PERFECT PIZZA DOUGH
Perfect pizza doesn’t arrive on the back of a scooter.
To make pizza that’s good enough to impress an Italian (it’s their invention, after all), you need to start with the perfect pizza dough.
Ooni believe their pizza dough recipe is second to nonna – we’ve featured it here so you can make it, add your favourite toppings and judge for yourself.
- 300ml cold water
- 10g salt
- 7g fresh yeast
- 500g “00” flour, plus extra to dust
- Place two-thirds of the water in a large bowl. In a saucepan or microwave, bring the other third of the water to boil, then add it to the cold water in the bowl (this creates the correct temperature for activating yeast). Whisk the salt and yeast into the warm water.
- If mixing by hand, place the flour in a large bowl and pour the yeast mixture into it. Stir with a wooden spoon until a dough starts to form. Continue mixing by hand until the dough comes together in a ball. Turn it onto a lightly floured surface and knead with both hands for about 10 minutes, until it is firm and stretchy. Return the dough to the bowl. Cover with cling film and leave to rise in a warm place for 1-2 hours.
If using a mixer, fit the mixer with the dough hook and place the flour in the mixer bowl. Turn the machine on at a low speed and gradually add the yeast mixture to the flour. Once combined, leave the dough to keep mixing at the same speed for 5-10 minutes, or until the dough is firm and stretchy. Cover the dough with cling film and leave to rise in a warm place for 1-2 hours.
- When the dough has roughly doubled in size, divide it into 3 or 5 equal pieces, depending on what size you want your pizzas to be (either 12 inches or 16 inches wide). Place each piece of dough in a separate bowl or tray, cover with plastic wrap and leave to rise for another 20 minutes, or until doubled in size.
- Knead and stretch the dough. Ooni’s top tip is always to start with a perfectly rounded ball of dough as this helps to keep the shape of the pizza base circular during the stretching process. Place the ball on a lightly floured surface, flour your hands and use your fingertips to press the dough into a small, flat disc. Working from the center, push the dough outwards while spreading your fingers, making the disc slightly bigger. Pick up the dough and gently pinch it all around the edge, allowing gravity to pull it downwards into a 12-inch (30cm) circle. Neapolitan-style pizza bases are very thin, so you should be able to see through the base when you hold it up to the light. Take care when doing this – you don’t want it to tear.
- Once the dough is fully stretched, lightly flour an Ooni pizza peel and lay the dough base on it. If at this point you see any small holes in the dough, gently pinch them back together. Once you’re happy with the base, add your toppings and bake in an Ooni oven as indicated in your chosen Ooni recipe.
If fresh yeast isn’t available, use 3g active dried yeast or 2g instant dried yeast instead.
Once you’ve made your dough, you could try out some of the recipes on our blog – you’ll find links below. And if you need even more recipe and topping inspiration, grab yourself a copy of Ooni’s first book – Cooking with Fire – where you’ll find page after page of mouth-watering pizza deliciousness.
And forget what I said about impressing an Italian – the pizza that starts a Neapolitan’s Cinquecento (soft and chewy) may well not rev-up a Roman’s Vespa (thin and crispy). But one thing that isn’t up for discussion – apart from never, ever use pineapple (oh, go on then, if you must) – is that you need heat – lots of it. That’s where Ooni’s outdoor ovens come into their own, as they go from 0 to a scorching 500°C in minutes.