Pizza Making Forum

Pizza Making => General Pizza Making => Topic started by: Pete-zza on December 16, 2006, 07:07:02 PM

Title: Re: Blistering in a Pizza Crust (Split Topic)
Post by: Pete-zza on December 16, 2006, 07:07:02 PM
Note: Split from Randy's Harvest King Flour thread at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,4284.msg35772.html#msg35772

To member giotto,

The photo you posted of your pizza at the abovereferenced thread is a fine looking pie. I have reposted the photo below.

Looking at the photo, it looks like your pizza rim has a lot of blistering. Or maybe it is sesame seeds or something like that. Members often ask how to get a lot of blistering intentionally and I have not been able to tell them how to do it. I know that you don't let your dough warm up beyond about 1/2 hour before using, and also that you prefer to pre-bake your dough skin before finishing. Do you think that either, or possibly both, of those events is responsible for what appears to be blistering? Or maybe it's something else.

Peter

Title: Re: Blistering in a Pizza Crust (Split Topic)
Post by: giotto on December 16, 2006, 07:41:14 PM
Hey Pete-zza:

Thanks. It has a lot to do with water. Artisan breads often have blistering. It's a deady giveaway that the baker ferments his dough in the refrigerator. I once had a baker tell me he didn't ferment his breads in the refrigerator. But blistering was evident. I knew he used a preferment, and he then agreed that his preferment was refrigerated.

Artisan breads also use steam when they are made. My oven smokes with steam because like you said, my dough is a bit colder than most from the refrigerator. Sometimes, I even spray water in my oven when I put the pizza in the oven. I do this with bread as well. For the pizza above, I didn't spray though.

With my Pizza Hut version below (this one was a predecessor to the one under the Pizza Hut track), the water gets trapped at the bottom and blisters form big ol' holes like their pizza (Pizza Huts that I spoke to refrigerate overnight). When I make bread, I use parchment paper and soak the bottom-- same result.

Hope this helps.

 :)

Title: Re: Blistering in a Pizza Crust (Split Topic)
Post by: Pete-zza on December 16, 2006, 07:53:43 PM
giotto,

Thanks.

Recently, after failing to intentionally create a blistered crust (cold, underfermented, high hydration doughs, high oven temperature, etc.), I did some online research on artisan bread doughs because it seemed to me that I often saw artisan breads that had highly blistered crusts. In some cases, the blistering was considered a defect to be eliminated. Steam was listed as one of the possible causes, along with overfermentation. I have found that I am more likely to get blistering when the dough is in a late stage of fermentation, shortly before heading south. I may try steaming the oven, as I do when I make bread.

Peter
Title: Re: Blistering in a Pizza Crust (Split Topic)
Post by: November on December 17, 2006, 12:29:43 AM
I only get blistering when I let the dough go too long.  I don't think hydration makes much of a difference.  I've been up and down the entire spectrum of hydration and it's never influenced crust appearance in that way.  I believe it is a byproduct of dead yeast colonies where in the final stages of fermentation before death, the yeast pump out incredible amounts of waste.

- red.november
Title: Re: Blistering in a Pizza Crust (Split Topic)
Post by: dinks on December 17, 2006, 03:30:11 PM
PETER:
  Good sunday afternoon to you. By now you should be back from Sunday services in time to read my info on pizza crust blistering.

   COMES NOW:

Simply put, blistering is caused by gas escaping from the crust while the dough mass is in the refridgerator being in retard mode.

  You see my friend, gas is lost more quickly in cool dough because cooling increases the solubility of carbon dioxide in water.  Upon baking the pie, the water that has accumulated in the small cells that are remaining form the blisters.
  Some customers think having those are sexy.  I do not pay any attention to those things. My moment with you has come to an end my learned friend. I hope this helps. I look forward to reading your postings from time to time. Good day sir.

  ~SMARTY PANTZ.
Title: Re: Blistering in a Pizza Crust (Split Topic)
Post by: November on December 17, 2006, 03:48:38 PM
dinks,

I'm not sure how you arrived at that conclusion.  The solubility of CO2 in water does indeed increase inversely with temperature, but with that being the case, less gas will escape during cold fermentation, not more.  Those blisters are in fact filled with water, alcohol, and liquid waste products from the yeast; so beginning with your explanation of what happens in the oven, you are correct, but cold fermentation doesn't have anything to do with it.  I've acquired those blisters on a very predictable basis, and I rarely cold ferment my dough.

- red.november
Title: Re: Blistering in a Pizza Crust (Split Topic)
Post by: DNA Dan on December 18, 2006, 12:40:21 PM
I've acquired those blisters on a very predictable basis, and I rarely cold ferment my dough.

What part of your process do you think is most responsible for the blistering? Or is it not that simple?

I have been doing a 2 hour proof, overnight ferment in the cooler, then 1 hour proof in bags and I NEVER see blistering like that. I have also tried cooking it right out of the cooler, still no blistering.  :'(

The pizza in the photo, is that pickles on the top? Green tomatoes?

And finally, RANDY!! That recipe rocks! Thank you so much for sharing. I figured it must be something special because not a lot of members can say they have a recipe named after them on these boards.
Title: Re: Blistering in a Pizza Crust (Split Topic)
Post by: November on December 18, 2006, 01:40:38 PM
What part of your process do you think is most responsible for the blistering?

I think there may be at least two roads one can take to reach the same destination on this, but for me, the road is exactly as I mentioned: over-fermentation.  My doughs rise at exactly 68 F on the bench (declining from 86 F from the start), covered with oil, and then covered with a container (upside-down).  With the amount of yeast I currently use, I get population overruns if I leave the dough out for more than 6 hours and the colonies near the surface where the oil has ben absorbed into the skin die out sooner as a result of habitation strain.  As an FYI, habitation/environmental strain can also happen because the surface of the dough is too cold; so this may be the source of the cold fermentation theory, but if kept properly, cold fermentation should not be a cause for blistering.

- red.november
Title: Re: Blistering in a Pizza Crust (Split Topic)
Post by: giotto on December 18, 2006, 02:19:33 PM
Personally, since bubbles have not impacted taste, it's not really important to me. But for the sake of accuracy on my picture above, the dough was definitely not anywhere near at the end of its fermentation. I produce bubbles with short fermentation times, zero growth in the refrigerator and plenty of spring in the oven with a flour that is made for, and has shown a propensity to sustain, many more days of fermentation (as discussed in the link, http://home.comcast.net/~keck-foundation1/pizza-crust-color.html, that's embedded with the writeup for the picture). I've found the same to be true with bakeries that produce great color, spring, bubbles, etc., with their bagels and breads, using short fermentation times, no use of a preferment, and with flours that also can sustain longer fermentation times.

I have to admit, I try lots of variations in toppings; but not quite pickles (although I used cucumber before). My "sauce" was: fresh tomatoes cut up, zucchini (the green stuff), red onion, green olives and a little basalmic vinegar with salt & herbs.

EDIT by Pete-zza (1/22/15): I believe that the following Wayback Machine link is the same or equivalent to the inoperative link above: http://web.archive.org/web/20120209002605/http://home.comcast.net/~keck-foundation1/pizza-crust-color.html (http://web.archive.org/web/20120209002605/http://home.comcast.net/~keck-foundation1/pizza-crust-color.html)
Title: Re: Blistering in a Pizza Crust (Split Topic)
Post by: November on December 18, 2006, 02:49:58 PM
zero growth in the refrigerator

If you are getting zero growth in the refrigerator, the temperature is low enough to completely inactivate the yeast near the surface of your dough.  This is one of the several reasons I rarely cold ferment my dough: my refrigerator is too cold.  I typically get zero growth and the yeast near the surface dies.  Of course the main mass of the dough always springs back after bringing it up to room temperature again, but the damage to the surface is already done.

- red.november
Title: Re: Blistering in a Pizza Crust (Split Topic)
Post by: November on December 18, 2006, 02:53:52 PM
giotto,

Turn your dough ball inside-out when you form the crust to see if you still get the blisters.
Title: Re: Blistering in a Pizza Crust (Split Topic)
Post by: giotto on December 18, 2006, 02:54:35 PM
I get zero growth initially because I use so little yeast or because I use cold water. Over time, the dough can grow. Yeast does NOT die at low temps-- it becomes inactive as you suggest. My dough will not spring if I use too little yeast, or when I kill the yeast... I've done this before. My refrigerator is not that cold. My dough is not at freezing temps where crystals or other problems will occur.
Title: Re: Blistering in a Pizza Crust (Split Topic)
Post by: Randy on December 18, 2006, 02:59:16 PM
I am not sure what you are talking about when you write of blisters
Title: Re: Blistering in a Pizza Crust (Split Topic)
Post by: giotto on December 18, 2006, 03:07:07 PM
Randy:

It's the stuff you often see on bagels and breads at various bakeries; The outer crust looks like it is blistering. We seem to get them under different circumstances. It may be because moisture or dead yeast sitting on the surface, which apparently can occur under different circumstances. My focus in the past has been more on color for presentation and taste.
Title: Re: Blistering in a Pizza Crust (Split Topic)
Post by: November on December 18, 2006, 03:13:36 PM
I get zero growth initially because I use so little yeast or because I use cold water. Over time, the dough can grow.

