Author Topic: Still Trying to Get Big Air Bubbles in My Rim  (Read 7243 times)

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Offline ddolinoy

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Still Trying to Get Big Air Bubbles in My Rim
« on: December 28, 2010, 04:31:52 PM »
I've been applying the advice of many on this forum to try to get the pizza I like; thin crust with big air bubbles in the rim.  When I serve pizza to my family, they always fight over who gets the bubble.  Unfortunately, there usually is only one bubble and there are four in my family.  From what I've read, high hydration levels (>65%), high temperature (550F), limited time in the mixer (5 minutes), and conductive stone (Soapstone) all play their part.  I think I've got those aspects under control.  Still, my rims are best described as bready, dense, and chewy.  Occasionally there is a bubble which is great, but typically I am eating my kids rim since it's just too much bread for them to eat.  I'm shooting for more air and crunchier rim (not so bready).  I'm using a 1 1/4" soapstone, so the bottom is looking great, but the rim tends to be undercooked.  I found Chickenparm's experiment with identical dough balls interesting http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,12577.msg120607.html#msg120607.  He was able to get bubbles in his rim simply by being careful shaping the pizza.  However, although his rim had bubbles, it was too big for me.  Does anyone have any advice as to how I should shape my dough to get the desired rim?  I'm assuming to get a rim with big air bubbles I should try to shape the dough without squeezing the air out of the rim and leave it significantly thicker than the middle.  I've watched several videos demonstrating how to do it, but in all of them there wasn't much of a rim left.  I try to leave my rims untouched, but eventually end up handling them more than I would like in order to get a 16' pizza.  Any advice is appreciated.
Dave


Online Pete-zza

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Re: Still Trying to Get Big Air Bubbles in My Rim
« Reply #1 on: December 28, 2010, 05:08:18 PM »
Dave,

You might take a look at the following for some ideas:

http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,7362.msg63551/topicseen.html#msg63551

Peter



Online scott123

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Re: Still Trying to Get Big Air Bubbles in My Rim
« Reply #2 on: December 28, 2010, 05:16:18 PM »
Top Heat

Soapstone @525-550 is fantastic for the bottom of the pie, but, in order to maximize spring, you need intense heat from above as well.  Pizza needs heat from all sides for the water to convert to steam quickly and do it's oven spring magic.  Hopefully you've got a broiler in the main oven compartment, rather than separate, like some gas ovens do. Ideally, you want the stone about 5 inches away from the broiler- close enough so the radiant heat bakes the top quickly, but far enough to give you space to comfortably launch the pie.  I find if I pre-heat my stone to 550, I can't get my broiler to kick in, so I preheat it to 525 instead and that gives me some red-hot broiler time at the beginning of the bake. 

All Trumps

AT lends itself to chewy puffy crusts.  Typical NY style pizza is not all that crispy.  You might get some crispiness/dark coloration where large fermentation bubbles end up in the rim, but, overall, AT doughs will be relatively chewy.  I would conquer puffy first, and then move on to crispy (by possibly playing around with flour blends and decreased hydration).

Oil

I see you've tried adding some oil. Try it again.  2-3% oil helps oven spring.

Knead time

5 minutes of mixing isn't 'minimal.'   At least not with All Trumps that's going to be cold fermented.  You want to mix the dough until it forms a ball and then knead it about a minute past that.  Total time- about 3 minutes. The dough going into the proofing container should look like cottage cheese.

Hydration

All Trumps, as mentioned, gravitates towards chewy crusts and excessive water (more than 70) tends to promote chewiness, so >70 AT crusts are chewy city.  I think 65 is just about right.  I have found that any lower than 65 makes the dough really difficult to mix.

Thickness factor

How much dough are you using for a 16" pie?  Thicker dough puts more water in one place, which, in turn, causes the water to take longer to turn into steam and you lose spring.  You can do everything right, but if the thickness factor is any greater than .075" you'll still stunt the volumetric growth.

