Neapolitan Pizza Dough Recipe

Neapolitan Pizza Dough Recipe

A Neapolitan pizza is a stretched pizza dough made with high protein wheat flour, water and salt and topped with tomatoes and mozzarella cheese. To be considered a traditional Neapolitan pizza the dough must be stretched by hand only; so no use of a rolling pin and can be no thicker than 3 millimeters. The pizza should be baked at 905°F (485°C) for 60 to 90 seconds. Now since its not possible to get your oven that hot at home, we can still make a great pizza, but the Associazione Vera Pizza Napoletana may prefer you not call it a pizza napoletana, using the broiler method for baking. For topping ingredients remember this should be a super thin pizza so a very light amount of cheese, sauce and toppings is key. The traditional toppings for a Neapolitan pizza, aside from the required mozzarella cheese and tomatoes, is; basil, extra virgin olive oil and marinara sauce. As fun as it is to be a pizza purist there is a whole world of toppings and flavors to add. So experiment and make it your own, just keep it on the light side. There is nothing worse than a pizza slice landslide.

Ingredients

Yield: One 16″ Neapolitan style pizza -OR- two 11″ Neapolitan style pizzas

%

Weight*

Volume

Water, lukewarm 70 175 grams 6 ounces
Active Dry Yeast 1 1.25 grams 1/4 teaspoon
King Arthur Bread Flour 100 250 grams 2 level cups
Salt, kosher 1.8 4.5g 1 scant teaspoon
* Use volume measurement for anything under 10 grams for digital scales measuring in 1 gram increments as measuring 5 grams on a 1 gram accuracy scale leaves you with a 20% possible variance at best.

 

Tools Needed

Directions

  1. Mix water and yeast in medium bowl. Let stand for 5 minutes until dissolved.
  2. Add flour mixture to water and mix until combined. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit for 30 to 60 minutes.
  3. The dough should be slightly risen and the flour should be more hydrated. Remove dough from bowl and stretch till approximately doubled in length and fold. Do this 4-5 times. Shape into a ball via stretching the dough toward the center of the bottom and place back in bowl, cover and place in the refrigerator for 12 to 48 hours.
  4. When you are ready to bake: remove dough from the refrigerator 2.5 – 3 hours before you plan to bake your pizza. Let sit to slowly warm on counter for 1 hour.
  5. Divide the dough now if you are making 11″ pizzas or doubled the recipe.
  6. Create final shaping of the dough ball by gently stretching the middle of the dough ball toward the bottom to create a taut surface around the outside of the dough ball with the seam being pulled to the bottom.
  7. Lightly coat each dough ball with olive oil or additional flour and place in proofing containers and cover. I like the BPA free Glad 6 quart round containers with a small pinhole in the lid for final proofing, they are the perfect size and can be stacked.
  8. Place Baking Stone / Steel on the second to top rack, 8 inches from the broiler coils and preheat oven to 550°F (288°C) for 60 minutes while dough is proofing in below step. Don’t skimp on the time!
  9. Allow the dough to proof for about 60 to 90 minutes until doubled in size.
  10. Once the dough has doubled in size in the proofing containers you are ready to start baking.
  11. Sprinkle top of dough ball and pizza peel with flour. Turn dough out top side down. Remember this will always be the bottom.
  12. Deflate the middle gently with the back of your hand, working outward to the rim. The goal isn’t to flatten out the dough completely just to expand / stretch it a bit and get the center of the dough an even thickness while creating the rim of the crust.
  13. Lift the dough off the pizza peel with your fists half open. Always touch the bottom side as it will be less tacky. Gravity will do most of the work here. Rotate by passing it from one hand to the other. If you mess up the first time don’t get discouraged. This process is key to making that really great texture and pull when you bite into it.
  14. Once you have the pizza about the same size you can fine tune the shape on the peel by stretching with the palms of your hands. Once you are done give the pizza peel a gentle short jiggle to make sure there is no sticking before you start adding sauce and toppings.
  15. Add a light amount of sauce and cheese. Spreading with a ladle helps not tear the dough but don’t go around more than needed. Keeping the toppings light keeps the crust to toppings ratio perfect so the crust will hold up, avoiding a pizza landslide and you can taste everything in balance.

Baking With Broiler Method

If you have a gas stove without a broiler in the main oven chamber skip to the next section.

  1. Right before you start adding sauce, cheese and toppings, turn on the broiler.
  2. Add all the toppings in step 15 to your pizza dough.
  3. Once the boiler coils are glowing you need to put your pizza in the oven. Place your pizza peel at the back of the stone and start making very short jiggles of the peel back and forth with it at about a 20°angle. The pizza should start to slide off on to the stone once it starts keep jiggling and pull the pizza peel from under till the pizza is on the stone.
  4. Shut the door and the boiler should kick off soon, this is good as it gives the crust a boost but doesn’t risk burning the top. KEEP A CLOSE WATCH ON THE PIZZA.
  5. Most of the pizza should cook with the broiler off (the oven controlling it). Right as the crust is turning a golden the broiler kicks back on, about 3 to 4 minutes, giving one last kiss of heat and a perfect golden brown crust. Reminiscent of an wood or coal fired brick oven.
  6. Remove the pizza by sliding the pizza peel under the pizza and lifting out.

