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View Poll Results: What do you use to keep your pizzas from sticking to the peel
Flour 45 37.50%
Cornmeal 36 30.00%
Semolina flour 17 14.17%
Rice flour 19 15.83%
Something else 3 2.50%
Voters: 120. You may not vote on this poll

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  #11  
Old 03-21-2007, 09:46 PM
jahysea's Avatar
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Default Re: Flour or Cornmeal

Hey... My 2cents.

I think we would all admit that Semolina or Corn Meal is EASIER.

I used to use it regularly.

Then I had to go start reading all about authentic Italian ingredients on this forum and there were numerous posts that made me feel very inadequate for actually introducing a corn meal product into my Pizza making process. Kinda like a high school kid driving an AMC Pacer.

So I started using strictly flour. It's not quite as effective, but as long as you use plenty of flour and don't leave the pizza on the wood peel forever, it works pretty well.

I didn't hate the semolina taste on the pizza dough, but I don't miss the sand consistency either.

End of the day, I'm happy either way. It's all better than any commercial pizza place within driving distance.......
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  #12  
Old 03-22-2007, 08:17 PM
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Default Re: Flour or Cornmeal

I treid Seminola on the peel instead of cornmeal last Sunday and I liked the results better. The dough slid off of the peel without a hitch.
It also seemed "cleaner" to use than the cornmeal and I understand that it helps to add some crispness to your dough if you use it for dusting (mixed with flour) before pushing your dough.
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  #13  
Old 03-26-2007, 09:43 AM
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Default Re: Flour or Cornmeal

The Wikipedia entry mentioned Pici, so here are a couple of Pici photos. It's a different taste and texture than either egg or water-based pasta. It's very rustic and chewy -- 22 minutes to cook! Very much a specialty pasta. I have been told (though I don't know if it is true) that the wheat fields in southern Tuscany are grown for pasta. More expensive to grow (they do it is small fields that make you wonder how cost-effective it can be), but a better food product.

What are the differences between Durum wheat and other hard winter wheat?

James
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Last edited by james; 03-26-2007 at 09:48 AM.
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  #14  
Old 03-26-2007, 11:24 AM
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Default Re: Flour or Cornmeal

Hi James,
Thanks for the info. Very interesting.
The product that I actually used was From Hodgson Mill- Golden Semolina & Extra Fancy Durum- Pasta flour. It costs about $3.00 per 2lb box.
I also had excelleant results using it yesterday.
Thanks again for the info.
I don't know the difference between Durum and other hard winter wheat at this time, but I'll check into it. Unless if someone else offers the information first.
Maybe I should have checked off flour in this poll?
John
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  #15  
Old 03-26-2007, 12:56 PM
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Default Re: Flour or Cornmeal

John,
I think my previous posting shows off my lack of photograhpic skill. What do you think? Why don't I try to make Pici at home with Durum Semolina. It will give me a feel for the flour, and I will see how it works.
Thanks for the idea John,
James
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  #16  
Old 03-26-2007, 02:33 PM
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Default Re: Flour or Cornmeal

I use flour and only use just a bit.

Cornmeal changes the flavor of the pizza.

The "trick" is to add flour to the dough on one board/marble then shake off the flour and transfer it to the peel - don't flatten the dough on the peel otherwise the dough will stick to the peel unless you put a lot of flour. You can get away with just a small amount of flour on the peel if you stretch it elsewhere.

Too much flour on the peel = too bitter taste of the pizza.
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  #17  
Old 03-26-2007, 08:56 PM
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Default Re: Flour or Cornmeal

Hi James,
Your photos look great by the way!
Once again you really got me going on the subject.

I have used high gluten flour, corn meal, Caputo flour and finally the Semolina mix. The slightly course Semolina and Durum flour give me confidence that my pizza will slide out directly into the oven. So far, so good.

Pizza Arthur, I know exactly what you mean by using too much ingredient and having a bitter pizza. I had the tendency early on to use too much on my peel. Now just a thin layer does the trick.

The best ingredient is the one that works for you.

Last edited by Johnny L; 03-27-2007 at 07:43 PM. Reason: Spell correct
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  #18  
Old 03-27-2007, 08:02 AM
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Default Re: Flour or Cornmeal

John,

Did a quick check in Jeffrey Hamelman's Bread on durham flour. According to him, most of the hard flour we get in North America is made from hard red winter or spring wheat. Durham wheat, by contrast is grown in North Dakota and (though he doesn't say this) mainly in Saskatchewan. It's primary use is for pasta. It has a higher percentage of protein than either winter or spring wheat but not all of it usable in gluten matrix formation. He says that bread doughs made with a high proportion of it to tend break down during mixing, so care must be taken with mechanical mixers. Instead, he recommends shorter mixing times, longer bulk fermentation and folding. Durham flour is soft and golden, while semolina made from the same wheat has a gritty coarseness.

This tendency to break down might have something to do with the fact that many North American recipes that use durham flour call for a 50/50 mix with hard bread flour.

As a side note, he suggests that although hard red winter wheat bread flours have somewhat lower protein than spring wheat flours, there is evidence that the protein in winter wheats is superior in making natural yeast hearth breads that have long fermentation times.

Found this definition of durham wheat fairly quickly:

durum

Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae

Division: Magnoliophyta

Class: Liliopsida

Order: Poales

Family: Poaceae

Subfamily: Pooideae

Tribe: Triticeae

Genus: Triticum

Species: T. durum


Binomial name
Triticum durum
Desf.
Durum wheat or Macaroni wheat (Triticum durum) is the only tetraploid species of wheat widely cultivated today. Durum is the hardest of all wheats. Its high protein content and gluten strength make durum good for pasta and bread. It is not, however, good for cakes, which should be made from soft wheat or they will be tough, because of the high gluten content of durum.

Most of the durum grown today is amber durum, the grains of which are amber-colored and larger than those of other types of wheat. Durum has a yellow endosperm, which gives pasta its color. When durum is milled, the endosperm is ground into a granular product called semolina. Semolina made from durum is used for premium pastas and breads.

There is also a red durum, used mostly for livestock feed.

Durum wheat sells at a premium to other varieties and accounts for roughly 5% of global wheat production, or about 30 million tons in 2004. Most durum wheat is grown in Mediterranean countries, the former Soviet Union, North America, and Argentina. U.S. durum production is primarily in North Dakota, which produced 59% of the US crop in 2004. However the largest producer of durum is Canada where it is the third most prominent crop behind red spring wheat and canola, the primary region for durum is in the southern quarter of Saskatchewan.


Maybe others can find more or different.

Jim

Last edited by CanuckJim; 03-27-2007 at 11:09 AM. Reason: More info
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  #19  
Old 03-27-2007, 07:36 PM
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Default Re: Flour or Cornmeal

Jim,
Thanks for your input. Since this particular subject is new ground for me I'm going to soak it up for a while. Then I'll compare notes with Peter Reinhart's notes in the Bread Baker's Apprentice.
In the past couple of months I have run across many of your posts and was able to pick up a lot of information from your valuable input.
I appreciate it Jim.
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  #20  
Old 06-02-2007, 07:24 PM
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Default Re: Flour or Cornmeal

I voted cornmeal, I like the little ball bearing action it gives. I also don't notice a taste difference really. I might try ap flour and will definitely try semolina.
Dutch
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