Napolità pizza is more than just a meal – it’s an art form. This style of pizza originated in Naples, Italy and has achieved worldwide fame. With its soft, chewy crust, ripe tomato sauce, fresh mozzarella and basil leaves, Napolità embodies the simplicity and flavor of true Neapolitan cuisine.
So what sets Napolità apart and how can you achieve authentic results at home? This guide covers the key ingredients, preparation steps and baking methods that define real Napolità pizza.
The Ingredients That Make Napolità Pizza Distinctive
While the list of ingredients that go into Napolità pizza is short, their quality and freshness is essential. Here’s what you need:
High protein flour, yeast, water and sea salt are kneaded to form the base dough. Tipo 00 flour is traditionally used for the soft, pliable texture.
San Marzano tomatoes from Italy are crushed by hand to make the sauce. They offer bright acidity and sweetness.
Fresh mozzarella made from buffalo milk is sliced by hand versus grated to ensure moistness.
Fresh basil leaves are scattered on top just before serving to preserve their flavor.
Extra virgin olive oil
Top quality, aromatic olive oil adds flavor and allows the crust to brown beautifully.
Optional: Garlic, oregano
Subtle additions of garlic and oregano add depth but can overwhelm other flavors if overused.
Quality, simplicity and freshness is the name of the game. Now let’s discuss how to bring these few components together.
Preparing the Dough for Optimal Texture
Creating the dough is the first step for Napolità pizza. Here’s how to mix and proof it properly:
- Combine flour, yeast, salt and warm water in a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook attachment.
- Mix on low speed until combined then increase to medium and knead until a smooth, elastic dough forms, about 10 minutes.
- Place dough in an oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let rise at room temperature until doubled in size, about 8-12 hours.
- Punch down risen dough and divide into 230g balls. Shape into smooth rounds.
- Place on an oiled tray, cover with plastic and proof again for 1-2 hours.
This extended fermentation process allows the dough to develop complex flavors and a soft, airy crumb when baked.
Creating the Tomato Sauce
The sauce for Napolità pizza keeps things simple. Follow these steps:
- Peel and crush San Marzano tomatoes by hand in a bowl, removing any tough parts.
- Add a pinch of sea salt, a drizzle of olive oil and a few basil leaves.
- Gently combine and briefly rest to allow flavors to meld, about 10-15 minutes.
The fresh, bright sauce provides the perfect counterpart to the chewy dough and creamy mozzarella.
Assembling Your Napolità Pizza
Once your components are prepared, it’s time for assembly. Here’s how to shape and top your pie like a pro:
Shaping the Dough
- Place a dough ball on a floured surface and use your fingers to press and stretch into a 10-12 inch round.
- Gently lift and rotate to maintain the airy rim and prevent tearing.
- Spoon on tomato sauce leaving a 1/2 inch border. Spread evenly without disrupting the crust.
- Tear fresh mozzarella pieces and place atop the sauce. Dot with whole basil leaves.
- Finish with a drizzle of olive oil around the edge for flavor and browning.
Transferring to the Oven
- Slide pizza onto a floured wooden peel then onto a preheated pizza stone or steel. Work quickly to prevent sticking.
Now it’s ready for that quick, hot bake that makes Napolità pizza so famously chewy and charred.
Baking Methods for Authentic Texture and Flavor
Traditional Neapolitan pizza ovens reach 900°F, imparting trademark leopard spotting and a tender, airy crust. You can mimic these results at home with the right technique:
- Oven temperature – Crank your home oven as high as possible, ideally 500°F+
- Pizza stone – Pre-heat a pizza stone or steel for at least 45 minutes before baking.
- Time – Bake the pizza for just 3-4 minutes until the crust puffs and chars slightly.
Napolità pizza is meant to be thin and soft. A brief, blazing hot bake ensures the bubbly, chewy outcome you want without over-cooking.
Serving Your Napolità Pizza Like a Pro
Once baked to perfection, there are just a few finishing touches for enjoying Napolità pizza like they do in Naples:
- Transfer the pizza to a wooden board, never a pan. This prevents steaming and sogginess.
- Allow to cool slightly, then slice and serve immediately while hot and fresh.
- Finish with a final drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and a pinch of grated parmesan cheese.
Now you have an authentic, artisanal Napolità pizza made completely from scratch! The secret is in the ingredients, handling of the dough, quick bake at high heat and rustic presentation.
Use this guide to craft your own true Neapolitan pizza worthy of a pizzeria in Naples. The flavor, textures and satisfaction can’t be beat.