Author Topic: Seeking Pizza-related Science Project Ideas  (Read 4949 times)

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Offline TXCraig1

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Seeking Pizza-related Science Project Ideas
« on: September 04, 2012, 12:33:56 AM »
It's science fair season. We've been throwing around all sorts of ideas with the two boys, but nothing has stuck yet. We try to do something as novel as possible (for a 5th and 7th grader). Some recent projects have included predicting the frequency of a wine glass from it's physical characteristics. I think he got an R2 of 0.98 if I remember correctly, and does dog saliva have antibacterial properties - turns out it does - particularly on some bacteria found in dog feces. I guess it comes from licking their butts a lot.

In any case, does anybody have any pizza-related questions they would like to see tested? We've discussed looking at the relationship between temperature and lactic acid production in a sourdough culture, but that didn't seem to excite anyone. I can't promise any particular idea will get tested, but it will be considered.

Thanks,
Craig
Pizza is not bread.


Online norma427

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Re: Seeking Pizza-related Science Project Ideas
« Reply #1 on: September 04, 2012, 06:54:56 AM »
Craig,

I am just throwing this idea out.  I played around with real milk kefir grains.  They look like little cauliflower heads.  You use milk to ferment them.  They are very ancient, and were used back in Marco Polo days.  He wrote about them in his diaries.  You can make many things out of milk kefir (drinks, smoothies, yogurt, cheeses, etc.) and it even leavens dough, but slower than the Ischia starter.  I paid about 20.00 for my milk kefir grains.  They could then be compared with how the Ischia starter ferments dough.  I would still have frozen milk kefir grains, but when my fridge went out, I threw them away by mistake.  I let the fermenting milk kefir grains out at room temperature for many days and the resulting milk kefir never went bad.  The one dough I cold ferment for about 30 days and the dough and pizza were okay.  Milk kefir is supposed to be very healthy to drink.

Norma
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Offline Bill/SFNM

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Re: Seeking Pizza-related Science Project Ideas
« Reply #2 on: September 04, 2012, 10:17:05 AM »
Craig,

Not directly pizza related, but if I had kids those ages, there is absolutely positively no doubt whatsoever that I would introduce them to the Raspberry Pi:

http://www.raspberrypi.org/faqs

There are just so many science project possibilities depending on how geeky they (and you) are. It could be a life-changer for the right kid.

Offline TXCraig1

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Re: Seeking Pizza-related Science Project Ideas
« Reply #3 on: September 04, 2012, 11:06:02 AM »
That is very cool.
Pizza is not bread.

Offline Nebula

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Re: Seeking Pizza-related Science Project Ideas
« Reply #4 on: September 04, 2012, 01:27:38 PM »
Just spitballing here...

You could do something examining the role salt plays in regulating fermentation. Change the amount of salt and see if it changes how long it takes a dough to double in size or something like that. You could also do it with sugar and compare how it effects regular commercial yeast vs. an osmotolerant strain(SAF Gold or similar).

Jury rig an alveograph and calculate some W values.  :P

Offline jeffereynelson

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Re: Seeking Pizza-related Science Project Ideas
« Reply #5 on: September 04, 2012, 07:21:24 PM »
How many slices the average 5th/7th grader can eat before puking?

Offline Meatballs

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Re: Seeking Pizza-related Science Project Ideas
« Reply #6 on: September 04, 2012, 07:34:18 PM »
Culture the yeast from a bottled beer (bottle conditioned), select a sing cell culture and grow the yeast then produce a new beer that displays the characteristics of the original beer.  Oh, its for kids, never mind.  Still a cool idea, I never could get it to work.

Ron

Offline Jet_deck

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Re: Seeking Pizza-related Science Project Ideas
« Reply #7 on: September 04, 2012, 08:36:03 PM »
In any case, does anybody have any pizza-related questions they would like to see tested? Thanks,
Craig

After Robyn posted the straight sourdough english muffin recipe, and "we" know that the ischa starter that you cultivate/propigate can produce non sour tasting pizzas, how about this:  I wanna know which ingredient that you feed the starter makes it more acidic/sourdoughish.  So we have the regular starter fed with 50/50 flour water, two others you will need to feed an extreme 70/30 or 30/70 flour/water meal. Cultivate them a week, whatever.  Let the boys make the muffins with the 3 starters and let's see which one is the most mild, and the one most sour.  Of course they feed them, but you will not reveal to them which one is which the day of the muffin makin'.

?
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Online Chicago Bob

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Re: Seeking Pizza-related Science Project Ideas
« Reply #8 on: September 04, 2012, 08:44:20 PM »
After Robyn posted the straight sourdough english muffin recipe, and "we" know that the ischa starter that you cultivate/propigate can produce non sour tasting pizzas, how about this:  I wanna know which ingredient that you feed the starter makes it more acidic/sourdoughish.  So we have the regular starter fed with 50/50 flour water, two others you will need to feed an extreme 70/30 or 30/70 flour/water meal. Cultivate them a week, whatever.  Let the boys make the muffins with the 3 starters and let's see which one is the most mild, and the one most sour.  Of course they feed them, but you will not reveal to them which one is which the day of the muffin makin'.

?
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Offline TXCraig1

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Re: Seeking Pizza-related Science Project Ideas
« Reply #9 on: September 04, 2012, 09:08:19 PM »
How many slices the average 5th/7th grader can eat before puking?

