Author Topic: Do toppings migrate towards the middle of the pie during baking?  (Read 1630 times)

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Online Chaze215

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Do toppings migrate towards the middle of the pie during baking?
« on: February 04, 2013, 10:38:45 PM »
My most recent pie was topped with meatballs and I swear I spread them out evenly prior to launching. When the bake was complete, it certainly appears they migrated towards the middle of the pie. Am I going crazy or is this the norm?...lol Is there a scientific reason for this ? Just curious...thanks in advance!

Chaz
Chaz


Offline TXCraig1

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Re: Do toppings migrate towards the middle of the pie during baking?
« Reply #1 on: February 04, 2013, 10:41:11 PM »
My most recent pie was topped with meatballs and I swear I spread them out evenly prior to launching. When the bake was complete, it certainly appears they migrated towards the middle of the pie. Am I going crazy or is this the norm?...lol Is there a scientific reason for this ? Just curious...thanks in advance!

Chaz

Many pies are designed such that the cornice rises more than the rest of the pie. That might push the toppings toward the center.

I've always thought my pepperoni slices seem to wander randomly around the pizza.
I love pigs. They convert vegetables into bacon.

Offline pythonic

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Re: Do toppings migrate towards the middle of the pie during baking?
« Reply #2 on: February 05, 2013, 09:12:41 AM »
Yep.  The only way to solve it to put toppings under cheese.
If you can dodge a wrench you can dodge a ball.

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Do toppings migrate towards the middle of the pie during baking?
« Reply #3 on: February 05, 2013, 09:59:33 AM »
My most recent pie was topped with meatballs and I swear I spread them out evenly prior to launching. When the bake was complete, it certainly appears they migrated towards the middle of the pie. Am I going crazy or is this the norm?...lol Is there a scientific reason for this ? Just curious...thanks in advance!

Chaz,

I agree with what the others have said. Shifting toppings is not limited to a home setting. As noted in the PMQ Think Tank post at http://thinktank.pmq.com/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=7901&hilit=toppings+center+pizza#p54312, the toppings slide problem happens to professionals too. As a possible solution, you might consider the advice that Tom Lehmann gives at the PMQTT at http://thinktank.pmq.com/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=9574&hilit=#p65696.

I also discovered that toppings slide can occur with cracker style crusts that are pre-baked, as I noted at Reply 24 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,5173.msg48266.html#msg48266 in respect of the pizza shown at Reply 22 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,5173.msg48254.html#msg48254. I posed the sliding problem to member November, at Reply 15 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,5173.msg44320.html#msg44320, whereupon he replied at Reply 16.

Peter

Offline TXCraig1

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Re: Do toppings migrate towards the middle of the pie during baking?
« Reply #4 on: February 05, 2013, 10:05:25 AM »
Yep.  The only way to solve it to put toppings under cheese.

Pepperoni under the cheese should be a crime unless there is also pepperoni above the cheese.  :-D
I love pigs. They convert vegetables into bacon.

Offline Tscarborough

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Re: Do toppings migrate towards the middle of the pie during baking?
« Reply #5 on: February 05, 2013, 11:30:50 AM »
As a rule toppings migrate to the center,  put more on the edges and leave the center relatively open as the toppings will move to the center.  Meats are worse than veges, but if you oil the pie on vege only pizzas (which you should do) they will also migrate towards the center.

Online scott123

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Re: Do toppings migrate towards the middle of the pie during baking?
« Reply #6 on: February 05, 2013, 01:15:56 PM »
Chaz, topping migration towards the middle, on NY style pies, is almost always a sign of improper edge stretching resulting in a bowl shaped skin.

Edge stretching is something that very few beginning pizzamakers incorporate.  They generally go straight from the finger press to the knuckle stretch. If you want the ideal NY shape to the skin/no bowling, it's critical you do an edge stretch. Take a look at

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=li7BEwJeocY" target="_blank" class="aeva_link bbc_link new_win">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=li7BEwJeocY</a>
(00:21 to 00:27)
<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>
(1:30 to 1:50)
<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AbkfDqA8yKg" target="_blank" class="aeva_link bbc_link new_win">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AbkfDqA8yKg</a>
(4:04 to 4:50)

There's no more effective way, imo, to ensure that the thickness at the tip is identical to the thickness close to the rim. It feels incredibly awkward when you first try it, and, even after doing it for about two years, it still feels a bit awkward for me, but you eventually develop a rhythm. It's almost like the children's game of rubbing your belly in a circle and patting your head- it's hard to do because your hands are doing such different tasks.

Other factors that prevent bowling are making sure you knuckle stretch only the edges and nowhere near the center, as well as pressing out a slight mound in the middle when you're doing the initial finger tip press.

Even on a properly stretched, non bowled pizza, you will find some migration, although it's not always towards the middle.  You can help counteract this by pressing out a smaller rim as well as by using the right consistency and quantity of sauce.  Wetter sauces and larger sauce quantities promote migration.