Final dough volume

All Trumps has more than enough strength to triple prior to forming.  Tripled dough will have plenty of air bubbles and, if formed carefully (pressing the bubbles out towards the rim and not pressing the rim), will give you a really puffy end product.

Lastly, I'm sure you've seen this before, but this is how you form the skin (ignore the part about pressing the side of the rim).

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SjYqw1CLZsA" target="_blank" class="aeva_link bbc_link new_win">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SjYqw1CLZsA</a>
« Last Edit: December 28, 2010, 05:21:51 PM by scott123 »

Offline ddolinoy

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Re: Still Trying to Get Big Air Bubbles in My Rim
« Reply #3 on: December 28, 2010, 06:09:30 PM »
scott123,
I'll try your broiler idea.
I'm confused with kneading time.  Some advise kneading until it has a skin and is smooth in the 10 minute range while others say it should look like cottage cheese with only about 3 minutes of kneading.
Your thickness factor comment got me thinking.  I must confess, I haven't considered it at all.  I've been assuming that to get a big airy rim I should form a thick rim.  I think I've been making my rims too big.
You mentioned pressing the bubbles out toward the rim but not pressing the rim.  The YouTube video was helpful.  I think a lot of my problems are due to how I form the rim.  I'm going to try to imitate the guy in the video and see what happens.  Thanks a lot.
Dave

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Re: Still Trying to Get Big Air Bubbles in My Rim
« Reply #4 on: December 28, 2010, 08:34:49 PM »
I'm confused with kneading time.  Some advise kneading until it has a skin and is smooth in the 10 minute range while others say it should look like cottage cheese with only about 3 minutes of kneading.

There's a few variables that impact kneading requirements.  For your

1. Style (NY)
2. Brand of flour (AT)
3. Fermentation time (Overnight+)
4. Target bake time (4ish minutes)
5. Hydration (65ish)

though, you want to keep the kneading to a bare minimum.  If you really want to confirm, for certain, that the dough is where it needs to be, post two photos- one of the top of the dough pre-refrigeration and another of the bottom of the dough right before you form the skin.

Your thickness factor comment got me thinking.  I must confess, I haven't considered it at all.  I've been assuming that to get a big airy rim I should form a thick rim.

It's a bit counter intuitive, but, with typical NY style baking times, the thicker you go, the less spring you get.

Btw, just to confirm, you're not re-balling the dough prior to forming, right?


Offline chickenparm

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Re: Still Trying to Get Big Air Bubbles in My Rim
« Reply #5 on: December 29, 2010, 12:36:40 AM »
I wanted to chime back in a little more....

When I made that pizza with a HUGE rim,I was not able to stretch the dough to a larger circle,due to not having a large enough peel.If I was able to make the pizza into a 16-18 inch pie,the rim would have been smaller.I was using a 20 ounce dough ball,and that is ideal for a very large pizza.I made one about 14 inches around,and the rim was too fat,but was a TEST to see what I could do with it.

I love to make very large pizzas,I love large slices I can fold and eat.I prefer the 16-18 inch pies.I have no doubt that handling the dough would give me a decent rim rise,but I believe it would be smaller and more ideal,had I been able to cook a pizza stretched out to 16 or more.I bet it would have looked more Normal!
 :-D








-Bill

Offline ddolinoy

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Re: Still Trying to Get Big Air Bubbles in My Rim
« Reply #6 on: December 29, 2010, 10:59:38 AM »
scott123,
So you're saying that I want to keep my kneading time to a minimum based on the type of pizza I'm trying to make and the ingredients I'm using.  What confused me were a few videos I watched yesterday demonstrating how long to knead the dough.  I forgot who recommended them:
<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vSC11vo5Nmo&amp;NR=1" target="_blank" class="aeva_link bbc_link new_win">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vSC11vo5Nmo&amp;NR=1</a>

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kVbIbTDiCJ0&amp;NR=1" target="_blank" class="aeva_link bbc_link new_win">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kVbIbTDiCJ0&amp;NR=1</a>

