Neapolitan Pizza Dough Recipe

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Neapolitan Pizza Dough Recipe

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Neapolitan pizza is one of the most famous and incredibly delicious pizzas. Of course, you can’t make authentic Neapolitan pizza without using a proper recipe.

So if you’ve been longing to make this pizza at home, the time is now. This article provides a comprehensive step-by-step guide to making the Neapolitan pizza dough recipe.

Don’t worry; it is straightforward and won’t take much time to prepare. Although it’s worth spending a couple of hours making it because there’s nothing quite like homemade Italian food.

Key Takeaways

  • Neapolitan pizza dough requires minimal ingredients—just flour, water, salt, and yeast—to achieve its classic light and airy texture.
  • The dough undergoes a long fermentation period, typically 24 hours, to develop its distinctive flavor and chewiness.
  • Baking at a high temperature, preferably in a wood-fired oven, ensures the signature charred and bubbly crust of authentic Neapolitan pizza.

What Is Neapolitan Pizza Dough? 

Neapolitan pizza dough is a style of pizza dough that originated in Naples, Italy. It has a crispy, cracker crust with a soft interior and is topped with tomato sauce or other ingredients.

Neapolitan pizza is made with high-protein flour, which makes the crust tender and chewy. The term “Neapolitan” refers to the city of Naples, where the original Neapolitan pizza was invented.

Furthermore, the classic Neapolitan pizza has been adapted and changed over time—it can be topped with tomatoes, crushed tomatoes, and oregano. It also has tomato sauce on top instead of being mixed into the dough like other pizzas are today.

This type of pizza is typically cooked on an oven stone at a very high temperature (about 500 degrees Fahrenheit).

See Also: Pizza Dough Recipe Without Yeast

Neapolitan Pizza Dough Recipe


  • Two cups of King Arthur ‘00’ Pizza Flour (232g)
  • ⅛  teaspoon of instant yeast. You can also use active dry yeast
  • ¾  cup (170g) water, lukewarm (105° to 115°F)
  • ½  teaspoon of granulated sugar
  • 1¼ teaspoons of salt

Step 1

Mix your dry ingredients in a medium-sized bowl and add water.

Combine the flour mixture to form a rough but cohesive dough.

Step 2

Cover the bowl with a damp towel and allow it to rise at room temperature for 12 to 24 hours.

Step 3

Place baking steel or stone in the center of your oven, then preheat it to 500°F – 550°F (depending on how high your range goes).

If you’re using parchment paper, make sure your oven rack is positioned at least 8 inches from the broiler—otherwise, the top of your pizza may burn before the bottom is cooked through.

Your oven should be preheated for at least 30 minutes before baking to ensure that the steel or stone has reached its ideal temperature.

Step 4

Transfer the dough to a well-floured work surface.

Divide it into two pieces. And work with one at a time.

Step 5

Stretch and fold the dough, as demonstrated here: grab onto both ends of the kneaded ball of dough and pull one end away from the other. 

Then wrap it around itself, so it is folded over in thirds—like a business letter!

Ensure your hands are floured while repeating the process on all four corners of the dough.

Step 6

After that, turn the ball of dough over, so you have a smooth underside, and use your fingers to gather the dough underneath itself.

Use the same process for the second dough. And place them seam-side down in a floured bowl.

Step 7

While the oven is preheating, cover the bowls and allow the dough to rise for about 45 minutes.

When the weather is cold, place bowls on top of a preheating oven. So it stays warm.

Step 8

Dust a wooden peel with flour, ensuring that the board’s entire surface is well coated.

If you’re using a metal peel for the first time, or if your dough is sticky, place a piece of parchment on it instead of sprinkling it with flour.

Step 9

On a well-floured work surface, use care to shape the risen dough into as round a ball as possible – using a bowl scraper would be helpful here.

If the dough feels sticky, dust it lightly with flour. If it feels dry, use less flour.

Step 10

Press the dough gently with your fingertips without touching its outer edge.

It is crucial to do so, as it results in a yummy bubbly outer crust post-bake.

Step 11

Gently stretch the dough into a 10″ to 12″ circle by lifting it from its work surface with your knuckles and rotating your wrist. If the dough is sticky, add flour as needed (only a little at first).

As you gently move the dough in a circle, it will stretch.

However, if it doesn’t freely, let it sit for about five to ten minutes, allowing the gluten to relax before working on it again.

Step 12

Transfer the dough to the floured peel and make any necessary adjustments.

But if you use parchment, see if you can trim any excess around the dough.

Step 13

Top the dough lightly with sauce and your choice of cheese, then add any additional toppings you like.

Then turn on your oven’s top broiler and place the pie on the preheated steel or stone.

Step 14

The best way to transfer an uncooked pizza from the wooden peel onto steel is to jiggle it back and forth quickly until it moves easily—then do so immediately before any parts of the pie stick.

However, if you are using a pizza peel to transfer the pizza, slide the topped pie and parchment onto it.

Step 15

Bake the pizza for 6 to 7 minutes until it is bubbly and charred around the edges.

Once the pizza is done baking, garnish it with fresh basil leaves —outside the oven.

Step 16

Repeat the rolling and baking process with the remaining dough and toppings.

Read Also: Thin Crust Pizza Dough Recipe

What To Serve With Neapolitan Pizza Dough

Here are five delightful sides to serve with Neapolitan pizza:

1. Caprese Salad

A Caprese salad, made with fresh tomatoes, mozzarella cheese, basil leaves, and a drizzle of balsamic glaze, complements the flavors of Neapolitan pizza beautifully. The fresh, tangy, and creamy elements of the salad enhance the simplicity and freshness of the pizza.

