Authentic Neapolitan Pizza Recipe | How To Make The Perfect Neapolitan Pizza

The most authentic, perfect Neapolitan pizza recipe!

This is perhaps the most authentic Neapolitan pizza recipe you will find! What’s more, it’s really easy with just 4 ingredients; flour, water, salt, and yeast.

The Recipe – Authentic Neapolitan Pizza

How To Make The Perfect Neapolitan Pizza

Authentic Neapolitan Pizza

Ingredients

Makes 4 x 10 inch pizzas.

For the dough

With 00 flour (recommended):

  • Flour – 640g
  • Water (room temperature) – 360g
  • Salt (fine) – 14g
  • Yeast (dried) – 0.3g

With Strong white bread flour (decent substitute for 00 flour):

  • Flour – 620g
  • Water (room temperature) – 380g
  • Salt (fine) – 14g
  • Yeast (dried) – 0.3g

For the toppings

  • 300g tin of plum tomatoes
  • Tomato puree (optional) – a tablespoon
  • Salt – sprinkling of table salt or sea salt
  • Pepper – freshly ground black pepper
  • Mozzarella – 2 x 125g bags of fresh Mozzarella balls
  • Parmesan – about 30g
  • Olive Oil – a few glugs
  • Basil – hand full of fresh leaves

Method

For the dough

Tips:

  • This recipe is for a 24 hour prove. I know it sounds like a long time but don’t worry!
  • Simply make the dough the night before you want to make pizza and you will be good to go on the following evening.
  • Don’t worry about exact timings, anywhere around 20-28 hours will be fine.

Neapolitan pizza dough in bowl

  1. Mix all the ingredients into a shaggy mass in a large bowl, starting by adding the water first. You can do this by hand or use a wooden spoon.
  2. Cover the bowl with cling film, a plastic carrier bag, or a damp cloth (if the cloth isn’t damp the dough may dry out).
  3. Leave the dough to rest for around 1 hour (the technical term for this process is the Autolyse).
  4. Turn the dough out onto the counter and knead for around 5 minutes. Feel free to check out my article on kneading here, it’s easy!
  5. Place the dough back into the bowl and cover.
  6. Leave the dough to prove (in one big lump, don’t worry about the shape) for around 20 hours.
  7. Divide the dough into 4 equal parts (250g each) using some kitchen scales and a knife (or dough scraper). Do this about 4 hours before you intend to cook the pizza (after about a 20 hour prove).
  8. Place each dough ball into a small bowl and cover. Alternatively, use a large tupperware container with a lid, or two smaller ones.
  9. Leave the dough balls to prove again for about 4-6 hours.

For the tomato sauce

Tips:

  • Do not skimp on the tomatoes, quality tinned tomatoes are key to this simple sauce.
  • Instead of cooking the sauce, you can thicken it by sieving (after blending) if you prefer.

Sieving tomatoes for Neapolitan pizza

  1. Blend a tin of quality plum tomatoes into a smooth sauce.
  2. Cook the sauce until it reaches the desired thickness (still runny but quite thick).
  3. Add a tablespoon or 2 of tomato puree for a richer, sweeter sauce (optional).
  4. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

For the shaping/cooking

Tips:

  • Shape and cook the pizzas one at a time. If the pizzas are shaped and left to sit before cooking, they may stick to the surface and then rip when moved. Speed is quite important!
  • Removing moisture from fresh mozzarella stops the pizza from becoming soggy, this can be done by breaking it up and wrapping it in kitchen roll 30 minutes before.

Stretching Neapolitan pizza

  1. Ensure that you baking stone/tray is inside your oven.
  2. Get your oven up to temperature. For pizza ovens 420 – 480 degrees Celsius (790 – 900 Fahrenheit). For a regular domestic oven, as hot as it will get (around 260 Celsius or 500 Fahrenheit). An infrared thermometer is useful here for measuring the temperature of the cooking surface.
  3. Dust a dough ball with plenty of flour and remove from the container. Place the dough into a large bowl with a covering of flour in the base of it.
  4. In the bowl, press down from the centre of the dough towards the edges. The idea here is to move the air from the middle of the dough to the outside, where it will form a crust. Be careful not to press the edge of the dough down (the crust), any air removed cannot be regained and you will not end up with a well-risen crust.
  5. Keep turning the dough as you work the air towards the edges. You should start forming a small pizza shape at this stage.
  6. Turn the dough over and repeat this process in the bowl, on the other side.
  7. Remove from the bowl and place on the counter, ensuring the base of the dough is coated with plenty of flour, .
  8. Stretch the dough – remembering not to touch the edge of the dough (the crust), hold the dough down with your right hand, and with the other gently stretch the dough outwards.
  9. Repeat the stretch – keep turning the dough and repeating this until you have a base which is about 9 to 10 inches in diameter. You can usually go thinner than you think so don’t worry too much about the dough ripping.
  10. Top the base with around 2 soup spoons (dessert spoons) of tomato sauce and spread gently across the pizza and up to the edges (just before the crusts). Be careful not to press down as you spread or you may make the dough stick to the counter.
  11. Spread about a handful of Mozzarella (half of a 125g packet) evenly across the pizza, and you are ready to cook! (We will add the parmesan, basil, and olive oil after cooking.)
  12. Slide the pizza onto a peel, or chopping board if you don’t have a peel.
  13. Load straight onto baking stone/tray inside oven.
  14. For a pizza oven, cook for around 60 – 90 seconds and turn every 20 – 30 seconds as required. For a regular domestic oven, cook for around 6 – 8 minutes, turning about every 2 – 3 minutes as required.
  15. Remove the pizza from the oven (preferably with a peel) and place on a chopping board or a plate.
  16. Grate parmesan on top and add some torn basil. Finish with a drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkling of black pepper.
  17. Let the pizza cool a little and tuck in!

