All you need is 3 ingredients for this easy but delicious Italian pizza dough recipe! This original Neapolitan pizza can be made with regular flour or spelt flour and the pizza crust is thin in the middle and has an airy, fluffy crust! It makes for the best homemade pizza dough I’ve had! Plus, I’ve included how to meal prep, freeze, store, and reheat this delicious artisan-style pizza!
Crispy, Fluffy Neapolitan-Style Italian Pizza Dough Recipe
Pizza is one of my most favorite foods, and I have high expectations when it comes to homemade pizza dough! Therefore, I already posted recipes for a Keto Zucchini Pizza Crust (low-carb), Sweet Potato Pizza Crust, and the best Gluten-Free Pizza Crust. However, now it’s the turn of this simple yet classic Italian pizza dough recipe. All you need is just a few simple ingredients and a regular oven to create the best pizza dough recipe that I’ve eaten to date! It’s crispy, fluffy, slightly chewy, has enough structure not to be floppy, and is a complete crowd-pleaser!
I made this easy pizza dough with my sister while visiting Germany recently. While I usually eat gluten-free, I’ll make an exception on special occasions (and visiting family after so long apart definitely counts!). Authentic Italian pizza dough is made with 00 flour (called “Caputo flour”). However, you can also use regular all-purpose flour or bread flour.
Spelt Pizza Dough
This time around, though, we used mainly spelt flour (which is also easier to digest for those with gluten sensitivities – not allergies). It’s also higher in protein and fiber than regular wheat flour.
You can use a stand mixer or hand-knead this Italian pizza. Plus, you can prepare the dough up to 3 days in advance, allowing it to rest in the fridge and develop tons of flavor and the best airy crust! Alternatively, prepare the dough and then freeze for later – that way, you always have some on hand when the pizza cravings hit – no need for greasy takeout! In fact, this Neapolitan pizza dough recipe is sugar-free, oil-free, and contains very little yeast – as classic Neapolitan-style pizzas do!
The Pizza Crust Ingredients
- Flour: We used 75% spelt flour and 25% all-purpose flour, however, in the past, we made this Italian pizza dough recipe countless times with pizza flour (00 flour) or 100% all-purpose flour.
- Water: You can use regular water, though we prefer sparkling water for a slightly lighter dough. It’s best to use it at around 25 °C/77 °F for the yeast.
- Yeast: Use fresh or active dry yeast – adjusting the amount based on which you use (amounts in recipe card). Make sure that your yeast is still active before using it!
- Salt: To enhance the flavor in the pizza dough.
Optional add-ins and recipe variations:
- Spices/Herbs: If you want to add a little more flavor to this spelt pizza crust, dried herbs and spices are the answer. Garlic powder, onion powder, red pepper flakes, dried basil, oregano, Italian seasoning, etc. There are plenty of ways to experiment.
Read the recipe card below for the full ingredients list, measurements, complete recipe method, and nutritional information.
How to Make Italian Pizza Dough with Spelt Flour?
I recommend using a kitchen scale to measure the ingredients for this easy spelt pizza dough recipe!
Make the dough
- Add the flour to your stand mixer’s bowl, then add the water, salt, and fresh yeast, waiting for it to dissolve in the water.
- Attach the dough hook to your mixer and mix for 20 minutes. If the dough is a little too sticky, add more flour – 1 tbsp at a time. If it’s too dry, add a little more water. The dough should be slightly tacky without being sticky. Of course, you can also knead the dough with your hands for about 10 minutes.
Let it rest
- Then, transfer the pizza dough to a large plastic container covered with a damp kitchen towel. Leave it to rest for between 1-2 hours. Then move the container to your fridge and leave to rest overnight, preferably 24 hours, though you can leave it for up to 3 days.
This cold proofing slows down the rising process, allowing the yeast to ferment and flavor to develop in the dough for a complex taste without becoming over-proofed.
Divide the dough
- Place the dough onto a floured work surface and use a bench scraper (or sharp knife) to divide it into two pieces (3 for smaller pizzas). Use your hands to form each piece into a smooth ball, then transfer them to a floured wooden board. Cover with a damp kitchen towel. Leave to rise for 1-2 hours, or until they reach room temperature.
- Then, place a pizza stone (if you have one- or an upside-down baking sheet) in the oven. Preheat it to the highest possible temperature, no fan (typically 250 °C/480 °F).
Shape and top your pizza
- Meanwhile, roll the risen dough balls either by hand or with a rolling pin into circles. Then prepare and top with your toppings of choice. For example, use tomato sauce with a selection of veggies (including onion, garlic, mushrooms, olives, and broccolini) and vegan cheese.
If shaping by hand, start in the middle. Use your fingertips to gently push out from the middle. Work in circles, stretching the dough out into a circle until even throughout or with a slightly thicker edge.
- Next, slide a pizza onto the pizza stone. Bake until the crust is lightly browned and crispy, with a melted topping. I estimate a baking time of 5-8 minutes (with pizza stone) and up to 15 minutes (with a regular baking tray). However, I recommend checking every few minutes. When ready, remove from the oven, slice, and enjoy!
