Lately our chiminea fireplace has become not only a fire to relax by but also an informal outdoor oven to prepare amazing dinners. Our favorite meal is a simple and delicious oven baked chiminea pizza.
You will need three accessories to bake your pizza in a chiminea – a square grill grate, pizza stone and either a pizza paddle or wide spatula that fits through the opening of your chiminea. You can purchase the grate in most camping departments of a big box store like Target or Walmart. A pizza stone, paddle or spatula can be found in the kitchen utensil section. With a bit of searching and a little patience you can find all of these items inexpensively at area thrift stores.
Before we light our evening fire we prepare a simple pizza dough to allow the yeast to work and rise a bit to create a light and chewy pizza crust. Our favorite simple recipe is as follows.
Pizza Crust: Makes 1 – 12 inch pizza crust
1 (.25 ounce) package active dry yeast
1 teaspoons sugar
1 cup warm water
2 1/2 cups flour
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
Mix warm water, yeast and sugar in a bowl. Let stand for 10 minutes until creamy. Add flour, oil and salt. Beat until smooth. Let rest for 10 minutes. Roll out into a 12 inch round. place on a corn meal covered cookie sheet. Add sauce, favorite toppings/cheese. Cover with foil, place in cool place until baking.
For the first hour or two we enjoy the flickering flames of a hardwood fire adding wood until we are hungry for dinner. Let the fire burn down to red hot coals.
Next place the grate through the opening of the chiminea so it rests level and horizontal. Place the pizza stone on the grate and allow it to heat up for 10 to 15 minutes. Sprinkle a little corn meal on the stone before sliding your pizza onto it with either a pizza paddle or spatula. Bake pizza until cheese melts over your favorite pizza toppings. When pizza is baked – slide paddle or spatula under pizza and place onto cookie sheet to cut and serve.
Re-stoke your fire to add ambiance while you and your guests enjoy a delicious, hot pizza pie.
Your chiminea pizza will have a slightly smoky flavor that is as hot and delicious as an expensive clay oven baked pizza served in expensive, trendy restaurants.