Mastering Tradition: Crafting Authentic Neapolitan Pizza Dough at Home
Time to read 5 min
Time to read 5 min
If you're a pizza enthusiast with a hankering for authentic Italian flavours, look no further. Neapolitan pizza, with its thin, airy crust and minimalistic toppings, has been winning hearts for centuries. While the pizzerias of Naples might have you thinking that creating this culinary masterpiece is a task best left to the pros, we're here to show you that crafting Neapolitan-style pizza at home is easier than you think.
60 seconds on the Woody
6 x 10″ Pizzas
In addition, for a truly traditional Neapolitan experience, we recommend San Marzano tomatoes and Fior di Latte Mozzarella. Keep in mind that the Neapolitan pizza tradition emphasises simplicity and minimalism in toppings, allowing the quality of the ingredients and the craftsmanship of the crust to shine.
Mix the lukewarm water and active dry yeast in a bowl. Let it rest for about 5-10 minutes until it becomes frothy.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the Italian "00" flour and salt.
Pour the activated yeast mixture into the flour mixture. Mix with a spoon or your hands until it comes together into a rough dough.
Turn the dough out onto a floured surface. Knead for around 8-10 minutes until the dough is smooth and elastic.
Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl, cover it with a damp cloth or plastic wrap, and let it rise for 1.5 to 2 hours, or until doubled in size.
Gently deflate the risen dough. Divide it into 6 equal portions, each weighing about 250g. Shape each portion into a ball by folding the edges underneath and pinching them together.
Place the dough balls on a floured surface or tray, spaced apart. Cover them with a damp cloth or plastic wrap and let them rise for an additional 1 to 1.5 hours.
Preheat your oven. Stretch and shape each dough ball into a thin round disc on a floured surface. Spread a thin layer of San Marzano tomato sauce on the dough, leaving a border for the crust. Scatter slices of fresh mozzarella and basil leaves over the sauce.
Place the stretched dough on a pizza peel and add your desired Neapolitan pizza toppings.
Slide the topped pizza onto your preheated pizza stone in the hot Woody oven. Bake for about 60 seconds until the crust is puffy and slightly charred. You will need to turn the pizza a few times to ensure an even bake.
Once the pizza is done, remove it from the oven, drizzle with extra virgin olive oil for a finishing flourish and let it cool slightly before slicing.
Transport yourself to the vibrant streets of Naples without leaving the comfort of your own home! Neapolitan pizza, a culinary masterpiece that embodies the soul of Italy, is achievable right in your own kitchen. In this blog, we delve into the origins of Neapolitan pizza, what sets it apart, and how you can create an authentic experience using your multi-fueled pizza oven. Get ready to embark on a journey of flavours and traditions!
Neapolitan pizza traces its roots to Naples, Italy, dating back to the 18th century. Initially enjoyed by locals and labourers, it quickly gained popularity and recognition due to its irresistible combination of simplicity and exceptional taste. The iconic Margherita pizza, topped with tomatoes, mozzarella, and basil, was even named after Queen Margherita of Savoy, showcasing its connection to Italian royalty.
What sets Neapolitan pizza apart is its commitment to tradition. The dough, crafted from finely milled "00" flour, undergoes a slow fermentation process that results in a thin, chewy, and slightly charred crust. The pizza is baked at incredibly high temperatures, often in wood-fired ovens, creating a unique blend of flavours and textures that's simply unmatched.
Authentic Neapolitan pizza is characterised by its adherence to specific ingredients, each chosen to maintain the purity of the dish. Here are some key components:
San Marzano Tomatoes: These sweet, vibrant red tomatoes, grown in the volcanic soils of the Campania region, provide the base for the pizza's sauce. Their rich, slightly tangy flavour is crucial to achieving the perfect balance of tastes.
Fior di Latte: Quite literally meaning ‘flower of milk’. Derived from buffalo milk, this fresh mozzarella is soft, creamy, and full of flavour. Its delicate texture and slightly tangy taste harmonise with other ingredients, creating a mouthwatering experience.
Fresh Basil: A sprinkle of fragrant basil leaves adds a herbal freshness that complements the sweetness of the tomatoes and richness of the cheese.
Extra Virgin Olive Oil: A drizzle of high-quality olive oil enhances the flavours and adds a luxurious touch to the finished pizza.
Curious about the magic behind the famed Neapolitan pizza? You might ask, "Do you really need a special oven for these culinary wonders?" The answer is a resounding yes – according to those who live and breathe pizza. Enter the revered wood-fired oven. With temperatures soaring over 800°F (427°C), these ovens turn dough and toppings into pure artistry in mere minutes. The outcome? A crust that's both blistered and airy, a feat that regular ovens or pizza stones can only dream of achieving. So, while the question of necessity pops up, it's the irresistible taste, texture, and overall charm of an authentic Neapolitan pizza that provides the true answer.
Embracing the heritage of Neapolitan pizza in your home cooking is a journey well worth experiencing. The heart of this timeless dish lies in its simplicity and the finest ingredients. By harnessing the power of your multi-fuelled pizza oven, you're granted the opportunity to transport yourself to Naples – the birthplace of this culinary art. Every delightful bite encapsulates the cherished traditions, subtle flavours, and genuine passion that have propelled Neapolitan pizza to international acclaim. So, alongside your loved ones, unleash your inner pizzaiolo, bask in the mastery of your creations, and relish the authentic taste.