This Neapolitan pizza crust is thin, crispy and has the most amazing flavor. My homemade pizza-making is forever changed!
Seriously, my homemade pizza game has been forever changed with this crust.
The idea of this pizza started months ago when my husband texted me a link to an article about a chef in New York City who lost a ridiculous amount of weight “eating pizza everyday”. Like most click bait, that wasn’t really the whole story… he ate super clean breakfast, dinner and snacks, and would eat a Neapolitan pizza for lunch every day. He said it was enough to feel like a splurge but with the super light crust, simple tomato sauce and minimal amount of cheese, it wasn’t that bad for him.
I had never made Neapolitan pizza, and I was bummed that the long article didn’t actually include a recipe, so I started researching Neapolitan pizza dough. I went down a rabbit hole and a couple of months later emerged with this recipe, which is now our favorite pizza dough!
Once I dove into research Neapolitan pizza recipes, I found that there was a massive consensus on the two keys to the perfect Neapolitan dough:
1. Using Italian “00” flour – it is a soft-milled bread flour and very fine in texture. I got mine from King Arthur Flour, and you can also order it from Amazon.
2. A long rest in the refrigerator. While you can technically shape and bake the pizzas after refrigerating the dough for 8 hours, the flavor gets even better if you can leave it in there for two or three days.
Traditional Neapolitan pizza is cooked in a wood oven, and I found that this recommended method (cooking in a cast iron skillet under the broiler) is the closest you can get to mimicking the wood-fired taste.
Just be sure to pop it back on the stove per the instructions to really crisp up that bottom crust – there is nothing worse than a soggy pizza crust! The crust rolls out quite thin, so it cooks up pretty quickly, but depending on the heat of your stove you may need a few more minutes after it comes out of the broiler.
I made these on the day that my husband and father-in-law went to pick up our new crib, and they both said it was some of the best pizza and tasted like it came from an authentic pizza shop. SOLD!
I topped mine with my favorite quick tomato pizza sauce (crushed tomatoes, olive oil and garlic), fresh mozzarella and a lot of fresh basil. It was absolute heaven! They topped their pizzas with regular mozzarella and pepperoni, so you can use this crust base for pretty much anything. In fact, I froze a few balls of extra dough I had and when I thawed them, I made quick calzones for dinner. Seriously amazing. The flavor is so much more complex than traditional pizza dough.
My husband and I immediately agreed – this Neapolitan pizza dough is absolutely the new favorite in our house!
One year ago: The BEST Italian Meatballs
Two years ago: Oatmeal-Dark Chocolate Chip & Coconut Cookies
Six years ago: Good Eats in the Outer Banks
Seven years ago: Blueberry-Buttermilk Scones
Eight years ago: Croissants
For the Pizza Dough:
- 4 cups (500 g) Italian "00" flour
- 2¼ teaspoons (2.25 teaspoons) kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon active dry yeast
- 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
- 1½ cups (375 ml) water, at room temperature
For the Sauce:
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic
- 28 ounce (793.79 g) can crushed tomatoes
- Salt and pepper, to taste
For the Toppings:
- 16 ounces (453.59 g) fresh mozzarella, thinly sliced
- Fresh basil, torn or thinly sliced
- Make the Pizza Dough: Place the flour, salt, yeast, and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook attachment; mix on low speed to combine. Add the water and knead on low speed until the mixture comes together in a rough dough and no dry flour remains. Allow the dough to rest for 10 minutes. Continue kneading on low speed for an additional 10 minutes. The dough should be soft, elastic and slightly tacky. If the dough is sticking to the bowl, add more flour 1 tablespoon at a time until it clears the sides and is barely sticking to the bottom. Cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 8 and up to 72 hours.
- Transfer the dough to a floured work surface and dust the top with additional flour. Using a bench scraper, divide the dough into six even pieces (they should be about 6 ounces each). Shape each piece into a ball. Coat six small bowls with non-stick cooking spray and add one dough ball to each bowl. Turn to coat the ball, then cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap and allow to rise at room temperature for 2 hours.
- Prepare the Sauce: Place the olive oil and garlic in a medium saucepan over medium heat. When the garlic begins to sizzle, add the tomatoes. Simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the sauce is thickened, about 15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. (Note: You can simply mix the ingredients together in a bowl if you are short on time, but the sauce will not be as thick.)
