We have recently opened and have an issue with pizza creating large bubbles when baking. At times they grow so large they hit the top of the conveyor oven.
After researching from possibles issues, here is what I have found;
- Too much water in the formula
- Under fermentation of the dough.
Here is our current process;
- Dough temp after mixing is in the mid 70’s range
- Balled and re-fridgerated within 20 minutes and left uncovered for 2 hours. Then covered
- Fridge temp is consistently between 2-4C (39F)
- Dough used anywhere from 24-72 hours later.
We currently use a dough press very successfully and it has limited what we want to try for solutions.
Solutions we have tried;
- Dock the crap out of the dough. This doesn’t really work and we want a hand tossed style crust.
- Reducing the water, but we can only reduce so far since the water gives us less elastic dough and assists with dough pressing.
Anyone have this problem? Any suggestions are welcomed. We may try raising the temp of our dough fridge also to speed fermenation, but unfortunately may lose a day of available dough since it will blow quicker.
we have same problem solved it with large bbq fork
Currently we have extra large tongs and are lucky to intercept halfway through the oven, but unprofessional to say the least!
We are trying a test right now to warm dough to room temp. I don’t want that as long term solution however since we will certainly lose dough
With regard to bubbling of the dough during baking;
A finished dough temperature in the mid 70’s is a bit on the cool side, and your dough may not be getting sufficient fermentation during its stay in the cooler. Under fermanted dough definately exhibits a tendency to bubble during baking.
Then too, you don indicate anything about how you handle the dough when you bring it out of the cooler. Dough that is brought directly from the cooler to the make table, and then gets an express ticket to the oven will also show a decided tendency to bubble.
Your yeast level might also be on the high side. If you are using fresh/compressed yeast the level should be in the 0.75 to 1% of the flour weight range. If using active dry yeast, 0.75 to 0.5% is about right, and for instant dry yeast, you should be looking at about 0.25 to 0.375% of the flour weight as yeast. Be sure you’re adding the yeast correctly for the type that you are using.
Silver colored (natural finish) pans can also affect bubbling. Dark colored pans have not been found to contribute to the problem.
The bottom finger configuration can affect bubbling too. With some ovens we have found that closing all or part of the first bottom finger reduces the tendency of the dough to bubble.
As far as water content/dough absorption is concerned, I don’t see that as a significant factor. We have made doughs so soft, due to excessive water addition, that they were difficult to handle, and still they didn’t exhibit a pronounced tendency to bubble. We have also reduced the dough absorption down so low that the dough couldn’t be shaped/formed with anything but a sheeter/roller, and still no pronounced tendency to bubble.
Overall, the one thing that seems to have the most significant impact upon bubbling of the dough is the temperature of the dough. Dough that just came from the cooler will want to bubble, but if you allow it to temper AT room temperature for 60 to 90-minutes before you begin shaping it, bubbling is significantly reduced.
The second most influential factor is fermentation. Lack of fermentation results in a dough that has a decided tendency to bubble during baking.
Last week, while at the Orlando PMQ Pizza Show, we were making a lot of different kins of pizzas each day of the show, and not once did we ever have a problem with our pizzas bubbling, infact, we didn’t even have a bubble popper. That’s confidence in your dough, especially when you’re baking in an air impingement oven as we were.
If you’re still having a problem next week, please give me a call at 800-633-5137 (ext. 165) and I’ll be glad to see if we can work things out for you.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor
Tom thanks for the reply.
I should have been clearer on our potential solutions to date. We use instant yeast and have lowered to .3% without a decrease in bubbles. We have also lowered our water, but it didn’t work and I am glad since the dough was too stiff to properly press in our dough press.
So, it seems to be temperature related or oven. We had a batch exit the mixer at 85f, cooled for 2 hours and covered. It also bubbled. I even try and leave to room temp for an hour from the fridge and it too bubbles.
I am going to try 2 more tests in this sequence;
Slow the oven and decrease temp. We use PESI ovens and currently run a pizza in 4 min 30 sec. Bakes nice but could be contributing to the bubbles?
Close the 1st bottom finger
I will let you know how it goes.