Neapolitan pizza (the original and, many say, the best style of pizza in existence) has a thin base, puffy, chewy yet crisp crust (known in Italian as the cornicione) as well as simple, high-quality ingredients and toppings.
No one really knows how the first Neapolitan pizza was made, let alone who made it. Most agree, however, that in the 1700s, flatbreads were already being used as bases for toppings. It wasn’t until the late 18th century that people in Naples started to top theirs with tomatoes (which originated in the New World). Today, people cherish Neapolitan pizza, and the art of making it, so much that UNESCO included it in its cultural heritage list. The Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana (the Association for True Neapolitan Pizza) also closely protects the traditions and recipes for making this most classic of pizzas.
AVPN uses a stringent set of rules to guarantee a true Neapolitan pizza. They include:
Traditionally, the Margherita and marinara are the pizzas of choice for a Neapolitan pie. Regardless, the toppings should be of utmost quality and preferably sourced from Campania, the region of Italy to which Naples belongs. Our Classic Pizza Dough is a simple recipe to follow, but a complicated one to master. That said, even a Neapolitan pizza novice can make something mouth-wateringly delicious with the right ingredients and a little practice.
- The dough must be made with only water, yeast, salt and flour.
- Ingredients must be mixed in order, starting with the water.
- The final dough must be sticky, soft, elastic and easily removed from the surface.
- The dough must be allowed to rest at 73.4 °F (23 °C).
- The dough must be allowed to rest twice.
- The base must be stretched by hand.
- The middle of the bases must be less than 1-inch (.25-centimeter) thick, and the edges about an inch (2.5 centimeters high).
- The dough must be cooked in a wood oven at around 850 to 950 °F (450 to 510 °C) for between 60 to 90 seconds.