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What does yeast do in pizza crust????????? - Forno Bravo Forum: The Wood-Fired Oven Community

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What does yeast do in pizza crust?????????

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  • What does yeast do in pizza crust?????????

    Alright this is probably going to seem like a really stupid question, But.....Just prior to making my pizza's (over 250 under my belt) I flatten the dough (with hands) and toss the crust which degasses crust. I then top the crust and bake in my WFO. The intense heat and radiant heat seals the crust, and the steam begins to inflate the crust to give it a light airy quality. This obviously is not caused by the yeast, but by the steam.

    My question is what is the purpose of the yeast, I know in bread baking you do not degass and immediatly cook, so the yeast serves a purpose, but what does it contribute in pizza (dont tell me it immediately begins to breath at 1200 deg.).

  • #2
    Re: What does yeast do in pizza crust?????????

    You don't entirely de-gas. That's why we hand stretch. It keeps a lot of bubbles in the dough which expand when the pizza hits the high heat, for oven spring.

    You could use a sheeter (or rolling pin) and a docker to more completely de-gas the pizza and end up with a cracker crust pizza, but that's not what most people want.

    And yes, a lot of the bubbles in the dough are formed just from the expansion of the water. Look at matzoh. They are unleavened by design, and are still full of cavities.
    My geodesic oven project: part 1, part 2

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    • #3
      Re: What does yeast do in pizza crust?????????

      As was explained to me....., DMUN is right tossing does not eliminate the yeast bubbles. Working the dough does deflate them, but they are still there to act a "seed" if you will for the steam bubbles.
      Wade Lively

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      • #4
        Re: What does yeast do in pizza crust?????????

        [QUOTE=dmun;20961] You could use a sheeter (or rolling pin) and a docker to more completely de-gas the pizza and end up with a cracker crust pizza, but that's not what most people want.
        QUOTE]

        OK, I'm going to show my ignorance here. I haven't really studied the pizza cooking aspect yet, I've only completed my block stand so far. BUT what is a sheeter and a docker? I've seen restaurants where they run a roller over the dought that has points and dents the dough before they toss it. Please help me understand
        RCLake

        "It's time to go Vertical"
        Oven Thread

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        • #5
          Re: What does yeast do in pizza crust?????????

          Also, I need help in getting the quote in white block versus what I did. Oops
          RCLake

          "It's time to go Vertical"
          Oven Thread

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          • #6
            Re: What does yeast do in pizza crust?????????

            Originally posted by RCLake View Post
            What is a sheeter and a docker? I've seen restaurants where they run a roller over the dough that has points and dents the dough before they toss it. Please help me understand
            That pointy roller thing is a docker, and it's exactly what I'm talking about. It helps make a pizza from bubbling which is a BAD thing when you are running a commercial pizza operation. Likewise, a sheeter is a mechanical rolling pin, which works in two stages, to produce a round skin from a dough ball.

            Check out these PMQ videos
            to see a sheeter and docker in use. Also a good hand dough demonstration at the end.
            My geodesic oven project: part 1, part 2

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            • #7
              Re: What does yeast do in pizza crust?????????

              Originally posted by RCLake View Post
              Also, I need help in getting the quote in white block versus what I did. Oops
              Easy - hit the quote button below the message, and the quote is automatic. You may want to edit what's in the quote box so it's just the part you want to reply to.
              My geodesic oven project: part 1, part 2

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              • #8
                Re: What does yeast do in pizza crust?????????

                That is what I love about this forum, you can ask what you think are silly questions and members will respond with informative information. A google search on sheeters brought the mechanical devices ( not Planning on) but on docker - it was pants! Also I did do the quote button and eliminated other sentences but you see how it came across. Dmun, I like the site you referenced.
                RCLake

                "It's time to go Vertical"
                Oven Thread

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                • #9
                  Re: What does yeast do in pizza crust?????????

                  Originally posted by RCLake View Post
                  Also I did do the quote button and eliminated other sentences but you see how it came across.
                  Take care not to delete anything vital - you inadvertantly deleted the square bracket and forward slash before the last "QUOTE". When using a mouse to block the text to be deleted, I've noticed that these two characters are blocked as well, so they disappear if you're not careful!

                  [quote=dmun;20961] You could use a sheeter (or rolling pin) and a docker to more completely de-gas the pizza and end up with a cracker crust pizza, but that's not what most people want.
                  QUOTE]

                  versus:
                  Originally posted by dmun View Post
                  You could use a sheeter (or rolling pin) and a docker to more completely de-gas the pizza and end up with a cracker crust pizza, but that's not what most people want.
                  with the correct syntax.

                  Cheers, Paul.

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                  • #10
                    Re: What does yeast do in pizza crust?????????

                    Originally posted by RCLake View Post
                    Also, I need help in getting the quote in white block versus what I did. Oops
                    At the begining of the quoted passage you need to be sure that you have "QUOTE" and at the end you need "/QUOTE" and they both need to be in square brackets, "[" & "]".

                    J W

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                    • #11
                      Re: What does yeast do in pizza crust?????????

                      I am a chemist, and my take is that the yeast puts a bunch of CO2 into the water of the dough, and CO2 is much less soluble in hot water than in room temp water. So when the dough gets hot, the CO2 turns to gas and inflates the crust. While the water is probably contributing to the expansion, I believe the CO2 is actually responsible for most of it. There are versions of waffles and pancakes that use yeast as a leavening agent with a similar process. You can see the 3rd edition of Joy of Cooking for some examples. Hope this helps.

                      Dr D.

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                      • #12
                        Re: What does yeast do in pizza crust?????????

                        It is actually even a bit more complex than that. Water contributes very minimally to the expansion for the dough temp "mostly" stays below the boiling point. The bulk of the expansion is, as you suggest, CO2 coming out of solution in the dough (okay water in the dough). But there is also a small amount of alcohol (and other light decomp products that are dissolved in the dough) that boils off and contributes to the expansion - at least in slow, overnight doughs.

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