Napoletana Pizza Dough
Recipe type: Bread
Cuisine: Italian
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Adapted from The Bread Baker's Apprentice, by Peter Reinhart.
  • 4-1/2 cups (20.25 ounces/574 g) unbleached high-gluten, bread, or all-purpose flour, chilled
  • 1-3/4 (.44 ounce/12 g) teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon (.11 ounce/3 g) instant yeast
  • 1/4 cup (2 ounces/59 mil) olive oil (optional)
  • 1-3/4 cups (14 ounces/414 mil) water, ice cold (40° F/4° C)
  • spray oil
  • Semolina flour or cornmeal for dusting
Preparation - Day 1
  1. In the mixing bowl using the paddle attachment, stir together the flour, salt, and instant yeast. Add the olive oil and the cold water, mixing on low speed until the dry ingredients are full incorporated with the liquids. Remove the paddle attachment and add the dough hook. Mix on medium speed for 5 to 7 minutes. Dough should easily clear the sides of the bowl but will stick to the bottom a little. If the dough sticks to the sides of the bowl, add a little bit of flour just until the flour clears the sides. If the dough clears the bottom of the bowl, add a teaspoon or two of cold water. The dough should be springy, elastic, and sticky and register 50° to 55° F (10° to 13° C).
  2. Sprinkle dough on a clean surface and transfer dough. Cut the dough into 6 equal pieces, depending on how large you want your pizzas. Sprinkle flour over the dough and your hands. Gently lift each piece and shape it into a ball. Lay the dough on the prepared sheet pan and mist the dough with oil. Cover the pan with plastic wrap, allowing some room for the dough to expand.
  3. Put the covered pan into the refrigerator overnight. (You can keep it for up to three days, or you can freeze the dough balls. Roll the dough balls into a little olive oil and put each ball into a separate freezer bag. Transfer to the refrigerator the day before you plan to use it. The dough will keep for up to three months.)
Preparation - Day 2
  1. Remove the dough 2 hours before you make your pizza. Dust the counter or cutting board with flour and spray lightly with oil. Place the dough ball on the prepared surface and sprinkle with flour. Dust your hands with flour and gently press the dough into disks about 1/2 inch thick and 5 inches in diameter. Dust with flour and mist with the oil. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and allow to rest for 2 hours.
  2. At least 45 minutes before making your pizza, preheat your oven as high as it will go, up to 800° F/430° C if your oven can do it. If you are cooking on a stone, put it in your oven on the floor (gas oven) or in the lower third. If you are cooking on a pan, do not preheat the pan.
  3. Shape the pizza (toss method): Generously dust a pizza peel or pan with cornmeal or semolina flour. Cover your hands with flour, including palms, knuckles, and the back of your hands. Gently lift the dough using a pastry scraper to get under it. Lay the dough across your fists and very gently stretch it by bouncing in a circular motion on your hands. If the dough starts to stick, flour your hands again. If you are feeling daring, you can try a full toss. If not, you can use a rolling pin to finish stretching the dough.
  4. Lay the dough on the generously dusted peel or pan. The dough should be able to slide around easily. Top with sauce and whatever else you would like. Since this is a thin crust, stick with 3 or 4 ingredients, otherwise the crust will have difficulty baking.
  5. Bake for 5 to 8 minutes, turning after 2 minutes to ensure even browning. Remove from oven and transfer to a cutting board. Allow to rest 3 to 5 minutes before cutting.
More Information

stand mixer with paddle and dough hook attachments
cooking thermometer
baking sheet, lined with parchment paper and lightly sprayed with cooking oil
plastic wrap
cutting board or pizza peel
pizza stone or pan
Recipe by Andrea Meyers at