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This Italian pizza dough recipe is as close to Neapolitan artisan-style pizza as you can get! It’s got the absolute best texture and flavor.
Want to make Italian-style pizza in the comfort of your own home? After 10+ years of trips to the best pizzerias in Italy and experimenting over and over with dough, we’ve got the recipe you need. Try this Italian pizza dough recipe! This is the style of pizza dough you’ll find in Naples: supple, chewy, crispy on the outside and doughy on the inside. Bake it up on a pizza stone to perfection and it will taste almost like you’re noshing on a wood-fired pizza straight from Italy. Here are all our secrets!
What makes the best Italian pizza dough?
Here at A Couple Cooks, Alex and I been to Italy several times to study the pizza there. Then we’ve spent time chatting with some of America’s best Italian-style pizza chefs (like Chris Bianco of Pizzeria Bianco and Caleb Schiff of Pizzicletta). Here’s what we’ve learned in our research about what makes the best Italian pizza dough recipe:
- Use Tipo 00 flour. Tipo 00 flour is the type of Italian flour that Neapolitan pizza restaurants use. It makes a beautiful, supple and fluffy dough that’s a notch above regular all purpose flour. You can find it at your local grocery or online. You can use all purpose if that’s all you have, but it’s worth seeking out the good stuff.
- Refrigerate the dough 2 to 3 days before baking (optional). Both of our pizza dough masters told us the same thing. For next level Italian pizza dough, place the dough in a sealed container and refrigerate it for 2 to 3 days. This naturally ferments the dough and brings a nutty, complex flavor to the dough. This is optional: sometimes it’s not possible to think ahead! But it has incredible results.
How to make Italian pizza dough
This pizza dough recipe is fairly simple to make, but it does take some practice! We’ve got a few videos below to help guide you through the process. Here’s what to expect in the dough making process:
- Measure using a food scale. If you can, use a food scale for your measurements: measuring by weight is more accurate and accounts for environmental changes.
- Knead the dough by hand or using a stand mixer. You can do either! We like using a stand mixer because it’s hands off, but you can get your hands dirty, too. In both cases, it takes just 8 minutes.
- Rest the dough for 45 minutes. This is also called “proofing:” this lets the dough rise, letting it get to the perfect fluffy texture.
How to stretch the dough: some tips!
Stretching the dough is the hardest part of making Italian pizza dough! You’ll need to stretch it into an 11-inch circle. Here are a few notes on the process:
- Invest in a pizza peel, if you can. This is a large wooden paddle you can use to place the dough on the pizza stone. We recommend this Standard pizza peel or this Conveyor pizza peel.
- Dust the pizza peel with cornmeal or semolina flour. This helps the dough to slide right onto the stone.
- Follow the detailed stretching instructions in this post: How to Stretch Pizza Dough or watch the video below!
Bake your Italian pizza dough on a pizza stone
The last note about this Italian pizza dough recipe! It’s important to bake it on a pizza stone to get just the right crispy exterior and chewy interior.
- A pizza stone is what makes the classic Italian pizza crust texture because it cooks it at an even higher temperature than the oven can achieve.
- What pizza stone to buy? Here’s the best pizza stone we’ve found.
- How do you clean a pizza stone? Do you store it in the oven? See these pizza stone care tips we’ve learned after years of using one religiously.
The best toppings for this Italian pizza dough recipe
You probably already have some toppings in mind for your pizza! But here are a few topping ideas that are classic Italian-style:
- Try the Perfect Homemade Margherita: our best easy pizza sauce, mozzarella and basil
- Did you know Pizza Marinara has no cheese? It’s a traditional Neapolitan pizza flavor
- We had a version of this Spicy Pizza Diavola in Rome
- This Best Anchovy Pizza is very traditional and quite good
Let us know what you put on this pizza dough and if you have any questions in the comments below!
This Italian pizza dough recipe is…
Vegetarian, vegan, and plant-based.Print
- 500 grams* Tipo 00 or all-purpose flour (3 ⅓ cups)
- 8 grams instant or active dry yeast (2 teaspoons)
- 7 grams kosher salt (1 teaspoon)
- 338 grams warm water (1 ¼ cups + 3 tablespoons)
- 13 grams olive oil (1 tablespoon)
- Combine the flour, salt, and yeast in a bowl or the bowl of your stand mixer. Stir to combine. Add the water and olive oil and stir until a raggy dough forms. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface.
- Knead the dough by pushing with the base of your palm, then reforming it into a ball. Continue kneading for 8 minutes until the dough feels pillowy and has a smooth, stretchy exterior. If the dough is very sticky, add a small amount of flour while kneading. Alternatively: attach the dough hook to a stand mixer and start the mixer on medium-low speed, then allow the mixer to knead for 8 minutes.
- After the kneading is finished, divide the dough into 3 equal pieces. Using floured hands, gently shape each half into a boule (ball shape) by folding the dough under itself. Set each boule on a floured surface and dab the dough with a bit of olive oil to keep it moist. Cover all boules with a damp towel and allow them to rise until doubled in size, about 45 minutes to 1 hour.
- The dough can be used immediately. However for the BEST flavor, transfer the dough to separate sealed containers, large enough for the dough to double in size again, and store in the refrigerator for 2 to 3 days. (We always do this. But if you think ahead, it makes for a noticeably nutty, unique flavor that truly is the best homemade pizza dough you’ve ever had!) You can also freeze pizza dough you don’t plan to use the day of.
- **If you’re using the dough after refrigerating: The day of serving, remove the dough from the containers, place it on a lightly floured surface covered with a towel, and allow it to come to room temperature before stretching, 30 to 45 minutes.
- When the oven is ready, dust a pizza peel with cornmeal or semolina flour. (If you don’t have a pizza peel, you can use a rimless baking sheet or the back of a rimmed baking sheet. But a pizza peel is well worth the investment!)
- Stretch the dough into a circle; see How to Stretch Pizza Dough or follow these instructions: To stretch the dough, place it on the pizza peel or a lightly floured surface and gently press it into a circle, flipping several times and adding a pinch of flour if it is too sticky. Once you have about an 8-inch circle, pick up the dough and gently drape it over the knuckles on both of your hands. Slowly rotate it around, allowing gravity to stretch it into a circle about 11 inches in diameter. Do not overwork or fold the dough. If the dough starts to resist stretching, put it down and allow it to rest for a few minutes, at which point it will stretch more easily.
- We bake our pizzas at 500F and use a pizza peel to transfer it to a preheated pizza stone in the oven: the bake time is around 5 to 7 minutes. See our pizza recipe posts for baking instructions.
- Category: Essentials
- Method: Baked
- Cuisine: Italian
- Diet: Vegetarian
Keywords: Italian pizza dough recipe