Here’s my updated napoletana style pizza recipe. My previous recipe still works very well, but it requires a lot of fridge space in order for the dough to develop flavour. This recipe uses an overnight poolish which is then added to the main dough. This saves me from having to clear out the fridge to make space for the dough!
My interest in pizza was re-ignited when my friend Jimmy became the distributor for the UUNI 2S pizza oven. With this portable wood fired oven, I can finally make a real napoletana style pizza like those they make at the restaurants!
Here is the recipe for the pizza dough:
Bread flour 125g
Superfine whole wheat flour 125g
Instant yeast 1/8 tsp
Mix in a container large enough for the poolish to double in size, cover and leave on the kitchen counter overnight. The next day, the poolish should have developed a sweet yeasty fragrance. It would be good to give the poolish a stir every now and then to introduce more air into it.
Plain Flour 1 kg
Honey 5 Tbsp
Salt 2 tsp
Vita wheat gluten 2 Tbsp (Red Mills brand from Cold Storage)
Instant Yeast 1/2 tsp
The next day, add all the ingredients of the main dough, except for the salt to the poolish and mix so that the flour and the water is combined, then leave for 20 mins for the flour to hydrate. This process is called autolysis and it will help to cut down on the time required to knead the dough. I added the salt after the autolysis stage because salt will also impede the formation of gluten during this stage.
After the 20min autolysis, start kneading the dough. You can use a machine to knead it. Just turn it on low speed and knead for 5 mins, then rest for 10mins and knead for a further 5 mins. Leave the dough for 10 mins and test to see if the dough is able to stretch nicely without breaking. If it doesn’t, then you may have to knead it for another 3-5mins. After resting the dough for 10mins, sprinkle flour on top and ball it. It should be nice and smooth.
If you are kneading by hand, follow the video to learn the kneading technique (Learnt it from Dean Brettschneider of Baker and Cook). Do not flour the table top as you need the dough to stick to it when you throw it forward and downwards. You then pull the dough towards you and fold over. This movement helps to align and develop the gluten strands. Keep kneading for several mins and then rest the dough for 5-10mins before kneading again. Resting the dough will allow the gluten to relax making it easier to stretch. Once the dough is elastic enough, throw some flour over it and ball it. It should be as smooth as a baby’s bottom. If not, you may have to knead it some more.
Let the dough rise for 1-2 hours, then divide into 200g portions and shape into balls. Lightly oil the balls and keep in individual containers. They will be ready to use in 1-2 hours or when they have doubled in size. You can keep these in the fridge for up to three days to develop even more complex flavours. The cooler temperatures will slow the rise while allowing the yeast to produce more flavour. If you keep it too long the gluten will start to break down and it will be impossible to shape the pizza!
If you can’t get hold of wheat gluten, you can use 800g plain flour 800g mixed with 200g bread flour.
Recipe adapted from Modernist Cuisine At Home Cookbook
Here are the videos showing how to make the dough. (Shot and edited by James Tay)
Pizza dough technique Part 1
Pizza dough technique Part 2
For the sauce, I simply buy a can of whole peeled tomatoes and blend it. Then I add 1/2 tsp salt, 2 tsp sugar, 1 tsp vinegar and adjust to taste. You may add some dried oregano and garlic if you wish.
Anything under the sun as long as you like to eat it!
Notes on how to use the oven.
1. Add BBQ fuel to the wood pellets, light them up and place the cradle into the oven and wait for 5 mins for the pellets to catch fire.
2. Gradually add more pellets till they are halfway up the tube.
3. Once the pizza stone reaches around 350°C, you can start using the oven. This will take around 20-25 mins.
4. The pizza will need to be turned once or twice during the short baking period. The part nearest the fire tends to get burnt so once the pizza is introduced into the oven, just keep a close eye on it. It should take only 45 seconds to a minute before you turn it. It should be cooked within 2 mins.
Read my previous article on the UUNI 2S oven here.
UUNI 2S Pizza Oven