Neapolitan Pizza

Refrigerating the dough overnight gives this crust a slightly chewy texture. The dough is delicate, so be sure to use a good-quality unbleached[ flour. (Bleaching weakens the gluten.)]

Total Time:
11 hr
Prep:
20 min
Inactive:
10 hr 30 min
Cook:
10 min

Yield:
four 8-inch pies (serves 4)
Level:
Intermediate

Ingredients
  • For the dough:
  • 1 1/2 cups plus 2 tablespoons warm water (100 degrees F to 110 degrees F)
  • 3/4 teaspoon active dry yeast
  • 4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • Extra-virgin olive oil, for brushing Cornmeal, for dusting
  • For the toppings:
  • 1 28 -ounce can whole peeled tomatoes (preferably San Marzano) Kosher salt
  • 8 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced
  • Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
  • Torn fresh basil, for topping
Directions
  • Make the dough: Combine the warm water and yeast in a small bowl, stirring to dissolve the yeast. Combine the flour and salt in a medium bowl. Add the yeast mixture to the flour and stir to make a shaggy dough. (The dough should be tacky. If it feels too wet and sticky, add flour, 1 tablespoon at a time; if it's too stiff, add a little water.) Transfer to a lightly oiled surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about 3 minutes. Place an inverted bowl over the dough and let rise slightly, 30 minutes. Divide the dough into 4 pieces and form each into a ball; arrange 3 inches apart on a lightly oiled baking sheet. Rub the tops of the dough lightly with olive oil and cover the baking sheet with plastic wrap. Refrigerate overnight.

  • Remove the dough from the refrigerator about 2 hours before baking; let sit, covered, until ready to use. One hour before baking, put a pizza stone or inverted baking sheet on the middle oven rack and preheat to 500 degrees F (or 550 degrees F if your oven goes that high).

  • Make the sauce: Combine the tomatoes and their juices with 1 teaspoon salt in a blender; blend until smooth.

  • Generously sprinkle a pizza peel or an inverted baking sheet with cornmeal. Place 1 ball of dough upside down on the cornmeal using floured hands. Gently pull the dough into an 8- to 10-inch circle, reflouring your hands as needed and being careful not to deflate the dough. Spread about 1/4 cup tomato sauce on the crust; top with one-quarter of the mozzarella. Drizzle with 1 to 2 teaspoons olive oil and season with salt.

  • Slide the pizza onto the hot stone and bake until the crust is dark golden brown and the cheese is bubbling, 7 to 9 minutes. Transfer to a cutting board and sprinkle with basil. Let cool 2 minutes before slicing. Repeat to make 3 more pizzas.

  • Photograph by Levi Brown


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