Pizza Glossary

On this page you’ll find the most important pizza terms explained in an easy way

All | # A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
There are currently 17 names in this directory
A

Active Dry Yeast
Active Dry Yeast (ADY) is a dried form of Saccharomyces cerevisiae fungi and is dissolved in warm water for activation. Active Dry Yeast is not available in Germany or is at least extremely difficult to obtain.

Autolysis
In an autolysis dough, only flour and water are mixed together, without yeast and salt. It is enough to mix the dough only until no dry flour residues remain. The autolysis dough is covered and rests for at least 20 minutes, this can be done at room temperature or in the refrigerator (I usually prefer 1 hour in the refrigerator). During autolysis, starch and protein swell with the water and the gluten protein can develop a stable gluten structure. As a result, the dough must be kneaded for a shorter time. The shorter kneading time reduces the oxidation of the colorants contained in the flour, which has a positive effect on the color, taste and texture of the subsequent dough.
If you want to learn more about autolysis, make sure to check out my recipe for the Neapolitan pizza with autolysis dough.

B

Baker's Percentage
Water, yeast and salt are given as a percentage of the flour weight. In this case, the quantity of flour corresponds to 100%.

Example:
1 kg flour = 100%
600 gr water = 60%
1 gr yeast = 0.1%
30 gr salt = 3%


Biga
Biga is a pre-dough with a water content of 40% - 60%. The yeast content is usually 1% of the amount of flour.

Example of a biga pre-dough:
1 kg flour = 100%
400 - 600 gr water = 40% - 60%
10 gr yeast = 1%
Flour, water and yeast are mixed together to produce a comparatively dry and lumpy consistency. The Biga pre-dough rests at about 18 degrees for up to 24 hours to reach its complete maturation. The Biga pre-dough is said to result in a better flavor and longer freshness.


C

Compressed Yeast
Compressed Yeast (CY) must be stored in a cool place and the shelf life is limited to a few weeks. If possible, fresh compressed yeast should be used to make pizza dough, as the leavening power of fresh yeast decreases over time.

The ratio of fresh yeast to dry yeast is approx. 3:1. Example: For 1 kg of flour, either 1 gram of fresh yeast or 0.3 gram of dry yeast is used.


F

Folding (of the dough)
See also Stretch and Fold. In the folding method, the dough is stretched and folded over itself. Folding the dough and then resting it for up to 30 minutes helps the dough develop a stable gluten framework and gives the dough more strength. Each folding unit has a significant effect on dough strength. Especially for doughs with high water content (70% and more), where kneading is more difficult, the Stretch and Fold method is recommended to build up the gluten framework in a natural way.

G

Gluten
Gluten is a protein structure. It is formed when flour and water come into contact and mechanical force is applied (e.g. by kneading). The proteins Gliadin and Glutenin contained in the flour absorb the water and the mechanical force creates the gluten structure. Gluten strongly determines the elasticity and airiness of the dough.

H

Hydration
Hydration refers to the amount of flour in the dough (Baker's Percentage) in %. For Example: 60% water content in 1 kg of flour corresponds to 600 gr of water.

I

Instant Dry Yeast
Instant Dry Yeast (IDY) can be stored unopened at room temperature; once opened, it should be stored in a cool place where it will keep for several weeks. The ratio of fresh yeast to dry yeast is approx. 3:1. Example: For 1 kg of flour, either 1 gr fresh yeast or 0.3 gr dry yeast is used.

L

Lievito Madre
Lievito Madre refers to the Italian sourdough. It's available in liquid (100% water content) and dry (50% water content) form.

N

No Knead
No knead doughs are not kneaded by machine or by hand, but the ingredients are roughly mixed together and folded a few more times, depending on the recipe, and then usually given to rest for at least 24 hours. The gluten structure forms by itself during this time.

P

Piece proofing
Piece proofing is the proofing of the individual dough pieces.

Poolish
Poolish is a pre-dough, which is prepared with water, flour and a small amount of yeast. The flour-water ratio is 1:1, i.e., for example, 100 grams of flour are mixed with 100 grams of water. The poolish gives the dough more elasticity and also a slightly acidic, distinctive flavor.

S

Sourdough
Sourdough is a leavened dough that is usually kept permanently in fermentation by lactic acid bacteria and yeasts. The resulting carbon dioxide loosens the dough. Like yeast, sourdough can be used as a leavening agent for pizza dough.

Stock proofing
Stock proofing refers to the proofing of the total dough mass.

Stretch and Fold
See also Folding. The dough is stretched and folded over itself. Folding the dough and the subsequent rest intervals of up to 30 minutes help the dough to develop a stable gluten framework and give the dough more strength. Each folding unit has a significant effect on dough strength. Especially for doughs with high water content (70% and more), where kneading is more difficult, the Stretch and Fold method is recommended to build up the gluten framework in a natural way.

W

W value
The W value denotes the flour strength and is one of the most important parameters to evaluate the gluten strength and thus the influence on the extensibility of the dough.

You couldn’t find what you’re looking for? Please let me know in the comment section which terms you’d like to learn more about!

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