In a small Dutch oven, warm the water over several hot coals until it’s between 110 degrees Fahrenheit and 115 degrees. Remove Dutch oven from heat. Stir in yeast and sugar until the yeast foams up, about 5 minutes.
Whisk together flour, salt, and garlic powder in a large bowl. Add the yeast mixture and olive oil, and mix until a dough forms.
Turn the dough out and knead for 5 to 7 minutes, or until it’s smooth and slightly sticky. Place dough in a lightly oiled bowl. Cover and let sit for a minimum of 15 minutes.
Prepare a 16-inch Dutch oven by cutting three strips of parchment paper about 18 inches long and 5 inches wide. Fold each strip in half lengthwise. Place strips in the bottom of the oven to form a 3-way cross, draping the ends over the edge. (The strips will help you remove the pizza from a hot Dutch oven.) Spray with a little additional oil.
Divide the dough into 2 equal portions. Shape each into a round, smooth ball. Cover 1 ball of dough with a damp towel, and set aside.
Sprinkle your work area with some additional flour, and roll and stretch the remaining ball of dough into a circle 16 inches in diameter. (A pastry mat is useful for this step.) Place the dough circle into the bottom of your prepared Dutch oven.
Poke the crust with a fork across the surface of the dough to create holes, which will prevent bubbles from forming. Cover the Dutch oven with its lid, and bake at 400 degrees for 5 minutes. (To achieve a 400-degree temperature for a 16-inch Dutch oven, make a circle of 13 hot coals underneath the oven, and make a double ring of hot coals around the lid.)
Remove the lid, and spread half of the pizza sauce over the crust. Add half the cheese, half the olives, and half the sausage — or replace the olives and sausage with your favorite toppings. Cover with the lid, and bake for 15 to 20 additional minutes, or until the crust is golden, the cheese is melted, and the toppings are bubbling.
Use the strips of parchment paper to lift the pizza from the hot oven. (It might take a second set of hands to get the pizza out of the oven.) Garnish with fresh basil, if desired, then slice and serve.
Repeat with remaining dough, sauce, and toppings. Reprinted with permission from www.TexasIronChef.com, where NDOG host and participant Leslie Lovett shares Dutch oven knowledge alongside delicious recipes.For more delicious Dutch oven recipes, see:
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