Science & Technology

Small chemistry tweaks with amazing results

This week, our host, Sam, chats with renowned bakery Peter Linehart to learn how some small chemical adjustments can turn a terrible pizza into a great one.

Video transcript:

(Woman singing Farewell Lover)

Ah, it’s much better than last time.

(Dramatic music)

So how did I, not the chef, but the scientist I add, get to this from something like that cardboard in my second attempt?

It actually tastes like pizza.

Go too deep into the science of it by doing the only thing I know how to do. So if you want to learn about the science of pizza, or if you want to know how to easily make great pizza without a luxurious oven, go.

(Bright music)

My biggest problem with the first attempt was the fabric.

The secret to a great pizza is really the quality of the crust.

Peter Reinhart is a well-known baker and professor of bread making, and has written many books such as “The Bread Baker’s Apprentice” and “American Pie: My Search for the Perfect Pizza.” So he was definitely the one to talk to.

It’s really about the crust. And if you’re disappointed, with what you’ve made or the Pizzeria you’ve been to, it usually starts with not loving the crust.

So in this video, forget about the sauce and cheese and focus on the dough.

The dough is basically four ingredients. Flour, water, salt, Levin or commercially available yeast. This is the most common method.

Was the recipe you were following the recipe of the day? Did you make dough and make pizza on the same day?

Yeah, it was the same day.

The biggest mistake home cooks make when trying to make pizza dough is that they usually encourage them to go fast rather than slow. And when it comes to dough, slowing things down is a game changer.

So what’s the difference between letting the dough rise at room temperature for 45 minutes and leaving it in the fridge overnight?

Let’s take a look at those materials again. What’s really happening when you mix flour, salt, water and yeast?

Water may not sound like the most exciting ingredient, but as soon as you add water to yeast and flour, a lot of things start to happen.

First, water activates yeast. Yeast is a unicellular bacterium. Each of these small chunks is millions of yeasts.

Most baker’s yeast is dormant. I mean, I’m sitting there and doing nothing. However, when warm water is added, the yeast is activated and the yeast enzymes work, and some enzymes contained in the flour break down the starch in the flour into sugar.

First, the enzyme amylase breaks down starch into maltose, and then the enzyme maltase breaks down maltose into glucose. Glucose is an ultra-simple sugar molecule that yeast can metabolize to produce carbon dioxide and ethanol.

This is called fermentation and is the same process of making beer, kombucha, sauerkraut and everything else.

At the same time, flour proteins are starting to do their thing.

These proteins are commonly glutenin and gliadin, but we usually group them all together as gluten-forming proteins.

You’ve probably heard about gluten because people are crazy about it.

When water is added, these proteins begin to form hydrogen and disulfide bonds with each other, giving them gluten.

Kneading the dough gives you more opportunities to interact, more gluten, and more elastic dough. This was definitely not my last fabric.

These gluten networks, which work with other proteins, starches and lipids in the dough, trap CO2 from fermentation. The trapped CO2 forms bubbles that lift the fabric.

And if you put the dough in the fridge overnight, all these reactions happen slowly. This is very important for the development of flavors from fermentation, says Peter. It’s not something you want to hurry or shorten.

Some people try to save time by adding a little sugar or yeast. The dough rises quickly and gives the look and feel of pizza dough, but the taste is not very good.

So I had my first problem. Forty-five minutes was almost not enough time for all these reactions between these components to occur.

Since this sat overnight, I’m sure I messed up something, so I try to understand what I messed up in the baking part.

In a home oven, it can usually reach at least 500 degrees, and in some cases 550 degrees. Most pizzerias are New York-style pizzas baked at about 600 degrees.

Oh, I definitely set it to around 400 last time. I’m not at the stage of buying a pizza oven yet, but I can raise this as high as possible.

When the temperature of the dough rises, many things happen very quickly. And this is great. Because Peter told me that the dough needed to be hot enough for these changes to occur before all the water was lost and the pizza dried.

First, the ethanol trapped in the dough evaporates and the carbon dioxide gas begins to escape.Next, when the dough reaches about 180 degrees Fahrenheit, The starch in it begins to gel or turns into a gel.

And with sugar at about 300 degrees Fahrenheit amino acid A reaction called the Maillard reaction occurs in the dough. This is actually a series of reactions that produce a bunch of different compounds that give the flavor of the pizza dough and a nice brown color.

To perform a nearly controlled experiment, we used the same ingredients as the original recipe, with only varying times and temperatures.

(Woman singing in a foreign language)

Hmm. It’s much better than last time.

The recipe is in the comments.

And I added a link to Peter Reinhardt’s site PizzaQuest. Here he is searching for the perfect pizza.

How much sauce do my teeth have?

?? Lalala?

Small chemistry tweaks with amazing results Small chemistry tweaks with amazing results

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