Mar 27, 2022

Italian scientists hacked pizza physics to make dough without yeast

Posted by in categories: chemistry, cybercrime/malcode, food, physics

Ernesto Di Maio is severely allergic to the yeast in leavened foods. “I have to go somewhere and hide because I will be fully covered with bumps and bubbles on the whole body,” he says. “It’s really brutal.”

Di Maio is a materials scientist at the University of Naples Federico II where he studies the formation of bubbles in polymers like polyurethane. He’s had to swear off bread and pizza, which can make outings in Italy a touch awkward. “It’s quite hard in Naples not to eat pizza,” he explains. “People would say, ‘Don’t you like pizza? Why are you having pasta? That’s strange.’”

So Di Maio put Iaccarino and another graduate student, Pietro Avallone, to work on a project to make pizza dough without yeast. The results of this scientific and culinary experiment are published in Tuesday’s edition of Physics of Fluids. Di Maio pulled in another colleague: chemical engineer Rossana Pasquino who studies the flow of materials, everything from toothpaste to ketchup to plastics. “Pizza [dough] is a funny material,” she explains, “because it flows, but it has to be also like rubber. It has to be elastic enough [when it’s cooked] to be perfect when you eat it.” — I had to post this because I love Pizza.

Bread geeks, take note! The new technique, developed in a lab in Naples, involves the smart application of materials science and physics to make airy, bubbly dough without fermentation.

Leave a reply