Halloween Pizza Skeleton
“The name’s Bones. Pizza Bones.”
An entire skeleton that you can eat. Sounds pretty terrifying, right? That’s why it's the perfect centerpiece for your Halloween party feast. And for something so spectacular, it’s actually pretty easy to make! Drawing the shapes, shaping the dough, topping, cooking, and finally, assembling the skeleton makes these pizza ‘bones’ an immersive activity the whole group can enjoy together — or just provides a fun conversation piece to gather around.
All you need are four 250-gram dough balls (or 1 kilogram of dough), tomato sauce, cheese, and a selection of toppings for adorning the pizza skeleton. We chose to show off Parma ham “tendons”, mortadella “guts”, and sliced olive eyes and fingernails, but Mr. Pizza Bones here lends himself to creativity, so use your imagination.
Shaping the skeleton is the trickiest part. You can freehand it, so to speak, and form the various “bones” without a template, but we’ve found it's easier with a design to work from. You’re welcome to draw your own, but we’ve created a few pre-made templates to make things as easy as possible on you, the creative mastermind. We recommend placing a 30- by 45-inch (80- by 100-centimeter) sheet of tracing paper over the templates), and tracing the design with a ballpoint pen (avoid using markers or anything that may transfer to the dough).
If you decide to bring this creation to life, make sure to tag @oonihq and share it with the Ooni community!
Note: We’ve suggested toppings we found work well, but use any toppings you like. Opt for a veggie skeleton with fresh vegetables and cheese, or even a vegan version using plant-based alternatives.
Makes one 40-inch (100-centimeter) pizza skeleton
1 kilogram pizza dough (or four 250-gram dough balls)
⅔ cup (100 grams) semolina flour, for dusting
14 ounces (400 grams) pizza sauce
7 ounces (200 grams) low-moisture mozzarella, shredded, or fior di latte, finely chopped
1 pimiento-stuffed olive
10 pitted olives, sliced in half lengthwise
6 to 8 ¼-inch (1cm) squares of mozzarella or a hard cheese like Parmesan (for the “teeth”)
4 slices prosciutto di Parma (optional, for the upper arms and legs )
2 slices mortadella ham (optional, for the hips)
any additional spooky skeleton toppings that come to mind
Draw your own design on a large sheet of paper or print out the provided templates and trace them on a 30- by 45-inch (80- by 100-centimeter) sheet of tracing paper. Once the design is complete, dust an even layer of fine semolina onto each traced shape so the dough doesn’t stick once formed.
Using a bench scraper, portion out dough for the different parts of the skeleton:
- For the feet: two 70-gram pieces
- For the hands: two 60-gram pieces
- For the legs: four 60-gram pieces
- For the arms: four 50-gram pieces
- For the hips: one 70-gram piece
- For the rib cage: one 120-gram piece
- For the skull: one 100-gram piece
Fire up your oven. Aim for 842°F (450°C) on the stone baking board inside.
Form the legs and arms. For the legs, shape four 60-gram dough portions into long, flat rectangles. With scissors, cut ¾ to 1¼ inches (2 to 3 centimeters) into the center on both ends of each rectangle. Pinch the split ends into rounded semicircles to resemble cartoon-like bones. Repeat with the 50-gram chunks to form the arms.
Form the hips. Stretch the 70-gram piece of dough into an oval, then use your fingers to gently create a large, rounded notch along the top edge and a smaller one along the bottom.
Form the rib cage. Flatten the 120-gram piece of dough to form a wide oval. Starting at the top of the disc, use scissors to cut two to three 3-inch (8-centimeter incisions (about a third of the way in) on the left and right sides to form the ribs. (This will leave a portion of dough at the bottom to form the base of the spine.) Use your fingers to gently separate the ribs, leaving about an inch between each one so they don’t stick together. Pull the remaining dough down into a spine at the bottom.
Form the skull. Flatten the 100-gram piece of dough to form a flat disc. Pinch the cheekbones in about halfway down, and square the bottom out to form a jaw. Along the bottom of the skull, cut ½-inch (1-centimeter) incisions every ¾ of an inch (2 centimeters) to form teeth.
Begin cooking in batches and assemble the skeleton as you go. If you’re confident in your dough-launching skills, feel free to bake more than one piece at a time. Regardless, be sure to dust your peel between launches. For first-timers, we recommend baking in 9 batches, up to 2 minutes each, cooking no more than two parts at a time to maintain the shapes while launching (hands, feet, left leg, right leg, left arm, right arm, hips, rib cage, then skull).
Bake the feet and hands. Transfer two feet to a lightly dusted peel. Add a spoonful of sauce to the widest part of each foot, then top with a pinch of mozzarella, avoiding the toes. Gently launch the feet into the oven for 2 minutes, turning each halfway through. Transfer to a serving board and repeat the process with the hands, avoiding adding cheese to the fingers.
Bake the arm and leg bones. Transfer two bones at a time to a lightly dusted peel. Gently launch into the oven and cook for 2 minutes, turning halfway through. Transfer to the serving board and repeat the process with the remaining “appendages.”
Bake the hips. Transfer the dough to a lightly dusted peel and spoon 2 tablespoons of sauce over the surface, leaving a crust edge, then top with mozzarella. Gently launch into the oven and cook for 2 minutes, turning occasionally. Transfer to the serving board.
Bake the rib cage. Carefully transfer the dough to a lightly dusted peel, then adjust the shape as needed. On the widest point of the rib cage (in the center of the chest), spread 2 tablespoons of sauce evenly out to the edges, then top with a generous pinch of mozzarella. Gently launch into the oven, and cook for 2 minutes, turning occasionally once the base has set. Transfer to the serving board.
Bake the skull. Transfer the dough to a lightly dusted peel, top with 2 tablespoons of sauce spread evenly to the edges, then top with cheese. Gently launch into the oven and cook for 2 minutes, turning halfway through. Transfer to the serving board.
Finish assembling the skeleton. Use the accompanying photo as a guide to arrange the skeleton wherever you plan to serve it. (We suggest food-safe, acid-free paper or, for an extra spooky backdrop, you could cut out a cardboard coffin to layer underneath.).
Garnish the skeleton. For the eyes, cut the pimiento-stuffed olive in half crosswise, then place each one flat side up on the skull. For the teeth, garnish with the small mozzarella squares or thinly sliced squares of Parmesan. Wrap each slice of prosciutto into a loose rope-like shape and place over the upper arm and leg bones to form “‘muscles.” Lightly scrunch up the mortadella slices and place them side by side over the pelvic bone to create “guts.” For nails on the fingers and toes, place the halved olives flat side down at the end of each digit. Be as imaginative as you like. You can keep things simple, or add other meats, cheeses, or vegetables to create other spooktacular features as you see fit.
Serve immediately for a spooky feast your guests won’t soon forget. For a gruesome twist, serve with a bowl of marinara “blood” that guests can ladle onto their own plates for dipping, or check out some of our other favorite dips for more inspiration.