How to Make Neapolitan-Style Pizza
Step 1: Shape the Dough
“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.
After the first rise and an overnight rest, punch down the pizza dough and portion it into 5 equal pieces. Shape each portion into a ball.
Step 2: Let Rise
Transfer the dough balls to lightly floured baking sheets, making sure to leave plenty of space between them. Wrap securely.
Step 3: Proof Fully
When the dough balls have more than doubled in size and then rested overnight again, they are ready to be formed into pizzas.
Step 4: Form Rounds
Set a pizza stone in the top third of the oven. Preheat the oven to 500°. for at least 45 minutes. Meanwhile, removed the proofed dough balls from the refrigerator and let them stand for 20 minutes.
Working on a well-floured surface and using your fingers, press and stretch a dough ball out to a 10-inch round, working from the center of the ball toward the edge; avoid pressing on the outermost edge.
Step 5: Transfer Rounds
Move the dough round to a lightly floured peel before adding any toppings (it isn't easy to move once the toppings are on).
Flour Tip: Dust the peel sparingly with flour; if you use too much, it will stick to the bottom of the pizza and burn.
Step 6: Add Toppings and Bake
Top the pizza with sauce, cheese, herbs or any ingredients you choose, making sure to leave a 1-inch border around the edge. Remember that less is more, especially with sauce.
Step 7: Bake the Pizza
Turn the oven to broil for 5 minutes, then return it to 500°. Bake until the bottom is lightly charred; 6 minutes for a chewier crust, 8 minutes for a crispier one.
Oven Tip: Set your oven to the highest temperature possible. If you have a convection feature, use it to circulate the hot air around the pizza.