Base recipe for a spectacular pizza

Makes 4 pizzas (ca. 30 cm)

The long rest time makes this pizza dough wonderfully aromatic. In this recipe I use the fine wheat flour type 00, as it is usual for Neapolitan pizza.

I learned many things that contribute to a great pizza, such as the techniques necessary to make dough, on Vito Iacopelli’s YouTube channel.


  • Dough: 40 minutes preparation, 60 minutes proofing, 12h maturation, 6–48h refrigeration
  • Tomato sauce: 30 minutes preparation
  • Baking: Preheat oven for 1 hour, 5 minutes preparation, 5 minutes baking

Ingredients pizza dough

  • 500g wheat flour type 00 (Pizza flour)
  • 350g water (35°C)
  • 0.4g dry yeast
  • 10g fine sea salt
  • Olive oil

Prepare the dough

  • Dissolve the yeast in 2 tablespoons of the water; put in a small container and set aside
  • Mix the flour with the remaining water in a large, sealable bowl until all of the water has been absorbed; put the mixture aside for 20-30 minutes (autolyse)
  • Sprinkle the salt over the autolyse dough, pour the yeast mixture over the dough
  • Note: the dough is quite sticky. If this is too inconvenient, you can dip your hand in water to work the dough; this step can be repeated 2 to 3 times during kneading
  • Mix by hand until all ingredients are completely absorbed; then turn the dough out onto the work surface and knead it vigorously with your hand for 10–15 minutes
  • It doesn’t matter if the dough still has small bubbles and knots in it; these dissolve through the long maturation time
  • Lightly coat the bottom of the bowl and the surface of the dough with olive oil to make the dough easier to remove from the bowl
  • With a little olive oil on your hands, shape the dough into a tight ball and place it in the bowl
  • After 30m and 1h of proofing at room temperature, the dough should be thoroughly stretched and folded; then, using a little olive oil, shape it back into a tight ball
  • Let ripen at room temperature (20–22 ° C) for 11 more hours

Prepare the dough pieces

  • Dust the work surface lightly with pizza flour
  • Using floured hands, carefully turn the dough out of the bowl and onto the work surface, without exerting too much pressure
  • Use a pastry card to divide the dough into four equal pieces
  • Carefully shape the dough pieces into a ball; to do this, turn the dough on the underside inwards with your fingers; also work with caution here so that the surface does not tear and not too much air escapes from the dough
  • Place dough balls in a pizza ball box, leaving some space between the dough balls, and cover
  • Alternatives: either place dough balls on a baking sheet lined with baking paper and lightly floured, or place each dough ball in a cereal bowl; lightly flour the surface of the dough balls, then firmly cover with cling film
  • Refrigerate for at least 6 hours (6–8 °C, top shelf); continue processing within the next 2 days
  • Take the dough out of the refrigerator 30 minutes before baking

Ingredients tomato sauce

  • 1 can of peeled tomatoes (400g); e.g., from the brand “Mutti”
  • 1 small shallot
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 mild peperonchini (without seeds)
  • 1 table spoon olive oil
  • 1 tea spoon oregano
  • Salt, pepper
  • 1 table spoon sugar
  • 50–100ml passata as needed

Prepare the tomato sauce

  • Heat the tomatoes in a small saucepan and chop them with a hand blender
  • Add olive oil
  • Peel and crush garlic cloves
  • Peel the shallot, cut into 3 large pieces
  • Cut the peperoncini into thin strips and remove the seeds
  • Add garlic, shallot and peperoncini
  • Add oregano and sugar
  • Let the sauce simmer for about 15 minutes
  • Remove the garlic, peperoncini and shallot pieces from the sauce with a fork
  • Season with salt and pepper
  • Let cool in the pot
  • If you like your pizza with a bit more sauce, 50–100ml passata can be added before simmering

Baking ingredients

  • Rasped parmesan cheese
  • Fresh or grated mozzarella cheese
  • Semolina

Bake the pizza

  • Approx. 1 hour before baking, set the oven to the highest temperature (min. 250°C) and heat up with the pizza stage (i.e. bottom heat + convection); alternatively use top and bottom heat
  • Heat up a rack with pizza stone in the lower third; alternatively use a baking tray
  • Carefully turn the pieces of dough into a small pile of semolina and dust them on both sides
  • Then shape each piece of dough into a pizza round; first push the dough with your fingers from the center to the edge, leaving the edge slightly thicker so that the air bubbles collect there; then the dough can be stretched further by pulling and turning until a roundish form of about 30cm in diameter is formed
  • Work carefully so that the dough does not tear in the middle
  • Place the dough onto a pizza peel or baking paper, spread with tomato sauce and place directly in the oven
  • Bake the dough until the edges are clearly browned; then lift the pizza out of the oven with a pizza shovel
  • Now add the other ingredients to the pizza: first sprinkle some Parmesan over the tomato sauce, then spread diced or grated mozzarella on the pizza
  • If you really want, you can of course add other ingredients to the pizza
  • Put the pizza back in the oven and bake until the cheese starts to throw little bubbles

Note: The recipe for the dough is based on the “Overnight Straight Pizza Dough” from the book “Flour, Water, Salt, Yeast” by Ken Forkish (pp. 220–221; see books) but has been adjusted compared to the original.