Author Topic: why top of dough ball is used as top of pizza?  (Read 1247 times)

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Offline jamieg

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why top of dough ball is used as top of pizza?
« on: June 01, 2013, 01:26:55 PM »
I've searched endlessly for an answer to the following question - but with no luck - my apologies for the repeitition:

It seems most people - myself included - prefer keeping the top of the dough ball - as the top of the pizza.

My reason for doing this is that - I'm convinced I get a better rise - once the dough ball hits the oven.

Can anybody give me a scientific explanation - as to why this is the case?

Kind regards,

jamie


Online TXCraig1

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Re: why top of dough ball is used as top of pizza?
« Reply #1 on: June 01, 2013, 01:35:18 PM »
Look at the top and the bottom next time you open a ball. The top has a nice smooth, sealed gluten cloak - a bit dry from exposure to air, and the bottom is all full of bubble holes and wetter.
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Offline jamieg

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Re: why top of dough ball is used as top of pizza?
« Reply #2 on: June 01, 2013, 01:50:20 PM »
So, the theroy is that - the air in the holes at the bottom rises - and hits the gluten cloak without escaping - which gives maximum rise to the ball? If it was the other way round - the air would rise and escape.

That makes sense to me.

Thanks ;-)

Online Pete-zza

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Re: why top of dough ball is used as top of pizza?
« Reply #3 on: June 01, 2013, 01:57:25 PM »
Jamie,

This is a topic that comes up from time to time but is not easy to search. But here is an example of a thread on that subject: http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,13675.msg136877.html#msg136877

Peter

Offline jamieg

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Re: why top of dough ball is used as top of pizza?
« Reply #4 on: June 01, 2013, 02:06:16 PM »
Thanks Peter.

There seems to be a mix of reasons for doing one or the other.

But, if my only concern is maximising rise in the borders - would you agree with the scientific explanation I just posted - based on Craig's helpful hint?

Online scott123

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Re: why top of dough ball is used as top of pizza?
« Reply #5 on: June 01, 2013, 02:17:14 PM »
From a perspective of oven spring, I don't think you'll find an appreciable difference when switching orientations, but cosmetically, the smooth top looks a bit better on a finished pie than the pitted bottom.

Online Pete-zza

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Re: why top of dough ball is used as top of pizza?
« Reply #6 on: June 01, 2013, 02:36:40 PM »
Thanks Peter.

There seems to be a mix of reasons for doing one or the other.

But, if my only concern is maximising rise in the borders - would you agree with the scientific explanation I just posted - based on Craig's helpful hint?

Jamie,

I would say yes, and that explanation seems to be consistent with what I believe member c0mpl3x (Jon), who works professionally as a pizza maker, was trying to say in Reply 9 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,13675.msg137398.html#msg137398.

You might also note Craig's discussion of this point at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,20479.msg202069.html#msg202069 and later in the same thread at Reply 130 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,20479.msg252204.html#msg252204. Craig's work is with respect to the Neapolitan style. For other styles where the rise of the cornice is not an issue, or even desired (such as a NY street or slice style), I would say that the reasons are different, as some of the posts indicate. Here is another example: Reply 13 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,8743.msg75821/topicseen.html#msg75821.

Peter

Online TXCraig1

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Re: why top of dough ball is used as top of pizza?
« Reply #7 on: June 01, 2013, 03:30:11 PM »
So, the theroy is that - the air in the holes at the bottom rises - and hits the gluten cloak without escaping - which gives maximum rise to the ball? If it was the other way round - the air would rise and escape.

That makes sense to me.

Thanks ;-)

I've made them both ways, and to me, they just plain look better when made top up.
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Offline Bill/SFNM

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Re: why top of dough ball is used as top of pizza?
« Reply #8 on: June 01, 2013, 04:21:29 PM »
I once ran a simple test of this: I stretched out the dough, cut it in half, flipped one half upside down, sealed the two halves back together at the seam, topped and baked. I was able to detect no difference between the two halves, but I am really into very puffy edges. This is a test anyone could easily run to get a definitive answer on whether the theory matches reality for their particular method of making pizza.     

Offline jamieg

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Re: why top of dough ball is used as top of pizza?
« Reply #9 on: June 01, 2013, 05:35:38 PM »
Thanks all.

A few years ago - my hunch was that top side up was improving the rise in the oven - so without doing any clinical tests - we made top side up standard practice.

