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 originating in Naples, Italy.
It is made with simple and fresh ingredients: 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!
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 also built their own outdoor ovens. 😂
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!
If using a household oven, the most important accessory is a pizza stone. Its properties mimic those of a brick oven so that 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.
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.
Get one that measures temperatures between 75°F and 130°F.
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 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 the oven.
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 flour (affiliate link) 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.
You can use your tap water! Use water temperatures of 120°F-130°F using a thermometer. (Read more under the “Yeast” heading below)
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 directly interacts 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 about using Red Star Active Dry Yeast at the Red Star website.
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 make 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!
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 the 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 use a pizza peel, lightly sprinkle it with flour and place the dough on it.
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!Print
Quick Start Guide Neapolitan Pizza Dough
Below are the abbreviated overall steps for indoor or outdoor pizza making.
1 Make Dough and prepare toppings
2 Use a pizza stone or baking sheet to cook
3 Put your pizza stone in the oven for 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
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 know you will love this authentic Neopolitan pizza dough recipe!
More pizza topping ideas to come. Stay tuned.
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