The Best Authentic Neapolitan Pizza

The Best Authentic Neapolitan Pizza Recipe

Do you also feel like making fancy homemade pizza is out of the realm of reality for you? Like in order to make it really, really good and taste better than the famous and popular Italian pizzeria in your city (in Atlanta that’s Antico Pizza among others) you’d need to have a built-in pizza oven or outdoor pizza oven? That’s certainly what I believe and let me tell you, just the idea of dealing with yeast intimidates me. In my mind there are so many things that can go wrong – sort of like making a cheesecake without cracks. Let me tell you – IT. IS. POSSIBLE. But not just possible, it’s possible with ease and it’s frankly fool-proof. You can make the most incredible authentic Neapolitan pizza you’ve ever had in your very own basic home oven.

The Best Authentic Neapolitan Pizza Recipe

Getting Started:

Now I can’t pretend you can make this pizza on a whim and pull it together for an easy weeknight meal without proper preparation. This recipe requires 24 hours of proofing time for the dough, so you’ll want to be sure and educate yourself on the process before jumping right in. If you haven’t made pizza before, you’ll need to allow yourself some grace with handling dough. I put my first pizza in the oven before shaping my additional pizzas so I could see how the shape turned out, if I wanted to leave a narrower crust border, etc. Then finally, you also need the correct tools, like the right flour for your dough and a pizza stone and wooden paddle (you can get a bundle for under $30 on amazon) but there is more on that below.

The Best Authentic Neapolitan Pizza Recipe

What is Authentic Neapolitan Pizza?

Neapolitan style pizza or Naples-style pizza was originated in Campania, Italy and uses San Marzano tomatoes (or similar) as the sauce and has a very thin crust at the base with a puffy, airy and slightly charred crust on the outer edge. Traditionally found at authentic pizzeria’s rather than chain americanized pizza joints. Typically you will find simplistic toppings like mozzarella, tomatoes, and basil. But today, we are taking this style of crust and creating some out-of-this world flavor combinations with some incredible toppings.

The Best Authentic Neapolitan Pizza Recipe

Tools & Ingredients Needed:

Double Zero “00” Flour – this flour is ultra fine and designed specifically for Neapolitan-style pizza. You can find it at speciality Italian markets or you can order it here on Amazon. You can use bread flour as an alternate.

The Best Authentic Neapolitan Pizza Recipe

Pizza Stone – A pizza stone is imperative for this recipe. I haven’t tried cooking this pizza without using a stone, so I cannot speak to your success rate of trying your luck with a pizza pan. I highly recommend shucking out a few bucks and getting an inexpensive one online before planning to make this recipe. This recipe takes a bit of planning ahead and the right tools will ensure your success. Plus, these tools will provide you many memorable pizza nights. It’s an activity friends and family can join in on.

Wooden Pizza Paddle – much like the pizza stone, it’s imperative to have the correct tools and a pizza paddle is no exception. There is no other way for the pizza to successfully enter and exit the oven without a paddle. You can find a stone+paddle bundle here online!

The Best Authentic Neapolitan Pizza Recipe

What Makes This Authentic Neapolitan Pizza Recipe So Easy?

You don’t need a wood pellet oven, pizza oven, grill, or any expensive equipment. Just using your own home oven, you can make incredible pizza that tastes better than an authentic Italian pizzeria!

With just a few inexpensive tools, like a pizza stone and wooden pizza paddle (under $30 for the bundle here), and this speciality 00 flour, you can be making this pizza at your own house like a pizza making pro!

The Best Authentic Neapolitan Pizza Recipe

How to Make Authentic Neapolitan Pizza Dough

The best and easiest recipe on the internet is the King Arthur No-Knead Pizza Dough. But with 27 pages of length details, it overwhelmed me. So, I’ve simplified it here for a more digestible (pun-intended) recipe. Plus, I have created my own from-scratch sauces and creative topping combinations for phenomenal pizzas below. Let’s get started with these steps:

No-Knead Neapolitan Dough That Proofs for 24 Hours at Room Temp

Weigh or carefully measure your flour and place into a mixing bowl, add the salt and whisk to combine then create a well for the liquid ingredients. In a separate small bowl, combine the lukewarm water, yeast, and sugar.  Mix to combine then pour into the flour and stir all of the ingredients together. It will be a tad dry and pretty scraggly. Cover the rough, sticky dough and let it rise at room temperature for 24 hours. It will moisten as it rises.

The Best Authentic Neapolitan Pizza RecipeThe Best Authentic Neapolitan Pizza Recipe

Fold & Form Dough Into Ball

At 24 hours, you can choose to refrigerate the dough for up to six days which will help develop the flavor even more. Or, to cook now, scrape the sticky dough onto a well floured and clean surface using a dough scraper or rubber spatula. Then divide the dough in half using a dough cutter or knife. Working with one half at a time, and with sanitized, floured hands, stretch and fold:

Holding onto the dough at both ends, pull one end away from the other, then fold it back onto itself. Repeat on the other side so that all four corners of the dough have been stretched and folded.

