Neapolitan Pizza with Dry Yeast

NEAPOLITAN PIZZA WITH DRY YEAST

Neapolitan pizza is a classic, authentic, and downright delicious meal you can share with friends and family. But what if it was the best pizza of your life? What if I paired up with Johnny di Francesco, world-champion pizza maker and owner of the Gradi Group, to give you the best Neapolitan pizza recipe in the whole world?

Well, you don’t have to wonder! Johnny and I got together to show you how to make a beautiful Neapolitan pizza with dry yeast in the crust. That’s right: Dry yeast for those who don’t have fresh yeast at home. This means you can make fresh, authentic, tasty pizza crust whenever you want. This dough is perfect for pizza lovers who want the perfect, crispy crust every time. Ready for this Neapolitan pizza to blow your mind? (Another silly question; let’s get to it!)

Watch the Neapolitan Pizza Dough with Dry Yeast video recipe:

 

How to make NEAPOLITAN PIZZA DOUGH with Dry Yeast like a World Champion Pizza Chef

neapolitan pizza dough with dry yeast

Vincenzo’s Plate Tips

Cut the Amount of Dry Yeast by One-Third

When it’s fresh yeast, you’re looking to add three grams of yeast for a solid amount of pizza dough. But for dry yeast, you only want one-third of the amount. So that would mean one gram. The reason is that dry yeast is more potent than fresh yeast, making it a powerful agent for making a ton of crust with a little bit of yeast. That means your dry yeast lasts longer, which also means more pizza crusts overall!

Measure Everything

Pizza crust is an exact science. Make sure to have the proper measuring tools to get the recipe right. Water, flour, salt, and dry yeast might sound simple, but the wrong combination could spell disaster. Easy-to-use measuring cups are all you need to make sure your crust comes out crispy and delicious. (As for the toppings, measure with your eyes! Just make sure not to overload the crust so that everything cooks through.)

Find a Flour with the Right W Rating

Flour has different “W ratings,” which determine the baking strength of the flour. The W rating is the protein and gluten content within the flour. The higher the number, the stronger the flour. Johnny di Francesco looks for a W rating between 220 and 330. The protein amount for a pizza crust flour should be between 11 grams and 12.5 grams.

Be Careful with Pizza Crust Dough Final Temperature

This recipe calls for cool water, not lukewarm or hot water. This is because, by the time you transfer the dough to the bench and begin kneading it over and over, the heat from your body will get it to the temperature it needs to be. According to Johnny di Francesco, the final temp should be 23-26 degrees Celsius (73-79 degrees Fahrenheit). A good way to know when your crust dough is ready is to poke it in the middle of the lump. If it springs back up, it is ready.

Johnny di Francesco’s Water Temperature Formula

Getting in the technical weeds a little bit, Johnny divulges his mathematical formula to determine what temperature you want your water to be when making pizza dough. The formula is as follows:

56 – flour – ambient temperature – friction transfer = water temperature in Celsius degrees

Mixers can transfer three to seven degrees in terms of friction or energy, while hand mixing transfers three to five degrees. So, considering this recipe calls for 35 ounces of flour and assuming an ambient temp of five degrees, the formula becomes:

56 – 35 – 5 – 5 = 11

Therefore, you want your water to be 11 degrees Celsius, or 52 degrees Fahrenheit, when you start mixing the ingredients to form the dough. (This also assumes 20-30 minutes of kneading.)

neapolitan pizza with dry yeast

How to Serve Neapolitan Pizza

This is the easiest meal to serve in the whole world. Cut the pizza pie into four or eight equal slices. Then grab your choice slice, put it on a plate (or even your hands), and go to town! If you want, you can add shredded Parmigiano Reggiano or red pepper flakes, but the authentic way is to eat it straight out of the oven, with bubbling mozzarella and a bouncy, crispy crust.

If you aren’t serving a group or somehow withhold from eating the whole pie, you can refrigerate the leftover pizza slices in a plastic baggie.

neapolitan pizza dough recipe

how to make neapolitan pizza dough

Neapolitan Pizza with Dry Yeast Recipe

Using dry yeast for the crust of this Neapolitan pizza makes for an authentic, crispy pizza experience. Once you make this pizza for yourself, you will never want to order takeout again! Let Johnny di Francesco’s world-famous and championship-winning recipe become your number-one Friday night family meal or weekend treat.
5 from 6 votes

Equipment

  • Large mixing bowl
  • Large bench area for kneading
  • Cutting utensil
  • Sealed container
  • Ladle
  • Pizza cutter

Ingredients
  

Pizza Crust:

