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A ball of pizza dough flavoured with chocolate

Cocoa Pizza Dough

This recipe for cocoa pizza dough comes from New York City pizza-maker Thomas DeGrezia of Sofia Wine Bar. It’s made by integrating cocoa powder and melted baking chocolate into a conventional pizza dough. While chocolatey, it’s a sugarless dough, so any sweetness must come from your toppings. Though conceived in 2017 as an anti-Nutella dessert pizza, ironically, it also works well as a base for the famous chocolate hazelnut spread.

DeGrezia advises hand-mixing over using a mixer because the dough can be a bit delicate. (Try a low setting if you’d rather use a mixer.) The dough stretches nicely, but the chocolate does seem to create more resistance (and note that ten inches is DeGrezia’s ideal pie size). If you have problems stretching, just give it a few minutes to rest . This dough was made using 100% Cacao Unsweetened Cocoa Powder Carefully and 70% Cacao Extra Bittersweet Baking Chocolate from Ghirardelli, but your favorite brands should work just as well. 

Notes: This recipe is for use inside an Ooni oven. If you’re baking on a stone or steel in a conventional home oven, preheat to 550°F (288°C) and bake for 8 minutes, checking in around the 6-minute mark. The addition of chocolate does seem to speed up the bake.

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Arthur Bovino is Ooni’s Head of Pizza Content. Arthur is the founder of the 101 Best Pizzas in America and author of “Buffalo Everything: A Guide to Eating in "’The Nickel City"’”and “The Buffalo New York Cookbook: 70 Recipes from The Nickel City.” You can follow him on Instagram @nycbestpizza.

1 hour prep time
48 hours rise time

3 x 270-gram balls (for 8- to 10-inch pizzas) or 2 x 410-gram balls (for 12- to 14-inch pizzas)

mixing bowls
cooling rack
offset spatula 


1 ¼ cups (300 grams) water at 50 to 58°F (10 to 14°C)
2 ½ cups (400 grams) all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon (3 grams) active dry yeast
1 tablespoon (15 grams) extra-virgin olive oil 
2 teaspoons (10 grams) fine sea salt
3 tablespoons (20 grams) unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tablespoons (20 grams) bittersweet baking chocolate bar

In a large metal mixing bowl, add the water, flour, yeast, and oil. Use a wooden spoon to mix the dough by hand until no flour is visible, about 2 minutes. Let the dough rest for 20 minutes.

Warm the chocolate baking bar in the microwave until it has completely melted (about a minute) or use a double boiler (bring an inch of water to a boil in a saucepan, then place a heat-safe bowl on top, add the chocolate and melt it, mixing frequently, about 2 to 3 minutes). Allow the chocolate to cool for 2 minutes. 

Meanwhile, add the salt to the dough in a large mixing bowl, turning it over in the bowl and kneading it until the salt disappears (about a minute). Then, add the cocoa powder and repeat the process. 

Begin the final 10-minute hand mix. Start in the bowl. Slowly add the melted chocolate into the dough while mixing. Once it is absorbed into the dough (about a minute), turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead with both hands for about 10 minutes. Use the heel of your hand, pressing the dough down hard and out on the counter, then gather the dough up and fold it back into itself. Repeat.

Cut the dough into 2 or 3 even pieces (depending on your preferred size), weigh and ball. 

Place the balls in a proofing container (or in lightly oiled containers covered with plastic wrap or lids) and cold-ferment in the fridge for 48 hours. You can continue to cold-ferment for up to 96 hours. 

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