Notes

  • 0.3g of yeast may seem like a small amount, and it is. Most recipies you see online will probably call for around 7g of yeast, but that’s for a quick prove of just a couple of hours or so. For a 24 hour prove, we only need 0.3g of yeast, which will produce a much nicer dough.

  • To measure the yeast I recommend getting some inexpensive scales with an accuracy of 0.01g like the ones I have below:
Yeast on scales for Authentic Neapolitan pizza

You can pick up some scales like these cheap online

  • I only use these scales for weighing the yeast. I use normal digital scales for weighing the other ingredients.

  • If you don’t have some accurate scales though, don’t worry. I’ve taken a picture of 0.3g of yeast on a regular teaspoon so you can see what it looks like:

Yeast for Authentic Neapolitan pizza on a teaspoon

This is what 0.3g of yeast looks like on a teaspoon

Keep reading for more detailed explanations of the techniques used in this recipe.

The finished Authentic Neapolitan pizza

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What is authentic Neapolitan pizza?

Authentic Neapolitan pizza originates from the birthplace of pizza, Naples. It involves traditional methods and ingredients that have been largely forgotten for quite a while.

Authentic Neapolitan pizza originated in Naples, Italy
A pizza from Naples, Italy

American style pizza has mostly taken over Italian pizza with takeaways across the world. But fortunately, the traditional Italian pizzas are making a resurgence.

That’s not to say that American style pizzas can’t be nice because they can. But for me, and many more people like me, nothing comes close to an authentic Italian Neapolitan pizza.

What makes Neapolitan pizza different?

The key characteristics of a perfect Neapolitan pizza are a super thin base with a crispy but light and airy crust.

The thin base and light airy crust of Authentic Neapolitan pizza
The thin base and light airy crust of Authentic Neapolitan pizza

The base is typically topped with a tomato sauce and mozzarella cheese, as well as many other topping combinations.

The other main characteristic of an authentic Neapolitan pizza, the true classic, is that it’s wood fired. This means that it’s cooked in a traditional pizza oven that uses wood as fuel.

A traditional Neapolitan brick pizza oven
A traditional Neapolitan brick pizza oven

The flames lick over the pizza as it’s cooking, providing a slightly smoky taste, not unlike barbecuing or smoking meat. What’s more, the extreme heat produced allows for oven temperatures of up to 500 degrees Celsius (over 900 degrees Fahrenheit)!

To find out more about exactly what wood fired ovens are all about , check out my article on wood fired pizza here.

This extreme heat allows for exceptional rise in crust, allowing for a crispy yet light and soft pizza at the same time! It really is pizza heaven!

But aren’t pizza ovens expensive and impractical?

Well, yes and no. A traditional brick wood fired oven is very large and heavy, and expensive to buy or construct. So in that sense they probably are impractical for most people.

However, there are many affordable and compact pizza ovens on the market these days. My favourites are the excellent range of pizza ovens made by a company called Ooni.

Cooking Neapolitan pizza in wood fired oven
One of my pizzas cooking in my Ooni pizza oven

They are small, portable, and reasonably priced. What’s more, they make amazing pizza! They reach temperatures of 500C/900F and cook Neapolitan style pizzas in under 90 seconds!

They have both gas and solid fuel options depending on your preference. I own one that runs off wood pellets, which I absolutely love. Though it can be more time consuming managing the fire, which is why many people prefer the gas ones.

Authentic Neapolitan Pizza
A pizza made in my Ooni pizza oven, heaven!

Excellent pizzas can still be made in a regular oven but in my view they can’t match a pizza made in a pizza oven!

The only downside is that you’ll want to eat lots of pizza!

By clicking any of the Ooni links and purchasing from Ooni, you would be supporting this website. I’ve been using their ovens for a long time now and I wouldn’t recommend them if I didn’t believe in their products.

What makes a Neapolitan pizza?

Now you know what a Neapolitan pizza is, but what actually makes the pizza? What really makes this style of pizza better than other pizza? Isn’t pizza just pizza!

Well…No! It isn’t!

For me, the key is that it’s made with quality ingredients, time tested methods, artisan techniques, but most of all, it’s the fact that it’s made with love! When you make Neapolitan pizza, the perfect Neapolitan pizza, you make it with a passion!

A pizza made, with love, by me!
A pizza made, with love, by me!

It’s not just pizza, it’s a taste and texture sensation that’s amongst the most rewarding food in the world to make and eat.

Is Neapolitan pizza thin crust?

In a word, no. The pizza you are probably thinking of is a Romana pizza.

Neapolitan pizza has a thin base with a large, well-risen crust. The thin base is extremely important as it allows the base to become crispy without the pizza becoming too crispy and dry.

However, Neapolitan pizza has a thick crust, and is not to be confused with the very crispy and thin crust Romana pizza.

What is the difference between Neapolitan style pizza and Roman style pizza?

Both styles of pizza are renowned for their excellence. A Romana pizza appeals to those like a really crispy crust and a Neapolitan pizza appeals to those that like a crispy crust that is soft in the middle.

Romana style vs Neapolitan style pizza
Romana style vs Neapolitan style pizza

For me, the Neapolitan pizza is the best as you get the really thin base with a crispy crust, but with the added benefit of a soft, baguette-like interior to the crust.

Is Neapolitan pizza healthy?

Whilst Neapolitan pizza is not necessarily a healthy meal, in comparison to a takeaway pizza, it is a much more nutritious mealCheck out my article here about this to find out how healthy Neapolitan pizza really is.

For instance, unlike the American style pizza, Neapolitan pizza dough does not contain sugar or oil. In an American style pizza, the sugar and oil is used to encourage browning on the crust, since the pizza is cooked at a much lower temperature.

