Whatever your stance on pineapple pizza, there are other ways the fruit can elevate a pie. Sure, pineapple can be diced, sliced, or chopped up any which way and tossed on a pizza, but the juice always gets left behind. Turns out, that acidic juice can do more than add a punch of sweetness -- it can also help relax the dough.
Given people's varying tastes, there's no "right" pizza dough recipe. Some prefer a chewy crust that bounces back with each bite, while others crave a crunchy, thin crust. Personal preference aside, everyone can agree that to make a foolproof pie, the dough needs to be flexible and easy to work with, which is easier said than done. Everything down to a room's temperature will impact how the dough rises, feels, and tastes.
When the first Neapolitan geniuses presented pizza back in the 1800s, there weren't many tricks to salvage dough that turned out too tough or chewy. They had to get creative, and, fortunately for bakers today, some valuable lessons have been learned, one being the use of enzymes to break down the dough's gluten. Without that component, chefs will be left with a stiff dough that reverts to its original shape despite rigorous effort. This poses a major challenge when stretching pizza dough into that perfectly round shape, and that's where pineapple juice can help.
The Power Of Pineapple Juice
These days, there are ready-made dough conditioners designed to achieve better baking results by improving anything from volume to crumb structure. Dough conditioners such as diastatic malt powder and pH regulators are a little tricky to come by for the average home baker, but that's not the case for fresh pineapple juice. The tropical fruit is rich in enzymes known as proteases, which have the power to break down gluten strands. It's important to note that when baking with enzymes, a little bit goes a long way. Just a few drops will help dissolve the proteins faster, but any more will make for a sticky, runny mess.
Pineapple pizza haters need not worry because no signs of the fruit's flavor will come through if a few drops of juice are put in the dough. If pineapples are truly a no-go, however, a few other fruits can stand in. Kiwis, papayas, and figs also contain proteases, and their juice can serve as dough conditioner, as well.
Read the original article on Tasting Table.