Homemade Pizza Napoletana

Homemade pizza  is one of those things that’s always a good call; it’s a meal in itself, quite easy to make, and about as timeless as you can get. I like my pizza simple: a homemade tomato sauce, a little fresh mozzarella, some basil and olive oil, and I’m good to go. This way, each ingredient can really shine and the few, but tasty toppings won’t overwhelm the dough.
I used Peter Reinhart’s classic pizza dough recipe, which came out excellent- chewy and bready, but with a crunchy crust. That, combined with a homemade Neapolitan tomato sauce, made for a really superb pizza, which I’ll definitely make again and again.

pizza napoletana

  • 4 1/2 cups unbleached high-gluten, bread, or all-purpose flour, chilled
  • 1 3/4 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon instant yeast
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 3/4 cups water, ice cold
  • cornmeal for dusting
  • 28 oz. whole peeled tomatoes, packed in puree
  • kosher salt, to taste
  • braided mozzarella, cut into rounds/pieces
  • fresh basil or parsley, to top
  • fresh ground black pepper
  • cherry tomatoes
  • good quality olive oil
  1. Stir together the flour, salt, and instant yeast in the bowl of an electric mixer. Mix in the oil and the cold water until the flour is all absorbed, with paddle attachment on low speed. Do this for 5 to 7 minutes, or until the dough is smooth and the ingredients are evenly distributed.
  2. Switch to the dough hook and mix on medium speed for 5 to 7 minutes, or as long as it takes to create a smooth, sticky dough. The dough should clear the sides of the bowl but stick to the bottom of the bowl. If the dough is too wet, sprinkle in some more flour just until it clears the sides.
  3. Sprinkle flour on the counter and transfer the dough to the counter. Prepare a sheet pan by lining it with baking parchment and misting the parchment with spray oil. Using a metal dough scraper, cut the dough into 6 equal pieces. Lift each piece and gently round it into a ball. Transfer the dough balls to the sheet pan, Mist the dough generously with spray oil and slip the pan into a food-grade plastic bag.
  4. Put the pan into the refrigerator overnight to rest the dough, or keep for up to 3 days.
  5. On the day you plan to make the pizza, remove the desired number of dough balls from the refrigerator 2 hours before making the pizza. Dust the counter with flour, and then mist the counter with spray oil. Place the dough balls on top of the floured counter and sprinkle them with flour; dust your hands with flour. Gently press the dough into flat disks about 1/2 inch thick. Sprinkle the dough with flour, mist again with spray oil, and cover the dough loosely with plastic wrap. Now let rest for 2 hours.
  6. While the dough is resting, make the tomato sauce. Combine the tomatoes, some shredded parsley, and kosher salt in a saucepan. Bring to a boil. Take off fire, cool, and then blend with hand blender.
  7. At least 45 minutes before making the pizza, heat the oven to 550 degrees.
  8. Generously dust the back of a sheet pan with cornmeal. Make the pizzas one at a time. Dip your hands, including the backs of your hands and knuckles, in flour and lift 1 piece of dough by getting under it with a pastry scraper. Very gently lay the dough across your fists and carefully stretch it by bouncing the dough in a circular motion on your hands, carefully giving it a little stretch with each bounce. Once the dough has expanded outward, move to a full toss in the air. If you have trouble tossing the dough, or if the dough keeps springing back, let it rest for 15 minutes and try again.
  9. When the dough is stretched out to about 9 to 12 inches in diameter, lay it on the pan, making sure there is enough cornmeal to allow it to slide. Top it with tomato sauce, mozzarella, parsley, cherry tomatoes, black pepper and olive oil.
  10. Slide the topped pizza on the sheet pan (be careful when using baking paper- given the high temperature, it might burn!) and close the door. Wait 2 minutes, then take a peek. The pizza should take about 5 to 8 minutes to bake.
  11. Remove the pizza from the oven and transfer to a cutting board. Wait 3 to 5 minutes before slicing and serving, to allow the cheese to set slightly.


pizza napoletana

pizza napoletana

pizza napoletana

4 responses to “Homemade Pizza Napoletana”

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