Digestibility. In Italy, the greatest compliment you can give pizzaiolos is, "Your pizza is SO digestible!" At Mama G's, our mission is the same - to produce the most delicious, most digestible pizza, using high quality, clean ingredients, and LOTS of LOVE.
How do we do it? Fermentation! Yes, our pizza is fermented food! Our process requires a long fermentation of our pizza dough. This results in a crust that not only is much easier to digest but has also developed a ton of flavor!
Here's how it works: Yeast is what kicks off the fermentation in pizza dough. Enzymes in the yeast break down starches in the flour into sugars. The yeast feeds on those sugars, and then the yeast gives off carbon dioxide gas, which puffs up the dough. The yeast also gives off alcohol. Yeast fermentation is actually called alcoholic fermentation. There's a second kind of fermentation that goes on in pizza dough called lactic acid fermentation. Alcohol triggers it, but lactic acid bacteria are really what drive lactic acid fermentation. Lactic acid bacteria are among the good bacteria in your digestive system. Lactic acid fermentation brings incredibly complex flavors to pizza dough; in addition, it transforms large protein molecules in the flour into smaller, more flavorful components. This process of breaking down wheat proteins is called proteolysis, and it brings all kinds of amazing flavors to pizza dough. Proteolysis also makes pizza dough more digestible. Yes, you read that correctly! Fully fermented dough is sort of 'predigested' by the yeast and bacteria, making it easier on our own digestive systems. Proteolysis breaks down the tough gluten proteins in wheat flour and makes pizza easier for us to digest. For people with gluten sensitivities, it may help to seek out breads and pizza made with fully fermented dough.
A note about gluten free pizza dough: We at Mama G's pride ourselves on making everything in-house. In order to offer a gluten-free pizza crust, it would require an isolated environment free from any cross-contamination from gluten products. This is not practical for us as we do not have a space dedicated to being completely gluten-free. The alternative is for us to purchase a prepared, gluten-free crust from a food-service provider; unfortunately, that does not align with our vision for making everything in-house. We are passionate about our pizza dough process, as explained above, and believe our process allows for many people who have gluten sensitivities to enjoy our pizza without issues!