A Pizzaiolo’s Guide to Preparing an Authentic Neapolitan Pizza Dough

Your favorite California flatbread or Chicago-style deep dish share one important aspect – a Neapolitan pizza dough at their roots. And while all have their own unique characteristics and flavor, a true Neapolitan pizza dough makes all the difference to the quality of your pizza experience.

Learn to make your dough the right way and your palate, your family, and your customers will forever thank you.

Step 1: Gathering Your Ingredients

Making authentic Neapolitan pizza dough is not only an art, but also an exact science.

Using authentic Italian ingredients is at the heart of what we do at Pizza90, and it must be your focus if you want to make the best Neapolitan pizza at home.

For best results, use a digital kitchen weighing scale. Cooking by weight will provide the right consistency and the exact hydration ratio.

These are the ingredients you will require by weight:

  • 500g of Caputo Tipo ‘00’ Flour
  • 10g of sea salt
  • 3g of dry active yeast
  • 325 ml of water

Or, if you don’t have access to a scale, use the following approximate measures by volume:

  • 4 cups of Tipo ‘00’ Flour
  • 2 tablespoons of sea salt
  • ½ tablespoon of active dry yeast
  • 1 and ½ cups plus 2 tablespoons of water

Step 2: Mix The Dough

You can use a bread mixer or a stand mixer to mix the Neapolitan pizza dough. However, the best consistency is achieved through mixing by hand. If using a stand mixer, let it run on slow for the first 2 minutes, fast for the next 5 minutes, then slow for the last 2 minutes. When mixing by hand as recommended, knead your dough until no dough residues stick to your hands.

Once done, cover your dough for about 90 minutes until it rises and doubles up in size. For the right dough to make your favorite Orange County pizza, use your palms or fists to punch down your dough removing all air bubbles. Divide up the dough into 3 equal parts, each weight 275g.

Step 3: Create Pizza Dough Balls

Once you’ve divided your Neapolitan pizza dough, roll each piece into a ball. Pinch the top of each ball then stretch it and wrap it around the rest of the ball. Pick up each ball and pinch both ends together, making smooth balls that have an outer coat. Rest your balls on your work surface with the seam side facing down. Lightly dust each Neapolitan pizza dough ball with Tipo ‘00’ flour. Store your pizza balls on a proofing tray under a damp towel. You may also use plastic wrap. This prevents your dough from drying out on the layers and forming hard crusts.

For the results that compare to the best Riverside pizza, rest your dough balls for about an hour so they gain some elasticity. If you won’t be cooking immediately, it is okay to refrigerate. Just remember to take them out of the fridge an hour before cooking.

Step 4: Stretch Out Your Crust

This is the fun part in executing your Caputo flour pizza dough recipe. Forget the rolling pin and experiment with your hands like the masters do. This makes it harder to trap air bubbles inside your dough, making for a more evenly cooked crust.

Pinch the center of your dough ball and stretch outwards into a flat round shape. If you’re up to it, try tossing it for a more even flat disc and a rounder shape. Once done, your dough is ready to be turned into your top Riverside pizza.

Neapolitan Pizza Dough: At The Heart of Good Pizza

The best Caputo flour pizza dough recipe relies on the right ingredients, exact measurements, and correct processes. Ensure that your dry yeast is mixed in after the first batch of flour and not before. This will retain the yeast’s active power. Get rid of air bubbles by carefully kneading by hand. You can also use a stand mixer or bread mixer but follow the laid down instructions. Give the yeast time to work by letting your dough rest as directed. Once done with the dough, go ahead and grab the necessary ingredients for your sauce and toppings.

 

References

Forno Bravo: Pizza Dough Authentic Recipe – https://www.fornobravo.com/pizza-oven-library/article/pizza-sequence/pizza-dough/

Ciao Italia: Making and Eating Authentic Neapolitan Pizza – https://www.fornobravo.com/pizza-oven-library/article/pizza-sequence/pizza-dough/

Stella Culinary: Neapolitan Pizza Dough – https://stellaculinary.com/recipes/baking-pastry/baking/bread/neapolitan-pizza-dough

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