Then that wouldn't be zero growth, would it?  All yeast starts at zero fermentation initially.

Yeast does NOT die at low temps-- it becomes inactive as you suggest.

Inactive generally means not able to continue fermentation, as in dead.  You're thinking of the term dormant.  It is quite possible for yeast to die at refrigerator temperatures given extenuating circumstances.  The simple shock of the temperature dropping can kill as much 1-3% of the yeast, regardless of how low the temperature gets.

I would say the blistering is a result of capillary action, but I haven't observed any pattern related to that theory.

Randy,

Where the white spots appear on the crust's rim.  What's known for sure is that these are vacuoles of liquid that prevent browning at the same rate as the rest of the rim, and at the same time swell due to liquid expansion from heat.

- red.november
Title: Re: Blistering in a Pizza Crust (Split Topic)
Post by: giotto on December 18, 2006, 03:14:47 PM
I said zero growth because when I removed the dough, it was zero growth. This was not to suggest that it would never grow because I have witnessed otherwise with much longer fermentation times. And as I suggested, I am not at extenuating circumstances with low temp or shocking situations. And as I mentioned, I have yet to see spring with little use of yeast that dies.
Title: Re: Blistering in a Pizza Crust (Split Topic)
Post by: November on December 18, 2006, 03:18:00 PM
I said zero growth because when I removed the dough, it was zero growth. I didn't say that it would never grow.

Did it, or did it not grow while in the refrigerator?
Title: Re: Blistering in a Pizza Crust (Split Topic)
Post by: giotto on December 18, 2006, 03:23:51 PM
Please note the words... "it can grow" as used in the one quote you referred to vs. "when I removed the dough it was zero growth." So it did not grow on this last short fermentation, at least not noticeably where my eyes noted it. I merely delayed the fermentation period. Hence, if I had let the dough go longer, I would suspect that it would have grown over longer periods of time since yeast can still multiply at cooler temps... Just not to the degree at warmer temps.
Title: Re: Blistering in a Pizza Crust (Split Topic)
Post by: November on December 18, 2006, 03:41:06 PM
giotto,

I noted both.  That's the reason I asked for clarification.  All I wanted to know is if the dough expanded (grew) while in the refrigerator.  For the purposes of my explanation, I wasn't concerned with growth anywhere else, and here's why:  If there is zero fermentation while in the refrigerator, then there isn't an internal source of heat to keep the yeast at the surface from experiencing inordinate amount of thermal shock.  Zero growth means zero thermal byproduct from fermentation.  If you're getting at least some growth in the refrigerator, the chances of surface yeast survival increase.

Ethanol also increases the entropy of activation, so if enough ethanol has a chance to build up around the surface yeast (via capillary action), it only takes temperatures as low as 50-60 F to deactivate the yeast.  This is why, in my opinion, if someone wants to cold ferment their dough, they should have sufficient oil in the dough to impede capillary action.  Also, without an oil layer on the dough itself, evaporation will occur and cool the surface even more as a result.

- red.november
Title: Re: Blistering in a Pizza Crust (Split Topic)
Post by: giotto on December 18, 2006, 04:21:00 PM
I used 1 TBL oil per 10 oz flour. I split them after making the dough, with plenty of oil on the outside of one dough, and minimal on the other (I was making 2 different styles of crust). Both got bubbles.  Regarding zero fermentation, the wording suggests that my eyes noted insignificant growth; but it's difficult to say if there was zero fermentation actually occurring chemically. I suspect the fermentation is significantly slowed down.

The weird thing is that Pete-zza and others have mentioned extreme cold conditions, and have not been able to achieve bubbles. I'm curious as to what their eyes noticed in growth beforehand.
Title: Re: Blistering in a Pizza Crust (Split Topic)
Post by: November on December 18, 2006, 04:47:39 PM
I didn't go back to check to see if your recipe (if posted) included oil.  I was just speaking in general.  Most people use oil (myself included), and therefore won't experience capillary action within their dough, which is why I ruled it out in the general case.  In the specific case of no oil, it is definitely a possible vector.

EDIT:

Ah, that's right, you're using non-rehydrated ADY and cool water, rather than warm water.  That means you have clumps of dead yeast cells surrounding a minority of live ones.  The live cells very near the surface have the disadvantage of having moisture face them from just the bottom, rather than from the top and bottom.  Any cell membrane fissures that don't become fully hydrated risk experiencing a full rupture during thermal changes.  Your mixing and kneading process may only be enough to break apart the cell clumps, but not long enough to offer full contact between water and yeast before settling in their resting place.
Title: Re: Blistering in a Pizza Crust (Split Topic)
Post by: Pete-zza on December 18, 2006, 05:28:07 PM
giotto,

Like you, I often make cold fermented doughs that use cold water and small amounts of yeast and, to be honest, I often can't tell whether the dough has grown, or by how much, while in the refrigerator. In my case, the inability to detect the growth may be due to the containers I typically use to store my dough balls. I use fairly oversized metal or plastic lidded containers. When the dough balls go into the containers, they are round and elastic and hard to flatten but over time they spread and slump to fill the spaces in the container around the dough, making it problematic to detect the extent of dough growth. This has never been a problem from a performance standpoint so I haven't concerned myself that I couldn't always detect or accurately measure growth of the dough. I suppose I would have to use a tall straight-sided container with a much smaller diameter than I now use to accentuate the growth dimension of the dough to confirm that there is actual growth. I suspect that there is growth in my case but it isn't easily visually discernible in many, if not most, cases where I am using cold water and small amounts of yeast.

I would estimate that over ninety percent of what I have read on the subject of bubbling in pizza crusts has centered on cold dough or underfermentation or too much yeast or excessive oven heat as the most frequent causes of most bubbling. You might recall that in an earlier post I noted that you do not let your dough balls warm up all that much (about one-half hour) before shaping. Also, you frequently (almost always?) use a pre-bake. In your recent post in which you presented the Harvest King dough formulation, at Reply 16 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,4284.msg36146.html#msg36146, you indicated a pre-bake temperature of 530 degrees F. I wondered whether the combination of the cold dough and the high-temperature "naked" pre-bake were the cause of the blistering or major contributors thereto. This begs the question of whether you have ever used the Harvest King (or other) dough formulation to make a fully dressed pizza before baking and, if so, whether you got the blistering.

I might add that one of our members, in a PM to me a few months ago, indicated that he had tried well over 100 pizzas in an effort to intentionally provoke bubbling in his finished crusts. He was more interested in the big bubbles rather than small blisters. He varied just about everything that could be varied but was unsuccessful. I believe he was using the Lehmann dough formulation, which led me to wonder whether some dough formulations are more, or less, prone to bubbling and blistering than others. I had read something somewhere to that effect so I was prepared to accept the possibility until I could find the answer on my own. As noted previously, my efforts to intentionally provoke bubbling and blistering by doing all of the things that are said to contribute to bubbling and blistering did not succeed. Like November, I have tended to get the blistering from doughs at the tail end of fermentation, just as I did recently with a 12+-day old dough.

Peter
Title: Re: Blistering in a Pizza Crust (Split Topic)
Post by: November on December 18, 2006, 06:30:13 PM
Peter,

Just as a point of delineation, I think the causes of bubbling as you described, and blistering are not the same.  To understand the difference, consider that for blistering the condition is a pre-forming phenomenon, while bubbling is largely a forming phenomenon; meaning that what causes the blistering starts before the dough is formed into the crust, and what causes the bubbling is more likely a result of the forming itself.  Imagine there is a liquid vacuole structure just beneath the very top macromolecular layer of dough, formed in the event of protoplasmic evacuation or over-accumulation of byproducts.  It's radii and inter-distances are determined by cell colony population at the surface.  The inter-distances are not much greater than the thickness of the layer holding the liquid in place, so in effect, if you were to examine the dough using magnetic resonance imaging, you would notice tiny liquid-filled cells in a network similar to a very thick-walled honeycomb.  Once you stretch the dough, the radii and inter-distances increase causing the blisters to form approximately a few millimeters apart during baking.

Bubbling on the other hand seems to occur based more on how the dough is formed into the final shape.  Not to mention there is a need for a large, open gluten structure to accomplish this.  I hope we're talking about the same surface effect here.

