Baking/ Dinner/ European/ Recipes

Napoli Style Italian Pizza Dough Recipe

02/10/2020 (Last Updated: 03/10/2020)

Get ready to make your own Italian pizza dough with this authentic recipe straight from the heart of Naples. Only 15 minutes prep time with quick rise and no kneading!

Large Naples style pizza topped with tomato and mozzarella.

Why We Love This

Four words: No knead and quick rise. We’ve made sure this recipe is as hands off as you can get – and if you’re using a KitchenAid mixer – even more so! There’s no waiting overnight, start your dough by lunch and it’ll be ready for dinner.

There’s nothing better than biting into your first piece of homemade pizza. Especially with a recipe straight from Naples itself. Once you try this, there’ll be no more trips to the supermarket for premade dough or bases. You’ve got this!

Ball of fresh pizza dough, ready to roll out into pizza bases.

What is Italian Pizza Dough? 

It’s a simple eggless pizza dough base made with flour, yeast, oil and salt – and cold water of course!

Italy is renowned as the home of pizza, and nowhere is this more true than Naples in southern Italy. They have mastered the art of creating intensely delicious pizza from the simplest and freshest of ingredients.

In fact, according to popular tradition, the Margherita pizza we all know and love was created in Naples to honour the visit of Queen Margherita, wife of King Umberto, who visited the city in 1889.

Like anything truly worth doing, this recipe takes time. Almost 5 hours in fact! The only difficult thing about it is mastering the art of patience until it’s time to cook. The ‘hard work’ literally only takes 15 minutes. The rest is simply waiting for the dough to rise and make the magic happen (so why not eat some gelato in the meantime?).

Where We Learned This Recipe:

Travelling through Naples is best done with a local guide and our friend Ida was the perfect host. After sampling just about everything edible that Naples had to offer, we soon realised Neapolitans can and will deep fry just about everything.

After touring the sights, eating deep fried pasta, deep fried pizza and deep fried gelato (okay, just kidding on that last one), we thought it was high time to get in the kitchen and try to master the original favourite: Naples style pizza dough.

Ida’s mother Rita had us in the kitchen all day learning ‘the original and the best’ pizza dough recipe – handwritten and all. After extensive testing later that night we can assure you it’s the real deal. This is the base for many an Italian delight; so master this and you are well on your way to scrumptious dinners ahead.

What You’ll Need

Only 5 ingredients and you’re almost guaranteed to have everything in the cupboard already.

  • Yeast – We used Active Dry Yeast which is nice and easy to use. Just open the packet and add it in – no need for warm water. You’ll find this at most supermarkets.
  • Flour – It’s recommended to use Caputo’s 00 Flour for the best result, however you can also use baker’s / bread flour or all purpose flour as a substitute.
Ingredients laid out for Italian pizza dough.

How to make pizza the Neapolitan way:

To prepare the dough:

  1. Place 00 flour into a large mixing bowl, making a well in the centre. Add the salt, active dry yeast, olive oil and water into the well.
  2. Use your hands to mix the flour in large circles. Combine and knead just enough until you have created a pillow of dough in the centre of the bowl and there’s no remaining flour. This should take a couple of minutes. (Freeze dough here if you’re cooking for future use).
  3. Lift the dough and add extra flour underneath to prevent the dough from sticking while resting. Score an ‘X’ shape on the top of the dough. Cover with a towel and allow to rest for 3 hours.

To roll out the dough:

  1. After the dough has risen, spread plenty of flour onto your rolling surface and rolling pin. Divide the dough into the number of portions you desire. (For example, you could make 2-3 large pizza bases or 8 smaller bases with this amount of dough.)
  2. Roll the dough portions out into circular bases, using your fingers if needed to stretch out into shape. Don’t worry if the dough is quite thin at this stage, it will continue to rise until it’s time to cook.
  3. Oil each pizza tray (aluminium trays work best for a crispy base), place the dough on the trays and push out to the rim to cover the pan. Be sure to press gently at this stage so as not to push out too much air.
    Cover and allow to rest again for around 1-2 hours.

