Very Large Bubbles in Pizza Dough

Discussion in 'Professional Chefs' started by Guest, Mar 13, 2010.

  1. Guest

    Guest Guest

    Does anyone have a solution to my ever increasing over bubbly pizza dough problem?
    I work at an incredibly high volume pizzeria where of course the dough needs to be consistent and beautiful everytime.  Occasionally this happens for me however all of a sudden - and usually on the weekend when it is the busiest - the dough will puff up like crazy and my pizzaoli has to spend time popping bubbles while the orders pile up.  My sous and I have tried almost everything that we can think of.  Any professional opinions are greatly appreciated.
     
  2. phatch

    phatch Moderator Staff Member

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    You need to dock the dough. Just poke it with a fork every inch or so. Takes about 10 seconds per pizza. For more speed they sell a 4 inch or so roller to do it quickly.

    If you're already docking the dough, some one is being sloppy about it under pressure  of business probably.
     
  3. gunnar

    gunnar

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    Bingo. phatch nailed it, no question./img/vbsmilies/smilies/thumb.gif
     
  4. phatch

    phatch Moderator Staff Member

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    I guess I should clarify. After you roll/toss/form the pizza dough into it's cooking shape, that's when you dock it, before saucing.
     
  5. just jim

    just jim

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    Unless the OP is describing the common occurance of bubblling in the oven, in which case you would use a pizza poke to pop them while the pizza cooks.
    The pizzaoli shouldn't have any problem with this, it should be part of tending the pizzas, just as rotating or spinning them would be, as most ovens have hot spots.
     
  6. coulis-o

    coulis-o

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    what flour are you using ... self raising flour?
     
  7. tuscan chef

    tuscan chef

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    It might be that every once in a while the yeast is replaced or grows with lactic bacterias.
    Bubbles are carbon dioxide created by yeast fermentating the sugar released by starch. The large ones are sometimes created by lactic bacteria who have the possibility to get more sugar from starch.
    This is hard to control. check ingredients that you use with flour. Do you add milk? do you add sugar as starter?
    Sometimes this happes because something reduce the activity of yeast, example (but will not be your case) is the use of honey as starter.  Other example is the use of salt or if the dough is heated too much, depressing the yeast population and having lactic acid overcome.
     
  8. foodforachange

    foodforachange

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     hi
    I am the op's sous, and i thought i would chime in,
    we do use honey in our recipe, not sugar.
    our flour is all purpose. we tried cutting it with pastry flour, but found it way too cakie.
    docking is not really an option, for both time and quality reasons.
    our production system is both time and temperature consistent yet as the week progresses we seem to have more problems (Tuesday is great, Friday is awful)
    tuscan chef, can you elaborate more on the lactic bacteria's effects on the dough?
     
  9. phatch

    phatch Moderator Staff Member

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    II don't see how docking would affect quality if you already have a quality problem from failure to dock.
     
    joshua47 likes this.
  10. foodforachange

    foodforachange

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    our restaurant has been around for 15 years now and they never docked before, 
    we got a new oven last year and started to experience inconsistencies.
    we modified to dough recipe and production to eliminate as many problems as possible and yet leading up to the weekend there seem to be more large bubbles.
    we are trying to find the possible source of the problem, and not just a quick solution.
     
  11. oldschool1982

    oldschool1982

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    I too can't understand why docking would cause a quality issue but I did want to ask........as far as time.........a docking pin takes less than 2 seconds to run across the pie before you sauce so............

    You mentioned Tuesday was fine but Friday wasn't? How often are you making dough and are you combining batches? I.e. adding what's left over fro Tuesday to Fridays batch. Does a different person make the dough Tuesday as opposed to Friday?

    Are you using a cold method for dough production? That's adding the yeast directly to the flour and then combining the dough with 50% ice water/tap water instead of blooming the yeast in warn water prior.

    Is it cake yeast or dry/active?

    At any rate.........