  • 600 ml water
  • 1 kg Flour Le 5 Stagioni Pizza Napoletana brand 35 oz
  • 30 g Salt 1 oz
  • 1 gram Dry yeast

Pizza Toppings:

  • Refined semolina
  • Tomato sauce
  • Sliced mozzarella
  • Full basil leaves
  • Extra virgin olive oil

Instructions
 

To make the pizza crust:

  • Add water and dry yeast to the mixing bowl. Mix with your hands to activate the yeast.
  • Slowly add flour to the mixture. Continue to mix with your hands.
  • Once all the flour is in, add the salt. You want to spread out the time between the yeast going into the bowl and the salt going into the bowl. Work the dough and continue to add flour if you still have some.
  • When the dough begins to form, turn the bowl over and let the dough sit on the bench. Add flour onto the bench and knead the dough into the flour, allowing it to absorb as much flour as it needs.
  • Johnny recommends not sprinkling the flour on top but rather putting it in front of the dough on the bench so you can place the dough into the flour as you see fit.
  • Continue to work the dough with pressure. Brace yourself with one foot and really put your muscle and heat into the dough. This part of the process takes anywhere between 15 and 25 minutes.
  • To know if the dough is ready use the spring test in the middle of the dough lump or a digital thermometer (23-26 degrees C).
  • Once the dough is ready, cover it with a damp cloth and let it rest for at least two hours on the bench, outside the fridge.
  • After two hours, break the dough into six dough balls of equal size. There are many techniques to roll the dough balls, but make sure they are of similar or equal size.
  • Put the dough balls into a container and let them rest outside the fridge for another 2-4 hours.
  • You can also let the dough rest in the fridge. Wait for the dough balls to slightly double in size on the bench, then place them in the fridge overnight, and you can take them out 4-5 hours before making your pizzas.

To make the pizza:

  • Preheat your oven to maximum heat (450-500 degrees Fahrenheit).
  • Take one of the dough balls and sprinkle with semolina. Stretch the dough out gently until it is flat with a rounded outer crust.
  • Ladle tomato sauce and swirl outwards to coat the dough. Leave the outer crust free of tomato sauce.
  • Add sliced mozzarella and fresh chopped basil.
  • Drizzle with EVOO from the middle and circle outwards.
  • Stretch the pizza a few more times and put it in the oven. Cook until the crust is crisp, and the mozzarella is fully melted.
  • Let rest for a minute or two, then cut the pie into four or eight slices. Transfer a portion to your plate and get ready to eat.

Video

Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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

neapolitan pizza dough recipe vincenzo's plate

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22 Responses to Neapolitan Pizza with Dry Yeast

  1. Andy October 8, 2023 at 9:16 AM #

    5 stars
    Absolutely OUTSTANDING!
    Made this recipe tonight using an Ooni oven. Just the best pizza I have ever made, and much better than plenty of pizzas I have had in restaurants. Light, fluffy crust and so tasty.

    • Vincenzo's Plate October 9, 2023 at 8:18 PM #

      Neapolitan pizza is one of my favorite dishes, and I’m always happy to hear when people are able to make it at home. It’s amazing how simple the ingredients are, but they come together to create such a delicious and authentic pizza experience.

  2. Susan November 18, 2023 at 3:58 PM #

    Can you freeze the balls and how do you bring them back to room temp once frozen?

    • Vincenzo's Plate November 24, 2023 at 1:55 PM #

      To freeze Neapolitan pizza dough balls, wrap tightly in plastic, freeze until solid, and store in a freezer bag. Thaw in the fridge overnight and bring to room temperature a few hours before use for a final rise. This method maintains dough quality for convenient homemade pizza anytime. 🍕👩‍🍳

      • Priscilla April 29, 2024 at 10:46 AM #

        5 stars
        Thank you for the recipe!! I tried it this past weekend and it came out great, but I would also be interested in making big batches to freeze. Would you go through the whole 24h rise before freezing, and then have another rise after thawing?

        • Vincenzo's Plate April 30, 2024 at 9:24 AM #

          Ciao Priscilla! I’m so glad to hear the recipe turned out great for you! Yes, for the best results, I recommend letting the dough go through its full 24-hour rise before freezing. This will help develop the flavors and texture. When you’re ready to use it, thaw the dough in the refrigerator overnight, then allow it to come to room temperature for 4-5 hours and rise again before shaping and baking your pizzas. This method should give you fantastic results even from frozen. Happy pizza making!