- red.november
Title: Re: Blistering in a Pizza Crust (Split Topic)
Post by: Pete-zza on December 18, 2006, 07:02:36 PM
November,

Thanks for clarifying the distinction. I was originally referring to the blistering effect as you described it and as shown in giotto's photo in Reply 16. Often what I have read on the subject has tended to lump blistering and bubbling together, possibly because pizza operators often use those terms interchangeably to describe their problems. Since the answers often used the same terms, I assumed that the causes of both conditions were pretty much the same. I don't recall a distinction between bubbles and blisters in the sense of blisters that we have been discussing.

Based on what you now know about giotto's dough formulation and dough processing, can you venture an opinion on what is behind the blistering, that is, is it the use of non-rehydrated ADY and cool water and the effects they create?

Peter
Title: Re: Blistering in a Pizza Crust (Split Topic)
Post by: November on December 18, 2006, 07:29:22 PM
Peter,

After taking another look at the recipe and seeing the differences between Randy and giotto's processes, I'm almost positive it has to do with using cold water with non-rehydrated ADY.  It's the one difference that sticks out that could conceivably create the conditions for blistering.  A yeast cell's chances of making it through thermal shock are much greater if it's had a chance to mend any membrane fissures.  Warm rehydration helps to ensure this happens.

- red.november

EDIT:

If it were a volume phenomenon versus a surface phenomenon, the condition would still manifest itself if giotto were to turn the dough inside-out before forming the crust.  That's why I brought it up earlier.  If he does that, and still observes the blistering, it's a result of something else.
Title: Re: Blistering in a Pizza Crust (Split Topic)
Post by: Pete-zza on December 18, 2006, 07:49:20 PM
November,

The matter of blistering was on my mind because of the interest that was expressed by member DNA Dan in the blistering that the Round Table pizza crusts exhibit. Dan is hell bent on replicating the blistering, which apparently is a hallmark of the RT crusts. I thought that it might have been poor dough management. Apparently it isn't. Dan tried the Harvest King flour, so maybe he can try giotto's dough preparation.

I might add that when I made the recent 12+-day dough that yielded decent blistering, I made the top of the dough, with all the yeast detritus, etc., the bottom of the skin. I, too, used cold water and added the yeast at the end of the dough making process, but in my case it was IDY, not ADY.

Peter
Title: Re: Blistering in a Pizza Crust (Split Topic)
Post by: November on December 18, 2006, 08:06:57 PM
Peter,

I should have pointed out that the top surface and the bottom surface (save for capillary action) will tend to experience the same issues when it comes to temperature and hydration.  In fact, with solid conduction being a more efficient mode of thermal transfer (as opposed to fluid conduction), the bottom would probably suffer more thermal shock, unless it's plastic, in which case it will be the same for top and bottom.  That's why I specifically suggested turning the dough inside-out, rather than just flipping the dough over.

- red.november
Title: Re: Blistering in a Pizza Crust (Split Topic)
Post by: Pete-zza on December 18, 2006, 08:16:10 PM
November,

Assuming that your analysis is correct, is there any basis to conclude that the degree of blistering will be greater for non-rehydrated ADY than IDY (also non-rehydrated), possibly because ADY has more dead cells and also possibly because of the different strains and particle shapes?

Peter
Title: Re: Blistering in a Pizza Crust (Split Topic)
Post by: November on December 18, 2006, 08:40:46 PM
Peter,

I believe Randy was using non-rehydrated ADY and didn't experience blistering, so my analysis is dependent largely on the fact it was cold water that was used.  Even IDY instructions direct the baker to use water in the 80-90 F range.  Using non-rehydrated ADY and cold water just exacerbates the problem (from the perspective of it being undesired).  Strains do play a significant role, but I wasn't going to get into that.  Since ADY contains about 70% dead cells, the problem would be greater with ADY than IDY.  However, in your case it's possible your dough blistered for the very same reason mine blisters on occasion: over-fermentation.  I've gotten to the point where I can just look at my dough as it sits on the bench and know if it's going to blister.  The dough falls a bit and the reflective qualities of the dough (through the oil layer) change slightly.

- red.november
Title: Re: Blistering in a Pizza Crust (Split Topic)
Post by: Pete-zza on December 18, 2006, 08:56:18 PM
November,

It may not be of any consequence, but in response to a question I posed to Randy before, he said that he uses the SAF Gourmet Perfect Rise yeast. That yeast is treated by SAF as an "all-purpose" yeast that can be used in recipes calling for any type of yeast. However, since SAF suggests using less of it when substituting it for ADY or as a substitute for IDY or rapid-rise yeasts, I tend to view it more like IDY (http://www.safyeast.com/tips_using.html).

Peter
Title: Re: Blistering in a Pizza Crust (Split Topic)
Post by: November on December 18, 2006, 09:14:06 PM
Peter,

It could be of consequence.  I didn't catch the part where SAF Gourmet Perfect Rise was considered to be the same as IDY.  That makes sense.  It's yet another level of differentiation.

- red.november
Title: Re: Blistering in a Pizza Crust (Split Topic)
Post by: giotto on December 18, 2006, 11:34:23 PM
As Pete-zza mentioned, cool water and oven procedures are consistent in my past (as is refrigeration); but proofing is something I consistently did in the past, and blistering did occur.

Is it possible for someone to take a bunch of dead yeast cells, spread them across half the dough's outer edge, and identify the difference after oven time?
Title: Re: Blistering in a Pizza Crust (Split Topic)
Post by: November on December 18, 2006, 11:44:15 PM
ADY and use of cool water is something I have done on a regular basis in the past [...] and I did get blistering in the past with proofing

But did you get blistering when not using a combination of ADY and cold water, irrespective of proofing?
Title: Re: Blistering in a Pizza Crust (Split Topic)
Post by: giotto on December 19, 2006, 12:34:25 AM
I've used cool water too frequently to answer that question. I proofed the active yeast in the past because I worked with more of a bulk yeast and I wanted to test it first.
Title: Re: Blistering in a Pizza Crust (Split Topic)
Post by: Randy on December 19, 2006, 07:19:16 AM
I like the big bubbles my recipe produces, with some as large as one inch or even two across.  I watch people pick out a slice and a big void piece is quick to go.
Title: Re: Blistering in a Pizza Crust (Split Topic)
Post by: DNA Dan on December 19, 2006, 03:40:55 PM
 >:D yea I'm still here. Ditto that Randy. I have actually been playing with a variation between your recipe and the RT clone to compare the differences. The RT clone tastes more like RT, while your recipe is a closer match to the amount of bubbling that occurs. (Not blistering!). I must say, Randy's recipe is almost impossible to retard once it gets started. I had this thing in the fridge overnight and it still doubled in size!

I am watching this ADY yeast reconstitution thing with a close eye. Whenever I use ADY in my recipes I ALWAYS reconstitute it in warm water for ~10 minutes before adding it to my dry ingredients. My crust is always silky smooth.

I will have to try adding it directly to the flour. This makes perfect sense for a commercial pizza setup since their doughs are usually pre-formulated in bags and they just add water. Whether that water is cold or not may make all the difference, although I must say there is a fair amount of heat generated from the mixing action of a dough hook.
Title: Re: Blistering in a Pizza Crust (Split Topic)
Post by: Randy on December 19, 2006, 05:23:02 PM
DNA Dan, try the new recipe referenced at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,4284.msg35772.html#msg35772.  It reduces the yeast but still has the large bubbles.  This new flour has me planning on a new round of test
Title: Re: Blistering in a Pizza Crust (Split Topic)
Post by: giotto on December 21, 2006, 12:41:19 AM
While kids and parents enjoy some of the more famous American styles out there and have certainly enjoyed my latest formula due to presentation, lightness and taste, others prefer a harder interior among other changes that I make. Since people can report completely different results when trying to duplicate a recipe depending on flour used and texture preferred, my earlier post serves to help people adjust according to their custom requirements.  Less oil, for example, harder interior, more oil, softer interior. Really airy breads like Ciabatta are professional produced and recommended time and again by a myriad of good authors with very minimal mix times.

I'm happy to see that King Arthur has moved into Smart & Final, Trader Joes, and even now at local basic grocery stores. It's caused others like Gold Medal to raise the bar. Although I've seen plenty of blogs that really enjoyed their past best of bread label.
Title: Re: Blistering in a Pizza Crust (Split Topic)
Post by: giotto on December 31, 2006, 10:39:24 PM
I made a couple more doughs with the formula and procedures posted earlier (at Reply 16 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,4284.msg36146.html#msg36146); but I proofed the 1 tsp of active yeast in a couple of tablespoons of 103F water first (with a touch of sugar), and mixed the dough with 90F water (instead of cool water) to see if blisters would still occur on the crust.

