The Neapolitan pizza recipe of Mirko D’Agata

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Neapolitan pizza

Ingredients

Leaven (biga) to be prepared 14 to 18 hours in advance
  • 400 g unbleached enriched flour
  • 200 ml cold tap water
  • 2 g dehydrated yeast or 4 g fresh yeast or 40 g natural sourdough
Final dough recipe
  • 100 g 00 or all-purpose flour
  • 150/175 ml cold water
  • 10 ml olive oil
  • 10 g sea salt

Method

Leaven (biga) to be prepared 14 to 18 hours in advance
  1. In a large bowl, combine the yeast and flour.
  2. Add the water and mix until the water is absorbed, about 4-5 minutes.
  3. The dough should not be smooth. It is supposed to have a chunky/lumpy consistency.
  4. Pour a small amount of oil into the bottom of a bowl and brush the sides. Place the biga inside, cover with cling film and make small holes in the film to allow oxygenation.
  5. Leave at room temperature (20/21°C) for 14 to 18 hours
Final dough recipe
  1. In a bowl, put the biga and break it into small pieces.
  2. Add 125 ml of water and the salt and mix for a few minutes to make it more malleable. When it is ready to be incorporated with the other ingredients, add all the flour and mix.
  3. As soon as the dough starts to become homogeneous, add the remaining water bit by bit, then the oil.
  4. Continue to knead the dough, folding it over itself until you have a smooth, even dough. This should take 20 to 25 minutes.
  5. At the end of kneading, shape the dough into a round shape, cover with a damp cloth and let rest for 30 to 45 minutes.
Mixing
  1. Weigh out 200 to 250 gram dough pieces and make smooth, round balls.
  2. Store in a container and cover with a lid or cling film.
  3. Leave the balls of dough at room temperature (+/- 20°C) for a final fermentation of about 3 to 4 hours.
  4. One hour before baking, preheat oven to 500°/550° F.
  5. (If you are using a baking sheet, put it in the oven while the oven is preheating).
Stretching the dough
  1. Using a spatula, remove the balls from the container.
  2. Roll each of the balls in a bit of flour and start stretching the dough with your fingertips from the bottom to the top (this technique is called cornicione in Italian).
  3. Stretch to about 10″ and transfer to parchment paper or a pizza pan.
  4. Add tomato sauce or other toppings, leaving out the mozzarella (add it 3-4 minutes before the end of cooking).
  5. Slide the pizza onto the baking sheet.
  6. Bake for 8 to 9 minutes, remove from oven, add mozzarella and finish baking for about 3-4 minutes.
  7. To finish, add a generous drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and a few fresh basil leaves.

Buon appetito!

Read the portrait of chef Mirko D’Agata right here!

Photography by Alison Slattery

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