How to Make Neapolitan Pizza Dough like World Best Pizza Chef


Neapolitan pizza is the most recognized in the world, but many get it wrong, so I’ve enlisted world champion pizza maker, Johnny Di Francesco to teach us his secrets to making the finest pizza dough. True to Italian tradition, Neapolitan pizza is made up of very few ingredients, water, salt, yeast and all-important flour. The taste and crunch make all the difference, so watch as we pair it back and respect the simplicity of this fine dough.

This is the first episode of my Pizza series. If you aren’t already obsessed with perfecting your version of Neapolitan pizza, you will be with these traditional methods that will ensure you get it right each and every time.

Watch How to Make Neapolitan Pizza Dough video recipe:

How To Make NEAPOLITAN PIZZA DOUGH like World Best Pizza Chef

neapolitan pizza dough johnny di francesco

Johnny’s Top Tips To Make Neapolitan Pizza Dough

Be careful NOT to contaminate

Never contaminate the salt with the yeast. To avoid this you must follow the next step and add 10% flour.

One to hold the other is to mix

As you add the flour, use one hand to hold the edge of the bowl and the other to mix, then turn the bowl and the flour making sure to clean all the sides so you won’t waste anything.

Easiest way to make dough ball

Roll it in a circular motion over and again in the one spot, using the palm of your hand until you have a smooth surface, round ball.

How to serve Neapolitan Pizza Dough

It’s obviously better to eat this classic Neapolitan Pizza hot. Some like sharing but most don’t – decide before taking it out of the oven or you will remain without!


neapolitan pizza world best pizza chef

Neapolitan Pizza Dough

Vincenzo's Plate
4.75 from 4 votes
Cook Time 1 minute
Total Time 1 day
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Servings 6


  • Large mixing bowl
  • Table or bench space
  • Your hands!
  • OPTIONAL: This pizza can also be made using a stand mixer


  • 600 ml Water - 2.5 cups. Room temperature
  • 1 kg Le 5 Stagioni Napoletana Pizza Flour 35 oz. Tipo 00 (RED)
  • 30 grams Salt 5 teaspoons
  • 1-2 grams Fresh yeast Half teaspoon


  • To make authentic Neapolitan pizza, get your mixing bowl, pour in 600ml of water and add 30g salt.
  • Mix this well using your hand to help dissolve the salt.
  • Add 100g (10% flour) to the water and mix it through with your hands until the flour dissolves. This will result in a crepe/pancake consistency.
  • Next, add the yeast to the mix helping it to quickly melt in the water using your fingers an mix through with your hand again.
  • Now, the important part, add the 5 Stagioni Neapolitan Flour using one hand, a small amount at a time, not all at once and mix with your other hand as you go.
  • Once the dough has started to come together really well, flip it out on to a bench and start to knead it with both hands absorbing all the remaining flour.
  • Keep working the dough until you find it has come together and has a smooth consistency.
  • Next you need to check if your dough has been worked enough and you have 2 options”:
  • Press down on the dough ball with one finger and if it bounces back, chances are, it’s ready!
  • Using a thermometer check the temperature of the dough by sticking it right into its core and aiming for a temperature of between 23°C – 26°C/ 73.4°C – 74.8°C
  • Once ready, place the Neapolitan pizza dough aside to rest on a flat surface, covering it with a damp cloth so it doesn’t dry out. Leave this to rest for at least 2hr.
  • Once 2hr have passed, it’s time to make your dough balls. To do this, cut a piece of your dough and weigh it on a scale aiming for 250g/8.8oz.
  • To make the dough ball, the easiest way, roll it in a circular motion over and again in the one spot, using the palm of your hand until you have a smooth surface, round ball.
  • Once you have made the Neapolitan pizza dough balls, place them in a flat surface air tight container. Leave this in an ambient location with a temperature between 16°C – 18°C / 60.8°F – 64.4°F for 24hr.
  • After 24hr your dough balls should have risen and are ready to use. Sprinkle flour on to the bench, placing the dough on top and starting an inch from the bottom and working your way an inch from the top, press down using your fingers. Then stop, turn it over and repeat until you have a small round base with a “cornicione” (crust).
  • Gently stretch this by then picking up the dough and slightly stretching it onto one forearm then flipping it onto the bench. Repeat this before shaping it into a circle and then resting it on your bench.
  • Start by spreading Italian tomato sauce on to your base using the back of a spoon in a circular motion.
  • Add fresh basil leaves, a sprinkle of dry oregano, a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and thinly sliced cherry tomatoes.
  • Place the pizza in a woodfire oven at 400°C/757°F to cook (or using the MAX temp on your oven at home and a pizza stone)
  • To turn the pizza and cook it even on both sides, pull it out, turn it then push it back in.
  • Once it is ready, break up a large buffalo mozzarella using your hands and serve this fresh on the Neapolitan pizza.
  • Start process the same, adding all ingredients to the mixer, making sure not to add all the flour at once.
  • Once you have added the flour, and the dough has absorbed most of it, flip the Neapolitan pizza dough out on to a bench and knead it well using both hands.
  • E ora si mangia, Vincenzo’s Plate….Enjoy!