    I also believe that tending to the pizza's is a necessary thing. Sometimes....no matter what you do.........a bubble will appear.  JMHPO
     
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2010
  12. foodforachange

    foodforachange

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     what i meant by quality issue is that we are trying to figure out the source of the problem,
    with docking being the last possible solution, as it solves a problem at the end of a long process (making the dough, proofing, rolling...)
    we are trying to solve the problem earlier in the process. it might have to come to docking, only if nothing else works.
    as far as our process goes. we use dry instant yeast, we dont combine batches, we have our formula, and its translated into 3 different size batches and me make the dough every night after service according to what we expect tomorrow  to look like.
    we control temp by averaging to 76 (water, flour, room, friction) ala cavel, first autolysing then adding the yeast oil, honey and salt.
    then the dough get batch proof in the walkin over night and portioned/balled in the morning.
    only my chef and i make the dough, and we use a white board to track temp. and batch sizes
     
  13. gunnar

    gunnar

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    seriously? I would have thought that the dough would have to be docked every time, cause you were making right., not wrong.  you have said that it didn't used to do this, i would be worried if it didn't. Its the sign of a healthy dough.   
     
  14. web monkey

    web monkey

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    I'm not a professional chef, but I make a ton of pizza, and used to service appliances, so I hope nobody jumps on me for posting here. /img/vbsmilies/smilies/smile.gif

    I've never seen a really good pizza that didn't have a few bubbles, and popping them is a normal part of baking.

    On the other hand, you mentioned that you started having problems when you got your new oven.  Some ovens have a very wide temerature spread between where the heater comes on and then turns off (this is actually a thermostat defect). Others have an insufficient recovery rate, which is caused by having too small a heater, or a damaged heater or running the wrong heater for the electrical service in your building (for example a 240 volt heater on a 208 or 120 volt circuit) or burned/damaged wiring inside the oven.

    This means that opening and closing the door too often or loading the oven up with pizza will cool the oven down enough that you're not cooking anywhere near where you think you are. You might want to see if you can borrow a good high temp thermometer see what's actually going on in there while it's in use. I'm guessing you'll find it's nowhere near as hot as it's supposed to be.

    Good luck!

    Terry

    And for no special reason except that you guys talking about bubbly pizza has made me hungry, here's one of mine :cool:

    [​IMG]
     
    luis de vence likes this.
  15. cakeface

    cakeface

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    I agree with Web Monkey as the quotes from your above post says it all . You didn't have these problems before on such a scale until the arrival of the new oven and during busy periods, you see the problem increase- because you are opening the oven more presumably- thus lowering the temperature even more. 


    As Web Monkey suggests you could get a thermometer to see if this is the problem. Then you can get if fixed or  you could just 'get to know ' your oven by adjusting the temperatures and keeping an eye on the results.
     
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2010
  16. gunnar

    gunnar

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    after rereading, I agree too. AND THAT PIZZA LOOKS YUMMY!!
     
  17. phatch

    phatch Moderator Staff Member

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    Web monkey offered an insightful answer. +1
     
  18. web monkey

    web monkey

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      I knew that someday, all those years of driving around in a service truck would pay off! :cool:




    Thanks!  It's a real complement coming from a pro!

    Luckily, it takes a couple of days to make the dough and prep everything. If I could do it in a couple of hours, I'd look like Jabba The Hut. :cool:

    Terry
     
  19. chefray

    chefray

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    I am also glad that good dough takes at least 12 hours to cold proof.  I would need a crane to leave the house otherwise.
     
  20. tralfaz

    tralfaz

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    I made pizza for years.  One of our main bubble problems was from dough handling.  Does your dough cut into portions and rolled into doughballs?  A doughball made of 3 or 4 cut pieces will have more bubbles in it than one made from 1 or 2 cut pieces.  When the doughball was rolled by hand (before proofing), the air bubbles can be worked out and popped by more experienced hands.  After proofing, when the dough is formed into a crust, visible bubbles can be popped.  Do different people make doughballs on Tuesdays and Fridays?