  3. andrew January 6, 2024 at 2:29 PM #

    5 stars
    Thank you for this. You cannot find fresh yeast in grocery stores anymore where I live in Canada. To see it done with dried yeast helps immeasurably. I use this dough with your cast iron pizza method and get an excellent Neapolitanish pizza. Can’t wait until I can get a pizza oven that can give me the high temperatures for getting a proper Neapolitan style pizza. You have an amazing channel. Always look forward to your videos. Thank you.

    • Vincenzo's Plate January 9, 2024 at 4:36 PM #

      I’m glad the dried yeast option worked well for you. Enjoy your pizza making, and I appreciate your support!

  4. Samir Nader January 9, 2024 at 12:48 AM #

    5 stars
    The best recipe ever for a beginner with an electric pizza oven. Meets restaurant quality, and satisfies what you need from the highest level of pizza quality. Also, big fan of Johnny!

    • Vincenzo's Plate January 9, 2024 at 4:51 PM #

      Thanks for the kind words, and Johnny appreciates the support too! Enjoy your delicious homemade Neapolitan pizza!

  5. Patrickatri January 12, 2024 at 1:11 PM #

    Thanks so much for posting this. Im excited to try it out. Quick question about step #4 – “Add flour to the bench”. Are you adding additional flour to the bench or is this the left over flour that was in the bowl when you took the dough out? Thanks in advance.

    • Vincenzo's Plate January 18, 2024 at 6:37 PM #

      You’re welcome! In step #4, you’re adding additional flour to the bench to prevent the dough from sticking while you knead. It’s not the leftover flour from the bowl.

  6. Filip March 30, 2024 at 5:59 AM #

    5 stars
    Are there benefits to after kneading dough, let it rest 15min, then knead again, then let it rest 15min then knead again?

    • Vincenzo's Plate April 1, 2024 at 10:14 AM #

      Great question! Allowing the dough to rest after kneading, actually has some wonderful benefits for your Neapolitan pizza. When you let the dough rest after kneading, you’re giving the gluten in the flour time to relax. This can make the dough easier to work with and shape into your pizza base. Additionally, these rest periods allow the dough to fully hydrate, which can improve the texture and flavor of your pizza. By kneading again after the rest, you’re helping to develop a stronger gluten network, which contributes to the desirable chewy texture of the crust. So, yes, this method can enhance the quality of your pizza dough, making it both tastier and easier to handle. Happy baking!

  7. Kornelito April 6, 2024 at 7:03 AM #

    Isn’t 1 gram of IDY very much when you let it rise at 24h room temp?

    • Vincenzo's Plate April 8, 2024 at 11:02 AM #

      Thanks for your question! Actually, 1 gram of IDY can work well with this recipe. However, keep in mind that times can vary, especially in warmer weather conditions, as the dough might rise faster. Once your dough doubles in size while resting, it’s time to refrigerate it. This cools down the yeast activity. Just make sure you take the dough out of the fridge 4-5 hours before you’re ready to bake. This allows the dough to come back to the right temperature for the perfect bake.

      Hope this helps, and happy pizza making!

  8. Philip M April 19, 2024 at 8:36 PM #

    5 stars
    Are rheee any disadvantages to using a stand mixer for the kneading of the dough? If I use the mister would there be any modifications to the recipe? Love your channel and recipes!

    • Vincenzo's Plate April 22, 2024 at 9:12 AM #

      Thanks for your kind words and for watching the channel!
      Hand kneading gives you more control over the dough’s texture, though it can be physically demanding and take more time. Using a stand mixer, on the other hand, is a convenient and quick alternative. However, be careful as it can sometimes over-knead the dough, making it tough and hard to work with. Just keep an eye on it and try not to over-knead.
      Feel free to try it out and see how it goes. Happy baking!

  9. Geard April 19, 2024 at 8:43 PM #

    To make less can the recipe be adjusted equally on all ingredients?

    • Vincenzo's Plate April 22, 2024 at 9:18 AM #

      Ciao Gerald! Absolutely, you can scale down the recipe by reducing all ingredients proportionally. Just make sure to keep the ratios the same to maintain the balance in flavor and texture. Also, remember that when making smaller amounts, especially in baking, the cooking or baking time may need to be reduced. Keep a close eye on your pizza as it bakes to prevent overcooking. Good luck, and let me know how it goes!

  10. Jen May 12, 2024 at 3:35 AM #

    I’m extremely confused… the recipe calls for 600 mg of water. 600 mg of water is like .12 tsp water to 1 kg of flour? The math is not mathing… Is this supposed to say 600 ml, not mg?

    • Vincenzo's Plate May 13, 2024 at 10:09 AM #

      Ciao Jen! It should be 600ml of water, not 600mg. We’re fixing it now. Thanks for your understanding and for giving us a heads-up!

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