Keyword Authentic, Homemade, Pizza Dough
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

You don’t have a Wood Fire Oven?

No problem, here you can find how to cook Neapolitan Pizza in your regular oven.

Want to make the perfect Pizza Sauce?

You can find the best Pizza Suce recipe here.


E ora si mangia, Vincenzo’s Plate… Enjoy!


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26 Responses to How to Make Neapolitan Pizza Dough like World Best Pizza Chef

  1. Rootd May 9, 2022 at 8:45 PM #

    It is nice post for me beacause i make this recipes ,and this post is a lot of helf me so thank you so much for sharing this amazing recipes thank you so much

  2. Nick May 17, 2022 at 8:18 AM #

    Can active dry yeast be used if you can’t find fresh yeast at any store near me?

    • Vincenzo's Plate May 8, 2023 at 8:30 PM #

      Yes, you can definitely use active dry yeast as a substitute for fresh yeast. The general rule of thumb is to use about 1/3 of the amount of active dry yeast as the amount of fresh yeast called for in a recipe. So if your recipe calls for 30g of fresh yeast, you would use 10g of active dry yeast instead.

  3. John July 2, 2022 at 4:01 AM #

    I think you can put the dough balls in the fridge. It will simply slow down the fermentation process. From what I’ve gathered, that will enhance the dough’s flavour and texture. Aim to use 48-72 hours later though.

    If in fridge, remove from fridge a good 4 hours before you plan to use. (And then stretch out!)

    This recipe aims to be used in the next 24 hours. That’s why they recommend a ‘cool’ 16-18*.
    Prep today, bake tomorrow!

    • Vincenzo's Plate May 5, 2023 at 2:17 AM #

      This is a common technique used in pizza making to create a more complex and flavorful dough. When you use the dough, it’s important to remove it from the fridge and allow it to come to room temperature before stretching and shaping

  4. reuReuven Lax July 20, 2022 at 2:16 PM #

    Yes – once the dough balls have risen, rub them with olive oil and wrap it up. I would then put the wrapped dough balls in another sealable bag before freezing. Good for at least a few months in the freezer!

    Make sure that the balls come completely to room temperature before using them, or you won’t be able to stretch them. You might not get as much puff in your pizza because much of the yeast will have died in the freezer, but you’ll still end up with a very tasty pie!

  5. Mary September 26, 2022 at 2:42 AM #

    Hi, thank you for this recipe.
    How many pizza balls is there going to be? I mean that is this recipe for four persons?

    • Vincenzo's Plate April 29, 2023 at 2:40 AM #

      Hello Mary!

      The recipe makes 4 pizza balls, and each ball can be used to make a 12-inch pizza. So you can make 4 pizzas with this recipe, or adjust the size of the pizzas accordingly. Enjoy!

  6. karim October 12, 2022 at 6:12 AM #

    I have Caputo Il Mulino di Napoli Lievito secco 100% Italiano Dry Yeast, how many grams do I need with this vs fresh yeast? I have a scale accurate to 0.01g.

    • Vincenzo's Plate April 29, 2023 at 2:13 AM #

      To convert fresh yeast to dry yeast, you should use a ratio of 2:1 (double the amount of fresh yeast to get the amount of dry yeast). For example, if a recipe calls for 10 grams of fresh yeast, you should use 5 grams of dry yeast instead.

      In your case, if the recipe calls for 25 grams of fresh yeast, you should use 12.5 grams of Caputo Il Mulino di Napoli Lievito secco 100% Italiano Dry Yeast. Make sure to activate the dry yeast before adding it to the recipe by dissolving it in a small amount of warm water (about 110°F/43°C) with a pinch of sugar. Let it sit for 5-10 minutes until it becomes foamy and bubbly.

  7. George November 23, 2022 at 9:33 PM #

    I am making a pizza party, how many pizzas does this recipe make?

