When the cheese is bubbling vigorously, it has probably broken down and thus the oils from the cheese have been released into the sauce. The fix for this theory would be either putting warmer cheese on the pizza or getting more top heat.
Warmer, meaning coming up towards room temp?
Regardless, that certainly makes sense. I know the orange oil thing is certainly favorable for me, except when I've used too much cheese and sauce and get a weird looking gooey blend. It doesn't look appetizing, but sure tastes great. It may very well part of the equation.
Also, what kind of cheese are you using?
I most often use Sorrento, whole milk. I did use Cabot pre-shredded part skim last night and did not quite get there. It seemed dry, like almost over cooked. In fairness, there were other factors that lead to a below average bake. User error to some extent at a minimum.
I know that people sometimes note that the best full fat mozzarellas have a buttery flavor which may contribute to a better sauce flavor once the cheese breaks down.
I've read that here. I'm not sure I've found that in a mozzarella. I add a very small amount of a high powered block form of Provolone to it. It does have that strong buttery smell, but a much stronger sharp taste to it. not a typical deli sliced flavor. I also use whatever parmesan cheese I have right on to the sauce. I've omitted both and been fine.
So, in short, what I just poorly tried to say was (all other things being equal):
Thinner crust -> cheese heats faster -> cheese has chance to break -> releasing flavorful oils into sauce
Better cheese -> more fat -> more fat in sauce -> more flavor in sauce
Not poorly stated at all. Great information share. Kudos, and thanks! I really want to stick with ingredients found in local stores, but should probably give one of the brands with a better reputation in this forum a shot. I understand Grande to be tops in at least good and readily used, so will be sure to include.
Oh, and am I correct in saying that:
There has not been correlation between presence of pepperoni and this certain quality of the sauce?
I'm not certain. My guess has always been that it needs to be there. This one should be easy to confirm one way or the other.
The ratio of dough:sauce:cheese doesn't change based on TF?
It has changed in the past, but I am adding more when going thicker TF these days. I don't think the bubbling rate is as high when TF is higher. It's my understanding that some of the heat source comes through from the bottom, but perhaps it's not enough to matter?