Sourdough Discard Pita Bread

I love making my family foods from different regions in the world. This is probably because I enjoy eating different cuisines and if a bread recipe is involved in dinner, even better! I love pita bread’s endless possibilities of stuffing it with delicious fillings. Homemade pita bread for dinner is asked for on repeat here. My kids favorite dinner is stuffing their pita with whatever they want (lunch meat, veggies, mediterranean style chicken, gyros, etc…). I love that there’s no complaint at dinner time! This sourdough discard pita bread is the perfect vehicle for a pita sandwich: light, fluffy and a beautiful, airy pocket in the middle for the perfect pita bread sandwich.

Steps to the Perfect Pita Bread

One of the things that separates pita from naan bread or a soft wrap bread is the pocket that is created when pita is baked. The key to forming that awesome pocket in pita bread is using a very hot oven to help create steam. Steam puffs up the dough during the baking process and forms a pocket in the bread. After the pita cools, the bread will flatten but a pocket will remain. This pocket can be a little bit finicky and relies on pretty near perfect conditions for it to form while baking. If you can remember the following tips when making your homemade sourdough discard pita bread, you will get nice pockets 80-100% of the time.

Top Tips for a Perfect Pita Bread Pocket

  • HOT, HOT oven: Preheat a pizza stone for 30-40 minutes BEFORE baking the pita (550 degrees if you can, 500 degrees will work too). Baking in an Ooni Pizza Oven is even better for the pocket to form if you have one.
  • Tacky Dough: If your pita dough is too dry, it will not form a perfect pocket. Add flour a little bit at a time until it is slightly tacky.
  • Double Rise: Let the dough rise once for an hour or longer. Then shape and rise again for about 30 minutes before rolling.
  • Roll it THIN: Roll the pita bread as thin as you can without tearing the dough. ¼ inch or thinner works best.
  • Create Steam: When baking the pita bread, create steam in your oven by tossing a few ice cubes into the oven OR spritzing the top of the dough with water before putting in oven. If you use an Ooni Pizza oven you don’t need to worry about this step.
  • Wrap Up Warm Pita: To preserve the pocket created in the oven, as soon as the pita is finished baking, remove it from the oven and fold it up in a kitchen towel. Repeat this process with all of the pita bread. This keeps the pita warm and locks in moisture.

Even with all of these tips, it’s still possible your pita will not rise and form a pocket. Don’t despair! The pita bread will still taste very good and hopefully your next pita will form a pocket when baked.

Sourdough Discard in Pita Bread

If you know me, you know I’m always looking for ways to use up some sourdough discard. I love the health benefits (all that “good” bacteria that help maintain a stable, healthy digestive system) and less food waste. Both of these things contribute to me adding sourdough discard to a lot of my baked goods. Waffles, biscuits, chocolate chip cookies, banana bread, you name it…I will try it! This sourdough discard pita bread is no different. I love that this recipe calls for a whole cup of sourdough discard. If you don’t have discard on hand you can also use sourdough starter instead for similar health benefits. Because this recipe uses a lot of discard, it’s important to use discard that is 100% hydration (meaning it’s been fed equal weights water and flour). If you use discard with a higher hydration, you’ll want to add a little more flour to the pita bread. Conversely if you use a lower hydration discard you’ll want a little less flour. Make sure you are feeling the dough throughout and know when to stop adding flour. Over-flouring the dough leads to a flat and no-pocket pita.

Mixing Pita Dough

Pita dough can be mixed using a stand mixer or by hand. When making small batches of dough, like this recipe, I like using my Kitchen Aid mixer. If I was doubling the recipe and making a larger batch, I would use a Bosch mixer. Using a mixer means you can dump all the ingredients into the mixer fitted with a dough hook, turn it on and let it knead for about 5 minutes. If you choose to mix by hand, whisk together the ingredients (I love this Danish dough whisk) and then knead for 2 minutes by hand. Let the dough rest and gluten relax for about 5 minutes and then knead again for another two minutes. Once the dough has been kneaded, place it in a container, cover it and let the dough rise for about an hour until doubled in size.

Shaping and Rolling Pita Bread

Pita bread dough is initially pre-shaped into small balls before being rolled thin. At this point, you will want to begin pre-heating your oven or pizza oven. Dump the dough out onto a countertop and separate into 8 pieces. Taking a piece at a time, pull up the sides of the dough into the middle while rotating the dough in your hand. Then roll the ball on the countertop to seal the seam and place on the counter. Cover the dough balls and let them rise again for about 30 minutes. Once the balls have risen, use a rolling pin to roll one of the balls out very thin, a little less than 1/4 inch without tearing the dough. Lightly flour a board and place the rolled out dough on the board. It is now ready to be baked in an oven.

