Neapolitan pizza dough recipe

How to make pizza dough according to the old traditional recipe!

HEALTHY, long leavening method, with just a crumb of yeast

Are you looking for an authentic Neapolitan pizza dough recipe?

Well, you're in the right place! In this page you will find an old authentic Neapolitan pizza dough recipe and some precious tips on how to make pizza dough from scratch!

The important thing is for you to “put your hands on” an authentic Neapolitan pizza dough recipe, and this is where I come in. In this article in fact, firstly I'll show you the recepy, and successively I'll give you some important tips on:


Please Note:

When I say “authentic Neapolitan pizza” I mean that kind of pizza you could eat in Naples, which is thin, soft and full of air bubbles in the outer crust, reminding you of freshly baked bread. (See the photo above!)


Some people will tell you “Making Neapolitan pizza at home, without a wood-burning oven, is impossible!”

But I can tell you, “It isn’t so!

Making Neapolitan pizza at home is possibile! The important thing is to start with an "honest recipe", which does not "forget" to tell you which is the flour to use.

So, this is a professional recipe (with 59% of hydration) but I made it available for you in small doses, for 3 and 4 pizzas.

Neapolitan pizza dough recipe: slice of pizza

  • 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 worryRead below to know on how to make pizza with dry yeast!

Italian pizza dough recipe: dough-balls


Italian pizza dough recipe: flourAs 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.


Ok, but what all these numbers and letters mean!?

  • What is the difference between double zero flour (“type 00 flour”) and zero flour (“type 0 flour”)?
  • What does the “W” value mean?
  • Are these the only characteristics that matter?

I will explain how to choose the best pizza flour in an easy guide “Correct Flour is Magical!”

It’s totally free and you can immediately download it by clicking here.

This guide will help you find the right flour among the different types available in your country. In addition you will also find recommendations on some very good brands of Italian pizza flours for you to choose from. In fact I created a list of brands of pizza flour that I personally tested and which really satisfied me.

Download the guide and after that, let's move to talk about the yeast: the second important ingredient in the Neapolitan pizza recipe!

Italian pizza dough recipe: guide to choose a pizza-flour


Authentic Neapolitan pizza dough cannot be made without yeast, even if only a very tiny crumb is needed.

But let's see in details the 3 option we have: fresh yeast, dry yeast and sourdough.


My authentic Neapolitan pizza dough recipe starts with fresh yeast (also called “cake yeast” or “compressed yeast”.)

It requires a laughable quantity of yeast, consequently this type of pizza is very easy to digest and healthy. On the other hand I know that reading my recipe, you’ll be wondering “How am I supposed to weigh 1/4 or 1/3 of gram of fresh yeast??”

Don't worry! Of course it will be easier if you have a digital scale with sensitive markings of 1 g increments, but there is also an alternative method. Read on 😉

If you have a digital scale weigh 1 g portion of yeast gathering it into a “mini-cube”. After that:

  • For a recipe to make 3 pizzas, divide the “mini-cube” into 4 equal parts, BUT use only 1 of these parts.
  • To make 4 pizzas, divide the “mini-cube” into 3 parts, BUT use only 1 of them.

If you don’t have such an accurate scale here is the solution (this is a free preview from the video-course):

I sum up the procedure shown in the video:

First of all, let's give a look to the following picture. The cube in the figure, represents a piece of fresh yeast of 25 gr. This is the typical size available in Italy, but you can easily adapt this method to any size package available in your country.

A 25 gr. cube of fresh yeast, sectioned to obtain the necessary amount for 4 pizzas.

In short, what we want is to obtain a 1 gr. portion, and further subdivide it to obtain 1/3 or 1/4.

  1. First divide the cube into 5 equal parts (5 gr. each).
  2. After that, take one of those parts and subdivide it further into 5 equal portions.
  3. This way we have obtained portions of approximately 1 gr.
  4. Now take one of these (1 gr portion) and we will further subdivide it according to our needs.

Do not worry if the parts are not perfectly equal! It creates only a slight variation in the leavening process.


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:

  1. Weigh 1 gr. of dry yeast.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.


1-gr. of dry yeast to make Neapolitan pizza Dry yeast dissolved in water Adding sugar to riactivate dry yeast for Neapolitan pizza

  1. Cover the shot-glass with a saucer or a kitchen towel (because the yeast reactivates better in the dark.)
  2. 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.)
  3. Meanwhile pour in a bowl the water specified in my recipe.


cover the shot-glass with a saucer Dry yeast ready to be used to make Neapolitan pizza water specified in the recipe.

  1. 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.

  1. Finally add this quantity to the water in the bowl.
Quantity of Dry Yeast to make Neapolitan Pizza Dry Yeast Dissolved in Water


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.


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.


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?

Italian pizza dough recipe: dough-balls risingOf 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 guideIT’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?


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!


  1. 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!
  2. 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!
  3. 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!!!