I bet my 5th grader can eat more than you.  :-D
Pizza is not bread.


Offline TXCraig1

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Re: Seeking Pizza-related Science Project Ideas
« Reply #10 on: September 04, 2012, 11:43:29 PM »
Just spitballing here...

You could do something examining the role salt plays in regulating fermentation. Change the amount of salt and see if it changes how long it takes a dough to double in size or something like that. You could also do it with sugar and compare how it effects regular commercial yeast vs. an osmotolerant strain(SAF Gold or similar).


Being considered.
Pizza is not bread.

Offline TXCraig1

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Re: Seeking Pizza-related Science Project Ideas
« Reply #11 on: September 04, 2012, 11:44:03 PM »
Craig,

I am just throwing this idea out.  I played around with real milk kefir grains.  They look like little cauliflower heads.  You use milk to ferment them.  They are very ancient, and were used back in Marco Polo days.  He wrote about them in his diaries.  You can make many things out of milk kefir (drinks, smoothies, yogurt, cheeses, etc.) and it even leavens dough, but slower than the Ischia starter.  I paid about 20.00 for my milk kefir grains.  They could then be compared with how the Ischia starter ferments dough.  I would still have frozen milk kefir grains, but when my fridge went out, I threw them away by mistake.  I let the fermenting milk kefir grains out at room temperature for many days and the resulting milk kefir never went bad.  The one dough I cold ferment for about 30 days and the dough and pizza were okay.  Milk kefir is supposed to be very healthy to drink.



Norma,

Is it an effective way to preserve milk?
Pizza is not bread.

scott123

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Re: Seeking Pizza-related Science Project Ideas
« Reply #12 on: September 05, 2012, 12:35:53 AM »
This is neither something that I'd recommend to either your average 5th or 7th grader, nor would I recommend it to the parent of these children, but, since you seem to be one of the most ambitious people, I've ever met  ;D I'm going to throw this out there.

Find a college lab that will give you access to their gas chromatograph, and, for once and for all, put the 'it's the water' idea to bed. I think most people are aware of the water myth, and, while it might not generate a whole lot of excitement, it would be an amazing experience.

That is, if you can talk a college lab into helping you out (or any lab, for that matter).  You hear stories about people befriending lab techs and scoring liquid nitrogen for home use- this is quite a bit beyond that.

Perhaps you could trade some lab time for pizza  ;D

Offline Giggliato

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Re: Seeking Pizza-related Science Project Ideas
« Reply #13 on: September 05, 2012, 08:31:28 AM »
I was actually wondering how hot the pizza actually gets during baking.

Online norma427

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Re: Seeking Pizza-related Science Project Ideas
« Reply #14 on: September 05, 2012, 10:01:59 AM »

Norma,

Is it an effective way to preserve milk?

Craig,

I would think it would be, but donít really know.  The milk kefir when it was fermenting was left at room temperature and never seemed to go bad.  If you want some of the links where I played around with milk kefir I can give you those links.  Russians, years ago used to keep milk kefir fermenting all the time without refrigeration.  It used to be stored in leather bags at the door of homes years ago.

Norma
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Offline pizzaneer

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Re: Seeking Pizza-related Science Project Ideas
« Reply #15 on: September 05, 2012, 10:03:25 AM »
I was actually wondering how hot the pizza actually gets during baking.

If you could borrow or rent a FLIR, shooting video of the pie being baked would make an awesome, visually arresting presentation on an exploration of this question.   Leave it up to your kid to document surface temps recorded, and show them in a graph alongside the video.
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Offline Riprazor

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Re: Seeking Pizza-related Science Project Ideas
« Reply #16 on: September 05, 2012, 10:40:39 AM »
Anything related to the effects of bromate on flour and does any residual actually remain after certain cooking times and temps?  Are the Europeans and folks in CA overreacting?  No offense to anyone in Europe of CA.

Barry

Offline Nebula

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Re: Seeking Pizza-related Science Project Ideas
« Reply #17 on: September 05, 2012, 05:22:36 PM »
The talk of milk gave me another, probably bad, idea. I was recently reading on another forum(mostly bread related) about glutathione in milk and the weakening effect it can have on gluten, which would result in shorter loaves of bread and a coarser crumb. It can apparently be disabled by heating it up to 198įF. So you could make a bunch of loaves with scalded milk, and  others with just plain milk and compare the height of the loaves and maybe what the interior feels/looks like.

You could also replace the milk with dried milk and water and see if that has any effect. Professionals can get a high heat dried milk, which already has the glutathione disabled. Might be worth trying to get some of that as well.

Not really pizza related, but maybe y'all like to do other baking.

Here is where I was reading about it. Lots of good info in my opinion, but some of the more technical discussion flew over my head. You would probably want to do a quick test loaf or two beforehand to make sure a difference can actually be measured.

Offline pizzaboyfan

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Re: Seeking Pizza-related Science Project Ideas
« Reply #18 on: September 05, 2012, 06:02:39 PM »
How about testing the melting characteristics of different cheeses, relative to fat and/ or water / protein content.
At least they can eat the test results.

Offline Bill/SFNM

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Re: Seeking Pizza-related Science Project Ideas
« Reply #19 on: September 05, 2012, 06:20:00 PM »
All of these wonderful ideas have inspired this month's challenge:

http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,20847.msg208167.html#msg208167

Sorry, we're getting desperate for ideas. Let's give Craig's boys a head-start.


 

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