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xw_IQWlV52M&amp;feature=related" target="_blank" class="aeva_link bbc_link new_win">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xw_IQWlV52M&amp;feature=related</a>

I realize these videos involve a much larger quantity of dough, but I thought the basic principles would apply.  The videos say the goal is to get a smooth skin on the dough that doesn't tear when you give it a pull test with a knead time of over 10 minutes.  If I'm shooting for a minimum knead time (3 minutes) with a cottage cheese skin, I'm doing something completely different.  Is that because we're talking about two completely different types of dough?  What should I expect to get if I follow the videos 10 minute knead time?
I'll send the photos you requested ASAP, although I only make one pizza a week, so it will be a few days.  This is my plan for my next pizza.
I'll knead in my KA for about 3 minutes and place in a clear container without any hand kneading and take a picture.  Ferment in refrigerator for four days and then take a picture of the bottom of the clear container.  BTW, when you refer to "forming the skin" do you mean shaping the dough prior to baking?  Also, you asked me about re-balling the dough prior to forming.  Do you mean taking the dough out of the container after a couple of days, squeezing the CO2 out of the dough and placing it back into the container for a few more days?  If so, typically I don't.  However, I tried it this time.  Why do you ask?  I have to thank everyone for all of your help.  This is fascinating.  Dave

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Re: Still Trying to Get Big Air Bubbles in My Rim
« Reply #7 on: December 29, 2010, 01:06:50 PM »
Dave, those videos are for a commercial produced pizza that, imo, bears no relation to authentic NY style pies.  The sheeter, the baking disk, the docking- that's all Dominoes/Papa John's sort of stuff.  If re-creating Dominoes or Papa John's is your goal, then, sure, those videos might be helpful.  Otherwise, if you want to make NY style pizza, then I'd take those videos with a big grain of salt.

The biggest factor in deciding knead times is the flour, especially your particular flour.  Bromated All Trumps builds a lot of gluten very quickly.  The second biggest factor is overnight fermentation.  Time builds gluten.  Most kneading times you come across are developed for same day doughs.  This is why they're longer.  For a cold fermented dough, you want to dial the kneading back- and for a gluten workhorse flour like AT, you want to dial the kneading back even further.

Unless you've messed up on the yeast quantity/proofing time/temp and end up with way too much CO2 generation, don't squeeze (aka punch down) the dough mid ferment. Just make the dough, form the balls, pop them in the fridge until they double, take them out to warm up and then form the skins (shape the dough).

Offline ddolinoy

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Re: Still Trying to Get Big Air Bubbles in My Rim
« Reply #8 on: December 29, 2010, 01:21:47 PM »
scott123,
That answered a lot of questions for me.  Thanks.  I definitely don't want a Dominoes pizza!   :-X
I promise to post pictures.
Dave

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Re: Still Trying to Get Big Air Bubbles in My Rim
« Reply #9 on: December 29, 2010, 09:10:20 PM »
Dave,

The three videos you referenced are with respect to a commercial batch of dough. However, there is nothing to stop one from opening dough balls by hand and baking the pizzas on a stone baking surface. Also, the methods shown in the videos for preparing the dough up to the point of using are used by commercial pizza operators, including those specializing in the NY style. As it turns out, Papa John's does not use any sheeters to open up their dough balls (they are opened up by hand), although it does use fairly extensive docking, and the pizzas are baked on screens. I have been hearing stories that Domino's is using dough presses in at least some of its stores. Costco and California Pizza Kitchen also use dough presses in their stores.

The above said, for a home application where you don't have to turn out hundreds of dough balls, I would go more with the approach outlined by scott123.

Have you posted your dough formulation somewhere? That might help provoke more observations and comments.

