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Understanding the benefits of pizza dough maturation 🍕

Why does pizza cause thirst? Is the cause the incomplete maturation or the bad leavening? Let's find out together.

Often after spending a pleasant evening with friends enjoying a pizza we find ourselves turning around in bed thirsty and afflicted with difficult digestion . The cause of all this is the incomplete maturation of the dough and not bad leavening, as is commonly believed.

The difference between leavening and maturation

The first is a process carried out by yeasts (usually Saccharomyces cerevisiae) which, by assimilating the simple sugar present in the flour, produce carbon dioxide and ethyl alcohol. This operation is manifested through the increase in volume of the dough ; the carbon dioxide produced by the fermentative action of the yeast remains trapped in the gluten structure, causing the dough to swell. Of all the processes that take place in the dough, leavening is the fastest and therefore it is necessary to slow it down to favour all the other decomposition operations, placing it at a controlled temperature (from 2 to 4 degrees) for a time proportional to the strength of the flour. Maturation , on the other hand, is the set of processes, carried out by enzymes present in the flour, which lead to the progressive breakdown of more complex structures such as proteins, starches (complex sugars) and fats, into simpler elements. Specifically, complex sugars are gradually transformed into simple sugars, while proteins into amino acids. The maturation process is of fundamental importance in the preparation of a good pizza , as it helps to obtain the typical aromas and colours of quality baked products, favouring leavening and digestibility.

What does all this have to do with thirst?

Digestion has the task of transforming ingested food into substances that are easily assimilated by the body; when it arrives in the intestine, in fact, the complex sugars and proteins it contains are broken down by the enzymes present there. A correctly matured dough produces a pizza already partially split into amino acids and simple sugars. This greatly simplifies the work of the digestive system which has a reduced quantity of starches and proteins to process. In conclusion, the maturation of the dough and the cooking are extremely important as they make the finished product more digestible.

The professionalism of a pizza maker also manifests itself in carefully evaluating the flour he has available , improving the hydration, maturation and leavening of the dough in order to constantly churn out a quality product, easily digestible and which does not make you thirsty; however his research is often frustrated by the customer who, to satisfy his palate, adds topping ingredients, which are already very savoury, ham for example, which inevitably weigh down the pizza, promoting a greater demand for water on the part of the organism and a complex digestion.

Taken from le5stagioni, article written by Luca Gaccione

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