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I can't get my pizza off my peel - Forno Bravo Forum: The Wood-Fired Oven Community


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I'm Peter Reinhart! Ask Me Anything! Monday, February 15, 2016 7:00-8:00 pm EST

To kick off our AMA feature, we have invited author, chef and master bread maker and host of Pizza Quest, Peter Reinhart, to be our first host! Peter will be in the Forum on Monday, February 15th, from 7:00 - 8:00 pm EST. If you are unable to be online during the live session, you can post your questions in the sticky post. Peter will answer those questions during the live session on February 15th. You can view Peter's answers to your questions as well as what happened during the live session in the session thread.

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I can't get my pizza off my peel

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  • I can't get my pizza off my peel

    I generally use a dough recipe for 1/2 whole wheat 1/2 white flour from Peter Reinhart's book Artisan Breads Every Day. The dough is tacky but not sticky as he suggests and shapes very well. I make about a 10" diameter pizza and put it on my aluminum placing peel. I add toppings and try to insert it in my heated oven.

    And it's stuck.

    I try to "schuss" it off by acceleration. So hard in fact that the toppings fly off, but the dough stays in place. I have experimented with adding flour to the peel surface before placing the dough on it, but the small amount I use doesn't help. If I use a lot of flour it embeds in the dough and chars black.

    Any tips on how to lube the peel, or getting high-hydration dough to slide more easily?

  • #2
    Re: I can't get my pizza off my peel

    I like to use rice flour it's like Teflon for your peel. Flour your peel with the rice flour work your dough give the peel a shake to ensure it has not stuck. As you work your toppings give it a little shake and make sure everything is free.


    • #3
      Re: I can't get my pizza off my peel

      good tip - hadn't thought of rice flour

      how much do you use? do you coat the entire surface, or just sprinkle sparsely?


      • #4
        Re: I can't get my pizza off my peel

        Rice flour works great. I use a mix of half rice flour and half wheat flour (rice flour is pretty expensive) and that works great, too. I sprinkle it, fairly generously, but my aluminum peel is holes in it, so alot of the flour falls through (and can be reused).

        Rice flour will almost surely work for you. If not, try making the pie on parchment paper.



        • #5
          Re: I can't get my pizza off my peel

          I know this is an older thread but I wanted to add my technique here.

          I will use either a fair amount of cornmeal or semolina flour on the peel. The semolina doesn't burn so much as the corn meal.

          If you have a pizza already on the peel and you know it's stuck, slide a piece of dental floss under it. That has saved me a bunch of times.


          • #6
            Re: I can't get my pizza off my peel

            pages worth of answers...

            another possibility..

            Happy reading!
            My oven (for now):


            • #7
              Re: I can't get my pizza off my peel

              Makers don't usually build on metal peels: that may be part of your problem. You may not be able to get enough releasing agent between the skin and the peel to do any good. If you're using a metal placing peel, the pizza is usually built right on the stone counter, and pulled onto the metal peel to place it. Most home makers build on wooden peels, and there the rice flour works like a charm. If you're using a wooden peel, it helps to keep it sanded from time to time with fine sandpaper.
              My geodesic oven project: part 1, part 2


              • #8
                Re: I can't get my pizza off my peel

                OK, I'll switch to building the pie on the laminate counter top, then sliding the aluminum peel underneath and quickly transferring to the oven.

                Should I use the rice flour to lubricate the counter-top?


                • #9
                  Re: I can't get my pizza off my peel

                  I don't use this method, but I think most people who do just use the bench flour to keep it from sticking to the countertop.
                  My geodesic oven project: part 1, part 2


                  • #10
                    Re: I can't get my pizza off my peel

                    another method that I use is to sprinkle the peel with a little salt, which act like ball bearings. This does not burn on the hearth like any of the flours and I have not tasted any difference.
                    Another way I encourage newbies to the art, is to stretch their dough and place it on a release (oil) sprayed aluminium foil which after around a half of the cooking time (when you need/should turn your pizza) lift it off and place it directly on the hearth. This method also keeps your hearth cleaner (as I realise that you burn it off on your next firing but can also get very messy with those less experienced in the art of pizza baking).
                    I also use round pizza trays and lift the half cooked pizza off when the dough base is ready to turn and is a lot stiffer.

