Neapolitan Pizza

This recipe is derived from the ones posted at and

Makes 6 pizzas using a cast-iron skillet. Tastes really good but the recipe is quite involved — you’ll need to use both your oven’s broil setting and the cooktop.


  1. Combine flour, salt, yeast, and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook attachment. Whisk to combine. Add water and knead on low speed until mixture just comes together and no dry flour remains. Rest for 10 minutes.

    Knead on low speed for an additional 10 minutes. The mixture should come together into a cohesive mass that barely sticks to the bottom of the bowl as it kneads. Depending on the type of flour used, you may need to add up to ½ cup additional flour. If dough sticks heavily to bottom of bowl, add an extra 1 tablespoon of flour at a time with mixer running until it forms a mass that just barely sticks to the bowl.

  2. (First Prove) Cover bowl tightly with plastic or transfer the dough to two gallon-sized zipper lock bags, seal, and refrigerate for at least 8 hours and up to 72 hours.

    Alternatively, if making the pizza in the same day, leave bowl in a warm area to rise for a few hours after covering with plastic.

  3. Transfer dough to a work surface lightly covered with olive oil (or dusted with flour). Using a bench scraper, divide dough into six even pieces, approximately 6 ounces each. Using oiled (or floured) hands, shape each piece into a neat ball by gathering dough towards the bottom.

  4. (Second Prove) Coat the bottom of a baking tray with olive oil and evenly spread the dough balls across the tray so that they don’t merge during the second prove. Lightly cover the of dough balls with oil. Cover tightly with plastic wrap, and allow to rise at room temperature for 2 hours (dough should roughly double in volume).


  1. For the tomato sauce, heat the olive oil in a frying pan over a medium heat. Fry the garlic for 1–2 minutes on a low heat, until softened but not coloured.

  2. Add the tomatoes to the frying pan and squash them as much as possible with the back of a wooden spoon.

  3. Bring to a boil and add the lemon juice, sugar, and salt. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 5–10 minutes, until reduced to a sauce consistency. Remove from the heat and taste for seasoning.

Making the Pizzas

Prepare the work area:

  1. Put some olive oil (or flour) on your workspace (counter).

  2. Set your tomato sauce, semolina, drained cheese, basil leaves, toppings, and pizza dough ready and close to the stovetop.

  3. Preheat broiler to high and arrange rack so you can just barely fit a 12-inch heavy-bottomed oven-proof cast iron or stainless steel skillet on top of it. Start warming your skillet on the stovetop.

Cook each of the six pizzas:

  1. Transfer 1 ball of dough to the work surface and gently stretch into a 10-inch circle, leaving the outer 1-inch edge slightly thicker than the center.

    The best way to do this is to start by gently stretching with your fingertips. Pick up the slightly stretched dough and place it on the opened face of your left hand. Toss it back and forth between your opened hands, rotating it slightly with each toss until it stretches out to around 8-inches in diameter. Return it to the work surface. With your left hand flat in the center of the round, use your right hand to stretch the edge of the dough out, rotating as needed until it is an even 10-inches in diameter.

  2. Dust skillet with semolina, tap out excess, then heat skillet over high heat until lightly smoking (about 3 minutes).

  3. Transfer the dough round to the skillet. It should fill up the entire bottom surface. Working quickly, spread 2 tablespoons sauce evenly over the dough, leaving the outer 1-inch border un-sauced. Top with ⅙ of the cheese chunks. Add additional toppings except for the basil, since it burns if added too early.

  4. Transfer skillet to broiler and broil until pizza is puffed and charred in spots (this can take anywhere between 1 ½ to 4 minutes, depending on the strength of your broiler). Return skillet to stovetop, add 4 basil leaves and cook until bottom is charred in spots, using a thin metal spatula to peek after about 1 minute (depending on the skillet you use, you may skip this step if pizza is already charred). Transfer the pizza to a cutting board and serve immediately.