Neapolitan pizzas are made with quality ingredients
Neapolitan pizzas are made with quality ingredients

An authentic Neapolitan pizza dough, on the other hand,  is made with just 4 ingredients! Flour, water, salt, and yeast.

What’s more, the simple yet perfect Neapolitan pizza sauce doesn’t contain any added sugar. It contains just tomatoes, salt, and pepper. Whilst this may not sound that exciting, only the best tomatoes are used to produce a wonderfully bright and fresh sauce.

Tomatoes being sieved for a Neapolitan pizza
Tomatoes being sieved for a Neapolitan pizza

Also, a Neapolitan pizza has much less toppings on. One of the reasons why an American style pizza is thicker is so that it can support the extra weight of the toppings.

Since the base is so thin on a Neapolitan pizza, a much more modest amount of toppings are required. In addition, the quality of the dough in a Neapolitan pizza is allowed to shine. Ensuring that the toppings do not overpower the taste of the dough is a key part of the perfect Neapolitan pizza.

For some great healthy topping ideas, check out my article on authentic Neapolitan pizza toppings here.

For more information on the healthiness of Neapolitan pizza, and a breakdown of the calories, check out my in-depth article here.

Does authentic Italian pizza have cheese?

Most authentic Italian pizzas are typically topped with some form of cheese. The most common cheese is Mozzarella, closely followed by Parmesan. In fact, the two are often used together.

Fresh mozzarella - a key ingredient of Neapolitan pizza
Fresh mozzarella – a key ingredient of Neapolitan pizza

Only good quality, fresh cheese is used, which is typically much more tasty and nutritious when compared to the cheese used on American style takeaway pizzas.

Parmesan is also available at the vast majority of supermarkets. Parmesan or Parmigiano Reggiano, to give it it’s real name, usually comes in a little packet in the shape of a wedge.

Fortunately, delicious mozzarella is readily available at most supermarkets. Mozzarella often comes in a bag with a brine solution to keep it fresh.

How do you make Neapolitan pizza dough from scratch?

First the dough is made, and often mixed by hand. Then the dough is proved for around 24 hours. Yes, I know this sounds like a long time but it makes for a much tastier dough with an improved texture.

Authentic Neapolitan pizza dough
For more details on hand mixing and kneading techniques, check out my Neapolitan pizza from scratch series here

Then the dough is balled, before being shaped into a pizza, topped, and then loaded into the oven.

I’ve been working on a Neapolitan pizza from scratch series which features videos. Feel free to check it out here if you like learning by watching.

Neapolitan pizza with instant yeast

As with any great pizza, or bread for that matter, the magic ingredient is yeast! There really is no substitute for yeast, it makes the pizza rise and gives it lovely light and airy crust.

The good news is the yeast is really easy to get hold of, in the form of instant yeast. This is a dried yeast which is readily available at most supermarkets.

Neapolitan pizza with instant yeast
A small tub of instant yeast form the supermarket – perfect for pizza!

Fortunately, instant dried yeast is really east to work with and lasts for many months in a cool cupboard or the fridge.

How long does it take to cook a Neapolitan pizza?

For the perfect authentic Neapolitan pizza, which is cooked in a wood fired oven, the cooking takes just 90 seconds! This is due to the extreme temperatures inside a wood fired oven, which reach up to 500 degrees Celsius (900 degrees Fahrenheit)!

Pizza cooking in a portable pizza oven
Pizza cooking in an Ooni – a portable pizza oven

However, Neapolitan style pizza can also be made in a home oven. It is important to get the oven and baking tray/baking stone as hot as possible before loading the pizza. In a home oven, a Neapolitan style pizza can still take as little as 6 minutes.

For more information on cooking in a normal domestic oven, check out my article here.

Here's an authentic Neapolitan pizza I made with this recipe!
Here’s an authentic Neapolitan pizza I made with this recipe!

Note: For authentic Neapolitan topping ideas, check out my article here.

How do you eat Neapolitan pizza?

Should an Authentic Neapolitan pizza be eaten with a knife and fork or by hand?

This is a maybe pointless (excuse the pun) debate, but it is hotly (do not excuse the pun this time) contested.

Neapolitan pizza slice

In truth, this will largely depend on the particular setting, and how posh it is. But for the most part, you can eat your pizza with your hands without worrying. And this is definitely my favourite way of eating pizza!

In many restaurants, pizza is served unsliced, with a knife and fork. This is generally done to save time slicing the pizza. In which case you can cut the pizza into slices yourself and then eat it with your hands.

If the pizza is served with a pizza slicer then I think it’s definitely safe to assume that the pizza is expected to be eaten with the hands.

Many Italians prefer to eat pizza, when it is served as a meal, with a knife and fork. However, many italians also prefer cutting it into slices and then eating it.

Neapolitan pizza in a posh restaurant
Pizza in a posh restaurant

I would just do whatever you feel comfortable with. If you are in a very posh restaurant you may want to eat it with the knife and fork (or you may just not care).

You could always ask the waiter to slice your pizza for you when you order it and gauge the reaction. Many restaurants are happy to slice the pizza before serving it if requested.

Are you supposed to fold pizza?

This is another controversial question for many people! Should a pizza slice be folded or not?!

In truth, it is a widely accepted and popular way of eating Neapolitan pizza. Because authentic Neapolitan pizza is very thin and a bit floppy, it folds very easily.

Me folding an authentic homemade Neapolitan pizza!
Me folding an authentic homemade Neapolitan pizza!

In fact, if a slice of Neapolitan pizza isn’t folded it can be quite difficult to eat by hand. Folding it is also my favourite way of eating pizza.

Final thoughts on making the perfect Neapolitan pizza…

Making delicious authentic Neapolitan pizza is not easy! However, it is an incredible taste and texture experience. What’s more the whole process is really fun so just enjoy the journey!