Peter


Offline ddolinoy

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Re: Still Trying to Get Big Air Bubbles in My Rim
« Reply #10 on: December 30, 2010, 11:39:39 AM »
Pete-zza,
I have posted my formulation and you provided me with some very helpful advice.
http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,12476.0.html
11 oz. All Trumps flour
7.2 oz. water (65%)
1/2 tsp Fleischmann's Active dry yeast
1 tsp salt
1. I bought an infrared thermometer so I heat my water to 105F in a glass.
2. Pour 10% into a bowl and add the yeast.
3. I add the salt to the rest of the water and add to the flour.
4. After 10 minutes I add the yeast water to the flour and mix for 5 minutes at speed #2 with my KitchenAid.
5. At this point the dough is about 77F.
6. I then ball up the dough and place in an oiled container and put into the refrigerator.
7. After 3-4 days I remove the dough an hour before shaping it.
8. I preheat my 1.25" soapstone for 1 hour at 550F, 5 inches from the broiler, but haven't used the broiler yet (I'm going to try it tonight).
9. I have some new shaping techniques I plan on trying tonight as well based on scott123's tip.
<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SjYqw1CLZsA" target="_blank" class="aeva_link bbc_link new_win">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SjYqw1CLZsA</a>

I'm always open to more advice.  Thanks.
Dave

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Re: Still Trying to Get Big Air Bubbles in My Rim
« Reply #11 on: December 30, 2010, 12:58:07 PM »
8. I preheat my 1.25" soapstone for 1 hour at 550F, 5 inches from the broiler, but haven't used the broiler yet (I'm going to try it tonight).

Try pre-heating the stone to 525, and then, 15 seconds before you put the pizza in, turn the broiler on and the temp to max.  15 seconds should give you long enough so the broiler is bright red as the pizza is launched.  Watch the broiler while the pizza cooks- ideally it will stay red for at least a minute. I turn it off after 2 minutes (of a 4 minute bake).

You could open the door to keep the broiler on, but I find this bakes the pizza unevenly, so I try to keep the door closed. You could also preheat the stone to 550 and then turn the oven off for about 5 minutes, but I find this a little less reliable than the 525 route.

Offline ddolinoy

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Re: Still Trying to Get Big Air Bubbles in My Rim
« Reply #12 on: December 30, 2010, 03:02:23 PM »
scott123,
Thanks for the oven temperature tip.
I assume setting the oven to 550F for 1 hour could prevent the broiler from coming on immediately?
My broiler doesn't have a temperature setting, so I'm not quite sure how it works.
Maybe that means it stays on all the time.
In that case I could set the oven to 550F.
I guess I'll find out tonight.
Dave

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Re: Still Trying to Get Big Air Bubbles in My Rim
« Reply #13 on: December 30, 2010, 03:28:06 PM »
Dave, there may be exceptions to this, but every electric oven I've ever seen uses a thermostat controlled broiler.  In other words, when the thermostat reaches the temp on the dial, it cuts the circuit- both the broiler circuit, if that's what the dial is set to, or the bake circuit.

If you pre-heat the oven to it's peak temp and then try to use the broiler, it won't work- until some time passes and the temp drops enough for the thermostat to re-connect the circuit.

Offline ddolinoy

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Re: Still Trying to Get Big Air Bubbles in My Rim
« Reply #14 on: December 30, 2010, 03:40:48 PM »
scott123,
The curious thing with my gas broiler is that there is no temperature setting associated with it.  I have a dial that goes up to 550F for the oven burner.  If I turn the dial further it clicks on the clean setting, and if I turn it yet further it clicks on the broiler setting.  There may be a temperature where the broiler will turn off, but it isn't apparent when I read the oven manual.  I've never been in this situation before since I usually use the broiler with a cold oven.  I plan on setting it to 550F, wait an hour, turn on the broiler, wait until it's been burning for a few seconds, launch the pizza and keep a close eye on it.  If the broiler doesn't come on immediately, it will eventually when the temperature drops enough.  I don't want to repeat another topic I started! http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,12577.0.html
Dave