- Transfer 1 ball of dough to a bowl filled with flour and turn to coat. Dust off excess flour and transfer to a floured work surface. Gently stretch the ball of dough into a 10-inch circle, leaving the outer 1-inch edge slightly thicker than the center.
- Bake the Pizzas: Preheat the broiler to high and arrange the oven rack so that a 12-inch cast iron skillet (or other heavy-bottomed 12-inch skillet) just fits underneath the broiler.
- Dust the skillet with flour, tap out excess, then heat the skillet over high heat for 3 minutes. Transfer the 10-inch round of dough to the skillet (it should cover the entire bottom surface). Spread some sauce evenly over the dough, leaving the outer 1-inch border un-sauced. Top with slices of the cheese and sprinkle with fresh basil. Transfer the skillet to the oven and broil until the pizza is puffed and darkly charred in spots. Return the skillet to the stovetop and cook until the bottom is darkly charred in spots (depending on your pan, you may be able to skip this step if the bottom is already browned after removing from the oven). Transfer the pizza to a cutting board and serve. Repeat steps 4 through 6 to bake remaining pizzas.
Did you make this recipe?
Leave a review below, then snap a picture and tag @thebrowneyedbaker on Instagram so I can see it!
Another important part of cooking the perfect pizza is the oven, wood fired or gas oven is a major factor. The ovens these days are giant toasters and do not cook the pizza perfectly.
I Just made this! It’s very delicious.
Amazing recipe! Love the Neapolitan pizza
We love great Neapolitan Pizza, we use three great flours with over 250 years of Combined history Heckers-Ceresota and Molini Lario From Lake Como Italy called
Ceresota Pizza Napoli
They use only Italian and select European grains. One ingredient Soft wheat flour.
Great Recipes are available at http://www.molinilario.it for many types of pizzas like Neapolitan, Roman Teglia, Pala and focaccia
Hello! What happened to the gram/weight numbers? This is probably one of four bookmarks in my phone. :). Absolutely love the recipe but need the weights back. :)
Hi Mark, They are still there! Simply click “metric” under the list of ingredients and it will toggle over :)
Oh my goodness. I am so embarrassed and happy! Thank you so much. This recipe is fantastic. Have a great day. Mark
Why has this recipe changed since November ?
Hi Charlotte, It hasn’t changed at all? I haven’t made any edits to this recipe since posting it.
Loved this and added a bit of olive oil to the water. 1/2 ‘d the recipe for 2 – 15 inch pizzas but they were a bit too thin. Loved the texture. Next time will make the full recipe and freeze the remainder.
Forgot to mention I made it I need my bread maker.
This Neapolitan pizza is now a must eat thing for me. Thanks a lot for it’s introduction to the masses. I have jotted down all the recipe.Hopefully try sometime…Thanks once again MICHELLE.
Do you have to activate the yeast in a bowl with warm water before adding it? PS – I love your site! I have been following for years!
Hi Natalie, That is not necessary in this recipe due to the long slow rise in the refrigerator. And thank you! So happy to hear you’ve enjoyed the site!
First time at your site. Love the pizza dough recipe, but alas I am from NY, since I moved to Venice Florida, I don’t seem to get a good pizza pie here. Even though I never made pizza before, I do make home made bread. Soo out of sheer frustration I’m looking to make my own homemade pizza. I am trying to get a hang of making fresh pizza. I am very visual and prefer to see a person making it hands on rather than follow a recipe. Thus I am wondering if do you have a step by step tutorial video you can share with us.. Much obliged!
Hi Maria, I don’t have a video filmed for this recipe yet, but stay tuned!
i recently made a deep dish pizza in m y cast iron skiltte & it waas out of this world i din’t didn’t know to butter the dough i’ll try that next time around thanks billy
hey there! nice recipe, my family loves homemade pizzas and you can really cut back on the fat when you make them at home…. and for quicker pizzas, we use pita bread/arab bread which comes in 10″ to 12″rounds here in Venezuela. a very basic bread – just flour, water and yeast….(Chef John has a neat video) fresh, homemade tomato sauce or just thinly sliced fresh tomatoes, a splash of EVOO and cheese…. i use fresh basil when i have it… and into a hot oven… my husband likes these because they are very thin and the crust gets very crispy….. with two very young boys, you need all the help you can get!!! live long and prosper!
You can use a pizza stone on your grill and wood chips for a wood fired pizza taste.
