Neapolitan Pizza

Neopolitan pizza recipe

The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

Prep: 30 mins
Cook: 5 mins
Rising Time: 10 hrs
Total: 10 hrs 35 mins
Servings: 10 to 15 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
93 Calories
8g Fat
2g Carbs
5g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 10 to 15
Amount per serving
Calories 93
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 8g 10%
Saturated Fat 3g 15%
Cholesterol 15mg 5%
Sodium 315mg 14%
Total Carbohydrate 2g 1%
Dietary Fiber 1g 2%
Total Sugars 1g
Protein 5g
Vitamin C 4mg 20%
Calcium 109mg 8%
Iron 0mg 2%
Potassium 78mg 2%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

While you might not be able to make a truly authentic Neapolitan pizza at home without a wood-fired oven, this recipe will get you pretty close. The pizza pie originating in Naples, Italy, is known for its simple and fresh recipe; the fluffy, somewhat thin crust is topped with more sauce than cheese, which are pieces of fresh mozzarella that are dotted on, versus shreds that are sprinkled over the entire pie. Basil leaves and a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil are the only toppings, this simplicity being a signature characteristic of Neapolitan pizza. Because of this, make sure to use high-quality ingredients for the best possible results.

Ingredients

For the Dough:

For the Sauce:

  • 1 (14-ounce) can whole peeled Italian tomatoes, preferably San Marzano

For the Toppings:

  • 12 ounces fresh mozzarella, cut into 1/4-inch slices or torn into small chunks

  • 2 ounces fresh basil leaves

  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided

Steps to Make It

Note: while there are multiple steps to this recipe, this pizza is broken down into workable categories to help you better plan for preparation and baking.

Make the Dough

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for dough
    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck
  2. Combine the flour, salt, and yeast in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook attachment. Mix to combine.

    Combine flour and salt
    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck
  3. Add the water and mix to combine.

    Add water
    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck
  4. Knead the dough on low speed for 10 minutes. The mixture should come together into a unified mass that barely sticks to the bottom of the bowl as it kneads. If the dough is sticking, add more flour, 1 tablespoon at a time, to the mixer while it is running, until the mass barely sticks to the bowl. If the mixture is too dry, add water, 1 tablespoon at a time, to the running mixer.

    Knead dough
    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck
  5. Cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 8 hours and up to 72 hours.

    Cover bowl
    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck
  6. When ready to make the pizza, transfer the dough to a floured work surface. Divide the pizza dough into 4 even sections.

    Transfer dough to work surface
    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck
  7. Coat 4 small containers or bowls with nonstick cooking spray or olive oil.

    Coat bowls with olive oil
    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck
  8. With floured hands, form each section into a ball.

    Ball of dough
    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck
  9. Place 1 dough ball into each coated container or bowl. Lightly spray the top of each dough ball with nonstick cooking spray or coat with olive oil.

    Dough in bowl
    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck
  10. Cover each container or bowl tightly with plastic wrap, and let rise at room temperature for 2 hours. Each dough ball should double in volume.

    Cover
    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

Make the Sauce

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Sauce
    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck
  2. Make the sauce by either pushing the tomatoes through a food mill or simply pulsing them in a food processor until a chunky liquid is formed.

    Blend
    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

Assemble the Pizzas

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Assemble pizza

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

  2. Heat the oven to at least 475 F, higher if your oven allows. If using a pizza stone, place it in the oven to heat as well.

    Heat pizza stone

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

  3. Onto a well-floured surface, stretch out each ball of dough into a 10-inch circle. Use a floured rolling pin if you need to. Don’t worry about the dough being a perfect circle.

    Stretch out dough
    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck
  4. Lightly flour a pizza peel making sure to cover where the dough will sit. Place one rolled-out piece of dough onto the peel and shake gently to ensure that the dough is not sticking.

    Dough on pizza stone
    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck
  5. Spread about 1/3 cup of sauce over the dough, leaving about a 1/2-inch of the edge bare.

    Spread sauce over dough
    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck
  6. Top the sauce with 1/4 of the mozzarella slices. Tear a few basil leaves and place them on top (according to your liking), and drizzle with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. You can also add the basil and olive oil after the pizza is cooked.

    Top sauce
    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck
  7. Transfer the pizza from the peel to the hot stone by gently shaking the peel back and forth until the pizza slides completely onto the stone.

    Transfer pizza to oven
    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck
  8. Bake about 5 to 7 minutes, until the cheese is bubbly and the crust is charred in places.

    Bake
    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck
  9. Repeat with the remaining dough balls and ingredients.

    Repeat with remaining dough
    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck
  10. Enjoy.

Why Is 00 Flour Better for Making Pizza?

The number, whether 00, 0, or 1, signifies the texture of the flour; 00 is extremely fine, which results in a soft pizza crust. This wheat flour also has a gluten content of 12 1/2 percent, making a chewy crust with puffy edges, ideal for a Neapolitan pizza. When using 00 flour in the dough, the pizza needs to bake at a high temperature, so if your oven won't go higher than 450 F, it may not be worth spending the extra money on this pricy flour.


How to Transfer the Dough From Peel to Stone

Sliding the pizza from the peel to the stone can be tricky at times. If you're finding simply flouring the peel isn't working, you can add cornmeal, which will create a coarser barrier between the dough and the peel. An even easier method is to place a piece of parchment paper under the dough on the peel and then it will effortlessly slide onto the stone. Halfway through cooking time, remove the paper by gently pulling out from under the pizza.