“I think I deserve something beautiful.”
― Elizabeth Gilbert, Eat, Pray, Love
Pizza Napolatena, is a type of pizza that originated in Naples, Italy. Neapolitan pizza is traditionally made from simple, fresh ingredients: a basic dough, raw tomatoes or fresh sauce, basic mozzarella cheese, fresh basil, and olive oil–no fancy toppings here. One of its defining characteristics is there is often more sauce than cheese, leaving the middle of the pie wet or soggy and not favorable being served by the slice. Because of this, Neapolitan pizzas are generally pretty small (about 10-12 inches), making them closer to the size of a personal pizza. These saucy, piquant pies are baked at very high temperatures (800°F-900°F) for no more than 90 seconds. Since conventional ovens only reach 500* the below recipe was converted for the modern oven. Having said the above, this pizza is no slouch and every bit as luscious as one baked on the molten coals of Mount Vesuvius 🙂
*Suggestion. See note below before making the dough. If you feel adventurous, please feel free to make the dough recipe, but this scrumptious pie goes together in a flash if you use the quick option suggested below.
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 package(s) (1/4-ounce) rapid-rise yeast
2 tsp sugar
1 tsp salt
1 cup(s) water
2 tablespoon(s) extra virgin olive oil
2 tsp cornmeal
3/4 cup bottled pizza or marinara sauce
3/4 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella or slices of fresh…I used fresh
3/4 cup Muenster cheese
½ cup fresh basil leaves; whole
2 tbsps grated Parmesan cheese
SEE NOTE BELOW
In food processor, process 1 3/4 cups flour, yeast, sugar, and salt 5 seconds.
Heat water and 2 tablespoons oil in a saucepan or microwave until just warm
With processor running, add water mixture; process to mix. Uncover processor and add remaining 1 cup flour; process until mixture forms a ball, adding more flour if needed, 1 teaspoon at a time. Continue processing 1 minute to knead dough
Place dough on a lightly floured surface, cover with a bowl and let rest 10 minutes.
Meanwhile place 1 rack on lowest tread of oven. Heat to 450° Grease 12” round pizza pan with oil; sprinkle with cornmeal.
On a lightly floured surface with a lightly floured rolling pin, roll dough into a rough circle, then, with fingers, stretch dough to a 12-inch round. Lift to prepared pan. Press some dough to edges to form a thicker rim. Loosely cover pan with plastic wrap; let dough rise 20 minutes. Prick crust with a fork; brush rim with oil.
Bake 8 minutes or just until edges are pale golden.
Spread crust with pizza sauce; sprinkle with cheeses and spread basil. Bake on low oven rack for 8 to 12 minutes until crust has browned and cheese has melted.
NOTE: If you’re short on time simply visit your local pizzeria for a pound or two of fresh dough.