Take a trip to the West Coast of Italy with this homemade Neapolitan pizza! Learn how to make pizza dough using fresh, simple ingredients and create a perfect crust that is crisp, light and slightly charred. It doesn’t get more authentic than this! If you want some delicious ideas for what to do with this crust or another amazing crust, try my Cheesy Garlic Breadsticks or Pizza Rolls!
In sharing a recipe for how to make pizza dough, it began on a life-changing, taste bud-altering European vacation. Not long ago, my husband and I made our first pilgrimage to the pizza motherland: Naples. We spent the first few days roaming the cobblestone streets, sipping red wine and eating our body weights in gelato. Though glorious, I couldn’t contain my excitement for our scheduled feast at L’Antica Pizzeria Da Michele. And let me tell you, it didn’t disappoint!
Over the years, I’d heard quite a bit about this classic pizzeria centrally located in Naples: the birthplace of the Neapolitan pizza. Pizzeria Da Michele’s simple, no-frills pies have been branded as a “life-changing” experience by tourists from around the world! Since my very first bite, an obsession for Napoli pizza has been undeniably difficult to cope with. Years later, I still rave to family and friends about my experience and now, I’m going to share it with you!
OUR NEAPOLITAN PIZZA ADVENTURE
If you’ve never attempted to navigate the streets of Italy, let me tell you something: it ain’t easy. In making our way to the pizzeria, my husband and I spent hours following a confusing (and not very helpful) map. We arrived exhausted, a bit flustered and ready to eat.
L’Antica Pizzeria Da Michele only serves two variations: Pizza Margherita and Pizza Marinara. Basically, you can’t just roll in there and order a pepperoni, meat lovers or vegetarian pie. The simplicity of the menu was refreshing to say the least. In the end, we decided to order one of each.
Shortly after placing the order, an older man, who looked to be in his 70s, could be seen in the kitchen preparing the magnificent dough.
In one beautiful, care-free swoop our pizzas were in the brick fire pit and then, on our table. The first bite was heavenly. The second, third, fourth and fifth were too. I lost count of bites (and pies) shortly after that.
We left that pizzeria enamored and quite frankly, astounded by what we had just experienced. I knew from that moment on that no other pizza could ever compare. What was I to do? I think teaching you how to make pizza dough and not just any pizza dough, but incredibly Neapolitan pizza dough, was just the ticket!
HOW TO MAKE PIZZA DOUGH – NEAPOLITAN PIZZA STYLE
With a legendary pizza moment firmly implanted in my mind, I came home with a goal. Though I knew I couldn’t recreate the flavorful char that comes from the use of a pizza oven, I was confident that I could use my broiler to come close! So I sifted flour, preheated the oven and got to work!
A Neapolitan pizza dough is delicate, light and slightly chewy. The crust should be crisp while still retaining that soft, fluffy interior. And y’all, I might’ve just done it!
This Neapolitan pizza dough recipe is simple yet delicious. With only a few ingredients and even fewer steps, you’re ready to roll. Here are a couple of tips to help along the way:
- Use a quality olive oil. I recently received some amazing olive oil from Bertoli, and it proved to be incredible for coating my dough and adding extra flavor.
- Utilize the Broiler. An authentic Naples Pizza is cooked in a brick oven which can reach upwards of 800 degrees! The extremely high heat is what makes for a quicker cooking time and that wonderful char. Of course, our ovens aren’t capable of that kind of heat but, we can use the broiler in the last ¼ of cooking to really crisp up the crust.
- Start with Simple Toppings. After all the hard work you’ve put in to make homemade dough, do you really want to cloud the flavor with heavy toppings? Try out a pared down (homemade) pizza sauce, fresh mozzarella, olive oil and basil for an authentic margherita experience. But if that’s not your steez, top with whatever you’d like!
Whatever you do, try it right away and give the take out/delivery pizza a rest for a while. You can thank me later!
USEFUL EQUIPMENT FOR MAKING HOMEMADE PIZZA DOUGH
There are many pieces of pizza making equipment that can be quite useful. But, I find that a good amount of suggested tools are unnecessary and expensive.
Here are few everyday kitchen items that can be surprisingly handy:
This dough can be quite tacky so, I find that sometimes working on floured parchment paper can help prevent *sticky* situations. Parchment paper can also be used to transfer your pizza into the oven if you don’t have a peel or are just looking for a simpler baking process.
Store any leftover dough or topping in plastic, lidded quart containers. Use a sharpie to label and date the ingredients then, store in the freezer for later use. When you’re ready for more pizza, you’ve got a homemade kit waiting!
Flat (Cookie) Sheet Pan
Don’t have pizza peel or a baking stone? A cookie sheet can do the job of both. Just be sure to liberally flour the surface or bust out the parchment paper!
Once your dough has properly rested (at least 2 hours but up to 24), it’s time to make pizza! Though it can be a little intimidating, I encourage you to have fun with it. Chances are that your first few attempts will get messy but, with practice, you can be slinging dough with the best of them!
Follow the steps below for the BEST pizza:
- Preheat the oven to its highest setting without having to turn on the broiler
- Generously flour your work surface and hands
- Gently work the dough into a circle making sure to leave the outer circle thicker than the rest. I would suggest using your hands rather than a rolling pin.
- Top the pizza lightly. The heavier the pizza the harder it will be to transfer.
- Transfer the pizza into the oven (be careful!) and cook for 10-15 minutes. Cooking time will depend on how hot the oven gets. Look for a golden brown crust and a few crust bubbles
- Turn the broiler on for the last 2-3 minutes of baking to deepen color. Watch carefully, the pizza will burn quickly if left for too long.
GRANDBABY CAKES’ BEST PIZZA RECIPES
Pizza Friday rolling around again? Surprise the family with a fun, exciting new recipe that is sure to knock their socks off! Here are few of my absolute favorites:
How to Make Pizza Dough - Perfect Neapolitan Pizza!
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon instant yeast
- 3/4-1 cup lukewarm water
- 1- 1 1/2 tablespoons quality olive oil to coat the bowl
- Optional: cornmeal for dough dusting
- Add all-purpose flour, salt, sugar and instant yeast to a medium sized bowl. Quickly combine the dry mixture with a whisk.
- Next, add water to mix and use a whisk to make sure everything is mixed together.
- Do a little kneading and form a ball.
- Take a large bowl and coat with quality olive oil. Add the dough to the bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and let rise at room temperature for at least 2 hours but longer is better.
- When ready, roll out the dough and start making some pizza!