I don’t know why, but I’ve recently been craving some Neapolitan style pizza. There’s something about the crust of Neapolitan pizza, and the style’s overall simplicity that seems to draw me to it over and over again. I guess there’s a reason why this specific type of pizza has survived for hundreds of years, and people have worked so hard to preserve it.
You might be asking yourself why I’m posting about Neapolitan pizza today other than my recent craving. If you’re a regular reader, then you know by now that I am always looking for ways to improve my pizza making skills. What makes this pizza different from my previous posts, such as Pizza with Arugula and Prosciutto and Delicious Pizza Carbonara, is that this recipe utilizes a technique I learned several years ago called reballing (I will go into more depth with a separate post at a later time). I first learned of this technique on the Pizza Making Forum, which I highly recommend, but I have not used it for some time due to difficulties I had with appropriately stretching the dough.
To succinctly summarize the technique, reballing is essentially the addition of a stretch and fold step to the fermentation process. Prior to the final stretching of the dough, the dough ball is stretched, folded, and reballed prior to the final rise. A similar technique is used in bread baking to help strengthen the gluten network. I have found that this technique gives a very light, open crumb, but the dough can be more difficult to stretch if it is not allowed to relax. Using this technique I was able to obtain a very open crumb, which can be seen in the image below.
Ok, that’s enough of an introduction. Let’s make pizza!
Neapolitan Pizza with Salami and Arugula
This Neapolitan pizza recipe is both light and refreshing with savory and spicy notes. It features a sweet tomato-based sauce, refreshing mozzarella cheese, savory salami, and peppery arugula.
- 117 g (1/2 cup) warm water
- 0.5 g (1/8 tsp) instant dry yeast
- 4.33 g (1 tsp) fine sea salt
- 167 g (1 1/3 cups) 00 flour
- 1 can whole peeled tomatoes
- sea salt to taste
- sliced fresh mozzarella
Make the Dough
Mix 117 g (1/2 cup) of warm water, 0.5 g (1/8 tsp) instant dry yeast, and 4.33 g (1 tsp) of fine sea salt in a large mixing bowl. Stir until the salt and yeast are dissolved.
Add 167 g (1 1/3 cups) of 00 flour. Wet your hand with some warm water, and mix the dough by hand. Mix until all of the dry flour has been incorporated.
Allow the dough to rest 20 minutes covered.
Remove the dough from the mixing bowl. Lightly flour a work surface as well as your hands. Knead the dough by pressing the palm of your hand into the dough to flatten it. Rotate 90 degrees and repeat. Continue to knead the dough until it is smooth.
Roll the dough into a ball and place it in an oiled, airtight container. Refrigerate overnight up to 48 hours.
One hour prior to baking, remove the dough from the refrigerator. Stretch the dough into a long cylinder. Fold the dough back upon itself to form a shape resembling a square or sphere. Roll the dough into a ball again. Allow the dough to rest for at least 1 hour covered prior to baking.
Drain one can of whole peeled tomatoes into a large bowl.
Crush the tomatoes with a fork or a jar.
Pour the tomatoes and liquid into a sauce pan and simmer for about 30 minutes. Stirring occasionally.
Add salt to taste.
Remove the pan from the stove and pour the contents into a food mill or food processor to break the tomatoes into smaller pieces forming a liquid with sauce-like consistency.
Make the Pizza
Place a pizza stone or steel in the upper 1/3 of your oven. Preheat the oven to 500 F (260 C) for 1 hour. Ten minutes prior to transferring the dough to the oven place the oven on the broil setting.
Flour your hands and a work surface. Stretch the dough into a disc.
Transfer the dough to a pizza peel coated with flour.
Switch the oven back to the bake setting and transfer the dough into the oven. Allow the dough to bake until it no longer rises. This step should only be 2-3 minutes.
Remove the dough from the oven. Top the pizza with the tomato sauce, mozzarella, and sliced salami.
Transfer the pizza back to the oven. Allow it to bake for a few minutes undisturbed. When the cheese has started to melt and the crust is beginning to form a light brown color, switch the oven back to broil.
Remove the pizza when spots of char start to appear on the crust. Allow the pizza to cool before serving.