I made one dough after allowing it to sit for 75 or so minutes in my 69F room. It didn't look double the size; but it had expanded. I layed it out by hand and employed the usual oven procedures and screen. It had good spring and color; but no bubbles. I delivered it to a friend.

I placed the other dough in a bag 20 minutes after it was mixed and placed it in the refrigerator overnight. The next day (20 hours later), it looked like a blow fish when I removed it from the refrigerator (very noticeable expansion). I layed it out by hand into a small circle and let it sit for 2 hours at room temp inside a cloth. I then stretched it by hand and cooked it with the same oven procedures and screen. I received similar oven spring; but the overnight refrigeration gave me the same blisters noted in my earlier post.

So regardless whether I proof or not, use warm or cool water, receive growth in the refrigerator or not, I consistently get blisters with refrigeration and Active Dry Yeast. Here's a couple of pictures after refrigeration, which includes a slice:

http://home.comcast.net/~keck-foundation1/copy-king-harv.JPG (http://home.comcast.net/~keck-foundation1/copy-king-harv.JPG)

http://home.comcast.net/~keck-foundation1/copy-king-harv-slice.JPG (http://home.comcast.net/~keck-foundation1/copy-king-harv-slice.JPG)

Happy New Years all! :chef:
Title: Re: Blistering in a Pizza Crust (Split Topic)
Post by: DNA Dan on January 02, 2007, 03:45:12 PM
Giotto,

So let's get this straight. You made one dough by reconstituting ADY in a few TBSPs warm water with some sugar added. You made the dough with warm water, (90F) then processed the dough in one of two ways:

1) 75 minute proof @ 69F then made pizza = No blistering
2) 20 minute RT proof, cooler overnight, 2 hr RT proof, then made pizza = Blistering

Is that correct? If so, that would indicate that the blistering you are getting is the result of over-fermentation and not the yeast or water temps used.  Do you have any pics of the non-blistered dough for comparison?

Also, can you provide some details of your oven setup and times,temps used for cooking. There may be something else about your process that helps contribute to this.
Title: Re: Blistering in a Pizza Crust (Split Topic)
Post by: giotto on January 03, 2007, 06:35:51 AM
DNA Dan:

The falling number for this flour and other discussion are beyond an expectation that less than 24 hours is considered an over fermentation period for this flour. Experiences by myself and others, including Pete-zza, have reached far longer periods before they can reach over fermentation with this kind of flour. In addition, oils are used in formula and around the dough during refrigeration per discussion earlier. The goal was to move on to a next point, where non-proofed ADY combined with cold water were suspected.

A question remaining was whether results would differ when yeast was proofed. As a result of proofing the Active Dry Yeast and mixing with warmer water, the dough blew up like a balloon in the refrigerator overnight, the color was all there and great spring occurred in the oven (all of which I'd suspect of a 240 falling number malted barley flour that merely fermented overnight in a refrigerator). With regard to oven procedures, this was mentioned as following a usual pattern... Electric oven pre-heated to around 530F; hand tossed crust was placed on screen in middle of oven around 50 seconds with no toppings; toppings were then added and pizza was cooked 6 more minutes while continuing to use screen (picture shows screen). I do not have pictures showing the result from same day since I immediately delivered it to a friend's work. As I mentioned though, the color, spring and color presentation were no different, except it was smooth without blisters. I hope to return to some of the more knowledgable artisan bakers in the San Francisco region, since so many of their non-sour dough breads with short-term refrigerated fermentations are blistered.
Title: Re: Blistering in a Pizza Crust (Split Topic)
Post by: DNA Dan on January 03, 2007, 01:55:19 PM
Giotto,

Very intersting....

Could you please provide the brand of ADY yeast you are using?

From your previous post regarding the crust that blistered, the dough was at room temperature after 2 hours and began to ferment again just before you put it in the oven.  This seems to counter the idea that cooking the dough straight from the cooler adds to the blistering.

So you attribute the blistering to the refrigerated fermentation, but not necessarily "COLD dough" while going in the oven?
Title: Re: Blistering in a Pizza Crust (Split Topic)
Post by: DNA Dan on January 08, 2007, 03:26:13 PM
This blistering thing still has me baffled.  ???

I have made numerous doughs using ADY which were all reconstituted in warm water when mixing. I have tried various forms of preferment, refrigeration, cold when cooking, warm when cooking, etc., etc. and I have NEVER seen blistering like that.

Giotto, you are officially labeled "BLISTER MASTER" !!!

I really wish we could pin this down, because this is the last missing link for the Round Table pizza clone. I am pretty confident I can produce a decently layered crust ala cracker style, but the blistering thing is driving me crazy!
Title: Re: Blistering in a Pizza Crust (Split Topic)
Post by: November on January 08, 2007, 03:38:33 PM
Dan,

Are you letting your dough get to an over-fermented stage?

- red.november
Title: Re: Blistering in a Pizza Crust (Split Topic)
Post by: DNA Dan on January 08, 2007, 05:20:43 PM
November,

I have tried long fermentations, short fermentations, at room temperature, in the cooler, and several combinations in between. I would say about 99.9% of the time I get crusts that are smooth as silk (In varying shades of brown to white). I have seen blisters here and there, but it certainly wasn't anything I could reproduce or even was aware of at the time. Certainly nothing to the degree that Giotto showed in the pic. I am much more critical of my crusts now when making a pizza.

There seems to be different conditions under which you get blistering, depending upon recipe and treatment of the dough. It isn't as simple as "24 hours in the cooler" or "Cold water and ADY". I am starting to think I am just missing something here.
Title: Re: Blistering in a Pizza Crust (Split Topic)
Post by: abatardi on January 11, 2007, 12:57:34 PM
Blistering has nothing to do with the type of yeast or the water temp... it has nothing to do with ADY not being rehydrated and surrounded by a cluster of dead cells.  I made a sourdough yesterday that had blistering all over it, so that can be ruled out.

I'm pretty sure it has to do with refrigeration like giotto says. 

- aba



Title: Re: Blistering in a Pizza Crust (Split Topic)
Post by: November on January 11, 2007, 01:23:59 PM
I'm pretty sure it has to do with refrigeration like giotto says. 

I've acquired those blisters on a very predictable basis, and I rarely cold ferment my dough.
Title: Re: Blistering in a Pizza Crust (Split Topic)
Post by: John39840 on January 12, 2007, 01:47:51 AM
I've only see those blisters after an indirect, and lengthy fermentation time. I've noticed this effect noticeably intensifies, even without lengthy fermentation, if I increase the fat content to a few percent or more. Give it a shot. But I actually like the effect of blistering. To me, this makes for a pizza of great flavor and crisp texture. Awesome actually. In fact, I've talked about trying to acheive an almost Nestle's Crunch/Hershey's Krackle type dough texture in a few of my posts here.

By the way, I experienced fairly miserable failures in my experimental efforts to make a New York-style pizza with the Harvest King flour. However, at that time, I had imagined it would make a magnificent American-style pizza. Glad to see this is in fact the case. :chef:
Title: Re: Blistering in a Pizza Crust (Split Topic)
Post by: abatardi on January 13, 2007, 03:32:20 AM


Well then it has to deal with over-fermentation perhaps, because it's not the yeast.

Title: Re: Blistering in a Pizza Crust (Split Topic)
Post by: November on January 13, 2007, 06:10:47 AM
Well then it has to deal with over-fermentation perhaps, because it's not the yeast.

I don't think anybody here made the claim that it had to do with a particular yeast.  It's just that the conditions surrounding yeast death and over-fermentaion are connected, and ADY is more sensitive to those conditions than IDY.
Title: Re: Blistering in a Pizza Crust (Split Topic)
Post by: abatardi on January 14, 2007, 03:11:29 AM
After taking another look at the recipe and seeing the differences between Randy and giotto's processes, I'm almost positive it has to do with using cold water with non-rehydrated ADY.  It's the one difference that sticks out that could conceivably create the conditions for blistering. 
Title: Re: Blistering in a Pizza Crust (Split Topic)
Post by: November on January 14, 2007, 03:44:43 AM
abatardi,

I assume you had a reason for quoting me, however I don't know what you were hoping to communicate.  As I just pointed out in the previous post, the purpose of singling out the ADY was because of its sensitivity.  This is not the same as claiming ADY is the sole cause of blistering, but simply isolating one possible cause for one specific instance.  Make sure you include all relevant comments.  For example:

Using non-rehydrated ADY and cold water just exacerbates the problem (from the perspective of it being undesired).  Strains do play a significant roll, but I wasn't going to get into that.  Since ADY contains about 70% dead cells, the problem would be greater with ADY than IDY.  However, in your case it's possible your dough blistered for the very same reason mine blisters on occasion: over-fermentation.

