M&E crust breakdown from bottom up
ultra thin golden layer
ultra thin gum line/wet line.
Iíd like to point a few things out in the pics but first Iíd like to mention a few things for troubleshooting.
Doughy layer is uncooked (i.e., ungelatinzed) dough. As a result, it has the appear¨ance and texture of raw dough. Basically, doughy layer is raw dough that hasnít yet cooked. So the main cure is more heat or longer bake time. John Correll Ė Encyclopizza
The difference between raw dough vs. doughy layer is that raw dough will have a wet stretchy quality to it whereas the doughy layer is about the same but isnít as severe. Itís caused from underproofing after balling or overweight dough balls. It will have moist dense undercooked dough that will have a somewhat spongy reaction when pressed between the fingers. To get an idea of the texture, think of mashed Wonderbread, kinda dense and doughy but not stretchy. Most people will find a ďtrueĒ doughy layer acceptable to eat.
- In the unique case of M&E pizzas, the doughy layer isnít really a ďdoughy layerĒ, it is fully cooked. It isnít spongy nor does it compress* (see below). It is just a softer layer with higher hydration. Same dough just softer because it isnít sheeted as much= less flour, less development of the dough. In pic 1 you can see that the dough is completely cooked through.
Gummy layerósometimes called gel layeróis cooked (coagu¨lated) dough that is lacking air cells. During baking the cellular structure collapsed and the air dissipated, resulting in a dense, grayish, translucent mass with a gummy (gelatinous) texture....... Gummy layer varies in thickness from very thin to almost the entire crust. Itís caused by excessive diastatic action in the dough. So the cure is to reduce diastatic activity. Unlike with doughy layer, extended baking will not eliminate gummy layer. John Correll Ė Encyclopizza
To expand on Johnís definition there is another is another type of gummy layer.
One is caused by wet sauce coming into contact with unhydrated or underhydrated bench flour on the skins or by using lower hydration formulas because the flour is open to more hydration. In both cases it creates a true gummy layer ďtranslucent layerĒ except that it is typically clear to yellow in color. Whereas the gummy layer from over-fermented or dead dough is dense, rubbery has some level of a grayish hue.
Because of the bench flour, Sheeted doughs, no matter the hydration are especially prone to developing the clear/yellow gelatin layer caused by moisture migration and is exacerbated with the use of wet sauces. Although Iím finding it less of an issue with wet sauces that include oil and/or cornsyrup.
- The M&E pizzas develop a thin barely noteworthy gelatin layer due to moisture migration from a wet sauce. When looking for the gummy layer, do not use pic 2 or 3. There is an illusion in these. This pizza was cut immediately after removing from the oven before the crust had set and caused compression* over these lines. If you look at pic one, and 4 you will have a better representation of how thin and tender the gel line is. Itís texture is kind of a cross between a gum line and a thin doughy layer.