Our pizza dough is very similar to yours — including the Caputo “00” flour. We haven’t tried the cast iron method. Have you heard of a pizza steel? We’ve graduated from the pizza stone to a pizza steel. It works great. It really holds the heat. We like a crispy crust and we also like our pizza Neopolitan style. We don’t use sugar in our dough and we use Instant yeast. Right now we aren’t home :-( so we are picking up our pizza dough at Trader Joes. We love making our own. We’ll have to try your cast iron pan method. BTW your boys are adorable. I sure do miss our grandsons when we’re away.
Have a great weekend.
I have heard of pizza steel but I haven’t tried one. Awesome to hear your review!!
This is another amazing recipe! Everything I have made from you has been awesome1!
Another spectacular recipe, Michelle! I made this some time during the week between Christmas and New Year (don’t remember precisely which day.) I used half of the dough to make a large sheet pizza (which was amazing!) for New Years Eve. I sealed the other half in a plastic bag, then promptly forgot about it. Until today, that is.
So not being one to waste a good pizza dough, when I found it, I didn’t hesitate to bake two 13″ pizzas with it. And even though the dough was accidentally “rested” for about 10 days, those pizzas were still fantastic!
Spurred on by reading this recipe way back this past summer, I had bought five pounds of Caputo 00 pizza flour, and that purchase was more than worth it! This stuff makes the pizza that dreams are made of! I will never be without it again, and I even bought a special food service flour canister to keep it in.
A dependable triumvirate of fresh mozzarella, fresh basil and portabella mushrooms completed the sauce/crust ensemble. Wow. My world has been duly rocked. Brava!
Duh! Forgot to mention the main virtue of the dough. After the long rest in the fridge, it is remarkably pliable and easy to work with. It can be (gently) stretched to supreme thinness without tearing. The 00 flour is supposed to have less gluten than other flours. No doubt this also plays a big part in its pliability, as well as the silky feel of the dough. Once baked, the bottom is crispy, but the inside is soft and oh-so-perfectly-chewy. If you’ve been wondering if it’s worth the higher price to buy the 00 pizza flour, the answer is a resounding YES. You can’t duplicate these results without it. This is hands down the very best pizza dough you can make. Period.
Yummy! This pizza looks super tasty, can’t wait to try it! xo Loren // http://www.thinkelysian.com
I’ve been making this style of pizza for several years and it’s so good! I use Jim Lahey’s no-knead pizza dough recipe, which is basically the same as above (500g Tipo 00 flour, 350-370g water, 2 tsp salt, 1/4tsp instant yeast for overnight rise, or 2 1/4tsp yeast for same day rise). It comes out perfectly every time. I highly recommend buying a Baking Steel, it makes the best pizza crust. I heat the steel at 550 degrees (or as hot as your oven will go) for 30-45 minutes and then bake for 9-10 minutes. The bottom crust is crisp and the ring around the outside is pillowy from the extra wet dough and 00 flour. I couldn’t agree more, Tipo 00 flour and a long rise makes amazing flavorful crust!
Made over the weekend after finding the 00 flour. Quite a bit of work (won’t complain about pizza prices again) but worth the effort! Waited 3 days before making 4 7
Individual pizzas, and 1 calzone. I tried making 2 on pizza stone, but they weren’t as good as those made in the cast iron skillets, then finished on stove.
Light, fluffy, crisp, and flavorful!
Will be making7ng again soon!
I notice the gram weight on the flour is different than on the King Arthur site. If you use the gram weight on their site for a cup of 00 flour it is less.
Ok, so I didn’t see the time “2 days” that this takes until I had already made the dough. We wanted pizza that same day, so we decided to put half the dough in the refrigerator and left half of it rise to make the pizzas. I let it rise for 2 hours, then shaped it into 3 balls and let them rise for another 2 hours. We made the pizza with fresh tomatoes, basil, roasted garlic, and fresh mozzarella. I found the technique of cooking it in the cast iron pan very stressful. The flour burnt to the pan, and I feel like ruined the seasoning on my cast iron. The dough itself did not stretch to 10″. However, it was delicious and everyone loved the crust. We made a pepperoni with canned pizza sauce, pepperoni, and fresh mozzarella, and the 3rd with fresh tomato, mushrooms, roasted garlic, and fresh mozzarella.
The next day, we took out the other half of dough from the refrigerator – I shaped it into two balls because of how small the previous pizzas were. I let it rise for over 2 hours. We made another fresh tomato, basil, roasted garlic, and fresh mozzarella for a taste test. I did not flour the cast iron this time, but put some olive oil. This did change the crust slightly. I found the dough to be harder to handle – I would stretch it out (still hardly getting 10″), and then when I would go to pick it up and put it in the pan, it would tear and I would poke holes through it. Everyone agreed that, while still very good, it was no better than the dough that didn’t rest for 24+ hours.