Once again, the conditions surrounding yeast death are usually the same for over-fermentation.  It doesn't matter what yeast is used.

- red.november
Title: Re: Blistering in a Pizza Crust (Split Topic)
Post by: SemperFi on January 17, 2007, 11:38:24 AM
http://www.sonjuhi.com/tips2.htm

The website names a few reasons, but no true explanations.

This website:

http://www.sourdough.com.au/forum//viewtopic.php?p=137

is another forum that specifically talks about blistering.  In a nutshell, 10 deg C for 15 hours is what they are saying.  I think November might enjoy actually jumping into this forum.  I hope that it helps.  Adam

EDIT (1/22/15): For the Wayback Machine version of the above inoperative sonjuhi.com link, see http://web.archive.org/web/20080510045216/http://www.sonjuhi.com/tips2.htm (http://web.archive.org/web/20080510045216/http://www.sonjuhi.com/tips2.htm); for the Wayback Machine version of the above semi-inoperative link, see http://web.archive.org/web/20071115143610/http://www.sourdough.com.au/forum/viewtopic.php?p=137 (http://web.archive.org/web/20071115143610/http://www.sourdough.com.au/forum/viewtopic.php?p=137)
Title: Re: Blistering in a Pizza Crust (Split Topic)
Post by: pizzoid on January 18, 2007, 08:27:36 PM
OK, no image editing software to get the picture small enough for posting via this computer.

My current direction: if you want blistering, try brushing the cornicone-to-be with olive oil. Not quite night & day demarcation between half that was brushed with oil and half that was not. First noticed this after I was experimenting with doing dough stretch & form on marble with olive oil. (This pie was done on bench flour.)

I'm using my first try with Harvest King flour, 57% hydration (way too dry, but was nice for KASL), 3% oil incorporated, dough experiment, eating it now. Overnight fridge retard. IDY predissolved in warm water. Dough warmed before working. Stone temp. was 560F (oven is 500 max. Still working on those particulars!).

- Al
Title: Re: Blistering in a Pizza Crust (Split Topic)
Post by: Bryan S on January 20, 2007, 10:23:40 PM

22 oz High Gluten Flour, or Bread flour or Harvest King
Note: If you use Harvest King plan on adding a tablespoon of flour during the kneading but it will still be wet.

13.6  oz Water by weight warm 110deg.

2 TBS + 2 teaspoons raw sugar

1 TBS + 1 ts Honey

1 Tbs + 1 ts  Classico Olive Oil

2 ¼ ts salt

1 ¼  teaspoon SAF yeast

I have a question about this crust. I'm guessing the flour and water are measured by weight and the rest of the ingredients by volume? Going to make this it looks and sounds like a winner.  :) Thanks Bryan
Title: Re: Blistering in a Pizza Crust (Split Topic)
Post by: John39840 on August 09, 2008, 10:41:17 AM
Seems Harvest King Gold Medal Flour made just as quick an entrance as a hasty exit. It has totally disappeared off the shelves here. Does anyone know where it can be purchased in the Queens, NY or general area? I didn't realize the difference this flour made in my pizza until after running out of it.
Title: Re: Blistering in a Pizza Crust (Split Topic)
Post by: pizzoid on August 09, 2008, 10:53:00 AM
I think they changed the packaging design. Look for a different bag.

- Al
Title: Re: Blistering in a Pizza Crust (Split Topic)
Post by: Pete-zza on August 09, 2008, 10:59:17 AM
Seems Harvest King Gold Medal Flour made just as quick an entrance as a hasty exit. It has totally disappeared off the shelves here. Does anyone know where it can be purchased in the Queens, NY or general area? I didn't realize the difference this flour made in my pizza until after running out of it.

John,

The Harvest King flour is often sold by General Mills as "Better for Bread" flour. Sometimes both names appear on the bag (see http://www.bettycrocker.com/products/gold-medal-flour/gold-medal-products.htm). I have no idea why they just don't stick to one name.

Peter
Title: Re: Blistering in a Pizza Crust (Split Topic)
Post by: John39840 on August 09, 2008, 09:21:33 PM
Thanks guys. Maybe I'm just looking for the wrong packaging.
Title: Re: Blistering in a Pizza Crust (Split Topic)
Post by: Pete-zza on January 06, 2009, 10:10:55 AM
Recently, I made a 12-day old cold-fermented pizza dough using dry (non-rehydrated) ADY that produced a crust with a profusion of small blisters in the rim area. This prompted me to re-read this thread to refresh my memory on the possible causes of blistering (as opposed to large bubbles) that occurs at the rim area of a baked pizza crust. The most prevalent theory seems to suggest that long fermentation times are responsible, although I read recently that acids are responsible (which I interpreted to mean acids that are produced during a long fermentation). I also read elsewhere that the cause of blistering was a dry dough. The question of blistering was raised again recently at the PMQ Think Tank, which prompted Tom Lehmann to join the ranks of those who believe that a dry dough is the cause: http://thinktank.pmq.com/viewtopic.php?p=42110#42110. The PMQ Think Tank poster who posed the question about blistering provided a link to show his blistered pizza crust, at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=7559.0;attach=12252;image.

Peter

EDIT (1/22/15): Edited to show photo corresponding to the last link above.

Title: Re: Blistering in a Pizza Crust (Split Topic)
Post by: November on January 06, 2009, 11:09:07 AM
The question of blistering was raised again recently at the PMQ Think Tank, which prompted Tom Lehmann to join the ranks of those who believe that a dry dough is the cause
:-D  Dry dough?!  I used to get those "blisters" when I worked with 80% hydrated dough.  If "blisters" form because 80% hydration is too dry, I'm the United Nations ambassador to Canada's tropic island province.

- red.november
Title: Re: Blistering in a Pizza Crust (Split Topic)
Post by: Pete-zza on January 06, 2009, 11:31:18 AM
November,

I thought I would get you out of your chair on this one :-D. When I read that dough dryness was a possible cause of blistering, it was in the context of surface dryness, which is what Tom seems to be saying. I thought that you would know what effects flow from dry doughs based on your prior work experience at Little Caesar's where, if my memory serves me, the dough was allowed to sit around uncovered for some time. I would think that you would have seen blistering under such circumstances. If surface dryness is the cause of blistering, I would think that it would be fairly easy to test that possibility, preferably with a dough that has not undergone extensive fermentation (to rule out long fermentation as the cause of the blistering).

Peter
Title: Re: Blistering in a Pizza Crust (Split Topic)
Post by: November on January 06, 2009, 11:50:59 AM
Peter,

I noticed he was talking about surface dryness, but at 80% hydration, it would take a while for even a dough surface to come to such a low moisture level, assuming a dry surface could be responsible.  No such experimentation is needed though.  I guess Tom has never seen a baked Play-Doh (or homemade dough variety) sculpture and applied inductive reasoning to determine that a dough with an initially low moisture level can bake with a perfectly smooth surface.  Sculptures and pottery made from clay and doughs all across the world and time would have this problem.  The mechanics of low-moisture (non-malleable) materials do not support such a hypothesis.  I would issue forth the following challenge to Tom: try blowing a bubble in a piece of leather.

- red.november
Title: Re: Blistering in a Pizza Crust (Split Topic)
Post by: November on January 06, 2009, 11:56:54 AM
I thought that you would know what effects flow from dry doughs based on your prior work experience at Little Caesar's where, if my memory serves me, the dough was allowed to sit around uncovered for some time.

The problem with this situation, and the scenario one might setup to test the "dry surface" hypothesis, is that the other (more logical) factor of over-fermentation is in play at the same time.  The drier you allow the dough to get over time, the more fermented the dough becomes as well.  To solve this problem, make a dough without any yeast, let its surface dry out and see if you get blisters.
Title: Re: Blistering in a Pizza Crust (Split Topic)
Post by: Pete-zza on January 06, 2009, 12:28:24 PM
November,

That is a good idea. When I have a moment, I will give that a try. Can you suggest a period of time to allow the dough to "rest" before baking? Also, will the amylase enzymes try to convert starch to sugar during that time that might have an effect in some way on the blistering?

In the meantime, it looks like Tom has backed off on his explanation on the cause of blistering when he was asked for further elaboration. I have copied and pasted below his latest explanation, at http://thinktank.pmq.com/viewtopic.php?p=42217#42217:

I wish I could elaborate further on those little blisters (looks like a case of heat rash), but we have never set about to study them in depth. We see them on well fermented dough, as well as frozen dough. They also seem to be more prevelant on lower absorption doughs. For these reasons, we have a feeling that they are in some way, associated with oxidation of the dough skin, but we haven't consucted a study where we have attempted to control them.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor


Peter
Title: Re: Blistering in a Pizza Crust (Split Topic)
Post by: Pizza_Not_War on January 06, 2009, 12:49:10 PM
Blisters

I have achieved that effect with long cold fermentation and direct spraying of water onto the loaf just before putting it into the oven and then again 1 - 2 more times in the first minutes of baking. This differs from what most tell you to do by spraying the oven or using a pan of water in the oven.



