Neapolitan pizza dough is easy to make with four simple ingredients: flour, water, salt, and yeast.

If you are baking it in a home oven, you should add olive oil and sugar.

In this blog post, we’ll show you how to make Neapolitan pizza dough and cook it in a home oven or pizza oven.

Hand holding a slice of Neapolitan pizza with mozzarella

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What is Neapolitan pizza?

Neapolitan pizza

Neapolitan pizza dough consists of type 00 or 0 pizza flour, water, salt, and yeast.

It is often topped with tomato sauce, mozzarella, olive oil, and basil.

What makes Neapolitan pizza dough different is its soft and thin crust and puffy, slightly charred, and airy rim, called “cornicione” in Italian.

Also, the hydration level (or water-to-flour ratio) of traditional Neapolitan pizza or “Pizza Napoletana Verace” is around 60% to 65%.

The yeast amounts to only a few grams.

For an easier and more versatile pizza recipe, check out our pizza dough recipe. If you are using an Ooni oven, check out our Ooni pizza dough recipe.

Neapolitan pizza on blue tiles with fresh basil

Modern pizza makers push the hydration level of Neapolitan pizza as high as 80% using special flours and proofing techniques.

This style of pizza is called Contemporary Neapolitan Pizza, and it won’t be the focus of this blog post.

Neapolitan pizza dough is cooked in wood ovens at temperatures above 750°C or 400°C in just 90 seconds.

This high temperature and quick cooking time develop a unique texture and flavor.

Contemporary Neapolitan Pizza
A Contemporary Neapolitan pizza with a thin pancake-like base and an ultra-thick, light, and airy cornicione. Made by The Grain in Berlin, Germany.

If you have a pizza oven, like an Ooni pizza oven, you can make a Neapolitan pizza as good as one made in the best pizzerias.

If you use a standard home oven with a lower temperature of around 480°F or 250°C, we recommend adding olive oil and sugar to the dough to help the pizza cook evenly and thoroughly.

Ingredients and substitutions for Neapolitan pizza dough

Ingredients for pizza dough with oil

Quantities are in the recipe box at the bottom of the page.

Flour

The best flour for Neapolitan pizza dough is pizza flour because it has more protein than regular all-purpose flour and a higher W value of around 260-280 W.

These characteristics allow it to absorb more water and develop the stretchability necessary for making the best Neapolitan pizza.

The best pizza flours are Caputo Pizzeria, Caputo Nuvola, and Caputo 00, all made in Naples by the historical Antimo Caputo Flour Mill and used by the best Neapolitan pizza makers.

A good alternative is King Arthur 00 Pizza flour. Petra flour and Molino Marino are also excellent, although more difficult to find.

You should be able to find pizza flour in most supermarkets.

If you can’t find pizza flour, substitute it with bread flour.

Water

Plain tap water is ok.

Yeast

We recommend active dry yeast or instant dry yeast as they are easier to store and are more reliable than fresh yeast.

We can recommend Caputo dry yeastRed Start active dry yeast, Red Star saf instant, and Dr. Oetker instant yeast.

Substitute fresh yeast for dry yeast. You’ll need three times the dry yeast amount.

Salt

Fine sea salt or kosher salt.

Sugar and Olive oil

Only add sugar and olive oil if you cook the pizza in a standard home oven.

If you plan to cook this Neapolitan pizza dough in a pizza oven that reaches high temperatures (750°F or 400°C), you won’t need to add sugar and oil.

airy rim of cooked Neapolitan pizza dough

How to make Neapolitan pizza dough

US cups + grams measurements in the recipe box at the bottom of the page.

1. Mixing the dough

Dissolve the yeast and sugar in lukewarm water. Set aside.

Tip: If the yeast doesn’t dissolve, it’s probably dead. Start again with new yeast. If you cook this in a pizza oven at high temperatures, omit the sugar.

yeast mixed with water

In a large mixing bowl, mix flour and salt.

