Naples style pizza

Neapolitan Pizza – Naples Style Margherita

Neapolitan pizza is the king of all pizzas for me. I know everyone has a personal favorite, and some people tend to add tons of different toppings to their pizza. But to me, the simpler, the better! Note that it takes 24 hours to prepare the Naples style pizza. So, the amount of ingredients is not the way to evaluate the crust. Nevertheless, you can accomplish this pizza without any issues if you follow the simple steps below.

For starters, we prepare a poolish starter to make this pizza the traditional way. Poolish is mixing equal amounts of water and flour along with a small amount of yeast and sugar. It gets fermented overnight and turns the pizza into a marvelous crust. That is how we get that chewy and crunchy yet soft to touch texture. I highly recommend you to give this recipe a try if you love traditional pizza. This is the type of crust they service at famous Italian restaurants.

If you have ever visited Naples, chances are you had seen fancy pizza stores all around the city. There is no doubt that they make some of the best pizzas in the world. You should try as many as you can. UNESCO considers Naples style pizza as a world heritage. Now, you can learn to bake some for yourself too. And no traveling is required; just bake it in the comfort of your kitchen. You sure will save on the flight tickets!

What will you need:

I always recommend using a quality pizza stone in the oven to be able to bake the pizza crust evenly. This item also includes a peel paddle to make your life easier when transferring pizza in and out of the oven. Keep in mind that you can also use the pizza stone for making Artisan style breads. Additionally, use a quality food processor to puree the plum tomatoes when preparing the sauce.

Naples Style Margherita Pizza Recipe – Neapolitan Pizza

Make sure you use buffalo mozzarella for this recipe. Grated mozzarella cheese will not yield the spectacular flavor level that this pizza deserves. Plus, preheat the oven at least half an hour before you put the pizza dough. We need maximum heat to accomplish Naples style crust.

You can keep the poolish in the fridge for up to 48 hours. However, 24 hours yield the best results to my experience. Let the dough rest a little more if it is too resistant. Do not stretch it heavily! Give it a spin on the knuckles and let it rest. Otherwise, you might tear and ruin the dough. Brush the pan with olive oil (if you are using one).

Neapolitan Pizza – Naples Style Margherita

Recipe by OzgurCourse: MainCuisine: ItalianDifficulty: Medium


Prep time


Cooking time




Total time




  • Poolish:
  • 1/3 cup (65 g) bread flour (use all-purpose flour if you like)

  • 1/3 cup (65 ml) water

  • 1 g sugar

  • 1 g active dry yeast

  • Dough:
  • 1 ½ (250 g) cups bread flour (high-gluten)

  • 1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon lukewarm water

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

  • 8 g salt

  • Sauce:
  • 5 medium plum tomatoes, pureed in food processor

  • 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil

  • 1/2 tablespoon tomato paste

  • Extra virgin olive oil to drizzle over the crust (about two tablespoons)

  • 1 crushed garlic clove

  • 1/4 teaspoon ground hot pepper

  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

  • Toppings:
  • 8 Oz (225 g) buffalo or fresh mozzarella cheese

  • 5 cherry tomatoes to decorate

  • 1/4 bunch fresh basil


  • Poolish:
  • Add yeast and water to a medium-sized bowl.
  • Stir well to incorporate the yeast.
  • Add flour and blend with a spatula.
  • No need to knead the dough as poolish will be very liquid; just blend with a spatula.
  • Cover the bowl with stretch film.
  • Keep it in the refrigerator for 24 hours.
  • Pizza sauce:
  • Puree the plum tomatoes in a food processor.
  • Pour the mixture into a small bowl.
  • Add two tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil.
  • Add 1/2 tablespoon tomato paste.
  • Add ½ teaspoon oregano, ¼ teaspoon hot pepper, ¼ teaspoon salt, crushed garlic clove, and mix well.
  • Pizza dough:
  • Take out the poolish 30 minutes before preparing the pizza dough.
  • Pour the warm water into a medium-size bowl.
  • Mix water and poolish in a large bowl.
  • Add half of the flour (125 g) and start kneading.
  • Add the rest of the flour and salt (8 g).
  • Add one tablespoon of olive oil and knead until smooth.
  • Set aside once you get a slightly sticky and soft-to-touch dough.
  • Cover with a damp towel.
  • Rest for 30-45 minutes (1 hour if you have time).
  • Bringing it together:
  • Preheat the oven to 500 °F (250 °C) or the highest setting.
  • Divide the dough into two, and shape each one into a ball.
  • Brush oil on top of the dough balls.
  • Cover with plastic wrap and rest for two hours.
  • Dust the counter with semolina.
  • Place one of the dough balls on the counter. (You can freeze the other one and use it at a later time)
  • Roll the dough into a round pizza shape.
  • Brush the pizza crust with tomato sauce.
  • Bake the crust in the oven for 7-8 minutes.
  • Remove from the oven and place the mozzarella slices as shown in the photo below.
  • Place sliced cherry tomatoes on top.
  • Place the crust into the oven and bake for about 15 minutes or the crust turns golden.
  • Decorate with fresh basil leaves.


  • The Neapolitan pizza dough is easy to shape. You can bake it without using any pan. However, be careful not to stretch it too much with a single attempt. First, press on the portioned dough ball softly to round it up. Next, rotate it on your knuckles a few times. Lay it on the counter and let it rest for a minute. Rotate on the knuckles one more time to give the final shape. Place it on the pizza peel. Brush sauce, add cheese and toppings. You are all set!
  • In order to prevent watery pizza, make sure you slice the fresh buffalo mozzarella cheese in advance and set it on a paper towel to get rid of excess water. Otherwise, you might end up with soggy pizza dough.

What is the difference between a Neapolitan pizza and margarita pizza?

Margarita pizza only consists of fresh mozzarella, tomato sauce, extra virgin olive oil, and fresh basil leaves. We do not add grated mozzarella cheese all over the crust, unlike the other versions. The sauce is very basic. It is made with plum tomatoes, extra virgin olive oil, salt, oregano, and hot pepper. However, Neapolitan pizza can have many different toppings and sauces.

Where did the Neapolitan pizza originate?

Neapolitan pizza was invented in Italy. It dates back to the 1800s. This recipe is a different version than the ones served at fast-food restaurants. It contains simple ingredients, but the dough is complex. First of all, the crust is very airy. In general, Neapolitan pizza is made with a poolish or biga starter to accomplish a chewy and crunchy texture.

What makes a pizza Neapolitan?

Simple topping ingredients (tomato sauce, buffalo mozzarella, and fresh basil), strong bread flour, wood-fired oven, and dough starter (levain, poolish, or biga) are necessary if you want to make traditional quality Neapolitan pizza.

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