New Yorkers love their big, thin slices. Chicagoans are loyal to their deep-dish pies. All over the country, people devour their local specialties. But Neapolitan pizza reigns supreme. With its origin in Naples, Italy, pizza Napoletana is the ultimate combination of texture, flavor and simplicity. With only a few fresh ingredients, you can make it yourself.
According to The Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana, what truly sets a Neapolitan pizza apart is its crust. It must have a raised edge (traditionally referred to as the “cornicione”), be supple to the touch and have a circular shape. Although you can a use store-bought dough, it simply doesn’t compare to one made from scratch.
This recipe’s 50/50 combination of all-purpose and 00 (double zero) flours gives the pizza a wonderful flavor and balanced texture. Because Neapolitan dough is so simple, using high-quality ingredients and sticking to the method are crucial. Sam Sifton from New York Times Cooking recommends measuring by weight rather than volume to achieve the best product. Using a kitchen scale instead of typical measuring cups will give you more accuracy.
Traditionally, Neapolitan pizza is cooked in a wood-fired oven. But portable pizza ovens, like the Ooni Pro or the Roccbox, are great substitutes for pizza nights. If you aren’t looking to make a purchase, a regular oven set to 500°F (or as high as it can go) will suffice. Be sure to pre-heat a pizza stone or cookie sheet in the oven for the best result. Then, all that remains is 90 seconds of cooking to transport you to Napoli.
Yield: Two 12-inch pizzas
Time: 20 minutes + at least three hours rising time
- 153 grams 00 flour
- 153 grams all-purpose flour
- 8 grams fine sea salt
- 2 grams active dry yeast
- 4 grams extra-virgin olive oil
- In a large mixing bowl, combine flours and salt.
- In a small mixing bowl, stir together 200 grams of lukewarm tap water, the yeast and the olive oil. Then pour it into the flour mixture. Knead with your hands or with a standing mixer fitted with a hook attachment meant for dough until well combined, or approximately three minutes, then let the mixture rest uncovered for 15 minutes.
- Knead the rested dough for another three minutes. Cut into two equal pieces and shape each into a ball. Place on a heavily floured surface, cover with a dampened cloth and let rest and rise for three to four hours at room temperature or for eight to 24 hours in the refrigerator. (If you refrigerate the dough, remove it 30 to 45 minutes before you begin).
- To make pizza, place each dough ball on a heavily floured surface and use your fingers to stretch it. Then, use your hands to shape it into rounds or squares. Top and bake.
*Recipe adapted from New York Times Cooking
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words & photo_teagan polizzi. design_olivia ginsberg.
This article was published in Distraction’s spring 2021 print issue.