Best Tips for Making Authentic Neapolitan Pizza at Home

How to Make the Perfect Italian Pizza at Home

Neapolitan pizza, known for its thin crust, simple toppings, and delicious flavor, is a favorite among pizza enthusiasts worldwide. While it might seem daunting to replicate this Italian classic at home, it’s entirely possible with the right techniques and ingredients. Here, we’ll provide you with the best tips for making authentic Neapolitan pizza at home, so you can enjoy a taste of Naples without leaving your kitchen.

A Authentic Neapolitan Pizza
Best Tips for Making Authentic Neapolitan Pizza at Home

The Importance of Ingredients

First and foremost, the key to authentic Neapolitan pizza lies in the quality of the ingredients. Here are the essential components:

  • Flour: Use “00” flour, which is finely ground and has a lower gluten content. This type of flour creates the perfect texture for the pizza dough.
  • Yeast: Opt for fresh yeast if possible. If using dry yeast, ensure it’s high-quality.
  • Water: Use cold water to slow down the fermentation process, allowing the dough to develop more flavor.
  • Salt: Sea salt is preferred for its purity and flavor.
  • Tomatoes: San Marzano tomatoes are the traditional choice for their sweet and rich flavor.
  • Mozzarella: Use fresh mozzarella di bufala or fior di latte for the best taste and texture.
  • Olive Oil: Extra virgin olive oil adds a rich, fruity flavor to your pizza.

Preparing the Dough

The dough is the foundation of any good pizza. Here’s how to make it authentically:

  1. Mixing Ingredients:
    • Combine 500g of “00” flour, 325ml of cold water, 1g of fresh yeast, and 15g of sea salt.
  2. Kneading:
    • Mix the ingredients until a dough forms, then knead for about 10-15 minutes until smooth and elastic.
  3. Fermentation:
    • Let the dough rest for 2 hours at room temperature, then refrigerate for 24-48 hours. This slow fermentation process enhances the flavor.

Shaping the Dough

Shaping the dough correctly is crucial for achieving the characteristic thin crust:

  • Dividing: Divide the dough into 4 equal portions and shape each into a ball.
  • Resting: Let the dough balls rest at room temperature for 2 hours before shaping.
  • Stretching: Gently stretch the dough using your hands, avoiding the use of a rolling pin. Start from the center and work outwards, leaving a slightly thicker edge for the crust.

Preparing the Sauce

The sauce should be simple and fresh:

  • Crushing: Crush San Marzano tomatoes by hand or use a blender for a smooth sauce.
  • Seasoning: Add a pinch of sea salt and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil. Fresh basil can also be added for extra flavor.

Adding Toppings

Less is more when it comes to Neapolitan pizza toppings:

  • Tomato Sauce: Spread a thin layer of the prepared tomato sauce over the dough.
  • Mozzarella: Tear the mozzarella into small pieces and distribute evenly.
  • Basil: Add fresh basil leaves for authentic flavor.
  • Olive Oil: Drizzle a bit of extra virgin olive oil over the top.

Baking the Pizza

The baking process is crucial for achieving the perfect texture:

  • Preheating: Preheat your oven to the highest temperature possible (around 250°C/482°F) with a pizza stone or steel inside. This mimics the high heat of a wood-fired oven.
  • Baking: Slide the pizza onto the preheated stone or steel using a pizza peel. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until the crust is golden and the cheese is bubbly.

Additional Tips for Perfection

  • Hydration: The dough should be well-hydrated to create a light and airy crust. Adjust the water content if necessary.
  • Timing: Don’t rush the fermentation process. Longer fermentation develops better flavor and texture.
  • Temperature: Ensure your oven is thoroughly preheated. A hot baking surface is essential for a crispy crust.
  • Practice: Making perfect Neapolitan pizza takes practice. Don’t get discouraged if your first attempts aren’t perfect. Keep refining your technique.

Experimenting with Toppings

While traditional Neapolitan pizza has minimal toppings, you can experiment with different ingredients while maintaining authenticity:

  • Prosciutto and Arugula: Add prosciutto and fresh arugula after baking for a delicious twist.
  • Mushrooms and Truffle Oil: Sauté mushrooms and drizzle with truffle oil for a gourmet touch.
  • Anchovies and Capers: For a salty, savory flavor, add anchovies and capers before baking.


In conclusion, making authentic Neapolitan pizza at home is an achievable goal with the right ingredients, techniques, and a bit of practice. From preparing the dough and sauce to baking the pizza at a high temperature, each step contributes to the final product. By following these tips and experimenting with different toppings, you can enjoy a taste of Naples in your kitchen. So, gather your ingredients, preheat your oven, and start your journey to becoming a Neapolitan pizza master. Buon appetito!