Author Topic: So you want big bubbles in the rim of your pizza  (Read 2822 times)

pax238

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 52
    • View Profile
So you want big bubbles in the rim of your pizza
« on: February 10, 2016, 11:45:14 PM »
I posted a photo of a pizza slice in my introduction, and it generated a few requests for how to get a rim/cornicione with airy bubbles in it. I'm a bit of a pizza geek, and was very active on pizzamaking.com, which is a terrific site, full of people who love to help each other out (kind of like this forum, but with a lot more active participants).

Here's a basic NY style dough for a 15-inch in grams (much better accuracy than any other dry/wet measure) and baker's percentages (everything is in relation to the flour, which is always 100%):

Flour (100%): 319 grams (King Arthur Bread Flour is fine. I use the organic version, and most often try to fool myself into thinking it's healthy by substituting up to 15% King Arthur White whole Wheat Flour)
Water (62%): 198 grams
Instant Dry Yeast: (0.2%): 0.65 grams
Salt (1.75%): 5.6 grams
Sugar (1%): 3.2 grams (optional, if you're going to ferment the dough in the fridge for more than 48 hours)
Total weight = 526 grams

I use a Bosch Compact mixer, with the dough hook, and on the lowest speed. A good process is to put the water in the bowl first, and then add 1/2 of the dry ingredients right away and gradually add more (see tips below).

When finished mixing, ball the dough by folding the outer edges under and into the middle. Put it into a lightly oiled round container and brush the dough with a little more oil (to keep it from sticking), cover it and put into the refrigerator for a minimum of 48 hours to develop the flavor.

Take it out of the refrigerator and leave it on the counter for a few hours to temper it (bringing it close to room temperature allows you to stretch the dough with out have it snap back too much). Stretch and shape the dough gently, but don't work the rim of the dough. There are some good videos on youtube to show this (and some tips below).

Preheat your oven for at least 50 minutes with your pizza stone in it (if you don't have a good, thick pizza stone, you won't get a decent crust).

Add your topping and bake.

As I understand it, and if you pay attention to some simple details (below), the bubbles are caused by the yeast being killed off by the heat - the hotter it is, the more instantaneous the yeast die-off and, when they die, their last act is to emit gas that forms the big bubbles that you see. Now for some details.

If you like big air bubbles (and some people do not), here are some things that I've learned along the way that affect the quality of the dough (and, for me, it's the dough that counts for good pizza) and the air bubbles:

- The dough recipe. I've found that higher levels of hydration (62% and over) seem to give an airier cornicione.

- The way you mix the dough - minimal time on low speed in a mixer, just to combine the ingredients, only until it gets a "cottage cheese-like" look to it (that's how pizza geeks talk about the consistency).

- How you form the dough balls - again, no over working the dough.

- The length of fermentation time in the fridge - it depends on the recipe, but I've found that 48 hours is the minimum (more for taste than anything else), but I've gone for 10 days with one particular recipe.

- The way you form the skin, bringing the dough ball up to room temperature and then handling the outer edge as little as possible and absolutely never (ever) going anywhere near it with a rolling pin or dough docker. You don't want air bubbles in the "body" of the skin (even seemingly small ones expand a lot when you put the dough on the stone), so I prick them with a fork to deflate them.

- High temperature. If I'm cooking inside, I set the oven as high as it will go with my soapstone tile in the oven until the surface hits around 465 degrees (at least 50 minutes  for me to saturate the stone with heat). If I'm cooking outside (I have a propane fired Blackstone pizza oven), I heat it up to around 575-600 for a New Haven style pizza.

If you do all of these things right (with a little practice, it isn't as hard as it sounds) and you don't pop the bubbles in the rim, around 4 minutes later... pizza!

Hope that helps.

