Neapolitan pizza is a distinct style of pizza whose origins can be traced back to the Italian city of Naples.
While us humans have been topping flatbreads all over the world for thousands of years, Neapolitan pizza has been called the originator of pizza as we know it today.
It is of such cultural importance to Italy that it has been given UNESCO ‘intangible heritage’ status. This means that strict rules have had to be laid out that a pizza has to fall within in order to qualify as ‘Neapolitan Pizza’. These rules include topping combinations which technically can only be Margherita (tomato, fior di latte or buffalo mozzarella, olive oil and basil) or Marinara (tomato, basil, roasted garlic and oregano).
However, almost all pizzerias in Naples today have many other topping combinations on their menus and with such a beautiful bread style, it seems a shame not to. This is what we are referring to when we call ourselves ‘Neapolitan’ (other than our Margheritas and Marinaras) we are referring to the bread style.
The dough preparation method must consist of Tipo ’00’ or Tipo ‘0’ flour, a sourdough culture or bakers/ brewers yeast, water, salt and no oil.
The dough must ferment for no less than 8 hours, although we go much longer (between 25 and 55 hours). It must be cooked in a super hot oven (usually wood-fired) at speed. The combination of the short cooking time, correct water content, correct fermentation and correct mixing times should combine to achieve a soft, floppy, digestible bread.
This is not ‘thin and crispy’ pizza. Neapolitan pizza is intentionally ‘soft and cloudy’ and should not be mistaken by those who may be more used to other ‘firmer’ pizza styles as ‘undercooked’.
“Due to its intentionally soft, ‘soupy’ properties, it is best eaten with a knife and fork or by cutting into quarters and folding your slice.”Punchinello