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Neapolitan Pizza Recipe – the authentic way!

by Caroline Sciberras
0 comment 9 minutes read

The Neapolitan pizza is the dish par excellence in Italian cuisine. No wonder it has been recognized by UNESCO as a heritage of humanity! With a classic high and puffy cornice, this thin and soft round pizza is based on simple ingredients: water, flour, and yeast. Do you want homemade pizza tasting like real Neapolitan pizza? Look at my Authentic Neapolitan Pizza Recipe if you want to prepare a Pizza Napoletana like a real Neapolitan Pizza Chef!

Neapolitan Pizza Dough Recipe and Margherita Toppings

Yields: 6 portions
Prep Time: 4 hrs 40 Cook Time: 5 mins Total: 4 hrs 45 mins


What is the Neapolitan Pizza?

The Neapolitan Pizza is a savory dish born thanks to chef Raffaele Esposito’s effort to honor Queen Margherita di Savoia. The chef wanted to create a dish with the same colors as the Italian flag and used the tomatoes for the RED, mozzarella for the WHITE, and basil for the GREEN. This pizza has grown ever since in popularity and up to this day is still known as Pizza Margherita.

Pizza Margherita is one of the three Neapolitan pizzas with an STG EU label (Traditional Guaranteed Specialty). The other two Neapolitan pizzas with an STG are the Marinara and the Margherita Extra.

The 3 Napoleatan Pizzas with STG:
Margherita ( tomatoes, mozzarella, and fresh basil)
Marinara (garlic and oregano)
Margherita Extra (tomatoes, mozzarella di Bufala Campana DOP and fresh basil)

The basis of a true Neapolitan Pizza STG are:

  • Top quality Ingredients.
  • Traditional preparation and cooking method. You need a 3mm thick disk of dough and from 1 to 2cm high crust. No working tools other than the pizzaiolo’s hands should be used. The pizza should then be cooked in a wood oven at 485°C.
Neapolitan Pizza wood oven

The Authentic Neapolitan Pizza Dough Recipe

Making the Neapolitan pizza dough is not difficult if you follow the instruction and I promise it will become much easier over time. It doesn’t need any special ingredients or a planetary mixer thus making this within everyone’s reach. Only by using your hands and a few ingredients will give you a professional result!

Ingredients for 6 pizzas

FLOUR “00” (770g). For Neapolitan pizza, use type 0, or “00” Italian finely milled ground flour with high gluten content (10 – 12%). This is perfect for a Neapolitan pizza with its distinctive thin, crispy pizza crust.

SALT (17g) We need to use about 2.5 to 3% fine sea salt. Besides improving flavor, the salt helps to extend the fermentation time, improves the texture, and helps the crust to get brown and crispy when baking! So if you thought about skipping the salt – DON’T! I suggest dissolving the salt with the water first and avoiding direct contact with the yeast as much as possible.

WATER (500ml). The water should be around 20°C as the temperature will automatically increase when kneading the dough.

YEAST (4g fresh yeast, 2g dry yeast). A true pizzaiolo would always use natural fresh yeast for pizza dough. If this is not possible then I will tell you exactly how to make your pizza using dry yeast as well. Since we use longer periods of fermentation we use very little yeast and this makes it perfect for digestion. If like me American pizzas make you feel bloated after a while, I suggest trying this Neapolitan Pizza Dough Recipe and check for yourself if you notice the difference.

Neapolitan Pizza Step by Step

  1. In a large bowl, add 500ml water and the yeast.
  2. Add the flour little by little to the bowl slowly mixing the salt. Work with your hands. The mixture will be quite moist.
  3. Continue to mix and work with your hands until the flour absorbs the water. At first, the mixture will look dry but continue to work until there are no more dry crumbs in the bowl. If you push the dough with your thumb it should feel soft and smooth like a baby’s bottom. If the mix is too dry you can add a tablespoon of water at a time until you get the desired result.
  4. Once the dough is solid enough you can move the dough into a floured work surface.
  5. Pull one side of the dough and bring it to the middle. Then pull the opposite die and pull it over into the middle so it overlaps.
  6. Turn the dough 90 degrees and pull over the sides like in the previous steps.
  7. Repeat this process until you can pull the dough and stretch it thinly without breaking. This process can take up to 20 minutes.
  8. Flip the dough so that the folded sides are facing downwards and place it in a large bowl rubbed with olive oil.
  9. Cover the dough ball with a damp cloth and let sit for 1 hour.
  10. Repeat the process steps 5 and 9 pulling the sides over and then turning the dough 90 degrees and pulling over the sides again. Cover back again and let sit for another hour.
  11. Uncover the dough, dip your hands in the flour and divide it into 6 pieces
  12. For each ball repeat the process 5-6 pulling over to the sides, turning 90 degrees, and repeating the process.
  13. Cup your fingers over the dough and work in your hands in a circle forming a nice ball.
  14. Place on a floured tray and cover with a damp town for at least 2 – 4 hours until double in size. You can leave it overnight to rise.