Baking Pita in an Oven

To get a traditional pocket in pita bread using a conventional oven, you will want to use a baking stone (my favorite one) or pizza stone. The baking stone helps keep the oven hot and is the perfect place to bake the pita bread once it’s pre-heated. Place the baking stone in the oven. Pre-heat the oven to 550 degrees (or the highest temperature your oven will set) for about 30-40 minutes. The extra pre-heating time is important because the stone will take longer to reach the oven temperature and you want your oven to be super hot before baking the pita. Once your oven is pre-heated and ready, it’s time to add some extra steam to encourage the pita to rise. I like to do this by tossing a handful of ice cubes into the oven before I slide the dough onto the pizza stone. You can also spritz the top of the pita with a light mist of water before placing it in the oven. Slide the pita dough into the oven and close the oven. Bake for about 3 minutes until puffed up and lightly brown. Remove immediately from the oven and wrap warm pita in a kitchen towel. Repeat with the remaining pita bread.

Baking Pita in an Ooni Pizza Oven

My favorite way to bake this pita bread is in an Ooni Pizza Oven. I have waxed poetic about my love for the Ooni before and have a few great Ooni specific recipes for Naan bread and Pizza that I love. This sourdough discard pita bread is right up there with those recipes in deliciousness. Pre-heat your pizza oven on the highest setting for about 30 minutes. After 30 minutes turn the temperature down just a bit. Launch the rolled pita dough into the Ooni by quickly thrusting the dough off the board and into the oven. Bake for about 40 seconds to 1 minute until puffed up. Immediately after the pita puffs up all the way, pull it out of the oven, rotate it and place it back in the Ooni, very close to the front opening of the oven. This will allow the pita to continue baking but will keep it from catching on fire (as it has a tendency to do the further toward the back of the oven you put it). After about 20 seconds, remove from the oven and wrap warm pita in a kitchen towel. Repeat with the remaining pita bread.

Fill and Enjoy

Once all the sourdough discard pita bread is baked and resting in a kitchen towel, prepare the fillings. Our family favorite is salad greens, tomatoes, cucumbers, chicken and some tatziki sauce but the options are endless. Leftover pita can be stored at room temperature in a ziplock bag for 24 hours. Anything more than that can be stuck in the freezer for up to 3 months. Enjoy!

Frequently Asked Questions

Why doesn’t my pita bread puff up?

It could be a number of reasons. Make sure the oven you are using has pre-heated to the highest setting. Use a baking stone and add steam to your oven or the pita before baking. If none of those work, make sure your dough isn’t too dry and and that you roll the pita bread about 1/4 inch thin with no holes in the dough.

How long does sourdough discard last in the refrigerator?

Sourdough discard can be used for 2-3 weeks straight from the refrigerator. Pour off the “hooch,” stir it up and use it in a recipe. Anything older than about 3 weeks can be re-fed and used as a sourdough starter but I wouldn’t use it in my baked goods.

What do you eat with pita bread?

We love eating pita bread with chicken, lamb gyro meat, vegetables, as sandwiches and to dip into curries and soups.

Naan bread vs Pita? What is the difference?

Naan bread is typically larger, softer and does not typically have a pocket in the middle. Pita bread is made from simpler ingredients (flour, water, yeast, oil, salt) is a little drier and has a large pocket in the middle for fillings.

How do I store leftover pita bread?

Initially pita bread should be put in a kitchen towel right after its baked. Leftover pita can be stored in an airtight container for about 24 hours. After 24 hours, pita bread can be frozen for up to 3 months. When you’re ready to use it, pull it out of the freezer and thaw or warm up a bit before using.

My dough keeps catching on fire in an Ooni Pizza Oven. Help!

This can often happen when the Ooni is too hot or the pita bread is stuck too far back in the pizza oven. Turn the temperature down a little if this keeps happening. As soon as the pita bread puffs up, move the pita a little closer to the opening of the pizza oven to finish baking. This should help keep the pita from catching on fire.

