Gummy layer problem....

Ok here is the deal…

the current process with pizza dough that we use is to work with 65 degree water and the dough was weighed into balls - wrapped in plastic and put in our walk-in. this would make ok dough and we could hold it for about 5 days… recently we’ve tried to experiment with an improved formula, but we cant get this new process to cool correctly… we are having a gummy layer. This gummy layer starts anywhere between 1" to 2" from the edge of the pizza crust. The crust up to the gummy layer cooks up really airy with a nice texture. I will tell you what we have tried.

a) Hasn’t made a difference in gum layer whether dough was warmed up to or taken right from cooler.
b) Cooler temp. 38 degrees
c) We have used dough box and cross stacked.
d) We’ve tried cutting back on sugar and we’ve tried taking out the sugar - doesn’t help.
e) Its being cooked on a screen in a conveyor, oven total cook time has been 8 min 20 sec. at a temp. Of 450 degrees - we moved this up and down with no success.
f) We are using Quality Bouncer high gluten
g) We’ve tested this dough using a severely fermented ball and 1 only 2 days old - both had a gummy layer.
h) Dough weight is 17.5 oz for a 14" pizza
I) no malts are being added to formula - only a small amount of oil, salt, sugar.
j) Pizza sauce has been tested; it doesn’t matter if it’s too thick or to thin or just right.

I would greatly appreciate any advice that anyone has… thanks

1st, you need to truly see if it is “gummy” or just has a visual appearance of being gummy…

sometimes people confuse a “gummy” pizza when they slice the pie, it appears to be “gummy”…

instead of looking @ the “slice” or cut area, "tear the pizza from the “crust/edge” of the slice to the point…

view the pizza from that exposed angle & see if it is truly “gummy”…

you may find it is fully/properly cooked, with the desired air bubbles etc.

2nd note - don’t pre-stretch your skins 2 far in advance so that they dry out…

3rd - don’t pre-sauce ever…

watch the H2O content…I use little H2O & more tomato sauce…

This is something that you might want to look at. The temp of the water you start with is really not directly related to the temp the dough ends up at when you remove it from the mixer. For example, a VCM will really heat up your dough, and a planetery mixer will not.

Measure the temperature of your dough when you take it out of the mixer. It should be about 85 degrees.

Also, how much yeast are you using? My dough would blow beyond any reasonable usable amt if I held it for five days.

I see you have tried it with one or two day dough with no success but I know from experience dough beyond three days tends to gum up rather than rise.

Think you should list your recipe so someone could offer you a specific suggestion. Be specific to the kind of yeast you are using. Otherwise, sounds like you are handling the dough alright.

I’m sure Tom will eventually get in on this as soon as he sees it. Then he’ll find something in your dough formula that’s probably out of whack. Be prepared to give him your recipe so he can tell you where you stand.

However, in my experience, 3 things cause the gummy layer of the pizza:

  1. Too much oil in your dough recipe. You don’t allow the gases to escape, therefore your have no rise in your pizza, and voila… gummy layer.

  2. Pizzas are cooking way too fast in the oven. You can cook the outer crust but the inside just doesn’t have time to bake. I see you have your conveyor set to 8:20. Good job with that 'cause I have mine set at 6:30. Do this though, for my benifit: put a screen in the entrance, hit “start” on your stopwatch, and time the screen in the oven to make sure your conveyor motor is working properly.

  3. The only other thing I can think of would be finger arrangement in your oven. Although the time and temps are right, if your fingers are not arranged correctly you’ll not have a proper bake.

Of course, this is a shot in the dark, but maybe something I wrote will spark an idea you can try to get you back to where you belong. Also, has the dough always had a gummy layer? If not, what changes did you make to start seeing it appear?


There are a number of questions that I’d like to ask you regarding your “old” dough formula and process and the “new” formula and process. Including questions about your oven. If you can, please call me at 800-633-5137 (ext. 165) and I’ll be glad to discuss this with you. It should be pretty east to put a finger on once I have all the numbers.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor

we tore the crust today and it did have air bubbles but its still kinda gummy… we never pre shell out the dough and never pre sauce them… thanks and we will look into the h2o vs tomato sauce…

the dough when we take it out the the mixer is about 82… for 28 lbs of flour we use .08 oz of active dry yeast…

thanks we will look into the oil i didnt think of that before, we didnt think that there was a gummy layer before but when we seen it when we changed something we went back to the old way and there is still a gummy layer its smaller but still there so we think it may have always been there.

Someone earlier in this post made a comment about how to look for a gum line and the possibility that you have always, had it or that you are actually creating the gum line; here is how it happens; You use a pizza cutter or rocker knife to cut the pizza and you see what looks like a gum line. If it looks like a duck, it just might be a duck you think (yes, that cut surface will look a lot like a gum line), but the only REAL way to determine if you actually do have a wonderful gum line is to grasp the pizza by the outer edge (crust) and pull/tear it apart towards the center of the pizza. Look at the crumb structure that has been exposed by the tear to see if you have a gum line, and pay attention to the way the crust pulls apart as you tear it. It it tears cleanly, with little stretching you probably won’t see anything that looks like a gum line either. Congrats! you don’t have a gum line. But, if it pulls ans stretches, sorta like you’re pulling taffy, look carefully for a gray colored line beneath the sauce. Houston, we do have a gum line.
Note: When you cut the crust/pizza with a pizza wheel, rocker knife or even a sharp kitchen knife you compress the crumb structure to form a gum line, and you also draw the sauce and cheese down and across the cut portion making it look like a gum line. This is what I mean when I say you have created a gum line (but it really isn’t a true gum line so you don’t need to worry about it) like you do the other, gum line.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor

i will list our current dough formula as rea=lated to the gummy issue

:smiley: 6 oz sugar
4.5 oz salt
3/4 oz of active dry yeast
15 1/4 pds water at 75 deg
5 oz veg oil
28 1/2 pds of high gluten bouncer flour

cook time is in conveyor oven at a speed of 8:40 sec and a temp of 450 deg on screens

cook you pizza longer…what type of oven do you use?

Tom i have posted the recipe in this discussion…review it and i would value your option…i will call you

Sorry, the through put is 8:40 sec and we are using a Middlebe Marshall

Does anyone know what the proper positioning is for the finger baffles in the oven???

Thanks for all the wisdom & advice keep it coming…you guys are a big help!

your ADY is .16%
I use .35 IDY, which is equavilent to about 1% IDY, over 6 times the amount you use

look forward to Tom’s comment on it

when I use more or less IDY, by double or half of .35%, it doesn’t seem to make a big difference
there may be some theshold level, that below is not good, but you have leeway on the upside, I am not sure, maybe we will find out from Tom,
thanks for posting, a subject critical to all of us,

ya, I would agree…3/4 oz IDY not ADY - IDY is the way 2 go…you must “bloom” ADY for performance…

Personally on MM 360’s I buy additional fingers for the bottom…

We run #1) 1/2, #2) full, space, #4) full, space, #5) Full, #6) Full

On top 1/2, full…full…2 drop/finish @ end…

6.5/7.5 minutes…460 (2 ovens, perform differently)

thanks !!!and we will see…you use 6 times more…is it active yeast?

thank you i will investigate…if you are using instant dry …how much are you using per # of flour?

depending on how cold my water is, I use 1.5-2.0 oz. IDY for 50# of All Trumps flour…

here is a link for SAF yeast

real good tech support as well