If you’re a fan of pizza, you know that Neapolitan pizza is one of the most beloved styles of pizza in the world. The classic combination of a thin, crispy crust, fresh sauce, cheese, and basil is hard to top. However, making this type of pizza at home can be a challenge. That’s why we’re going to take a deep dive into the tips and tricks that Jamie Oliver recommends to make the perfect homemade Neapolitan pizza.Neapolitan pizza has a rich history, and its origins can be traced back to Naples, Italy. It’s a simple pizza made with fresh ingredients, and it’s famous for its crispy crust cooked at high temperatures. In this guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know to make the perfect Neapolitan pizza at home using Jamie Oliver’s tips and techniques.
We’ll start with the basics of making the dough, which is the foundation of any great pizza. As Jamie Oliver would tell you, the secret to making great Neapolitan pizza dough is using the highest quality ingredients and taking your time. It might seem daunting, but with a little bit of practice, making homemade Neapolitan pizza dough is easy – and the results are absolutely worth it. Let’s get started with the dough!When it comes to making a great Neapolitan pizza dough, one of the key ingredients is the flour. According to Jamie Oliver, it’s essential to use Tipo “00” flour, which is a finely milled flour with a lower protein content than traditional bread flour. The result is a softer, more tender crust that’s characteristic of Neapolitan pizza. Additionally, you’ll need to add yeast, water, and salt to make your dough.
Mix the flour, yeast, and salt together in a bowl, then gradually add water until a dough forms. Once the dough has come together, you should knead it for at least 10 minutes until it’s smooth and elastic. This process helps to activate the yeast and develop the gluten, which gives the dough its stretchiness. Jamie recommends letting the dough rise for at least 2 hours, or until it has doubled in size. Letting the dough rise is crucial as it helps to develop the flavor and texture of the dough.
Making the Dough
To make the perfect Neapolitan pizza dough, high-quality ingredients are essential. According to Jamie Oliver, the type of flour you use is crucial. He recommends using Tipo “00” flour, which is finely milled and has a lower protein content compared to traditional bread flour. This results in a softer, more tender crust. You’ll also need yeast, water, and salt to make your dough.Making great Neapolitan pizza dough is not just about using the right ingredients, but also about taking your time. Once you’ve mixed the flour, yeast, and salt in a bowl, you’ll need to slowly add water until a dough forms. It’s important to knead the dough for at least 10 minutes until it’s smooth and elastic. According to Jamie Oliver, letting the dough rise for at least 2 hours, or until it has doubled in size, will help develop its flavor and texture.
The pizza dough plays a crucial role in the overall taste and texture of the pizza. When the dough is shaped, it should be thin in the center with a slightly thicker crust. To achieve this, Jamie Oliver suggests using the technique of stretching the dough with your knuckles. Gently stretch the dough starting from the center and working your way outward. Make sure not to press too hard, or you may create holes in the dough. Once you’ve stretched the dough to your desired shape, transfer it to your pizza peel or a floured surface. Be sure to dust the pizza dough with flour or cornmeal to prevent it from sticking to the surface or peel.When transferring the pizza from the peel to the baking surface, make sure to do it quickly to avoid any topping spilling off. To avoid burning the edges of the pizza, it’s recommended to rotate the pizza during the baking process. Once the pizza is fully cooked, use a pizza peel or a spatula to remove it from the oven. Allow the pizza to cool for a few minutes before slicing and serving. Remember, making the perfect Neapolitan pizza takes time and patience, don’t be put off if your first attempt isn’t perfect. With a bit of practice, you’ll soon be making delicious, homemade pizza that rivals those of your favorite Italian restaurant.
Sauce and Toppings
When it comes to choosing toppings, Jamie Oliver is a big believer in using quality ingredients that enhance the flavor of the pizza. It’s better to have a pizza with a few great toppings than one that’s overloaded and soggy.When it comes to choosing toppings, Jamie Oliver is a big believer in using quality ingredients that enhance the flavor of the pizza. He recommends using buffalo mozzarella, which has a creamier taste than regular mozzarella, and fresh basil, which adds a fragrant aroma to the pizza. If you prefer a meatier pizza, Italian sausage is a great choice. When it comes to vegetables, Jamie recommends using ingredients that have a low water content such as mushrooms, olives or sun-dried tomatoes. Whatever toppings you choose, remember to keep it simple and use only a few high-quality ingredients. It’s better to have a pizza with a few great toppings than one that’s overloaded and soggy.
To make the sauce, Jamie suggests starting with San Marzano tomatoes. These are sweeter, less acidic, and less seedy than other varieties, which makes them ideal for sauce. Jamie recommends crushing the tomatoes by hand or using a food mill, then adding garlic, salt, and a drizzle of olive oil. He warns against adding too many spices to the sauce, as this can overpower the flavor of the pizza itself. The sauce should be relatively thin, as a thick sauce can lead to a soggy crust. Once you have your sauce ready, use a light hand to spread it onto the dough, and then add your toppings.When it comes to stretching out your pizza dough, Jamie Oliver recommends doing it by hand rather than using a rolling pin. This helps to preserve the texture of the dough and gives you more control over the final shape. To stretch out the dough, dust your hands and work surface with flour, then use your fingertips to press down on the center of the dough. Gradually work your way outward, turning the dough as you go, until it reaches the desired size and thickness. Be sure to leave a thicker crust around the edges to help contain the toppings. And there you have it – a perfectly stretched pizza dough ready for its sauce and toppings.When it comes to cooking your pizza, Jamie Oliver recommends preheating your oven with the pizza stone or baking steel inside for at least 30 minutes. This will help to ensure that the heat is evenly distributed throughout the cooking surface, which is important for getting a crispy crust. When your oven is hot, transfer your pizza to the pizza stone or baking steel using a pizza peel. Make sure to use a light, sliding motion so that the pizza doesn’t stick to the peel. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until the crust is golden brown and crispy, and the cheese is melted and bubbly. When your pizza is ready, remove it from the oven using the pizza peel, and let it cool for a few minutes before slicing and serving. Enjoy!
