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  • Writer's picturePasta Grammar

How to Make Neapolitan Pizza at Home

Updated: Dec 7, 2021

Neapolitan pizza is the Holy Grail of pie. However, the real deal requires a blazing hot wood-fired oven in order to acquire the characteristic charred, smokey crust. Luckily, it's possible to make a pizza that comes close to perfection in a conventional oven. The secret? A pizza stone.



Watch the Pasta Grammar video where we make this recipe here:




Makes 3-4 12" pizzas.


For this recipe, you will need:

- 4 cups (or 500g) bread flour

- 1 1/2 cups (or 375ml) water

- 1/4 tsp. (1g) active dry yeast

- 2 tsp. (10g) salt, plus some extra to taste for the sauce

- Olive oil for greasing and drizzling

- Semolina flour for dusting

- Pure tomato purèe to serve (adjust amount according to desire)

- Italian mozzarella cheese to taste

- Fresh basil


A good pizza dough takes close to 24 hours to be ready, so we recommend starting the day before you plan to eat!


In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour and dry yeast. Add half the water and mix thoroughly with a wooden spoon. Next, add the salt and continue to mix. Finally, mix in the remaining water. The mixture should be quite clumpy and wet; that's okay!



Cover the bowl with a clean towel and let rest, at room temperature, for 30-45 minutes.


Transfer the dough onto a work surface lightly dusted with semolina flour. Using a bench scraper or large spatula, fold the dough 8-10 times. Do so by scooping up one side and folding it toward the center before repeating with the opposite side. It will be very sticky but STICK with it! 😉




Lightly brush a large, clean mixing bowl with olive oil and place the dough inside. Cover with plastic wrap and let it rest in the refrigerator for 16-18 hours. Remove the bowl from the fridge and let it rise for 3-4 hours at room temperature



Prepare a baking sheet by sprinkling it with semolina flour. Liberally dust a work surface with semolina and pour (yes, pour) the dough into the center. Use a spatula or bench scraper to fold the dough into a more compact pile, then cut it with the scraper into 3-4 equal pieces.


Flour your hands well and form each dough piece into as smooth a ball as possible. Lightly dust them with flour if they're too sticky to handle. Place the finished dough balls onto the baking sheet. Cover them with plastic wrap and let them rise again: 1 1/2 - 2 hours.



Meanwhile, make a simple tomato sauce by mixing pure tomato purèe with a drizzle of olive oil and salt to taste. Cut some mozzarella cheese into small chunks for topping.



Preheat your oven (with a pizza stone on a middle rack) to the maximum temperature (usually about 550 F). It can take some time for the oven to evenly heat and for the stone to come up to temperature, so we recommend allowing it to preheat a bit longer than it takes for the built-in thermometer to register.


When the pizza dough has finished rising, generously dust a 12" pizza peel with semolina flour. Place one of the dough balls in the center (keep the others covered) and begin to spread it out by pressing outward, from the center, toward the crust with your fingers. Be gently so as not to tear the dough, and don't press on the outer crust! We want those bubbles.



When the pizza is about halfway spread out, generously dust the top of it with semolina and carefully flip it over. Continue to spread the dough until it is 12" in diameter.


Working quickly, spread your tomatoes over the surface. Gently slide the pizza onto the pizza stone in the oven and close the oven door.



A quick note: every oven is different and, especially when working with maximum temperature settings, the built-in thermometers can be very inaccurate. We've tested ovens that, at the same claimed temperature, vary in cook time by as much as 10 minutes. Use your judgement with the cook. If your oven gets very hot, you may want to place the cheese on the pizza at the beginning, otherwise we recommend waiting to avoid burning.


The pizza crust should puff up quite quickly. You may need to spin it with the pizza peel if it starts to cook faster on one side. When the whole crust is a light, golden brown, carefully sprinkle the cheese on top and continue to cook until it has melted.



Remove from the oven. Top with fresh basil and a drizzle of olive oil. Serve immediately. Buon appetito!



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34 Comments


Diane Peak
Diane Peak
May 05

I'm really stuck on the yeast.... is 1/4 tsp really enough for 4 cups of bread flour??? I am used to baking bread, where you use 1 whole package of yeast (2 1/4 tsp) to 3 or 4 cups of bread flour.

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Vinnie.yeh1969
Apr 22

First time with this recipe, bungled the dough, but the pizza still turned out amazing, far better than any Italian restaurant and pizzeria in my town. The dough turned out too sticky, causing problems with forming and transferring. I'm sure I'll get it just right by tweaking the water/flour ratio a few more times. Flour and water are different depending on where you live so I just need to find the ratio that fits mine. The pizza stone really is the game changer as well as the overnight rising method. I also went ahead and bought Italian 00 flour.

Word is going to spread, and I'm going to get a lot of happy family and friends. Thank you Harper and…

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Killian Moore
Killian Moore
Sep 04, 2023

Just looking at guide

In pizza in teglia you use 75% hydration

You mention also Neapolitan uses Only 60%

375ml water to 500g flour is 75%

Shouldn't 60% of 500g only be 300ml?

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Tammy Schwartzberg
Tammy Schwartzberg
Feb 15, 2023

Just made the dough and I'm not sure what I did wrong. Put it together, put in the fridge, took out 18 hours later, been on the counter 4 hours, and no bubbles like yours did in the video. I did put a small amount of water more than the recipe called for, but mine was looking extremely dry so I made it look exactly like the video. I put it in the oven under the bread proofing setting so its not cold, but it's still not rising or bubbly

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bronzethesling
Aug 25, 2023
Replying to

Did you use city tap water? If your water was treated with chlorine, it could have killed the yeast.

Was your flour and yeast fresh? If your flour was expired or you didn't test your yeast before using, try it again with fresh flour and yeast. Was your flour bleached or enriched? That can also affect the yeast process. Try with unbleached, unenriched, organic flour.

That's the only troubleshooting I can think of!

Adding extra water was the right call, by the way. I'm still an amateur baker but experience tells me that if your flour was slightly different from hers, it may have needed more water and so it's good that you followed Eva's instructions to make a properly…

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netbowmb
Sep 04, 2022

Thank you so much! I am on a quest for the perfect crispy, yet chewy... big-bubble-tender-inside, dough and I am thinking this is it!! My dough is just finishing its 16-18 hours in the fridge... looking good!

My question is: if I wanted to freeze for later use, at what point would I do that? I was thinking of trying after forming the dough balls... then later, defrost (on counter or fridge?) and then let rise 1-2 hours on counter. Do you think that would work? Thank you again for a great-looking dough (and sauce!) recipe! ;)

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bronzethesling
Aug 25, 2023
Replying to

From my (admittedly limited) experience in baking, it's best to freeze the dough at an early phase. I would let it rise for an hour after mixing the initial dough, then freeze it. I've heard adding extra yeast (let's say an extra 1/2 tsp?) to the dough before mixing increases its ability to survive the freezer, but I haven't tested it on pizza (is it even Itallianly acceptable to attempt??).

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