Author Topic: Preventing the gum layer: Idea  (Read 2352 times)

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Offline hotsawce

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Preventing the gum layer: Idea
« on: May 11, 2010, 12:42:13 PM »
So we're all aware of that infamous "gum" layer one can get if they are not cooking at high temperatures from the sauce absorbing into the dough. Follow my train of thought here:

  Olive oil will not readily or immediately absorb into the dough, right? Olive oil will also not mix with water...so what if one was too brush or spray a thin layer of olive oil onto the undressed pizza-dough skin before spooning on the sauce. Would it act, to some degree, as a water barrier?


Offline widespreadpizza

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Re: Preventing the gum layer: Idea
« Reply #1 on: May 11, 2010, 01:30:55 PM »
HS,  what you describe here has been going on and recomended to people for years.  Yes the oil is will not absorb water and can indeed act as you suggest.  I have tried this in the past and the problem that it can create is that all toppings come off the pizza at once and a cheese-o-lanche is possible.  -marc

edit to remove word hydroscopic

« Last Edit: May 11, 2010, 01:37:24 PM by widespreadpizza »

Offline hotsawce

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Re: Preventing the gum layer: Idea
« Reply #2 on: May 11, 2010, 01:33:20 PM »
Ah, I've never really seen it mentioned so thanks for the heads up! Maybe I'll try it today (I've got two dough balls coming to room temp right now. Only thing is I think I used way too much yeast, which is a bit unfortunate.)

Offline Essen1

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Re: Preventing the gum layer: Idea
« Reply #3 on: May 11, 2010, 01:38:46 PM »
I found that if you put the cheese down first and then the sauce it has the same effect as brushing the skin with oil. But it doesn't end up in a cheese-o-lanche :)
Mike

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Offline scott123

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Re: Preventing the gum layer: Idea
« Reply #4 on: May 11, 2010, 03:16:24 PM »
Are you sure that's what a 'gum layer' is?  I've always been under the assumption that a gum layer is an uncooked/less cooked layer of dough that can happen in very high heat/short baking time Neapolitan environments.

Now, as far as the sauce making a properly baked outer crust a tiny bit soggy- it's not my favorite part of the pie, but it's still something I enjoy.  It has a bit of very thin noodle-y quality.

Offline hotsawce

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Re: Preventing the gum layer: Idea
« Reply #5 on: May 11, 2010, 03:25:51 PM »
I've always thought that's what it is....because the crust on the outer rim is usually always cooked through so I'd imagine the thin, wet gummy parts on the thin middle crust is due to being saturated with moisture.

Offline widespreadpizza

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Re: Preventing the gum layer: Idea
« Reply #6 on: May 11, 2010, 09:27:31 PM »
scott123,  I personally think that all types of pizza are candidates for a gum line.  It all depends on the skill of the people making the pizza, the recipie and the oven.  A couple months ago I was in VA beach at " the best"  place on the beach,  looking forward to a decent pie.  The thing was so raw in the middle I could not even take a bite,  paid for my beer and left.  I know Tom Lehman is not a big fan of the gum line,  and considers it a major flaw.  -marc

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Preventing the gum layer: Idea
« Reply #7 on: May 11, 2010, 09:38:52 PM »
There is a pretty good discussion of gum line at the PMQ Think Tank at http://thinktank.pmq.com/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=7000&p=46894&hilit=#p46545. Note Tom Lehmann's discussion and advice on the matter. On other occasions, he has mentioned that using too little yeast, which can result in underfermentation, can also lead to a gum line, as might a dough that is used while it is too much on the cold side.

Peter

Offline hotsawce

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Re: Preventing the gum layer: Idea
« Reply #8 on: May 11, 2010, 10:04:08 PM »
I've never cooked in a WFO, but from reading Tom's comments, it almost sounds like this will lead to a gumline in many neapolitan pizzas due to the short bake time. Is this true?

So now a question for people using a WFO, here. Do you experience the "wetness" or gumline? If so, would you be willing to try a brushing of oil to the skin before the sauce, or even a possibly "par baked" neapolitan crust in the WFO? I think this would be interesting to see.

Offline widespreadpizza

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Re: Preventing the gum layer: Idea
« Reply #9 on: May 11, 2010, 10:33:26 PM »
HS,  avoiding a gumline in a neapolitan pizza is one of the biggest challenges.  In the same way its presence is also a part of the style.  In Naples the pizza is more accepted in a wetter state which is why it is often eaten with a knife and fork.  In the states,  people are still sceptical of a somewhat soggy pizza.  Overall,  it is best to work on hydratration, tomato consitency along with balance of heat to come up with a product that suits the eater in question.  On another note,  white pizzas made in a wood oven exhibit great crumb,  no soginess,  and can turn dry pretty quickly. Its all about balance in my opinion.  -marc


Offline hotsawce

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Re: Preventing the gum layer: Idea
« Reply #10 on: May 11, 2010, 10:37:03 PM »
Marc,

   Have you ever tried a thin layer of EVOO on the skin for a neapolitan pie...if so, does it help ward off the "wetness?" As much as I see people using WFOs, I've never heard of someone making a neapolitan style pie with an EVOO barrier.

And, I know this is sacrilege, but what about a quick parbake?

Offline Jackitup

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Re: Preventing the gum layer: Idea
« Reply #11 on: May 11, 2010, 10:57:02 PM »
I always use a coating of olive oil on my pies. 1, I think it does help with the water proofing thing and 2, I like the taste. Try a couple small pies done identically, 1 with and 1 without and see the difference. I think there is a small, but noticeable difference myself.
Jon
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Offline hotsawce

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Re: Preventing the gum layer: Idea
« Reply #12 on: May 11, 2010, 11:04:43 PM »
how do you apply it to the dough?

Offline Jackitup

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Re: Preventing the gum layer: Idea
« Reply #13 on: May 11, 2010, 11:18:32 PM »
I drizzle it on and then I use a silicone brush to spread it evenly around the dough. I do it on my par-baked crusts too after they're cooled. I think it keeps them crispier. Par-bake, cool, oil, top and then bake.
Jon
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Offline Matthew

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Re: Preventing the gum layer: Idea
« Reply #14 on: May 12, 2010, 05:42:12 AM »
Marc,

   Have you ever tried a thin layer of EVOO on the skin for a neapolitan pie...if so, does it help ward off the "wetness?" As much as I see people using WFOs, I've never heard of someone making a neapolitan style pie with an EVOO barrier.

And, I know this is sacrilege, but what about a quick parbake?

The only way to reduce/eliminate a gum line in a WFO is to bake at lower temps (700-750 instead of 900) for a longer time, which compromises the finished product if you're trying to achieve a Neapolitan pie.  I have grown accustomed to it as it's a characteristic of this type of pizza & it doesn't bother me one bit.

Matt