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Perfect Neapolitan Pizza Dough
© John Kernick

Perfect Neapolitan Pizza Dough

  • TOTAL TIME: 1 HR 15 MIN (Active); 3 days (Total)
  • SERVINGS: five 10-inch pizzas

“Flour, salt, water and yeast—that’s it,” says chef Thomas McNaughton about this super-simple dough recipe, the same one he uses to make his amazing restaurant pies.

This dough is fully-seasoned and may taste too salty to some; for anyone who is sensitive to salt or is trying to reduce salt intake, the salt can be cut back in this recipe to a lower level.

  1. 1 3/4 pounds “00” flour (5 1/2 cups; see Note), plus more for dusting
  2. 0.75 grams active dry yeast (1/2 teaspoon; see Note)
  3. 2 cups warm water
  4. 27 grams kosher salt (3 tablespoons)
  1. Lightly dust a large bowl with flour. In a small bowl, whisk the yeast with 1/4 cup of the water and let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes.
  2. In a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, combine the 1 3/4 pounds of flour with the yeast mixture and the remaining 1 3/4 cups of water and mix at low speed for 1 minute. Increase the speed to medium and mix until all of the flour is incorporated, about 4 minutes. Add the salt and mix at medium speed until a soft, smooth dough forms, about 5 minutes longer.
  3. Scrape the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and form it into a large ball. Transfer the dough to the prepared bowl and cover the bowl securely with plastic wrap so that it’s airtight. Let the dough stand in a warm place until it has doubled in bulk, about 8 hours. Refrigerate the dough for at least 8 hours or overnight.
  4. Let the pizza dough return to room temperature in the bowl, about 2 hours.
  5. Lightly dust 2 large baking sheets with flour. Scrape the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and punch it down. Using a sharp knife, cut the dough into 5 even pieces. Form the pieces into balls and transfer them to the prepared baking sheets. Using the tip of a paring knife, gently pop any air bubbles on the surface of each ball. Securely cover the dough balls by sliding each baking sheet into a clean 13-gallon plastic kitchen bag and tying them closed. Let the dough stand in a warm place until it has a little more than doubled in bulk, about 8 hours. Refrigerate the dough for at least 8 hours or overnight.
  6. Set a pizza stone on a rack in the top third of the oven. Preheat the oven to 500° for at least 45 minutes. Meanwhile, remove the baking sheets from the refrigerator and let the dough stand for 20 minutes.
  7. Working on a floured surface and using your fingers, press and stretch a dough ball out to a 10-inch round, working from the center toward the edge; avoid pressing on the outermost edge. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured pizza peel. Add toppings to the dough as desired, making sure to leave a 1-inch border around the edge.
  8. Turn the oven to broil for 5 minutes, then return it to 500°. Slide the pizza onto the pizza stone, opening and closing the oven door as quickly as possible. Bake until the bottom is lightly charred and the toppings are bubbling, about 6 minutes for a chewier crust and 8 minutes for a crispier one; avoid opening the oven door during baking. Repeat with the remaining pizza dough and toppings.
Notes Doppio zero or "00" flour, a fine Italian flour, is available at specialty food shops and online at To accurately weigh small quantities, use a scale that counts in 0.01-gram increments. PERFECT PIZZA TOPPINGS: Perfect Pizza SauceSummer Squash-and-Arugula Pizza with Fontina CheeseMargherita Pizza with Tomato, Mozzarella and BasilSausage-and-Olive Pizza with Capers and Pecorino Sardo


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