The Best Authentic Neapolitan Pizza Recipe

Then, pull the ends of the dough toward the middle, turn it over. Use your fingers to pull the dough under itself to make a smooth, round ball with the seams tucked into the bottom, pinching together like a knotted balloon. Repeat with the other piece of dough. Place each ball seam-side down into two separate floured bowls.

Rest for Additional Hour

Cover the bowls of dough tightly with a fitted lid or cling wrap. Set aside for one hour. Utilize this time to prep your toppings, cook the meats, sauces, and to pre-heat the oven. Place your pizza stone or pizza steel in the oven on the center rack (at least 8 inches below the top heating element to prevent fire). Pre-heat the oven to 550 degrees and allow it to pre-heat for at least 30-40 minutes before cooking your first pizza.

Carefully Shape Dough to 12 Inch Pizzas

Working with one piece at a time, transfer the dough to a well-floured work surface and dust the top with flour. Use your fingertips to gently depress the surface, being careful not to touch the outer edge of the crust; you want it to remain thick.

The Best Authentic Neapolitan Pizza RecipeThe Best Authentic Neapolitan Pizza Recipe

Lift up the crust and use your knuckles to gently stretch it into a circle about 12″ in diameter, moving your hands to ensure even stretching.

The Best Authentic Neapolitan Pizza Recipe

Move it to a well-floured pizza peel or floured sheet of parchment. If you’re using parchment, trim the excess around the dough to prevent it from burning.

The Best Authentic Neapolitan Pizza Recipe

Add Toppings & Sauce

NOTE: It’s important to choose a tomato sauce that is not thin and watery. I highly recommend making your own as you can do so with just a can of San Marzano tomatoes and a few dashes of sugar, salt, vinegar, and oregano. If using store-bought sauce, choose a quality option and simmer your sauce on the stove until it has thickened up and excess water has evaporated. Below I list several recipes for pizza sauce options.

Using the underside of a ladle or large spoon, add a thin layer of sauce and work in a circular motion to spread it around your dough, avoiding those pillowy edges. Add your toppings of choice, layering the cheese. For extra flavor, brush the crust rim with melted garlic butter and sprinkle with grated parmesan.

The Best Authentic Neapolitan Pizza Recipe The Best Authentic Neapolitan Pizza Recipe

Cook for 5-7 Minutes

Use the paddle to slide your pizza onto the heated stone in your pre-heated oven at 550 degrees. Cook for 5 minutes, checking to ensure the pizza doesn’t need to be rotated. Continue to cook until the edges have charred, about 6-7 minutes of total cook time. I found six minutes was the sweet spot!

The Best Authentic Neapolitan Pizza Recipe

 

Creative Neapolitan Pizza Topping Ideas:

Chicken Bacon Alfredo

Homemade garlicky Alfredo sauce is used as the base, topped with cooked tender chunks of simply seasoned chicken breasts, crisp bits of bacon, and lots of layered mozzarella, and parmesan.

Pesto + Grape + Feta + Arugula

Homemade pesto is used as the base, topped with sliced juicy red grapes, crumbled quality feta, and fresh mozzarella. Once it’s done cooking, top with fresh arugula and drizzled with hot honey.

Spicy Meat Lovers with Honey Ricotta

Homemade San Marzano tomato sauce, shredded mozzarella, pepperoni, crumbled spicy Italian sausage, crispy bits of bacon, capicola, and whole calibrian chili peppers and dallops of whipped honey ricotta.

Classic Margherita 

Homemade San Marzano tomato sauce or olive oil base, with sliced San Marzano tomatoes (or cherry tomatoes), sliced of fresh buffalo mozzarella, and fresh basil leaves.

Thai Chicken 

Homemade spicy sesame peanut sauce, shredded mozzarella cheese and teriyaki glazed chicken chunks. Finished with fresh bean sprouts, shredded carrots, and crushed peanuts.

Buffalo Chicken Pizza

Buffalo-ranch base, crispy fried chicken, pepperoncinis, red onions, crumbled blue cheese and finished with a circular drizzle of Frank’s buffalo sauce and ranch dressing.

The Best Authentic Neapolitan Pizza Recipe

Looking for other delish Italian recipes?

Olive Garden Chicken Alfredo Pizza Fritta Copycat Recipe

Better Than Olive Garden Chicken Scampi Copycat Recipe

Meat Lover’s Pizza Dip

30 Minute Zuppa Toscana Soup Copycat Recipe

Did you love this Authentic Neapolitan Pizza Recipe? Be sure to comment below with any questions or feedback. Don’t forget to tag me on IG with any photos; @BadBatchBaking and use #BadBatchBaking

The Best Authentic Neapolitan Pizza Recipe

Fool-proof authentic no-knead dough that is super easy to make in this recipe. With a few special tools and your household oven, you can have incredibly delicious fancy Italian pizza at home that rivals your favorite restaurant.
Be sure to read through all steps before making. Although this recipe is easy, there are imperative steps and some planning ahead required to ensure your success.
Prep Time1 hour
Cook Time6 minutes
Dough Resting Time1 day 1 hour
Total Time1 day 2 hours 6 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: Neapolitan Pizza, Pizza, Pizza Dough, Pizza Recipe
Servings: 2 12" Pizzas
Author: Mallory Austin