The thickness of the dough, pan, your particular oven, and amount of toppings used can all impact the baking time.
How to Store
Make ahead: As written in the recipe, the pizza dough can be left to rest in the fridge for up to 3 days in advance. Remove the dough from the refrigerator 1-2 hours before shaping and baking (to allow it to come to room temperature first).
Alternatively, you can store the prepared dough balls in the freezer or shape them into pizzas and par-bake for 5 minutes. Then cool and freeze (wrapped tightly in plastic wrap). Either way, freeze for up to 2 months. To bake, thaw (around 2 hours at room temp or in the fridge for several hours or overnight), then bake.
Store: This authentic Italian pizza is best eaten fresh. However, you can store any leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for 2-3 days.
Reheat: Reheat the Neapolitan pizza in an oven (at around 400 °F/200 °C) until warmed through for the best (and least soggy) results.
Recipe Notes and FAQs
- Mix the dough manually: It is possible to mix and knead the spelt pizza dough without a stand mixer – it will just take a little longer (and a lot more effort). First, mix the dough in a bowl and turn it onto a lightly floured surface. Knead until it forms a smooth, tight ball (around 10 minutes). It will start quite sticky but should get better as you knead. If it’s still sticky after several minutes, add a little more flour.
- Adjust the thickness: You can roll out/press out the dough ball into a pizza shape and adjust how thick the dough is to personal taste. Note that the baking time will vary based on how thick the dough is.
- Optionally, brush the dough with olive oil: This can help in the cooking process by crisping up the top of the crust and adding color to the dough. You could even add some minced garlic to the oil for extra flavor.
- For a super crispy crust: Par-bake it with no toppings for several minutes, top it, and then place it back in the oven to thoroughly bake.
- Don’t go overboard with the sauce and toppings: Otherwise, you may end up with a soggy, floppy pizza.
- Use a 50/50 flour blend: if you’re not a massive fan of spelt flour flavor, you can use a combination of 50% spelt and 50% all-purpose flour.
Other Vegan Pizza & Flatbread Recipes
Want to try even more easy vegan pizza dough recipes? Check out the following ones:
- Calzone Recipe
- Ddeep-Dish Pizza
- Pizza Ring with Spinach
- Mexican Pizza with Refried Beans
- Avocado Chickpea Pizza
- Gluten-Free Pita Bread
- Gluten-Free Naan Bread
If you try this easy Neapolitan spelt pizza dough recipe, I’d love a comment and ★★★★★ recipe rating below. Also, please don’t forget to tag me in re-creations on Instagram or Facebook with @elavegan and #elavegan – I love seeing them.
Italian Pizza Dough Recipe
- 370 g (3 cups) spelt flour or all-purpose flour (see notes)
- 225 ml (1 scant cup) water (I use sparkling water)
- 5-6 g fresh yeast or use 3/4 tsp of active dry yeast
- 6 g (1 tsp) salt
- Add the flour to the mixing bowl of your stand mixer (or regular bowl, if mixing by hand), then add the water, salt, and fresh yeast and wait until the yeast dissolves in the water.
- Attach the dough hook to your stand mixer and mix for 20 minutes (or mix 10 minutes by hand - the traditional way!). If the dough is a bit too sticky, add a little more flour, if it's too dry, add a little more water.
- Transfer the dough to a large plastic container and cover it with a damp kitchen towel. Let it rest at room temperature for about 1-2 hours. Then transfer the covered plastic container to your fridge and let the dough rest overnight, preferably 24 hours, or up to 2-3 days.
- Place the dough on a floured working surface and divide it with a dough scraper into 2 pieces (or 3, if you make smaller pizzas). Form each piece with your hands to a smooth ball, then transfer them to a floured wooden board and cover them with a slightly damp kitchen towel. Allow them to rise for an extra 1-2 hours, or until they reach room temperature.
- Place a pizza stone (if you have one) into the oven and preheat the oven to the highest possible setting, no fan, (typically 250 °C or 480 °F).
- Meanwhile, roll out the dough balls with a rolling pin or stretch the dough with your fingers into circles. Prepare your pizza toppings of choice. I like using tomato sauce, onion, garlic, mushrooms, olives, and vegan cheese, but often I just use tomato sauce and vegan cheese.
- Slide the pizza onto the pizza stone and bake it until the crust is slightly brown (or longer if you prefer it crispier).The baking time depends on how thin you rolled out the dough, what kind of oven you're using, if you have a pizza stone, and which (+ how many) toppings you're using. I recommend baking for about 5-8 minutes (if using a pizza stone) or up to 15 minutes (if using a baking tray), but it's best to check every few minutes. Enjoy!
- Flour: We used 75% spelt flour and 25% all-purpose flour. 50% of each also works great. Original Neapolitan pizza dough is made with Italian Tipo 00 pizza flour.
- Want to make it gluten-free? Then check out my gluten-free pizza crust recipe.
- The dough balls can be frozen.
- The total time doesn't include resting time.
Nutrition information is an estimate and has been calculated automatically