PNW
Title: Re: Blistering in a Pizza Crust (Split Topic)
Post by: November on January 06, 2009, 12:50:01 PM
Peter,

Can you suggest a period of time to allow the dough to "rest" before baking? Also, will the amylase enzymes try to convert starch to sugar during that time that might have an effect in some way on the blistering?

I think the results are pretty predictable, but if you actually want to try it, just keep the dough around for a couple hours at room temperature.  Be sure to use the same techniques as if you were making a real pizza; such as lightly oiling the surface of the dough ball as it non-ferments, stretch the dough into shape the same way, and top it with minimal ingredients as a control to simulate true moisture level conditions surrounding the crust.

- red.november
Title: Re: Blistering in a Pizza Crust (Split Topic)
Post by: Pete-zza on January 06, 2009, 10:07:09 PM
When the poster at PMQTT indicated that when he lightly oiled the dough with a canola oil spray before refrigerating or alternately brushing oil olive around the rims just before baking, the blisters were dramatically reduced. Tom Lehmann responded to that as follows (http://thinktank.pmq.com/viewtopic.php?p=42250#42250):

The oil application helps to seal the crust surface from the air, thus reducing the oxidation of the dough on the surface. This is why we feel that it may be caused by oxidation rather than drying of the dough. For some unknown reason to me, we have seen what we feel is a reduction in those blisters when higher dough absorption levels are used, or put another way, lowering the dough absorption seems to make the situation worse. The one next step that I would suggest is to increase the dough absorption by a minimun of 2% of the total flour weight: flour weight X 2 (press the "%" key) and read the amount of additional water to add in the display window. Keep in mind that you might need to do this more than once. Another thing is to look at your flour bag and read the ingredient label to see if the flour is bromated or not. If it does contain bromate, you might want to ask your supplier to get you a bag of the same flour, but without bromate to try. Bromate (potassium bromate) is an oxidant that is added to some flours by the mill to further strengthen the flour. In pizza production, we really don't need this extra strength, so you shouldn't see any ill affects to the dough, but by removing the bromate, you might also get rid of the blisters. Let me know what you find out.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor


Peter
Title: Re: Blistering in a Pizza Crust (Split Topic)
Post by: November on January 07, 2009, 10:04:44 PM
Peter,

Reference Post: http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,637.msg58255.html#msg58255

In the above post you will notice that the crust is relatively smooth with almost no blistering.  Today I made two pizzas with the same dough, same procedures, same equipment (except for pan size), and same fermentation conditions, with just one material difference: twice as much yeast (0.6%).  Attached is an image of the resulting crust.  You can clearly see that the additional fermentation, or over-fermentation by some standards, has promoted a veritable gold-mine of blisters.  Neither dryness nor oxidization provide for a pocket of fluid that expands to fill a blister.

- red.november

Title: Re: Blistering in a Pizza Crust (Split Topic)
Post by: Pete-zza on January 21, 2009, 09:51:15 AM
Following up on recent posts in this thread, I decided to conduct an experiment along the lines suggested by member November to see if I could induce blistering in a dough in which no yeast was included and where the surface of the dough was dry. For purposes of the experiment, I used a basic Lehmann NY style dough formulation, minus the yeast, as prepared as follows using the expanded dough calculating tool at http://www.pizzamaking.com/expanded_calculator.html:

Flour (100%):
Water (62%):
Salt (1.75%):
Vegetable (Soybean) Oil (1%):
Total (164.75%):
197.54 g  |  6.97 oz | 0.44 lbs
122.47 g  |  4.32 oz | 0.27 lbs
3.46 g | 0.12 oz | 0.01 lbs | 0.62 tsp | 0.21 tbsp
1.98 g | 0.07 oz | 0 lbs | 0.43 tsp | 0.14 tbsp
325.44 g | 11.48 oz | 0.72 lbs | TF = 0.1015
Note: The flour is unsifted Harvest King (“Better for Bread”) bread flour; the amount of dough is for one 12” pizza with a nominal thickness factor of 0.10 and a bowl residue compensation of 1.5%; the finished dough temperature was about 76 degrees F

The dough was prepared in the usual manner in my basic KitchenAid mixer with flat beater and C-hook attachments. Once the dough was done, it was shaped into a round ball, lightly coated with oil, placed in a covered plastic container, and subjected to a “nonfermentation” period of four hours at a room temperature of about 68 degrees F. I selected the 4-hour period as being sufficiently long to be able to also study the effects of enzymes in the flour on the production of natural sugars in the dough to contribute to crust coloration at the time of baking.

For the final hour of the 4-hour nonfermentation period, I removed the dough from its container, slightly flattened it into a disk, and let it sit, uncovered, so that the surface would dry out. At the expiration of the 4-hour nonfermentation period, the dough was shaped and stretched into a 12” skin. The dough was fairly extensible but it felt and behaved much as a yeasted dough with the same basic formulation. The skin was placed and dressed on a peel (using only diced mozzarella cheese and a basic pizza sauce), and baked on a pizza stone that had been placed on the lowermost oven rack position of my electric oven and preheated for an hour at around 500-525 degrees F. The bake time was around 6-7 minutes. To test the notion proffered by a member that coating the unbaked rim of the pizza with oil would induce blistering in the rim of the baked crust, I coated one half of the unbaked rim with vegetable oil (soybean oil, the same as used in the dough).

The photos below show the finished pizza. As can be seen, there was no blistering of the rim of the pizza, either the side without the oil or the side with the oil. Unless I did not properly conduct the experiment, it seems that a dry dough surface does not induce blistering in the finished rim and crust.

There were a couple of other interesting observations from the experiment. They don’t specifically relate to the blistering issue but I think they are worthy of mentioning nonetheless. The first is that there was some oven spring, albeit modest in this case. Since there was no yeast in the dough, it is clear that yeast, while perhaps serving some role in the oven spring process, as does the high heat of the pizza stone, is not necessary to get oven spring. The moisture content of the dough alone is sufficient to achieve it. This is a point that has been mentioned several times before, notably by member November and by Jeff Varasano. 

The second observation was the lack of crust coloration, especially at the baked rim of the pizza. I thought that perhaps sufficient enzyme activity would take place over a 4-hour period to yield sufficient natural sugars (residual sugar) to contribute to decent crust coloration at the time of baking. My best analysis is that the lack of normal crust coloration may have been due to one or more of the following: 1) insufficient sugar (simple sugars) created during the 4-hour nonfermentation period to induce crust coloration (that is, maybe four hours was not long enough); 2) the absence of enzymes present in yeast (including zymase and maltase) to convert certain complex sugars into simple sugars to be used for crust coloration purposes; 3) insufficient residual sugars to induce caramelization or browning because of the Maillard reaction (which requires simple sugars); and 4) the lack of the proper relationship of pH to residual sugars to achieve crust browning (due to the lack of yeast fermentation byproducts to achieve the proper pH.).

Peter


Title: Re: Blistering in a Pizza Crust (Split Topic)
Post by: JConk007 on January 21, 2009, 09:58:02 AM
Great stuff Peter !!
Read, Learn, Experiment, Learn, Read, Experiment, Learn, Read.........
Thanks
Title: Re: Blistering in a Pizza Crust (Split Topic)
Post by: November on January 21, 2009, 10:45:29 AM
Peter,

Since there was no yeast in the dough, it is clear that yeast, while perhaps serving some role in the oven spring process, as does the high heat of the pizza stone, is not necessary to get oven spring. The moisture content of the dough alone is sufficient to achieve it. This is a point that has been mentioned several times before, notably by member November and by Jeff Varasano.

Thanks.  This also adds to my discourse of old on how one can use a priori and scientific principles to make predictions concerning dough performance and crust characteristics instead of trying every permutation to achieve a desired product.  In other words, the "pizza making is an art versus science" debate really only exists where science isn't respected.  Sometimes it's fun to experiment, and sometimes it's necessary to experiment so that others may learn the process.  However, there's very little going on in pizza dough that would cause a macroscopic surprise if established biochemical and mechanical principles were first considered.

My best analysis is that the lack of normal crust coloration may have been due to one or more of the following: [...] 4) the lack of the proper relationship of pH to residual sugars to achieve crust browning (due to the lack of yeast fermentation byproducts to achieve the proper pH.).

