Author Topic: Which side are you on? (dough forming question)  (Read 728 times)

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Offline sconosciuto

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Which side are you on? (dough forming question)
« on: July 01, 2015, 09:29:57 PM »
Hi All,

It's been a while since I've frequented the community and I'm glad to see things are still going strong on this forum.  I recently got the itch to make a few pizzas and it's stirred up some thoughts.  I'd like to hear some opinions on this.

My question for all of you is which faces up after forming your dough? 

To clarify, lets assume you have a dough ball that's ready to be formed.  The top side that was exposed to air will be dryer and has a "skin", the bottom side is more moist and does not have a "skin". 

Which side faces up when you are ready to dress the pizza, or does it make no difference to you?



Offline TXCraig1

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Re: Which side are you on? (dough forming question)
« Reply #1 on: July 01, 2015, 09:51:00 PM »
The top is the top.
"We make great pizza, with sourdough when we can, commercial yeast when we must, but always great pizza."
Craig's Neapolitan Garage

Offline dylandylan

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Re: Which side are you on? (dough forming question)
« Reply #2 on: July 01, 2015, 10:10:20 PM »
The top is the top.

+1

I'm with Craig.

I do recall this one time where I tried a top-on-bottom bake and managed a pretty sexy underside, but not a technique I've bothered going back to.

Offline vtsteve

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Re: Which side are you on? (dough forming question)
« Reply #3 on: July 02, 2015, 01:21:21 AM »
I go top-down for my NY-style (but the smooth side curls over to be the top of the rim). I saw the Diana Coutu video early on, and it just launches better for me with the larger pies.

In grams we trust. :)

Offline David Esq.

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Re: Which side are you on? (dough forming question)
« Reply #4 on: July 02, 2015, 05:19:46 AM »
Nice video. Did she ever explain why the top should be the bottom?  Best tip for me was to close up those fermentation holes on the bottom before flouring and stretching.
I can see baking upside down would reduce stickiness of the dough for smoother launches. Definitely going to try this as needed.

Offline Bill/SFNM

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Offline sconosciuto

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Re: Which side are you on? (dough forming question)
« Reply #6 on: July 02, 2015, 12:00:32 PM »
Thanks for the info on the previous threads, Bill.  I figured the subject had been discussed in the past but I wasn't finding anything when I searched.

I knew I had seen in videos in the past a preference over one or the other but I couldn't remember which video instruction was advocating which side.

It seems like such a small detail but I've always been curious if there was a "right" way.  I think for my pizza making it's always been somewhat random. 

Now that I'm seeing the info and responses I'm actually surprised about the answer and the reasoning.  I would have thought it would be top as the top.  My thought was that the bottom is more porous and the top being less would create a better barrier from the sauce seeping into the dough and causing gum line problems.  I guess that doesn't have any impact?

Maybe next time I do a few pizzas I'll try both ways to see if there's any noticeable difference.  I could see the crust being more crunch and rustic by using the top side down.


Offline sconosciuto

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Re: Which side are you on? (dough forming question)
« Reply #7 on: July 02, 2015, 12:03:34 PM »
I'm still interested to hear everyone's opinions on this.  Which side do you use and why?

Offline gfgman

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Re: Which side are you on? (dough forming question)
« Reply #8 on: July 02, 2015, 12:05:51 PM »
I suppose I'm confused.  My dough balls are rubbed with oil and placed into tins.  I don't see a difference between one side or the other.  Both sides are rubbed with flour before stretching.  I pay no attention to which side is which.  I would say that when I press the dough out and form a rim, from that point on, the side that is up stays up, but I couldn't tell you right off hand if that is the side that was up in the tin. 
I flour it while it's in the tin, then pull it, flip it over and flour the other side.  If I don't flip it back over, then the side that was down in the tin will become the upside.  Like I said, I'm not paying attention to which side is which.  I'm just trying to prep and launch as quickly as possible so I can get it in the oven in a reasonably round shape, without throwing anything off the dough, and without going overboard on the flour. 


Offline David Esq.

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Re: Which side are you on? (dough forming question)
« Reply #9 on: July 02, 2015, 02:24:09 PM »
Not everybody used oil.