Add the water-yeast mixture to the flour and stir with a wooden spoon for about a minute or until combined.

Add the olive oil and stir for one more minute until the oil is absorbed.

Tip: If you cook this in a pizza oven at high temperatures, omit the olive oil.

flour mixed with salt, water, yeast, and sugar

Transfer the dough to a clean worktop and knead for 3 minutes, then put it in a mixing bowl brushed with oil and cover it with plastic wrap.

hand kneading a pizza dough

2. Bulk Proofing

SAME-DAY PROOFING: Set the bowl aside in a warm corner of your kitchen for 6 hours. The Neapolitan pizza dough should double in volume.

OVERNIGHT PROOFING: Leave it at room temperature for 30 minutes, then put it in the fridge overnight or for 8 to 12 hours.

neapolitan pizza dough doubled in volume after proofing

3. Second proofing

Transfer the dough onto your worktop and cut it into three equal pieces.

Shape the pieces into balls, making sure they are well sealed.

Balling the Neapolitan pizza dough

Transfer balls to a baking tray lined with parchment paper and dusted with flour.

Cover with plastic wrap and set aside at room temperature.

  • 1 hour if you did the quick proofing
  • 4 – 6 hours if you did the overnight proofing

The dough balls should be doubled in size and very soft. The warmer the room, the faster the dough will proof.

Neapolitan pizza dough balls before and after second proofing

4. Shaping the pizza

Preheat your home oven to 480°F or 250°C. Place a pizza stone in the center of the oven. If you don’t have a pizza stone, use an upside-down baking tray.

If you have a pizza oven, preheat it to 750°F or 400°C.

Transfer the dough ball to a well-floured worktop, sprinkle it with flour, and flatten it with your fingertips, leaving about 3/4 inch or 2 cm of rim around the edges of the disc.

Stretching a Neapolitan pizza dough

Put the pizza disc over your knuckles and gently stretch it while rotating it.

stretching the dough over knuckles

Transfer the pizza disc to a lightly floured peel and rock the peel back and forth, ensuring the pizza disc is not sticking.

Neapolitan pizza dough on pizza peel

Top the pizza with tomato sauce, a few basil leaves, fresh mozzarella chunks, and a drizzle of olive oil.

Adjust the pizza shape by pulling the rim and making it round.

stretching the pizza dough before baking it

Slide the pizza in the center of the pizza stone and cook it for:

  • Home oven at 480°F or 250°C: 5 to 7 minutes, rotating it once or twice.
  • Pizza oven at 750°F or 400°C: 90 to 120 seconds, rotating it two to three times.
Neapolitan pizza

A quick history of Neapolitan pizza

Pizza is an evolution of pita bread, which spread across the south of Italy when Greek settlers colonized the southern part of Italy around 700 BC.

The Romans adopted pita bread and changed its name to Pinsa, which spread quickly across the Roman Empire.

But remember that tomatoes were not available in Italy back then.

Only after the discovery of America did Italians start to use tomatoes in their dishes, around 1500 AD.

It wasn’t until 1700 and 1800 that the Neapolitans started adding tomatoes to pinsa, which changed its name to pizza rossa, or red pizza.

A few years later, mozzarella and basil were added, and Neapolitan pizza became the first modern pizza in the world, similar to the one we all know and love today.

More breads and pizzas

More Italian recipes

Neapolitan pizza with a hand

Neapolitan Pizza Dough

By: Nico Pallotta
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Here we’ll show you how to make Neapolitan pizza dough at home and how to cook it in a standard oven or in a pizza oven.
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Proofing: 8 hours
Total Time: 8 hours 30 minutes
Servings: 3 pizzas
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian

Ingredients

  • cups pizza flour we recommend Caputo pizza flours. Substitute all-purpose flour, 00 flour, or bread flour.
  • 1⅓ cups lukewarm water best if at around 77°F or 25°C.
  • ½ teaspoon dry yeast we recommend Red Start active dry yeast, Red Star saf instant, Caputo dry yeast, and Dr. Oetker instant yeast.
  • teaspoons sea salt
  • 2 teaspoons sugar if cooking the pizza in a home oven. Omit the sugar if cooking the pizza in a pizza oven.
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil if cooking the pizza in a home oven. Omit the oil if cooking the pizza in a pizza oven.

