This Neapolitan pizza dough is my quick and easy go-to recipe that can be made on short notice whenever you get that craving for some pizza. Allowing the dough to rise for a few hours will guarantee a delicious pizza that you can serve for surprise guests or at a get-together with friends. I recommend the use of Tipo 00 flour, which is intended for pizza dough, but bread flour with a high protein content (approx. 12–14 grams) will also do. As the dough will rise quickly, the flour does not need to be particularly strong. A mixer, kitchen scales and large bowls for raising the dough in will make things easier, but you can also knead the dough by hand on a counter top.
Slicemonger’s easy and reliable dough
Makes four pizzas roughly 30 cm in diameter (240 g per ball of dough)
- 350 g (350 ml) lukewarm water
- 4 g (1 tsp) dry yeast
- 18 g (1 tbsp) fine sea salt
- 600 g (900 ml) Tipo 00 flour
- Extra flour for dusting the work surfaces
Mix the yeast and salt in with the water. Add the flour and knead for about three minutes until the dough no longer has any noticeably floury spots left.
Cover the dough with a damp cloth and let it rest for about 10 minutes.
Continue to knead the dough for another 10 minutes until it comes off the bowl easily.
Shape the dough into a ball and cover the bowl with clingfilm or an airtight lid. A damp cloth over the bowl will also work. Let the dough rest for approximately three hours in room temperature.
Once the dough has risen, divide it into four pieces. Roll the dough into balls and let them rise again in a bowl, covered with an airtight lid or clingfilm, or a proofing box for an hour.
Porcini mushroom pizza
- 1 ball of Slicemonger’s trusty dough
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 50 g mature Emmental cheese
- 50 ml parmesan flakes
- 1 tbsp chopped parsley
- 1 medium-sized, thinly sliced porcini mushroom
- 3 tbsp crème fraîche
- 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
(If you want a meatier pizza, you can add thin slices of cold-smoked reindeer on top after the baking.)
Place a ball of dough onto a pizza peel, dusted with flour. Alternatively, you can shape your pizza and add the toppings on a wooden cutting board or an oven tray. Press out the air in the dough, from the center toward the edges. Stretch the base to make it round (Ø approx. 30 cm). Leave about 1 cm of crust around the pizza. Remember to use enough flour under the dough to stop it from sticking.
Coat the base evenly with the crème fraîche, followed by the grated Emmental. Arrange the parsley and mushrooms and pour the olive oil in a thin stream on top of the pizza.
Slide the pizza onto a hot pizza stone or tray by using a peel. Bake for 3–5 minutes at the top of the oven under the grill or until the pizza has a beautiful golden color.
Add some ground pepper, parmesan flakes and, if you want, a few slices of cold-smoked reindeer as a finishing touch.
A pizza stone or a baking steel
The important thing when baking a pizza is to get the base and the toppings to cook through simultaneously. Achieving a crispy base is often difficult, but a pizza stone or a baking steel will help. Both work the same way: the stone or the steel is heated up in an oven where it stores the heat. As steel conducts heat better, it will give your pizza that crispy base quicker. Baking steels are more expensive than pizza stones, but they are also more durable and will not crack like pizza stones, which are often quite sensitive to impacts.
Place your pizza stone (or baking steel) at the bottom of the oven and heat up the oven to its maximum temperature. This will take around half an hour. If you have an infrared thermometer, measure the stone’s internal temperature – it should be at least 250 °C. Place an oven rack at the top of the oven. Place the stone with the pizza on top at the bottom of the oven and turn on the grill. Bake the pizza for roughly 3–4 minutes at the bottom, until the base has got some color. Then, use the peel to lift the pizza onto the rack and continue baking it until the toppings are properly browned.
Jukka Salminen / @Slicemonger
Jukka “Slicemonger” Salminen is a Tampere-based photographer, musician and pizza maker who has been working on pizza for years. The sociability is also important to Jukka – cooking and eating together is the best thing a person can do.
Read what Jukka says about pizza in Finnish food culture. The article can be found here.