#1  
Old 03-24-2014, 11:26 AM
Peasant
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: Huntington Beach, CA
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Default Semolina Burning

Hi All,

Curious how you all handle burnt semolina / other product falling off onto your cooking surface?

I dust my peel with semolina and find that quite a bit of it ends up being left on the cooking surface after I pull the pie out. Eventually the Semolina that is left on the surface burns and will stick to the bottom of my pies if I don't constantly clean it off.

I'm just curious how you all manage keeping you cooking surface clean? How often to use your oven brush if it all?

Thanks!
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  #2  
Old 03-24-2014, 11:47 AM
stonecutter's Avatar
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Location: South Carolina,USA
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Default Re: Semolina Burning

I use as little on the peel as possible, brush off any excess that is on the end of the peel, and keep my oven temp high...it cleans itself mostly. I'll brush the floor every few pies or so, with a natural bristle brush.
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Old 03-24-2014, 12:00 PM
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Default Re: Semolina Burning

Dust your peel with plain old flour instead of semolina. It works fine and doesn't build up like semolina, which makes a mess in my opinion.

If you do get build up, slap your peel on the cooking surface a couple times and it will blow away all the offending burned flour - which is basically ash.
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Old 03-24-2014, 12:07 PM
Peasant
 
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Location: Huntington Beach, CA
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Default Re: Semolina Burning

Quote:
Originally Posted by stonecutter View Post
I use as little on the peel as possible, brush off any excess that is on the end of the peel, and keep my oven temp high...it cleans itself mostly. I'll brush the floor every few pies or so, with a natural bristle brush.
I like the idea of the natural bristled brush. I picked up a cheap brass oven brush but found that it's "brushing" ability is a bit lacking. It does a great job of loosening up and stuck material, but it doesn't move the smaller stuff very easily.

I will have to look into a natural brush though, thank you for the tip.


I'll also try dusting the peel with just flour next time. I have an aluminum peel and was a little afraid that flour might not do the job but I'll give it a go.


Thanks!
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Old 03-24-2014, 12:59 PM
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Location: Roseburg, OR USA
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Default Re: Semolina Burning

...and if flour doesn't work, get a little shaker and fill it with rice flour. If you get some sauce on the peel under the pie, flour can absorb the moisture (if you aren't moving quickly) and 'glue' the pizza to the board. I found that flour & semolina both worked for me as long as I put the skin on the peel, dressed the pizza, and got it in the oven...but if you let friends and relatives make their own pizza, they usually take too much time with toppings and you get a higher percentage of stuck pies (and sacrifices to the oven God when you have to give the stuck pizza that 'extra' push ).

Rice flour really doesn't absorb moisture very well, so IMHO a light dusting on the peel gives you a longer working time window with plenty of "slide power" for everyone's pizza.

FYI: I recently upped my baguette moisture to 69% and without rice flour it would stick to my couche cloth, my turning board, and my peel. I have a friend that brings in Pugliese bread (also a wet dough) for our Friday bakes and when she uses flour on her proofing cloth it almost always sticks-not fun!
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Old 03-24-2014, 01:49 PM
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Default Re: Semolina Burning

An added benefit to rice flour that has been noted several times here in the forums is that it doesn't burn/brown as much. I use it for my cloches/bannetons when bread baking to get those nice white rings on the loaf. For pizza I don't bother because it's just one more ingredient to worry about. I get confused with too many different steps...
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Old 03-24-2014, 02:18 PM
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Default Re: Semolina Burning

It sounds like you are using too much semolina. I use plain flour on the wooden peel and just a tiny bit (maybe 1/4 tsp of semolina) as well. Because it acts like mini ball bearings to help the pizza slide you don't need much.My ss peel has a flat edge on the front and works well to clan off any stuff on the oven floor.
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Old 03-24-2014, 05:51 PM
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Default Re: Semolina Burning

I have tried a couple of things to get around the issue of people taking a while making their pizza and subsequent sticking issues. One that seems to work ok is having them make them on a floured thin nylon sheet and then transferring this to the peel to place it in the oven. This transfer is more easily managed away from the high heat (and potential high drama if it sticks placing in the oven).

The other was was using baking paper and then removing them from the paper as soon as the bottom sets in the oven. The paper will burn if not removed fairly quickly but it does work.

Pretty to watch someone truly experienced in action and when all things are equal (as they seldom are) it is all part of the learning curve and it is only experience that leads to being able to operate in a traditional/purist environment.

Either way, the end result is most often something tasty to be proud of anyway.
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