Today, there are different styles of pizza available in pizzerias all over the city. If you’re looking for pies made with only the finest ingredients and baked to perfection in brick ovens, then the Neapolitan style is your best bet. The Italian classic is highly artisanal and revered, to the point that the art of making it is included on UNESCO’s list of intangible cultural heritage.
The Neapolitan style has become a mainstay on the menus of pizzerias in Singapore. Whether you order the pizza by phone or head to the restaurant, the Italian classic is always served fresh and authentic. It’s Naples’ gift to the world, and here’s why the style is well-loved by pizza experts and enthusiasts alike.
A traditional Neapolitan pizza consists of sea salt, water, yeast and flour. The list is short and simple, but the proportions are taken seriously to achieve the iconic crust that the Neapolitan style is famous for. The ratio of water to flour should be 1:3, and only high-quality brewer’s yeast or natural Neapolitan yeast are used.
To pizzaiolos (professional Neapolitan pizza makers), using the proper flour is a necessity as it is crucial in making the dough. The only choices for flour are “0” or “00.” These numbers indicate the fineness of milling; “00” is the finest available, as its texture and consistency are similar to baby powder. This type of flour produces the best Neapolitan dough.
For the toppings, pizzaiolos only use newly hand-picked tomatoes and mozzarella made from the milk of water buffalos. The pizza is then topped with garden fresh basil and extra-virgin olive oil.
Pizzaiolos pride themselves on their artisanal way of preparing and cooking pizza. After making the dough, it’s left to rise for at least 8 hours. To obtain the iconic crust, the dough is hand-kneaded and pressed out to no more than 3mm thick. Mixers and roller pins are not allowed. Crushed by hand, the peeled tomatoes and other ingredients are spread all over the dough in a spiral motion.
A Neapolitan pizza is cooked exclusively in a wood-fired oven that has reached a temperature between 430-480C°. The pizza cooks evenly for 60 to 90 seconds. The crust has to be 1-2cm high, puffed up, and golden with very few burns.
When a Neapolitan pizza is fresh out of the oven, it’s a harmony of aromatic scents and powerful flavours from the fresh ingredients used. There’s the crisp smell and taste of baked dough coupled with the sharp acidity of tomatoes. You take a bite and the savoury mozzarella blends well with the sweetness and the spice of the olive oil. The basil adds a hint of menthol and a subtle peppery flavor that complements the entire pie.
From the iconic thin crust to the fresh toppings, there’s an intense yet balanced flavour that takes your taste buds on a journey.
The tradition of this Italian classic recipe is the reason for its uniqueness and timeless popularity. With the amount of care and quality ingredients put into its preparation, it’s no wonder that the Neapolitan pizza is often considered the best style of pizza. It’s simple, it’s fresh and it’s hand-made. It can’t get any better than that.