Sourdough Discard Pita Bread

Perfect homemade pita bread made with sourdough discard and instant yeast. This pita bread is light, fluffy and bakes up with a nice pocket to pack full of your favorite fixings.
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 4 mins
Rise Time: 1 hr 40 mins
Course Appetizer, Bread
Cuisine Mediterranean
Servings 8 pita

Ingredients
  

  • 225 grams water about 1 cup, room temperature
  • 200 grams sourdough discard about 1 cup, see recipe note
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons instant yeast
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 35 grams whole wheat flour about 1/4 cup
  • 410 grams all purpose flour about 2.5-3 cups

Instructions
 

Pita Dough

  • Kneading by Mixer: To the bowl of a stand mixer, add the warm water, sourdough discard, olive oil, granuated sugar, instant yeast and salt. Stir to combine. With the dough hook running, add the flour and knead for about 5 minutes, adding a Tablespoon or more flour as needed until soft, tacky and smooth.
  • Kneading by Hand: Mix together all the ingredients. Spread a little dusting of flour on the counter. Knead for 2 minutes until the dough comes together, adding small amounts of flour as needed. Let rest for 5 minutes, then knead again for another 2 minutes until smooth.
  • Cover dough and let rise for about an hour until doubled in size.
  • Seperate the dough into 8 equal pieces and roll into balls. Pull up the sides of the dough into the middle while rotating the dough in your hand. Then roll the ball on the countertop to seal the seam and place on the counter. Cover and let rise again, about 30 minutes to an hour.
  • Take one risen ball of dough and roll out into a thin circle. The thinner you can roll the pita, the better. Be careful not to "break" any holes in the pita or else it willl not rise with a pocket in the oven.

Baking Pita Bread

  • Oven Method: Place a baking stone in the oven. Pre-heat oven to 550 degrees. Once the oven is pre-heated for 30 minutes, roll a piece of dough out into a circle. Place the rolled out pita on a lightly floured board. Take a couple ice cubes and toss them in the oven before sliding the pita on the pizza stone. Quickly close the oven door and bake for 2-3 minutes until puffed up and lightly brown. Immediately remove to a plate and cover with a dishtowel. Repeat with remaining dough balls.
  • Pizza Oven Method: Pre-heat your pizza oven (I love my ooni) on high heat for about 30 minutes. Place the rolled out pita on a lightly floured board. Thrust the pita into the oven and let it bake for about 1 minute until puffed up. Once puffed up, quickly pull the pita out of the pizza oven and rotate, putting the pita back in the pizza oven very close to the opening (this helps prevent the pita from over-baking and catching on fire). Let bake for about 20 more seconds. Remove to a plate and cover with a dishtowel. Repeat with remaining dough balls.
  • Let the pita cool before slicing in half and filling with toppings. Enjoy!

Notes

Sourdough Discard: 100% hydration sourdough discard is what I typically use. Depending on the hydration of your sourdough discard, you may need more or less flour.
Keyword pita, sourdough discard

Rating: 1 out of 5.

Disclaimer: I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed for me to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com. As an Amazon Associate, I earn a very small amount from qualifying purchases.

Follow me on Instagram @amybakesbread, like Amy Bakes Bread on Facebook or follow me on Pinterest for more baking ideas. Please share this recipe if you enjoyed it! Post a photo and tag me @amybakesbread so I can see your bake.

Sourdough “Pizza Oven” Pizza

I am a big-time pizza lover. My whole family loves pizza and Friday night pizza has been on the rotation for many years. We love this recipe that we’ve been using in our regular oven, but recently we added an Ooni Koda pizza oven to our appliances. Even though it was quite the long wait (supply chain issues), we love the way this pizza oven cooks and everything that we pull out of it is top notch! Check out this naan bread I made that is one of our favorites. I decided to combine my love for sourdough everything with my love for pizza and have found the perfect sourdough pizza recipe for our family. I’ve made it a number of times and will continue using this recipe for years to come. It is delicious, the perfect chewy crust and makes the most delicious pizza. We are obsessed and it has revitalized our family pizza nights.

Type 00 Flour or Bread Flour?

Ooni gives instructions with their pizza oven to use a special Italian flour, “type 00.” Type 00 flour is known for making traditional Neapolitan-style pizza (the type of pizza this recipe is trying its best to mimic) and it historically gives a crispy, thin crust while being chewy at the same time. In Europe, flour is categorized by how finely ground it is, not by protein content (which is what we use in America to categorize our flour). You can buy type 00 flour used in Italian pizza crust in some stores (our local Kroger carries it now!) or on Amazon, but with a big family that gets a little expensive if you want to make pizza often. An option that I prefer is to use American bread flour with about 11-12% protein content. I use unbleached bread flour from my local mill that is finely ground. The combination of bread flour, a long rise, high hydration content and sourdough helps to soften the gluten and to produce a light and airy crust that mimics the type 00 flour.

Side by Side Comparison of Sourdough Pizza

I actually did a side-by-side comparison of this recipe using both bread flour and type 00 flour and guess what?! My family preferred the pizza made with the bread flour. I thought the difference was negligible between the two and both are good options for the pizza. They both had a light, airy crust thanks to the high hydration, which produced lots of air pockets and a beautiful rise. Both had good flavor from being refrigerated overnight and baked up the next day. If you’d like to save a little money, look for a bread flour with 11-12% protein content that is finely ground, and you will have a much more affordable way to make pizza night happen weekly in your pizza oven.

