Pizza Dough

The Perfect

Pizza Night

On the one hand, there's nothing like eating pizza in Italy. From the classic pizza margherita, a dish so simple it verges on minimalist, to a beautiful square of pizza al taglio, piled high with seasonal vegetables, Italian pizza comes in an incredible array of shapes, sizes and flavors, each a delicious culinary adventure.

And while we wish that we could eat every pizza in Italy, we've also come to appreciate the joy of making great pizza at home. After decades of traveling to Italy and sampling pizza across the 20 regions, we've perfected our favorite recipe for a classic Neapolitan-style dough that results in a wonderfully light and amazingly flavorful crust. Below,  you'll find everything you need to have a great pizza night, from the perfect dough to ​a mood setting pizza playlist.

 

Buon appetito from our family kitchen to yours,

- Mr. & Mrs. Italy 

The Dough

Good things come to those who wait. This recipe requires a little planning, in that you should make your dough the night before you want to make the pizza, so you can let it rest at least overnight.

Resting the dough allows time for the flavor and structure to develop, resulting in a lighter and more delicious pizza.

Ingredients:

  • 500g (4 C) high protein flour*. We use Caputo 00 Pizza Flour which is ideal,  but you can also high protein bread flour.

  • 15g  (2 tsp) coarse salt (sea salt or kosher)

  • 5g (1 1/4 tsp) traditional active dry yeast

  • 300g / 300 mL water at room temperature
     

*All Purpose Flour will work, but don't use pastry flour as it is too low in protein and gluten.

Directions:

 

  1. Combine flour, salt, yeast in the bowl of a stand mixer or regular mixing bowl.

  2. Stir in water just to combine, mix until a rough dough ball forms.

  3. Stop mixing and let stand for 30 minutes.

  4. Knead for 7-10 minutes on medium speed, or by hand or until dough is smooth and elastic.

  5. Remove dough from mixing bowl, and form into a tight ball on your countertop -- don’t use any flour during this step!

  6. Place dough ball in a container with a tight fitting lid, large enough to allow the dough to double in size.

  7. Place container in fridge overnight, or up to several days, allowing the dough to ferment.

  8. About an hour to an hour and a half before you want to bake the pizzas, remove dough from fridge and form into 3 equal balls.

  9. Cover loosely on the countertop and allow to rise and warm before shaping.

The Toppings

When it comes what you put on your pizza, we're firm believers in the idea of quality over quantity. Here are some of our go-to favorites for pizza:

Sauces

Cheeses

  • Fresh mozzarella is a must! Typically sold wrapped in plastic or in water, either a large ball or the small ones will work. Cut or tear by hand into bite sized pieces, and distribute evenly over sauce. 
     

  • We love incorporating a more assertive cheese in tandem with the creamy mozzeralla.  Gorgonzola or Taleggio adds an incredible boost of flavor, and a bit of saltiness. Similarly, grated Parmesean or Asiago adds further depth and saltiness

Seasonal Toppings

  • We love a fresh pesto on our pizza! Our move is to add dollops of pesto amidst the cheese.
     

  • Another house favorite is a combination of gorgonzola and thinly sliced pears, topped with arugula and a drizzle of balsamic vinegar after the pizza has been baked.
     

  • For meat lovers, we suggest adding prosciutto or salami.

The Bake

Crank the heat! The key to cooking your pizza properly is to get your oven or your grill as hot as you can. Traditional wood fired pizza ovens climb to extremely high temperatures, far beyond that of a traditional oven.

  • For great crust, a pizza stone makes a big difference. This slab of ceramic or stone conducts heat evenly through the dough and creates that perfect crust. These can be used in the oven or on your grill.
     

  • We swear by our Ooni, a portable pizza oven that can be wood or gas fired. 

The Mood

At our house, pizza night is an hands-on family and friends affair, an evening in the kitchen with flour flying, wine flowing, and favorite memories of Italy shared. So whether you're dreaming of your last trip or planning for your next one, roll up your sleeves, open a bottle of Sangiovese, crank up our favorite pizza night playlist, and get pizza-making!

Additional Resources 

Let's Talk Italy

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