I agree that real Neapolitan pizza is hard to find in the states.
Most often we are left to our DIY efforts at home that leave us unsatisfied and dreaming of Italy.
But have you ever wondered what it would take to make a Neapolitan ‘like’ pizza at home? Or, are you looking for ways to improve your homemade Neapolitan pizza?
Do you want to make something like this in your own home oven?
You might be thinking, well I don’t have a real pizza oven.
I don’t either! I have learned to make the best of our ‘rental’ oven:)
True. It has taken me many rounds to get my Neapolitan pizza dough to where it is at today. But I want to save you some time and energy, and share with you these 5 simple steps to the most authentic Neapolitan pizza you can make in your home oven.
I know the folks in Naples may fall over reading that…
As a ‘real’ Neapolitan pizza needs to be cooked in a real wood fired pizza oven. But we all don’t have a pizza forno lying around. Do we?
Real Homemade Neapolitan Pizza
So for pizza that not only looks good, but also: Taste Great, and has Less Filling!
Try these simple steps
- Invest in a good pizza stone. I like the Emile Henry brand.
The cool thing about it is you can use it on your BBQ.
They are really easy to clean too!
2. Ingredients! Ingredients! Ingredients!
I know you probably tire of hearing me talk about the importance of ingredients, but it is so key. Without good pizza ingredients you may as well order Pizza Hut:)
What are the most important ingredients to use for homemade Neapolitan pizza?
Go to Naples and buy doppio zero flour…or just buy this from Amazon (via Prime shipping is free).
Buy the good San Marzano tomatoes…
These sweet tasting tomatoes are essential for good pizza…
Look for real WHOLE milk mozzarella that is fresh or locally made. It will not be as greasy and will add so much more to your pizza than the part-skim stuff…
And shred it yourself!
While your at the cheese store buy a chunk of good parmigiano and asiago cheese and grate it at home. These cheeses spread on top of the mozzarella will add wonderful flavor and complexity to each bite.
And for the Pizza Margherita- buy the freshest mozzarella balls you can find. Buffalo is the best, but cow milk will do too.
After that the sky is the limit- potatoes, peppers, pepperoni, herbs, whatever makes your heart sing.
But were not done yet…
3. Homemade Neapolitan Pizza Dough:
Not a small subject I may add. You can easily get lost in the internet ether researching ‘authentic’ Neapolitan dough…
I know I did! But the results are worth it. However, I will save you the hassle…
Use the Pizza Dough Generator to give you the precise calculations.
Here is the LINK! Forget that it says: YOU WILL NEED A WOOD FIRED OVEN FOR PROPER BAKING-
I sure don’t have one and you don’t either.
I shoot for 260 gram dough balls…while we’re at it, you will need to purchase a good scale. I like the electronic kind (measurements are almost always in weights when baking).
Just follow the instructions for preparing the dough, and then let it rise for 2 hours at room temperature. From there I take a different path…after much trial and error.
If you want good tasting dough it’s got to rest for a longer time. After the first 2 hours, form it into a tight ball and place it in a bowl with a cover and leave it in your fridge overnight. In the morning you can take it out for a couple of hours to warm up a bit.
After that divide it into 260 gram balls and place in individual tupperware boxes with lids and leave out for an hour or so to rise some more. Then back in the fridge if you still have a few hours before baking. Keeping it cool will make the dough really easy to work with when it comes time for baking. Just remember to take it out 60 minutes before baking!
In the end you will have dough that you can shape, and it will look like this:
4. Crank that oven up! Get it as hot as possible for no less than 1 hour before baking…
And don’t forget to get the pizza stone in there while pre-heating.
Now for the real trick for that extra crispy top…Turn it to broil right before you put the pizza in.
And let it cook. You will need to watch it, because it will only take minutes to get there. Half way through I turn it a bit, and then again when I check a couple minutes later.
Now for a bonus tip for great pizza bottoms:
When you take the pizza out place it on a cooking rack for 30 seconds…this way the bottom doesn’t get extra soggy while the pizza sits on your serving pan.
5. Get the right tools:
pizza peel (this is one I use)
pizza pan (I like the 16″ pans)
And that’s all there is to homemade Neapolitan pizza…Just kidding.
Keep a pizza journal of your efforts. Each batch of dough is different, as the elements are always different. In time you will be cranking out pizza parties and delighting all who attend.
Till next time…keep feasting on real healthy food!