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Pizza making technique

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  • Pizza making technique

    Hi folks,

    So I have my oven going great. I can make my Caputo based dough no problem. However, my technique appears to be lacking when it comes to actually getting the prepared pizza in the oven.

    So, I make my base and put the toppings on. Getting it onto the pizza peel though, is a bit of a problem for me... the pizza usually gets deformed trying to slide it from the work surface onto the peel.

    I've tried making the pizza on the peel, but then I have difficulty getting it off the peel in the oven... I usually have to shove it off which sends toppings to the four corners of the oven!

    Anyone any tips? I see that pizza places usually make the pizza on a little round grill base. Do people use these at all?
    My oven on a pallet build thread

  • #2
    Re: Pizza making technique

    At first I had the same problems you have.
    What I do now is use corn meal. I pour some on the peel, place my dough on the peel and start preparing the pizza. Before I leave the kitchen, I shake the peel forward and backwards to make sure that the pizza slides, then I make my way to the oven and don't have any problem.
    I have seen videos where they prep the pizza on the counter, then they load it on the peel. I haven't tried that yet.
    https://www.flickr.com/photos/yannic...7644224444113/

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    • #3
      Re: Pizza making technique

      G'day
      Cornmeal works well but if the worst happens and you can't gently shake it lose pick up a corner of the pizza and blow underneath it it will separate.
      Regards dave
      Measure twice
      Cut once
      Fit in position with largest hammer

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      • #4
        Re: Pizza making technique

        Is your peel metal or wood? I'm waiting for our oven to cure but watching many Italians make pizza on youtube. What they all seem to do is make the pizza on a floured wood peel and it slides off whole in the oven, then they use the metal peel for turning it around and removing it when it's ready. Not on purpose I decided to slide a pizza from my wood cutting board onto the back side of a heated cookie sheet in the convection oven. This has worked perfect the previous 2X.

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        • #5
          Re: Pizza making technique

          Prep the dough on the counter in a bit of flour. Then just wipe a bit of flour on your peel before you put the stretched dough on there. And shake it a bit to make sure it's still moving before you head for the oven with it. If any bit won't move, slide a bit more flour under that section.

          Cornmeal works, but IMHO, it makes a mess. Nasty piles of burned black crumbs. Since you need a pile of flour on hand to stretch the dough anyway, I think it's more efficient to use that.
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          • #6
            Re: Pizza making technique

            I noticed in a ego restaurant the other day they stretch bars onto a wooden peel to let relax for however long they put toppings on and the pizzas simply slid off onto longer peel then into oven.
            Cheers Colin

            My Build - Index to Major Build Stages

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            • #7
              Re: Pizza making technique

              I noticed in a wfo restaurant the other day they stretch bars onto a wooden peel to let relax for however long they put toppings on and the pizzas simply slid off onto longer peel then into oven.
              Cheers Colin

              My Build - Index to Major Build Stages

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              • #8
                Re: Pizza making technique

                Cornmeal works if you are cooking at low temps, but if you are using Caputo and going for Neapolitan, as it sounds like you are, then you have to adapt the technique a little.

                Form the dough on the bench with lots of flour. Don't be afraid of the flour.

                Get it pressed out, then give it 1 or two over the palms to shake off the flour, and on to the peel.

                Shake it to make sure nothing stuck. Dress it with sauce, give it a lil shake. Finish it all off, shake it and drop it in to the oven.

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                • #9
                  Re: Pizza making technique

                  See Jamie Oliver showing how to cook pizza in a WFO
                  Why is this thus? What is the reason for this thusness?
                  I forgot who said that.

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                  • #10
                    Re: Pizza making technique

                    I didn't have a lot of luck with using flour on my peel for pizza release. It seemed like too often my guests would "slop" a little sauce or something wet on the floured peel area near the pizza and the flour would turn into a pretty good glue. It didn't take too long for the pizzas to start sticking and I'd need to stop and clean off the gummy spots...so I turned to rice flour instead of wheat flour. (I'd try corn meal, but I don't cook or bake with it so it would be an ingredient just for "peel release" here in the Dragonfly Den.)