                    Prevention is better than cure, - do it right the first time!

                    The more I learn, the more I realise how little I know

                    Neillís Pompeiii #1
                    Neillís kitchen underway


                    • #11
                      Re: I can't get my pizza off my peel


                      I think it was Thermojax who originally posted that he successfully stretched his dough, dusted cardboard and placed the skin on the cardboard and used the cardboard for the peel.

                      I too used this method as I built 18+ pizzas (two failures due to folks not following directions when building the pizzas.) It worked flawlessly. So, if you were to do that on a peel, it should work well.

                      As for sources of Rice Flour. I go to a local asian grocery store - good ol wally dont carry none of dat stuff, though plenty of masa and such. Too bad they do not carry good Mexican Chocolate for mol'e!

                      Heck, if enough folks are having enough of a problem with getting rice flour, I will put my son to work grinding some - I have a grain grinder for making various grinds of flours.

                      Best o luck!

                      Jen-Aire 5 burner propane grill/Char Broil Smoker

                      Follow my build Chris' WFO


                      • #12
                        Re: I can't get my pizza off my peel

                        It's definitely easier to release the pie from a wooden peel than from a metal peel, for me anyway. A light dusting of any flour should be enough to release the dough from the wooden peel. A metal peel is a bit harder to get the dough to release. But my trick is not to let the dough sit too long on the peel. Before you even think about putting the pie in the oven, you shake the peel to release the dough from the peel outside the oven.

                        If it doesn't release outside the oven, it certainly won't release inside the oven. If you shake the peel when you first put the dough on the peel, without toppings, it should easily slide around on the peel. Shake it again once you have the sauce on the dough to free it up again, if necessary. Then be sure to shake it just before you put it in the oven to verify it is free from the peel.

                        Once you have it in the oven, gently shake the peel get about an inch of the dough on the oven hearth. Once one inch of dough is on the oven surface lift the peel so the dough is on the incline. That one inch will adhere to oven surface while you pull out and gently shake at the same time. It's important to shake the peel at the same time as pulling out. Other wise you get an oblong shaped pizza. I would try a wooden peel at first, it's a lot easier to work with.

                        There is a video that is posted here called "great peel work" I think, that shows a real pro with a peel and how it's done in the industry. Commercially the entire pie is prepared "on the counter" then scooped-up with the metal peel and into the oven immediately. The counter surface is typically of some kind of smooth stone and well dusted with semolina. The video shows this very nicely. Will post a link.
                        Our Facebook Page:http://www.facebook.com/pages/Stoneh...60738907277443


                        • #13
                          Re: I can't get my pizza off my peel

                          Here is the link => http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f41/...ork-14394.html
                          Our Facebook Page:http://www.facebook.com/pages/Stoneh...60738907277443


                          • #14
                            Re: I can't get my pizza off my peel

                            My technique is to build the pizza on a wooden peel that is dusted with flour. Speed of building the pizza is a key factor. Shake the dough on the peel frequently while building the pizza. If it sticks near completion use a dough scraper to lift up the edges and free it. lwood is right: if it wont slide on the peel outside the oven, it isn't going to release inside and you have an accidental calzone in your immediate future. Good luck and happy cooking


                            • #15
                              Re: I can't get my pizza off my peel

                              It makes me giggle imagining your toppings flying off while still having your dough on the peel b/c it has happened to me a few times, too. I haven't tried the rice flour method, but it seems to be working (you could probably make it cheaply by throwing some rice into a coffee grinder and buzzing away). The cardboard method seems cheap and similar to a wood peel effect. I'm with the others--metal peels are great for taking pies out of the oven, but not great for getting them into the oven.