Tom Rothwell from My Pizza Corner eating homemade pizza

About Me

I’m Tom Rothwell and I’m super passionate about all kinds of homemade pizza! In the last few years I've been on a quest to find the perfect pizza. Now I'm sharing what I've found out with the world!

Tom Rothwell's Ooni pizza oven

My Pizza Oven

I often get asked what type of oven I use for my pizzas. Well, I use a portable pizza oven made by Ooni.

Feel free to click here to check out the Ooni US Site or click here to check out the Ooni UK Site.

In all honesty, I would say that the oven makes a huge difference. If you're looking to make authentic Italian pizza, a pizza oven is a must.

Pizza cooked in Ooni pizza oven

By clicking the link below and purchasing from Ooni, you would be supporting this website. I've been using their ovens for a long time now and I wouldn't recommend them if I didn't believe in their products.

Time to make some amazing pizza!

Comments
  1. Avatar for Dean Dean says:

    Should the dough be left to prove in the fridge or at room temperature? (20 hours at room temperature sounds…risky)

    1. Avatar for Tom Rothwell Tom Rothwell says:

      Thanks for the question Dean and yep, 20 hours at room temperature is correct (we are only using 0.3g dried yeast). You can prove in the fridge if you prefer but you’ll need almost 10 times the amount of yeast, so about 3g or just less.

      I’m going to write an article soon about a pizza app that I use for adjusting yeast. I have mentioned the app and explained it a little at the bottom of my no knead dough recipe here: https://mypizzacorner.com/pizza-dough/easy-no-knead-neapolitan-pizza-dough/

      1. Avatar for Elie Elie says:

        Why do you use bread flour in the linked recipe instead of 00 flour?
        Isn’t 00 always better?

        1. Avatar for Tom Rothwell Tom Rothwell says:

          Hi Elie, I included Strong White Bread Flour as a decent substitute to 00 flour. It’s easier to get hold of so I know everyone can make the recipe.

          But yes you are right, 00 flour is generally better for Neapolitan style pizza. Because it is more finely milled, a better texture can usually be achieved. But the protein content of both flours is very similar, which is why Strong White Bread Flour makes a decent substitute.

          It is also worth mentioning that even the same types of flour vary massively. It’s possible you could get a 00 flour that makes poor pizza and a bread flour that makes great pizza.

          Where possible, I recommend getting a good quality Italian 00 pizza flour. It may be a little more expensive but it will offer more potential. By sticking with the same flour you will then be able to perfect your pizzas much easier.

          When bread flour is used I recommend a slightly higher hydration, which is why the recipe I have included for it is slightly different.

          Hope this answers your question!

  2. Avatar for Tyler Tyler says:

    Tom,
    Thanks for all the details. Would you use warmer water when working with shorter proving times? I’ve seen other recipes where instant dry yeast is mixed with warm water prior to adding in with salt flour mixture. I’ve also been warned that salt can have adverse effects on yeast if it is not fully activated when mixing. Any thoughts?

    1. Avatar for Tom Rothwell Tom Rothwell says:

      Hi Tyler, thanks for the questions. You can use room temperature water but I wouldn’t recommend using warm water. If the water is too warm it can kill the yeast.

      Also, if you have active dried yeast then yes, it will need to be activated first. Simply stir it into some room temperature water and leave it for 5-10 minutes.

      If you have instant dried yeast then you can add that straight to your flour without the need to activate first. And I wouldn’t worry about the salt. As long as you don’t mix it directly with the yeast, you will be fine. Cheers

  3. Avatar for Neha Neha says:

    Hi.. I tried cooking on 500F in conventional oven onw lower rack, top was nicely done in 7 mins but bottom was not completely done.
    Next one I broiled for 3 mins on top rack and top was very nicely done but same with bottom, not fully cooked even after cooking further on 500F on lower rack for 2 mins. Any suggestions?

    1. Avatar for Tom Rothwell Tom Rothwell says:

      Hi Neha, it sounds like your baking tray wasn’t hot enough. Make sure to preheat your tray for at least 30 minutes. Also, consider using a baking stone as this will help with the cooking of the bottom of the pizza. But again, be sure to preheat your stone for at least 30 minutes. Good luck!

      1. Avatar for Samuel Newell Samuel Newell says:

        I usually cook my pizza’s in a hot frying pan first and then slap it under the grill/broiler to finish it off.

        Giving this dough recipe a whirl tonight, looking lovely already though.

        Am I able to freeze the two spare balls I have?

        1. Avatar for Tom Rothwell Tom Rothwell says:

          Hi Samuel, I haven’t actually freezed any dough myself as I enjoy making it fresh. If I have any leftover dough I usually ball it up again and put it in the fridge to use the next day.

          Feel free to experiment with freezing though, I hear some people have had decent results with it.

          1. Avatar for Sam Newell Sam Newell says:

            Oh fair, I’ll let you know how I get on with the frozen batch. The two that didn’t go in the freezer turned out ace though, best recipe I’ve found so far!

          2. Avatar for Tom Rothwell Tom Rothwell says:

            Awesome! I’m glad they turned out well!

  4. Avatar for Roberto Roberto says:

    Hi Tom , how much yeast do I need to make more pizzas (like 12-16 )?

    1. Avatar for Tom Rothwell Tom Rothwell says:

      Hi Roberto. You can simply multiply all the ingredients by 4 to make 16 pizzas. So you will need 1.2g of yeast. I’m planning an article on doing pizza parties as they’re not easy! Good luck!