Naples Style Pizza Topping Ideas:

  1. Preheat the oven to 250 degrees.
  2. Prepare your pizza toppings base layers – don’t add the cheese yet!
    For Margherita: Layer crushed tomatoes or passata and spread around the base and drizzle with olive oil.
    For Zucchini & Prosciutto: Layer with grated zucchini and drizzle olive oil over the top.
    For Potato & Rosemary: Drizzle with olive oil and spread out over the base. Line with thin slices of potato, rosemary and a good sprinkling of salt and pepper.
  3. Place in the oven and cook for 10 minutes or so until first topping layer has cooked through nicely. The dough should be just starting to brown at this stage.
  4. Take out of the oven and sprinkle with parmesan cheese and small chunks of mozzarella over all pizzas. Add the prosciutto to the zucchini pizza(s).
  5. Place back in the oven and cook for another 5-10 minutes or so until the cheese has melted and the base has become nice and crispy.
Fresh pizzas out the oven with different toppings and a bowl of parmesan cheese.

Timing the Recipe for 6:00pm Dinner:

  • 12:45pm – 1pm: PREP – Start dough.
  • 1pm – 4pm: 1ST RISE – Cover, allow the dough to rise in a warm location.
  • 4pm – 4:15pm: PREP – Roll out your pizza bases.
  • 4:15pm – 5:15pm: 2ND RISE – Add pizza bases to trays, cover again and leave out on the counter to rise for one more hour.
  • 5:15 – 5:45pm: PRE-HEAT OVEN – Turn on the oven and add toppings to pizza.
  • 5:45pm – 5:55pm: COOK – Get those pizzas in the oven.
  • 5:55pm – 6pm: ADD – Take out your pizzas and add your final layer of cheese and meat toppings. Cook for 5 more minutes or until cheese is melted.
  • SERVE!

Wandercook’s Tips

  • Rising the Dough – Keep the dough covered in a warm area. If it’s a cold day, pop your oven on it’s lowest setting or ‘Keep Warm’ for 5 minutes to warm the oven. Then switch it off and pop the covered dough in with the oven door shut.
  • Storing in Fridge – Once risen, you can leave in the fridge overnight in cling wrap or zip lock bags. Then pop the dough on the counter to sit for an hour before using. Cold air slows down the dough rising significantly. If storing in the fridge, use within a few days or freeze immediately after mixing.
  • Batch – If you’re entertaining, simply double the recipe and follow the same steps.
  • Aluminium Trays – We just want to point out that aluminium trays are absolutely awesome for cooking pizza. Not only are they lightweight (always a bonus when juggling trays in the kitchen!), but they’re also super thin and transfer heat perfectly for crispy and delicious crusts.
  • Sticky Dough – If the dough mixture is too sticky, add more flour to the outside of the dough. You can also do this to help remove sticky dough from your fingers.
  • Cutting the Pizza – Either use a knife, pizza wheel or the traditional Naples way – with kitchen scissors!

FAQs

Can I freeze the pizza dough?

Yes, you can freeze the dough straight after you’ve mixed the ingredients but BEFORE allowing it rise. Portion it out into how many pizzas you’d like and freeze them separately in cling wrap, plastic bags or zip lock bags.

To Thaw Pop the dough portions out on the counter for 2 hours to bring up to room temperature. If it hasn’t risen as it’s thawed, let it sit for another 1 – 2 hours.

What flour is best for Napoli style pizza dough?

00 Flour is best, and recommended, if you can get the Italian Caputo brand – even better. If you don’t have 00, that’s fine, you can also use all purpose or baker’s / bread flour as a substitute for this recipe.

Do I need warm water for the yeast?

If using Active Dry Yeast, you shouldn’t need warm water. Straight out the fridge or tap is fine.

Can I make this dough with a KitchenAid mixer or only by hand?

You can definitely use a mixer here. Place all your ingredients in the mixing bowl and attach the dough hook. Pop your mixer on low to medium speed – around 3 or 4 – and allow the dough to form over a few minutes. If it’s still sticking to the bowl, add a sprinkle of extra flour.

