If you ask me, the only places to acquire authentic neapolitan pizza dough are the city of Naples and your own kitchen, if you have the requisite skills. See, Italians are far more serious about their food than you may realize. There’s even a regulatory group that pizzerias must go through in order to obtain certification that the pizzas they produce are Neapolitan.
If you want to buy some Neapolitan pizza dough rather than go through the process of making it yourself, there are plenty of options online and possibly in stores to buy “neapolitana” style mix. Keep in mind that it won’t quite be the same as homemade or in a restaurant.
You can also buy pizza crusts at the supermarket that are pre-made, and some doughs that are not dissimilar to neapolitana, but again, aren’t you settling? Dough at the supermarket comes pre-packaged and often frozen. In this post, I’ll go over some things you should know before opting to buy any dough from a store, and then tell you how to make your own.
You can find your pizza dough in a wide range of stores, including online and at your local supermarket. If you’d rather not search through the aisles to find the dough you need, you can always order it online from Amazon.
If you don’t mind heading out to find it yourself, you can get Neapolitan pizza dough from a wide range of stores around the country, including Kroger, Walmart, and Harris Teeter. If you’d like to know whether they stock it or not, you can always call ahead and find out.
The first thing you should be aware of when it comes to store-bought dough is that it’s much stickier than what you’ll produce on your own. Rolling it out or properly flattening it will require a healthy dusting of flour and cornmeal on your counter or stone to ensure you have an easier time managing it.
But it’s not just sticky, it’s also elastic. No matter how hard or thoroughly you apply your rolling pin on it, it’s just in the dough’s nature to want to shrink back to its original form.
It is indeed possible to improve store-bought dough’s stretchability, but it’s going to take a little work and time. I would expect you need about 8 hours of prep time.
Take the dough home. Usually, dough in stores is sold in 1 pound bags. Be sure to get out as much as you can. The secret to making it more stretchy lies here. Divide the dough up into equal sized balls and roll them on a flour-dusted counter.
It’s not any more complicated than separating the dough, which traps air inside the dough along with gasses. After about five to six hours, the dough should be much stretchier than when first purchased.
But you’re still not necessarily getting authentic neapolitan pizza dough. You may find a serviceable replacement, but if you ask me, the only way to make authentic neapolitan pizza is from scratch.
Here’s what you’ll need:
- 2 cups wheat flour
- ⅛ teaspoon of dry, instant yeast
- ½ teaspoon of sugar
- 1 ¼ teaspoons of salt
- ¾ cup of lukewarm water
Fairly simple right? That’s because neapolitan pizza dough shouldn’t be that complicated. After all, it’s not the dough that makes the pizza so unique, it’s the toppings, which are pretty basic, and the Italian spices.
But the key component that screams Naples is the fact that there’s more sauce than cheese, making it just the right amount of soggy.
Now that you know, here’s what you need to do:
- Measure out your flour. Be sure to be exact with your measurements throughout. In a medium bowl, stir all the dry ingredients together and mix well.
- Add in the water and continue mixing until the dough becomes cohesive.
- Cover the bowl. Let it sit out to rise at room temperature for approximately 12 to 24 hours.
- Preheat the oven to 500 degrees fahrenheit. Position your stone or baking sheet on the bottom rung. If your oven goes to 550 degrees, set it to that temperature.
- Halve the dough. Place equal sized pieces on a well-floured counter. This isn’t necessary, but I prefer making two at a time. You, of course, can make one giant one, but it’s much easier to work with two. You can also dress them differently for guests.
- Stretch and fold the dough. Pull the ends as far as they can go, fold again, and repeat until the dough stops being sticky. Be sure to flour your hands before doing so.
- Repeat for both balls of dough until you’re satisfied. Put the dough in separate bowls and cover. Let them rise for 45 minutes.
- Now you’re ready to stretch them into pizzas, dress how you see fit and bake away.
That’s likely the closest you’ll get to Naples without a plane ticket.