Air pockets between dough and baking stone

Hi everyone,
I am having a strange problem with air pockets forming between the pizza and the stone after launching. I get these huge bubbles. At first I thought it was a bubble in the dough and I would just need to dock it, but when I opened the oven to pop it, I realized the bubble was somehow forming between the stone and the pizza. I had one bubble last night that was 3 inches high and totally burned.

My oven is an electric deck oven with pizza stones. My baking temp is 400C on the bottom element and 330C on the top element. My bake time is 4min 30sec.

The only ideas I have so far are:
1. Improper balling creating a weak spot.
2. Improper kneading during dough making.

My dough uses a sourdough starter at 50/50 flour/water. My hydration percentage is 70%, and my flour is Caputo 00 Pizza Flour.

I dust the dough balls with a 60/40 semolina/flour mix and let them prove on a plate on the pizza rack until ready to use, about 1 hour at 74F, after coming out of a 24 - 48hr CF at 40F.

I use a wooden peel made by epicurian to launch, and only use very light dusting on it. I do a full stretch of the dough on the counter in the dusting mix before placing it on the peel for topping.

I will post a photo if it happens again tonight.

Thanks for any ideas!

John Dole
posted 10 months ago

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Hi John: Your pie doesn't seem consistent w/Pizza Bible. Are you using it? Your oven temps are high; are you making Neapolitan? Have you noticed thin spots when stretching that later bubble in the oven? Have you been temping your dough before stretching? It should be 60-65F (16C?)

Pizza Bible is a sound investment if you haven't yet purchased it. (no commission here ;-)

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Maria .
posted 10 months ago

Hi Maria,
Thanks so much for your fast response and sorry for my slow one! Ive been testing a bit in my kitchen and it looks like you are spot on. Though it might actually be the temperature of the sauce. Or it could be some combination of cold sauce and cold dough. I have just started my biz, so things can get slow so I will return my sauce to the fridge sometimes to keep it fresh. Ive since started using a smaller bowl to take smaller amounts out, as well as setting my dough out sooner. Seems to have solved the problem!

Also, I have indeed read the pizza bible, but I wasnt temping my dough because it hadnt been an issue before. But I realized that putting the sauce and sometimes the dough back in the fridge might have been creating the problem. :)

Thanks so much!

- John   9 months ago


It may have something to do with your hydration (70%). It's very high in terms what Caputo 00 flours are rated at. Most of them run in the 55-57%...maybe up to 60%, absorption rate.

I'd lower the hydration a bit and see how it turns out. It might require several test batches to get it where you want it to be.

Hope that helps.

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Mike K.
posted 10 months ago

Hi Mike! Thanks for the advice. I had NO idea about the Caputo 00 absorption rate. Amazingly I have somehow not had a problem until now. Though when my dough gets even slightly over-prooved, its a mess. I will try out a lower hydration and see how it comes out.

- John   9 months ago

John: So glad that worked out. Send us pics when you get a minute.

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Maria .
posted 9 months ago

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