4 Secrets Behind Authentic Neapolitan Pizza

RRegina November 29, 2023 7:01 AM

If there's one food that universally represents Italy, it's pizza, specifically, the Neapolitan Pizza. Originating from Naples, this pizza is a culinary tradition steeped in history, rules, and art. In this article, we'll uncover the four secrets that make the Neapolitan Pizza unique, authentic, and downright delicious.

Secret #1: The Dough

The first secret to creating an authentic Neapolitan Pizza is the dough. Unlike other pizzas that may use all-purpose or bread flour, the Neapolitan Pizza dough is made using a specific type of flour - the '00' flour. This super-fine flour creates a dough that's soft, light, and easy to stretch, which results in the pizza's signature thin, crisp base and fluffy crust.

Furthermore, the dough is left to ferment for at least 24 hours. This slow fermentation process allows the yeast to fully develop, giving the dough its unique flavor and texture. It also makes the dough easier to digest.

Secret #2: The Sauce

The second secret lies in the sauce. Authentic Neapolitan Pizza sauce is not cooked and is made from San Marzano tomatoes. Grown in the volcanic soil of Mount Vesuvius, these tomatoes are sweet, tangy, and less acidic, giving the pizza its distinct taste.

Secret #3: The Cheese

The type of cheese used is another secret in making a Neapolitan Pizza. The authentic version uses 'Mozzarella di Bufala Campana', a mozzarella made from the milk of water buffalos in the Campania and Lazio regions of Italy. This cheese is creamier and tangier than regular mozzarella, contributing to the pizza's unique flavor profile.

Secret #4: The Baking Process

Last but not least, the baking process sets the Neapolitan Pizza apart from others. Traditional Neapolitan Pizza is baked in a wood-fired oven at temperatures between 800 and 900 degrees Fahrenheit, for no more than 90 seconds. This high heat and quick cooking time result in a pizza that's crispy on the outside, soft and tender on the inside, and slightly charred for added flavor.

Now that we've unravelled the secrets behind the authentic Neapolitan Pizza, let's take a look at a simple recipe you can try at home. Remember, the key lies not only in the ingredients but also in respecting the process and the tradition.

Ingredient Quantity
'00' flour 500g
Fresh yeast 3g
Fine salt 10g
Water 325ml
San Marzano tomatoes 1 can
Fresh basil A handful
Mozzarella di Bufala Campana 200g
Extra virgin olive oil To taste

Note: This recipe is for the basic Margherita Pizza, the queen of all Neapolitan Pizzas. For other variations, you can add additional toppings, but remember, less is more when it comes to Neapolitan Pizza.

By following these secrets and respecting the tradition, you too can create a delicious, authentic Neapolitan Pizza right in your own kitchen.

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