Fridays have become a favorite for me in the kitchen since we don’t get out on the town as often now. I love making new foods on Friday nights and trying to bring the flair of eating out to our kitchen table. This recipe has quickly become a staple at our house and my go to for bringing the taste of true authentic food right into my home.
Recently my husband and I did get out and we went with some friends to a little pizza place here in town that makes the best Neapolitan Pizzas. They fire the pizzas in an oven, served with toppings you will never see at Dominos or Little Ceasers; fresh cheeses you aren’t sure how to say, toppings like cured ham, basil, tomatoes, and artichokes. You haven’t lived until you’ve had a pizza like this I’m telling you.
Since eating the most perfect Neapolitan pizza in France a few years ago I have been on the search for the perfect flat bread pizza recipe. I wanted the almost sourdough flat crust that compliments the richness of the toppings and mozzarella. You think I’m kidding, but really, this has been a project I have searched hard and long for and finally my search has borne success. This is it you guys! All I need is an accordion playing in the background and some party lights strung over my head and I’m back there sipping my ice-less water eating the best pizza I’ve ever had.
I came across a recipe by Thomas McNaughton on Food & Wine. His recipe is the closet thing I have come across to the ideal flat bread pizza that I crave. I made a few adjustments to his recipe, like using less salt and kneading my dough by hand. Now before you read any further don’t be scared by the fact this dough takes a few days to prepare. It is really the easiest preparation you will ever do, leave the dough out, put it in the fridge, leave the dough out, put it back in the fridge. So REALLY, don’t be scared, just plan 3 days ahead. It makes enough pizza (4 -10″ pizzas) so you can serve 8 people or freeze some of the dough for another day. That is what I do!
So if the thought of 3 days prepartion scares you here’s an easy breakdown of what you do each day.
Day 1: Make dough, let sit out for 8 hours. Refrigerate over night.
Day 2: Divide dough into 4 balls. Transfer to greased cookie sheet. Let dough sit out for 8 hours. Refrigerate dough balls over night.
Day 3: 30 minutes before baking remove dough from the fridge and begin heating oven and preparing toppings. Bake & eat!
Simple I tell you. Simple. It leaves the dough in the perfect almost sour dough state that makes the perfect flat bread pizza. So invite some friends over on Day 3 and make some pizzas! Your guests will feel like they stepped right into Italy and your taste buds will thank you for all of your ‘hard’ work!
Yield: 4 -10” pizzas (one pizza can feed two)
Time: 3 days EASY prep, 45 minutes on baking day
- 5 1/2 c white flour
- 3/4 T salt
- 1/2 tsp active yeast
- 2 c warm water
- pizza stone
- pizza peel
- Step 1
In a large bowl combine flour and salt. Set aside. In a small bowl mix yeast with 1/4 c warm water. Let rest 5 minutes.
Add yeast mixture and the remaining 1 3/4 c warm water to the flour mixture. Knead for 5-10 minutes, until a soft smooth dough forms.
- Step 2
Transfer dough into a slightly oiled bowl. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let sit out for 8 hours. Refrigerate the dough over night.
The next morning take the dough out and divide into 4 even balls. Transfer dough to a greased cookie sheet. Spray plastic wrap with cooking spray to keep dough from sticking and cover the cookie sheet with plastic wrap. Let the dough sit out again for at least 8 hours. Refrigerate the cookie sheet over night.
- Step 3
On baking day remove the dough from the fridge. If you aren’t going to cook all four pizzas today, place remaining dough balls in individual ziplock bags and freeze *see note*.
Let remaining dough sit for 30-45 minutes to return to room temperature. While dough is warming preheat your oven and pizza stone to 500 degrees. Prepare a floured surface or pizza peel. Prepare your desired pizza toppings. You can see the toppings I use to make our fresh vegetable pizza here.
Take each individual dough ball and stretch into 10” circles. You can use a floured rolling pin if this is difficult but everything I’ve read said to try stretching it by hand for more authentic Neapolitan pizza. Transfer dough to your pizza peel.here, but if that scares you just proceed and forget I said anything.