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Wooden Pizza Peel Question

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  • Wooden Pizza Peel Question

    This question is for those of you who use a wooden pizza peel to transfer pizza to a hot stone. How much flour do you spread on your peel before building your pizza? I've had such trouble with my pizza sticking to the peel that I've had to use the peel merely to form my dough. I'll transfer the dough to the stone and build the pizza while it's on the hot stone. I'd like to get out of this habit and be able to build the pizza with sauce, cheese, and toppings and then transfer it to a hot stone. I've been dusting the pizza peel with flour and using my hands to distribute it across the peel. Please help me!

  • #2
    Re: Wooden Pizza Peel Question

    I find that (1) brushing the dough on peel with olive oil acts as a moisture barier to the sauce and (2) work fast. If you take a long time deciding on toppings then you will end up with the eventual stick to peel, fold over itself, baked pizza

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    • #3
      Re: Wooden Pizza Peel Question

      I felt your pain for a very long time. No matter what I did, the dough always stuck to the wooden peel. That is, until I discovered this forum and the wealth of knowledge herein. Somewhere in this forum I read about using rice flour on a peel. I tried it last weekend and I swear it's like putting Rain-X on your wooden peel! It's absolutely amazing... like little ball bearings under your dough. I promise if you use a sprinkle of rice flour the dough will slide right off. And yes, work fast too.

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      • #4
        Re: Wooden Pizza Peel Question

        Hey,

        Check out this website. Superpeel.com My brother in law got me one for Christmas. It uses cheesecloth and a wood pizza peel to transfer items. My only concern is it might be hard to use in my wfo oven (to be built this spring) as it has a short handle and you need two hands to operate it. But it should work great for regular stoves and I'm sure I can use it in my WFO somehow.

        James - maybe it's worth adding the FB store?

        Good luck.
        Dick

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        • #5
          Re: Wooden Pizza Peel Question

          Ditto, Momo, on the rice flour. Brown or white, get thee to a health food store or grind some rice grains up in your blender. I've seen the super peel in action on YouTube, sort of a conveyor belt for pizza. I can imagine it bursting into flames in a WFO, but on a pizza stone where you need to place the pizza exactly, I can see how useful it is.

          In a brick oven, any place the pizza lands short of the back wall is pretty much all right. I've seen some home oven cooks (again on video) hold the peel at a steeper angle, like 30 degrees, and wiggle the pizza off onto the stone.

          I know it got rude remarks on a thread recently: Picking up an edge and blowing underneath really does get a stuck pizza loose from a peel, but not if it's glued on.

          Most of all, as Richard says, speed is of the essence. Get it down, get it round, get it dressed, and get it in the oven. Preparation is everything. If you don't have everything you need in your work area, leave the dough sit in a ball or disk, and go get it.
          My geodesic oven project: part 1, part 2

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          • #6
            Re: Wooden Pizza Peel Question

            The other problem that I sometimes see is pressing/rolling out the dough on the peel...it makes it stick a lot more.

            I always form the dough on a counter or cutting board, then transfer it to the peel, then top it (quickly).

            Drake
            My Oven Thread:
            http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f8/d...-oven-633.html

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            • #7
              Re: Wooden Pizza Peel Question

              I agree with moving quickly...letting the dough sit too long let's it grow and stick.

              I just got two new wood peels and have an old seasoned one....will be interesting to see if there is any difference on the next batch.

              Ciao
              sigpicTiempo para guzarlos..... ...enjoy every sandwich!

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              • #8
                Re: Wooden Pizza Peel Question

                I'm going to try that rice flour soon, but for now I use corn meal. I know some people don't like it because they say it's a little 'gritty', but I grew up with that on the bottom of my pizzas and it never bothered me. Actually, I prefer that 'Crunch'! And when we have pizza party's, I don't get any complaints about it! (and ALL of the pizzas get eaten!!)
                View my pictures at, Picasaweb.google.com/xharleyguy

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                • #9
                  Re: Wooden Pizza Peel Question

                  Thanks for all the replies. I will try out the rice flour for sure and try to cut down the time that my pizza sits on the peel. I've tried the high angle method before and would not recommend it. Once you've broken the static friction between the peel and the pizza it slides off so fast that ends up crashing into the stone and turning into a mess!

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                  • #10
                    Re: Wooden Pizza Peel Question

                    The only thing I can add - shake the peel periodically if people are taking a while to make the pizza to keep it moving on the board.

                    I'm anxious to try the blow under the pie method to free up a stuck pie!

                    Christo
                    My oven progress -
                    http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f8/c...cina-1227.html
                    sigpic

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                    • #11
                      Re: Wooden Pizza Peel Question

                      Folks,
                      there is nothing wrong with blowing under the dough to "free" it up.
                      I suggest using durum semolina flour underneath the dough when on the wooden peel.
                      If the inevitable stick occurs I have a method of retrieval that might save the day. take a pie tin or other similarly shaped plate to the pizza and place it over the top of the entire pizza. Turn the entire peel and plate over(together) onto the pie tin and you now have the underside of the pizza exposed( used to be stuck to peel).
                      Place more flour under the now wet/sticky pizza and reapply to the wooden peel by transfering the same way to the tin. make sure the entire pie is free from the shovel by lightly pulling at the crust around the diameter.
                      I've stuck quite a few pizzas teaching would-be pizzamen during my time in the kitchen.
                      Angelo

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                      • #12
                        Re: Wooden Pizza Peel Question

                        The pie pan trick sounds good, the only problem is that by the time it sticks it's usually loaded up with sauce and toppings. I blow under the edge, too.

                        Welcome! We need more Jersey boys in here.
                        My geodesic oven project: part 1, part 2

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                        • #13
                          Re: Wooden Pizza Peel Question

                          you're welcome Dmun,
                          Let me know if there is anything else I can help with. trust me there isn't too many other things you can do at that point(pie stuck to peel). It will look slightly mashed because of the upside down- against the pan effect but hey it still tastes great !!!
                          I'm new to the oven building side of things but I have about 25 years of pizza building...
                          Angelo

                          ps. I just visited your website. those are some very cool machines you get to play with everyday !!
                          Last edited by aciurleo; 05-27-2008, 08:31 PM.

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                          • #14
                            Re: Wooden Pizza Peel Question

                            Well, here's our solution to the 'peel sticking' issues we used to have. I make the pizzas in the kitchen and my son-in-law cooks them outside in the oven. He passes the wooden peel back thru the window for a new pizza after he loads one or two in.
                            I have found that after I initial shape the 275g ball into a 12 round I load it onto a waxed round cardboard cake plate and then dress it from there. Once the peel gets back in the window I just slide it off the cake cardboard onto the peel and into the oven it goes. Never a sticking issue as it's only on the peel for seconds.
                            This also allows me to get two or three pizzas ahead when we are real busy with a party, as we are cooking 90sec pizzas and sometimes I can't keep up.
                            I regularly keep these cake rounds handy, just in case they are needed.

                            Hope this helps,

                            Tom in PA

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                            • #15
                              Re: Wooden Pizza Peel Question

                              I make mine right on a white pine peel I made that doesn't have a finish of kind; not oiled, sealed, etc.

                              I flour it down, spreading it with my hand like the OP, sometimes adding a little corn meal, which I actually like the taste of. I'd like to try the rice flour but haven't found any yet.

                              Anyway, I make the pie as the one cooking is nearly ready to come off & keep the dough loose by sliding it back & forth between adding ingredients. The only time I have a problem is if a little sauce get over the edge & onto the peel & it will stick in that spot. Otherwise they slide off every time.

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