I then came to this forum and read that it is quite common - but so far on this thread there is no concensus. I thought I had stumbled across a post a few months back about how top side up has some effect on the air bubbles and gravity - which explained the greater rise - but I can't find it.

Thanks again,



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Re: why top of dough ball is used as top of pizza?
« Reply #10 on: June 01, 2013, 05:43:24 PM »
to this forum and read that it is quite common - but so far on this thread there is no concensus. I thought I had stumbled across a post a few months back about how top side up has some effect on the air bubbles and gravity - which explained the greater rise - but I can't find it.

Thanks again,
Please don't quote me here jamie but I believe Chau and The Dough Doctor was in that thread if that helps... ???
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Offline Tscarborough

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Re: why top of dough ball is used as top of pizza?
« Reply #11 on: June 01, 2013, 05:44:20 PM »
I don't really even pay attention anymore which is up or down when I dress it.

Online Chicago Bob

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Re: why top of dough ball is used as top of pizza?
« Reply #12 on: June 01, 2013, 05:45:04 PM »
I don't really even pay attention anymore which is up or down when I dress it.
+1   ^^^
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Offline jamieg

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Re: why top of dough ball is used as top of pizza?
« Reply #13 on: June 01, 2013, 05:47:39 PM »
Ahh, I was thinking of Reply 18 here: http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,24613.msg250238.html#msg250238

If gravity pulls the dough down during proofing - such that it is more dense at the base - surely this would have at least some impact - on the rise - if for example - you tuned it upside down - and had the heavy part at the top.

Now, I have 2 separate theories to back up my suspicion ;-)

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Offline jamieg

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Re: why top of dough ball is used as top of pizza?
« Reply #15 on: June 01, 2013, 10:06:09 PM »
I once ran a simple test of this: I stretched out the dough, cut it in half, flipped one half upside down, sealed the two halves back together at the seam, topped and baked. I was able to detect no difference between the two halves, but I am really into very puffy edges. This is a test anyone could easily run to get a definitive answer on whether the theory matches reality for their particular method of making pizza.   

Interesting. I think we would need to run the experiment several times to be sure one way or another.

What about just baking the balls as they are - i.e. before making the skins - one the right way up - the other upside down.

Offline jamieg

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Re: why top of dough ball is used as top of pizza?
« Reply #16 on: June 01, 2013, 10:14:24 PM »
So, here's a summary of the 2 hypothesis as to why maintaining the skin facing up - might result in the borders rising more than if the skin was facing down.

1) As a dough ball ferments - gravity is working against the dough ball - so the dough in the ball will be more dense at the bottom of the ball than at the top. If we turn the ball upside down - we will have the less dense (weaker) part of the ball - below the more dense (stronger) part of the ball - which might prohibit the less dense part of the dough from rising in the oven - as much as it would have done if it had been at the top of the dough.

2) If we look at a dough ball - the bottom is aligned with holes from air bubbles - while the top has a smooth sealed gluten cloak. Once in the oven - the sealed cloak of the dough ball is more likely to prevent air escaping and maximise the rise of the dough - as opposed to having the holes at the top of the dough which might let air escape and not therefore maximise the rise of the dough.

So, it's slightly hilarious to conclude - that this is simply a hypothesis - it could be 100% false - we just don't know or at least the forum is not in agreement.

;-)


Offline CopperTop

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Re: why top of dough ball is used as top of pizza?
« Reply #17 on: June 02, 2013, 12:02:13 AM »
It's interesting to note that Forcella tops/ bakes the dough with the bottom side, up.  On the other hand, Keste/Don Antonio tops/bakes the dough with the bottom side, down.  Just the opposite.  I understand each other's rationale.  Personal preference, I say. I think I've been doing the latter just because it was done this way in my last training. Something I will keep in mind during this week.  Experiment with both sides....

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Re: why top of dough ball is used as top of pizza?
« Reply #18 on: June 02, 2013, 12:30:41 AM »
So, it's slightly hilarious to conclude - that this is simply a hypothesis - it could be 100% false - we just don't know or at least the forum is not in agreement.

Are we really 'not in agreement?'  :) Maybe I'm missing something, but has anyone actually said that they found skin orientation to have an impact on oven spring?


Offline jamieg

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Re: why top of dough ball is used as top of pizza?
« Reply #19 on: June 02, 2013, 12:36:40 AM »
Haha...well aside from me, Peter, in Reply 6 suggested he agreed.

OK, maybe we are outnumbered. But, I'd say the jury is still out.


 

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