How To Make A Backcountry Pizza

By Stio Mountain on

Written By Francesca Weikert and our partners at In Season

There is nothing more wholesome than collaborating with the elements to create a meal outside in the mountains after a day of skiing and backcountry pizzas have become our go-to this winter.

Blaine and I run a small sourdough bread business, In Season, out of our remodeled garage in Victor, Idaho. Nourishing ourselves through mountain experiences and backcountry cooking adventures fuels the inspiration and fire behind our naturally leavened bread. After a busy holiday season of baking and catering, we decided to head deep into the mountains for a much needed reset.

A forty five minute snowmobile ride along the Greys River brought us to the idyllic Box Y Lodge, nestled between the Salt River and Wyoming Ranges. The ranch served as our homebase for a couple of days, spoiling us with western charm, endless high alpine ski and snowmobile terrain and hearty home cooking. 

After long mornings of touring, we treated ourselves to fire cooked lunches. Here is our favorite recipe.

Backcountry Pizza Recipe
Yields 2 Pizza
  • 2 In Season Sourdough Pizza Doughs
  • 4 Heirloom Tomatoes (sliced, tossed in olive oil and sea salt)
  • 1 ball of Buffalo Mozzarella (sliced thin)
  • 1 bunch of Basil
  • 2 cups High Quality Olive Oil 
  • 2 tablespoons Coarse Grain Sea Salt 
  • 1 cup Cornmeal for dusting the peel 
  • 1 cup All Purpose Flour for dough handling

      Backcountry Pizza

      1. Assemble kindling and firewood to start your cooking fire.
      2. Once you are positive that your fire is burning, set up your prep table with your cutting board, knife and pizza making ingredients.
      3. Continuously feed your fire wood for up to 45 minutes or until your coals are glowing and hot enough for cooking your pizza. Keep extra wood on hand for stoking the flames.  
      4. Place your flat grill grate on two large rocks approximately 6 inches above the ground and 1 foot away from the center of the flames. Use your small shovel to drag and pile half of the hottest coals beneath the grill grate.
      5. In order to easily handle your pizza dough, first roll dough in flour. Using your flat work surface, slowly stretch the dough into a round shape. Make sure the dough is evenly thin yet be cautious that a dough too thin will tear. Use more flour as necessary. This step takes practice. Don't worry if it’s not a perfect circle, it will taste just as good!
      6. Generously coat your pizza peel with cornmeal and decisively pick up the shaped dough. Check the fire and add more coals to the grill/more wood to the flames if necessary. Slide the untopped pizza onto the grill and the sliced tomatoes just beside it. The pizza should bubble up and turn golden brown on the bottom while the tomatoes roast in their own juices from the heat of the coals.
      7. When the underside of the pizza is crispy and charred, use the flat pizza peel to pick it up and flip it onto it’s uncooked side. Simultaneously, flip the tomato slices to roast the other sides.
      8. Top the pizza with both the fresh mozzarella and tomato slices. Cover whole pie with your large cast iron pot to aid in the melting of the cheese. Let sit for 3-4 more minutes taking care to not let the underside burn.
      9. With your knife, roughly chop the basil. When bottom of the pizza is fully cooked and the cheese is melted, pull from the fire to the cutting board, disperse fresh basil, generously drizzle olive oil and sea salt, cut into 6 or 8 slices and enjoy!


        Pizza making utensils:

        • Flat grill grate
        • Metal tongs
        • Large cast iron pan
        • Pizza peel or flat, square piece of cardboard
        • Collapsible backpacking table
        • Thick fire-retardant gloves
        • Knife
        • Lighter
        • Small shovel 

          "If you french fry when you want to pizza pie, you're gonna have a bad day!"

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