to the edges, as you want those crispier.  Brush the edges with olive oil to ensure a golden crust.

Add the toppings of your choice.

Slide the pizza quickly onto the hot terracotta plate. Place on the grid to cook for 12 to 15 minutes, rotating the plate every few minutes for even cooking.

 

Toppings

Aim for different flavour dimensions and textures. The correct and traditional way to assemble a pizza is to separate the sauce and the toppings with a layer of cheese. After all, why cover your beautiful toppings with grated cheese?

Red pizza

225g chorizo, sliced thinly

250g fresh mozzarella, torn into chunks

100g sun-dried tomatoes in oil (drained)

Serve with a drizzle of olive oil and fresh origanum or basil leaves.

Green pizza

150g mozzarella, grated

baby spinach

basil pesto

Serve with slices of avo.

Breakfast pizza

150g mozzarella, grated

200g button or mixed exotic mushrooms, sliced

1 egg – break it over the
pizza before cooking it.

Make a calzone

Add toppings to half the pizza, then fold over the rest of it. Cover the calzone and terracotta plate with foil. Cook for 10 minutes, remove the foil and cook for another 10 minutes.

Words and styling by Amerae Vercueil, Photographs by Andreas Eiselen

 

 

 

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