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Neapolitan Style Pizza

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Neapolitan style pizza is by far my most favorite type and it’s the style I’m most comfortable preparing. My overnight dough recipe offers plenty of yeasty flavors and the “00” flour used provides a soft, but just-the-right chewy texture. The combination of tangy raw tomato sauce and creamy fresh mozzarella is absolute perfection.

Ingredients

OVERNIGHT PIZZA DOUGH
Caputo "00" Flour500g, 17 2/3 oz.
Warm Water (90-100°F)315g, 11 oz.
Kosher Salt15g, 1/2 oz.
Instant Dry Yeast1/4 tsp.
PIZZA SAUCE
(enough for 9 pizza)
San Marzano Tomatoes795g, 28 oz.
Kosher Salt1 to 2 tsp.
CALABRESE PIZZA
Pizza Sauce80g, 2 3/4 oz.
Buffalo Mozzarella80g, 2 3/4 oz.
Calabrese Salame4 slices
Fresh Oreganoabout 1 tsp.
Pecorino Calabreseas needed
Hot Honeyas needed
CLASSIC MARGHERITA
Fresh Mozzarella100g, 3 1/2 oz.
Fresh Basil5 or 6 leaves
Parmagiano Cheeseas needed
Extra Virgin Olive Oil1 tbsp.

Preparation

My Overnight Pizza Dough for Neapolitan Style Pizza (makes three pizza)
Place the warm water in a large mixing bowl. Add the kosher salt and let it dissolve completely. Sprinkle in the dry yeast. Let the mixture rest for a minute or two, then give it a quick stir and add the “00” flour. Use a plastic bench scraper or another utensil to mix the ingredients until they start to come together, then switch over to using your hands.

Continue mixing and pinching the dough until it becomes one evenly, hydrated homogenous mass. Cover and rest the dough for 20 minutes. This step hydrates the dough, makes it easier to shape and it’ll require less kneading.

Once the dough has rested, carefully turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and knead it for about 4 to 5 minutes. Try to avoid adding excessive amounts of flour to keep the dough from sticking. A little is ok, too much is not good.

The pizza dough will eventually become smooth and silky in texture. Now, shape it into a ball tucking the dough underneath and inside of itself. Do this until the surface of the dough feels tight, but don’t tear it.

Lightly grease a large mixing bowl with some extra virgin olive oil, then add the pizza dough flat-side down. Dust the top of the dough with some flour, wrap the bowl tightly with some plastic film, then let the dough rest overnight in the refrigerator.

Three hours before you plan to bake, take the dough out of the fridge and divide it into three equally sized pieces, about 270 grams each. Place the dough on a floured sheet pan or even better, a dough box if you have one. Leave enough room for each ball to expand as it rises.

Coat the surface of each dough ball with some flour, then cover the sheet pan with a damp cloth. Let the dough rest at room temp until you’re ready to bake.

San Marzano Pizza Sauce
Take the San Marzano tomatoes and pass them through a food mill or carefully blitz them with a stick blender or some other food processor. I prefer using a food mill because it gives you a distinct texture that other devices can’t quite replicate. Remember if you use one, make sure to scrape the bottom of the plate once you pass through the tomatoes.

Add one to two teaspoons of Kosher salt (depending on your preferred level of saltiness) to the tomatoes. Give them a quick stir, cover, and reserve.

NOTE: If the sauce seems too thin, and depending on the brand of tomatoes it will, you can adjust the consistency by removing some liquid using a fine-mesh strainer.

Stretching the Dough and Making Pizza
NOTE: Make sure your oven is preheated at least 30 minutes in advance before making pizza. Some ovens might take longer. If you’re using an Ooni oven, a 30 minute preheat is perfect. Oven temperatures will vary. A conventional oven should be set to 500°F. My preferred temperatures for baking Neapolitan style pizza in an Ooni oven are as follows: stone temp, 800°F, ambient oven temp, 900°F+.

Grab a piece of the dough that’s been proofing and place it on a floured work surface. Dust the top with some additional flour, then begin forming the crust with the tips of your fingers. Press down and out to spread the dough. Stop about an inch from the outer edge to form the outer crust ring.

Flip the dough over and continue the process working around the dough in a clockwise or counterclockwise motion.

Use the back of your hand and knuckles to carefully lift the dough up. Move your hands around the outer edge of the dough and let gravity do the work to stretch it so that form a circle about 14 inches or 35 centimeters in diameter.

Gently pull the dough onto a lightly floured pizza peel, then stretch it out and reshape the dough so it forms a circle again.

Evenly spread a measured amount of tomato sauce onto the dough leaving about a one-inch border around the edge.

Place your toppings on top of the sauce, starting with the cheese followed by any additional items. In my video, I make two types of pizza (1) a Calabrese, and (2) a classic Margherita. Take a look at the ingredients and measurements section to see how each pizza is prepared.

Place your Neapolitan style pizza in the preheated oven, preferably on some sort of baking stone. Cooking times will vary depending on your oven. A conventional oven will bake a pizza in about seven to eight minutes. A wood-fired oven such as an Ooni will bake pizza in sixty to ninety seconds. Remember to rotate the pizza halfway through the cooking process to ensure an even bake and make sure to check the crust underneath to make sure it isn’t cooking too quickly.

I highly recommend that you watch my video to see a visual representation of the pizza-making process. Comment below or in the video comments if you have any questions!

2 Comments

  1. Dan says:

    Hi there – would this dough recipe benefit from multiple nights in a fridge vs one?

    • tbereika says:

      Definitely. You could leave it in the fridge for an additional night, but reduce the amount of yeast if you want a longer fermentation than 48 hours.

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