Cooking Your Pizza
Cooking a Neapolitan pizza on a grill takes the process to the next level. Grilling the pizza gives a slightly charred and smoky flavor to the crust, adding a whole new dimension to the pizza. Jamie Oliver recommends preheating the grill to high heat, around 500-550 degrees Fahrenheit. Once the grill is hot, transfer the pizza to the grill using a pizza peel, close the lid, and cook for 3-5 minutes, or until the crust is crispy and charred. Be sure to watch the pizza closely, as it can burn quickly on the grill. Once the pizza is done, remove it from the grill and let it rest for a few minutes before slicing and serving.
Another tip from Jamie Oliver for cooking your Neapolitan pizza is to use a wood-fired oven. A wood-fired oven reaches very high temperatures, which allows the pizza to cook quickly and evenly while producing a crispy crust. If you don’t have a wood-fired oven, you can achieve similar results by using a baking steel or pizza stone, as mentioned earlier. The key is to create a very hot and consistent cooking surface that will cook the pizza in just a few minutes. No matter how you choose to cook your Neapolitan pizza, the most important thing is to have fun and experiment with different toppings and techniques to create your own perfect pizza.When using a wood-fired oven, it’s important to pay close attention to the temperature. You want the oven to be very hot, ideally between 800-900 degrees Fahrenheit. This high heat is what gives the pizza its perfectly crispy crust and bubbly cheese. Cook the pizza for just a few minutes, rotating it occasionally to ensure even cooking. And don’t be afraid to get creative with your toppings! Neapolitan pizza is all about being simple and fresh, but feel free to experiment with different cheeses, meats, and vegetables to create your own unique pizza masterpiece.One more tip for cooking your Neapolitan pizza is to use a pizza screen. A pizza screen is a round, mesh-like object that sits on top of your pizza peel and helps to prevent the pizza from sticking. Using a pizza screen can also help to ensure that your pizza cooks evenly by allowing hot air to circulate around the bottom of the crust. Simply stretch your dough onto the pizza screen, add your sauce and toppings, and place it in the oven or on the grill. Once the pizza is done, simply slide the pizza screen out from under the pizza and transfer it to a cutting board. Using a pizza screen can make the whole pizza-making process a bit easier and is definitely worth considering.
It’s worth noting that the toppings you choose for your Neapolitan pizza can have a big impact on the final result. As mentioned earlier, Jamie Oliver recommends using only a few high-quality ingredients that complement each other. If you’re making a classic Margherita pizza, for example, you’ll want to use fresh buffalo mozzarella, San Marzano tomatoes, and fresh basil. When it comes to other toppings, Jamie suggests using combinations that are traditionally Italian, such as prosciutto and arugula, or mushrooms and truffle oil. Be sure to use toppings that are fresh and high-quality, as this will make a big difference in the final flavor of your pizza. Also, don’t be afraid to experiment with different toppings! Part of the fun of making your own pizza is trying out new combinations and finding your personal favorites.
A crucial factor in making excellent Neapolitan pizza is getting the right amount of water in the dough. Too little water will make the dough dry and hard to work with, while too much water will make it sticky and difficult to shape. Jamie Oliver recommends using a digital scale to measure your ingredients, including the water. A good ratio to use is 1 part flour to 0.6 parts water by weight. Another trick is to use cold water rather than warm, as this will help to slow down the fermentation process and allow the dough to develop more flavor. Once you’ve mixed your dough, let it rest for 10-15 minutes before kneading to allow the flour to absorb the water evenly. Finally, let the dough rise for at least 2 hours, or until it has doubled in size, to create a light and airy crust.When it comes to toppings, it’s important to layer them properly. Begin with a light layer of sauce, using just enough to cover the surface of the dough. Then add your cheese and toppings, taking care not to overload the pizza. Finally, give your pizza a good drizzle of olive oil to help with browning and add a little extra flavor. When it comes to cheese, fresh buffalo mozzarella is the traditional choice for Neapolitan pizza. However, you can use other cheeses such as Pecorino Romano, Parmigiano-Reggiano, or Asiago for a more unique flavor twist. The key is to use high-quality, fresh cheese that will melt and brown beautifully on top of the pizza.Another key tip for making great Neapolitan pizza is to give your dough plenty of time to rise. This will help to develop more flavor and texture in the crust. If you’re in a hurry, you can use a warm place in your kitchen to speed up the rising process. However, if you have the time, letting your dough rise slowly in the refrigerator overnight will create an even better pizza crust. This slow rise allows the dough to ferment and develop rich, complex flavors that can’t be achieved with a fast rise. Just be sure to take the dough out of the fridge a few hours before you plan to cook your pizza, as it will need time to come to room temperature and rise a little further.
It’s great to have you here. My name is Jocelyn Chapman, and I am a passionate cook who adores preparing delicious meals, with a particular fondness for pizza and pasta dishes. Cooking has been a love of mine, and I have spent countless hours in the kitchen experimenting with new recipes and perfecting old favorites. I have decided to start this blog to share my passion and expertise with other food lovers, providing guidance and inspiration for those who share my love of cooking.