Offline ddolinoy

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Re: Still Trying to Get Big Air Bubbles in My Rim
« Reply #15 on: December 30, 2010, 08:00:00 PM »
Here are the results.  The rim was much better.  I was trying to avoid a dense and chewy rim.  This time I would describe it as soft bread.  I preheated the oven to 550F (stone was 525F and 4" from the broiler) and turned on the broiler before cooking.  The broiler never turned off and I had it on for the entire 5-6 minutes.  There weren't many bubbles in the rim, but now I don't know if I want them.  I would like the crust to be crunchier, but I took it out of the oven because the bottom was getting dark in some spots.  As you can see, the bottom had an uneven surface.  This dough was kneaded for 5 minutes in the KA and punched down after two days which you didn't recommend.  Still the results were good.  I'm still struggling with my pizza forming skills.  May that be due to the high water content and limited kneading time?  I'm looking forward to following your tips for kneading next week.  I welcome your comments.
Dave

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Re: Still Trying to Get Big Air Bubbles in My Rim
« Reply #16 on: December 30, 2010, 10:36:03 PM »
Dave, that's not bad at all.  While I'm pleased that the broiler never turned off, I'm a little disappointed that it gave you so little color with a 5-6 minute bake.  And, although the bottom looks great, if the soapstone is pre-heated sufficiently, you should get that kind of color in about 4 minutes.  Could you post a photo of your soapstone slab?  I've talked a little in the past about how soapstone can be the wrong type/less conductive variety. That's probably not the case here, but I'd like to see a photo to know for certain.  The other possibility here is that you might be working with a relatively low BTU oven and even though the surface of the stone might read 525, it's possible the core might be lower. If that's the case, then I think a longer preheat is in order.  If you're pre-heating 60 minutes (@550), then you might want to think about extending that to 90. Let's cross our fingers that the broiler will still stay on. Until you can brown the bottom (and the top) in 4 minutes, you'll never witness an ideal amount of oven spring.

Out of all the next steps we've discussed, I think the most important is your thickness factor.  As you dial back the quantity of dough and stretch it the same or larger, you'll get a little more spring and lose some of the breadiness. As you knead it less and stretch it thinner, it's going to be harder to form. You can watch videos and talk here all day long, but the only way to conquer dough forming is to just keep doing it. I don't do this much any more because it makes the undercrust a tiny bit tough, but, as you press out the rim with your fingers, make a small mound in the center and give that small mound a couple of good slaps. Try to make a loud slapping noise without pressing the dough down too much.  Where ever you slap (the center) the gluten will tighten up and get stronger so that when you go to hand stretch the dough, the center won't thin out quite so easily.  Just make sure you don't slap anywhere near the rim- you want that area to be nice and slack.

One important aspect of slightly smaller (but puffier) rims is sauce and cheese placement.  If you put the sauce and cheese too close the rim, they might boil over.  I recommend spreading the sauce to 1" from the outer edge and the cheese to 2" from edge (1" in from the sauce).

How did launching the pie with 4" of vertical space feel?  That's another one of those practice makes perfect scenarios. 

You're adding some oil next time, right?  2%? That's going to help quite a bit.

I know you're making pizza once a week, but do you have some flexibility as to which day you make it?  For a beginning pizza maker, predicting yeast activity can be incredibly difficult.  I find it better to just do your best to hit a target time, but to be flexible and if the dough doubles sooner (or later), just go with the flow and use it then rather than trying to force it to fit your schedule.  Start taking notes that include the water temp, starting dough temp, hydration, yeast quantity, and number of days it takes to double. Eventually, you'll be able to tweak the water temp, the yeast quantity and the proofing temp to your hearts content and hit the target time with ease.

Offline chickenparm

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Re: Still Trying to Get Big Air Bubbles in My Rim
« Reply #17 on: December 30, 2010, 10:59:28 PM »
I made 2 pizzas,one a 16 inch and another a 15 inch,and here are some pictures.I did not take any pics of the pizza slices cut open,the camera was going dead at the time.

