Some people think yeasted dough recipes are overly fussy because many specify a very narrow temperature range for the water that's used to proof the yeast. But is it necessary to be that precise? What is the optimum temperature for getting your yeast going? And is it the same for all yeast?
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Yeast is such a common thing that we don't give much thought to how amazing it is, and what a boon it is to bakers, brewers, and winemakers. And yeast is such a fun guy. Or, more accurately, a fungi. It converts the fermentable sugars in the dough into carbon dioxide and ethanol, and those bubbles, trapped in the matrix of gluten, are what causes bread to rise. When the dough is baked, the yeast dies but the pockets of air remain, giving the bread its unique texture.
The pizzas at both the Brooklyn and Manhattan locations of Motorino are known for their puffy outer edge (what the Italians call the cornicione). We wondered how Motorino owner and head pieman Mathieu Palombino achieved this effect. So we visited with videocam in hand and captured it here.