Online Jackitup

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Re: Which side are you on? (dough forming question)
« Reply #10 on: July 02, 2015, 08:47:08 PM »
I go both ways...... ??? :-D
“The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.”            -Mark Twain

Offline TXCraig1

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Re: Which side are you on? (dough forming question)
« Reply #11 on: July 03, 2015, 08:52:50 AM »
I suppose I'm confused.  My dough balls are rubbed with oil and placed into tins.  I don't see a difference between one side or the other.  Both sides are rubbed with flour before stretching.  I pay no attention to which side is which.  I would say that when I press the dough out and form a rim, from that point on, the side that is up stays up, but I couldn't tell you right off hand if that is the side that was up in the tin. 
I flour it while it's in the tin, then pull it, flip it over and flour the other side.  If I don't flip it back over, then the side that was down in the tin will become the upside.  Like I said, I'm not paying attention to which side is which.  I'm just trying to prep and launch as quickly as possible so I can get it in the oven in a reasonably round shape, without throwing anything off the dough, and without going overboard on the flour.

With many styles, it probably doesn't matter. With Neapolitan, however, it's one of the dozens of little details that by itself probably doesn't matter much but when combined with attention to detail on others as well, can elevate good to great. Great pizza happens at the margin.
"We make great pizza, with sourdough when we can, commercial yeast when we must, but always great pizza."
Craig's Neapolitan Garage

Offline sconosciuto

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Re: Which side are you on? (dough forming question)
« Reply #12 on: July 03, 2015, 01:31:27 PM »
Craig,

Is there a particular reason you like the top facing up for Neapolitan?

Offline TXCraig1

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Re: Which side are you on? (dough forming question)
« Reply #13 on: July 03, 2015, 02:24:32 PM »
Craig,

Is there a particular reason you like the top facing up for Neapolitan?

I looks better.
"We make great pizza, with sourdough when we can, commercial yeast when we must, but always great pizza."
Craig's Neapolitan Garage

Offline swatson

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Re: Which side are you on? (dough forming question)
« Reply #14 on: July 03, 2015, 05:08:46 PM »
My pizzas are not at the stage where small details matter however top stays top throughout.

Offline TXCraig1

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Re: Which side are you on? (dough forming question)
« Reply #15 on: July 03, 2015, 05:51:01 PM »
My pizzas are not at the stage where small details matter however top stays top throughout.

Thinking like that is not how you move from good to great. Detail always matters. Focus on the details if you want to improve, and better pizza will follow.
"We make great pizza, with sourdough when we can, commercial yeast when we must, but always great pizza."
Craig's Neapolitan Garage

Offline Bill/SFNM

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Re: Which side are you on? (dough forming question)
« Reply #16 on: July 03, 2015, 07:31:59 PM »
This is my understanding of the difference between the two surfaces:

1. During proofing, the top surface is exposed: gases and moisture can escape.
2. Conversely, the bottom surface is sealed against the container, so gases and moisture are retained.
3. When you dump the proofed ball onto the prep surface, the surface that was on the bottom is now on the top and the surface that was on the top is now on the bottom.
4. As you shape the dough with the slap method, you are flipping the two surfaces so that the surface that was originally on the top is now on the bottom and the one that was .... wait ... I mean the one that was on the bottom is now on the .... oh, never mind.
   


Offline carl333

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Re: Which side are you on? (dough forming question)
« Reply #17 on: July 03, 2015, 08:01:34 PM »
I'm laughing ;D as I read the posts. I never thought of it to be quite honest, but some have provided constructive criticism. Only way to find out is try it out both ways on my next run. For me, my container is turned upside down so the skin surface hits the flour surface 1st. Then I liberally dust the top of the dough with flour. From there, I poke to create a rim 1st then continue poking to increase the diameter. I flip it over and work on the rim once more and then open it up with my 2 fists to get to the diameter I want. I've never paid attention to what side hits the peel but you can betcha I will next time both sides to compare. I can't see any difference IMHO.

Sometimes I'm taken aback to the queries that come up on this forum. This is one of them!!
Carl

Offline TXCraig1

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Re: Which side are you on? (dough forming question)
« Reply #18 on: July 03, 2015, 09:21:54 PM »
I've never paid attention... I can't see any difference IMHO

No additional comment necessary.
"We make great pizza, with sourdough when we can, commercial yeast when we must, but always great pizza."
Craig's Neapolitan Garage

Offline theppgcowboy

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Re: Which side are you on? (dough forming question)
« Reply #19 on: July 05, 2015, 05:21:24 PM »
My dough balls usually have a nice moist top to them and then I dredge them in flour and the top is the top.  There are times that a dryness will start to set in and a skin will form, at that time the top becomes the bottom. The crispiness of the bottom hides the skin that forms.

Offline swatson

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Re: Which side are you on? (dough forming question)
« Reply #20 on: July 07, 2015, 03:50:35 PM »
Thinking like that is not how you move from good to great. Detail always matters. Focus on the details if you want to improve, and better pizza will follow.

Craig this is absaloutley true  however I always seem to vary things a little without recording it, so I'm never sure what details have mattered. Think it's about time I do record what I do.