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Make a Neapolitan Pizza

A guide by Benhamish Allen "If there is nothing to steal there can be no thieves" (Oregon)
(REAL NAME)   

Products sampled from this guide:

Pizza Neapolitan

Pizza has a long and wonderful history, beginning with the origins of bread itself, when ingenious humans decided to toss a few toppings onto the tops of their flat loaves. Eureka! or a similar exclamation must have been uttered, for the tastes created by the combination of oil, tomatoes, and bread have truly stood the test of time.

Making delicious pizza at home is a wonderful dream to have and the following guide will assist you in your pizza quest. There are a few tools that are required for any pizzaiolo, the pizza craftsman. You don't need all of these tools at the start of your pizza journey but one day you will obtain them all and your pizzas will be perfect, or as close to perfection as they can possibly be.

The type of pizza we are going to make is of the Neapolitan style, made famous on the streets of Italy over three hundred years ago. Small wood fired ovens were used, which reached temperatures of around 800 degrees, to give the pizzas their distinctive crunchy yet soft crust. Since the ovens in our home rarely go much above 500 degrees we will need to make use of a pizza stone, which will help to impart a crunchiness to our crust.

The pizza stone is a REQUIREMENT. Simply place in your oven and preheat at 500 degrees for 30 minutes to an hour.
Rada Cutlery Stoneware Round Pizza Baking Stone, 15 Inch, Made in USA

If you don't already have a scale in your kitchen, they are very worthwhile, especially for experimenting with dough.
EatSmart Precision Pro Digital Kitchen Scale, Silver

Now to actually make the pizza dough. There are four ingredients to a Neapolitan style pizza dough.

Flour
Caputo 00 Pizzeria Flour 5lb Bag
I haven't used this flour yet, but I have read good things about it. Supposedly the best.

Water
Probably don't need to purchase this from Amazon.

Salt
Celtic Ocean Int. - Fine Ground Celtic Sea Salt (Lt.Gr)1/2lb
Salt is not just Salt. When looking for the perfect salt to compliment the other flavors of your pizza, experiment with processed and unprocessed salt. Stay away from salts with added iodine and other elements. The Sea salt mentioned above does contain iodine and many other things, find the salt that suits you. Generally, unprocessed salt is preferred to a processed salt. Although, processing is the only way to ever obtain pure Sodium Chloride.

Yeast
Saf Instant Yeast, 1 Pound Pouch
Instant Yeast, easy to use.


Let's make some dough!

Combine 500 grams of flour, 1/4 teaspoon of yeast and 2 teaspoons of salt in a medium sized mixing bowl.
Heavy Duty Stainless Steel Mixing Bowls - Set of 4

I mix the flour and yeast together before adding the salt.

Then slowly add about 320 grams of water to the flour mixture and stir until your dough is stringy (a few stirs should do). Turn your dough out onto your mixing surface, marble or wood work the best,
Fox Run Marble Board
You can also use a plastic pastry mat, in a pinch.

Mix the dough, by folding the top half over the bottom, pushing in the seam and giving the dough a quarter turn before folding again. This first mix should only take a few seconds. After the dough is relatively smooth and combined, place the dough back into your bowl, cover with a cloth and allow the dough to rest for 10 minutes which will also let the yeast hydrate.

The next mix is longer but uses the same motions as the first mix. You can spend about 5 to 10 minutes on this mix. You will notice a change in the texture of your dough, it should become less sticky, and slightly dry.

After mixing, cut your dough into three equal portions. I use a dough scraper for this purpose,
OXO Good Grips Multi-Purpose Pastry Scraper/Chopper

You will need to roll up your dough, pretending it is a carpet helps. Then using your hands and your mixing surface roll the dough into a tight ball. Lightly dust each dough ball with some flour, then place each one into a covered bowl, and leave it out at room temperature for about 5-7 hours. Your dough should rise and you will see bubbles in your dough, the yeast is working its magic.

I usually place one dough ball into the fridge so I can have a pizza the next day as well.


The sauce is deceptively simple as well

Tomatoes
Fresh Roma Tomatoes are always the best, but these are supposedly the next best thing,
Cento San Marzano Certified Tomatoes, 28-Ounce Cans (Pack of 12)

Olive Oil
Colavita Extra Virgin Olive Oil 17 oz

Oregano
I'm not too sure about the economics of buying small quantities of spices over the internet but hey,
Oregano Whole Organic

Salt
You already have this!

Garlic
Not available on Amazon!!

Neapolitan Sauce:
28 ounces of tomatoes (One drained Can)
2 Tablespoons of Olive Oil
1 Teaspoon of Oregano
1 mashed garlic clove, Messermeister Pro-Touch Jumbo Garlic Press
Salt to taste (1 teaspoon works for me)

Combine all the sauce ingredients in a food processor,
Cuisinart DLC-4CHB Mini-Prep Plus 4-Cup Food Processor, Brushed Stainless Steel
And process for a few seconds. Add a bit more oregano or salt depending.

I'm getting hungry just writing this!


Throwing the Pie

Flying discs of dough, a science and an art. You can certainly attempt to throw your dough to stretch it out but there are other methods that work just as well.

Lightly flour your work surface, and dust your dough ball. flatten it out with one press of your palm. Keeping your palm in the center of your disc, pull the edges of your disc out, while rotating the disc. This will give the edges of your pizza a bit more heft, the crust.

