The Authentic Delight – Crafting a Neapolitan Pizza at Home

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Neapolitan pizza is a culinary masterpiece that has captured the hearts and taste buds of pizza lovers worldwide. This classic Italian pizza is renowned for its simplicity, using only the finest ingredients and a traditional wood-fired oven to create a harmonious blend of flavors. In this article, we'll guide you through the art of making Neapolitan pizza right in your own kitchen.

Ingredients

For the Dough:

  • 2 1/4 cups (300g) Tipo 00 flour (highly refined Italian flour)
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon active dry yeast
  • 1 cup (240ml) lukewarm water


For the Sauce:

  • 1 can (14 oz) of San Marzano tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil


For Toppings:

  • Fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced or torn
  • Fresh basil leaves
  • Extra-virgin olive oil


Instructions

Preparing the Dough:

In a small bowl, combine the lukewarm water and sugar. Sprinkle the yeast over the water’s surface and let it sit for about 5-10 minutes until it becomes foamy.

In a larger mixing bowl, combine the Tipo 00 flour and sea salt. Create a well in the center.

Pour the yeast mixture into the well and slowly incorporate it into the flour. Knead the dough until it’s smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes.

Shape the dough into a ball and place it in a lightly floured bowl. Cover it with a damp cloth and let it rise for at least 2 hours, or until it has doubled in size.

Preparing the Sauce:

Drain the San Marzano tomatoes and crush them by hand into a bowl.

Add sea salt and a teaspoon of extra-virgin olive oil. Mix well and set aside.

Assembling and Baking:

Preheat your oven to the highest temperature possible, ideally 800°F (430°C), and place a pizza stone or steel on the lowest rack. Let it heat for at least 30 minutes.

On a lightly floured surface, gently shape the risen dough into a thin 12-inch round pizza crust, leaving a slightly thicker edge for the crust.

Transfer the pizza dough onto a pizza peel dusted with flour or cornmeal to prevent sticking.

Spread the tomato sauce evenly over the dough, leaving a small border for the crust.

Add fresh mozzarella cheese evenly across the pizza, followed by fresh basil leaves.

Drizzle a bit of extra-virgin olive oil over the top.

Carefully slide the pizza onto the preheated pizza stone or steel in the oven.

Bake for about 90 seconds to 2 minutes, or until the crust is puffy and slightly charred, and the cheese is bubbly and golden.

Using the pizza peel, remove the pizza from the oven and let it cool for a minute before slicing.

Making Neapolitan pizza at home is a rewarding culinary adventure. With a few simple ingredients and a hot oven, you can recreate the magic of this classic Italian dish right in your own kitchen. The crispy yet tender crust, the vibrant tomato sauce, and the creamy mozzarella cheese come together to create a taste of Naples that you won’t soon forget. So, gather your ingredients and enjoy a slice of authentic Neapolitan pizza today!


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