Have you ever wondered why Italian pizza is so popular? Well, besides the fact that it was in Italy that the first pizza dough recipes appeared, most people will tell you that it is the type of tomatoes used to prepare pizza Napoletana that make all the difference. Surely, the San Marzano tomatoes grown on the volcanic plains south of Mount Vesuvius do matter, but there is something else that gives the Neapolitan pizza an irresistible charm: the pizza dough.
What Makes the Neapolitan Pizza Dough so Good
Well, there are two things that are key to perfect the art of preparing this pizza dough recipe. The first one is, you’ve guessed it, the flour. To achieve the perfectly thin crust puffed in the center that the Neapolitan pizza is famous for, you cannot just use any kind of flour. Rather, you should be on the look for the Caputo tipo 00 flour. This is a better choice than the all-purpose flour because it has a slightly higher gluten content and the 00 numbers as I came to learn from this very useful blog post on how to Become a Pizza Pro with These Easy Pizza Dough Recipes, stand for the flour’s texture. This particular type of flour is the finest grind of flour with 0 being middle and 1 being the roughest, so if you have a specialty grocery shop around be sure to check whether they have this flour. The other ingredients are simple: yeast, water, and salt, but brewer’s yeast is the best type to use for the Neapolitan pizza dough recipe.
How to Prepare the Best Neapolitan Pizza Dough
As I have already mentioned, the perfect pizza crust should be thin on the edges and puffed in the center. With the first secret to the perfect pizza dough recipe being revealed, now it is time to reveal the second one: kneading. It is essential that you knead the pizza dough by hand. As soon as it’s risen, form the dough by hand rather than with a rolling pin, bearing in mind while doing this that the pizza dough may be no more than 0.12 in. thick. While on the process of rising, the pizza dough should be given just enough time for the gluten from the flour to react with the water and the yeast. This means that leaving the pizza dough be for at least an hour is crucial. Because it all depends on the ingredients and the room temperature, the time span may vary. So it is for the best if you monitor the pizza dough and start kneading it when it becomes twice the size it was. Top the pizza dough with San Marzano tomatoes, buffalo mozzarella and bake for a minute to a minute and a half in a 905 °F stone oven.
One final piece of advice: always use utensils when eating Neapolitan pizza, not only is it the Italian way, but you will also see that it is kind of difficult to pick it up J.