                    I use rice flour for all my bread couches and cloths to keep dough from sticking and it works really well. I have it in a small shaker by the oven and when doing pizza I just give the peel a light dusting before putting on the pie round. No problems with sticking pizzas so far...just a bit of rice flour and it does not get sticky if something is spilled on it. Often I can just rub my hand over the peel between pizzas and have enough left over rice flour on the board to keep the next pizza moving in the right direction...
                    Mike Stansbury - The Traveling Loafer
                    Roseburg, Oregon ( www.sablesprings.com )

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                    • #11
                      Re: Pizza making technique

                      In practice. It happens to me that when I am over-topping the pizza compared to the dough thickness, it is more likely to stick to the peel. IMHO, a flowered peel, topped with a flowered dough, topped with a reasonable amount of topping compared to the dough thickness is unlikely to stick.

                      Maybe taking a long time topping the pizza may cause it to stick to the peel too.
                      A hot peel is more likely to hug the dough too, so some use wooden peels for inserting and metal for removing.
                      I've seen some skilled Italian chefs preparing the dough on the cool marble of the kitchen table after flowering it then skilfully insert the peel by jiggling it under the dough then to the oven. This will guarantee that the pizza will not stick to the peel while in the oven.
                      Why is this thus? What is the reason for this thusness?
                      I forgot who said that.

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                      • #12
                        Re: Pizza making technique

                        Rice flour works great, with the added bonus that it doesn't turn black in the oven. Downside is it is another ingredient to have around the prep area.
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                        • #13
                          Re: Pizza making technique

                          Originally posted by di11on View Post
                          I've tried making the pizza on the peel, but then I have difficulty getting it off the peel in the oven... I usually have to shove it off which sends toppings to the four corners of the oven!

                          Anyone any tips? I see that pizza places usually make the pizza on a little round grill base. Do people use these at all?
                          Hello just my experience, I have been using semolina flour for years. Put your stretched dough directly on a wooden peel that has been sprinkled with the semolina. Like others have said, prior to launch, make sure the pie is moving on the peel freely with a couple jerk of the wrist. This has always worked for me.
                          Chris

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                          • #14
                            Re: Pizza making technique

                            Originally posted by v12spirit View Post
                            In practice. It happens to me that when I am over-topping the pizza compared to the dough thickness, it is more likely to stick to the peel. IMHO, a flowered peel, topped with a flowered dough, topped with a reasonable amount of topping compared to the dough thickness is unlikely to stick.

                            Maybe taking a long time topping the pizza may cause it to stick to the peel too.
                            A hot peel is more likely to hug the dough too, so some use wooden peels for inserting and metal for removing.
                            I've seen some skilled Italian chefs preparing the dough on the cool marble of the kitchen table after flowering it then skilfully insert the peel by jiggling it under the dough then to the oven. This will guarantee that the pizza will not stick to the peel while in the oven.
                            G'day
                            How very true V12 on overloaded pizza. Aussies generally overload their pizza. My eldest is the worst offender by far. Most guests can be pared back on their topping levels but he is used to my arguments.
                            If it's going to be 16 in monsters then its on to pizza trays. I've got some really old and blacked flat ones and a couple of newer slotted ones. Oil the tray build the pizza on it and in the oven. Give it enough time to harden up, draw it to the entrance and holding the tray with a pair of long tongs then slide the monster on the hearth and back in the oven to complete cooking.
                            Even this way you can only have so much toppings if you do go too far with them they harden on the outside and the mass on the inside is stewed .
                            I do keep up the education and the first pizza, the "testa" is base with a spiral of tomato, garlic, and a shave of Parmesan, simple, tasty and minimal on the toppings and cooked directly on the hearth.
                            Regards dave
                            Measure twice
                            Cut once
                            Fit in position with largest hammer

                            My Build
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                            • #15
                              Re: Pizza making technique

                              I make 16" and cook them for about a minute on screens, then slide them off and cook them for another minute on the deck. A couple from today:

                              100% Caputo red bag, 70% hydration, both of these have 90% mozzarella, 8% quesadillo and 2% Parmesan cheese. Sauce is straight 7-11 tomatoes with a sprinkle of Italian herbs before the cheese. The first has clamato olives and center cut bacon bits, the second has proscuttio, onion, and fresh jalapeno.
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