Classic Neapolitan Pizza Dough: 4-Ingredient Wonder

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For pizza enthusiasts, the quest for the perfect slice often leads to the iconic Neapolitan style. Imagine a thin, airy crust with a satisfying chew, blistered by a scorching-hot oven and adorned with the freshest ingredients. Achieving this pizza nirvana starts with the dough, and creating Neapolitan pizza dough at home is surprisingly straightforward.

This guide will take you through the process, from gathering the necessary ingredients to shaping your masterpiece. Get ready to transform your kitchen into a mini Neapolitan pizzeria!

Basic Neapolitan Pizza Dough
Basic Neapolitan Pizza Dough

Ingredients:

1 ½ teaspoons active dry yeast

  • 1 ½ cups warm water (105°F to 115°F) (lukewarm, but not too hot)
  • 3 ½ cups all-purpose flour, or 00 flour if available (bread flour can also be used in a pinch)
  • 1 ½ teaspoons fine sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

  • Directions:

    1. Activate the Yeast: In a large bowl, sprinkle the yeast over the warm water and let it sit for 5 minutes, or until foamy and bubbly. This signifies that the yeast is alive and ready to work its magic.

    2. Combine the Dry Ingredients: In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour and salt. Gradually add the dry ingredients to the yeast mixture, stirring with a wooden spoon or dough whisk until a shaggy dough forms.

    3. Time to Knead: Transfer the dough to a lightly floured work surface. Knead the dough for 10-12 minutes by hand, or for 5-7 minutes with a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook. The dough should become smooth, elastic, and slightly sticky.

    4. First Rise: Drizzle the olive oil into a clean bowl and coat the bottom and sides. Place the kneaded dough in the oiled bowl, turning it once to coat. Cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap or a damp kitchen towel. Let the dough rise in a warm place for 2-3 hours, or until doubled in size.

    5. Second Rise (Optional): After the first rise, you can perform a second rise for an even airier crust. On a lightly floured surface, gently deflate the dough and divide it into two equal balls. Shape each ball into a loose ball by tucking the edges underneath to create a tight surface tension. Place the dough balls on a lightly floured baking sheet, seam side down, cover them loosely with plastic wrap or a damp towel, and refrigerate for at least 24 hours, or up to 72 hours.

    6. Shaping the Pizza: When you’re ready to bake, remove the dough balls from the refrigerator and let them come to room temperature for at least 1-2 hours. On a lightly floured surface, use your fingertips to gently stretch the dough ball into a thin disc, working from the center outwards. Avoid using a rolling pin, as this can crush the air bubbles and create a denser crust.

    7. Preheating is Key: While the dough comes to room temperature, preheat your oven to its highest setting (ideally 500°F or higher). If you have a pizza stone, preheat it in the oven as well for at least 30 minutes.

    8. Transferring the Dough: This can be the trickiest part! Generously dust a large pizza peel (or a floured baking sheet turned upside down) with flour or semolina flour. Carefully lift the stretched dough and place it on the peel.

    9. Assembling and Baking: Add your desired toppings – remember, Neapolitan pizzas are traditionally minimalist, featuring just tomato sauce, mozzarella cheese, and fresh basil. Slide the pizza from the peel directly onto the preheated pizza stone. Bake for 1-2 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown and the cheese is bubbly and melted.

    10. Enjoy! Carefully remove the pizza from the oven and let it cool for a minute or two before slicing and devouring.

    Nutrition Facts (per serving, approximately 1/4 of the recipe):

    Calories: 350

  • Fat: 7g
  • Saturated Fat: 2g
  • Carbohydrates: 55g
  • Sugar: 2g
  • Protein: 10g
  • Sodium: 300mg

  • Please note: This is just an approximate nutritional breakdown and can vary depending on the specific ingredients you use.

    Conclusion: