Baking issues


I’ve been having trouble with my pizzas when baking. There are basically two problems.
Firstly, we are getting some pizzas with bubbles (sorry, don’t know the technical term), so that the cheese and sauce runs off. We are docking the dough, but we are actually doing it just before we toss it (so after flattening, but before tossing). If we do it after tossing, we have to do it on the nets, thus increasing sticking to the nets.
And that is acutally the other problem we have, some pizzas are sticking to the nets, so that parts of the bottom are sticking to it, ruining the pizza! We are not docking on the nets so this isn’t the problem. One suggestion was that it was sauce leaking through the holes and burning onto the net, but I don’t see any evidence of that when looking at what’s left on the net.

Also strange is that they stuck quite alot last night and over 50% of the pizzas had bubbles (I can often pop the bubbles when just leaving the oven (hot air conveyer belt) so the cheese melts a little again and usually saving the pizza. But tonight, none stuck and very few had bubbles. Same dough used as last night… any ideas??

Any help very much appreciated.

Redbull, I am far from the expert when it comes to dough but I’ll give you my impression. Your dough bubbled badly yesterday but not today suggests that your dough wasn’t proofed enough yesterday. Some here will also suggest that you allow the dough to warm to room temperature before stretching, but in my experience, a wll proofed dough is fine right out of the cooler.

As far as your dough sticking to screens, if your sauce is not bleeding through the holes, I would guess that your screens are not seasoned well. Spray both sides heavily with Pam or dip in vegetable oil and run through your conveyor oven three times. Be ready for alot of smoke, this is better done when you are closed and customers are not likely to be walking inn. then to keep them seasoned, once per week give both sides a quick spray of Pam and run through the oven once. Other ideas about sticking include too wet of a dough recipe, or stretching dough onto screens and allowining to sit too long before cooking.

Also check your make table. Cheese on the table that sticks to the bottom of the screen will stick like a welded plate. Dough bubbles one day and the same batch doesn’t the next day sounds just like Paul7979 said, it wasn’t fermented enough on day 1, but well conditioned/fermented on day two. Young and/or cold dough increase my chance of blisters/bubbles/tumors in the dough when baking.

Ok, thanks I’ll try this!

I’ve learned so much about the industry from this forum. and for a newbie like me it’s helpe me alot. Hopefully I’ll be able to give back to the community before too long :slight_smile:

Are you washing your screens after use? If so, this will wash off the “seasoning”.

Have you looked into using perforated discs instead of screens? I made the switch about 2 months after opening and have never looked back. Discs are a little more expensive, but they last longer, more acceptable by many health depts., and work better for docking. Seasoning the discs are important too.

Those “nets” are actually called screens. You can dock the dough on your pizza screens , but you need to use a plastic dough docker such as #DDCH7755 / $30.20 from Amkerican Metalcraft (2008 Catalog, page 178) 800-333-9133 / <>. This docker has a wide foot, and flat pin that won’t push the dough into the screen openings, and being plastic, it won’t damage the screen or the seasoning on the screens.
You can also dock the dough on the bench top just before fitting it to the screen, this is what we do, and it works very well.
As for the sticking problem, are the screens seasoned? Have you brushed them with oil and run them through the oven at 425F a couple times so they begin turning a golden color and ultimately black? NEVER wash a seasoned pan or screen. If you get crud in the screen holes, just pass through the oven to burn it off, then pick it out of the screen
Another thing that can cause the sticking problem is a dough that is too slack/soft, try reducing the water by 2% of the flour weight.
As for the bubbling, two things come to mind, 1) Insufficient fermentation time. Do you do overnight dough management in the cooler? 2) Use of cold dough, right out of the cooler will result in bubbling. The best way to avoid this is to bring the dough out of the cooler about 90-minutes before you anticipate using it. This will allow the dough to temper AT room temperature and reduce/eliminate the problem. Once you begin using the dough, it will remain good to use for the next three hours.
When problems like this happen sporatically, the problen is usually due to lack of temperature control on your dough. Your dough should be coming off the mixer at between 80 and 85F, then go directly to the bench for scaling and balling, then into your dough boxes, wipe the tops of the dough balls with oil, and immediately take to the cooler. Cross stack in the cooler for 2-hours, then down stack and nest the boxes or cover, and kiss good night. On the following day, remove about a three hour supply of dough from the cooler and allow to temper AT room temperature for 2-hours before you begin opening the dough balls into dough skins. The dough will be good to use for three hours after you begin opening it. Dough balls that have not been removed from the cooler will keep for up to three days in the cooler.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor

No we aren’t washing the screens, but I only took over the place a few weeks ago and haven’t maintained any seasoning, nor do I think the previous owner did either. I’ll get to this ASAP.

WOW, Tom, thank you very much for your advice and time you put into the answer. I’ve read through a lot of what you have written before but didn’t realize this might be the problem to the bubbling. We haven’t been taking the dough out untill we need the next box, so the dough is usually never more than 30 min out of the cooler.
We store the dough in the cooler overnight before use, after letting it sit at room temp for about 1-2 hours after balling (we use cold water in the recipe). I’m gonna read over your articles again about dough preperation though.

I’ll start setting up a system so we have room temp. dough on hand and hopefully this will solve the problem.

Again, thanks to all that answered and especially Tom :slight_smile:

Ps. has there been any discussion on these forums on the use of perforated discs vs. screens?
I’ll do a search, but any recap is appreciated.

Careful, I didn’t say anything about room temperature dough, I just said to allow the dough to temper AT room temperature for about 90-minutes before opening it into dough skins. It will take a lot longer time to get the dough to room temperature, and if you were to do it, your time to use the dough would be very short indeed.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor

Yes, I realized this tonight :slight_smile:
But I get your message, and followed your advice … and no bubbles at all :slight_smile: So hopefully this problem is resolved!

Tom, one last question if I may?

After an evening of operation, if I have any dough balls that have been sitting out in room temp for 1-2 hours, is it alright if I put it back in the cooler over night to use the next day?