Baking Without a Broiler

If you don’t have a broiler in your main oven chamber you will be keeping your oven at 550°F (288°C) or the hottest temperature it has.

  1. Add all the toppings in step 15 to your pizza dough.
  2. Place your pizza peel at the back of the stone and start making very short jiggles of the peel back and forth with it at about a 20°angle. The pizza should start to slide off on to the stone once it starts keep jiggling and pull the pizza peel from under till the pizza is on the stone.
  3. Let the pizza cook for about 4 to 5 minutes and remove right as the crust is turning golden.
  4. Remove the pizza by sliding the pizza peel under the pizza and lifting out.

In the Making Photos and Directions

neapolitan-pizza-dough-01-mixing-ingredients Mix yeast and water. Let dissolve. Then add flour with salt on top of the flour. neapolitan-pizza-dough-02-mixing-ingredients Mix until combined. Allow to set for 30 to 60 minutes. The dough should be slightly larger and softer to the touch. neapolitan-pizza-dough-03-folding-the-dough Remove dough from bowl and stretch till approximately doubled in length and fold. Do this 4-5 times. neapolitan-pizza-dough-04-forming-ball-and-fermentating Fold under forming a smooth surface. Place in bowl. Refrigerate covered for 12 to 48 hours. neapolitan-pizza-dough-05-after-refridgeration-fermentation Remove from refrigerator and allow to warm at room temperature, covered, for one hour. Remove from bowl, divide if making two 11″ pizzas or you doubled the recipe. neapolitan-pizza-dough-06-shaping-pizza-dough Shape each portion into an individual dough ball by pulling under and pressing together to seal the seam. The top should be smooth, this part will be the bottom crust of the pizza. neapolitan-pizza-dough-07-final-proofing-of-pizza-dough Add a teaspoon of olive oil or sprinkle of flour to each proofing bowl, evenly coat. Place Baking Stone / Steel on the second to top rack, 8 inches from the broiler coils and preheat oven to 550°F (288°C) while dough is proofing in below step. Right image: after the dough has fully proofed and ready for using, about 60-90 minutes. neapolitan-pizza-dough-08-flour-pizza-peel-and-dough Sprinkle top of dough ball and pizza peel with flour. Turn dough out top side down. Remember this will always be the bottom. neapolitan-pizza-dough-09-shaping-dough Deflate the middle gently with the back of your hand, working outward to the rim. The goal isn’t to flatten out the dough completely just to expand / stretch it a bit and get the center of the dough an even thickness while creating the rim of the crust. neapolitan-pizza-dough-10-stretching-dough-with-hands Lift the dough off the pizza peel with your fists half open. Always touch the bottom side as it will be less tacky. Gravity will do most of the work here. Rotate by passing it from one hand to the other. If you mess up the first time don’t get discouraged. This process is key to making that really great texture and pull when you bite into it. neapolitan-pizza-dough-11-final-stretch Once you have the pizza about the same size you can fine tune the shape on the peel by stretching with the palms of your hands. Once you are done give the pizza peel a gentle short jiggle to make sure there is no sticking before you start adding sauce and toppings. Notice how smooth, thin and even the center of the dough looks. Image note: this is a 16″ pizza peel, I bake on a 17″ Baking Steel, if you are limited to a 12″ to 14″ surface yours may look smaller. neapolitan-pizza-dough-12-toppings Add a light amount of sauce and cheese. Spreading with a ladle helps not tear the dough but don’t go around more than needed. neapolitan-pizza-dough-13-preheating-bakingRight before you start adding sauce, cheese and toppings, turn on the broiler. Add all the toppings to your pizza and once the boiler coils are glowing you need to put your pizza in the oven. Place your pizza peel at the back of the stone and start making very short jiggles of the peel back and forth with it at about a 20°angle. The pizza should start to slide off on to the stone once it starts keep jiggling and pull the pizza peel from under till the pizza is on the stone. Shut the door and the boiler should kick off soon, this is good as it gives the crust a boost but doesn’t risk burning the top. neapolitan-pizza-dough-14-baking-pizza-broiler-methodMost of the pizza should cook with the broiler off (the oven controlling it). Right as the crust is turning a golden the broiler kicks back on, about 3 to 4 minutes, giving one last kiss of heat and a perfect golden brown crust. Reminiscent of an wood or coal fired brick oven. Remove the pizza by sliding the pizza peel under the pizza and lifting out. neapolitan-pizza-slice


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