Sourdough Starter

I feed my sourdough starter usually once a day, sometimes twice depending on how often I’m baking. This recipe uses 100 grams of ripe sourdough starter. This can be discard from the last few days or starter that is at its peak point. If you want to make starter specifically for this recipe, take a teaspoon of starter and feed it 75 grams of flour, 75 grams of water. Stir it, cover it and wait for 6-8 hours for the starter to double in size. Then use it in this recipe for sourdough pizza.

Sample Schedule for Sourdough Pizza

Day 1

  • 8 AM Mix together the dough ingredients with a stand mixer/dough hook
  • 8:30 AM Bulk Rest – perform 1st fold
  • 9:00 AM Bulk Rest – perform 2nd fold
  • 9:30 AM Bulk Rest – perform 3rd fold
  • 10:00 AM Bulk Rest – perform 4th fold (at this point the dough should be strong and smooth)
  • 11:00 AM Cover the dough and place in the refrigerator overnight
Dough risen and ready to be separated and shaped into balls on day 2

Day 2

  • 8 AM Shape dough into balls, cover and rest at room temperature
  • 1 PM Check on dough, place in refrigerator until ready to bake 
  • 5 PM Preheat pizza oven
  • 5:30 PM Take dough out of refrigerator, shape into pizzas, top and bake

Shaping the Balls of Sourdough Pizza Dough

The more you work with dough, the easier this will become. Don’t worry if it seems hard at first. It will turn out okay! To shape a ball of dough, pick it up in your hand and gently pull the dough together as you turn it in your hand, forming a ball. Then take the ball and tightly move it in a circular motion on the countertop to seal the ball. You should be left with a taught, round ball of dough. It will flatten as it rises, but this shaping process sets your pizza crust up for a successful rise in the oven.

How I pre-shape pizza dough

Working with Cold Dough

The process for making this pizza dough is two days but it is not a lot of hands-on time. Most of the work is done while the dough is resting. I don’t like to add extra flour to the dough while I’m working with it on the counter. Cold dough is easier to shape without extra flour. Once your dough has been shaped into balls, let it rise at room temperature for 5-6 hours. You will notice it expand and puff up. Once the dough has risen, stick it back in the refrigerator until ready to make the pizzas. Cold dough doesn’t stick as much to the pizza peel, especially with a sprinkle of cornmeal underneath it. Work quickly so it doesn’t warm up too much and your dough should slide right off the pizza peel or wooden cutting board.

Cornmeal and an Ooni Pizza Oven

I like to use cornmeal on the bottom of my pizzas. This is not necessarily traditional, but I have found cornmeal is the best way to provide a little friction between the wet dough and the pizza peel or cutting board. The friction makes it much easier to launch into the pizza oven. Be careful that you don’t use too much cornmeal because it can burn up in the pizza oven; you really just want a light dusting of cornmeal.

Too Many Toppings?

With this pizza recipe, it is possible to have too many toppings. Part of the beauty of this style of pizza is in the simplicity of the ingredients. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t experiment. You should! Just be careful to not load your pizza up with too many toppings. It will make it difficult to get your pizza into the pizza oven without half of your pizza collapsing, giving you a melty/cheesy mess that will need to burn up before baking your next pizza—not that I have experienced this or anything 🙂

Launching and Baking Pizza In an Ooni Pizza Oven

The more you make the pizza, the better you will get at this step. I like to use a wooden cutting board to assemble my pizza on. Spread a little cornmeal and place the stretched dough on top of the cornmeal. Press the pizza into a circular shape and top with pizza sauce, chunks of mozzarella and any other toppings you’d like. Check that your pizza is not sticking to the board (if it is, lightly lift it off), and scoot the pizza toward the end of the board. Launch the pizza with a quick thrust of the board into the pizza oven. Do not stick your fingers into the oven! Have a pizza peel and a fork nearby. Once the pizza has cooked about 45 seconds and starts to look crispy, pull it out with the pizza peel, rotate it 180 degrees (one half turn) with the fork and bake for another 30-45 seconds until the crust is perfect.

Pizza Oven vs. Conventional Oven

This pizza recipe works best in a pizza oven. I’ve made it many times in an Ooni Koda 16 pizza oven. You will get the best texture, taste and crispness using the high heat and baking stone of a pizza oven. If you don’t have a pizza oven, you can still make good pizza from this recipe, though you may want to check out this one instead. Crank your home oven up to the highest temperature it will go (550 is the temperature I tested it at). Place a pizza stone in the oven and let it pre-heat for at least 30-40 minutes. This long pre-heat is crucial to the texture of the pizza dough. Proceed with the recipe as written and bake the pizza in the regular oven for 5-7 minutes, until the dough is puffed up and baked through.