  5. Avatar for Swapna Swapna says:

    Hi Tom, greetings from India! I made the pizza using your recipe and it turned out much better than all the others that I tried BUT with one issue. The crown is harder than I would like it to be. Can I add a little oil while making the dough? I’m planning to make another batch today and would appreciate a quick response. Thanks in advance, Mrs Swapna Thomas

    1. Avatar for Tom Rothwell Tom Rothwell says:

      Hi Swapna, I got back to you as quick as I could. If you find your dough is drying out when you are proving then you can try spreading a little oil over the dough. Although the issue may be that your container is not airtight. But by all means try a little oil. Thanks for the question. Tom

  6. Avatar for Tyler P Tyler P says:

    Hey Tom,
    Thanks for all your info. Unfortunately I don’t have a pizza oven, so I was wondering: after preheating the stone at the highest bake setting (500f) for 30 min or more, would you ever recommend switching to BROIL on high at any point?

    1. Avatar for Tom Rothwell Tom Rothwell says:

      Hi Tyler. I have not experimented with the broil (I think this is what we call grill in the UK) setting actually. But I did make a lot of pizzas in the oven before buying a pizza oven. I had excellent results just using the oven and never using broil.

      I had both top and bottom elements turned on as well as the fan. I also placed the baking stone on the top shelf so it was close to the top element. This ensures excellent heat distribution and retention and is closer to the way bread would be baked. Being close to the top of the oven provides some direct heat from the top element (and gets a better cook on top). It also allows the pizza to cook in the steam that builds at the top of the oven to help with the rise of the crust. I think that since we are cooking at lower temperatures, it makes more sense to cook the pizza like you would bread.

      Of course, all ovens are different and you may find yours makes excellent pizzas on broil. It may be worth experimenting with broil if your oven allows the use of this setting with the door shut, I know some don’t. Broiling with the door open would probably not be good as the stone/tray would lose heat quickly.

      Personally, I would just work on getting your pizzas as good as possible on oven setting at highest heat, preheated, with fan on, and with stone near top of oven. Once you have this down then it may be worth experimenting with broil.

      Good luck!

  7. Avatar for Khushi Khushi says:

    Hi Tom,
    As you advised proofing at room temperature for 24 hrs, would it be the same given the weather in India..Won’t the dough get spoiled ?

    1. Avatar for Tom Rothwell Tom Rothwell says:

      Hi Khushi, I assumed a room temperature of around 20C/70F. If your room temperature is much higher than this then you will need to use less yeast, and vice versa. There is a mobile app I like to use called PizzApp+ which helps with yeast quantities for different room temperatures, amongst other things. I plan to write an article on this soon but I did write a small section on it at the bottom of my Easy No Knead recipe which you can check out here.

      Thanks for the question and good luck! It’s cold at the moment here in the UK!

  8. Avatar for Nadine Nadine says:

    Hi Tom, I just wanted to say thank you for the great step by step instructions, including the very useful photos of the amount of yeast to be used when you don’t have the appropriate kitchen scales and clarifying that the 20-hour prove is done at room temperature and not in the fridge. The dough turned out perfectly, stretched nicely and had a well-risen and fluffy crust after cooking in my pizza oven! I will definitely be using your recipe and methodology from now on. Thank you.

    1. Avatar for Tom Rothwell Tom Rothwell says:

      Hi Nadine, thanks a lot for the encouraging comments! It’s great to know that people are finding my advice useful. Keep up with the lovely pizzas and stay tuned for more content!

  9. Avatar for Amel Amel says:

    Hi Tom,
    I’ve tried you pizza last week and honestly it’s was very good
    I just didn’t leave it to rest enough but this week I’m making it again and made sure it rest 20h+
    Just 1 question when coked I noticed the crust was good cooked but the base was still a bit uncooked despite making it thin
    Any suggestions?
    Thank you for the help!!!

    1. Avatar for Tom Rothwell Tom Rothwell says:

      Hi Amel, I’m glad it worked out well for you! It sounds like your oven isn’t hot enough. If you have a pizza oven try to get the centre of the stone up to around 450C/850F. If you are using a normal oven, be sure to preheat your pizza stone/baking tray for at least 30 minutes with the oven on full heat (and fan turned on if it has one).

      Good luck!

  10. Avatar for Tim Brittain Tim Brittain says:

    Hi Tom. Excellent article. I have just purchased an ooni koda gas pizza oven. Would you suggest any adjustments of your ingredient ratios, water temp, or prove time above for the ooni? I plan to try your suggestions as is for now.
    Thanks,
    Tim

    1. Avatar for Tom Rothwell Tom Rothwell says:

      Hi Tim, thank you for the positive feedback.

      This recipe is perfect for the Ooni, that’s what I use! They are excellent little pizza ovens.

      Also, be sure to check out my pizza school series here. I go through every stage of the pizza making process, with videos too. The first part is on mixing, then I go into kneading and I’ll be bringing out the part on shaping soon.

      Good luck!

  11. Avatar for James Hilton James Hilton says:

    Wow! I’ve just had my first go making pizza with this recipe (photos at https://imgur.com/gallery/OLDtNzk). It was delicious!

    As I don’t have a pizza stone I used my cast iron tawa and got it as hot as I could on the gas stove before sliding the dough into it, topping it then putting it as close to the grill as possible for a few minutes.

    This is a great website – thanks for all your hard work!

    1. Avatar for Tom Rothwell Tom Rothwell says:

      Hi James, I’m glad you’re finding the information useful. I have to say those pizzas are an excellent first attempt!

