The Science of Pizza

There’s a lot of science involved in making pizza, from choosing the suitable flour to achieving that perfect crust. Understanding these scientific principles can help you create delicious pizzas at home.


Flour is a powder made from the grain of cereal grasses, like wheat. It consists of endosperm (the inside tissue), germ (the embryo), and bran (the complex outer layers).

In terms of pizza, flour is an essential ingredient because it acts as a base for the dough. It provides the elasticity and strength to make a chewy and delicious crust.

When mixed with water, the protein in the flour, known as gluten, gives it elasticity and springiness. The higher the amount of gluten in the flour, the chewier and more springy the dough will be.

Moreover, it affects the dough’s hydration level by increasing its absorption capacity. Therefore, a high-protein flour, such as bread flour, is ideal for making a dough that requires high hydration levels, especially if it’s cold fermented.

In addition to a high gluten content, bread flour contains other proteins that help the dough rise properly. These proteins include gliadin and glutenin.


Pizza toppings are a great way to make your pizza taste more delicious. Many options exist, from traditional pepperoni to spicy chicken sausage and Canadian bacon.

Most people find the best pizza in Breckenridge, and some may want to add their favorite pizza toppings when they order a pizza. However, some things should be considered before putting toppings on a pizza.

The first thing to consider is whether the topping should go on top of the cheese or underneath it. The answer depends on a few factors, including the type of crust and the desired pizza texture.

For example, if you want your pizza to have a crunchy, chewy texture, you should put the toppings on top of the cheese. This will ensure the ingredients sear properly under the oven’s heat and do not become soggy.

But if you prefer a softer pizza texture, you can bury the toppings under the cheese to protect them from the oven’s high temperatures. This will also help to keep them from getting dry and stale.

Another factor to consider is the Maillard Reaction, which occurs when amino acids and sugars are exposed to heat at a high temperature. This reaction makes the ingredients brown and gives pizza its distinctive flavor.


Water is a critical ingredient that changes the flavor and texture of your pizza. The right type of water can make your crust chewier, crunchy or even change the color of your dough!

The mineral content in water can also affect your pizza. Hard water contains more calcium and magnesium than soft water, which can strengthen the gluten in your dough, making it more challenging.

New York City’s water is considered soft, meaning it has lower levels of calcium and magnesium than other cities. This makes it an excellent choice for your dough.

In addition to the mineral content, the pH of your water can also impact the taste and texture of your dough. The best water for pizza has a neutral pH of 7 or higher.

You can get low or high-pH water, but choosing the right one for your recipe is essential. The correct pH will improve the flavor of your dough, making it easier to create a crisp crust.

It can also help prevent the growth of bacteria, so avoiding chlorine-treated tap water is a good idea. It can also cause the yeast to grow faster, producing more dense dough.

The humidity in the area you’re baking it in affects your pizza dough’s hydration. The higher the humidity, the more water your flour will absorb from the air, increasing the dough’s hydration.


Yeast is a naturally occurring fungus that is one of the most essential ingredients used in baking. It is found in various foods and can be purchased at your local supermarket. It is also known as baker’s yeast, brewer’s yeast, or sourdough starter.

Yeast grows by eating sugars found in flour and creating carbon dioxide gas called leavening. This process produces bread dough with light and aerated texture when baked.

Although there are many types of yeast, the most common is Saccharomyces cerevisiae. It is widely used for wine making, beer brewing, and baking.

It is the most commonly used yeast in Italian pizza. It can be purchased in small packages and found in the refrigerator at your local grocery store.

There are two kinds of yeast: fresh and dry. You can use either type in your recipe.

When using fresh yeast, dissolve it in the water before adding the flour and salt. This ensures it is evenly distributed throughout the dough and does not contain large chunks of yeast.

You can also purchase a dried form of yeast, brewer’s, or freeze-dried yeast. This is sold in sachets or powder form and can be stored in a freezer for up to a year.