If you really want to learn about making good pizza, I would highly recommend that you mosey on over to the forums at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php rather than trying to recreate that outstanding forum here. They are as geeky about pizza as people here are about smoking, and just as helpful and friendly!
« Last Edit: February 10, 2016, 11:54:48 PM by pax238 »
Barry from CT
A little bit less of a complete newbie with a #1

SconnieQ

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1646
  • Model #1 since Jan 2015
    • View Profile
Re: So you want big bubbles in the rim of your pizza
« Reply #1 on: February 11, 2016, 12:11:29 AM »
Thanks! That's a very thorough explanation. I'm a fan of the bubbles.
Kari from Madison WI "77 Square Miles Surrounded by Reality"
SI Model #1 with "Libby the dog" poultry skin eating accessory
Weber Smokey Mountain (are we still friends?), Weber Kettle Grill (stop complaining WSM, I still have a chance)
Anova WiFi Precision Cooker (sous vide)

Limey

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 501
    • View Profile
Re: So you want big bubbles in the rim of your pizza
« Reply #2 on: February 11, 2016, 10:50:47 PM »
Hi Barry, thanks a lot. I make pizza from time to time and that was very helpful.
Roger from the Florida Keys.
Two SI#3s, both with switched bypass and Aubers(different locations), Viking, Jenn Aire & five TEC infra red grills. Recently acquired UDS.

DivotMaker

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 10665
  • Model 1, 2D conversion, and 3D!
    • View Profile
Re: So you want big bubbles in the rim of your pizza
« Reply #3 on: February 11, 2016, 11:08:01 PM »
Thanks, Barry!  This is great stuff!
Tony from NW Arkansas
"Official Smokin-It Test Pilot"
Smokin-It Model 1, 2D conversion, and 3D
Auber PID, NexGrill 896 6-burner, CharBroil Big Easy, Anova Precision Cooker w/WiFi
Wife, Son and One REALLY Big Dog!

pax238

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 52
    • View Profile
Re: So you want big bubbles in the rim of your pizza
« Reply #4 on: February 12, 2016, 07:58:38 PM »
My pleasure. Just trying to give back.
Barry from CT
A little bit less of a complete newbie with a #1

DivotMaker

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 10665
  • Model 1, 2D conversion, and 3D!
    • View Profile
Re: So you want big bubbles in the rim of your pizza
« Reply #5 on: February 12, 2016, 08:06:50 PM »
Any help you can give on pizza will be much-appreciated!  There are several of us, here, that love pizza recipes!  Sounds like you know a thing or two to help everyone.  We appreciate the "give back" comment!  That's why we have the best BBQ/Pizza/Cooking forum on the planet!!!  Everyone helps with their own expertise and experience.  Thanks! 8)
Tony from NW Arkansas
"Official Smokin-It Test Pilot"
Smokin-It Model 1, 2D conversion, and 3D
Auber PID, NexGrill 896 6-burner, CharBroil Big Easy, Anova Precision Cooker w/WiFi
Wife, Son and One REALLY Big Dog!

icebob

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 195
    • View Profile
Re: So you want big bubbles in the rim of your pizza
« Reply #6 on: February 20, 2016, 09:15:37 PM »
Think I have a good specimen here ;)
Bob from Cahokia, IL

DivotMaker

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 10665
  • Model 1, 2D conversion, and 3D!
    • View Profile
Re: So you want big bubbles in the rim of your pizza
« Reply #7 on: February 20, 2016, 10:08:15 PM »
Looks delicious, Bob!
Tony from NW Arkansas
"Official Smokin-It Test Pilot"
Smokin-It Model 1, 2D conversion, and 3D
Auber PID, NexGrill 896 6-burner, CharBroil Big Easy, Anova Precision Cooker w/WiFi
Wife, Son and One REALLY Big Dog!

icebob

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 195
    • View Profile
Re: So you want big bubbles in the rim of your pizza
« Reply #8 on: February 23, 2016, 09:27:13 AM »
If I'm cooking outside (I have a propane fired Blackstone pizza oven), I heat it up to around 575-600 for a New Haven style pizza.

