Authentic Neapolitan Pizza Dough Recipe

Calling all pizza lovers! Today I am sharing our go-to Authentic Neapolitan Pizza Dough Recipe from the folks at Forno Bravo. Neapolitan Style Pizza Neapolitan pizza, or pizza Napoletana, is a variety of pizza that originated in Naples, Italy.  It is made with simple and fresh ingredients: a … Read More

Pizza work area from a blog post about Forno Bravo Authentic Neapolitan Pizza Dough Recipe.

Calling all pizza lovers! Today I am sharing our go-to Authentic Neapolitan Pizza Dough Recipe from the folks at Forno Bravo.

Neapolitan Style Pizza

Neapolitan pizza, or pizza Napoletana, is a variety of pizza that originated in Naples, Italy. 

It is made with simple and fresh ingredients: a simple dough, raw tomatoes, fresh mozzarella cheese, fresh basil, and olive oil.

Once you have tasted an Authentic Neapolitan pizza, your pizza palette is forever changed. It is amazing! 

Rosemary & Proscuitto Pizza recipe click HERE

Neapolitan Pizza Dough

Everyone loves Neapolitan Pizza due to its distinct and mouthwatering characteristics; it has a thin crust with an edge that puffs up around the sides and delivers a chewy but airy bite.

A special flour called double zero flour, also known as doppio zero or 00 flour, is used for Neapolitan pizza dough. It is a finely ground Italian flour typically used to make pasta and pizza.

00 flour has a lower gluten content than most flours which helps give the crust its unique texture. Neapolitan pizzas usually go lighter on the number of ingredients.

Standard toppings include tomato sauce, fresh mozzarella cheese, and fresh basil. Popular combinations include the Marinara with garlic and oregano, the Margherita with basil, tomatoes, and Mozzarella cheese, and the Extra Margherita with buffalo mozzarella.

Making Homemade Pizza

You can make Neapolitan-style pizza in your household oven, on the outdoor grill, or in a pizza oven. All will give you slightly different results, but all will be tasty! 

I encourage you to work with what you have and give it a try! 

It is worth noting that I am a home cook with ten years of experience in pizza making, but not an expert by any means. 😁

Outdoor Pizza Ovens

Approximately ten years ago, we built an outdoor pizza oven in our backyard, inspired by our good friends.

Ruth and Bill built their oven first and did lots of recipe and oven research. They were very generous in sharing their discoveries! That gave us an enormous pizza-making headstart.

Turns out pizza ovens are contagious! After tasting our pizzas, three other friends went on to build their own outdoor ovens too. 😂

We purchased our pizza oven insert from Mugnaini Wood Fired Ovens. Check out the Mugnaini website for more information about their products and authentic recipes. 

These days outdoor pizza ovens are available in all shapes, sizes, and price ranges. It is easier than ever to become a pizzaiolo at home!

Indoor Ovens

If using a household oven, the most important accessory is a pizza stone. Its properties mimic those of a brick oven, so you will have better results. 

Equipment for Pizza

The supplies below are useful but not all necessary. You can and will likely increase your investments as you improve your pizza-making game!

Pizza Oven, Indoor Oven, or Grill 

I’ve used them all, and I loved all of the pizzas. 😃 My fav is the brick pizza oven, though!

Stand Mixer or Bread Machine

You can mix the dough in a stand mixer, in a bread machine, or by hand. I use a KitchenAid stand mixer with a dough hook. 

Food Scale

Forno Bravo highly recommends cooking by weight. Getting the exact hydration (water to flour ratio) is fast and easy. Being exact counts when making dough; nothing works better than a digital scale. 

A Thermometer

Get one that measures temperatures between 75°F and 130°F. 

Proofing Tray

It is nice to have a covered proofing tray, a 9 x 13 pan, or something similar to hold the pizza dough balls, especially if you are transporting them from your kitchen to the grill or an outdoor oven.

A Pizza Peel 

Peels are not mandatory for an indoor oven or a grill, but they are helpful. They make transferring the pizza from your work surface to the heating source much easier. 

For an outdoor oven, I would say peels are essential. You will appreciate how the handle will protect you from the high heat. 

Pizza Stone for Indoor Ovens

A stone will provide a hotter surface than a baking sheet, which will, in turn, deliver a better crust in less time. 

