When making pizza, often the dough bubbles up hugely, displacing toppings and generally making a mess of the pie.

Are there any secrets to preventing this? Does the key lie in the dough recipe, the distribution of toppings, or something else? Or is there no real secret, other than watching and popping the bubbles when they form?

5 Answers 5


From Encyclopizza

There’s a difference between bubbles formed from under-proofing versus over-proofing. Bubbles from under-proofing tend to be flat but large in diameter. If unpopped, they can blow up an entire pizza. This is the process by which pita or pocket bread is made. Bubbles from over-proofing tend to be high but smaller in diameter. They rise up like little ping-pong balls and eventually form a hole at the top, at which time they stop expanding. They almost always burn. Most pizza bubbling problems are of the under-proofed type.

To resolve a bubbling problem, dough fermentation must be adjusted accordingly. To stop bubbling caused by under-proofed dough, increase the amount of fermentation. To stop bubbling caused by over-proofed dough, reduce the amount of fermentation.

In addition to proper proofing, it has been found that reducing the amount of water in a dough formula can help with reducing bubbling when dealing with the under-proofed type. The reduction in moisture aids in creating the pinpoint holes in the cells walls.

In addition, you want to make sure you properly knead your dough. Some people poke tiny holes in the dough to prevent overly large bubbles. As a final resort you could observe your pizza in the oven and poke bubbles as they form.

  • 1
    I worked at a local pizza restaurant for a couple of years, and that's exactly what we did - open the door every couple of minutes, spin the pie and pierce any bubbles with a fork. Commented Sep 2, 2010 at 12:53
  • Also, from your description I'd guess that ours were over-proofed. I wasn't the dough guy. :) Commented Sep 2, 2010 at 12:55
  • 1
    However, I think a little crust-bubbling and even a little browning of bubbles is the sign of a good pizza. Commented Dec 3, 2013 at 8:12

After the dough has been rolled and stretched, dock the dough. You can buy a fancy docker (a 'spikey' rolling pin type device) but unless you make lots of pizzas, it seems silly to have a specialized tool. A fork will work just fine.

I must admit, I've been caught with a fork in each hand "drumming," dancing, and singing whilst making pizza. :)

  • I assume "dock the dough" means poke it with a fork all over the place? Commented Sep 2, 2010 at 20:56
  • DOH! (or should I say DOUGH!) Yes, to dock dough means to poke holes all over it.
    – Juju
    Commented Sep 3, 2010 at 3:35

Letting your dough rest in the refrigerator at least overnight and up to a couple of days before rolling out will stop big bubbles. The bubbles are co2 gas being released by the fermentation caused by the yeast. Refrigeration drastically reduces the speed at which the co2 is released but allows the flavor to develop fully. A long rest in the fridge will also make the dough easier to roll out by reducing "bounce back" from the elasticity of the dough.

  • We occasionally buy pizza dough at the supermarket, keeping it in the fridge for a couple of days, until we are motivated enough for making a pizza. More than once I saw the bag really inflate as the dough gets fermented. Unfortunately, this never stopped crust bubbles from forming.
    – ysap
    Commented Jun 21, 2015 at 12:28

Try docking your dough. A plastic docker is only 4 or 5 bucks at restaurant supply or cooking store.


its all in the proofing and density of the dough ! I find a dense and underproofed dough to be bubbly and simply hard to work with as its usually hard as a rock when refrigerated for service !

  • therefore a softer wetter dough proofed to perfection and youre results in the finished product will speak for itself !!
    – Bruno
    Commented Dec 3, 2013 at 7:16

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.