The Science of Baking

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And National Cheese Pizza Day

national cheese pizza day at a delightsome life

I am about to share something with you – I’ve always loved math and science – they were my favorite subjects in school, well next to art class and mechanical design. Go figure! Anyhow, I am so delighted to share with you an infographic created by the wonderful folks at Shari’s Berries on the science of baking! It’s quite cool information!

The Science of Baking by Shari's Berries Collage

Science of Baking Infographic

Have you ever wondered why something you baked didn’t turn out right, this infographic breaks down the main elements in baking, their roles and how each affect the other. It’s worth keeping and learning from! I’m definitely using it in my quest for a good Pineapple Coconut Cake! But for today, I’m combining this infographic information with a wonderful event! It is National Cheese Pizza Day! For you, I’m baking up a personal pan pizza for lunch (the rest of the dough will be used for dinner pizza – yep, I’m going to suffer just for you!)

basic ingredients for pizza crustTo make your homemade pizza crust you’ll need:

Water – to work with yeast, you’ll need luke-warm water at 105° to 115°

Yeast – you can find yeast specifically for pizza that will give you a quick rise – gently pour over warm water

Flour – for best results use unbleached flour – all purpose or bread flour – which has more protein

Sugar – feeds the yeast – sprinkle over the yeast in the luke-warm water

Salt – combine with the flour prior to adding the liquid ingredients

Olive Oil – This gives the dough wonderful flavor and texture

how to make pizza dough - yeast - a delightsome lifeallow the yeast and sugar to dissolve into the water.

add flour to mixer how to make pizza crustWhile the yeast is beginning to bubble and expand add the dry ingredients to the bowl of a mixer with the bread dough hook in place.

yeast ready for dry ingredients pizza doughOnce the yeast is ready, add the olive oil to it and then add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients

knead dough in mixer

Knead the dough in the mixer until ready to set aside to rise.

pizza dough ready to riseWhen the dough is ready it will be soft and pliable like play dough.

A-DELIGHTSOME-LIFE-PIZZA-DOUGHGrease a glass dish with olive oil; form the dough into a ball; turn the dough into the bowl and turn over so that the olive oil covers the whole ball of dough.

personal size pizza in cast iron panI have collected quite a number of cast iron pans over the years. They’re my favorite baking tool for pizza dough – this size makes a perfect personal pan pizza.

Cheese Pizza


  • Crust
  • 3 1/2 cups Unbleached All-Purpose Flour or Bread Flour
  • 2 1/2 tsp. yeast
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1 1/3 plus luke-warm water
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • corn meal for dusting pan
  • Filling
  • Pizza Sauce
  • Shredded Mozzarella Cheese and Provolone Cheese
  • dried basil


  1. In a glass measuring cup add luke-warm water - when it is at 105 - 115 degrees add the yeast and sugar.
  2. Allow the yeat to dissolve into the water. Meanwhile add the flour and salt to the bowl of a mixer with bread dough paddle attached. When the yeast has bubbled and foamed add extra virgin olive oil. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients. Mix on low. Once the ingredients are incorporated knead the dough at medium speed for five minutes. Prepare a glass dish by coating with olive oil - enough that when the dough is added to the dish and turned over a coating of oil will cover the dough. Allow dough to double. Punch the dough down and divide into sizes you intend to use. Allow the dough to rest for 15 minutes (if you use yeast specific for pizza crust this will not be necessary). Dust the pan with corn meal. Shape dough into disks on baking stone or inside a cast iron pan. Add the pizza sauce, the cheese and the dry basil. Bake at 425 degrees for 12 to 15 minutes until the cheese and the crust (on bottom) are lightly browned. This will be very hot!

Recipe Notes

if you use bread flour you may need a little bit more water - to achieve the right texture, you can also add a little flour when shaping so that it won't stick to your hands


Well, there you go! The wonders of the science of baking and a wonderful cheese pizza! They say cooking is an art, but baking is a science – now you know more! This was so easy, quick and I know my family will enjoy pizza for dinner tonight – this makes a few personal size or a couple full-size pizzas. You can use this recipe for a pizza party where you can have the crusts ready with a selection of pizza toppings – talk about delicious fun!


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