This got me curious, so I went to the pizzamaking forum and read about this really affordable pizza oven.... guess what happen 8) It will be delivered tomorrow! NY and Neapolitan pies on my to do list!
Bob from Cahokia, IL

pax238

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 52
    • View Profile
Re: So you want big bubbles in the rim of your pizza
« Reply #9 on: February 25, 2016, 09:36:32 PM »
If I'm cooking outside (I have a propane fired Blackstone pizza oven), I heat it up to around 575-600 for a New Haven style pizza.

This got me curious, so I went to the pizzamaking forum and read about this really affordable pizza oven.... guess what happen 8) It will be delivered tomorrow! NY and Neapolitan pies on my to do list!

I hope you enjoy it. It may take a little time to balance the heat out between the top and bottom stones. You'll see what I mean when you fire it up the first time... it can be a real flamethrower  :o, but you should get the hang of it pretty quick. One thing you'll want is a good infrared thermometer to take readings of the top and bottom stones, because the thermometer on the Blackstone is notoriously inaccurate.
Barry from CT
A little bit less of a complete newbie with a #1

coachB

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 171
    • View Profile
Re: So you want big bubbles in the rim of your pizza
« Reply #10 on: February 26, 2016, 01:34:02 AM »
Barry,  as I have stated previously, I am from New Haven and have been in search of the pizzas from home since I left in '88 with no luck.  I have tried and tried with no luck.  Until now.  I have dialed in my sauce (no cook) with San Marzanos, use a 50/50% whole/lowfat good mozzarella mix, and a high hydration caputo 00/King Arthur BF with an Ischia sourdough poolish.  What provides the final component is an accessory I came across on the pizzamaking forum.  I have been a member there for several years and have lurked through many of the suggestions posted there.  Came up with good results, but not great.  Last month I came across an item under discussion called the Pizza Dome.  It is 2 sheets of SS that join and when bent and installed above the pizza stone produce the temps needed to make an apizza like home.  My oven can be set to 550 (maybe), and after preheat the stone surface will hit like 680.  It is an 18x18x1 cordeirite stone.  The oven is 24x18 so I think the oven would get even better heat circulation with a 16x16x1 stone.  I can't get an upper reading with the IR (open the door, get low enough to shoot a reading and the heat has already been lost), but from the end result I am happy.  The pizza is bubbling when pulled.  The cornicione is crisp yet chewy with the desired "leopard spots" on the crust top and bottom.  I have been very happy with this simple but effective solution.  It cost me $65 plus S&H.  Highly recommended.  By the way, the owner/company is in Torrington.  I called and spoke with the owner about several questions I had and it reminded me of dealing with Steve.  He was very helpful and personable.  Customer service is definitely not an issue.

I would love to have one of the dedicated WFO's that are out there, but being retired on SS the costs rule out that option.  This accessory was affordable and allows me to use my own kitchen and oven, year round, in any weather condition.  Not meaning to sound like an infomercial, but for anyone with limited resources this was a great solution for a seemingly insurmountable problem.







Bill from Myrtle Beach SC

icebob

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 195
    • View Profile
Re: So you want big bubbles in the rim of your pizza
« Reply #11 on: February 26, 2016, 08:45:00 AM »
If I'm cooking outside (I have a propane fired Blackstone pizza oven), I heat it up to around 575-600 for a New Haven style pizza.

This got me curious, so I went to the pizzamaking forum and read about this really affordable pizza oven.... guess what happen 8) It will be delivered tomorrow! NY and Neapolitan pies on my to do list!

I hope you enjoy it. It may take a little time to balance the heat out between the top and bottom stones. You'll see what I mean when you fire it up the first time... it can be a real flamethrower  :o, but you should get the hang of it pretty quick. One thing you'll want is a good infrared thermometer to take readings of the top and bottom stones, because the thermometer on the Blackstone is notoriously inaccurate.