The top pizza was baked in an Ooni Pizza Oven. The bottom pizza was baked on a pizza stone in a conventional oven at 550 degrees.

Pizza Sauce for Sourdough Pizza

Neapolitan style pizza traditionally uses a fresh, non-cooked sauce. We prefer our pizza with a cooked sauce and the recipe I have listed is one of our favorites. It doesn’t take too long to make and can keep fresh in the fridge for a week or two. I like to make this sauce, cool it down and use it on our homemade pizza nights. A jarred sauce will work too, just find one that you love.

Why do I need to refrigerate the dough in this sourdough pizza? Can I skip this step and make it in one day?

The long fermentation time in the refrigerator helps the dough build flavor and softens the gluten in the dough which allows for lots of air pockets which means a light, airy and open pizza crust. Don’t skip this step!

What are the Best Pizza Topping Combinations in Sourdough Pizza?

Traditionally this Neapolitan-style pizza is made with a simple tomato sauce, chunks of mozzarella cheese and fresh basil. We love making a “white” pizza with a bit of olive oil, goat cheese, mozzarella, roasted garlic and adding a bit of arugula and balsamic vinegar on top after it bakes. Our kids love traditional pepperoni on this pizza dough too.

Can I use Sourdough Discard that is a few days old in this sourdough pizza?

Yes! Due to the long, slow rise, sourdough discard works great in this recipe. The older the discard, the more soudough flavor the crust will have.

Where Can I buy “type 00” flour?

I buy it online on Amazon and most recently I’ve found some at our local Kroger.

Can this Sourdough Pizza Recipe be made in one day?

It can, but it really tastes much better when it’s had time to ferment overnight in the refrigerator. The long rise breaks down the gluten making an amazing, tender, chewy & light pizza crust.

Pizza night has never been better with this sourdough pizza in an Ooni Pizza oven. Give it a try! I hope you’ll love it as much as we do.

Sourdough Pizza for a Pizza Oven

Chewy, tender and perfect Neapolitan-style sourdough pizza made for a pizza oven. This is the perfect pizza crust for family pizza night or to make when you are craving delicious pizza.
Prep Time 1 d
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 1 d 17 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine American, Italian
Servings 8 6-8 inch pizzas

Ingredients
  

Sourdough Pizza Crust

  • 100 grams ripe sourdough starter 100% hydration see recipe notes
  • 400 grams water room temperature
  • 575 grams bread flour see recipe notes
  • 65 grams whole wheat flour finely ground
  • 4 grams diastatic malt powder see recipe notes
  • 12 grams salt
  • 1/2 cup cornmeal reserved for sprinkling when shaping pizza

Pizza Toppings

  • 16 slices mozzarella cheese good quality
  • fresh basil torn
  • 2 cups pizza sauce recipe below works great
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese
  • other toppings as desired

Pizza Sauce

  • 1 Tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic pressed/diced
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper chili pepper for spicy–up this if you want more spicy
  • 28 oz crushed tomatoes nothing else in it but tomato
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 2-3 springs basil with stems/leaves on

Instructions
 

Sourdough Pizza Dough

    Day 1

    • To a stand mixer, add the ripe sourdough starter and water. Mix with your hands until mostly dissolved. Add the bread flour, whole wheat flour, diastatic malt powder and salt. Mix together with a dough whisk or spoon until a shaggy dough forms.
    • Using the dough hook on your stand mixer, mix the dough for 7-8 minutes until smooth. Alternatively you can knead the dough by hand for 8-10 minutes until smooth. Transfer the dough to a bowl or container.
    • Cover the bowl and allow the dough to rest for about 2-3 hours on the counter at room temperature (if your kitchen is warmer err on the side of 2 hours; colder err on the side of 3-4 hours).
    • During this bulk rest, perform a series of stretch and folds every half hour to continue developing the dough.
    • After the bulk rise, cover the dough and place in the refrigerator overnight for a long, slow rise.

