There are a lot of good topics regarding dough bubbles, preparing and properly proofing dough. What I’m wondering, the problem we’re experiencing, is that we have significantly more issues with bubbly pizza when using no sauce, bbq sauce, buffalo sauce or our white sauce as compared to our marinara sauce. We wind up having to remake our no sauce, bbq/buffalo sauce and white sauce pizzas due to bubbles significantly more frequently than we do any of our pizzas with marinara sauce.
All the other sauces we use are lighter, and we use less of those sauces on each pizza than we do with our marinara sauce. Could this be due to lighter weight on the pizza? Or lack of oil in any of the variety sauces we use? (There is a little bit of oil in our marinara sauce). Or is there something else entirely we’re missing?
The sauce can certainly have an impact upon the bubbling problem with a dough/crust. The problem stems from the baking temperature for the type of sauce applied to the dough skin. For example, when baking a crust with just a sauce, tomato based sauce for example, the water in the sauce evaporates and cools the top of the pizza preventing or at least significantly reducing the incidence of bubbling, when another type of sauce is used, especially when a lesser amount of sauce is applied the skin, the top of the dough quickly overheats, resulting in both gas and moisture expansion under the top of the dough skin resulting in the bubble formation that you are experiencing. The only options that I see are for you to bake those “other” sauced crusts at a lower temperature, about 400 to 450F or apply a greater amount of sauce to the skin. With that in mind, you might try diluting the sauce by maybe 20% (add 20% water to the sauce based on the total weight of the sauce) and then add 20% more sauce to the skin. The added water will help prevent bubbling, it will boil off during baking so your actual amount of sauce will be the same as it was before. I can’t say for sure just how much water you will need to add but I think 15 to 20% would be a good starting point, and I think it’s a better option that using more sauce and adjusting the baking temperature based on the type of sauce used.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor