This is my go to pizza dough recipe. I have tried many different versions and this is my favorite. It is a Neapolitan style pizza dough.
The great thing about this recipe is that you can make it the day of or you can make it the day before. If you make it the day of, you can let it rise at room temperature and when making it the day before I let it rise in the fridge. The temperature of the fridge helps the dough rise at a slower pace.
Let’s talk about cooking temperatures. The best way to get a crispy Neapolitan style pizza is with a hot oven. When you see pizzas being cooked in wood fired ovens they are being cooked at 800 degrees Fahrenheit. Most of our home ovens don’t go that high, but you can still make an amazing pizza! Just turn your oven to its highest temperature and use a pizza steel to cook the pizza on a very hot surface.
What ingredients do you need?
The one ingredient that may be harder to find is 00 flour. This is a fine ground flour and it gives Neapolitan style pizza its crispy yet soft texture. I do a mix of 00 flour and all purpose flour. I use Antimo Caputo 00 flour. You can find it on Amazon or at some specialty markets. If you don't have 00 flour you can just use all purpose but the pizza may come out a little chewier.
The amount of flour you will use depends on your environment. In total, I use about 330g of flour (100g all purpose and 230g of 00). The amount I use changes depending on where I am cooking. The humidity in the air and the quality of the flour all has an impact. Just make sure the dough is easy enough to handle but not so dry that it is stiff. I would start with about 310g of flour and go up from there.
What you need to make pizza at home
You can also get a pizza stone, but I prefer the steel because it gets a little bit hotter. The benefit of having a pizza steel is to get the pizza extra crisp. I typically put my steel in the oven 30 min before cooking to get it nice and hot. This helps the crust cook right when you put it in the oven. The steel is typically pretty heavy so make sure you can move it and have a place to store it. I use this one by Nerd Chef.
You don’t need a specific pizza peel, but you do need something to launch the pizza into the oven. I like having the peel because you can hold it back so your hands don’t have to get close to the hot oven. You can use this for putting the pizza in and also taking it out. I often use a pizza pan to take the pizza out of the oven.
This isn’t equipment per se but it is needed when launching your pizza into the oven. I place cornmeal on the peel before stretching it. This helps the pizza slide off the peel. When I was first making pizza I tried using flour and my pizza always stuck to the peel and it made a mess.
How to stretch the dough
There are many pizza stretching methods. This is something that takes practice. Use your hands and not a roller. This will help you understand the dough and not knock out all of the air. Use the weight of the dough to your advantage to stretch the dough. A few methods of stretching are the slap method, the toss method or just a simple stretch. This video shows a few ways to stretch your dough.