Instructions 

  • Dissolve ½ teaspoon dry yeast with 1⅓ cups lukewarm water and 2 teaspoons sugar.
    yeast mixed with water
  • In a large bowl, mix 3½ cups pizza flour with 1½ teaspoons sea salt.
    Add the yeast-water mixture and stir with a wooden spoon for 1 minute.
    Add 2 tablespoons olive oil and stir one more minute until combined.
    flour mixed with salt, water, yeast, and sugar
  • Knead dough on a clean worktop for 3 minutes then put it in a mixing bowl brushed with oil and cover with plastic wrap.
    SAME-DAY PROOFING: set aside for 6 hours until doubled in volume.
    OVERNIGHT PROOFING: Leave at room temperature for 30 minutes then put in the fridge overnight or for 8 to 12 hours.
    neapolitan pizza dough doubled in volume after proofing
  • Cut dough into three pieces and shape each piece into a smooth ball.
    Balling the Neapolitan pizza dough
  • Transfer balls on baking tray lined with parchment paper and dusted with flour.
    Cover with plastic wrap and set aside in a warm corner of your kitchen for:
    -> 1 hour if you did the quick proofing.
    -> 4 to 6 hours if you did the overnight proofing in the fridge.
    The dough balls should expand and be very soft.
    Neapolitan pizza dough balls before and after second proofing
  • In the meantime, preheat the oven.
    HOME OVEN: Preheat to 480°F or 250°C. Put a pizza stone in the center of the oven. If you don’t have a pizza stone, use an upside down baking tray.
    PIZZA OVEN: Preheat to 750°F or 400°C.
    Transfer the dough ball to a well floured worktop, sprinkle it with flour, and flatten it with your fingertips leaving about ¾ inch or 2 cm of rim.
    Stretching a Neapolitan pizza dough
  • Put the pizza disc over your knuckles and gently stretch it while rotating it.
    stretching the dough over knuckles
  • Transfer the pizza disc on a lightly flour pizza peel and rock the peel back and forth making sure the pizza disc is not sticking.
    Neapolitan pizza dough on pizza peel
  • Top the pizza with tomato sauce, a few basil leaves, fresh mozzarella chunks, and a drizzle of olive oil.
    Adjust the shape of the pizza by pulling the rim and making it round.
    stretching the pizza dough before baking it
  • Slide the pizza in the center of the pizza stone and cook it for:
    HOME OVEN: 480°F or 250°C: 5 to 7 minutes rotating it once or twice.
    PIZZA OVEN: 750°F or 400°C: 90 to 120 seconds, rotating it two to three times.
    Add fresh basil and a drizzle of olive oil before serving.
    Neapolitan pizza

Notes

Nutritional information is an estimate for 1 large pizza base out of 3.
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Nutrition

Serving: 1of 3, Calories: 701kcal, Carbohydrates: 130g, Protein: 17g, Fat: 11g, Saturated Fat: 2g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g, Monounsaturated Fat: 7g, Trans Fat: 0g, Cholesterol: 0mg, Sodium: 1172mg, Potassium: 184mg, Dietary Fiber: 5g, Sugar: 3g, Vitamin B6: 0.1mg, Vitamin E: 1mg, Vitamin K: 6µg, Calcium: 29mg, Folate: 317µg, Iron: 8mg, Manganese: 1mg, Magnesium: 38mg, Zinc: 1mg
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Nico and Louise in the kitchen

Hi! We are Nico & Louise

Welcome to The Plant-Based School, a food blog with easy, tasty, and wholesome recipes.

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