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Making Smoked Kipper Pizza

I love smoked kipper pizza baked in a skillet. It's easy to make with a day-old refrigerator dough crust and is a dish easily made even in camp with minor adjustments for cooking in a light-weight skillet if it's impractical to carry a heavy iron skillet. The ingredients are basic: tomato sauce cooked up with your favorite herbs and spices, canned kippers shredded a bit, your favorite pizza cheese (I prefer Munster), and the day-old refrigerator dough (made of yeast, water, flour and a tablespoon of olive oil) slightly pre-cooked in the skillet to make it bubbly.

Make the sauce first so it can simmer while rolling out the dough and shredding toppings.

Get the oven pre-heated to 475º F. If baking on a campfire, that step will require having a good bed of coals, distancing the skillet bottom a bit from the intense heat of those coals and putting a lid on the skillet just a little askew so moisture can leak out while it bakes. This can also be baked in a dutch oven if you enjoy the hassle of shoveling hot coals on and off of the oven top. Otherwise a plain old skillet distanced over the campfire coals works great. Using a light-weight backpacker's skillet works too with more care distancing it from coals.

Roll out a ball of dough to about 1/8" thinness and large enough around to fill the skillet edge-to-edge, lightly grease the bottom of the still-cold skillet, plop the dough in and gently spread it out to the edges to form a nicely-raised perimeter. Put the skillet on the fire and let it heat until bubbles start to form in the dough but not so long as to burn the crust. It's going to be baked to perfection after adding the toppings.

I like to slop the sauce up over the edges of the crust. It makes for a tastier crust and looks very appetizing too after the sauce is baked in. Don't worry if the bubbles in the crust collapse before or while adding toppings. They'll still do the trick producing a perfect crust of balanced chewiness and crispiness after it's fully baked, regardless of bubble deflations.

Adding the cheese, I like some of it sprinkled onto the edges too. Looks great after baking.

Shredded bits of kipper on the edges is okay too and campers love a rough-handed cook.

I prefer to add chopped red pepper and grated parmesan before baking it all up rather than after. The flavors of both become nicely infused into the pizza that way. A personal choice.

Other possible topping ingredients include any combination of mushrooms, black olives and thinly-sliced onions. A little roasted garlic might be good too. Another personal choice set.

Let it bake to preferred doneness (I like a bit of scorch on the cheese).

Let it sit a few minutes in the hot skillet after baking and it's easily sliced right in the skillet using a medium-sized cutter. As you slice it, you'll hear the crunch of perfect crispiness of the crust and in combination with aromas wafting up into nostrils, your tastebuds may experience a flurry of itty bitty pre-mastication orgasms.

If others are present to eat it, grab your share then get the hell out of the way fast to avoid stampede-related injuries, especially if camping out with a bunch of starving, mannerless backpackers.

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