Neapoletan Wood-Fired Pizza Recipe

Neapoletan Wood-Fired Pizza Recipe

I've made plenty of pizza recipes, with all kinds of doughs and fillings, but I really wanted to get to the authentic Italian recipe of Neapolitan pizza, which is made from slow-rising dough in a cold place and baked in a wood-fired oven. I will tell you from the start it's a supreme recipe, mega delicious, perfect in texture and with a taste you'll never forget. This fact has been proven by many relatives and friends for two years, since I started the tests with the wood oven.

The dough for this pizza ferments slowly for 2-3 days in the refrigerator, so you have to plan the process in advance. That's the only inconvenience. On the pizza day, you just remove the dough from the fridge, shape, leave it to rise for 3 hours and start baking. This way, the crust will be thin, with airy edges, tender, elastic and very tasty, just like the Italian one, maybe even better!

If you have a wood oven, or plan on having, you will definitely appreciate all the tips below. But you can also prepare it in the classic oven, maybe not with the same result (yet, very close) by improvising a wood oven with the help of a pan, as in Gennaro's Pizza recipe, step 10.

I'm thinking now that I must try the super supreme version of this dough and make it with natural sourdough. It seems like I'm not done with the pizza dough recipes just yet ...


White flour
650 g
preferably 13-14g protein
15 g
450 ml
Active dry yeast
2 g
about a quarter of a teaspoon
Marinara sauce, for pizza and pasta
300 g
whichever you prefer. I make my own sauce, find the recipe on the website
500 g
Toppings for pizza
500 g
any you prefer

Step by step


Two or three days before baking the pizza, make the dough as follows:

- in a large bowl, weigh 650g of flour and combine with 15g of salt;


- dissolve 2g of dry yeast in 450ml of water. Leave for 5 minutes, then pour over the flour with salt;


- mix with a spoon or spatula at first;


- transfer this sticky dough to the kitchen table and knead without any more flour, just use a spatula or a knife when it sticks to the table;


- after two or three minutes of kneading, the dough becomes smooth, not sticky, uniform and very easy to work;


- place in a plastic or biodegradable bag, seal tightly and leave in the fridge for two or three days.


Three hours before baking the pizza, meaning before you actually shape and place the pizza in the oven, remove the dough from the fridge. Divide into five roughly equal parts.

In this picture, there are more. When there are many people at the table, I bake ten pizzas in the oven and the picture was taken on one of these occasions.


Shape the dough into five balls. Place on a tray dusted with flour (see the large space between them).

Brush with a little olive oil, or any other oil, so that they won't form a skin while they rise.


Cover with cling film or a bag and let proof for three hours at room temperature.


Meanwhile, light the wood-fired oven. Find all the detailed instructions, especially for the pizza in this post about How to fire-up the wood oven.


To handle the pizza in a wood-fired oven, I use a wooden spatula, on which I shape the pizza, then place in the oven. Later, I use another metal spatula with which I turn and remove the pizza from the oven (available to buy online).

You can also use just a metal spatula, but the dough sticks to it quite fast, especially when you are a beginner.


In a bowl, prepare the mozzarella, grated or crumbled, and the tomato sauce for the pizza in another.

Put some plain white flour in a deep plate or, in a more advanced stage, you can use Italian semolina flour, from durum wheat.


Of course, prepare any toppings you like - ham, mushrooms, cherry tomatoes, basil, corn etc.


The wood-fired oven is ready for baking. Read my post carefully, clean the oven inside and keep an active fire on the side at all times while you are working and baking the pizza.

In the simple version of a classic electric oven, improvise as I explained in Gennaro's recipe, step 10.


Lightly flour the wooden (or metal) spatula.


Take a ball of dough from the tray and dip in the deep plate with flour we prepared earlier. Coat well on all sides, then shake off the excess flour.


Place the ball on the floured spatula and carefully press with your fingers starting from the middle towards the edges. Try to leave about 1-1.5cm from the border, without pressing.


Then, by various methods (find many videos on Youtube) using only your hands, spread out the pizza sheet as thinly as possible. Don't use the rolling pin!


Brush the pizza top with tomato sauce, leaving 1cm from the border.


Put a layer of mozzarella.


After that, top with anything you like. Here I made a simple Margherita pizza with cherry tomatoes.


With short and light movements, shake the spatula with the pizza on it and throw it in the hot oven.

Also, on YouTube you can find a short video of how Jamie Oliver puts the pizza in the oven, with a kind of short and firm shaking movement. Don't worry, you'll learn quickly, even if you'll be a bit nervous with your first pizzas :)


Don't move and stay there from the moment you put the pizza in the oven. In a few seconds, it begins to bake actively, the temperature in the oven is now approximately 350-400 degrees C.


In about half a minute, you can already take the pizza on the metal spatula and carefully turn over.

It browns very quickly, and even burns if you are not careful, on the side facing the fire. For this reason, you must turn it three or four times,  during which time it bakes evenly on all sides. That would be about three minutes in total and that's how long it stays in the oven until it's done.


Here the pizza's ready, with the edge evenly raised and browned everywhere and the mozzarella melting and boiling.


Right after removing the pizza from the oven, first place on a thick kitchen towel, leave for two minutes, then move onto a wooden board.

We use the towel method to get rid of the possible small particles of coal that may stick to the pizza while in the oven, so that you won't find them between your teeth when eating.


Slice the pizza and enjoy. Notice the airy edges with blistered bubbles and the crust so thin where the topping is - the perfect texture for an Italian vera pizza!

Continue with the rest of the pizza tops. Don't forget to keep the fire in the oven permanently active. With each pizza, you'll become a true pizzaiola and it's really worth all the effort.

I hope all this information is useful for your wood-fired oven pizza adventure. It's a very beautiful process, always with delicious results.


Quantity: 5 pieces (5 medium pizzas)
Prep time: 180 min
Difficulty: difficult
Ready in: 1200 min
Publish date:

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