The best pizza? We present a proven recipe and some interesting facts about this popular dish

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Neapolitan pizza — history of the dish in a nutshell

The aforementioned Naples — apart from the amazing atmosphere of this place (which you either love or hate), it is there where we can eat the best pizza in the world. It’s definitely a must for all those who call themselves lovers of this simple dish. Queues form to famous, legendary restaurants (e.g. L’antica Pizzeria Da Michele known from the film “Eat, Pray and Love”). Waiting time for one of the two items on the menu there (Marinara — version without cheese, Margherita) is even a few hours. This, however, does not discourage tourists who are able to devote even half a day to try this delicacy. And no wonder — despite the fact that Naples hides brilliant pizzerias on every corner, for the sheer climate of these iconic places, really worth this (longer) moment of waiting.

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The most popular types of pizza

Nowadays, almost every Italian region offers us its own version of pizza. Still, the Neapolitan one is considered by many as the only correct and… the most delicious. There is even an Italian federation, Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana (AVPN), which watches over and certifies restaurants from all over the world. Neapolitan pizza is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Simple recipe for Neapolitan pizza — step by step

Below you will find a simple recipe for pizza from Naples, which you can easily prepare at home. You’ll need a cast iron skillet or pizza stone, an oven with a grill function and a few quality ingredients.

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Ingredients for 1 portion of Neapolitan pizza dough:

  • 250 g of type 00 or 0 flour
  • 150 ml filtered or mineral water
  • less than 1/4 teaspoon of dried yeast
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Ingredients for 1 portion of Neapolitan pizza sauce:

  • canned tomatoes (San Marzano or pelatti variety)
  • clove of garlic
  • a ball of mozzarella di bufala
  • pinch of salt and sugar
  • fresh basil leaves
  • your favourite ingredients (anchovies or capers are especially recommended)

How to prepare Neapolitan pizza:

  • Pour room temperature water into a large bowl, then pour in the dry yeast.
  • Stir thoroughly (until the yeast is dissolved).
  • Add half of the flour and mix the ingredients (until the dough becomes homogeneous).
  • Slowly add the rest of the flour and salt to the dough.
  • Knead the dough by hand (it will be quite lumpy in consistency).
  • Cover the dough and let it rest for about 24 hours at room temperature.
  • The next day, turn the dough out onto a floured work surface.
  • Make a ball of dough and wait a while, leaving it to rise (about 5h at room temperature or another 24 hours in the fridge).
  • Time for the simplest part — the sauce! If the canned tomatoes are thick, drain them from the water and then blend. Add pressed garlic, sugar and salt (you don’t have to cook it).
  • Before baking (about 30 minutes) make sure your oven is at the right temperature — the higher the better (if you can, turn on the fan and grill function).
  • Dust the dough ball with flour and knead the center.
  • The most common mistake — don’t roll the dough, just stretch it! Pizza does not have to be perfectly round — unevenness will only add to its character.
  • Let the edges of the dough remain a bit thicker.
  • Spread prepared sauce on the dough.
  • Tear the mozzarella into small pieces and place them unevenly on the pie.
  • You can also drizzle some olive oil on the top.
  • Place the pizza on a stone / cast iron pan and bake the pizza at maximum temperature (preferably 250/300 degrees) for about 4–5 minutes.
  • Remove the pizza from the oven and wait a minute.
  • Sprinkle the pizza with fresh basil leaves.
  • Enjoy! Feel like on vacation in sunny Italy.

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