Baked in only 90 seconds Neapolitan pizza is not just a delicious treat, but a beautiful sight to see. This iconic pizza which originated in Naples, Italy is made of dough made with only flour, water, salt and yeast. The dough is easily stretched by hand, it is soft and effortlessly extendable. Once baked it will be beautifully framed with a thick but airy CORDONE marked by the typically charred leopard markings on the outer crust. First and foremost, before we get too far ahead of us, we must learn to make a good dough for our Pizza Napoletana. Let's get to work!
1.5 Kg "00"Caputo Flour
1 liter water at room temperature
1/4 scant teaspoon instant dry yeast - you can also use a very small amount of lievito di birra - fresh yeast also known as cake yeast
40 grams salt
Pour water into a large capacity bowl.
Add yeast and allow to dissolve.
Mix flour and salt thoroughly and add to the water and yeast.
With the help of a dough whisk begin to mix all ingredients.
As soon as all the flour has thoroughly been incorporated with the wet ingredients, transfer the dough on a lightly floured work surface. You will notice that the dough will be a bit sticky. No worries!
Begin working the dough by using the "slap and fold method" as shown in the video. To do this, place your fingers under the dough, lift it off the work surface, flip it over and literally slap it on the work surface. As you are holding the dough stretch it sideways as far as it will go, drag it on the counter toward you and pull. Now with a quick movement fold it over on itself as you trap some air into it. Rest it back on the work surface and once again place your fingers under the dough as you continue doing the same process over and over again. In no time, the dough will change in consistency as structure is built into it and the mass will no longer be sticky but have a more cohesive consistency. Sounds complicated, but it actually is a very quick and satisfying way to work with more hydrated doughs.
Now it is time to knead the dough with your hands for a good 10 minutes. The consistency of the dough will be tacky but not sticky. You will notice a shiny, smooth and supple consistency.
Place the dough into a container and cover it with either plastic wrap, a damp cloth, or a fitted lid.
Allow the dough to rest and rise at room temperature for about 5 to 8 hours in a draft free area of your kitchen.
Once the dough has doubled in size transfer it on a lightly dusted work surface and divide it into 250 grams portions.
Shape the dough into dough balls, as shown in the video, and set them into dough trays.
Place the dough trays into the refrigerator overnight, or even up to three days. During this time the flavor development of the dough will be much improved. If you want to bake the same day you need to let the dough rest in the refrigerator at least 6 to 8 hours.
Take the dough out of the refrigerator at least an hour before baking. Cold dough is more difficult to work with than acclimated dough. Stretch the dough for pizza making and enjoy!