Note: Once ready, you can seal the pizza and store it in the fridge for 2-3 days. Alternatively, you can also freeze the dough. In either case, before rolling out the pizza leave it to stand for an hour at room temperature. Then before using it sprinkly with flour, make 4 folds and then you can use it.

Ingredients (for 6 pizzas)

  • TOMATOES (720 grams peeled). Alternatively, you can use fresh tomato puree.
  • SALT (a pinch)
  • FIORDILATTE (600g ). You can use fresh mozzarella
  • OIL (a drizzle per pizza)
  • BASIL (a handful)

Roll Out the Pizza

Before rolling out the pizza I would start heating the wood oven or the best alternative you have to achieve high quick temperatures. The recommendation is a brick-wood oven at 485°C. If you don’t have you can use black stone or a pizza oven.

  • Add some flour to the working base
  • Sprinkle your hands with flour and then starting from the center tap to widen the base avoiding bursting bubbles. Remember
    to leave 2cm of the edge.
  • Season directly with 3-4 tablespoons of tomato sauce, a drizzle of oil, and fresh basil
    485°C
  • Spread about a handful of fior di latte or Mozzarella evenly across the pizza,
  • Slide the pizza onto a peel dusted with flour (or chopping board)
  • Load onto the baking stone/tray inside the oven.
  • For a pizza or wood-burning oven, cook for around 90 seconds and turn every 30 seconds as required. Remember we don’t want the dough to remain uncooked but neither becomes like a biscuit.
  • If your only option is a regular domestic oven, cook for around 6 – 8 minutes, and turn every 2 to 3 minutes.
  • Remove the pizza from the oven using a peel)
  • Let the pizza cool and serve!
Neapolitan Pizza

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Neapolitan Pizza

The Authentic Neapolitan Pizza Dough Recipe


  • Total Time: 4 hours 45 minutes
  • Yield: 6 pizzas 1x

Ingredients

Scale

Neapolitan Pizza Dough Recipe Ingredients (6 pizzas)

  • 770 g FLOUR “00” (Type 0, or "00" Italian finely milled ground flour is perfect for a Neapolitan pizza with its distinctive thin, crispy pizza crust.)
  • 17 g SALT (17g We need to use about 2.5 to 3% fine sea salt. )
  • 500 ml WATER (The water should be around 20°C as the temperature will automatically increase when kneading the dough.)
  • 4 g YEAST, fresh (or 2g dry yeast)

Instructions

  1. Neapolitan Pizza Step by Step
  2. In a large bowl, add 500ml water and the yeast.
  3. Add the flour little by little to the bowl slowly mixing the salt. Work with your hands. The mixture will be quite moist.
  4. Continue to mix and work with your hands until the flour absorbs the water. At first, the mixture will look dry but continue to work until there are no more dry crumbs in the bowl. If you push the dough with your thumb it should feel soft and smooth like a baby's bottom.
  5. If the mix is too dry you can add a tablespoon of water at a time until you get the desired result.
  6. Once the dough is solid enough you can move the dough into a floured work surface.
  7. Pull one side of the dough and bring it to the middle. Then pull the opposite die and pull it over into the middle so it overlaps. Turn the dough 90 degrees and pull over the sides like in the previous steps. Repeat this process until you can pull the dough and stretch it thinly without breaking. This process can take up to 20 minutes.
  8. Flip the dough so that the folded sides are facing downwards and place it in a large bowl rubbed with olive oil.Cover the dough ball with a damp cloth and let sit for 1 hour.
  9. Repeat the process of pulling the sides over and then turning the dough 90 degrees and pulling over the sides again. Cover back again and let sit for another hour.
  10. Uncover the dough, dip your hands in the flour and divide it into 6 pieces. For each ball repeat the process of pulling over to the sides, turning 90 degrees, and repeating the process.
  11. Cup your fingers over the dough and work in your hands in a circle forming a nice ball. Repeat until you have 6 smooth dough balls.
  12. Place on a floured tray and cover with a damp town for at least 2 – 4 hours until double in size. You can leave it overnight to rise.

Notes

  • The salt in the dough helps to extend the fermentation time, improves the texture, and helps the crust to get brown and crispy when baking! So if you thought about skipping the salt – DON’T! I suggest dissolving the salt with the water first and avoiding direct contact with the yeast as much as possible.
  • Once ready, you can seal the pizza and store it in the fridge for 2-3 days. Alternatively, you can also freeze the dough. In either case, before rolling out the pizza leave it to stand for an hour at room temperature. Then before using it sprinkly with flour, make 4 folds and then you can use it.

 

  • Prep Time: 4 hours 40 minutes
  • Cook Time: 5 minutes
  • Category: Main Course, Snack
  • Cuisine: Italian, Neapolitan

Keywords: fresh basil leaves, fresh tomatoes, mozzarella fior di latte, Neapolitan Pizza, pizza margherita

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