Mouthwatering Neapolitan Pizza: An Authentic Italian Delight with a Crispy Crust and Perfectly Balanced Flavors

Mouthwatering Neapolitan Pizza: An Authentic Italian Delight with a Crispy Crust and Perfectly Balanced Flavors

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Neapolitan pizza is a true Italian classic, recognized around the world for its simple yet flavorful ingredients, thin and slightly chewy crust, and the perfect balance of tangy tomato sauce, creamy mozzarella, and fresh basil. This pizza is traditionally cooked in a wood-fired oven, which gives it a distinctive smoky flavor, but it can also be made in a regular oven with great results.

Description:
Neapolitan pizza, originating from Naples, Italy, is known for its minimalistic approach, using only fresh and high-quality ingredients. The dough is left to rise for a significant amount of time, resulting in a light and airy crust that pairs beautifully with the tangy sweetness of San Marzano tomatoes and the creaminess of fresh mozzarella cheese. A few fresh basil leaves and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil make this pizza truly exceptional.

Ingredients:

  • 500g of Tipo “00” flour or all-purpose flour
  • 325ml of lukewarm water
  • 10g of salt
  • 3g of active dry yeast
  • 400g of canned San Marzano tomatoes
  • 250g of fresh mozzarella cheese (preferably buffalo mozzarella)
  • Fresh basil leaves
  • Extra virgin olive oil

Instructions:
1. Prepare the dough:

  1. Dissolve the yeast in the lukewarm water and let it sit for a few minutes until it becomes frothy.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour and salt.
  3. Gradually add the yeast mixture into the flour, mixing continuously until you form a dough.
  4. Knead the dough on a lightly floured surface for about 10 minutes until smooth and elastic.
  5. Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl, cover it with a damp cloth, and let it rise in a warm place for about 8-12 hours, or until it has doubled in size.

2. Prepare the tomato sauce:

  1. Blend the canned San Marzano tomatoes until they form a smooth sauce.
  2. Season with a pinch of salt to taste. No need to cook the sauce, keep it fresh and simple.

3. Shape the dough:

  1. Preheat your oven to the highest temperature it can go (typically around 250°C/482°F) and place a pizza stone or baking sheet inside to heat.
  2. Divide the dough into 2 to 4 equal pieces, depending on how large you want your pizzas.
  3. On a lightly floured surface, shape each piece into a disk and stretch it out with your hands to form a thin crust. Avoid using a rolling pin to maintain the airiness of the dough.

4. Assemble the pizza:

  1. Spread a thin layer of the tomato sauce evenly over the dough, leaving a small border around the edges.
  2. Tear the mozzarella cheese into small pieces and distribute it evenly over the sauce.
  3. Add a few fresh basil leaves and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil on top.

5. Cook the pizza:

  1. Carefully transfer the pizza onto the preheated pizza stone or baking sheet.
  2. Bake the pizza for about 8-10 minutes or until the crust is golden and the cheese is bubbly and slightly browned.

6. Serve:

  1. Remove the pizza from the oven and let it cool for a minute.
  2. Add a few more fresh basil leaves and another drizzle of extra virgin olive oil before serving.

Enjoy your delicious homemade Neapolitan pizza, straight from your oven to the table!
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