    • Vincenzo's Plate April 28, 2023 at 5:43 AM #

      The number of pizzas this recipe makes will depend on the size of your pizzas and how thinly you roll out the dough. This recipe makes enough dough for 3-4 small pizzas or 2-3 medium-sized pizzas. If you’re making larger pizzas, you may need to adjust the recipe accordingly or make additional batches of dough. I hope you have a great pizza party and enjoy the recipe!

  8. Cheryl February 13, 2023 at 4:48 AM #

    5 stars
    Can I substitute dry active yeast in this recipe?

    • Vincenzo's Plate April 20, 2023 at 12:16 AM #

      In most cases, you can substitute dry active yeast for fresh yeast in a Neapolitan pizza recipe. The conversion rate is usually 1:3, which means that for every 1 gram of fresh yeast, you can use 0.33 grams of dry active yeast.

  9. Hiro Endough March 23, 2023 at 5:04 PM #

    5 stars
    From Tokyo, I’ve been searching for the best napoli pizza dough and I’m sure that I’ve just found one here!!!! My dough is sleeping over at my kitchen now. Unfortunately I don’t have pizza stove but i’ll make it happen! Thank you for sharing your skills & recipe!

    • Vincenzo's Plate April 18, 2023 at 5:34 PM #

      It’s so wonderful to hear that you found a pizza dough recipe that you’re excited about and that you’re giving it a try! I hope your dough turns out perfectly, even without a pizza stove. Don’t forget to let me know how it turns out and feel free to share any tips or tricks you discover along the way.

  10. Johnny June 21, 2023 at 1:20 AM #

    Hello greetings from Greece, i watched the youtube video and im really excited to try this recipe, i just have one question, after i have divided the dough into four portions if i put them in the fridge to mature do i need to let them rise to double the size first or put them right away and let them instead rise the next day?

    • Vincenzo's Plate July 17, 2023 at 8:26 PM #

      No, you don’t need to let the dough rise to double its size before putting it in the fridge. In fact, it’s better if you don’t. The cold temperature of the fridge will slow down the fermentation process, which will give the dough more time to develop flavor.

      Just divide the dough into four portions, place them in a lightly oiled bowl, and cover them with plastic wrap. Refrigerate the dough for at least 8 hours, or overnight.

  11. Pip October 25, 2023 at 3:08 AM #

    4 stars
    Enjoyed the video and learned some.

    Only thing… too much salt. 30g… I was worried when I saw how much salt was going in and was thinking maybe it should have been 20g, as all my guests said the pizza base was lovely but the crust was way too salty, and I had to agree

    • Vincenzo's Plate October 27, 2023 at 11:25 PM #

      I agree that 30g of salt is a lot, especially for a home cook. I’m still under development and learning to adjust the recipes for home use. I will revise my recipe in the future to reflect this.

  12. stephen October 27, 2023 at 9:01 AM #

    Just wondering if there’s a sliding scale for warmer room temperature proofing? in Australia our temps are 20-25° C.

    • Vincenzo's Plate October 27, 2023 at 11:19 PM #

      Yes, there is a sliding scale for warmer room temperature proofing. Neapolitan pizza dough is typically proofed for 8-12 hours at room temperature, but in warmer climates, you can reduce the proofing time. Here is a general guideline:

      20-25° C: 6-8 hours
      25-30° C: 4-6 hours
      30° C and above: 2-4 hours

  13. Jonas November 28, 2023 at 11:40 PM #

    5 stars
    I have a question, if i some day crave and use this recipe and i want it to be ready for the same day. How many hours should i leave it on the table outside the fridge before making dough ball, and how many hours in fridge? as the minimum and what yeast for making it rise quickly?.. Last question.. is Caputo red pizza flour okay to use in this case?

    • Vincenzo's Plate December 1, 2023 at 4:15 PM #

      For same-day Neapolitan pizza dough:

      – Rise at room temp: 4-6 hrs.
      – Refrigerate: At least 6 hrs or overnight.
      – Quick yeast: Use instant or rapid-rise yeast.
      – Caputo Red Pizza Flour: Perfect choice for that authentic Neapolitan texture. Enjoy your pizza-making

      • Jonas December 5, 2023 at 10:08 PM #

        When Rise at room temp its just a damp cloth over it to cover it? and when refrigerating is in an air tight container or box?

        So lets say the dough mixing progress is done.

        1. Let the dough rise for 4-6 hours.
        2. Make dough balls
        3. Put them in an air tight container and leave it in the refrigerator for at least 6 hours.

        Is the understanding right?

        • Vincenzo's Plate December 8, 2023 at 4:26 PM #


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