    Day 2

    • Add a little olive oil to one or two baking dishes or pans with high edges.
    • Pull the dough out of the refrigerator and separate into 8 pieces, about 145-150 grams per piece. This will make about a 6-8 inch pizza. If you'd like to make larger pizzas, divide the dough into 4 balls about 290 grams a piece.
    • Use your fingers to shape the dough into 8 tight balls. Pinch the dough together into a ball shape and drag in a circular motion on your countertop to form a taught, tight ball. Place the dough ball into the prepared, lightly oiled pan. Repeat with the next dough ball, placing it apart from the first ball to allow room for the dough to rise. Continue this process until the dough balls have been shaped.
    • Cover the pans with plastic wrap and leave on the counter to rise for 4-6 hours (depending on the temperature in your kitchen). The dough will puff up a bit and flatten out to a disc-like shape.
    • Check on your dough after about 4 hours. If it has puffed and flattened considerably, move on to the next step. If not, give it a little more time to rise. At this point, the dough balls can be placed in the refrigerator to use later that day or the next day.

    Baking the Pizza

    • Preheat a pizza oven to 700-800 degrees (see recipe note about using a regular oven) and place the dough in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes while setting up the pizza toppings. This dough is easiest to work with chilled.
    • On a pizza peel or large wooden cutting board, sprinkle cornmeal to dust the board. The cornmeal provides the friction needed to Take one piece of dough and stretch it with your hands to form a circle. Place it on top of the cornmeal and continue working it around in a circle until you a 6-8 inch pizza shape.
    • Work quickly to top the pizza with about 2-3 Tablespoons pizza sauce. Tear the mozzarella into pieces and place pieces on top of the pizza dough. Tear the fresh basil and sprinkle with parmesan if desired. Check that the dough is not sticking to the board (this can happen if you don't work quickly enough). If it is sticking, unstick it with your fingers, add a bit of cornmeal if needed and try again.
    • Launch your pizza into the pre-heated pizza oven with a quick thrust forward. Let the pizza cook for about 45 seconds, then using the pizza peel pull the pizza out of the oven, turn it with a fork and return it to the pizza oven for another 30-45 seconds. This ensures that the pizza is cooked on both sides. You can watch a video of this process here.
    • Repeat the process with the rest of your pizza dough, adding whatever toppings you desire and enjoy!

    Pizza Sauce

    • To a small saucepan add the butter, olive and garlic over medium heat. Sautee garlic until fragrant, about 3 minutes. Add the oregano, salt & pepper and sautee 1 more minute. Add the crushed tomatoes and stir.
    • Slice the onion in half and add to the sauce. Add two sprigs of fresh basil to the sauce. Simmer on low heat for about an hour until the sauce is reduced and concentrated. Remove the basil and onion. Season with a teaspoon of sugar and more salt if desired.
    • Remove to container and let cool before using on pizza dough. Sauce can be refrigerated for a week or two if desired.

    Notes

    Sourdough Starter: This recipe is based on 100% hydration sourdough starter (fed equal parts flour/water). You can use bubbly sourdough starter or sourdough discard for this recipe.
    Flour: Most recipes for Neapolitan-style pizza call for special Italian type 00 flour. Italian type 00 flour is difficult to come by in a typical U.S. grocery store but can be easily found on Amazon. If you are looking for a more cost-effective option, and the one I use most regularly, I’ve had very good results using bread flour with around a 12% protein content.
    Diastatic Malt Powder: This helps the pizza dough in its long rise and gives the dough a strong rise and a caramelized color crust. You can buy it on Amazon or check your local grocery. If you don’t have any on hand, leave it out.
    Oven: This pizza recipe works best for a pizza oven. I’ve made it many times in an Ooni Koda 16 pizza oven. You will get the best texture, taste and crispness using the high heat and baking stone of a pizza oven. If you don’t have a pizza oven, you can still make good pizza from this recipe. Crank your home oven up to the highest temperature it will go (550 is the temperature I tested it at). Place a pizza stone in the oven and let it pre-heat for at least 30-40 minutes. This long pre-heat is crucial to the texture of the pizza dough. Proceed with the recipe as written and bake the pizza in the regular oven for 5-7 minutes, until the dough is puffed up and baked through.
    Keyword beginner sourdough, neapolitan style pizza, ooni koda, ooni pizza oven, sourdough pizza

    Rating: 1 out of 5.

    Disclaimer: I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed for me to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com. As an Amazon Associate, I earn a very small amount from qualifying purchases.

    Follow me on Instagram @amybakesbread, like Amy Bakes Bread on Facebook or follow me on Pinterest for more baking ideas. Please share this recipe if you enjoyed it! Post a photo and tag me @amybakesbread so I can see your bake.