Online mkevenson

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Re: Do toppings migrate towards the middle of the pie during baking?
« Reply #7 on: February 05, 2013, 01:56:19 PM »
With meatballs, I suggest slicing the ball on the bottom slightly therby making a flat bottom. Much less chance of rolling (migrating) meatballs. I think that launching the pie adds to the migrating toppings issue. We need to find a way to lower not lauch the pie onto the stone without the launching motion most of us use. Perhaps helecopter type wings on top of the pie. :o

Mark
"Gettin' better all the time" Beatles

Offline The Dough Doctor

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Re: Do toppings migrate towards the middle of the pie during baking?
« Reply #8 on: February 05, 2013, 02:58:26 PM »
Mark;
You are absolutely correct in stating that "launching" the pizza can in effect, rearrange the toppings on a pizza. A good oven man will know how to both launch and shake a pizza skin off of the peel. Shaking is used when you either don't have the needed room to launch (one motion into the oven and a reverse motion pulling the peel out of the oven, hopefully leaving the dressed pizza skin behind in a recognizable shape or form) while shaking the dressed pizza skin off of the peel is just a rapid series of short, back and forth strokes that result in walking the dressed skin off of the peel. We use this method commercially when we are putting that last dressed skin into the oven. and the only space for it is surrounded by other pizzas being baked. I normally begin the peel motion outside of the oven and continue it until the dressed skin has safely left the peel. One thing to note is that successful launching should actually begin with the more gently shaking of the dressed skin on the peel outside of the oven, the only real difference in in the last stroke (launch) or strokes (shaking).
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor

Online Chaze215

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Re: Do toppings migrate towards the middle of the pie during baking?
« Reply #9 on: February 06, 2013, 08:38:55 PM »
Hey thanks for all the feedback and links.

Scott: I have seen those videos several times and I am still unable to stretch the dough like those guys/girls  :-D They have a few thousands (if not more) pies under their belt. However, I will keep trying! :chef:

I would have to agree with Mark as well. I know when I launch a pie, I do shake a few times before it gets onto the steel which will assist in the movement of the toppings. This, along with an uneven stretch as scott indicated, will certainly lead to the toppings migrating towards the middle. Which leads me to another question. Besides launching a pie without several shakes, is there another way to keep the toppings in place? When shaking the peel in preparation to launching, there is always that one topping that rolls off the pie and onto the peel. Or even worse, it rolls off onto the steel (or even worse the floor of the oven) when launching! :-[ >:( :-D Then starts the game of trying to retrieve it without burning myself or the smoke alarm going off...lol
Chaz


Offline Giggliato

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Re: Do toppings migrate towards the middle of the pie during baking?
« Reply #10 on: February 06, 2013, 09:41:34 PM »
I always give the toppings a final push towards the edge before the pie slides into the oven. I think topping shift might have to do with oven spring and the liquidity of your cheese/sauce layer.

Online mkevenson

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Re: Do toppings migrate towards the middle of the pie during baking?
« Reply #11 on: February 07, 2013, 02:43:44 PM »
Hey thanks for all the feedback and links.



I is there another way to keep the toppings in place? 

Tooth pics might work :o ;D

Mark
"Gettin' better all the time" Beatles

Online Chicago Bob

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Re: Do toppings migrate towards the middle of the pie during baking?
« Reply #12 on: February 07, 2013, 08:05:52 PM »
Tooth pics might work :o ;D

Mark
Or do as I...say a quick prayer to the Pizza Gods. Chaz, do you know any cool Italian sounding words dude?  8)
« Last Edit: February 07, 2013, 08:08:54 PM by Chicago Bob »
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Online Chaze215

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Re: Do toppings migrate towards the middle of the pie during baking?
« Reply #13 on: February 07, 2013, 08:43:30 PM »
Or do as I...say a quick prayer to the Pizza Gods. Chaz, do you know any cool Italian sounding words dude?  8)

Bob...the only ones I know are the ones not allowed to be said on here ;D Which are usually the ones that come out of my mouth when toppings migrate onto the floor of my oven  :-D
Chaz

Offline adletson

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Re: Do toppings migrate towards the middle of the pie during baking?
« Reply #14 on: February 08, 2013, 11:23:16 AM »
The vanity of my pizza photos:  take a prebaked pic to show the symmetry and beauty of the arranged toppings and take just a slice pic of the baked pizza to hide my ineptitude in stretching, launching, and general pizza talent.  :D

Offline JConk007

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Re: Do toppings migrate towards the middle of the pie during baking?
« Reply #15 on: February 08, 2013, 11:34:44 AM »
few hundred thousand chad!
I just love the Ghost of Larry the Za man in that video  :D
j
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Online Chaze215

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Re: Do toppings migrate towards the middle of the pie during baking?
« Reply #16 on: February 08, 2013, 05:48:48 PM »
few hundred thousand chad!
I just love the Ghost of Larry the Za man in that video  :D
j

Few hundred thousand is on the low end! Im lucky of I make a pizza or 2 per week.
Chaz

Online Chicago Bob

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Re: Do toppings migrate towards the middle of the pie during baking?
« Reply #17 on: February 08, 2013, 05:55:17 PM »
Few hundred thousand is on the low end! Im lucky of I make a pizza or 2 per week.
Yes, but the ones you do make are quality pies....let's not forget that part.  ;D
"Care Free Highway...let me slip away on you"

Online scott123

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Re: Do toppings migrate towards the middle of the pie during baking?
« Reply #18 on: February 08, 2013, 07:58:52 PM »
I just love the Ghost of Larry the Za man in that video  :D

Somewhere, I've got an audio version where you can hear Larry chatting up Michele, but I said a few things also, didn't like the way I sounded, and scrubbed the audio from the upload ;D

Online Chicago Bob

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Re: Do toppings migrate towards the middle of the pie during baking?
« Reply #19 on: February 08, 2013, 08:20:41 PM »
Somewhere, I've got an audio version where you can hear Larry chatting up Michele, but I said a few things also, didn't like the way I sounded, and scrubbed the audio from the upload ;D
See...the best stuff always gets.....away.  8)
"Care Free Highway...let me slip away on you"