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Classic Pizza Dough, Neo-Neapolitan-Style

Written By Peter Reinhart
Thursday, 23 December 2010 Written Recipes


Classic Pizza Dough, Neo-Neapolitan Style

(Makes five 8-ounce pizzas)


What makes this Neo-Neapolitan is that I use American bread flour instead of Italian -00- flour, but you can certainly use Italian flour, such as Caputo, if you want to make an authentic Napoletana dough. Just cut back on the water by about 2 ounces, since Italian flour does not absorb as much as the higher protein American flour. Always use unbleached flour for better flavor but, if you only have bleached flour it will still work even if it doesn’t taste quite as good. If you want to make it more like a New Haven-style dough (or like Totonno’s or other coal-oven pizzerias), add 1 tablespoon of sugar or honey and 2 tablespoons of olive oil. These are optional–the dough is great with or without them. As with the Country Dough, the key is to make it wet enough so that the cornicione (the edge or crown) really puffs in the oven.

Neo-Neopolitan Dough

Neo-Neopalitan dough in proofing trays

5 1/4 cups (24 ounces by weight) unbleached bread flour

2 teaspoons (0.5 oz.) kosher salt


1 1/4 teaspoons (0.14 oz.) instant yeast (or 1 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast dissolved in the water)

2 tablespoons (1 oz.) olive oil (optional)

1 tablespoons (1/2 oz.) sugar or honey (optional)

2 1/4 cups (18 oz.) room temperature water (less if using honey or oil)

–You can mix this by hand with a big spoon or in an electric mixer using the paddle (not the dough hook).

–Combine all the ingredients in the bowl and mix for one minute, to form a coarse, sticky dough ball.

–Let the dough rest for five minutes, then mix again for one minute to make a smooth, very tacky ball of dough.

–Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled work surface, rub a little oil on your hands, and fold the dough into a smooth ball. Let it rest on the work surface for 5 minutes and then stretch and fold the dough into a tight ball. Repeat this again, two more times, at 5 minute intervals. Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and immediately place in the refrigerator. The dough can be used anywhere from 6 hours to three days after it goes in the fridge.

(Note: the following steps are the same as for the Country Pizza Dough:) When ready to make the pizzas, pull the dough from the refrigerator two hours prior to when you plan to bake. Divide the dough into five 8-ounce pieces (if there is any extra dough divide it evenly among the dough balls). With either oil or flour on your hands, form each piece into a tight dough ball and place on a lightly oiled pan. Mist the dough balls with spray oil and cover loosely with plastic wrap or place the pan inside a large plastic bag. Give the dough at least 90 minutes before making the pizzas. If you don’t plan to use them all, place the extra dough balls inside of an oiled freezer bag and keep in the refrigerator (for up to three days) or in the freezer (for up to three months).

–If using a pizza stone in your home oven, preheat the oven to the highest setting

one hour before you plan to make the pizzas. If using a wood-fired oven, you know what to do for your particular oven. If you do not have a baking stone you can bake the pizzas on a sheet pan.

–Top with your favorite toppings–this dough can be stretched thin (12-13 inches) for Roman-style pizzas, or 10-11-inches for Naples-style.



Jean Puppe

Hi Peter – I have a question. If I want to make more than 5 pizza crusts, can I double this? Or is it best to keep it at the amounts you have in your recipe and make how many batches that are needed?

    Peter Reinhart

    Hi Jean, I just posted a reply on the recipe but, since this is a new platform, let me do it again. Yes, feel free to double the recipe or make it in any size as long as you keep the ingredients in the same ratio. You can freeze the dough balls you don’t plan to use within the next two to three days. Hope this helps. Peter

Peter Reinhart

Hi Jean, Yes, you can multiply the amount to any size you’d like, keeping all ingredients in the same ratio. Feel free to double it and freeze the doughs you don’t plan to use within the next 2 to 3 days. Hope this helps.

Guy Guarino

Have been making pizza in my WFO for several years now. I noticed that you wrote “electric mixer using the paddle (not the dough hook).”
My recipe is 4 1/2 cups AP flour 5/8 yeast 1/4 tsp sugar 1 tsp salt and 1 3/4 cups water. After the yeast foams up in the water the sugar I add in the flour and salt and use a dough hook. All the other steps are as expected. I have always gotten great results. This yields two 18″ pies. Do you not use a dough hook with bread flour because you don’t want it to build to much protein or gluten? I tried the paddle once and didn’t see or taste a difference. Am I missing something?

David Kirkwood

I’m working on a sour dough (natural yeast) method and having some success. Any suggestions for this?

Bob smith

Hello peter i use your pizza dough #1 and its great would like to know if i can use it to make bread

    Peter Reinhart

    Hi Bob, Yes, pizza dough is just a type of bread dough and it makes wonderful ciabatta bread and rolls. Feel free to play with it, baking it as if for French bread, with steam and at about 450-475 F.

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