I’ve had several requests for the Neapolitan pizza crust recipe I use for my farm to fire pizzas, since I began sharing my Pie of the Week journey. So, I’ll share it here!
A couple of background notes…
This recipe is scaled to make four 10″-ish pizzas. You can multiply or divide it to make more or fewer, or larger or smaller pies.
I’ve typically referred to it as a Neapolitan style” crust. Technically, that requires only using a combination of Italian “00” flour and American bread flour, water, salt, and yeast. This is probably more accurately a New Haven style crust, though I make it a bit thinner than that style, so it looks more like a Neapolitan. You do you – there really isn’t any such thing as “wrong” when it comes to homemade pizza!
This is still very much a work in progress! While my crust is better than anything I can find locally, I’m still in the “constantly fiddling to improve it” stage. So no guarantees it’ll stay the same very long.
I’m not going to give shaping and baking instructions here. I’ll probably create a post later showing how I shape and bake. There are just too many ways to do both, which depend a great deal on how you want your pizza to turn out and the oven you’re going to bake it in. But, I generally hand stretch (more so than “toss”) it, and bake it in a Gozney Roccbox at about 960 degrees, for between 90 seconds and 2 minutes, depending on the topping load. Before I got my portable pizza oven, I was baking it on a stone in my home oven, at 550 degrees (as hot as it goes) for about 5 minutes
Chad's Quasi-Neapolitan Pizza Dough
This is the current iteration of my go-to farm to fire pizza dough. While a true Neapolitan pizza dough (by law in Italy) can only contain Italian "00" flour, American bread flour, water, salt, and yeast, mine is a bit more elaborate.
It's probably closer to a New Haven pizza dough, except I make it thinner and bake it hotter for the crispy/creamy cornicone characteristic of a Neapolitan. The rye flour gives a more robust flavor and makes up for the fact that I don't want to spend the time it would take to make sourdough pizza crust. The sugar helps with browning/carmelization that hot baking temperatures provide. The olive oil adds flavor and helps elongate and lubricate the gluten strands so you can stretch the dough a lot without it tearing.
Add all the dry ingredients to a stand mixer bowl, and stir to combine.
Add water and oil, and stir to get mostly combined. Put the bowl in the mixer, attach the dough hook, and mix/knead for 5 minutes on low. (You can also hand-knead for about the same time).
Let sit for 5 minutes.
Mix 4 more minutes on low. Check to see if gluten allows a “baker’s window pane” (you can stretch it thin enough to be translucent, nearly see-through, without tearing). If not, mix it a bit longer (or hand-knead).
Immediately divide into 4 equal portions (preferably by weight)
Make a small puddle of olive oil on the counter.
Form each portion into a ball, then plop the bottom of it into the oil puddle. Place the dough balls on a parchment-covered baking sheet.
Brush the top of each ball with more oil, and loosely cover the sheet with shrink wrap.
Immediately refrigerate for 24-72 hours.
On pizza night, pull the dough ball(s) out of the refrigerator one hour before using. If the rest are remaining in the fridge for a later time, cover the dough ball(s) in use with a clean dish towel. Otherwise keep covered with shrink wrap.