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Authentic Neopolitan Pizza Dough

This dough will take about 17 hours to develop, so is great for making at night for your dinner the next day. For best results use a 'starter' but you can also use yeast. The dough will need to be left in an ambient temperature of around 21C.

Makes 640g of pizza dough

250ml lukewarm water 22C (preferably mineral or filtered water)

0.5 dry yeast or 30g starter (levain)

8g olive oil

380g Shipton Mill '00' grade white flour

10g salt

> In a bowl measure out the water and add the yeast (or levain/starter), stir and add the olive oil.

> Put the flour and salt in a large glass or ceramic bowl (2 litre) and combine the ingredients with your fingers.

> Pour the liquid into the flour in stages, mixing each time with your fingers.

> Lightly work using only your fingers, bringing the dough together and use all the flour; knead the dough with your knuckles as well.

> When the ingredients have roughly come together - rest the dough. This will make it easier to knead and ensure the water is soaked up.

> After 15 minutes, use knucles and fingers again to knead the dough for around 5 minutes.

> Once kneaded cover the bowl with clingfilm, leave to sit for around an hour.

> Now fold the dough by drawing the four edges one after another into the centre and pressing down on them, using your hands shape the dough into a large ball and turn it over. You can add flour or oil to the bowl to prevent the dough sticking to the sides when you need to take it out. Finally brush a bit of olive oil on top and cover the bowl again so it is airtight, and store out of direct sunlight.

> Leave the dough in ambient temperature of around 21C for about 17 hours, then your dough will be ready to use.

> To shape the dough: divide up the dough (each pizza dough will weigh about 230-250g), put portions of dough on a well floured surface and form your pizza dough balls with your hands working in a circular motion. Next press down from the middle and work outwards keeping the round shape all the time; be careful not to squeeze down at the edges as you want a lovely large soft crust. Flip over and do the same the other side of the dough. Now start to turn the dough on the surface, with your hands (clockwise motion), keeping it flat and keep your hands in the middle pushing out slightly to get the flat pizza dough to a diameter of a dinner place (8-10"). Place your frying pan on the hob at a high heat, then carefully lift up your pizza dough tapping off most of the flour - pop it straight into the hot frying pan (no oil!). Give it a few minutes to puff up. To check when it is done lift up the base and peek underneath, when a dappled brown pattern starts to appear it should be done (around 3-5 minutes depending whether your hob is gas or electric).

Take it of the heat and add your tomato sauce (passata) a few toppings of your choice and mozzerella cheese, seasoning etc.

Finally pop it under the grill with the grill on the maximum heat setting - keep an eye on it checking every minute. When the crust if just browned and the ingredients as bubbling away nicely, it's done - enjoy!