Neapolitan Pizza Dough
A Neapolitan pizza crust must be thin, but not cracker-thin as is traditional in Rome. If you prefer an extra-crisp super-thin crust, roll the dough into a round 11 inches (28 cm) in diameter rather than the 9 inches (23 cm) specified in the pizza recipes. Note that these directions make enough for 2 crusts. This pizza recipe calls for only half that amount. You can refrigerate the extra dough for up to 2 days or freeze for up to 1 month, or double the topping ingredients in the recipes and make 2 pizzas
- 1 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
- 1/4 cup lukewarm water (105 degrees F)
- 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 cup cold water
- 1 2/3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour, plus flour for kneading
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
Preparation time 10mins
Cooking time 95mins
In a large mixing bowl, stir the yeast into the lukewarm water. Let stand until creamy, about 10 minutes. Stir in the olive oil and the cold water, and then whisk in 1/2 cup of the flour and the salt, stirring until smooth. Stir in the remaining flour, 1/2 cup at a time, until the dough comes together in a rough mass.
On a lightly floured work surface, knead the dough until smooth and velvety, 8 to 10 minutes. It will be soft. Cover loosely with a kitchen towel and let rest for 15 minutes.
Divide into 2 equal portions, knead briefly, then roll each portion into a smooth, tight round ball. To use the dough immediately, sprinkle a little flour on the work surface and set the balls on it. Cover them with a kitchen towel and let rise for 1 hour, then stretch and top the dough as directed in each recipe.
You may also store one or both balls of dough until ready to use. For short-term storage and for a slow rise resulting in more flavor, place the dough balls on a small baking pan lined with a kitchen towel, cover them with a second towel and refrigerate for up to 48 hours; remove from the refrigerator and let stand at room temperature for 10 to 15 minutes before forming the pizza. For longer storage, slip each flour-dusted ball into a plastic freezer bag, seal tightly and freeze for up to 1 month. Before use, place the frozen dough in a lightly oiled bowl, cover loosely with plastic wrap, and let thaw overnight in the refrigerator or for about 2 hours at room temperature. The thawed dough should be puffy and soft to the touch.