Once dough is all incorporated, take out the hook and form a ball with the dough. Add in the flour underneath it on the bottom of the bowl, then cover and allow to rise or freeze for later use. Then follow the rest of the recipe as normal.

My dough isn’t rising, why?

Check your Active Dry Yeast is still in date and that it was stored in a cool and sealed environment. If it gets too old or hot, this can kill the yeast and make it unusable.

If it’s risen a little, but not doubled, you may need more time and patience – especially in a cooler climate – just give the dough more time to rise or move it to a warmer area such as your oven (warm it up on it’s lowest setting for 5 minutes before).

Variations & Substitutes

  • Portions – You can use this dough to make large pizzas, small mini pizzas or fried pizzas. Just portion out to the sizes you like.
  • Cooking Methods – We’ve used aluminium trays, Dutch ovens and flat bottomed pans for this recipe, however, you can also use a cast iron skillet or pizza stone – just pop the stone in the oven to heat up when you pre-heat the oven.
Large Italian pizza topped with mozzarella, tomato and olive oil.

More simple pizza and homemade sauce ideas:

★ Did you make this recipe? Please leave a comment and star rating below!

Close up of a margherita pizza.

Italian Pizza Dough Recipe – Naples Style

Get ready to make your own Italian pizza dough with this authentic recipe straight from the heart of Naples. Only 10 minutes prep time with the hardest part just waiting for the dough to rise and cook. Includes quick rise option if you just can't wait!
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Resting Time: 4 hours
Total Time: 4 hours 25 minutes
Course: Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Servings: 4 pizza bases
Calories: 954kcal
Author: Wandercooks
Cost: $7

Equipment

Ingredients

For the Dough

  • 400 g ‘00’ flour (3 cups) or baker's flour / all purpose flour PLUS 1/4 cup for rolling the bases out
  • 250 ml cold water (1 cup)
  • 20 ml olive oil (4 tsp) PLUS 1-2 tbsp oil per pizza tray
  • 10 g salt (2 tsp)
  • 9 g dried yeast (3 tsp) or 'brewer's yeast'

For the Toppings – we used the following as 'standard' topping ingredients on each of our pizzas.

Margherita

  • tomatoes crushed or diced from a tin

Zucchini & Prosciutto Pizza

  • 2 zucchini grated
  • 2 slices prosciutto roughly chopped, or bacon

Potato & Rosemary Pizza

  • 3 potatoes thinly sliced
  • 1 tsp rosemary

Instructions

To prepare the dough:

  • Place 00 flour into a large mixing bowl, making a well in the centre. Add the salt, active dry yeast, olive oil and cold water into the well.
  • Use your hands to mix the flour in large circles. Combine and knead just enough until you have created a pillow of dough in the centre of the bowl and there’s no remaining flour. This should take a couple of minutes. (Freeze dough here if you’re cooking for future use).
  • Lift the dough and add extra flour underneath to prevent the dough from sticking while resting. Score an ‘X’ shape on the top of the dough. Cover with a towel and allow to rest for 3 hours.

To roll out the dough:

  • After the dough has risen, spread plenty of flour onto your rolling surface and rolling pin. Divide the dough into the number of portions you desire. (For example, you could make 2-3 large pizza bases or 8 smaller bases with this amount of dough.)
  • Roll the dough portions out into circular bases, using your fingers if needed to stretch out into shape. Don’t worry if the dough is quite thin at this stage, it will continue to rise until it’s time to cook.
  • Oil each pizza tray (aluminium trays work best for a crispy base), place the dough on the trays and push out to the rim to cover the pan. Be sure to press gently at this stage so as not to push out too much air.
  • Cover and allow to rest again for around 1-2 hours.

