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ThermoJax 11-26-2010 12:37 PM

trouble getting the pizza to slide off the peel
Currently, we are purchasing our dough from whole foods, as we don't know how to make it yet. I have had a number of good releases from the wood peel onto the floor of the oven, yet it seems like 25 % of them either have cheese go forward onto the floor, then I would have to try and pull the peel again for the release, or the dough just sticks and some kind of partial fold over happens. My wife builds them onto the peel and I cook them. She assures me that she has plenty of flour dusted on, and perhaps since she purchased this batch the day before thanksgiving, and it was now almost 3 days old could have something to do with it.

I have to learn quick as we are hosting a buddies retirement party for 80 people on 12/10/10, so I better have a breakthrough quick like.

(I could use a perforated pizza pan as a cheat, but it seems so wrong)

RTflorida 11-26-2010 01:13 PM

Re: trouble getting the pizza to slide off the peel
Need to try semolina or rice flour, both are much slicker than AP, bread, or Caputo flours.

I'm guessing the problem is the time spent on the peel, regardless of what you use, the dough is going to stick if worked to hard or if you spend too much time spreading and topping. This is the exact reason I DO NOT let my guests build there own. They can pick whatever they want on it, but only my wife and I do the building of the pies.


david s 11-26-2010 02:12 PM

Re: trouble getting the pizza to slide off the peel
If you let the tiniest bit of tomato sauce, olive oil or (gasp) pineapple juice find it's way onto the wooden peel, then this will also stop the base from sliding off. If you have a lot of people to cook for you can cheat a little and go to your local baker and get them to supply you with partially cooked bases. They are not as good as the freshly made one but they eliminate all the problems of rolling out the dough and the sliding problem. A tip when asking yor baker for the bases is to request them made really thin and cooked only a tiny bit. You can feed an army easily this way and it will give you more time to practice. The the next party you can do 50/50 fresh and pre done ones and compare.

dmun 11-26-2010 03:28 PM

Re: trouble getting the pizza to slide off the peel
It never hurts to mention again the usefulness of periodic sanding of your wooden peel. The commercial softwood ones raise little protrusions when they get damp, and eventually this micro-roughness will grab a pizza no matter how much rice flour you have under it. A quick trip to the workshop, and a minute with a palm sander will make your wooden peel much more slippery.

And also, work fast. Take an intermediate shake of the pizza once you have your swirl of red stuff on it, before you load up toppings. Time is the enemy of slickness. Remember: moisture plus wood equals roughness. Sitting time allows moisture to transfer from the dough to the wood.

And commercial dough? If you buy it at a pizzaria it's at least reasonably fresh. But those bagged things in the supermarket? You have no idea of how long those have been sitting there. I'd get beyond that with all deliberate speed.

tusr18a 11-26-2010 07:18 PM

Re: trouble getting the pizza to slide off the peel
As to cooking pizza for eighty, you may want to spend some time thinking about heat management. I had 35 people at my house a few weekends ago and cooked 18 pizzas in about 1 hour. I was shocked at how quickly the cold pizza dough sucked heat out of the oven. The first pizza went in at 750 degrees F and cooked in about 2 minutes. By the time I got to eighteen pizzas, I was struggling to keep a floor temp of 500 degrees. While the pizzas cooked fine at 500, it took 7 to eight minutes per pie.

That's Amore 11-26-2010 07:20 PM

Re: trouble getting the pizza to slide off the peel
I have not had issus with pie's sticking but I did howerver notice that the underneath of the pie as you place it on the dome floor will get black and powdery and some what sticky. Could this be the use of too much floor or what could cause this. the pizza in the end comes out fine but I have to scrape the floor. Any thoughts

nissanneill 11-27-2010 03:01 AM

Re: trouble getting the pizza to slide off the peel


I DO NOT let my guests build there own. They can pick whatever they want on it, but only my wife and I do the building of the pies.
that's a bit miserable mate! Let them share the pleasures and the heartaches of the whole process. I only build my own and if someone doesn't build their own, then they go hungry, but not for long, they soon learn and let's face it, that is what it is all about anyway!
When I was don at Russell Jeavon's Pizza Restaurant, they dust the bench surface with flour, build the pizzas and slip the aluminiun peel in under the base without a hint of resistance
I have also used a thin sprinkling of salt which is like putting the base on skates and not tasting the base to my opinion.
I also get the guests to build their pizzas on an aluminium tray and when around half cooked and ready for turning, I lift the semi rigid pizza off nd put onto the hearth.
Another method I have used and saves a heap of wash ups is to use commercial or caterer's grade foil. It molds to the hearth contours and easily peels or simply falls off the base with a little spray or flour. I do not like to use much or any flour as when it hits the 460+˚C hearth can very quickly burn and taint the base.



ThermoJax 11-27-2010 04:38 AM

Re: trouble getting the pizza to slide off the peel
Today, I will sand the peel, with I presume a really light grit like 220 maybe, plus we will get the rice flour to sprinkle on the peel. My first few pizzas were indeed made on the perforated metal pizza tray, turned in the oven, until it could be lifted off the tray with tongs onto the floor, and then finished that way. That worked pretty good, but didn't seem pure. I was always thinking whilst doing that cheat "this is not the way the guys on the forum would do this"

Thanks guys


Tman1 11-27-2010 06:30 AM

Re: trouble getting the pizza to slide off the peel
I'd agree that any type of liquid on the peel is detrimental. Dmun's suggestion of making sure it's dislodged from the peel just after saucing is a good idea. I find that when you let people make their own (+1 on this recommendation too) you incur some difficulties. A hole in the dough lets sauce seep through in the middle of the pie.. overloading of ingredients (and then they slide off), or just plain not enough dough on the peel prior to making are all things to deal with. We had our biggest party to date, yesterday and did 24 pies. When I found a pie that was sticky, I took my metal peel and slid it under to release prior to placing in oven. Another trick is to lift the side of the pie, while on the peel, and focus a small blast (blow) of air under the pie. This seems to dislodge it quite well. Now, the real difficulty is that people probably don't want you blowing on their pie!! I've thought about getting one of those compressed air canisters (typically for cleaning your keyboard and computer parts) and using that. I'll try and find a video on YouTube as I know they exist, but it's not generally listed as the subject.

Tman1 11-27-2010 07:21 AM

Re: trouble getting the pizza to slide off the peel
SUCCESS!!! I knew I'd seen it on this site! Even in this section of the forum,a few pages back!!

You mentioned a difficulty with pizza dough, we've had excellent results with this recipe, although we use table salt instead of kosher.
Pizza Dough Recipe - ABC News

I think Texassourdough is the man for dough on this site though. Many other recipes to found and tried. I do see you want to host 80 people.. bought pizza dough would be a huge time saver.

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