But the point of this was,the larger I made the pies,the smaller the rim size.You may be able to notice this in the pics or may not.The old 14 inch pie was too BIG at the rim..as I stretched the pizza out,the rim did not grow as big.

Here is the link to a few pics...Last night I made another large 16 inch pie and my camera was dead,I could not find the wire around the house.So,I took no pics but the rim rise and spring was perfect.Always seems to be the case when the camera cant be used.

http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pid=32237467&l=533f7ce13f&id=1220593903

-Bill

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Re: Still Trying to Get Big Air Bubbles in My Rim
« Reply #18 on: December 30, 2010, 11:48:31 PM »
Dave,
I'm still a bit of a newbie myself and still learning as I go.What I have learned to acquire a larger rim and spring,using 500 F heat,is to allow the dough ball to get sort of BIG with gas pockets,while warming up before use and rising at room temps.Do not over ferment or inflate the dough!

Using colder dough,just does not seem to let me shape nor stretch as well as a much warmer dough does.

It is true,a very hot oven can make the rim explode and rise,as we have seen on here,sort of like Neo-style pies,but when cooking under 550 degrees,I was not able to get those rim rises nor spring with much ease.

Take a dough ball and let it warm up in the room and if it does not rise that much,put it near a heat source and see if that helps.I put the dough in the bowl next to the oven as it warms up.That helps alot.

You may need to oil the dough a little to prevent it from forming leather skins or scales.The larger in size and warmer the dough ball rises,the larger rim I am able to make.

When the dough balls grows BIG before use,I use a floured surface,and with floured hands,I put the dough down and shape it carefully,pressing the center of the dough down and pushing the air pockets or bubbles toward the rim.If you have alot of air pockets or bubbles,some will pop.The key is to ensure the rim gets most of them and is not punched or flattened down at all.

Then after that,I lift the dough up and with 2 fists,I shape the dough larger and larger,while keeping the rim at ease.A very warm dough is sometimes too elastic,so make sure it does not fall across your arms and tear someplace.Put it back down if it stretches real fast,then do it again until its the size you want.

I know this is not a normal way of doing pie shaping but it is what has worked for me.This takes a bit of practice and trial pies.

Look at Jeff Varasano's pictures on his website...here is a perfect example of shaping the dough and the rim,and he was using extreme heat as well.My method is similar,but using less heat and longer cook times.
Look how the dough rim was shaped.

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3144/2629734379_4fcb086244_o.jpg





-Bill

Offline ddolinoy

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Re: Still Trying to Get Big Air Bubbles in My Rim
« Reply #19 on: December 31, 2010, 11:05:20 AM »
scott123,
I also was dissappointed that the rim of my pizza was so pale.  I bought my soapstone at M. Teixeira in Hackensack, NJ.  When it was delivered I notice that the corners were chipped.  I complained and they sent me another one for free!  The one on the left is unused and the one on the right had a few pizzas burned on it.  As far as oven temperature goes, I think the stone was hot enough.  I took the pizza out because spots on the bottom were getting dark brown.  Why do I get uneven browning on the bottom?  I was hoping for a uniform golden brown, but instead I get dark spots and undercooked spots.  If I left it in the oven longer, the dark spots would become burned spots.
I'll try slapping the dough as you suggested, but I still feel that my dough is behaving differently than in all the videos I've seen.  I'll have to attach pictures of my next dough ball.
I had no trouble launching the pie.  I use short jerky movements and it comes right off.
I'll definitely add some oil next time.
I think my dough more than doubles in 4 days.  Does that mean it's over fermented?  If so, I plan on reducing my yeast 50% to 1/4 tsp.
chickenparm,
The dough in the picture you attached has a nice smooth skin.  Mine doesn't.  I'll have to send pictures.  I think I'm over fermenting.
I make the dough on Sunday and cook on Thursday, so I'll be sending pictures then.
Thanks for your help everyone!
Dave


 

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