Dough Bubble Question
Hey All -
This past weekend, I borrowed some dough from our local pizza place (Campania - they make it with Caputo, but confessed to having a "little" olive oil in it) and cooked in our wood oven. The pizzas were very good - but one thing I noticed was big bubbles forming in the dough as it cooked. I do not get these bubbles when I make the dough myself.
Does anyone have any idea what causes the bubbles - too much air in the dough??
I always wonder what those dough bubble poppers were for...
My, what big occhi you have
I think this is multifactorial but two significant factors are how well the gluten in the dough is developed (the elasticity of the gluten allows the dough to stretch to capture the bubble rather than 'popping' and passing it on to another cell in the crumb structure) and how lightly you handle the dough (avoiding forcing out the starter bubbles that have formed during fermentation). I suppose a wetter dough also will contribute to this by allowing more stretch before the proteins cook (and set). I'm drawing more on bread baking experience, look at recipes for ciabatta where you want really big 'occhi' in the bread - careful kneading and light handling with a wetter dough. Any other takers? Canuck Jim would probably know more about this. If you prefer a thin somewhat crackly crust you could use a drier dough and work it harder. Also, any standing time after you roll out the dough allows new starter bubbles, getting it topped and quickly into the oven after rolling it out would leave it flatter?
Thanks for the plug. I don't think it really matters--pizza or bread--when you're talking about high-hydration doughs. Allowing time for the gluten to develop (a rest of about 20 mins, then adding the salt), careful kneading (the dough temp should reach 77-81 F, no higher) and handling the dough very gingerly to avoid deflation take practice and patience. Without them, the crumb stucture will be dense. I wish I could say I always get it just right.
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