Neapolitan Style Pizza Recipe Using a Pizza Stone
I’ve always enjoyed stone baked pizza, but sometimes it is hard to find a place that offers really good one. A friend recently recommended a book on pizza and pizza dough called “American Pie: My Search For The Perfect Pizza” by Peter Reinhart.
The author and famous bread maker follows the trail from Italy to the States, capturing the stories behind the best pizzas behind the greatest pizzas of both The Old World and the New.
When reading through the book my eyes got caught on the famous pizza Napoletana. The book suggests that the dough for this pizza should be made without any oil or sugar in it. Also the right kind of flour should be used, which is “unbleached all-purpose flour. If possible, the dough should be made the day before you make the pizzas and kept in the fridge.
I decided to try making Neapolitan pizza, so I got a pizza stone. The one I got Weber Grill Pizza Stone, which could be also used in the oven. After a couple of attempts, I was able to create a good looking and tasting pizzas, so I decided to share my experience with you.
This Napoletana pizza dough recipe is adapted from Peter Reinhart’s book: “American Pie: My Search For The Perfect Pizza”.
Weber Grill Pizza Stone:
- Makes six 6 ounce balls for 6 individual small pizzas.
- 5 cups (22 1/2 oz) unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1 3/4 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon dry yeast
- 1 3/4 plus 2 tablespoons cool water (65F)
- 1 pound fresh mozzarella
- 1 can (15 oz) crushed tomatoes
- 10-12 fresh basil leaves torn
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- Optional - freshly ground black pepper and grated (shredded) parmesan cheese
- In the bowl of a stand mixer (or a large metal bowl) stir all ingredients together until well combined. If using a stand mixer fit it with the hook attachment and mix on low for 4 minutes. The flour should form a coarse ball. Let the dough rest for 5 minutes , then mix on medium for 2 more minutes, or until the dough clears the sides of the bowl and sticks just a little to the bottom. If the dough is too soft and sticky mix in some flour, if it is too stiff add some more water.
- Transfer the dough to a floured surface, dust the top with flour and working from four corners fold the dough into a ball. Place in a bowl, that has been brushed with olive oil and cover with plastic wrap. Let it sit at room temperature for 1 hour, to double its size. Then punch a hole in the dough, reshape, place in a bowl and refrigerate for at least 2 hours. Remove dough from the fridge 2 hours before using. (The instructions might sound a little confusing, but the idea is that the dough expands and the gluten in it relaxes). Divide dough into 6 parts. Form 6 balls and brush them with olive oil.
- Position an oven rack at the lower third of the oven and place pizza stone on it. Heat oven to 450F. Never place cold pizza stone in a hot oven, because it will crack. (If pizza stone is not available, brush pizza pan with some olive oil).
- Stretch and shape pizza dough into circles, that will fit the pizza stone. Transfer to a well floured pizza peel (we don't want pizza to stick to stone). Spread crushed tomatoes into an even layer and top with mozzarella cheese slices.
- Using a pizza peel transfer pizza to the pizza stone. (If using a pizza pan place pizza in the pan and place pan directly on the rack). Bake pizza until edges of the crust turn golden and cheese starts bubbling or for 10-15 minutes.
- Sprinkle with some thorn basil and dried oregano, (you can add grated parmesan cheese), cut and enjoy!