Pick up your disc and slap it between your palms a few times to stretch it out a bit. Now you can throw your pie into the air or move your hands along the edges to stretch it out. You want your pie's circumference to be about 12 inches.


Construction of the Pie

Place your pie onto a lightly floured pizza peel,
Ironwood Gourmet Acacia Wood Pizza Peel

Spread a few Tablespoons of sauce onto the pie, And then dust your hands with flour and pick up the pie from the peel. Spreading the sauce can weigh the pie down, so I like to pick up the pie at this point to release it from the peel. Just lift the pie enough from one side and then the other, you can also lightly flour the bottom edges of the pie to ensure that it will slide off easily.

Amazon doesn't ship cheese, but your local supermarket should have a decent selection of mozzarella. You want the freshest you can find. 2 ounces of cheese is enough for one pie. Your pie is going to be cut into 6 pieces, so place six small pieces of cheese around the mid to outer edge of your pie.

Turn your oven up to broil and then carefully slide your pie onto your preheated stone. Your pizza will only take a few minutes to cook so watch it carefully if you can. You might need to turn your pie once during cooking.


But what about the Basil?

We are definitely going to add basil to our pizza, it is a requirement for the Neapolitan. But since we are cooking out pizza at 500 degrees instead of 800, our pizza might take 3 minutes to cook, instead of a minute and a half. The basil would burn. You can either place the basil onto your pizza about halfway through cooking, or dice your basil and sprinkle it onto the pizza after cooking. Both ways end up being delicious. Nothing beats fresh basil from your garden!
Large Leaf Italian Basil Heirloom Seeds

Your pizza will easily slide off your stone onto your cutting board,
Berard 54177 French Olive-Wood Handcrafted Round Cutting Board

You can also use your peel to slide your pie off, but I wouldn't recommend cutting your pizza on the your peel. I use a sharp knife to cut my pie into 6 pieces.

YUM!

Products mentioned include:
Pizza Neapolitan
1.  Rada Cutlery Stoneware Round Pizza Baking Stone, 15 Inch, Made in USA  by RADA
$23.00
4.1 out of 5 stars   (59)
Add to cart  Add to wishlist
2.  EatSmart Precision Pro Digital Kitchen Scale, Silver  by EatSmart
$25.00 Used & New from: $23.04
4.7 out of 5 stars   (6,695)
Add to cart  Add to wishlist
3.  Caputo 00 Pizzeria Flour 5lb Bag  by MOLINO CAPUTO
$5.99
4.6 out of 5 stars   (12)
Add to cart  Add to wishlist
4.  Celtic Ocean Int. - Fine Ground Celtic Sea Salt (Lt.Gr)1/2lb  by Celtic Ocean Int.
$8.01 Used & New from: $5.50
4.6 out of 5 stars   (35)
Add to cart  Add to wishlist
5.  Saf Instant Yeast, 1 Pound Pouch  by SAF
$7.39 Used & New from: $3.17
4.7 out of 5 stars   (272)
Add to cart  Add to wishlist
Let's make some dough!
6.  Heavy Duty Stainless Steel Mixing Bowls - Set of 4  by Winco
$31.50 Used & New from: $31.20
4.4 out of 5 stars   (134)
Add to cart  Add to wishlist
7.  Fox Run Marble Board  by Fox Run
$59.94
4.2 out of 5 stars   (45)
Add to cart  Add to wishlist
8.  OXO Good Grips Multi-Purpose Pastry Scraper/Chopper  by OXO
$9.95 Used & New from: $7.98
4.8 out of 5 stars   (584)
Add to cart  Add to wishlist
The sauce is deceptively simple as well
9.  Cento San Marzano Certified Tomatoes, 28-Ounce Cans (Pack of 12)  by Cento
$54.20 Used & New from: $26.00
3.3 out of 5 stars   (129)
Add to cart  Add to wishlist
10.  Colavita Extra Virgin Olive Oil 17 oz  by Colavita
$10.66
4.0 out of 5 stars   (8)
Add to cart  Add to wishlist
11.  Oregano Whole Organic  by Wholespice
$6.60
Add to cart  Add to wishlist
12.  Messermeister Pro-Touch Jumbo Garlic Press  by Messermeister
$19.00 Used & New from: $18.95
4.2 out of 5 stars   (10)
Add to cart  Add to wishlist
13.  Cuisinart DLC-4CHB Mini-Prep Plus 4-Cup Food Processor, Brushed Stainless Steel  by Cuisinart
$39.95 Used & New from: $23.99
4.0 out of 5 stars   (473)
Add to cart  Add to wishlist
Construction of the Pie
14.  Ironwood Gourmet Acacia Wood Pizza Peel  by Ironwood Gourmet
$22.94 Used & New from: $22.85
4.6 out of 5 stars   (175)
Add to cart  Add to wishlist
But what about the Basil?
15.  Large Leaf Italian Basil Heirloom Seeds  by Botanical Interests
$0.40
3.9 out of 5 stars   (40)
Add to cart  Add to wishlist
16.  Berard 54177 French Olive-Wood Handcrafted Round Cutting Board  by Berard
$43.06 Used & New from: $36.99
3.9 out of 5 stars   (8)
Add to cart  Add to wishlist

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About this Guide

 

Author

Benhamish Allen "If there is nothing to steal there can be no thieves" (Oregon)
(REAL NAME)   
Qualifications: Pizza Chef
Last updated: 3/30/11
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