While you might not be able to make a truly authentic Neapolitan pizza at home without a wood-fired oven, this recipe will get you pretty close.
Make sure to use high-quality ingredients for the best possible results. And if you’re tempted to add more toppings, you might want to try this pesto and white bean pizza recipe instead—a true Neapolitan pizza only has this simple tomato sauce, fresh mozzarella cheese, and fresh basil. But it's still delicious!
- For the Dough:
- 4 cups Italian tipo "00" flour or bread flour, plus extra for dusting dough
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon active dry yeast
- 1 1/2 cups water
- Cooking spray or olive oil to coat containers
- For the Sauce:
- 1 (14-ounce) can whole peeled Italian tomatoes, preferably San Marzano
- For the Toppings:
- 12 ounces fresh buffalo mozzarella or fresh cow's milk mozzarella (fior di latte), cut into 1/4-inch slices or torn into small chunks
- Handful basil leaves
- 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Make the Dough
- Combine flour, salt, and yeast in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook attachment. Mix to combine.
- Add water and mix to combine. Then, knead dough on low speed for 10 minutes. The mixture should come together into a unified mass that barely sticks to the bottom of the bowl as it kneads. If dough sticks, add flour 1 tablespoon at a time to the mixer while it is running, until the mass barely sticks to the bowl. If the mixture is too dry, add water 1 tablespoon at a time to the running mixer.
- Cover bowl tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 8 hours. It can be refrigerated for up to 72 hours.
- When ready to make pizza, transfer dough to a floured work surface. Divide dough into four even sections.
- Coat four small containers or bowls with nonstick cooking spray or olive oil.
- With floured hands, form each section into a ball. Place one dough ball into each coated container or bowl. Lightly spray the top of each dough ball with nonstick cooking spray or coat with olive oil.
- Cover each container or bowl tightly with plastic wrap, and let rise at room temperature for 2 hours. Each dough ball should double in volume.
Make the Sauce
- Make the sauce by either pushing the tomatoes through a food mill or simply pulsing them in a food processor until a chunky liquid is formed.
- Heat oven to at least 475 F, higher if your oven allows. If using a pizza stone, place it in the oven to heat as well.
Assemble the Pizzas
- Onto a well-floured surface, stretch out each ball into a 10-inch circle. Use a floured rolling pin if you need it. Don’t worry about the dough being a perfect circle!
- Place one dough ball onto a lightly floured pizza peel, shake gently to ensure that the dough is not sticking.
- Spread about 1/3 cup of sauce over the dough, leaving about a 1/2-inch edge unsauced.
- Top the sauce with a quarter of the mozzarella slices. Tear a few basil leaves on top (according to your liking) and drizzle with 1 tablespoon of olive oil. You can also add the basil and olive oil after the pizza is cooked.
- Transfer pizza from peel to the hot stone and bake about 5 to 7 minutes, until cheese is bubbly and crust is charred in places.
- Repeat with remaining dough balls and ingredients.
Note: Try making this pizza twice—once with Italian tipo "00" flour and once with bread flour and see if you can detect the difference.