Traditional Neopolitan Pizza
We love eating pizza in our household. And the great thing is you can make an almost perfect authentic Italian pizza in your own home if you have an oven. It may not be quite the same as one that comes out of an Italian wood-fired pizza oven, but you can get quite close.
This pizza dough recipe will show you how to make a Neopolitan pizza dough so you can make pizza just like the ones you get in Italy.
I have another recipe for making your own pizzas, which is quicker than this recipe (but it is not quite as good 😃 )
In the recipe on this page, you allow the dough to rest and proof which does actually make the crust a lot better and crisper.
Real Italian Pizza
I have eaten pizza in many countries and had some delicious meals in most of them.
But nothing, nothing quite beats the taste and texture of a real Italian Neopolitan style pizza. The modern pizza dish was after all invented in Naples in Italy. [Neopolitan means ‘from Naples’, where Naples in English is derived from Napoli (Italian) which in turn comes from Neapolis (new city in Greek).]
I have eaten pizza in Milan, Florence, Rome, on lake Como, Tuscany, Foppolo, Macugnaga and Courmayeur in Italy. Nothing compares. Believe me. Proper Italian pizza is by far the best pizza in the world. Statement of fact, not opinion.
Italian Thin Crust Pizza Dough Recipe
The secret is getting the crust right, as it should be thin in the middle and thicker at the edges (the cornicione), crispy but not too hard, and light not stodgy inside.
This simple recipe will give you a perfect Neopolitan pizza dough that will be the best possible pizza base for a pizza with a thin crust. Crispy yet flexible to support the pizza topping when you eat the slices by hand.
I do not know who invented the deep pan pizza, but I suspect he was not an Italian. I have never, ever seen a deep pan pizza during my travels through Italy. They have always been thin-crusted pizzas.
Try and use a nice strong flour for making the dough. I have used special Cotswold Pizza Flour to make these pizza bases.
One of the most important tricks to making a perfect Italian pizza is to cook it in a wood-fired oven. We do not have one of these, but there are alternatives you can use at home, and we just use our normal fan assisted oven on its maximum temperature. It is not perfect but it does the job.
You may have to keep an eye on the pizza after the ten-minute mark though to check it is not burning.
A really hot oven will cook the pizza much quicker and will char the dough giving it a wonderful crispy texture and slightly charred taste on the outside crust.
Treat yourself to a real portable pizza oven
So maybe you should just get yourself a real Ooni pizza oven. They have great reviews and they can be wood, charcoal or gas-fired, and will cook your pizza at 500C. They only take 15 minutes to warm up and they will also cook your perfect pizza in just 60 seconds!! Perfect for a pizza party at home!
If you eat a lot of pizza this could be a great investment or gift. 13″ or 16″ pizzas!
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Authentic Italian Pizza Toppings
There are many different types of real Italian pizza toppings. Here are a few of the better known Italian pizza toppings, that you may see in an Italian pizzeria, below:
Margherita Pizza toppings
The basic Margherita has tomato sauce, mozzarella cheese and basil, giving the colours of the Italian flag: red, white and green.
Neapolitan Pizza toppings
An authentic basic Neapolitan pizza has tomatoes from the plains of Mount Vesuvius (the volcano situated near Naples that erupted in 79 AD and buried Pompeii) and buffalo mozzarella from local Italian water buffalo.
Romana Pizza Toppings
The Romana pizza (from Rome) is crispier than a Neopolitan pizza with a smaller cornicione. Typical toppings may contain tomato sauce, mozzarella and anchovies.
Capricciosa Pizza Toppings
This pizza contains tomato sauce, mozzarella, ham, mushrooms, artichokes and olives. It has the same ingredients as a Quattro Stagioni (Four Seasons), but on the Quattro Stagioni they are placed in four separate quadrants to represent the four seasons.
Quattro Formaggi Toppings
This pizza contains 4 different types of cheese, often mozzarella, gorgonzola, Parmigiano and Fontina. But you may find that other Italian or non-Italian cheeses are used. Normally it will include one blue, soft, creamy and hard cheese.
Typical Siciliana toppings contain tomato sauce, mozzarella, capers, anchovies and olives.
Prosciutto e Funghi (Ham and mushrooms) Toppings
This pizza contains tomato sauce, mozzarella, Prosciutto (dried Italian ham) and mushrooms.
Any pizza topping you want!
But of course, you can add any types of topping to your pizza (well almost) to make whatever you prefer.
The pizza below I made last week has prosciutto, onions and salami as well as some salted anchovies.
This pizza below that I made yesterday (below) had onions, mushrooms, tomatoes, capers, anchovies and pepperoni, in addition to mozzarella and tomato passata. A bit of a mix of a Siciliana and a Proscuitto e funghi! But not quite!!
Both of these were really tasty! Use the ingredients you like on your pizza!
I hope you enjoy trying this recipe. It is great fun to do with kids – they all love making up their own pizzas!
Here is a video that my daughter made last time we made our own pizzas. We are still learning how to make videos as you can see! I hope you enjoy it!
How to make a real Italian Pizza
And here are some other Italian recipes: