- Time needed to knead: 20 minutes
- Leavening period: 8 - 24 hours
- Dough recipe for 3 pizzas
- Flour: 425 g
- Water: 250 g
- Fresh yeast*: 1/4 g
- Salt: 13 g
- Dough recipe for 4 pizzas
- Flour: 570 g
- Water: 335 g
- Fresh yeast*: 1/3 g
- Salt: 17 g
The weight of each dough-ball
With the quantities specified in this authentic Neapolitan pizza dough recipe you will have enough to make 3 and 4 dough balls, with a weight of about 225 gr. (8 oz) each. Once stretched, they will turn into 32 cm (12.5’’) diameter pizza bases, in other words the usual size of a Neapolitan pizza (here in Italy at least!)
Now let's find out which is the best flour to use, because it is more important than one could even imagine!
*About fresh yeast:
I know that in some countries fresh yeast cubes can’t be found as easily as here in Italy. In this case you can possibly ask for it in your local bakeries or pizzeria-shops. They order it in bulk and often sell small amounts to local clients for a minimal cost. But if you still can’t find it, do not worry! Read below to know on how to make pizza with dry yeast!
HOW TO MAKE NEAPOLITAN PIZZA DOUGH: USE A PIZZA FLOUR
As I mentioned before, flour is a very important ingredient. In fact, even if you follow an authentic Neapolitan pizza dough recipe, using the inappropriate type of flour will not give you the results you’re looking for!
Flour is the most important “detail” that often is forgotten to be mentioned in most pizza dough recipes around the web, that's why I want to make it clearer.
In short, the Neapolitan pizza dough recipe requires a “type 00 flour” or “type 0 flour”, with a “W” value between 220 and 380.
In other words, this means you’ll be able to choose the right flour only if you carefully read what is written on the label.
2) NEAPOLITAN PIZZA DOUGH: HOW TO USE DRY YEAST
According to the tradition, we always should use fresh yeast. However, when fresh yeast is not available, dry yeast is just as good.
The only thing to pay attention to, is the quantity, but with my simply method everything will work without issues.
So, if you need to use dry yeast, follow the next 7 steps:
- Weigh 1 gr. of dry yeast.
- Pour 30 gr. of lukewarm water in a shot-glass, (weight the content on the digital scale.) The water should be between 30° and 40°C (86° and 104°F). After that add the dry yeast.
- In addition, add half a teaspoon of sugar to re-activate the yeast. Then stir this solution with a teaspoon in order to get an evenly diluted mixture.
- Cover the shot-glass with a saucer or a kitchen towel (because the yeast reactivates better in the dark.)
- After about 20 minutes it should foam on the surface. This means the yeast has been reactivated and ready to be used. (However, if there is no foam in 30 minutes, it means that the yeast has expired, so you must try with another packet of yeast.)
- Meanwhile pour in a bowl the water specified in my recipe.
- At this point, if you are following the recipe for 3 pizzas, take only 2 gr. (approx. 1 ¼ teaspoon) of the solution from the shot-glass.
Similarly, if you’re following the recipe for 4 pizzas, take 3 gr. (approx. 2 teaspoons) of the solution from the shot-glass.
- Finally add this quantity to the water in the bowl.
3) SOURDOUGH PIZZA DOUGH RECIPE
I show you the sourdough only as a third solution, not because I don't love it, but because among the 3 types of yeast is the one that gives the most unpredictable results.
Your sourdough, in fact, has unique characteristics, because it is the result of a natural process. In your sourdough different "tribes" of yeasts coexist. As result they reproduce at a different speed from the "tribes" of any other sourdough!
However, since I receive many requests about it, here is the dose I take when I want to use sourdough in the Neapolitan pizza dough recipe, instead of fresh yeast.
In short, referring to the recipe for 4 pizzas, I use 35 g of sourdough, renewed the day before. (I don't know if "renewed" is the right term to use in this context, but to clarify, you have to add new flour and water to the sourdough the day before you'll use it.)
Please note: My sourdough has a thick consistency, with about 50% hydration.
HOW LONG TO KNEAD THE NEAPOLITAN PIZZA DOUGH
This is another great question: how long should I knead the dough?
For the quantities I suggested in my authentic Neapolitan pizza dough recipe, kneading only takes about 20 minutes if done by hand.
Otherwise, if you use an electric dough mixer, I suggest to set it at a low speed, so you will be simulating the hand mixing process. My recommendation however, at least for the first times, is to stop the machine every 5 minutes, and touch the dough. In this way you'll be able to feel how the consistency of the dough changes during the process, in order to get the correct appearance and texture.
Anyway, in either case, kneading should be stopped when the dough is smooth, homogenous and pliable.
LEAVENING PERIOD OF NEAPOLITAN PIZZA DOUGH: DURATION AND HEALTH BENEFITS
Patience is the greatest of all virtues…especially for us pizza lovers!
As I have already told you, this is an Neapolitan pizza dough recipe for a long leavening. But how long should you let the pizza dough rise?
Of course, it much depends on the room temperature but also on the flour you will be using. There are, in fact, flours that require longer leavening time (to know more about this, download the pizza flour guide, IT’S FREE.)
For example, I usually use a flour with a medium W value, and let the dough rise and rest peacefully by itself, from 8 hours in summer to 24 hours in winter.
Please note: The dough-balls, even after a long leavening period, will look not puffed-up, but don’t lose heart, because that is the way they should be, a bit flattened!
But why is the long leavening so important? What are the benefits and, above all, is it really worth it?
WHY THIS NEAPOLITAN PIZZA DOUGH RECIPE IS HEALTHY
The authentic Neapolitan pizza is an "healthy pizza".
I say this because the topping is made of fresh and simple ingredients, but above all because of the dough. An authentic Neapolitan pizza can be eaten without digestion difficulties. And I'll tell you more: if it's a real Neapolitan pizza, you'll eat the whole outer-crust.
Now, if you want to get this result, it is necessary that the dough rest for many hours, because the long resting phase allows the dough to "self-decompose", or in other words, to "mature".
To be more specific, maturation process starts when water and flour come into contact with each other. It breaks down starches and proteins into simpler elements like sugar (which is food for yeast) and it is a very slow process.
For this reason, leavening should be slow enough to allow in the meanwhile the Maturation to complete its process. Therefore, only if you use a very small amount of yeast in your Neapolitan pizza dough recipe, you will allow the dough to mature!
In short, if you let the dough rest for at least 8 hours, the pizza will be tasty, better-looking and, most importantly, easier to digest!
SUMMING THIS UP
- Firstly, in order to make authentic Neapolitan pizza at home, start with a traditional Neapolitan pizza dough recipe. In this page you have found it!
- Secondly choose the appropriate pizza flour. My suggestion is to download the FREE guide so you will finally find out all the secrets of flours!
- Thirdly use a very small amount of yeast. I have shown you how to do it with fresh yeast and also explained a method using dry yeast (and dose for sourdough).
Lastly, never hurry your dough when leavening! It should rise at least 8 hours all by itself undisturbed!
Now it’s up to you! Enjoy the reading of the guide and have GOOD PIZZA!!!