Anyone who ever experienced a real Neapolitan pizza in Naples, Italy, has come back home with one thing in mind: how to make Neapolitan pizza at home!
The art of making it is so relevant to the Italian culture, that authentic Neapolitan pizza recipe has been included on UNESCO‘s list of intangible cultural heritage.
Unfortunately, not anyone is so lucky to live in Naples and preparing it at home is not that easy.
The good news is that during the last 10 years I have tried so many recipes and cooking techniques, and now I can share with you the only one that can give great results in your home oven.
Neapolitan pizza at home: a trick in ingredients
Authentic Neapolitan pizza recipe has just four ingredients (for the dough):
But please consider this:
- in a pizzeria, the oven reaches about 480 °C (almost 900 °F);
- at home, you are lucky if the oven reaches 300 °C (about 570 °F).
The consequence is that to make Neapolitan pizza at home you need two additional ingredients: extra-virgin-olive-oil and sugar.
Why? Oil will make the pizza crispier, while the sugar will add color to the final product.
And a trick with the oven
The other relevant finding is in the way I cook the pizza. Never, I repeat, never use baking paper or oil, but:
- use the oven at the highest possible temperature (yes, I told you… but this is really the most important thing, by far)
- use the baking tray as hot as possible: it must stay inside the oven while it reaches the desired temperature
- keep the baking tray in the top part of the oven, near the grill
- the shorter the cooking, the better the pizza!
But now, are you ready for your first authentic Neapolitan pizza? Trust me, your friends will love you for this 🙂
How to make Neapolitan pizza at home!
- stand mixer (optional)
- flat plate
- baking tray
- 400 gr water
- 640 gr flour
- 20 gr salt
- 1 gr yeast
- 8 gr sugar
- 20 gr extra virgin olive oil
- 200 gr tomato sauce or peeled tomatoes
- 2 gr salt
- qs extra virgin olive oil
- 8 leaves basil 4 for the tomato sauce, 4 as topping
- 300 gr fior di latte cheese mozzarella if you cannot find fior di latte
- Start adding about half the flour in a large bowl or in the stand mixer one, and the yeast on top of it.
- Aside the flour, pour the water and the salt in it. Let the salt dissolve into the water (use your hand for this).
- Start stirring the 4 basic ingredients. Use low speed. After 1-2 minutes, add the oil.
- While stirring, slowly add the rest of the flour and the sugar. Keep stirring.. the whole procedure takes at least 20 minutes.
- Remove the dough from the bowl and work it by hand on the countertop.
- The result must be a smooth and elastic dough, that you will cover.
- Let the dough rest for 20 minutes.
- Cut the dough into 4 chops and give them the shape of small dough balls.
- Cover the balls and let them rest for 6 to 8 hours, depending on the temperature of your kitchen.
- While the dough is rising, prepare the tomato sauce, adding salt (1 gr every 100 gr), some extra-virgin-olive-oil and 3-4 basil leaves.
- Cut the fior di latte into thick slices and then sticks. Put it in a strainer, so that the water in excess can be removed.
- About 40 minutes before rolling out the dough, light the oven at the maximum temperature available. With my oven, it will be 300 °C (about 570 °F).
- It's time to roll out your dough. Describing this is tough, so I link here one of the best videos I found online to explain this phase. It is in Italian (of course 😉 ) but audio is not relevant. You are creating the rim that will become the delicious crust of your pizza.
- Now, if you have a pizza shovel, put the dough on it! Since I don't, let me suggest a great workaround. Use a flat plate, just sprinkle it with some flour so the dough won't stick to it.
- First, the tomato (about 1.5 table spoon each pizza), with circular movements, avoiding the rim. Then add the fior di latte, some extra-virgin-olive-oil and one basil leaf and…
- … and make the pizza slide from the shovel (plate) onto the hot baking tray. Keep the tray high in the oven and after 5-6 minutes the pizza is ready! Enjoy 🙂
- the yeast must stay in contact with the flour
- the salt must avoid contact with the yeast, that’s why you will dissolve it into water
- use peeled tomatoes if possible, they have a better behavior in the oven
- fior di latte is the traditional choice in Naples and I personally prefer it to the more common mozzarella
- 80% of the success of your homemade pizza stands in how you cook it. Ideally, 90 seconds in a wood oven. At home, it requires 5 to 6 minutes if you cook it directly on a hot baking tray (no oil, no baking paper), with oven at the maximum heat.
Authentic Neapolitan pizza FAQ
Authentic Neapolitan pizza is a a way of preparing pizza that is traditional of Naples city. The oral tradition has been collected in 1984 into a written framework that regulates the art of pizza making. Neapolitan pizza has round shape, a diameter between 22 and 35 cm. It is characterized by a thick rim or crust (cornicione in Italian) and the consistency is soft and fragrant.
Only two types of cheese are allowed: fior di latte (from cow’s milk) and buffalo mozzarella.
Margherita pizza is about the ingredients on top.
Neapolitan is a type of pizza (shape, thickness, ingredients for the dough).
Authentic Neapolitan pizza has only three possible toppings:
1. Margherita: tomato, fior di latte, basel, EVO oil.
2. Marinara: tomato, garlic, oregano, EVO oil.
3. Margherita DOP: same as Margherita, but with buffalo mozzarella instead of fior di latte.
Traditionally, Neapolitan pizza is made with 00 flour. If you don’t have it, 0 flour will work just fine.