    Naan Bread for the Ooni Koda Pizza Oven

    If you’ve been on social media over the past year you’ve probably seen advertisements for the Ooni Koda Pizza Oven. I have always loved Italian-style pizza and after watching so many videos and researching brands, I decided to purchase it. The oven itself took six months to arrive (thanks to being backordered and difficulty getting products right now). After using it for the past month, I can definitely tell you it was worth the wait. I’ve been dabbling with pizza (recipes will be coming soon) and recently I made this amazing naan bread in the Ooni Koda Pizza Oven that I knew I had to share. This naan is light, fluffy, chewy and just delicious to sop up some curry or eat plain. Seriously so good! The Ooni Koda is not just for pizza. It’s also for amazing naan bread.

    Ooni vs a Tandoor Oven

    We love naan bread. When we lived in Japan we ate at many different Indian restaurants, all with delicious naan made in tandoor ovens. Those ovens give naan a delicious crust while still being nice and soft. The Ooni Koda mimics the high heat of a tandoor oven which makes for amazing naan bread. I’ve been using this naan recipe for years and love it grilled on a skillet. This new recipe is a game changer when made in an Ooni Koda Pizza Oven. The high heat puffs up the naan so well and forms a beautiful chewy crust. Brush on some melted butter and it will be the highlight of your meal.

    Use Bread Flour

    Using bread flour is a key to light, delicious, chewy naan bread. Bread flour has a higher protein content than all purpose flour and higher protein content gives bread more chew. All purpose flour can work in a pinch, but I highly recommend using bread flour in all your breads if you can. It will significantly increase the quality of your baked goods just by using bread flour in place of all purpose. In a pinch you can add 1-2 Tablespoons of vital wheat gluten to all purpose flour to increase the protein content and chew of the bread. 

    Kneading the Naan

    I love using this Bosch Mixer to knead bread. This naan bread is no exception. Pour all the dough ingredients into the bowl except the flour. Mix together while adding the flour a cup at a time. As the dough kneads, continue adding flour as needed. Be careful not to over-flour the dough. Once the dough collects on one side of the bowl and the consistency is such that you can pinch off a piece of dough and roll it up in your fingers with just a little sticky residue, stop adding flour. Set a timer and knead for 8-10 minutes. You can also do this by hand or using a different mixer. The dough will become smooth and silky as you knead it.

    Rising and Shaping

    After the dough has been kneaded, transfer it to a large container and let rise for 1-2 hours until doubled or tripled in size. The ambient room temperature will affect how fast your dough will rise. Once the dough has risen, use a bench scraper or a large knife to separate the dough into 12 equal pieces. Roll each piece of dough into a ball by cupping your hand around the dough and tightly dragging the dough around into a circle. See the pictures below for an example. 

    Refrigerating Naan Dough

    Once the dough is shaped into tight balls, cover lightly with plastic wrap and place it in the refrigerator for 1 to 24 hours before baking. Chilling the dough makes it much easier to work with using the Ooni Koda Pizza Oven. This is a great recipe to make a day in advance or in the morning before baking in the evening for dinner. 

    Shaping Naan

    Pull the dough out of the refrigerator. Use a rolling pin and a scant dusting of flour, if needed, to roll the dough into a small circle. Then use your fingers to stretch the dough into a larger circle shape. Do your best not to rip the dough. If the dough rips, it will still be delicious, the naan just won’t puff up quite as high when baked. Stretch the naan as thin as you can without ripping it so it will bake evenly.

    Naan dough that’s been stretched a little too far with holes won’t puff up quite as much as naan without any tears. Still delicious, just a little different look.

    How to Bake in the Ooni Koda Pizza Oven

    Preheat the Ooni Koda on the highest setting for about 20-30 minutes before baking your first piece of naan bread. The oven should reach a temperature of over 500 degrees Fahrenheit before you bake. On a wooden cutting board, sprinkle a little bit of flour or cornmeal (something to keep the naan from sticking to the cutting board). Stick the naan dough on the cutting board and launch into the pizza oven by quickly thrusting the board forward, moving the naan off the board and into the oven. Bake for about 1 minute until the naan puffs up and is a little charred on the outside. Use a pizza peel to take the naan out of the oven and transfer to a plate. Repeat this process until all of the naan has been baked. You can fit at least two pieces of naan at a time in the Ooni Koda 16 oven once you get the hang of using the pizza oven.

    How to Serve Naan Bread

    Brush the hot naan with melted butter and top with fresh herbs if desired. Serve the naan bread right away for the most delicious addition to your meal. We eat naan with curry or as a side to a salad or other main dish. Another family favorite is topping day-old naan with pizza toppings for a quick lunch or dinner. If you haven’t tried anything other than pizza in an Ooni Pizza Oven, then what are you waiting for? Try this delicious Naan bread paired with a savory curry or eat it as your main meal. It will be a new family favorite either way.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    I don’t have a pizza oven. Can I bake this Naan Bread in a regular oven?