Equipment

  • Pizza Stone or Steel
  • Wooden Pizza Paddle big enough for a 12" pizza

Ingredients

Pizza Dough

  • 2 cups + 1 tablespoon, Double Zero "00" Flour 247g if weighing
  • 1/8 teaspoon active dry yeast or instant yeast
  • 1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
  • 3/4 cup + 1 tablespoon, lukewarm water 185g if weighing

Homemade San Marzano Tomato Sauce

  • 1 28 oz. canned whole peeled San Marzano tomatoes
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning or Oregano
  • salt and pepper to taste

Homemade Pesto

  • 1 cup fresh basil leaves
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/4 cup toasted pine nutes or walnuts
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup olive oil

Homemade Alfredo Sauce

  • 1/2 stick butter
  • 2 cloves garlic, grated
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 3/4 cup freshly grated parmesan
  • 1/4 teaspoon italian seasoning
  • salt and pepper to taste

Finishing Touches (optional)

  • hot honey, grated parmesan, fresh arugula, truffle oil, hot sauce, quality anch dressing

Garlic Butter for Dipping

  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder or grated garlic for intense garlic flavor

Instructions

No-Knead Pizza Dough

  • Weigh or carefully measure flour and place into a mixing bowl. Add salt and whisk to combine then create a well for the liquid ingredients. In a separate small bowl, combine the lukewarm water, yeast, and sugar.
  • Mix to combine then pour into the flour and stir all of the ingredients together. Cover the rough, sticky dough and let it rise at room temperature for 24 hours. It will look a bit dry but will moisten as it rises.
  • At 24 hours, you can choose to refrigerate the dough for up to six days which will help develop the flavor even more. Or, to cook now, scrape the sticky dough onto a well floured clean surface using a dough scraper. Divide the dough in half. Working with one half at a time with sanitized, floured hands, stretch and fold.
  • Holding onto the dough at both ends, pull one end away from the other, then fold it back onto itself. Repeat on the other side so that all four corners of the dough have been stretched and folded.
  • Then, pull the ends of the dough toward the middle, turn it over. Use your fingers to pull the dough under itself to make a smooth, round ball with the seams tucked into the bottom, pinching together like a knotted balloon. Repeat with the other piece of dough. Place each ball seam-side down into two separate floured bowls.
  • Cover the bowls of dough tightly with a fitted lid or cling wrap. Set aside for one hour. Utilize this time to prep your toppings, meats, sauces, and to pre-heat the oven.
  • Place your pizza stone or pizza steel in the oven on the center rack (at least 8 inches below the top heating element to prevent fire). Pre-heat the oven to 550 degrees and allow it to pre-heat for at least 30-40 minutes before cooking your first pizza.
  • Working with one piece at a time, transfer the dough to a well-floured work surface and dust the top with flour. Use your fingertips to gently depress the surface, being careful not to touch the outer edge of the crust; you want it to remain thick.
  • Lift up the crust and use your knuckles to gently stretch it into a circle about 12″ in diameter, moving your hands to ensure even stretching.
  • Move it to a well-floured pizza peel or floured sheet of parchment. If you’re using parchment, trim the excess around the dough to prevent it from burning.
  • It's important to choose a tomato sauce that is not thin and watery. Simmer your sauce on the stove until it has thickened up and excess water has evaporated.
  • Using the underside of a ladle or large spoon, add a thin layer of sauce and work in a circular motion to spread it around your dough, avoiding those pillowy edges. Add your toppings of choice, layering the cheese. For extra flavor, brush the crust rim with melted garlic butter and sprinkle with grated parmesan.
  • Use the paddle to slide your pizza onto the heated stone in a pre-heated 550 degree oven.
  • Cook for 5 minutes, checking to ensure the pizza doesn’t need to be rotated. Continue to cook until the edges have charred, about 6-7 minutes of total cook time. I found six minutes was the sweet spot!

Optional Sauces

  • Homemade Pesto: combine all pesto ingredients into a food processor or blender. Pulse until smooth, drizzling in the olive oil as it blends.
  • Homemade Alfredo Sauce: in a small saucepan, add butter and melt over medium-low heat. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add heavy cream and allow to simmer until bubbly and thickened, about 3 minutes. Add salt and pepper, then the grated parmesan cheese. Stir until thick and set aside to cool.
  • Homemade San Marzano Tomato Sauce: Using a food processor or blender, blend peeled tomatoes until mostly smooth. Pour blended tomatoes into a saucepan and bring to a simmer over low heat. Add sugar, salt, oregano, and vinegar. Continue to cook on low, reducing to thicken for about 7-8 minutes.

Garlic Butter for Dipping

  • In a small bowl melt butter and add garlic powder. Stir to combine and serve alongside pizza for crust dipping.

Notes

Topping suggestions: sliced fresh milk mozzarella, shredded cheese, honey ricotta, pepperoni, diced chicken breasts, crisp bacon, sliced grapes, feta, sliced tomatoes, arugula,  crumbled hot italian suasage, capicola, calibrian or peppadew peppers, fresh basil, etc.
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