Pizza Napoletana Recipe
A wood fired oven cooks a pizza to perfection! Here’s an easy way to make your own pizza dough. The benefit of making your own dough is that it is surprisingly less time-consuming than going out and buying it, and you get an incredible pizza. (And you will become the most popular hangout in the neighborhood.)
Basic Pizza Dough
- 1 package (2½ teaspoons) active dry yeast
- 1 cup lukewarm water
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 tablespoon flour
- 1 sponge (recipe above)
- 4½ cups (approx.) flour, sifted
- 1 cup (approx.) lukewarm water
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon salt
In a large bowl combine all sponge ingredients. Whisk well. Cover with a cloth and let sit 15 minutes. Sponge mixture should look foamy. If it does not look foamy, redo by either cooling or lowering the temperature of the water. If you do this 2 times and yeast does not look foamy, you may need new yeast.
To make the dough, add 4 cups of flour (setting aside the half a cup for dusting later), 1 cup of warm water, 2 tablespoons of olive oil, and the 1 tablespoon of salt into the bowl with the sponge mixture.
Mix well in a mixer or a food processor with a dough hook for 5 to 6 minutes. Alternatively you can mix by hand, keeping in mind that the dough will be and should be very sticky, so flour your hands.
Divide the dough into 4 quarters (we use a scale) and shape into slightly round disks for ten inch pizzas. For larger pizzas divide into three pieces. Lightly flour four 8-inch Tupperware type containers and put one ball of dough in each one. Put the lid on and let dough rise 2 hours in a consistently warm environment.
Spread one cup of flour on a good size dinner plate, remove the dough from the container, lay it on the flour in the plate and press gently, flipping it over and flouring the other side as well. This will make the job easier when you shape and work your dough.
Makes four, 8 to 10-inch crusts that can be garnished with the toppings of your choice.
Place your shaped pizza dough on a wood peel [link to accessories]. Your oven should be pre-heated at about 750F and the fire pushed to one side. Garnish your pizza and place on hot oven floor. After about 1 _ minute, rotate your pizza so that the other side is facing the fire. This is easily done with a pizza turner [link to accessories]. It takes your pizza about 3 minutes to be bubbly and ready to enjoy.
A word about the ingredients:
The better quality the ingredients are, the tastier the pizza… this is especially true in the choice of cheese. We prefer to use fresh mozzarella cheese for our pizza. Other good cheeses that can be used with great success: Italian fontina, gorgonzola, pecorino. Brie and goat cheeses are also very tasty on pizza. Experiment.
Cut your cheese in cubes instead of shredding it, this avoids it getting burned.
No need to cook tomato sauce as you would for pasta. Just use crushed tomato sauce from the can, spooning it over the dough in circular motion.
Buon appetito from Los Angeles Ovenworks!