      Keep up the great pizzas! Cheers

  12. Avatar for Joe Laken Joe Laken says:

    Hi Tom!
    This is a great website and I am going to make this dough tonight. However, if other plans come up tomorrow night, can I refrigerate the dough after the 20 hour prove and then take out the second day, and let prove for the final 4 hours the second day? Also, have you froze your dough? I would assume I would take out of freezer, put in fridge to defrost, then do another 4 hours at room temperature.
    Thanks,
    Joe

    1. Avatar for Tom Rothwell Tom Rothwell says:

      Hi Joe, thanks for the kind words. Yes you can refrigerate your dough but it will still prove in the fridge, albeit much slower. In general, I would recommend proving the dough in the fridge first before removing say 12 hours before cooking and allowing the rest of the proving to take place out of the fridge.

      I can highly recommend an app called PizzApp+ which will help you with cold prove times. To be honest, I have never tried freezing dough but I’m sure it can be done. I quite like making the dough fresh everytime but if you try freezing it let me know how you get on.

      Good luck! Cheers

  13. Avatar for Weronika Weronika says:

    Hey! Great recipe. One question though! I was using a normal oven and do not own a pizza stone so just preheated baking tray. My pizza dough got a bit too hard and more crispy than I’d like for neapolitan pizza… the middle did not bother me as I used quite watery mozarella so it kind of balanced out but the crown was hard to cut… still delicious! But maybe you’d have any tips for fixing that?

    1. Avatar for Tom Rothwell Tom Rothwell says:

      Hi Weronika, I’m glad you like the recipe. Unfortunately, true Neapolitan pizza isn’t possible in a normal oven. The oven doesn’t get hot enough and means the pizza takes longer to cook. The result will alsways be a pizza with a crispier base than is traditional for a Neapolitan pizza. But, you can still make amazing pizzas in a normal oven!

      It sounds like your pizza may have been left in the oven a little too long. I would recommend removing all the moisture from the mozzarella (using paper towels) before cooking. Watery mozzarella will leaad to soggy pizza dough on top. This means that you are forced to cook the pizza for longer, which makes the base overly crispy.

      Be sure to preheat your oven to it’s highest temperature, dry the mozzarella, and stretch the pizza as thin as possible. This should enable to you to cook the pizza fairly quickly (about 6 minutes) which should lead to a softer pizza.

      Good luck!

  14. Avatar for Jules Jules says:

    Hello Tom,
    This is my first time making napolitana pizza.
    Unfortunately my scale doesn’t read 0.3 for the active yeast. So I will be proofing in the fridge at 3g of active dry yeast.
    Can you let me know the steps after proofing in the fridge for 20 hours? As the dough usually hardens. Or shall I just measure and proof the 4 hours?

    Thanks!

    1. Avatar for Tom Rothwell Tom Rothwell says:

      Hi Jules, thanks for the question. You can use 3g of yeast and prove in the fridge for around 20 hours, that should be fine. I would then recommend resting the dough out of the fridge for a couple of hours to get to room temperature. Then ball the dough and prove for 4-6 hours as normal, before making the pizzas.

      Feel free to check out my latest Neapolitan pizza school series, which has videos. The most important parts for you are probably kneading the dough, balling the dough, preparing the toppings, and stretching the pizza. But I go over every stage in detail.

      Good luck!

  15. Avatar for Carlos Carlos says:

    Tom this is one of the most helpful guides I’ve found, thank you so much. I also use PizzApp.

    Hydration: Is it correct you are using only 56% hydration? For Neapolitan VPN Pizza I usually see everyone doing 60-65% hydration…

    ADY Autolyse: What is the process when using activated dry yeast, because I have to hydrate it first. I can’t just mix everything together like the recipe says with IDY.

    Do I let the flour/water autolyse without ADY, and then add the hydrated ADY after 1 hour? Or, add hydrated ADY in the beginning? I will hydrate my ADY with a small amount of heated water (5x the weight of the ADY) at 38C for 10 minutes.

    1. Avatar for Tom Rothwell Tom Rothwell says:

      Hi Carlos, yes 56% hydration is correct for this recipe. True Neapolitan pizza with Neapolitan 00 flour is generally at around 60%.

      I think many people try to run before they can walk. They often make a high hydration dough which is difficult to knead and difficult to shape. Then they end up with a weak and sticky dough that they struggle to stretch out. The resulting pizza is then thick and doughy, and probably undercooked. I have found this out through my own experience too!

      In my opinion it is better to start out with a dry dough that is easy to work with. You will end up with a much better dough that is easy to stretch. Getting the strecthing right can be very difficult. But with a strong dough, beginners should be able to learn how to shape a nice pizza in a relatively short amount of time.

      I wouldn’t start experimenting with higher hydration until you can shape a lower hydration pizza perfectly. But even then, I think the hydration makes much less difference than people think. A properly proved dough is more important than a higher hydration.

      For the active dry yeast you can just add it to the water at the start and let it rest for 10-15 minutes. Room temperature water is fine. I wouldn’t recommend heating the water since if it’s too hot it can kill the yeast.

      Thanks for the questions and good luck!

  16. Avatar for DAVID WILLIAMS DAVID WILLIAMS says:

    Dear Tom,

    Thank you for your wonderful website. It is by far the best pizza teaching site on the internet ! I have just bought an Ooni koda 16 and have now tried seven different dough recipes. Your recipe has been by far the best. I would be really grateful if you could answer a few questions for me ?

    1. The six previous recipes I tried all had oil in them. Your recipe is true Neapolitan and omitted oil. I understand that with these portable ovens there is the constant risk of burnt crusts and undercooked bases because the pizza sits so close to the flames. Though your dough recipe was the tastiest we have tried I did find that the edges would burn more easily than the others. My conclusion was that the thin skin of the extra air bubbles in the crust would burn very quickly. I have learnt to get the Ooni hot on high for forty mins then turn to low for the cook and regularly rotate but how can I reduce the burn ? Shall I knock more air out of the edges, make a smaller pizza…..?