I was tempted to suggest adding vinegar to the dough to compensate for the loss of organic acids caused by avoiding the yeast, but then I thought it should be a separate trial if you really wanted to see its effects.  A low pH will catalyze pyrolysis as already demonstrated here: http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,3985.msg41422.html#msg41422

- red.november
Title: Re: Blistering in a Pizza Crust (Split Topic)
Post by: November on January 21, 2009, 11:29:20 AM
Peter,

By the way, you didn't answer what some people consider the most important question of all, "How did it taste?"

- red.november
Title: Re: Blistering in a Pizza Crust (Split Topic)
Post by: Pete-zza on January 21, 2009, 12:00:07 PM
Peter,

By the way, you didn't answer what some people consider the most important question of all, "How did it taste?"

- red.november

November,

The crust was soft in the middle with a bit of chew and crunchiness in the rim. The flavor of the crust itself was reminiscent of a salted matzoh cracker which, as you know, is an unleavened baked good made from only flour and water. I have read that you can make a "matzoh pizza" by putting a Kosher tomato sauce and grated cheese on a matzoh cracker and microwaving the "pizza" until the cheese melts. My version was a softer version of that.

I have always had a great deal of respect for yeast, as with any living organism, and especially the willingness of yeast to give up their lives for our purely personal, selfish, hedonistic pizza pleasure. However, after the latest pizza, my respect for yeast has increased immeasurably.

Peter
Title: Re: Blistering in a Pizza Crust (Split Topic)
Post by: November on January 21, 2009, 12:23:19 PM
I have always had a great deal of respect for yeast, as with any living organism, and especially the willingness of yeast to give up their lives for our purely personal, selfish, hedonistic pizza pleasure. However, after the latest pizza, my respect for yeast has increased immeasurably.

I thought I had expressed my opinion on the flavor of yeast more explicitly, but I couldn't find where in a 10 second search.  I know that my use of ADY for the purpose of including more dead yeast cells is well known.

I will probably never use anything but ADY for all of my life. [...] The higher dead yeast count is the primary reason I use ADY.

Probably not as well known is the fact that I really like the flavor of yeast, whether it's dead or alive when being added to a dough.  Maybe you could try adding nutritional (dead) yeast and a little vinegar in another trial just for fun.  Here are some other related quotes from my past:

I always play it safe with the clean flavor of yeast only (intentionally anyway) fermentation.

Some people like the texture of biscuits, but also like the flavor of yeast.
Title: Re: Blistering in a Pizza Crust (Split Topic)
Post by: djones148 on January 29, 2009, 02:27:07 AM
Just to add more fuel to the fire, I read in a very technical baking book (one aimed at commercial bakers), that blistering is caused by condensation on the surface of the dough which creates spots of increased extensibility. Dough that is refrigerated gets condensation on it, as can dough that is steamed in the oven. Boiling before baking (bagels) would directly put water on the surface that would presumably create little droplets.

It might also be occuring in long fermented doughs due to the action of alpha-amylase enzymes. Damaged starch particles in flour have a very high capacity to absorb water, however as fermentation goes along, the amylase enzymes continue to hydrolyze the damaged starch (which is vulnerable to attack) into dextrins and the water is released. As more damaged starch gets broken down, the absorptive capacity of the dough is declining and water droplets could form on the surface.
Title: Re: Blistering in a Pizza Crust (Split Topic)
Post by: David on February 03, 2009, 10:36:20 AM
It's funny how I came to finding this blog,but it all started with Bill's new "Less is more" thread!I have never really taken any interest in the Science of "Molecular gastronomy",but the thread pushed me toward reading a little about it and discovering the following blog post.I believe the term maillard Reaction has been used more times by Peet-za than anyone else on the forum.....so this one's for you Peter ;D.The kicker for me in this apart from the Ph pointers, was the bi carb browning benefits for vegetables.Parts are a little above my comprehension,but I'm sure others can get something from it,
David

http://blog.khymos.org/2008/09/26/speeding-up-the-maillard-reaction/#more-399
Title: Re: Blistering in a Pizza Crust (Split Topic)
Post by: Pete-zza on February 03, 2009, 11:08:38 AM
Thank you, David.

I always enjoy reading about the Maillard reaction. Recently, I did some Google searches on the subject, which took me to excerpts from many highly technical books on food science. I was also looking to see if there was anything of note on the blistering phenomenon. Needless to say, given the interest in this subject, I have also started to pay closer attention to the photos of members to see if I can find clues as to what causes the blistering.

Peter
Title: Re: Blistering in a Pizza Crust (Split Topic)
Post by: norma427 on November 29, 2009, 11:47:34 AM
I had never had blistering in my dough before.  This past Tuesday, I had used some dough balls that had been frozen for a week.  Only 2 of the pizzas I made with this frozen dough blistered.  That is why I took a picture of the one rim.  I don't know what really caused this, but I had left these dough balls out to thaw and then reuse for a longer time than normal.
Norma

Title: Re: Blistering in a Pizza Crust (Split Topic)
Post by: ThunderStik on November 30, 2009, 10:42:20 PM
Pete, after reading this i went back and looked at past pics of my pies and whadda ya know, blisters. They are everwhere, i even went and looked at my leftovers from yesterday  and you guessed it they are all over the place.

I can post a pic if ya want.
Title: Re: Blistering in a Pizza Crust (Split Topic)
Post by: Pete-zza on November 30, 2009, 10:58:53 PM
I can post a pic if ya want.

Bill,

Please do. Thanks. Please also give some history on the doughs that went into the pizzas, such as nature and duration of fermentation, etc.

Peter
Title: Re: Blistering in a Pizza Crust (Split Topic)
Post by: ThunderStik on December 01, 2009, 12:00:35 AM
All info can be found here.

http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,9736.msg84469.html#msg84469


You can also scan some of my other threads and see them. Sorry about the pic quality.

Title: Re: Blistering in a Pizza Crust (Split Topic)
Post by: Pete-zza on November 20, 2010, 10:18:43 PM
A while back Norma sent me a link to a document, at http://www.farine-mc.com/2009_09_01_archive.html, that presents an explanation for the blistering of breads, under Musings on Fermentation. The relevant portion of the article is as follows:

Also regarding the crust, when fermentation is done during proofing, you get a reddish color and a lot of blisters (due to the formation of microscopic chimneys through which bubbles of gas escape during baking). Blisters are considered undesirable in France where consumers treat them as the mark of a poorly made bread. By contrast, American consumers generally find them quite attractive. A matter of taste?

Peter
Title: Re: Blistering in a Pizza Crust (Split Topic)
Post by: Tscarborough on November 21, 2010, 12:27:47 AM
I like a nice even crusty brown.  "Leoparding", and burnt blisters are a defect to me, not a goal.
Title: Re: Blistering in a Pizza Crust (Split Topic)
Post by: Jet_deck on November 21, 2010, 09:55:23 PM
I like a nice even crusty brown.  "Leoparding", and burnt blisters are a defect to me, not a goal.

What is your preferred cooking temp in your wfo?  What is your typical cook time?
Title: Re: Blistering in a Pizza Crust (Split Topic)
Post by: Matthew on November 22, 2010, 06:02:46 AM
I like a nice even crusty brown.  "Leoparding", and burnt blisters are a defect to me, not a goal.

Really?  So you're saying that Neapolitan pizza is defective?
Title: Re: Blistering in a Pizza Crust (Split Topic)
Post by: Tscarborough on November 22, 2010, 08:34:47 AM
I cook from 1000 degrees down, but prefer it to be around 700 on the dome with a 550 floor.

"Really?  So you're saying that Neapolitan pizza is defective?"

No, I am saying that a Neapolitan pizza that isn't burnt fits my tastes better than one that is.
Title: Re: Blistering in a Pizza Crust (Split Topic)
Post by: Tscarborough on November 22, 2010, 08:48:22 AM
Look at it like this.  If I send your steak out charred, with a side of charred potatoes and some charred bread, would you consider that defective?

It is looks over taste, and my preference is for taste.  If you like it, I say go for it.
Title: Re: Blistering in a Pizza Crust (Split Topic)
Post by: MikeH on November 22, 2010, 02:02:10 PM
Look at it like this.  If I send your steak out charred, with a side of charred potatoes and some charred bread, would you consider that defective?

char on steak and bread is great - don't think I've had black potatoes, will have to try it. :)
Title: Re: Blistering in a Pizza Crust (Split Topic)
Post by: Matthew on November 22, 2010, 04:48:04 PM

"Really?  So you're saying that Neapolitan pizza is defective?"

No, I am saying that a Neapolitan pizza that isn't burnt fits my tastes better than one that is.

