Dough Pizzeria Napoletana

Some like it hot.

Like 800+ degrees kind of hot. That’s the temperature at which the wood-fired oven at Dough Pizzeria Napoletana fires up its pizzas in only 90 seconds.

The Neapolitan style of pizza making is not new to the Dallas metro, but it’s pretty new to Plano, as Dough introduced authentic Associazione Pizzaiuoli Napoletani (APN) certified pizza earlier last year. The APN is an elite, Italian governing body that teaches the more than 150-year-old art of Neapolitan pizza-making, which gives Dough street cred for accurately adhering to its strict procedures.

Dough’s wood-burning pizza oven // photos Emilee Prado

But what is Neapolitan pizza? Not to be confused with Neapolitan ice cream, it is a true Naples, Italy-style pie made with highly refined, Italian type 0 or 00 flour, fresh mozzarella, Neapolitan or fresh brewer’s yeast, plus water and salt. The dough must then be formed by hand and topped with San Marzano tomatoes (grown in Italy) and only fresh, all-natural toppings. It’s baked in less than two minutes and comes out Mama Mia hot. Bravo! And there it is, true Neapolitan pizza: fresh, piping hot, authentic.

Dough is relatively new, open since last summer and tucked away inside a shopping center at the corner of Parker and Parkwood. But don’t be fooled – once inside, visitors find an upscale Italian dining destination. Expect a comfortable, neighborhood feel with a stunning bar that instantly transports diners from a strip mall to the streets of Italy. Sit on the patio and sip a traditional Italian cocktail, or select from the extensive Italian wine collection.

Insider’s tip: don’t skip the burrata bar. Mozzarella and burrata are made every day at Dough; the process begins as cheese curd from BelGioioso Cheese in Wisconsin. When the staff is ready to prepare the mozzarella, the curd is sliced into smaller pieces and melted with extremely salty hot water, then infused with whole milk. When it’s ready, it is rolled up to cool and sliced for service.

In addition to the mozzarella and dough being made in-house, Dough’s tomato sauce, sausage, salad dressings, meatballs, sauces and desserts are all created right there. Hydroponic lettuce is chopped daily for salads, and staff smokes its own salmon and sous vide the chicken. Nothing is brought in pre-prepped; everything is sliced or diced as needed. 

Dough Pizzeria offers weekly specials other than pizza from time to time, as well as fresh salads and antipasto on the regular menu. Shoppers can grab a sandwich at lunchtime Monday through Friday. That said, pizza remains their core focus. As owner Keith Hall explained, “We believe the key to success is knowing who you are and who you want to be … focusing all your attention on being the very best you can be at that one thing. In our case, it’s pizza, and we hear time and time again from guests dining in the restaurant… that we are achieving our goal.”

Owners Brad Liles and Keith Hall are clearly passionate about Neapolitan pizza and about the concept they first brought to Dallas, and now Plano. Both were former technology employees who opted to exit corporate America in the early 2000s. Their intent was to pursue entrepreneurship opportunities in the restaurant industry, with a bakery and tearoom to start. They opened Dough in Dallas nearly seven years ago.

Dough Plano owners Brad Liles (left) and Keith Hall

The guys explain that they chose Plano for their relocation since they both live in the area and have strong ties to the community. They also saw a need, and wanted to bring an Italian-style neighborhood pizzeria to an area they viewed as void of high-end pizza. Brad runs the front of house operations, while Keith runs the show on all things kitchen related. The two trained in San Antonio with Dough’s founder to learn culinary techniques, recipes and plating, in addition to learning the Dough way of business operations and guest service.

Whether you’re new to Neapolitan pizza or a Naples-style pie enthusiast, there’s never been a better time to escape the winter chill by warming up near the flaming-hot pizza oven at Dough.

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