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Speedy Pizza

Last night’s dinner was thanks to the Super Speedy Pizza Dough recipe from A Life of Geekery. The recipe works very well and, topped with some left-over ratatouille and a few spears of asparagus, made an excellent and quick meal. However, my inner geek has a further question to ask: what’s the point of including yeast?

The method promised 3-4 7″ pizzas but I only wanted to make one large one so I halved the quantities to 90ml lukewarm water, 4.5g bread yeast, 145g bread flour, a pinch of salt and a little olive oil (mainly used to stop the dough sticking to the board during kneading). However, since it is kneaded, flattened and cooked, does the yeast actually get a chance to do anything? My understanding is that yeast takes time to work, respiring and producing CO2 which, working out through the gluten structures of the dough, creates an intricate framework of tiny pockets that trap air and are set by applying heat. The heat doesn’t activate the yeast; it kills it off.

I think I need to do some experiments. I could compare the recipe as given with a similar one with no yeast and perhaps a third containing bicarbonate of soda and some kind of acid (or just self-raising flour).