Fair enough; However, I wasn't questioning your preference rather the statement that leoparding is a result of a defect.  To me, there's a big difference between charred & burnt.  I don't like burnt pizza either; charred though is a different story.  Without charing it's just wood oven pizza & not Neapolitan.

Matt
Title: Re: Blistering in a Pizza Crust (Split Topic)
Post by: Tscarborough on November 22, 2010, 09:35:43 PM
What causes it (I think) is too much spring from the extreme heat and wet dough, leading to thin spots that cook (burn) more rapidly than the rest of the crust, so unless you are specifically trying to give that look to your pizza, I would think that in any baking terms it is a defect in dough and/or technique.  Obviously, nothing can be considered a defect if you are trying to create that defect.  The question then becomes:

Do we emulate it because it is inherently good, or do we emulate it because that is how a Neapolitan is "supposed" to look?

That is where it comes down to personal taste.
Title: Re: Blistering in a Pizza Crust (Split Topic)
Post by: Bill/SFNM on November 22, 2010, 10:00:12 PM

Do we emulate it because it is inherently good, or do we emulate it because that is how a Neapolitan is "supposed" to look?


The best pizzas I have ever made all had leoparding. Some of the worst pizzas I have ever made also had leoparding. My conclusion: it is by-product of a process that is good. But it is not the only factor and reliance on it could be defective judgement.
Title: Re: Blistering in a Pizza Crust (Split Topic)
Post by: Tscarborough on November 22, 2010, 10:11:08 PM
Let me ask you this then:

Is it something that should be a goal to work towards, a by-process of making a pizza that does not need it, but can tolerate it, or an essential element of the pizza.

The best pizzas I have ever made did not have it, but I have had some excellent pizzas that I did not make that did.
Title: Re: Blistering in a Pizza Crust (Split Topic)
Post by: Bill/SFNM on November 22, 2010, 10:26:17 PM
Let me ask you this then:

Is it something that should be a goal to work towards, a by-process of making a pizza that does not need it, but can tolerate it, or an essential element of the pizza.

The best pizzas I have ever made did not have it, but I have had some excellent pizzas that I did not make that did.

It is not a goal I work towards. All black spots on the surface of the crust are NOT produced by the same process.
This is a sweeping generality, but, in general, the texture of the crust comes from heat and hydration; the taste comes from ingredients and fermentation. The way the outside of the crust looks is a combination of all of these and is just an artifact.

When it comes to texture, for me the biggest defect is an undercooked or overcooked pizza - the higher the temp, the harder it is to hit that window just right. I do not use the appearance of the surface of the crust as a cue.

 
Title: Re: Blistering in a Pizza Crust (Split Topic)
Post by: Tscarborough on November 22, 2010, 10:41:39 PM
In the WFO at high temps (<800), I use the cheese as the visual indicator of doneness, but in the kitchen oven and below 800 I use the crust.  Oddly enough, I DO like my cheese with some char, just not the crust. 

I make a high hydration dough, high enough that I have to keep it in the fridge until just before I press it out, but I do not use or like Caputo flour.  It just doesn't give me what I want, and is certainly not worth the 3x cost.  Then again, I am not really trying to emulate Neapolitan pizza, although I do make margherita ingredient pies.

Title: Re: Blistering in a Pizza Crust (Split Topic)
Post by: Bill/SFNM on November 22, 2010, 10:46:22 PM
We are clearly making different pizzas - you probably would not enjoy the ones I make. Different strokes.

In your WFO, are you baking with a live fire? Is the crust exposed to radiant heat from coals or flames?
Title: Re: Blistering in a Pizza Crust (Split Topic)
Post by: Tscarborough on November 22, 2010, 10:59:59 PM
Trust me, I would enjoy your pizzas.

Yes, I have a 2 log on a bed of coals fire going when I cook, mainly for light.  For a 2 minute pie at the beginning of the bake, I turn it at least 4 or 5 times, towards the end of the bake when the oven is down to 6-700 degrees I might turn it twice.
Title: Re: Blistering in a Pizza Crust (Split Topic)
Post by: chickenparm on December 10, 2010, 01:37:05 AM
I seen a commercial tonight on TV for Cici's Pizza and their pizzas shown had the blistering bubbles everywhere on the dough rim.
These are conveyor belt oven pizzas,not cooked at high heat in wfo or something elite..

Wonder how they managed that?
 :-D

That said,I have seen the same tiny blisters on Little Caesars pizza crusts as well.
So what gives?
 ???



Title: Re: Blistering in a Pizza Crust (Split Topic)
Post by: Aimless Ryan on December 12, 2010, 04:31:47 PM
I seen a commercial tonight on TV for Cici's Pizza and their pizzas shown had the blistering bubbles everywhere on the dough rim.
These are conveyor belt oven pizzas,not cooked at high heat in wfo or something elite..

Wonder how they managed that?
 :-D

That said,I have seen the same tiny blisters on Little Caesars pizza crusts as well.
So what gives?
 ???

I’d say with the pizzas you mentioned, it may be the result of spraying the outside of the dough with a non-stick spray before baking (I mean blow-drying). I don’t know if they do that at either one of those places, and I’m not even sure what makes me say what I’ve said here. Just a feeling, I guess, perhaps based on something I once knew but forgot.
Title: Re: Blistering in a Pizza Crust (Split Topic)
Post by: widespreadpizza on December 12, 2010, 04:39:45 PM
AR,  I agree about the blistering.  I also think it is caused by using oil on the outside of the dough while fermenting the dough.  -marc
Title: Re: Blistering in a Pizza Crust (Split Topic)
Post by: Minolta Rokkor on December 23, 2016, 12:42:30 AM
I wanted to chime in on this subject.

I've made pizza dough and crust that had lots of micro blisters, hardly any blister and huge blisters.

To me, the micro blister pizzas are the best, then large blister, and last no/little blister pizzas.

I've said this  a million times, but, those micro blister add something in terms of crust flavor.

Here's an example of what each is to me

Pic 1 is a micro blister
Pic 2 is a large blister
pic 3 is no blister

Those are the results I got, I wonder what others definition of micro blisters look like.



 

Title: Re: Blistering in a Pizza Crust (Split Topic)
Post by: bradtri on December 27, 2016, 09:57:51 AM
I know this is a "pizza" thread, but just cross-posting a recent loaf of bread that had a bunch of blistering on it.

https://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=26375.msg462169#msg462169

Title: Re: Blistering in a Pizza Crust (Split Topic)
Post by: abrown221 on January 09, 2017, 09:48:49 PM
I have seen this phenomenon as well, and I have seen in in everyones pictures all over this site. 

I am nearly positive that it happens with a long CF or even RTF.  Different pieces of the dough are relaxing at a different pace, and little spots in the dough get slack enough that air expands into a blister.  The longer the ferment, the more little "pockets" get extremely slack.  Coupled with the fact that the yeast is sputtering out tiny air pockets when it is nearing the end of its useful life, you get small blisters.  When the yeast is lively, dough is strong, you get very few small blisters, and this occasional big one.  When the yeast is still ramping up, and dough is VERY strong (same day doughs) you get no blisters.  Nothing had enough time to relax in the last example, yeast didn't have enough time to penetrate small or large pockets of air anywhere. 

I did a terrible job of constructing that explanation, but hopefully you can still understand it. 
Title: Re: Blistering in a Pizza Crust (Split Topic)
Post by: Pete-zza on January 10, 2017, 02:17:48 PM
I have seen this phenomenon as well, and I have seen in in everyones pictures all over this site. 

I am nearly positive that it happens with a long CF or even RTF.  Different pieces of the dough are relaxing at a different pace, and little spots in the dough get slack enough that air expands into a blister.  The longer the ferment, the more little "pockets" get extremely slack.  Coupled with the fact that the yeast is sputtering out tiny air pockets when it is nearing the end of its useful life, you get small blisters.  When the yeast is lively, dough is strong, you get very few small blisters, and this occasional big one.  When the yeast is still ramping up, and dough is VERY strong (same day doughs) you get no blisters.  Nothing had enough time to relax in the last example, yeast didn't have enough time to penetrate small or large pockets of air anywhere. 

I did a terrible job of constructing that explanation, but hopefully you can still understand it.
abbrown,

There is merit to what you have posted but many of us learned that there are many reasons why blisters form in pizza crusts. This was a topic that was worked over pretty well in the thread at https://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=30641.0. If you search that thread using the basic term "blister" (without the quotes), you should find many posts on the subject. But here are some of mine that came out of extensive research of the subject on the forum:

Reply 1128 at https://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=30641.msg361185#msg361185,

Reply 1209 at https://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=30641.msg362076#msg362076,

Reply 1228 at https://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=30641.msg362301;topicseen#msg362301, and

Reply 1471 at https://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=30641.msg374649#msg374649.

Peter