This overnight Ooni pizza dough recipe is reliable, easy to work with, and delicious. But the Ooni has a steep learning curve, and so here are some key Ooni cooking tips you need to know.
For those of you a little obsessed with pizza, the recipe makes a 60% hydration level pizza dough. That’s an ideal hydration for the Ooni and similar pizza ovens. And it’s in the range to be called Neopolitan pizza by the international regulations.
The background story
We were forever on a quest for the perfect homemade thin crust pizza. If you’ve tried, you know 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. We experimented with three different pizza stones. I cooked pizza in different parts of the oven. I attempted to get a hotter temperature with the broiler.
Having no luck, I tried to convince mr. uglyducklingbakery that he could love deep dish pizza. Instead, he bought me an Ooni Koda 16 gas-powered pizza oven for my birthday.
The Ooni comes with it’s own set of issues, because it can reach temperatures of over 1000 degrees. So this 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, and I have no affiliation to Ooni.
How to use the Ooni pizza oven
First is a big safety warning. Never use your Ooni pizza oven indoors. It’s both a huge fire hazard and a risk for carbon monoxide poisoning. I’ve treated people for carbon monoxide poisoning. Please don’t use the Ooni inside.
The Ooni needs another warning label that it has a steep learning curve. When you first get an Ooni, you should read a lot and watch some videos. And if you make edible pizza your first time using the Ooni, 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. Our peel was too short and made of wood, and mr. uglyducklingbakery burnt 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. While this is generally true, 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: Flour your peel and don’t dilly-dally when adding toppings.
The next practice session was a party where we made at least six pizzas. The challenge to a hosting a pizza party is that you need to shape your dough and top your pizzas one by one, or they won’t release from the peel.
We use a mix of cornmeal and semolina flour on the peel because my pizzas didn’t slide with all semolina. Using only cornmeal will give your pizza crust a charred taste.
Also, the more practice you get, the better your pizzas will be.
Tip #3: Heat up the Ooni on maximum temperature. Then turn it down to cook your pizza.
This sausage and red onion pizza was accidentally cooked on the max temperature. Oops.
If you like a crisper crust, you might even want to turn off the Ooni completely and leave the pizza for a minute. Turning off the Ooni helps to prevent the pizza toppings from burning.
It took four Ooni sessions to finally get it. My Ooni pizza dough recipe spent a night in the fridge. I went lighter on the sauce and toppings. And I used a combo of cornmeal and semolina for the peel.
Tip #4: Let your Ooni pizza dough rise overnight in the fridge.
The slower, overnight rise gives you a better tasting crust and dough that is easier to shape. If you have time, foresight, and space in your fridge, leave it there for a day or two longer. Or, if you don’t have time for an overnight rise, consider some of my suggested additions to give your pizza dough more flavor.
Tip #5: Practice, practice, practice.
This pesto, roasted garlic, and artichoke heart pizza slid off the peel easily. The crust puffed up, and the bottom crust fully cooked.
The downside of practicing is that you have to eat pizza!
These are some of the pizza tools that we own. I’ll say again that this post is non-sponsored and I have no affiliations.
- long-handled (wood, so it doesn’t heat up) metal pizza peel
- pizza spinner
- infrared thermometer
- pizza cutter
Everyone seems to have their own style for working with the Ooni. I’ve seen some people recommend using a perforated peel instead of dusting. You just need to figure out what works for you and how you like your pizza!
Other tips and tricks for making pizza in the Ooni
This Ooni pizza dough is just another yeasted bread dough. And just like I wrote in the first bread recipe I ever shared here, using less yeast and a slow ferment increases the flavor development. It also allows for easier shaping of a pizza.
One big difference between making dough for the Ooni pizza oven and your home oven is that you generally want a lower hydration level (weight of water divided by weight of flour) because the pizza cooks for a much shorter time in the Ooni than in the home oven. Those regulations for Neopolitan pizza call for a hydration level of just about 60%.
Of course, the regulations also say you should make a smaller pizza, and you can’t use any sugar or oil in your dough. Please do with that information what you wish.
Another difference is that your toppings need to be cooked. Your pizza will only be cooking for a minute or so in the Ooni, so meat might not get fully cooked. Check out this related post for some Ooni pizza recipes and more Ooni pizza tips.
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 shape the pizza dough.
Purists will tell you not to use a rolling pin because it flattens out the air pockets and puff at the edge of the pizza. If you roll it, you’ll still get a tasty crust. It may just be less puffed.
Yes, yeasted bread doughs can be frozen for up to three months and will still rise after being frozen. If you are making pizza dough and intending to freeze it all, 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 (754 grams) 00 flour or (780 grams) bread flour plus more for when stretching dough
- 1 teaspoon (3 grams) instant yeast
- 1 teaspoon (4 grams) sugar
- 2 ½ teaspoon (14 grams) salt
- 2 cups (471 grams) water, plus more as needed
- 1 tablespoon 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 ½ cups (754 grams) 00 flour or (780 grams) bread flour, 1 teaspoon (4 grams) sugar, 2 ½ teaspoon (14 grams) salt, 1 teaspoon (3 grams) 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 (471 grams) water, plus more as needed, 1 tablespoon olive oil, plus more for bowl
- Knead the dough for about 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 add a teaspoon 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 to 6 hours prior to making the pizzas and 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 to 14 inches. 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 an equal mixture of semolina flour and cornmeal, carefully transfer your dough to the peel, and top as desired.¼ cup semolina flour, ¼ cup fine cornmeal
- Add garlic powder, herbs, or Parmesan cheese to your crust.
- Leave your dough in the refrigerator for two nights for a crust that’s even more flavorful!
If you make this Ooni pizza dough recipe, please leave a comment here. Or tag me on Instagram with your creations!
I’ve started a new Facebook group for home cooks, bakers, and cocktail makers. Please join the conversation!
This pizza was my submission for this week’s reddit 52 week baking challenge (savory baking).
Week 1: New Year new recipe – blueberry galette
Week 2: seasonal – Smitten Kitchen’s grapefruit pound cake
Week 3: Great British Bake Off – Kate’s sticky toffee apple caramel cake
Week 4: Australia – sausage rolls
Week 5: bite sized – cookies
Week 6: Chinese New Year – mushroom bao
Week 7: new tool – baguette baker
Week 8: chocolate – chocolate peanut butter bonbons
Week 9: timed bake – under 1 hour! chocolate chip scones
Week 10: allergy/diet restriction – macarons
Week 11: quick breads – kale and cheese quick bread
Week 12: signature bake – purple cow bread
Week 13: enriched breads (kale and cheese babka fail)
Week 14: childhood favorite –fudgy triple layer chocolate cake with chocolate ganache frosting
Week 15: decorating challenge – purple velvet cake
Week 16: crispy crunchy – bacon cheddar popcorn
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
Week 26: Surprise inside – surprise heart yeast bread (pending)
Week 27: Local favorite – Rainier cherry crisp
Week 28: Seasonal ingredients – blackberry lemon bread
Week 29: Classic French dessert – peanut butter banana clafoutis (a classic with non-classic flavors!)
Next week: unusual ingredients