Scientists Figured Out How to Make Pizza Without Yeast

Pizza science is the best science

Pizza dough on a table. Scientists have figured out a way to make pizza without yeast.
New frontiers in pizza science arriving via yeast-less pizza
Phil Hearing/Unsplash

Whether you’re getting a slice from a local pizzeria, sitting down for a fancier pizza during a night out or making a pizza at home, it’s hard to underestimate the importance of fresh yeast. As anyone who’s faced the challenges posed by expired yeast can attest, if you don’t get the yeast right, you’re probably not going to have a great meal.

That’s the conventional wisdom, anyway. But what if there was a way to remove yeast from the process altogether and still get a good pizza out of the equation? It may sound like the stuff of science fiction — but now, it’s a step closer to science fact.

A new paper published in the journal Physics of Fluids titled “Rheology-driven design of pizza gas foaming” chronicles the efforts of a group of scientists to create air pockets in pizza dough without yeast. As an article in Smithsonian Magazine explains, the scientists utilized an autoclave to add gas to the dough — a process the article compares to carbonating soda.

NPR’s report on the experiment reveals more — including the fact the pizzas created for the experiment were very small. Still, the scientists believe that they’ve found a way to get the same taste and feel from their pizzas as one might expect from a yeast-based process. And for people with yeast allergies — as is the case for Ernesto Di Maio, one of the paper’s authors — this new process could make for a welcome way to enjoy some of their favorite foods.


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