For those of you who follow us on Facebook, you know that we built a wood burning pizza oven this summer.  We hesitated before publishing anything while we worked on perfecting our recipe.

open pizza oven with burning embers and logsAfter weeks and weeks of arduous testing :p we think we have come up with a pretty good dough recipe to share with you.

As usual our most important tip is to find local, fresh ingredients, and we were lucky enough to travel to Ventimiglia, Italy to buy real Italian products.  We suggest you visit your local markets and Italian specialty shops to find high quality:  tomato paste (we used the brand Cirio), mozzarella (sometimes pre-shredded works better on pizza than doing it yourself), achovies, black olives, capers and fresh basil.  We also bought “00” flour ground fine, specifically for pizza dough, this can generally be found at restaurant supply stores.

Throw together those ingredients and you have our favorite pizza of the summer: the classic Napolitano, in homage to Naples, the birthplace of pizza.

Key tips:

1) Using a Kitchen Aid mixer with the hook attachment to knead the dough made the dough preparation a breeze.

2) Keep your oven HOT!  After burning the starter logs for at least an hour, maintain a constant flame in the back of the pizza oven by adding single logs to the embers.  This ensures that the crust turns out crisp on the bottom and cheese perfectly carmelized on top.

3)  To keep the dough from sticking to the peel:  Use corn meal to dust the pizza peel and keep dough chilled before rolling it out.  Each ball can be kept in the fridge and brought out right before rolling.

Below you can see our step by step photos of rolling the dough and preparation before popping them into the oven.


Yield: 16 small pizza crusts

2 1/3 cups warm water
1 tablespoon honey
1 1/2 tablespoons yeast
6 tablespoons olive oil
7 cups flour
2 teaspoons salt
Semolina flour or cornmeal, for dusting

In a medium size bowl, combine the water (warm, not hot), honey, yeast and olive oil.  Dissolve the yeast and let set for 7-10 minutes.  When the water starts to slightly bubble, the yeast has been activated.

In the bowl of a kitchen aide mixer, combine the flour and the salt.  Create a well in the center and add the water mixture.  Turn the machine on the lowest speed to combine.  Once the flour and water is combined, knead the dough on medium speed for seven minutes.  The dough should clear the sides of the bowl, but still stick to the bottom.  The finished dough will be springy, elastic, and slightly sticky.

Lightly oil the edges of the mixer bowl with olive oil, cover the dough with a damp towel and allow it to rise for 2 hours – the dough will more than double in size.

stainless steel chrome bown covered with cloth with risen pizza dough

Punch the dough down and break out into 3.5 ounce individual balls.  The dough is ready for use immediately or can be stored in the refrigerator up to three days.   If you don’t use all of the dough immediately, the balls can be frozen for a week or two.  Just move to the refrigerator the night before.