Napoli Inspired Pizza Dough recipe (above) all started with a European vacation, which ended in a life-changing trip to L’Antica Pizzeria Da Michele in Naples, Italy a couple of weeks ago. My subconscious now blames Naples for my consistent daydreams of Neapolitian pizza. This obsession is completely out of my hands and totally beyond my control… or that is the excuse I tell myself when family and friends continue to ask me to shut up about that same “life-changing” pizza from Naples (it started with Napoli pizza dough). My only option to completely withdraw from repeating the exact same story over and over to them is to share it with you and all of humanity I come in contact with over the next year.
You may be wondering why the pizza was so life-changing. I heard quite a bit about this place’s pizza that was centrally located in Naples, the birthplace of pizza. The first time I read about it was in “Eat, Pray, Love” and it was also featured in the film with Julia Roberts. Then I purchased a Rick Steve’s Italy book, where he insists tourists visit this pizzeria over any other. I read reviews on Tripadvisor, Yelp and the like and was sold on what many said was…. well, life-changing pizza.
When my husband and I finally arrived at the pizzeria after following quite a confusing route of streets which had no real labels that matched anything resembling our trusty (really non trusty) map, we were exhausted and ready for pizza.
L’Antica Pizzeria Da Michele only serves two types: Pizza Margherita and Pizza Marinara. What this means is you basically can’t just roll in there and say you would like a pepperoni, meat lovers, vegetarian special or anything else. The simplicity of the menu was refreshing to say the least. Nice and simple. We decided to have one of each.
Two employees started circling the seating area to take our orders while an older man who looked to be in his 70s began rolling dough, magnificent dough, out and preparing pizza.
One swoop and our pizzas were in the brick fire pit and on our tables in less than 5 minutes.
The first bite was heavenly. The second, third, fourth and fifth were too. Who would think that dough, tomato sauce, garlic, olive oil, basil and cheese could create heaven?
With the obsession of this pizza firmly implanted in my mind, I knew I would be making Napoli inspired pizza dough as soon as I got home to share with you. Theirs was perfectly charred on the outside and soft and chewy on the inside. I knew I could not quite duplicate the fire oven situation which created perfect outside char but I could use a broiler to get mine closer than I had probably been before. Look how lovely it turned out!
This Napoli inspired dough recipe is very simple yet delicious. It only takes a few quick steps and a few ingredients and you are ready to roll. Here are a couple of tips:
– 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.
– To make sure you have a fully baked pizza, bake the pizza until it is about 3/4s of the way baked at a high heat of 450-500 degrees and then turn on the broiler to really crisp up your crust and finish the pizza at a high heat to get that Naples authenticity.
– Try topping it with your favorite homemade pizza sauce, olive oil. a bit of quality mozzarella cheese and basil for a truly authentic margherita experience as close to Napoli as one can get or make it American style with your favorite toppings. The sky is the limit with this dough!
Whatever you do, try it right away and give the take out/delivery pizza a rest for a while. You can thank me later!
Napoli Inspired Pizza Dough
- 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!