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Wikipizza: The Pizza Dictionary

This mini-dictionary does not include all the terms that exist in the world of baking and pizza but those that take you in a concrete and direct way to the understanding of manuals, articles and recipes.

WRITTEN by

 Rudy 

of

 15 October

Unfortunately, I often take it for granted that those who read the newsletter or the articles and recipes on the blog know every single term used. Clearly this is not the case, and that is why I decided to put together a little pizza dictionary.

 

I will preface this dictionary with the fact that it does not include all existing terms in the world of baking and pizza but only those terms that affect us closely and bring us in a concrete and direct way to the understanding of manuals, articles, and recipes.

 

I won’t get lost in small talk and confuse your mind, I promise!

 

The pizza dictionary – terminology

A

Abburattamento: is the operation by which bran and middlings are separated from flour during the milling process. The tool used, the tumbler precisely, gives this process its name;

 

Alveograph (by Chopin): is the instrument devised by Frenchman Marcel Chopin to measure the strength of a flour by relating the extensibility and toughness of a standard dough with 50% hydration;

 

Alveolatura: this is the set of alveoli that are formed in the crumb, or at any rate on the inside, of all leavened baked goods;

 

Amylase: these are enzymes naturally present in flour that have the ability to “transform” starch molecules to make simple sugars;

 

Appretto: this is the time between dividing the dough into dough balls(staglio) and rolling them out;

 

Autolysis: it is the simplest of the pre-doughs which involves mixing only water and flour (in some cases also salt) and then leaving it to rest from 1 to 12 hours;

 

B

Biga: This is one of the most popular pre-meals in our country that is made by letting a coarse dough of water, flour and yeast rest for 12 to 24 hours;

 

C

Caramelization or Maillard reaction: occurs when sugars in a dough (or any other food) subjected to heat during cooking lead to a change in color of texture and aroma;

 

Leavening cell: is a special “refrigerator” capable of controlling temperature and humidity in which doughs are placed to rise;

 

Sky: this is the upper part of the oven where the upper heating element is normally housed;

 

Conduction (thermal): In thermodynamics it means the transmission of heat that occurs between two bodies in contact with each other, such as the bottom of the oven (slab) and our disc of dough or pan;

 

Convection (thermal): is obtained when a fluid ( in our case air) comes into contact with a body whose temperature is greater than that of the fluid itself, generating convective motions in which the hot fluid rises upward and the cold fluid falls downward;

 

Cornicione or crown: This is nothing more than the well-defined edge of a pizza that usually serves to “hold” or demarcate the toppings;

 

D

Diastases: these are groups of enzymes that can promote the transformation of starches into simple sugars;

 

E

Enzymes: these are defined as particular molecules capable of increasing the speed (catalyzing) of certain chemical-biological reactions;

 

F

Falling number (falling index): indicates the enzyme activity of a flour. More simply, it tells us how quickly that flour is able to “transform” starches into simple sugars. The higher the value, the slower the production;

 

Farinograph (Brabender’s): is the instrument by which virtually any aspect of our flour can be measured. Absorption, stability, resistance to kneading, and more. More accurate and reliable than the alveograph but often little considered;

 

Fermentation: leaving aside the strictly chemical meaning of the term, in “food science” fermentation stands for any transformation catalyzed (accelerated or concentrated) by a microorganism;

 

Alcoholic fermentation: is the process responsible for various phenomena such as leavening of dough (but not only). This occurs through the intervention of certain microorganisms that we find, for example, in brewer’s yeast, the Saccharomyces. These, in the absence of oxygen, transform the sugars into alcohol and carbon dioxide, allowing, among other things, the dough to grow;

 

Machine standstill: is the resting period of a dough that is not fully strung or overheated, mainly used to recover problem doughs;

 

Forming: this is the stage in which the parts of a dough obtained during shaping are manipulated to obtain loaves of the desired shape and consistency;

 

Strength (of flour): read article

 

G

Gluten: is a “protein complex” typical of some cereals composed of two proteins, gliadins and glutenins, which are responsible for the formation of the gluten mesh that can give doughs viscosity, elasticity and cohesion;

 

I

Hydration: This is the percentage of water included in a dough, calculated on the total weight of flour;

For example: a hydration of 70% means that if I have 1000g of flour I have to add 700g of water;

 

Direct kneading is the “classic” kneading method in which all ingredients are put into the dough in one step;

 

Indirect kneading: this is a method that involves two separate kneading steps;

In the first stage, the pre-dough is prepared (Autolysis, Biga, Poolish, etc. etc.) and in the second stage, the so-called “refresh” is carried out to form thefinal dough;

 

Kneading: this is the stage of working a dough where we try to form as much gluten as possible to give an elastic, extensible and smooth structure to our mass. It usually occurs after the first phase of fluid absorption;

