I love doing experiments whether it's in the lab or in my kitchen, but it's hard to detect trends in data when 1) the data is qualitative and 2) the data is sparse. I'm interested in collecting a massive data set of semi-quantitative data on my own (and others') pizza making. I'm looking for suggestions for good ways to do this other than my plan, additional data I may want to take, or any thoughts anyone has about this. I am currently only planning to collect data on the dough.
Other than the actual quantitative measurements like quantities in recipes, fermentation time, bake temp & time, etc., I'm thinking of quantifying qualities of the finished product on a 0-2 scale (below average, average, above average), hopefully addressing all the important factors in one or more questions. I'm thinking of polling on: chewiness, tenderness, crispiness, browning, spotting, overall flavor, overall appearance, sogginess, toughness, saltiness, sweetness, doughiness, yeastiness.
I realize that pizza is a strongly interacting system of components, and that I will not be able to fully characterize the dough without also probing its interactions with sauce, cheese, and other toppings. I also realize that there are elements of my own pizza making process that have low reproducibility and little chance for quantification (e.g. hand kneading). However, I think this could be a start to an interesting project.
If you'd be interested in collecting this data also, let me know and maybe we can get a collaborative data set going.
P.S. I also realize that there is lots of food science out there that's been done on pizza and dough ingredients, and that the effects of many of them have already been well-studied in labs and with tasting focus groups. Nonetheless I am interested in doing my own experiments and research.