The Neapolitan method of making pizza is regarded as true pizza. The Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana (the Association of True Neapolitan Pizza) insists that Neapolitan pizza dough be made using only flour, natural yeast, salt, and water. The dough must be kneaded by hand or using mixers that do not cause the dough to overheat, and it must be punched down and shaped by hand. In keeping with these traditions, this recipe does not employ a food processor.
This pizza dough recipe makes two 14- to 16-inch (36 – 41 cm rounds)
Italian flour is different from American all-purpose flour. Italian flour is milled from soft winter wheat, which contains less protein, resulting in a softer crust. To make an authentic Neapolitan dough, it is recommended to use imported Italian flour or a combination of cake and all-purpose flour. (If using Italian flour, eliminate the all-purpose and cake flours from the recipe.)
- 1 cup (235 ml) warm water, 110’F to 115’F (43’C-46’C);
- One 1 1/2-ounce (7 g) package active dry yeast;
- 2 cups (220 g) all-purpose flour;
- 1 cup (110 g) cake flour;
- 1 1/2 teaspoon (7,5 g) salt Olive oil for brushing.
Combine the water and yeast in a large mixing bowl, then stir to combine and dissolve yeast. Set aside until foamy, about 5 minutes. Combine the flours in a mixing bowl, and stir using a whisk. In a separate mixing bowl combine 2 cups (220 g) of the flour with the salt, and make a well in the center. Pour the yeast and water mixture into the well, and stir by pulling from the sides with a wooden spoon until the dough comes together. If the dough is too sticky to handle, incorporate an additional 1/2 cup (55 g) flour. Turn dough out onto a lightly-floured work surface and knead mixture in remaining 1/2 to 1 cup (55 to no g) of flour. Knead the dough until smooth, then shape the dough into a ball.
Coat a large mixing bowl with oil, place the dough into the bowl, and turn to coat all sides.
Cover with plastic wrap or clean kitchen towel and place in a warm, draft-free area to double in size. Punch down the dough, divide into two equal portions, and use as directed.If not using the dough immediately, shape it into two separate balls, coat with oil. place in plastic wrap or airtight bags, and refrigerate overnight before letting the dough rise. When ready to use the dough, bring it to room temperature before letting it rise, then punch it down, divide in half, and proceed with recipe.
The dough can also be frozen after the first kneading. Place in freezer bags or airtight containers, and freeze for up to three months. When ready to use, thaw at room temperature, allow to double in size, then punch down, divide in half, and use according to recipe.