Neapolitanish Pizza Dough

For a pizza to be considered truly Neapolitan, its production must adhere to strict rules ranging from the ingredients used in the dough to the fermentation and baking process. In short, true Neapolitan pizza is made with only flour, water, salt, and yeast in specified ratios to produce a dough that is 55 percent to 62 percent hydration. Moreover, it must be baked in a wood-burning oven at 900ºF for 60 to 90 seconds. For these reasons, I am using “Neapolitanish” to describe this dough, which will produce a pizza that is Neapolitan in spirit: thin but not paper thin with a slightly ballooned rim. Like true Neapolitan pizza dough, this dough is made with only flour, water, salt, and yeast, but unlike true Neapolitan pizza dough, its hydration is 77 percent. The reason for this higher hydration is that in a home oven the dough cooks at a much lower temperature for a longer period of time, during which a significant amount of the water in the dough will evaporate. So, to prevent the dough from drying out, it needs more water in it at the start. If you live in a humid environment or are new to pizza making, start with 425 grams of water. The dough may feel dry immediately after mixing, but as the dough rises, the flour will continue to hydrate, and when you turn out the dough to portion it, it will feel much wetter and stickier. If you are an experienced pizza maker and don’t mind working with a higher hydration dough, you can use 450 grams of water to start.
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