The secret of baking an Italian wooden-fired oven pizza, according to science.

Pizzas are awesome, we mean delicious. Yummy! But have you ever thought of knowing the secret recipe behind the perfect pizza? You could ask an Italian granny or the chef slinging pies at your favorite local pizzeria. Don’t worry, a team of physicists, yes, we mean scientists, took some time of their regular duty of studying quantum mechanics off, and focused their attention on answering this question: what’s the mystery behind the Italian wooden-fired oven that makes pizzas crispy yet delicious? Short answer: Thermodynamics.

Related media: Italian Style Pizza Dough

The Incomplete Backstory

The study was inspired by the delectable pizza that one food anthropologist and two physicists, Rome based Andrey Varlamov and Andreas Glatz of Northern Illinois University, shared while they were working together in Rome. It was explained later on Live Science. We’re so sorry we didn’t really get the authors full backstory of their study; but making a good guess their conversation when something like:

With this nostalgia in mind, the solution to your pizza prayers may have been born.

Its Thermodynamics, Not Just Fancy Mozzarellas

In their quest to find answers, the pie-loving trio learned the secret recipe for great pizzas when they interviewed a local pizzaiolo — that’s Italian for a pizza chef. Their answer? It wasn’t an Italian fancy mozzarella, water, or some pizza-making passion. It was thermodynamics.

The pizza magic turned out to be the traditional wooden-fired ovens heated up to 329 degrees Celsius (625 degrees Fahrenheit), radiating the heat evenly in all directions, baking the pizza uniformly in just a couple of minutes (a little more if you like a lot of toppings).

Thermodynamics In Your Kitchen

Image: Shutterstock / iStock / Getty Images Plus | Interior of an Italian wooden-fired oven

You certainly don’t own a wooden-fired oven at home. So are you out of luck? Like we said, don’t worry. The three researchers just figured out how you can replicate the Italian recipe with a little bit of thermodynamics at home. They’ve explained how to do it with a regular electric oven using one wildly complex equation — it’s marked number 13 in their paper for you math nerds; history buffs will also find an interesting dive into the history of pizza. Fortunately, they took pity on the math-challenged and broke down the secret in everyday language, too.

Here’s the secret: To do it at home, all you need to do is to heat up your electric oven to 230 degrees Celsius (450 degrees Fahrenheit), but you have to bake your pizza a little bit longer than the physicists did — 170 seconds, or within three minutes, precisely. And also, an extra minute if you’d like vegetables. Adding veggies contains lot of moisture, which cools down your oven through evaporation, and that’s why you need to give it a little time.

Spicing your pizza with ingredients won’t take away from it the passion of the Italian recipe. It just the basic secret formula for baking pizzas at home. After all, science has proven that indeed, its the study of how the world really works that’s at stake, even pizzas.

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Written by: Nana Kwadwo, Sun, Mar 03, 2019.

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