For the toppings:

  • Preheat the oven to 250 degrees.
  • Prepare your pizza toppings base layers – don’t add the cheese yet!
  • For Margherita: Layer crushed tomatoes or passata and spread around the base and drizzle with olive oil.
  • For Zucchini & Prosciutto: Layer with grated zucchini and drizzle olive oil over the top.
  • For Potato & Rosemary: Drizzle with olive oil and spread out over the base. Line with thin slices of potato, rosemary and a good sprinkling of salt and pepper.
  • Place in the oven and cook for 10 minutes or so until first topping layer has cooked through nicely. The dough should be just starting to brown at this stage.
  • Take out of the oven and sprinkle with parmesan cheese and small chunks of mozzarella over all pizzas. Add the prosciutto to the zucchini pizza(s).
  • Place back in the oven and cook for another 5-10 minutes or so until the cheese has melted and the base has become nice and crispy.

Timing the recipe for a 6pm dinner:

  • 12:45pm – 1pm: PREP – Start dough.
  • 1pm – 4pm: 1ST RISE – Cover, allow the dough to rise in a warm location.
  • 4pm – 4:15pm: PREP – Roll out your pizza bases.
  • 4:15pm – 5:15pm: 2ND RISE – Add pizza bases to trays, cover again and leave out on the counter to rise for one more hour.
  • 5:15 – 5:45pm: PRE-HEAT OVEN – Turn on the oven and add toppings to pizza.
  • 5:45pm – 5:55pm: COOK – Get those pizzas in the oven.
  • 5:55pm – 6pm: ADD – Take out your pizzas and add your final layer of cheese and meat toppings. Cook for 5 more minutes or until cheese is melted.
  • SERVE!

Video

Recipe Notes

Tips to get this recipe just right:
  • Yeast – We used Active Dry Yeast which is nice and easy to use. Just open the packet and add it in – no need for warm water. You’ll find this at most supermarkets.
  • Flour – It’s recommended to use Caputo’s 00 Flour for the best result, however you can also use baker’s / bread flour or all purpose flour as a substitute.
  • Rising the Dough – Keep the dough covered in a warm area. If it’s a cold day, pop your oven on it’s lowest setting or ‘Keep Warm’ for 5 minutes to warm the oven. Then switch it off and pop the covered dough in with the oven door shut.
  • Storing in Fridge – Once risen, you can leave in the fridge overnight in cling wrap or zip lock bags. Then pop the dough on the counter to sit for an hour before using. Cold air slows down the dough rising significantly. If storing in the fridge, use within a few days or freeze immediately after mixing.
  • Batch – If you’re entertaining, simply double the recipe and follow the same steps.
  • Aluminium Trays – We just want to point out that aluminium trays are absolutely awesome for cooking pizza. Not only are they lightweight (always a bonus when juggling trays in the kitchen!), but they’re also super thin and transfer heat perfectly for crispy and delicious crusts.
  • Sticky Dough – If the dough mixture is too sticky, add more flour to the outside of the dough. You can also do this to help remove sticky dough from your fingers.
  • Cutting the Pizza – Either use a knife, pizza wheel or the traditional Naples way – with kitchen scissors!
  • Portions – You can use this dough to make large pizzas, small mini pizzas or fried pizzas. Just portion out to the sizes you like.
  • Cooking Methods – We’ve used aluminium trays, Dutch ovens and flat bottomed pans for this recipe, however, you can also use a cast iron skillet or pizza stone – just pop the stone in the oven to heat up when you pre-heat the oven.
  • Can I freeze the dough? Yes, you can freeze the dough straight after you’ve mixed the ingredients but BEFORE allowing it rise. Portion it out into how many pizzas you’d like and freeze them separately in cling wrap, plastic bags or zip lock bags. To Thaw – Pop the dough portions out on the counter for 2 hours to bring up to room temperature. If it hasn’t risen as it’s thawed, let it sit for another 1 – 2 hours.

Nutrition

Calories: 954kcal | Carbohydrates: 166g | Protein: 26g | Fat: 20g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 7mg | Sodium: 2058mg | Potassium: 945mg | Fiber: 9g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 706IU | Vitamin C: 28mg | Calcium: 67mg | Iron: 11mg
Hey hey – Did you make this recipe?We’d love it if you could give a star rating below ★★★★★ and show us your creations on Instagram! Snap a pic and tag @wandercooks / #Wandercooks
Napoli Style Italian Pizza Dough Recipe

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