I could faceplant into these pizzas – Friday has finally rolled around and I’m SO happy about it. Not only is Friday ALL about easy tasty eats, but I’ve been itching to get out into the woods for the weekend. On route!
We take pizza very seriously in my family – I may have mentioned that before. Today, one of my ALL time favourites…Neapolitan Pizza *plant based. That thin crispy chewy crust, simple toppings, & cooked to perfection. Does it get any better! Just need an authentic stone pizza oven – goals. It all starts with a GOOD dough, which I learned in Italy, it must be made fresh using wheat flour (type 00). After that, it’s all about the sauce. Simply canned crushed Italian tomatoes are bliss – thanks to my sis for that handy hint.
Neapolitan pizza dough is traditionally mixed and kneaded by hand, so if ya have it in you – go for it! Instead of using the standing mixer with the dough hook, you’ll have to mix the dough with your hands, and ensure ALL the flour has been incorporated. First, add all dry ingredients to a bowl. Give a good stir. Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and pour in the warm water. Now use your hands to mix all the ingredients until combined – adding any needed flour or water as you go. Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead it until smooth elastic consistency (about 5-8mins depending on how much practice you’ve had:). Proceed with instructions as per recipe below.
*It’s best if the dough is refrigerated overnight, or for at least 10hrs. The dough also requires 2hrs in a warm place so it can rise after being removed from the refrigerator (speedy method). If you do have time to spare, let the dough rise in a warm place for 6-8 hours after mixing/kneading, then refrigerate for up to 2days – best with rest. Remove the dough from the refrigerator, and place it in a warm place for 2hrs prior to making your pizza.
On these pizzas, I used the Spicy CherryTomato Spaghetti sauce. It has a little ‘kick’ to it and went really well with the toppings. Another option I like to use is a Creamy Italian Tomato sauce. Simply whip up some Garlicky CashewCream and mix some of it into your favourite Italian Tomato sauce – OR…use it as a dip for your crusts! Yum.
Neapolitan Pizza - thin crispy chewy crust, simple toppings, & cooked to perfection. Does it get any better! It all starts with a GOOD dough, which I learned in Italy, it must be made fresh using wheat flour (type 00). After that, it's all about the sauce. Simply crushed canned Italian tomatoes is a great start. This is a perfect meal to get everyone involved - pizza night!
- 3 cups type 00 flour
- 1&1/2 tsp sea salt
- 3/4 tsp active quick rising yeast
- 1 cup + 1tbsp warm water *not hot
- extra virgin olive oil
- corn meal, fine grind
Using a standing mixer with dough hook attachment, add the flour, sea salt, and yeast to the bowl. Turn on to low. Allow to mix for about 1min and then begin slowly pouring in the warm water. Once all the water has been added, continue mixing on low for about 8mins. The dough should form a ball. If the dough is too 'sticky', dust in a little more flour until a ball forms. If too dry, drizzle in a little more warm water. Turn off the mixer.
In a med./large bowl, drizzle in about 1/2tbsp of olive oil - more if needed. Take the dough ball out of the mixing bowl and place it in the bowl with the oil. Spin the dough ball around in the bowl to coat lightly in oil. Cover the top of the bowl with plastic wrap so no air can get in. *Refrigerate overnight, or for at least 10hrs.
Remove the dough from the refrigerator, take off the plastic wrap, and knead it on a lightly oiled surface for about 1min. Cut the dough into three equal portions, or as per size of desired pizza. Form each portion back into a ball and place each into its own lightly oiled bowl covered tightly with plastic wrap. Place the bowls in a warm place to rise for about 2hrs.
Once risen, preheat the oven to 500*F. If you have a cast iron skillet, they work great for getting the pizza crust nice & crispy. If no cast iron skillet, use a pizza stone or pan. Lightly oil the pan if not already 'pre-seasoned', and dust a little corn meal over the pan.
Take the risen dough out of the bowl, and begin stretching it out with your hands and knuckles to form your crust. The dough should be very elastic so it will take some effort to stretch it out - think thin centre with a sturdier outer crust.
Place the stretch dough into the prepared pan or skillet. Spoon on and smear around the tomato sauce leaving about 1/2-1inch from the edge (crust). Add your toppings - Neapolitan pizzas are traditionally topped with just three items...San Marzano tomatoes, fresh mozzarella (plant based for me), and fresh basil...Margherita. *Brush the crust of the pizza with a little oil or garlic butter.
Place the pizza in the oven for 5-7mins, then broil on high for about 3mins. The crust should be golden, and the cheese just beginning to bubble. Remove from the oven. Slice & serve hot.
~ Freeze any extra dough. Best if used within one month of being frozen.
~ Add fresh basil & pesto after the pizza has been removed from the oven.