The best, easy, thin and crispy crust rustic Italian pizza dough recipe you will ever make. Step by step how to video included below.
A quick, authentic, thin and crispy, Neopolitan style homemade Italian pizza dough recipe that is also perfect for freezing!
With a name like Florentina you would probably be willing to bet that I live La Bella Vita Under The Tuscan Sun and I can toss a pizza like no-body’s business. The truth is I do live La Bella Vita but under the California Sun, and I can’t toss a pizza for the life of me.
Tough you can make this Italian pizza dough recipe by hand, it is way easier to use a mixer. No tossing required! Honestly this is the reason why I got a Kitchen Aid mixer, and a pizza stone, (<–amazon links) so we can make the best homemade pizza ever.
After constantly trying new recipes and formulas, and after having gone to Italy in the search of the perfect rustic authentic Italian pizza dough, I am even more confident that this is the best recipe out there.
what makes this the best Italian pizza dough recipe ever:
- Quick and Easy to make by hand, food processor or Kitchen Aid Mixer!
- Made with active dry yeast, (<–amazon), flour and COLD water (no proofing required)
- Thin and crispy crust, yet still a little chewy
- Make ahead and refrigerate for tomorrow, freeze for later or use right away.
- Vegan, perfect for strombolli, calzone, focaccia, bread sticks and even for the outdoor pizza oven.
what is the best flour for pizza dough ?
In my humble opinion an organic unbleached all purpose flour is ideal especially when making a thin Neopolitan crust. No fancy flour is required.
what is a Neopolitan pizza crust ?
An authentic Italian thin and crisp crust with charred edges and only a few toppings.
I go with simple toppings at Casa Florentina:
- a simple but thick homemade puttanesca, arrabiata or marinara sauce,
- ricotta meatballs,
- roasted cherry tomatoes,
- fresh mozzarella cheese
- spinach & artichoke
- caramelized onions,
- heirloom tomatoes & fresh basil.
The Secret to Italian Pizza Dough Perfection ?
You must bake your rustic pizza on a Pizza Stone! Lightly brush it with some olive oil and as soon as the pie comes out of the oven top it with wedges of fresh tomatoes, basil, oregano and slices of fresh mozzarella di buffala.
There’s no food on Earth like a homemade pizza, but even the best recipe will be lacking without the magic of a pizza stone. Even the most basic one gives you a close result to a wood burning pizza oven. Just remember to heat it up with your oven or it will crack. Give it plenty of time to warm up, even an hour or more if you aren’t in a rush.
If you are looking for those authentic charred little fire kisses on your Italian pizza crust but your oven doesn’t go higher than 500″F, I strongly suggest finishing it under the broiler flames, just for the last minute or so. It will give you a similar effect as a wood burning pizza oven. Magical!
watch how to make the best Italian pizza dough:
- 5 cups all purpose or 00 flour + some for dusting
- 1 1/2 tsp active dry yeast
- 1 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 2 1/4 cups COLD water
- 1 tbs extra virgin olive oil
- Caramelized onions
- Arrabiata Sauce
- Heirloom Tomatoes
- Fresh Basil
- Green Onions
- Smoked Mozzarella Cheese
- Sauteed Mushrooms
- Ricotta Meatballs
Preheat your oven as high as it will go for at least 45 minutes to one hour.
Switch to the dough hook and mix together on low speed for 8 to 10 minutes. The dough should be smooth and sticky but should not stick to the sides of the bowl, only a little to the bottom.
(If the dough sticks to the sides sprinkle in a little more flour, if it is too dry then add a bit more water).
After the 8 minutes have passed remove the dough from the kitchen aid and cut it into 6 pieces and form them into rounds. Place them on a lightly oiled cookie sheet and drizzle with 1 tbs of extra virgin olive oil. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to sit at room temperature and rise for 2 hours in a draft free area. ( I prefer the oven )
Sprinkle the counter with a little bit of flour, take one piece of dough and press down on it with your fingers until you have 1/2" thick circle or oval. Using your fists and knuckles start stretching the dough until 10" in diameter making sure not to tear it ( this should be easy since it is a small pie).
Dust your pizza peel (or a piece of cardboard) very well with semolina flour or corn meal and set your pizza dough on it making sure it slides easily when moved. Pour 2-3 tablespoons of the pizza sauce in the center and spread it around with the back of a spoon leaving 1 inch of space at the edges and making sure not to get any on the peel. Sprinkle with the mozzarella and add your favorite toppings. ( Don't add too many toppings, keep in mind this is a thin crust and a couple of toppings will suffice ).
Gently slide the pie on the preheated pizza stone in a hot 525 degree or more oven, and bake for 5 to 7 minutes or until golden brown on the edges. When making the breakfast pizza I find that the egg cooks perfectly in 6 minutes.
Remove from the oven and sprinkle with the basil and freshly grated parmigiano reggianno. Allow to rest for a few minute for the cheese to set.
Pour the flour into a large bowl. Add the yeast, salt and cold water and using a wooden spoon mix to combine well.
Sprinkle some flour on a work surface/kitchen counter and dump the pizza dough. Sprinkle some more flour on top and using your hand knead the dough for about 10 to 15 minutes until a smooth ball forms but still a little bit sticky on the bottom. Follow the steps above afterwards.
Make sure to preheat your oven with the pizza stone in it for at least 45 minutes, and finish cooking the pizza under the broiler for a nice charred touch.
If topping with heirloom tomato slices, make sure to use the firm ones, otherwise the pizza would be watery. Thin firm slices is what you want.