Now an international team of scientists have found the perfect combination of cheeses to use, after looking at each cheese type's elasticity, free oil, moisture, water activity and baking temperature. After all, most pizza-lovers like when the cheese melts into a gooey goodness without too many blisters and burnt spots, right?
"Pizza browning and blistering sounds like a totally trivial question," study co-author Dr. Bryony James, a professor of chemical and materials engineering at the University of Auckland in New Zealand, says in the YouTube video above, which was released by the Chicago-based Institute of Food Technologists. "But it's actually dictated by a combination of composition and mechanical properties of the cheese itself."
James and her colleagues analyzed the properties of seven different types of cheeses -- mozzarella (which is the most often used in pizza), cheddar, Colby, Edam, Emmental, Gruyere, and provolone -- and how they affect these cheeses while baking.
What did the researchers find?
Since cheddar, Colby, and Edam cheeses have "small elasticity," they didn't easily form blisters when baking. As for Gruyere, Emmental, and provolone, their large amount of free oil prevented moisture from easily evaporating and so resulted in less browning. Meanwhile, mozzarella easily blisters.
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A screenshot of the above video showing the different types of cheeses used in the study and how they appear after baking.
So, the researchers concluded in their study that mozzarella can be combined with any of the other six cheeses to create just the right amount of browning and blistering you prefer on a gourmet pizza -- for instance, try cheddar for less blisters or provolone for less browning. Bon appétit!
The study was published online in the Journal of Food Science on July 21, 2014.