Yeast was previously indispensable for the perfect pizza dough. The single-celled organism feeds on sugar, produces carbon dioxide and is thus responsible for the typically light, airy dough. Italian pizzaioli usually leaves the yeast dough to rise for at least a day before it is formed into a pizza.
It also works without
This is good news for people with yeast allergies. Although there are yeast-free pizza recipes that use baking powder or give a certain airiness with natural yogurt, these tricks do not taste quite like the original. While traditional Neapolitan pizza can also be made with sourdough, which is safer for most allergy sufferers, it also contains a type of yeast.
Researchers from Federico II University in Naples have now published a groundbreaking article on the subject. You want the perfect pizza dough made under laboratory conditions – without yeast at all.
The team, which includes a professional pizza maker, prepared the dough by mixing water, flour and salt and placing it in a hot autoclave, an industrial unit that controls temperature and pressure.
With carbonation to the perfect dough
From there, the process is similar to how carbonic acid is made in lemonade. The gas dissolves in the dough under high pressure, and when the pressure is released during baking, bubbles form in the dough.
“The key to this process is to design the speed of the pressure release so as not to stress the dough, which likes to stretch gently,” according to author Ernesto Di Maio.
After many experiments with small samples of dough, the researchers finally came to a satisfactory result, which they published in the journal Physics of Fluids. However, the process is not yet suitable for the production of yeast-free pizzas in large quantities. In a next step, the researchers want to buy a larger autoclave to test the production of whole pizzas.
Two more years of patience
Di Maio expects to have the technology developed enough to sell it to food producers in two years, if everything works as intended. Until then, pizza fans with yeast allergies must be patient. Because you can not try the method at home without the necessary equipment.