The Authentic Neapolitan Pizza – Naples Best Kept Secret!

The Authentic Neapolitan Pizza - Naples Best Kept Secret!
original pizza
Basil bowl for pizza

Ever wonder what makes a REAL Neapolitan pizza? First, the basics. For the dough – soft white wheat flour, tossed thin by hand. Bakes up airy and light.

The sauce is just crushed tomatoes, olive oil, basil and salt – fresh as can be! The cheese is fresh water buffalo mozzarella, milky white, and oozy. It all bakes together super hot, like 900 degrees. Ninety seconds, and it’s perfect – charred on the bottom, but the top is puffy.

Simple dough, sauce, and cheese, cooked hot and fast. But the devil is in the details, and there is much more to making this pizza perfect. Today, I will break down how to do it, so let’s begin without any delay.

What Makes It “The Real Deal?”

To call a pizza “Neapolitan,” you gotta stick to some pretty strict rules. I’m talking about specific ingredients like type 0 or 00 flour, fresh yeast, water, and salt. The dough – that’s all hands, baby, no rolling pins or machines.

And the toppings? Only the freshest and finest, like San Marzano tomatoes and Mozzarella di Bufala. It’s simple but oh-so-divine.

What About the Heat?

The Neapolitan Pizza Wood Oven

The oven, my friend, is where the magic happens. A traditional wood-fired oven blasts heat at around 800-900°F, cooking the pizza in just about 90 seconds.

This isn’t just for show – that intense heat is what gives the crust those gorgeous charred spots and keeps the center soft and chewy. And let me tell you, pulling that perfect pie out of the flames is satisfying every single time.

The Perfect Recipe


For the Dough (Makes 4 Pizzas):

  • 500g (4 cups) Type 00 flour
  • 325ml (1 1/3 cups) water (room temperature)
  • 10g (2 tsp) salt
  • 3g (1 tsp) fresh yeast

Toppings for Each Pizza:

  • 80g (1/3 cup) San Marzano tomato sauce (crushed)
  • 100g (3.5 oz) Mozzarella di Bufala, torn into small pieces
  • Fresh basil leaves
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt to taste


  • Mixing bowl
  • Kitchen scale
  • Pizza stone or steel
  • Oven (capable of reaching 250°C or 500°F)
  • Pizza peel

Step by Step Instructions

How to make Neapolitan Pizza Dough

Step 1: Making the Dough

  1. Activate the Yeast: Dissolve the yeast in a little bit of the measured water. Wait for it to froth slightly, indicating it’s active.
  2. Mix the Ingredients: In a large bowl, combine the flour and salt. Gradually add the yeast mixture and the remaining water. Mix until the dough begins to form.
  3. Knead the Dough: Transfer the dough to a floured surface and knead for about 10-15 minutes until it’s smooth and elastic.
  4. Rest the Dough: Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl and cover with a damp cloth. Let it rise at room temperature for about 2 hours or until it doubles in size.
  5. Divide and Ball: Knock back the dough, divide it into 4 equal portions, and form each into a ball. Cover and let them rest for another hour.

Step 2: Preparing for Baking

  1. Heat the Oven: Place the pizza stone or steel in the oven and preheat to its highest setting (250°C or 500°F) for at least an hour before baking.
  2. Shape the Dough: Take one dough ball and gently press it into a round flat shape. Using your fingers, stretch it into a 10-inch (25 cm) base, leaving the edges slightly thicker to form the crust.

Step 3: Topping the Pizza

Authentic Neapolitan Pizza Sauce

  1. Add the Tomato Sauce: Spread a thin layer of crushed San Marzano tomatoes over the base.
  2. Add Cheese and Basil: Distribute the torn mozzarella evenly and sprinkle a few fresh basil leaves. Drizzle with a little extra virgin olive oil and add a pinch of salt.

Step 4: Baking the Pizza

  1. Transfer to Oven: Using a pizza peel, carefully slide the pizza onto the preheated stone or steel in the oven.
  2. Bake: Bake for about 1-2 minutes, then rotate the pizza 180 degrees and bake for another 1-2 minutes or until the crust is puffed and charred in spots and the cheese is melted and bubbly.
  3. Finishing Touches: Remove the pizza from the oven and drizzle a little more olive oil if desired.

Step 5: Serving

  1. Slice and Serve: Let the pizza cool for a minute, slice it into pieces, and serve immediately to enjoy the authentic taste of Naples.

Note: Authentic Neapolitan pizza is traditionally cooked in a wood-fired oven at temperatures of 430-480°C (800-900°F). While achieving these temperatures is challenging in most home ovens, using a pizza stone or steel and preheating it for a longer duration can bring you close to an authentic crust.


And that’s it! You made your very own Neapolitan pizza from scratch.

Baking pizza gets easier the more you do it. Just like riding a bike – you’ll get better and better each time. The most important thing is not to stress over every little detail. Have fun and be creative!

Keep practicing, keep that oven hot, and keep spreading that pizza passion. Talk to you later, and bon appetit!