About Me:

Hi y'all! My name is Elizabeth Knicely, but I go by Liz. I am a 35 year old wife and mother of 3 wonderful children. I am also a pet owner of a cat, dog and turtle. I am an avid home chef, ambitious artist and amateur comedian. I'm just a small town girl trying to leave a mark on this world. Welcome to my blog!

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Neapolitan-Style Pizza Crust


This recipe creates an easy-to-shape dough that yields a wonderfully chewy, crispy crust. This is destined to be your new go-to recipe for pizza night!


PREP TIME: 15 minutes

REST TIME: 12-24 hours

COOK TIME: 4 to 8 minutes

TOTAL TIME: 1 day 30 minutes

SERVINGS: Two 10" to 12" Pizzas


INGREDIENTS:

232 grams (approx. 2 cups) Pizza Flour or Bread Flour

1/8 teaspoon Instant Yeast or Active Dry Yeast

1/2 teaspoon Granulated Sugar

1 1/4 teaspoons Salt

3/4 cup Water, lukewarm (105 degrees Fahrenheit to 115 degrees Fahrenheit)

Pizza Toppings of Choice (Pizza Sauce, Mozzarella Cheese, Pepperoni, etc.


DIRECTIONS:

1. Place the Yeast into the water and allow it to set aside while prepping the next step.

2. Weigh your flour, or measure it by gently spooning it into a cup, then sweeping off any excess. In a medium bowl, mix the dry ingredients, then add the water/yeast mixture. Stir until just combined, making a rough but cohesive dough.

3. Cover the bowl with plastic cling wrap and allow the dough to rise at room temperature overnight, for at least 12 hours and up to 24 hours. (After being mixed the dough probably won't double in side; instead it will simply become a bit puffy.)

4. Place a rack in the center of your own and preheat the oven to 500 degrees fahrenheit to 550 degrees Fahrenheit (if your oven goes to 550 degrees Fahrenheit) with a Baking Steel or Stone inside. The position of the rack is important, particularly if you're using parchment paper - too close to the broiler (you need at least 8" clearance) and the top of your pizza (and any visible edges of the parchment) will burn before the bottom has had time to bake through. Make sure your oven is at the required temperature for at least 30 minutes before baking, so the steel or stone can fully preheat.

5. Divide the dough in half. Working with one piece at a time, transfer the dough to a well-floured surface.

6. Stretch and fold it, as follows; holding onto the edge at both ends, pull one end away from the other, then fold it back onto itself. Repeat on the other side. The dough will likely be sticky - don't worry about it looking neat as you fold. Be sure to keep your hands floured as you work.

7. Repeat this process on the other side of the dough, so that all four corners of the dough have been stretched and folded.

8. Next, pull the ends of the dough towards the middle, then turn it over. Using your fingers, pull the dough under itself to make a smooth, round ball with the seams tucked into the bottom.

9. Repeat with the second piece of dough, and place each ball seam-side down into a floured bowl.

10. Cover the bowls and allow the dough to rise for 45 minutes to an hour, while your oven preheats. In colder weather, place the bowls on the stove top (above the preheating oven) to stay warm.

11. Generously flour a wooden peel, rubbing flour into the board to completely coat. If your using a metal peel, or if this is your first attempt at homemade pizza, place a piece of parchment on your peel instead of using flour.

12. Scoop the risen dough onto a well-floured work surface seam-side down (a bowl-scrapper is helpful here), using care to shape it as round as possible for easier stretching. If the dough feels wet, use a generous dusting of flour on top. For dough that feels dried, use slightly less flour.

13. Use your fingertips to gently depress the dough, being careful not to touch the outer edge of the crust. This step is important - leaving the circumference untouched at this stage will result in a beautiful bubbly outer crust post-bake.

14. Again, using care to not touch the outermost edge of the crust, lift the pizza from the work surface and use your knuckles to gently stretch the dough into a 10" to 12" circle. If the dough is at all sticky, use more flour. Use two hands at once to gently move the dough in a circle, allowing gravity to perform the stretch. Gravity is your friend! :et it do most of the work for you, as pulling will stretch the center more than the edges. If you find your dough is difficult to stretch, set it down on a floured surface for 5 to 10 minutes to allow the gluten to relax.

15. Move the dough to the floured peel (or floured sheet of parchment) and adjust it so none is hanging off the edge. Remember - if the dough is sticky when you put it on the peel, it will stick to the peel! Make sure it is well-floured.

16. If you're using parchment, trim the excess around the dough to prevent it from burning. To be safe I recommend trimming the paper flush with the dough, especially if your parchment's heat rating is below 500 degrees Fahrenheit, as many are.

17. Lightly sauce the dough, then top with the cheese of your choice. Add additional toppings as desired.

18. Turn on the top broiler in your preheated oven, and transfer the pie to your preheated steel or stone. If you only have a bottom broiler (in a drawer underneath the oven), don't use it - there's not enough clearance (see "tips," below). But no worries; even if you can't use a broiler you can simply bake your pie for a few minutes longer, and with a steel or stone it will turn out just fine.

19. If you're using a wooden peel, jiggle the uncooked pizza back and forth until it moves easily on the peel before quickly transferring it to the steel or stone. If you're using parchment, gently slide pizza and parchment onto the steel or stone. The parchment will blacken around any edges showing, but remain intact under the pizza.

20. Bake the pizza for approximately 6 minutes on the steel or 7 minutes on the stone (give or take), until bubbly and charred around the edges. Remove the pizza from the oven, and top it with fresh basil leaves, if desired.

21. Repeat with the remaining dough and toppings.


NOTES:

**For a shorter-rise version of this recipe, proceed as follows: Increase the yeast to 1/2 teaspoon. After mixing the ingredients into a rough but cohesive dough, cover and let rest of 20 to 30 minutes. After this rest, grasp one edge of the dough, pull it up and out, and tuck it into the center. Give the bowl a quarter turn and repeat three more times, until you've gone all the way around. Cover and allow the dough to rise at room temperature for at least 8 hours; this can be done before leaving for work. When you're ready to bake pizza, follow the recipe above starting at step #4.


**Warning DO NOT place your pizza under a broiler with less than 8" of space between it and the cooking surface (as is often found with bottom broilers.) This could cause a fire. Broiling instructions for this recipe are written for an oven equipped with a top broiler. If you have an where the broiler is on the bottom (Usually in the bottom compartment of the oven) or on the top in a smaller, separate compartment, make sure there's at least 8" between the broiler and the cooking surface. If there isn't, don't use the broiler. Your pizza will still be great without being broiled, though it may take a few more minutes to bake.


**Why you parchment instead of flour on a metal peel? Releasing the dough from a wooden peel (even a generously floured one) takes some practice, and is even more difficult using a metal peel. Parchment is easier to use while you perfect your technique, and renders equally delicious crusts.

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