Pizza is one of the most beloved foods in the world, and Neapolitan pizza is a true classic. The combination of a soft and chewy crust, sweet San Marzano tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, and fragrant basil is irresistible. While you can find pizza places all around the world, there's nothing quite like the experience of making your own Neapolitan pizza at home. In this article, we'll walk you through the process of making authentic Neapolitan pizza step by step, including ingredient quantities, so you can create the perfect pizza in your own kitchen.
Choose the Right Flour: The first and most important ingredient in your pizza dough is the flour. To make authentic Neapolitan pizza, you'll need "Tipo 00" flour, which is a finely milled, high-protein flour. This flour is essential for making a light and airy crust.
Measure Your Ingredients Accurately: When making pizza, it's essential to measure your ingredients accurately. Inconsistent measurements can lead to dough that's too wet, too dry, or too tough. Here are the ingredient quantities you'll need to make two 10-12 inch pizzas:
- 500g Tipo 00 flour
- 325g water
- 10g salt
- 1g active dry yeast
- 1g sugar
Mix Your Dough: Mix the flour, salt, and sugar together in a large mixing bowl. In a separate bowl, mix the yeast with 100g of the water and let it sit for a few minutes until it becomes frothy. Add the yeast mixture to the flour mixture and mix until the dough comes together. Gradually add the remaining water and mix until the dough is smooth and elastic.
Knead Your Dough: Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface and knead for 10-15 minutes until it's smooth and elastic. Form the dough into a ball and place it in a lightly oiled bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let the dough rise at room temperature for at least 6 hours, or overnight in the refrigerator.
Prepare Your Toppings: While your dough is rising, you can prepare your toppings. For authentic Neapolitan pizza, use San Marzano tomatoes, fresh mozzarella cheese, and fresh basil. For two 10-12 inch pizzas, you'll need:
- 1 can of San Marzano tomatoes
- 400g fresh mozzarella cheese
- Fresh basil leaves
Preheat Your Oven: To make Neapolitan pizza, you need a hot oven. Preheat your oven to 500°F (260°C) and place a pizza stone or baking sheet in the oven to preheat as well. A hot oven and a preheated pizza stone or baking sheet will help you achieve the perfect crispy crust.
Shape Your Dough: Once your dough has risen, it's time to shape it into a pizza. Gently punch the dough down to release the air and divide it into two equal pieces. Shape each piece of dough into a ball and let it rest for 10-15 minutes. After resting, use your hands to gently stretch and shape the dough into a round shape, leaving the outer rim slightly thicker than the centre.
Add Your Toppings: Once your dough is shaped, it's time to add your toppings. Start with a few spoonfuls of the San Marzano tomato sauce and spread it evenly over the dough, leaving a small border around the edge. Add the fresh mozzarella cheese, tearing it into small pieces and distributing it evenly over the sauce. Add a few fresh basil leaves on top of the cheese.
Bake Your Pizza: Carefully transfer your pizza onto the preheated pizza stone or baking sheet in the oven. Bake the pizza for 8-10 minutes or until the crust is golden brown and the cheese is melted and bubbly.
Serve and Enjoy: Once your pizza is done, remove it from the oven and let it cool for a few minutes before slicing it. Serve your pizza with a sprinkle of fresh basil on top and enjoy!
Q1: Can I use regular flour to make Neapolitan pizza dough?
A1: No, to make authentic Neapolitan pizza, you need to use Tipo 00 flour, which is a finely milled, high-protein flour.
Q2: How long should I let my pizza dough rise?
A2: To achieve the best results, you should let your pizza dough rise for at least 6 hours at room temperature or overnight in the refrigerator.
Q3: Can I use canned tomatoes for my pizza sauce?
A3: Yes, canned San Marzano tomatoes are the best option for an authentic Neapolitan pizza sauce.
Q4: Do I need a pizza stone or baking sheet to make Neapolitan pizza?
A4: Yes, a hot pizza stone or baking sheet is necessary to achieve a crispy crust.
Q5: How hot should my oven be to make Neapolitan pizza?
A5: Your oven should be preheated to 500°F (260°C) to make Neapolitan pizza.
In conclusion, making authentic Neapolitan pizza at home is a fun and delicious experience. With the right ingredients and techniques, you can create a pizza that rivals the best pizzerias in Naples. Remember to use Tipo 00 flour, measure your ingredients accurately, let your dough rise properly, and use fresh, high-quality toppings. With a little practice, you'll be able to make perfect Neapolitan pizza in your own kitchen. So what are you waiting for? Grab your ingredients and get started today!