Got the IR thermometer  covered! I read the whole Blackstone thread at pizzamaking, so I have a good idea about the oven... we're going to find out on Sunday :)
Bob from Cahokia, IL

pax238

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 52
    • View Profile
Re: So you want big bubbles in the rim of your pizza
« Reply #12 on: February 26, 2016, 03:18:41 PM »
Barry,  as I have stated previously, I am from New Haven and have been in search of the pizzas from home since I left in '88 with no luck.  I have tried and tried with no luck.  Until now.  I have dialed in my sauce (no cook) with San Marzanos, use a 50/50% whole/lowfat good mozzarella mix, and a high hydration caputo 00/King Arthur BF with an Ischia sourdough poolish.  What provides the final component is an accessory I came across on the pizzamaking forum.  I have been a member there for several years and have lurked through many of the suggestions posted there.  Came up with good results, but not great.  Last month I came across an item under discussion called the Pizza Dome.  It is 2 sheets of SS that join and when bent and installed above the pizza stone produce the temps needed to make an apizza like home.  My oven can be set to 550 (maybe), and after preheat the stone surface will hit like 680.  It is an 18x18x1 cordeirite stone.  The oven is 24x18 so I think the oven would get even better heat circulation with a 16x16x1 stone.  I can't get an upper reading with the IR (open the door, get low enough to shoot a reading and the heat has already been lost), but from the end result I am happy.  The pizza is bubbling when pulled.  The cornicione is crisp yet chewy with the desired "leopard spots" on the crust top and bottom.  I have been very happy with this simple but effective solution.  It cost me $65 plus S&H.  Highly recommended.  By the way, the owner/company is in Torrington.  I called and spoke with the owner about several questions I had and it reminded me of dealing with Steve.  He was very helpful and personable.  Customer service is definitely not an issue.

I would love to have one of the dedicated WFO's that are out there, but being retired on SS the costs rule out that option.  This accessory was affordable and allows me to use my own kitchen and oven, year round, in any weather condition.  Not meaning to sound like an infomercial, but for anyone with limited resources this was a great solution for a seemingly insurmountable problem.

This sounds like a great option for a home oven, and you sound like you're well pleased with your results. I'll have to check the Pizza Dome out for indoor use.

BTW, if you're planning to change the size of your stone (which I don't think is really necessary for heat circulation in your size oven - you have 3 inches on each size, which should be plenty), I would suggest that you see if you can find a large soapstone tile. I found that it was a major upgrade in terms of rapid heat transfer from the cordierite stone that I used before. Mine is 3/4 inch, and it recovers fast enough for multiple pizzas (unless you're planning to run a pizza shop).
Barry from CT
A little bit less of a complete newbie with a #1

pax238

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 52
    • View Profile
Re: So you want big bubbles in the rim of your pizza
« Reply #13 on: February 26, 2016, 03:21:42 PM »


Got the IR thermometer  covered! I read the whole Blackstone thread at pizzamaking, so I have a good idea about the oven... we're going to find out on Sunday :)
[/quote]

Sounds like everything is under control. I was a bit of an early adopter of the Blackstone, so there weren't that many people that I could learn from. I'll be thinking of you as I smoking some salmon on Sunday.
Barry from CT
A little bit less of a complete newbie with a #1

icebob

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 195
    • View Profile
Re: So you want big bubbles in the rim of your pizza
« Reply #14 on: February 26, 2016, 03:52:55 PM »


Got the IR thermometer  covered! I read the whole Blackstone thread at pizzamaking, so I have a good idea about the oven... we're going to find out on Sunday :)



















Sounds like everything is under control. I was a bit of an early adopter of the Blackstone, so there weren't that many people that I could learn from. I'll be thinking of you as I smoking some salmon on Sunday.
[/quote]

Funny you say that as last Sunday I smoked salmon! Tomorrow will be 35 days dry aged rib eyes!
Bob from Cahokia, IL