Pizza stones absorb and retain heat longer. Similar to the characteristics of a brick oven.

Outdoor Pizza Kit for Outside Ovens

Many pizza ovens or oven inserts come with a kit that includes other supplies to use with your pizza oven.

Kits may contain items such as larger aluminum peels for transferring pizza into the oven, a broom-style brass-bristle brush for cleaning, and small peels for moving pizzas around in and outside of the oven.

Dough Ingredients

Below are the items you need to make and achieve the best results with Neopolitan pizza. 

Molino Caputo Tipo 00 flour

00 flour is ideal for pizza dough. It is finely ground and has a lower gluten content than most flours. I buy my Caputo from a local Italian deli or from Amazon.

You can substitute all-purpose flour or bread flour for “00” flour. If you are from Europe or a seasoned traveler, you may notice a difference in texture, but your pizza dough will still come out fine. 

Water

You can use your tap water! Use water temperatures of 120°F-130°F using a thermometer. (Read more under the “Yeast” heading below)

Sea Salt

Use fine sea salt for your dough. Of all the salts out there, it dissolves the best in water. 

Active Dry Yeast

Yeast is the main leavening agent in the pizza dough. This is what causes it to rise. 

The most desirable Neopolitan pizza recipes have an airy and bubbly crust due to quick-rising yeast. 

I use Red Star Active Dry Yeast. According to Red Star, active dry yeast can be added directly to your dry ingredients. 

Using a thermometer is the most precise way to determine the correct water temperature. Any thermometer will work as long as it measures temperatures between 75°F and 130°F. 

Use water temperatures of 120°F-130°F. 

Also, yeast activity may decrease if it comes into direct contact with salt, so I keep them separated until all ingredients are combined.

If you store yeast in the refrigerator or freezer, allow the dry yeast to come to room temperature before you begin making your dough.

Chefs recommend storing yeast in the freezer as it maintains a more constant temperature than that of a refrigerator.

Read more on using  Red Star Active Dry Yeast at the Red Star website.

Olive Oil

I typically don’t use this for my outdoor oven dough, just indoor. There’s usually plenty of olive oil in the sauce and topping, though!

Instructions for Making Dough

This recipe is adapted from the Vera Napoletana Pizza Dough Authentic Recipe from the Forno Bravo website. 

Within the recipe below, you will find my detailed pizza dough-making process. I added lots of info to guide you if you are making Neapolitan Pizza Dough for the first time. 

Experiment and adjust to fit your own style and tastes. There are so many ways to get to the perfect pizza pie. Andiamo!

Make Dough

Follow the recipe below to make the dough using yeast. Let rise. 

I always make the dough the day we use it, but many people make ahead and freeze it with great results. 

Forno Bravo suggests you could try to make your pizza balls the day before you need them. Overnight refrigeration helps the dough develop more flavor and brown better. I have never done this. Let me know if you do!

Divide into Individual Pizza Balls

Shape your dough into individual pizza balls by stretching or folding the top of the ball down and around the bottom until the outer layer wraps around the other side. See below for more recipe details. 

Pinch the ends together to make a smooth ball with tight outer skin. Here is a great pizza dough tutorial.

Set the balls seam side down in a container, proofing tray, or on your floured countertop.

Dust the tops of the pizza balls lightly with flour, and cover with a clean, dampened kitchen towel, so that the dough does not dry out before you use it. The top of the pizza ball should be soft and silky.

Top and Bake your Pizzas

To make pizza, ensure the dough is at room temperature and place each dough ball on a floured surface.

Stretch the dough with your hands and shape it into rounds or squares. Place it on your work surface and flatten it out using your hands or a rolling pin.

If you are using a pizza peel, lightly sprinkle it with flour and place the dough on the peel.

Put on your sauce and/or toppings and bake

Authentic Neapolitan Pizza Dough Recipe

Finally! Here is the delicious Neapolitan pizza dough recipe for the best pizza base you’ll ever make!

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Authentic Neapolitan Pizza Dough Recipe


  • Author: Cindy Munson

Description

This recipe is adapted from the Vera Napoletana Pizza Dough Authentic Recipe from the Forno Bravo website. Go to fornobravo.com for wonderful products, authentic recipes, and information.