    2. Nostalgia aside, the best pizza I have eaten was in Florence in the nineties. Thin crust with massive crisp bubbles and a chewy texture. Short of ringing the joint up conclude that it was made in a large wood fired oven and was made with a sourdough as the pizzas crusts were very brown in colour. Have you done a sourdough comparison ?

    Thank you,
    David

    1. Avatar for Tom Rothwell Tom Rothwell says:

      Hi David, thank you so much for the kind words! I’m more than happy to answer your questions.

      1. How often are you turning the pizza? I wouldn’t advise turning the oven down unless the stone is getting above 470C/875F. I can highly recommend a turning peel, they make the turning easier and quicker. I would suggest timing the pizza as soon as it is loaded. Try turning after 20 seconds and then every 15 seconds. Hopefully, this should avoid the crusts from burning. With experience you should be able to figure out how often you need to turn for your oven/pizza and how long it will take. Obviously monitoring the pizza visually is the main indication.

      There shouldn’t be any reason why it’s burning more since as you mentioned it doesn’t have oil. It could just be, as you suggested, that the dough has been properly proofed and the expansion is what is making it more likely to burn. You can experiment with thinner crusts if you like. Don’t try to remove any air from the crusts, simply make them thinner. What you are actually doing is trying to stretch the pizza larger, this means the crusts have to be smaller. Have you seen my video on shaping? You can check it out here if you missed it.

      2. I have made sourdough pizza and it is delicious! I’m planning on doing a series on it at some point. It does take quite a lot of work though and I think beginners are definitely better off with normal dough or poolish pizza. If you stick to this recipe and just keep perfecting it, you will eventually end up with incredible pizza. Possibly even as good or better than the one in Florence! I have also had an incredible pizza in Florence actually! It is a beautiful place.

      Thanks for the questions and good luck!

      1. Avatar for DAVID WILLIAMS DAVID WILLIAMS says:

        Hi Tom,

        Many thanks for taking the time to reply. Well done for a great website and for inspiring a new tradition in our family!

  17. Avatar for Elie Elie says:

    I made the dough with 2% fresh yeast and did it within a few hours since I wanted something right away (In a bread baker’s mind, a few hours is right away). This came out fantastic. The dough was fluffier and softer than it would have been had it risen in the fridge, but that’s a sacrifice I was willing to make.
    One thing I would request is that you add the amounts of yeast for fresh/ADY/instant so that we can use the same calculations as you would recommend. I usually use 2% fresh if I want it right away but I wouldn’t know how much to put in for an overnight rise.

    1. Avatar for Tom Rothwell Tom Rothwell says:

      Hi Elie, I’m glad the dough worked out well for you!

      I just use instant and active dry yeast quantities interchangeably, their prove times are very similar.

      For fresh yeast I just double the quantity, which works out well. So for this recipe I’d use 0.6g fresh yeast.

      Hopefully that helped. Good luck!

  18. Avatar for Jessica Griffiths Jessica Griffiths says:

    Thanks Tom, very helpful and actually reasonably forgiving recipe, I over yeasted and under prooved but was still a great first result in an ooni.

    1. Avatar for Tom Rothwell Tom Rothwell says:

      Well done Jessica. Keep going and you’ll keep getting better!

  19. Avatar for Aaron Aaron says:

    I am going to try the Neapolitan dough tonight. When it proofs for 24 hours is it done in the fridge? Can you cut the dough into balls and let it proof for 24 hours or so and then use it immediately? Do you need to cut it 4-6 hours before you use it into the balls? I was using 2 teaspoons of yeast in my prior recipe for 500 grams of 00 flour with a one hour proof period. this is a huge reduction 🙂

    1. Avatar for Tom Rothwell Tom Rothwell says:

      Hi Aaron, the dough should be proofed out of the fridge, at room temperature.

      This is a huge reduction in yeast compared to a fast prove but you should notice a nicer dough with more flavour. The dough should also be much more forgiving to work with.

      You do need to bulk prove first though before balling. You need to leave the balling until the last 4-6 hours. If you ball too early the dough balls will lose their strength and won’t stretch out well.

      Once balled, the dough will lose some air which is why it will need to prove again for 4-6 hours.

      Hope this answers your questions. Good luck!

  20. Avatar for Aaron Polatsek Aaron Polatsek says:

    Tom,

    I made the pizzas and they were excellent. The way you explain on your videos really helped me and they came out amazing. I have been experimenting different recipes with my new ooni and this is by far the best.

    I have a few questions.

    The recipe is for 10” dough. If I wanted to make 14” dough would I double the recipe? I have used 1kg of flour for (4) 14” pizzas in the past.
    Is there a way to get around the shaping the dough balls 4 hours before since it is hard to be able to do it during the day sometimes.
    The only issue that I have is that I need to always plan ahead. If I decided I wanted to make pizza spontaneously would I be able to tweak the yeast ratio to make it work?

    Thank you very much.

    Aaron.

    1. Avatar for Tom Rothwell Tom Rothwell says:

      Hi Aaron, I’m glad your pizzas turned out well. And thanks for the good questions.

      You are right in thinking that you should double the recipe for 14 inch pizzas, since they are about twice the size.

      If you decide to make the pizzas spontaneously, you could increase the yeast to go for a shorter prove. You will lose some flavour though on a shorter prove, but of course it may be more practical.

      Should you decide to go for a shorter prove, I would use about 10 times as much yeast and go for a 4-6 hour prove. With this short a prove you can skip the bulk prove, and go straight to balling the dough after kneading.

      You will then need to watch the dough closely to try and judge when it will be ready to shape. The other problem is that because the dough is proving quickly, you will need to make the pizzas very quickly. If you take too long once the dough is proved, the last pizza will be over proved when you come to shaping it.

      This is one of the other advantages of a longer prove, the dough is more forgiving.

      One of the best apps I’ve found is called PizzApp+ which should help you with your timings.

