A mathematician in the UK has come up with a scientific formula that claims to decode the secret to making the perfect pizza pie.
The key, says Dr. Eugenia Cheng of the University of Sheffield, is the topping-to-base ratio and the thickness of the crust.
In other words, baking a pie with a crispy crust and the right balance of toppings.
The formula uses variables such as “d” to designate the volume of dough and “t” for the volume of topping.
The study, released earlier this month, was commissioned by British restaurant chain Pizza Express in a bid to understand why their larger 14-inch (36 cm) pies were outselling the classic 11-inch (28 cm) pizzas.
The overarching conclusion? Smaller pies tend to have thicker, breadier crusts which increase the odds of turning soggy under the weight of sauce and toppings, Cheng told Co.Design.
Larger pizzas with larger surface area, however, allow for more even distribution of toppings while a thinner dough makes for a crispier crust.
If you’re willing to risk a soggy crust for the sake of more pepperoni, however, opt for smaller pizza, as Cheng’s calculations show that a median bite from an 11-inch pizza has 10 percent more topping than a 14-inch pie.
It’s not the first time scientists have been recruited to come up with a mathematical equation for cooking the perfect food. According to the Royal Society of Chemists in the UK, the recipe for a perfect grilled cheese sandwich involves melting 50 g (1.8 ounces) of a hard cheese like cheddar on a slice of white bread, placed exactly 18 cm (7 inches) away from the heat source of the grill, at a temperature of 115C (239 F) for four minutes.