An Ooni Pizza Dough Recipe and the Ooni Learning Curve
I finally have an Ooni pizza dough recipe that is both reliably easy to work with and tasty. And I think we may also have the Ooni pizza oven figured out.
We have forever been on a quest for the perfect homemade thin crust pizza. If you’ve tried, you know that it’s a challenge to get the perfect crust with a home oven that maxes out at 500 degrees Fahrenheit.
We tried all sorts of things. Three different pizza stones. Cooking in different parts of the oven. Using the broiler to get the temperature hotter. I tried to convince mr. uglyducklingbakery that he could love deep dish pizza.
Instead, mr. uglyducklingbakery bought me an Ooni Koda 16 gas-powered pizza oven for my recent birthday, because the Ooni can reach temperatures of over 1000 degrees. And here is what we’ve learned so far.
(p.s. skip ahead if you just want a pizza crust recipe)
(p.p.s. this post is not sponsored)
The Ooni learning curve
The Ooni needs a warning label that it has a steep learning curve. Read a lot. Watch a few videos. And if you get edible pizza your first time, pat yourself on the back. I would recommend having an alternative meal plan for that first try.
There are no pics of our first pizzas. We had a peel that was too short and made of wood, and mr. uglyducklingbakery singed off the hair on his arms.
Tip #1: Have the right equipment.
Our second try was definitely better. We bought a metal peel with a long wood handle and a pizza spinner. But the pizza stuck to the peel, resulting in a parallelogram of a pizza with sausage, fennel, and artichoke hearts.
Folks advised us not to load on the pizza toppings. Generally true, but the solution to our second practice session was less about the toppings and more about making sure that the peel is well-dusted.
Tip #2: Dust your peel and don’t dilly-dally when adding toppings or you won’t be able to get your pizza off the peel.
The next practice session was a party where we made at least six pizzas. The more practice you get, the better your pizzas will be.
Tip #3: Heat up the Ooni on max temperature. Then turn it down to cook.
This sausage and red onion pizza was accidentally cooked on the max temperature. Oops.
Our fourth session with the Ooni, we finally got it. My Ooni pizza dough recipe spent a night in the fridge. I went light(ish) on the sauce and toppings. And I used a combo of cornmeal and semolina for the peel.
Tip #4: If you can, do a cold rise in the fridge overnight, up to a couple of days. It will give you a better tasting crust and dough that is easier to work.
But this pesto, roasted garlic, and artichoke heart pizza has been our best, imho. It slid off the peel easily. The crust puffed up, and the bottom crust fully cooked.
Tip #5: Practice, practice, practice. The downside of practicing is that you have to eat pizza!
This pizza was my submission for this week’s reddit 52 week baking challenge (savory baking). Maybe I should focus on some more savory baking for a bit…
These are some of the pizza tools that we own (again, non-sponsored/no affiliations)
- long-handled (wood, so it doesn’t heat up) metal pizza peel
- pizza spinner
- infrared thermometer
- pizza cutter
Other tips and tricks
This Ooni pizza dough is just another yeasted bread dough. And just like I wrote in the first bread recipe I shared here, using less yeast and a slow ferment increases the flavor development. It also allows for easier shaping of a pizza.
I use a mix of cornmeal and semolina flour on the peel because my pizzas didn’t slide with all semolina (or all flour), and all cornmeal resulted in a charred taste.
If you are a good planner (and you have enough room in your refrigerator), you can let the dough rise for up to two to three days.
One big difference between using the Ooni pizza oven and your regular home oven is that your sauce and all of your toppings need to be fully cooked for the Ooni because they are only in there for about a minute or so.
FAQs about this Ooni pizza dough recipe
Yes. You could use any flour, but a flour with less gluten like all-purpose flour may be harder to work with, and it might rip as you are trying to toss the pizza or roll it out.
Purists will tell you that this is something you should never do, because it flattens out the air pockets and resultant puff at the edge of the pizza. But if you want to roll it, you’ll still get a tasty crust. It may just be less puffed.
Yes, yeasted bread dough can be frozen for up to three months and will still rise after being frozen. But if all of your pizza dough is intended to be frozen, I would increase the yeast by half.
Yes, you’ll want to double the yeast to 2 tsp and let it rise at a warm room temperature.
Sure. Parmesan, garlic, or herbs would be a nice addition to pizza crust, particularly if you are doing a same-day pizza and do not have the flavor development of a cold rise.
Ooni pizza dough recipe
- 6 ½ cups (754g/26.6oz) 00 flour or (780g/27.5oz) bread flour plus more for when stretching dough
- 1 tsp instant yeast
- 1 tsp sugar
- 2 ½ tsp salt
- 2 cups (471g/16.6oz) water, plus more as needed
- 1 tbsp olive oil, plus more for bowl
- ¼ cup semolina flour
- ¼ cup fine cornmeal
Ooni pizza dough
- In the bowl of a stand mixer or other large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, yeast, and salt.6 1/2 cups (754g/26.6oz) 00 flour or (780g/27.5oz) bread flour, 1 tsp sugar, 2 1/2 tsp salt, 1 tsp instant yeast
- Add the water and olive oil and mix. If using a stand mixer, change to the dough hook once the dough comes together.2 cups (471g/16.6oz) water, plus more as needed, 1 tbsp olive oil, plus more for bowl
- Knead the dough for ~5 minutes. The dough should be smooth and tacky but not sticky. Add small amounts of flour at a time if it is too sticky or a tsp of water if it is too dry.
- Form the dough into a ball, lightly oil the bowl, roll the dough ball around to cover in oil, cover the bowl with plastic wrap, and place it in the refrigerator.
Forming the pizzas
- Take the pizza dough out of the refrigerator 4-6 hours prior to making the pizzas, divide the dough into four balls. Place the individual dough balls in a metal pan or baking sheet and cover them loosely with a kitchen towel. (This is when you should wrap any dough balls intended for freezing in plastic wrap and then place them in freezer bags in the freezer).
- On a floured countertop, flatten one ball into a disc and then work your way around the dough, gently stretching it out to 12-14". If it becomes difficult to work, with the dough snapping back, let it rest for a few minutes before trying again.
- Dust your peel with a 1:1 mixture of semolina flour and cornmeal, carefully transfer your dough to the peel, and top as desired.1/4 cup semolina flour, 1/4 cup fine cornmeal
If you make this Ooni pizza dough recipe or have any questions about the Ooni, please comment and/or share a pic! What’s your favorite pizza?
Check out other uglyduckling bakery yeasted bread recipes.
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Week 2: seasonal – Smitten Kitchen’s grapefruit pound cake
Week 3: Great British Bake Off – Kate’s sticky toffee apple caramel cake
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Week 5: bite sized – cookies
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Week 11: quick breads – kale and cheese quick bread
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Week 15: decorating challenge – purple velvet cake
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Week 17: p52 of a favorite cookbook, or your favorite blog – chocolate peanut butter drip cake
Week 18: pâte à choux – bacon cheese puffs
Week 19: veggies turned sweet – red velvet beet waffles
Week 20: plating – chocolate chip cookie (butter challenge)
Week 21: Birthday Party! – chocolate orange cake
Weed 22: Scandinavian – Swedish apple cake (plus a bonus sourdough discard apple cake)
Week 23: Layers – Pecan apple oat bars (post is pending)
Week 24: Tarts – rainbow fruit tart
Week 25: Bagels and donuts – maple donut cake
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