      Good luck!

  21. Avatar for Flavia Flavia says:

    Hi Tom,
    I understand that the bakers percentage rule concerning the yeast must only apply for a quick day prove? So how do you calculate how much dry yeast to use for a 24hour prove using varying flour amounts?

    1. Avatar for Tom Rothwell Tom Rothwell says:

      Hi Flavia, the baker’s percentage rule applies to any length of prove, including 24 hour proves and more.

      I use an app called PizzApp+ which is really handy. You can input your dough quantities with hydration and salt percentage. Then select the prove time and proving temperature.

      The app will then tell you how much yeast to use (you can even select different types of yeast) along with all your other ingredients too.

      It really is a great app.

      But as a rule of thumb, for a 24 hour prove at room temperature, using instant yeast, I use 0.05% which equates to around 0.3g for 4 pizzas.

      If you wanted to make 8 pizzas, you could just double all the ingredients, including the yeast. So you’d need 0.6g yeast.

      For 6 pizzas, you’d need 0.45g yeast.

      Hope this helps and good luck!

      1. Avatar for Flavia Flavia says:

        Hi Tom,
        Thanks for your reply and for your great website. The pizzas turned out great!

        1. Avatar for Tom Rothwell Tom Rothwell says:

          Hi Flavia, no problem! I’m pleased the pizzas turned out so well. Keep going!

  22. Avatar for Tim Tim says:

    The dough recipe is working perfectly for me in my Ooni 16.

    Might have missed this but can I store the dough at any point for a longer period of time so when we want pizza we don’t have to plan for it 24 hours in advance?

    1. Avatar for Tom Rothwell Tom Rothwell says:

      Hi Tim, I’m glad you’re finding the recipe is working well for you. I love the Ooni pizza ovens too!

      You could store the dough in the fridge and it should be fine for the next day but I wouldn’t leave it any longer than this.

      In general, it’s always better to make fresh dough 24 hours in advance. But you can still make nice dough with a 6-12 hour prove, though 24 hours is usually better.

      Thanks for the question!

  23. Avatar for Tim Tim says:

    I’ve made this dough a few times and it has saved me from the sticky peel problem.

    Is there an adjustment I can make to allow the dough to be stored for longer? I’d love to freeze the individual portions or at least store for a couple of extra days so I make a large batch or if we change our minds (lol) about having pizza the next day we can use the the day after.

    Working great in my Ooni 16. Going to try dividing into thirds for larger pies.

    1. Avatar for Tom Rothwell Tom Rothwell says:

      Hi Tim, I haven’t experimented with freezing dough so I can’t really help with that. People have told me that they have frozen the proved dough with decent results so by all means give it a go.

      You can refrigerate 24 hour dough in the fridge for 1-2 more days. But I would advise putting the dough in the fridge before it’s finished proving so that it doesn’t overprove.

      The dough will become more sour the longer it is left but some people like this flavour. Experiment and see what works for you!

      Good luck!

  24. Avatar for Paul Harris Paul Harris says:

    Hi, your Neoplitan pizza dough recipe is amazing. Works every time. Can you advise if you have a gluten free recipe for pizza dough or where I can find one you would recommend.
    Many thanks.

    1. Avatar for Tom Rothwell Tom Rothwell says:

      Hi Paul, glad you like the recipe. I haven’t actually got a recipe for gluten free pizza although I have made it before. I’ll look into writing up a recipe in the future, thanks for the suggestion!

      I made it using a gluten free pizza flour called Fioreglut by a company called Caputo. They make excellent flour specifically for Neapolitan pizza. I can highly recommend their gluten free flour (as well as their others).

      I made the pizza in pretty much the same way I normally make pizza and I have to say I was surprised how well it turned out. It’s not cheap flour but it is high quality and worth the price, in my opinion.

      If you can get hold of the flour give it a go! Good luck!

  25. Avatar for Taym Taym says:

    Hi Tom,

    Since I have neither a peel nor a pizza stone and would be too afraid of the pizza sticking on the peel when wanting to drop it in the oven, I wanted to ask what you think of using a backing paper sheet to transport the pizza onto the pre-heated tray in the oven. Thank you so much for your helpful tutorial!

    1. Avatar for Tom Rothwell Tom Rothwell says:

      Hi Taym, that should work fine. Just use the paper until you get more confident.

      Then you can go to using a peel or just a chopping board instead, you don’t have to use a pizza peel (though they are helpful).

      Good luck!

  26. Avatar for Martin Gagne Martin Gagne says:

    Hi Tom !

    Thanks for the whole article, that will definitely help with my first experience crafting Neapolitan pizza.

    What about preparation timing ? Like if your guests are ready to dinner later than final 6 hours prove ? Can we let it sit room temperature or we should put it in fridge ?

    What about leftover dough ? Can we preserve it some time like for next meal/day pizza time ?

    Cheer

    Martin

    1. Avatar for Tom Rothwell Tom Rothwell says:

      Hi Martin, thanks for the question.

      In general, I would recommend making the pizza so that it is ready at least an hour after your guests arrive. That way you can be sure the dough will be perfect.

      But if you have to, you can always re-ball the dough balls. This will remove some air from them and slow the prove down. The de-gassed dough balls will then prove again.

      This is known as “knocking back” and I’m planning an article on this soon. You can knock back aggressively (remove all the air) and the dough balls will take another 4-6 hours to prove. Or, you can knock back gently so they’ll only take 1-2 hours (or even less).

      For leftover dough, I would combine it all into one large dough and knock it back (remove all the air). Then leave it in the fridge overnight. The next day you can remove it about 8 hours before you want to make pizza. Allow 2 hours or so to come to room temperature and then shape into dough balls and prove as usual.

      Hope this helps and good luck!

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