The benefit of making your own dough is that it is surprisingly less time-consuming than going out and buying it. Plus, you get an incredible pizza. And you will become the most popular hangout in the neighborhood!
This pizza Napoletana recipe makes four, 8 to 10-inch crusts that can be garnished with the toppings of your choice.
Basic Pizza Dough Ingredients
- 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 the sponge ingredients. Whisk well. Cover with a cloth and let sit for 15 minutes. The 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 the 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 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 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 the dough rise 2 hours in a consistently warm environment.
Tip: Spread one cup of flour on a good size dinner plate, remove the dough from the container, and lay it on the flour in the plate and press gently. Then, flip it over and flour the other side as well. This will make the job easier when you shape and work your dough.
Place your shaped pizza dough on a pizza peel. Your oven should be preheated to about 750°F and the fire pushed to one side. Garnish your pizza and place it on the 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. It takes your pizza about 3 minutes to be bubbly and ready to enjoy.
A Word About the Ingredients
The better the quality of the ingredients, the tastier the pizza. This is especially true in the choice of cheese. Aim for fresh mozzarella cheese for your pizza. Other good cheeses that can be used with great success include:
- Italian fontina
- Goat cheeses
Tip: Cut your cheese into cubes instead of shredding it, this stops it from getting burned.
For this pizza Napoletana recipe, there is 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 a circular motion.