Perfect yeast-free pizza
Made by blowing bubbles into dough
Monday – 24 Ramadan 1443 AH – 25 April 2022 AD Issue No. [
Cairo: Hazem Badr
In typical bread, yeast produces bubbles via a biochemical process, which causes the dough to rise and develop into a light, airy and delicious dessert, and without this yeast, it’s hard to make a morsel with the same distinct taste and texture.
The perfect unleavened pizza, like food, presents an important challenge to bakers around the world, and researchers specializing in fluid physics at the University of Naples, Italy, have tried to solve it by fermenting pizza dough without yeast.
The research team, which includes a pizza maker and a graduate student, prepared the dough by mixing water, flour and salt and placed it in a hot “autoclave”, an industrial device designed to raise temperature and pressure, and they published the details of their experiment on March 22nd in the journal “Fluid Physics”. .
In an “autoclave”, the gas melts in the dough at high pressure, and bubbles form in the dough as the pressure is released during baking. However, scientists-turned-bakers had to be careful with the pressure release, as pizza dough does not respond well to sudden change in temperature. the pressure.
“The key to the process is to design the rate of pressure release, not to squeeze the dough, which likes to stretch gently,” says the experiment’s lead researcher, Ernesto Di Maio, in a report published on the University of Milan website in conjunction with the study.
The authors evaluated their dough using rheology, which measures the flow and deformation of the material, and fine-tuning of the pressure release through rheology allowed the bubbles to be gently blown to the desired extent.
“We mainly studied how dough behaves with and without yeast, how softness changes with fermentation, and how the dough responds to a temperature program during baking, and this was fundamental to the design of a dough-pressing protocol without yeast,” says Rossana Pasquino, a co-author on the study.
After several informal taste tests, the researchers bought a larger, food-grade autoclave that would make a full-sized pizza in future experiments, and they hope to see their idea in use in pizzerias.
“We had so much fun applying things we know so well to delicious polymers, rather than the typical smelly and sometimes boring plastics,” Pasquino says. “The idea of approaching food samples with the same techniques and knowledge used in thermoplastic polymers has been surprisingly successful.”
As someone with a yeast allergy, researcher Di Maio is also excited about the applications of other leavened products such as bread, cake and snacks. “This new technology can drive the development of new products, new dough formulations, and recipes for specific food intolerances, and we hope it will help people enjoy healthy and delicious food,” he says.