My conclusion is that I would not bother refrigerating this dough, but go directly to the 1st rise. I would cut down the amount of pizzas to 2 or maybe 4 at the most. I would shape and top the dough on my pizza pan and bake it in a very hot oven vs. the cast iron method. I will make it again since I bought 6lbs of 00 flour. Although I may try making focaccia bread with some of it.
We make pizza every Sunday night without fail. I make the dough and hubby grills it. I just bought a 55-pound bag of Antimo Caputo 00 flour from Italy from our favorite local pizza joint, too! My current recipe has a tablespoon of olive oil in it, so I definitely want to try this one to see what kind of a difference it makes. Yum!
Neapolitan pizza is my favorite. I’ve been making it for several years from a recipe in Naples at Table. The crust is thin, but not crisp and I make it with all purpose flour. Best pizza I’ve ever made. Usually I top it with crushed tomatoes, minced garlic, olive oil, dried oregano and a little mozzarella. I bake it on a 10″ cast iron griddle. The bottom gets golden brown and if I wanted it browner, I’d preheat the griddle. My favorite Neapolitan pizza is the Pizza Napoli from a local pizzeria. Undoubtedly the best pizza I’ve ever had.
Can this pizza be made on a pizza stone? I want to try the recipe but I’m not ready to give up my pizza stone!
Yes, see Note #2 in the recipe :)
I will surely try this on sunday. Neapolitan pizza is great and I am waiting to taste it. :P Thanks for sharing.
Anxious to try this pizza! I don’t have a cast iron skillet, but I do have a Le Creuset cast iron griddle that should do the job. Have you tried this pizza with any meat toppings?
Hi Kathy, Yes, pepperoni!
I have been making my own pizza for over a year and the Caputo flour makes pizza better than anything you can buy I buy it in 50 pound bags and put in smaller bags and put in freezerI get the Caputo blue bag pizza flour and also have a pizz stone and you need a peel Friday nights are pizza nights
This is THE BEST! I don’t have a pizza stone and am short on space so I’ve refused to go buy one. Now I can make pizza at home! Thanks!!!
This sounds like a yummy pizza dough and I’ve been looking for a new crust recipe so I’ll be giving this one a try too
I can’t wait to try it. You mentioned you froze some of the dough. At what point can I freeze it and what would you recommend the best method to thaw.
Hi Bee, I got so many questions about this I added a note to the recipe above. I let it go through the 2-hour rise, then I froze it, but you could totally freeze it before. Just know that once it’s thawed, you’ll need to do that 2-hour rise before proceeding. I wanted to minimize the amount of time required for prepping and using the frozen dough. I thawed in the refrigerator overnight, then let it sit at room temperature for 30 minutes before using it.
This looks easy enough . . . I’ve never attempted pizza dough because I still struggle with yeast doughs. But I think I’ll give this one a try. When would you freeze any extra dough? I’m guessing before that final 2 hour rise?
Hi Michelle, I got so many questions about this I added a note to the recipe above. I let it go through the 2-hour rise, then I froze it, but you could totally freeze it before. Just know that once it’s thawed, you’ll need to do that 2-hour rise before proceeding. I wanted to minimize the amount of time required for prepping and using the frozen dough.
This sounds so good, my family loves pizza and nothing is better than hearing my youngest step daughter tell me I make the best pizza ever. I will be giving this one a try. The last one I made was cast iron stuffed crust pizza which was a huge hit.
It looks good indeed, although Neapolitan Pizza is not thin and crusty at all!
Napoli is where the pizza is born and I promise you (I’m from Napoli myself), pizza in there has a thin but soft body (because of the huge amount of tomato sauce and the liquid from fiordilatte used as topping, please note fiordilatte, is a lighter and slightly more dry version of mozzarella used on pizza), with a very fluffy ring all around.
The ring will be a bit on the burned side on the surface, but still soft and spongy on the inside, this is because Napoli pizza is only made in wooden ovens, where the temperatures reach around 500 C’ and is able to activate the bacterias in the dough to make it grow very fastly , infact pizza is cooked for just few minutes in order not to dry or overcook it.
Ciro, Allora aspettiamo la tua ricetta!
Great information. Just what I was looking for!