 

Irradiation (thermal): In thermodynamics indicates the transfer of thermal energy in the form of electromagnetic waves between two bodies not in contact with each other;

 

Falling Index (falling Number): indicates the enzyme activity of a flour. More simply, it tells us how quickly that flour is able to “transform” starches into simple sugars. The higher the value, the slower the production;

 

L

Licoli:is a contraction of the term Liquid Culture Yeastand is a sourdough starter maintained with a hydration that can vary between 80% and 120%;

 

Leavening: this is a now-discontinued pre-dough that is used to give the yeast a greater boost. Similar to Poolish but with a maturation that is resolved in 2 to 3 hours;

 

Compressed yeast: this is one of the terms used to refer to the common brewer’s yeast you find in the supermarket;

 

Natural yeast: or sourdough or sourdough are the terms used to define a dough of flour and water subjected to spontaneous contamination by microorganisms (lactic acid bacteria and yeasts) whose development creates within the mass a spontaneously selected bacterial microflora (microbiota);

 

M

Gluten Mesh: is the structure formed by gluten during stringing. It is waterproof and is responsible for retaining gases within the dough.

 

Malt (diastasic): is a natural additive that, due to its diastasic power, speeds up the natural transformation of starches in flour into simpler sugars needed to feed yeast during very fast rising. In addition to making an important contribution in leavening, it is capable of imparting a burnished color to the finished product. It can be found in powder, syrup or paste form;

 

Malt (non-diastatic): is a natural flavoring agent containing sugar (maltose), on a par with honey. It does not bring any improvement to ripening and leavening but gives the finished product its typical burnished coloring. It can be found in powder, syrup or paste form;

 

P

Leftover dough: historically this is the leftover dough that is not used and stored in the refrigerator to be used as ferment or pre-dough in subsequent processing. Today, instead, ad hoc carry-over pastes are made to be used in place of classic pre-pastes;

 

Sourdough or sourdough or mother yeast: these are the terms used to define a dough of flour and water subjected to spontaneous contamination by microorganisms (lactic acid bacteria and yeasts) whose development creates within the mass a spontaneously selected bacterial microflora (microbiota);

 

Skin: is that troublesome layer that forms on the surface of a dough if left uncovered for a prolonged period;

 

Folds (or reinforcing folds): these are formed by folding a dough over itself, just as you would a pair of pants, in order to make the dough mass more supportive and dry on the outside;

 

Swirling: is the action by which a loaf is swirled on the bench so as to give it a round shape, increase surface tension and seal the bottom;

 

Floor slab: this is the “floor” of the ovens, usually made of refractory material;

 

Poolish: is a very high hydration pre-dough, in fact the amount of water is equal to that of the flour to which compressed yeast is added in varying amounts depending on temperature and duration of rising;

 

Diastatic Potency: in a nutshell, it is the ability of malt extract to stimulate (or catalyze) the transformation of starches into simple sugars and is measured in Pollak Units;

 

Protease: is a set of enzymes that can catalyze (accelerate) the breaking of the peptide bond of proteins;

 

Proteins: are molecules consisting of chains of amino acids linked together by a “peptide” bond;

 

Staking: this is the resting, maturing and rising phase of the dough from the end of kneading to the rising;

 

Dough point: represents the stringing state of a dough. You have the right dough point when the gluten is perfectly formed and the dough is stringy;

 

R

Maillard’s reaction (or caramelization): occurs when sugars in a dough (or any other food) subjected to heat during cooking lead to a change in color of texture and aroma;

 

Refreshment: is the addition of flour (and possibly water or other ingredients) into a pre-dough or sourdough starter;

 

S

Saccharomyces: is a microorganism in the family of fungi that includes many species of yeasts including Saccharomyces cerevisiae, which is used in the production of compressed yeast;

 

Slap & Fold: is a special technique for performing folds to a dough;

 

Staglio: this is the stage during which a bulk dough is divided to form loaves;

 

Laying: this is the stage of “preparing” the loaf that allows it to be baked and baked properly;

 

Dusting: is the flour that is spread on the counter to prevent the dough from sticking to the countertop, hands, in the boxes or on the shovel;

 

Acronyms in baking

 

AI: High Hydration

 

EVO: Extra Virgin Olive Oil

 

LDB: Brewer’s Yeast

 

LiCoLi: Liquid Cultured Yeast

 

LM: Mother Yeast

 

P/L: Read the article

 

PDR: Carryover Paste

 

PM: Mother dough

 

PMS: Solid Mother Dough

 

TA: Ambient Temperature

 

TC: Temperature Controlled

 

W: Read the article

 

 

If you have any questions or further inquiries about the article you just read, send me a message on Instagram by clicking here. => by clicking here

 

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