    If you don’t have a pizza oven, the next best way to bake the naan is on a pre-heated pizza stone in your oven. Crank your oven to 500 degrees and preheat your pizza stone at that temperature. Bake the naan for a few minutes on the pizza stone until puffed up and crispy. You can also bake this bread in a frying pan or using a griddle, though it won’t have quite the same puffy texture and results. It should still taste delicious.

    Can I use dry active yeast instead of instant yeast?

    Yes. Proof the yeast with the warm water and sugar in a small bowl for about 10 minutes. Once it gives off a sweet, yeasty smell and bubbles, you know it is ready to use.

    Can I substitute all purpose flour for bread flour?

    You can make this Naan bread with all purpose flour. I recommend adding 1-2 Tablespoons of vital wheat gluten along with the all purpose flour to help increase the protein content of the flour. However, in a pinch you can use only all purpose flour.

    What do you serve with Naan Bread?

    We love to eat curry with our naan bread. Sometimes we’ll make a salad and pair it with naan or top leftover naan bread with pizza toppings for a quick meal.

    How do I store leftover Naan Bread?

    If you don’t eat all the naan at once, place leftover naan in a ziplock bag. It can stay on the counter for 24 hours. After 24 hours I would stick it in the freezer to use within a couple of months.

    Naan Bread for an Ooni Koda Pizza Oven

    Perfect naan bread made in the Ooni Koda pizza oven. Light, chewy and absolutely perfect, this naan bread bakes up in a minute's time and will be the star of your dinner.
    Prep Time 3 hrs
    Cook Time 1 min
    Course Bread
    Cuisine Indian
    Servings 12 pieces

    Ingredients
      

    • 1 cup warm water (temperature of baby's bathwater) 8 oz
    • 1 Tablespoon instant yeast
    • 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
    • 1.5 teaspoons salt
    • 1 cup plain yogurt 9.5 oz (see recipe notes)
    • 2 Tablespoons olive oil or other neutral flavored oil
    • 4.5-5 cups bread flour 27.5 oz (see recipe notes)
    • 6 Tablespoons melted butter salted or unsalted
    • a bunch of fresh herbs if desired

    Instructions
     

    • To a stand mixer add warm water (temperature of baby's bathwater), instant yeast and sugar. Let sit for a minute until the instant yeast smells and bubbles just a bit.
    • Add the salt, plain yogurt and olive oil to the mixer. Turn the mixer on and add the flour a cup at a time until the dough starts to pull away from the sides of the bowl. It should be tacky to the touch but not overly sticky.
    • Mix the dough in a stand mixer for 10 minutes to develop the gluten in the dough. Add a bit more flour as needed.
    • Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled container. Cover and let rise until doubled or tripled (about 1-2 hours).
    • Once dough has risen, turn out onto the counter and cut into 12 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a tight ball and set on a baking sheet.
    • Cover and refrigerate the dough balls on the baking sheet for 1 hour or up to 24 hours before baking. Cold dough is easier to shape for the Ooni pizza oven. A longer time in the refrigerator deepens the flavor of the naan bread.
    • Preheat your Ooni Koda Pizza oven for 20-30 minutes on high.
    • Once your oven is pre-heated, take the dough out of the fridge. Using a rolling pin, roll the dough into a small circle. Use your hands and fingers to stretch the dough out into a larger circle without breaking the bread. Repeat this process with all of the dough balls.
    • Place a piece of naan dough on a wooden cutting board. Using a quick motion, toss the naan bread from the cutting board into the pizza oven. Watch carefully as the naan bread bakes. Each piece should take about 1 minute.
    • The naan is ready when it puffs up and is a little charred on the outside. Use a pizza peel to take the naan out of the oven. The Ooni Koda 16 can bake at least two pieces of naan at a time (it could probably hold four pieces if you can get them all out in time without burning!).
    • Once the naan is out of the oven, slather each piece with melted butter and sprinkle with herbs if desired. Enjoy!

    Notes

    Yogurt: This recipe works best with regular, plain yogurt. Greek yogurt can work but may require a little less flour because the Greek yogurt is thicker. You can substitute sour cream for yogurt in a pinch.
    Bread Flour: Bread flour works best in this recipe because of the higher protein content. If you don’t have bread flour, you can substitute all purpose flour and add a Tablespoon of vital wheat gluten to increase the protein content of your all purpose flour. This will give the naan bread more chew. In a pinch you can substitute with all purpose flour, though it really is worth picking up a bag of bread flour at the store for this naan bread.
    Keyword naan, ooni, ooni koda, pizza oven, yeast bread

    Rating: 1 out of 5.

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