2. Antipasto Platter

An antipasto platter featuring a variety of cured meats, cheeses, olives, marinated vegetables, and artichokes offers a variety of textures and flavors that pair well with the pizza. It adds a touch of sophistication and provides a diverse range of tastes to enjoy alongside the pizza.

3. Garlic Knots

Soft, buttery garlic knots made from pizza dough and coated in garlic butter are a perfect side dish. They are a great way to use extra dough and add a garlicky, savory element that complements the pizza perfectly.

4. Bruschetta

Bruschetta, with its toasted bread topped with a mixture of diced tomatoes, garlic, basil, and olive oil, provides a fresh and zesty bite. This classic Italian appetizer adds a vibrant and flavorful contrast to the rich and cheesy pizza.

5. Minestrone Soup

A hearty bowl of minestrone soup, filled with vegetables, beans, and pasta in a savory broth, is a warm and comforting side dish. It adds a wholesome element to the meal and pairs nicely with the light and crispy pizza crust.

These sides not only enhance the overall dining experience but also provide a delightful variety of flavors and textures to accompany your Neapolitan pizza.

How to Store Neapolitan Pizza Dough

Storing Neapolitan pizza dough properly ensures that it maintains its texture and flavor until you are ready to use it.

Here’s how to store Neapolitan pizza dough:

1. Short-Term Storage (Up to 24 Hours):


  • After the dough has completed its initial rise, divide it into individual portions if you haven’t already.
  • Lightly coat each dough ball with olive oil to prevent it from drying out.
  • Place each dough ball in a separate airtight container or cover it with plastic wrap.
  • Store in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours. Allow the dough to come to room temperature for about 1-2 hours before shaping and baking.

2. Long-Term Storage (Up to 3 Months):


  • After the dough has completed its initial rise, divide it into individual portions if you haven’t already.
  • Lightly coat each dough ball with olive oil to prevent it from drying out.
  • Place each dough ball in a separate freezer bag, ensuring to squeeze out as much air as possible before sealing.
  • Label the bags with the date and type of dough.
  • Store in the freezer for up to 3 months.
  • To use, transfer the dough from the freezer to the refrigerator and let it thaw overnight. Allow it to come to room temperature for about 1-2 hours before shaping and baking.

Tips for Best Results

  • Prevent Sticking: Lightly dust the dough with flour before placing it in storage containers to prevent sticking.
  • Use Quality Containers: Use airtight containers or resealable plastic bags to keep the dough fresh and prevent it from absorbing any odors from the refrigerator or freezer.
  • Monitor Yeast Activity: When storing dough for an extended period, the yeast will continue to ferment slowly. Be mindful of the storage time to prevent over-fermentation, which can impact the dough’s flavor and texture.

By following these storage methods, you can ensure that your Neapolitan pizza dough remains fresh and ready to use, providing you with delicious homemade pizza whenever you desire.

Neapolitan Pizza Dough Recipe

Recipe by Cynthia RobertsCourse: Main CourseCuisine: Italian


Prep time


Cooking time





Neapolitan pizza dough requires minimal ingredients—just flour, water, salt, and yeast—to achieve its classic light and airy texture.


  • 4 cups (500g) Tipo “00” flour or all-purpose flour

  • 1 1/2 cups (350ml) water, room temperature

  • 2 tsp (10g) sea salt

  • 1/2 tsp (1.5g) active dry yeast


  • In a small bowl, dissolve the active dry yeast in a portion of the water. Let it sit for about 5 minutes until frothy.
  • – In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour and sea salt.
    – Add the yeast mixture and the remaining water to the flour mixture.
    – Stir until a rough dough forms.
  • – Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface.
    – Knead by hand for about 10 minutes until the dough becomes smooth and elastic.
    – Alternatively, you can use a stand mixer with a dough hook attachment and knead on medium speed for about 8 minutes.
  • – Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl, covering it with a damp cloth or plastic wrap.
    – Allow it to rise at room temperature for about 2 hours, or until doubled in size.
  • – Punch down the dough to release the air.
    – Divide the dough into 4 equal portions and shape each into a tight ball.
    – Place the dough balls on a baking sheet, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 18-24 hours.
  • -Remove the dough from the refrigerator about 2 hours before baking to allow it to come to room temperature.
    -Preheat your oven to the highest temperature possible (500°F/260°C or higher). If you have a pizza stone, place it in the oven while preheating.
  • -On a lightly floured surface, stretch each dough ball into a 10-12 inch round, leaving a slightly thicker edge for the crust.
    -Avoid using a rolling pin; gently stretch the dough with your hands to preserve the air bubbles.
  • -Transfer the stretched dough to a pizza peel or a parchment paper-lined baking sheet.
    -Add your desired toppings, such as tomato sauce, fresh mozzarella, basil leaves, and a drizzle of olive oil.
  • -Slide the pizza onto the preheated pizza stone or baking sheet.
    -Bake for 8-10 minutes, or until the crust is golden and the cheese is bubbly and slightly charred.
  • Remove the pizza from the oven, let it cool slightly, and serve hot.


  • Using Tipo “00” flour is recommended for an authentic Neapolitan texture, but all-purpose flour can be used if unavailable.

  • For best results, use a pizza stone or a wood-fired oven to achieve the characteristic Neapolitan crust.


In conclusion, one of the best ways you can personalize and customize your crust.

The more water you include, the faster your pizza will cook in the oven.

But the trade-off is that it will be floppy and have a longer rise time, so you’ll need to compensate by topping the pizza with an extra layer of sauce, mozzarella, and another ingredient like vegetables.


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