Below is my pizza dough-making process with my own personal tweaks. I added more detail to help you if you are making Neapolitan Pizza Dough for the first time.

Experiment and adjust to fit your own style and tastes. Andiamo!


Ingredients

Units Scale

By Volume
4 cups Molino Caputo Tipo 00 flour
1 1/2 cups, plus 2 TBL water
2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp dry active yeast
2 tsp extra-virgin olive oil (for indoor oven)

By Weight
500 g Molino Caputo Tipo 00 flour
325 g water (65% hydration)
10 g salt
3 g active dry yeast
2 tsp extra-virgin olive oil (for indoor oven)


Instructions

In the large mixing bowl, combine flour, water, salt, and yeast. Mix on low for two minutes. It will begin to form a ball. With clean hands or a spatula, knead in the unmixed flour parts. Let rest for 10 minutes to allow the flour to absorb the water.

Mix on medium speed (3-4 on a KitchenAid) for 5 minutes, and then on low again for 2 more minutes.

Shape the dough into a ball, and place it in a lightly oiled bowl. Or just lift it out of the mixing bowl, oil the sides, and put the dough back in. Cover the bowl with a towel, and let it rise for one and a half to two hours, or until doubled in size. 

At this point, you can punch it down and push out the air bubbles or wait a bit. I let the dough sit covered until about an hour before I am ready to make pizzas. Either way works.

Next, with clean hands, form the dough into a large ball. Divide it into four or five equal pieces, depending on how large you like your pizzas.

Shape your dough into individual pizza balls by stretching or folding the top of the ball down and around the bottom until the outer layer wraps around the other side. 

Pinch the ends together to make a smooth ball with tight outer skin.

Set the balls seam side down in a container, proofing tray, or on your floured countertop. Dust the tops of the pizza balls lightly with flour, and cover with a clean, dampened kitchen towel, so that the dough does not dry out before you use it. The top of the pizza ball should be soft and silky. 

If the dough dries out, the outside of the ball will become crusty and hard in spots. You will have tiny crust-like bumps in your crust that are impossible to remove unless you handpick them out. It will still be edible, but it is annoying.

The dough balls will need to rest for at least one hour to become soft and elastic so that they can be easily stretched into a thin crust pizza. 

To make pizza, make sure the dough is at room temperature and place each dough ball on a floured surface. 

Stretch the dough with your hands and shape it into rounds or squares. Place it on your work surface and flatten it out using your hands or a rolling pin. 

If you are using a pizza peel, lightly sprinkle it with flour and place the dough on the peel.

Put on your sauce and/or toppings and bake at 475-500 degrees in a household oven or 800 degrees in an outside pizza oven. Enjoy!

Notes

If you don’t need the dough for a few hours, the Forno Bravo Recipe suggests you refrigerate the dough balls and bring them back out of the refrigerator an hour or so before you want to use them. This may be safer than what I do! I actually just leave them covered until we are ready to bake the same day or evening. We have never gotten sick, but please ere on the safe side and refrigerate if you are concerned.

Forno Bravo also suggests you could try to make your pizza balls the day before you need them. Overnight refrigeration helps the dough develop more flavor, and if fully developed down browns better. I have never done this.

The length of bake times will depend on your toppings and the doneness you like your crust. Watch closely and remove when done to your liking.

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Quick Start Guide Neapolitan Pizza Dough

Below are the abbreviated overall steps for indoor or outdoor pizza making. 

Inside Ovens

1 Make Dough and prepare toppings

2 Use a pizza stone or baking sheet to cook

3 Put your pizza stone in the oven 30 minutes before baking

4 Preheat your oven to 500 degrees

5 Roll pizzas out and top

6 Slide the pizza onto the stone with a pizza peel

7 Watch closely for your preferred doneness

Outdoor Ovens

1 Make Dough and prepare toppings

2 Preheat the pizza oven to 800 degrees 

3 Roll pizzas out and top

4 Use a pizza peel to transfer the pizza from the rolling counter to the oven

5 Turn pizzas for even heating 

6 Watch closely for your preferred doneness

I just know you will love this authentic Neopolitan pizza dough recipe!

More pizza topping ideas to come. Stay tuned.

Buon appetito!
Cindy

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