Greg DuPree
Hands-On Time
20 Mins
Total Time
1 Hour 20 Mins
Yield
2 pizzas (serves 4)

Do you remember that scene in the movie Eat, Pray, Love, when Julia Roberts takes her first bite of pizza? She almost passes out from the bliss of tasting a slice. It’s that level of delicious that we’re going for here, with this classic rendition of the famous Naples pie. There are just a few toppings: crushed tomatoes, olive oil, fresh mozzarella cheese, and basil leaves, which means quality counts even more than normal. Cue Italian music and la bella vita can be yours. And there's no need for a pizza stone or any other fancy pizza equipment to replicate a restaurant Neopolitan-style pizza right in your own kitchen. The combo of the dough, the technique, and the high heat of the oven will yield incredible results, even delivering leoparding, the dark spots on the crust often seen in true Neopolitan pizza. P.S. It might seem unusual to crank your oven up to 525º F, but the super-high temperature is attempting to replicate a woodfired oven.

How to Make It

Step 1

Place dough balls on a baking sheet; cover with plastic wrap. Let rest at room temperature for at least 45 minutes and up to 2 hours. (This will make it easier to stretch.)

Step 2

Preheat oven to 525°F with racks in uppermost and lowest positions. Lightly flour a work surface. Place 1 dough ball on surface (leave second ball covered); turn to coat in flour. Press firmly with fingertips and palm to flatten to an 8-inch round, starting from the center and working toward the edge. With hands at 10 and 2 o’clock, lift dough and rotate, moving hands around the edge, letting dough stretch to a 10-inch round. Transfer to a baking sheet.

Step 3

Spread 2 tablespoons crushed tomatoes over dough, leaving a 1-inch border. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon oil and top with half the cheese.

Step 4

Bake on lower rack until bottom of crust is browned (use a spatula to peek underneath), 7 to 9 minutes. Transfer to top rack; increase oven temperature to broil. Watching closely, broil until crust is lightly charred, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from oven; top with basil.

Step 5

Repeat with remaining dough and toppings.

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