Author Topic: from peel to oven....  (Read 1638 times)

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Offline embth

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from peel to oven....
« on: September 14, 2011, 11:18:09 PM »
Hello....when baking in my inside oven on a pizza stone, I have used parchment paper.  Now as I build an outdoor brick oven, I must learn to do without this crutch.  The result has been some oddly shaped pizzas served here.
I am using an aluminum peel, plain edged :pizza: and coarse corn meal (grits).  I have tried cooking spray on the peel....and that seemed to make the situation worse.
Do wooden peels work better?  Does a beveled edge help?  I read once post in which flour is used on dough and peel as a sliding surface.  I will try that tomorrow (pizza everyday until I have this mastered...)
Thanks!   


Offline Ev

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Re: from peel to oven....
« Reply #1 on: September 15, 2011, 08:32:32 AM »
I personally like a wooden peel with rice flour for launching and aluminum for turning/retrieving. I haven't tried the fancy "GI" metal peel yet but from what I've read, it can be a bit tricky to learn.

Offline norma427

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Re: from peel to oven....
« Reply #2 on: September 15, 2011, 08:38:33 AM »
Hello....when baking in my inside oven on a pizza stone, I have used parchment paper.  Now as I build an outdoor brick oven, I must learn to do without this crutch.  The result has been some oddly shaped pizzas served here.
I am using an aluminum peel, plain edged :pizza: and coarse corn meal (grits).  I have tried cooking spray on the peel....and that seemed to make the situation worse.
Do wooden peels work better?  Does a beveled edge help?  I read once post in which flour is used on dough and peel as a sliding surface.  I will try that tomorrow (pizza everyday until I have this mastered...)
Thanks!   

embth,

Different members use wooden peels in their outside brick ovens.  I have used rice flour on a wooden peel and it seems to work okay.  Other members have used regular flour, and other flours so the pie slides off the wooden peel.  Do you first shake the peel to see if the dressed pizza is loose?  If you are using an aluminum peel with holes, you can search on the forum to see what methods other members use for aluminum peels with holes.  Is your dough a really high hydration dough that you have problems and use parchment paper inside for your pizza stone?

Norma
Always working and looking for new information!

Offline The Dough Doctor

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Re: from peel to oven....
« Reply #3 on: September 15, 2011, 09:03:35 AM »
Wood peels (with a beveled edge) should be used as your prep-peel (the one you make your pizza on and then use to peel the dressed dough skin into the oven with). The metal blade peels are best reserved for spinning and removing the pizzas from the oven. I like to use use a mix of equal parts regular flour, semolina flour, and fine corn meal for my peel dust, but I've seen rice flour, whole wheat flour, wheat bran, corn meal, semolina flour, regular white flour, and even coarse rye flour used as a peel dust. Regular white flour is perhaps my least favored as it will scorch and take on a bitter taste, plus, it doesn't provide the same level of "slip" on the peel as some of the others do. Corn meal is perhaps the easiest to use as the dough just seems to want to slide off of the peel when it is used. Experiment to see what works best for you.
Tip: Just before putting the dressed dough into the oven, give the peel a to and fro shake to get it moving a little on the peel, then place it into the oven.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor

Offline Mick.Chicago

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Re: from peel to oven....
« Reply #4 on: September 15, 2011, 09:08:13 AM »
I've seen the GI peels in action and they work well for launching, I guess it comes with practice.

I would suggest you always have a back up dinner while getting to grips with new equipment  :-D   

I also believe the calzone was invented from such mistakes  :-D

Offline embth

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Re: from peel to oven....
« Reply #5 on: September 15, 2011, 07:08:56 PM »
Thank you, everyone.  I will invest in a wooden peel and follow your advice.   Last night's difficulty I think had to do with dough hydration....not as mixed, but due to hot tomato sauce.  Cooled sauce would not melt down the dough as badly.  Yes, indeed, calzone have been the end result of struggles with a dressed pizza.  Still tasted good....
So, I will try your suggestions and perhaps back off on dough size and topping level until I have the knack.
I have used the two dough recipes from "Crust and Crumb"....and the second recipe in the book is much easier to work.  Next time I will try some of the recipes from this website.
Again, thank you for your time in answering my inquiry.  I am happy to have discovered this resource.
I will post again when I have my outside oven up and cooking.
embth

Offline barryvabeach

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Re: from peel to oven....
« Reply #6 on: September 18, 2011, 08:50:35 PM »
embth,  one of the biggest factors, for me, is the hydration level.  I made a few 75% hydration ( whole wheat ) pies tonight, and had one stick on the peel pretty badly , but I always do a test shake or two before I try to put it on the stone, so I was able to put some more rice flour under it and get it loose.  The longer the dough stays in one place the more likely it will stick to the peel, so lately I have been putting the pie on the peel,  giving it a shake or two, adding sauce, shake again, then cheese, and so on so the pie isn't sitting still. 

Offline embth

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Re: from peel to oven....
« Reply #7 on: September 18, 2011, 09:03:49 PM »
The last pizza was shaped off the peel on a floured surface and moved to a peel (still aluminum, I hope to buy a wooden one this coming week) that had flour and coarse corn meal.  All toppings were cool in temperature.
The "scrunch" damage was just a small "corner" of the pizza.  Thanks to all....Liz

Offline lennyk

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Re: from peel to oven....
« Reply #8 on: September 18, 2011, 09:24:02 PM »
as a recent newbie, a wood peel with rice flour will work a lot better than an full aluminum peel which I had started using
the rice flour is also a world better than regular flour on the peel, I have my rice flour in a pepper shaker, shake a little and rub it over with my hand

Offline embth

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Re: from peel to oven....
« Reply #9 on: September 19, 2011, 08:41:12 AM »
Good morning....does cream of rice cereal work?  If not,  I will :) stop at the food coop when I am in town and find rice flour.  My outdoor oven will be finished Oct 1st.  I will have wooden peel and rice flour on hand.  Now, if the snow will hold off a few more weeks...... :)


Offline Jackie Tran

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Re: from peel to oven....
« Reply #10 on: September 19, 2011, 09:27:14 AM »
Embth, welcome to the forum and an early congrats on your WFO.  I started pizza making with parchment paper just as you did and then eventually graduated up to a wooden peel, and a GI metal/perforated peel.  I currently use both wooden and the GI metal perforated peel.  

What peel you need will in part depend on several factors.  1) what style of pizza you want to make 2) hydration which has been mention already 3) more importantly how well the gluten is developed in the dough 4) how much and what you use as the bench and peel flour 5) how long the pizza sits on the peel prior to launching 6) and techniques to unstick the pizza should it happen.  

A lot of the above factors have already been mention so I'll just touch up on the ones that haven't been.

1) For most NY/NH style pies, thin crust, America/California styles of pizza you should probably stick with a wooden peel.   You may have seen those metal perforated peels made by GI metal.  They are quite popular on the forum and really meant for the Neapolitan style.  I'm not saying you can't use the peels interchangeably for different styles but the peels do fit their respective styles better.

2) and 3)  This has already been mention but when the dough strength is built up sufficient, the dough will not stick.  If at the time of opening your dough, the dough opens up too easily and is too sticky or just too difficult to work with, this is a dough that has not been developed properly relative to the hydration level.  The problem could be that the hydration is just too high for that strength of flour or it hasn't been developed properly through kneading, folding, or balling.

4) Not using enough bench flour to cover the entire surface of the dough ball or not flouring your peel can also lead to some sticking issues, but this usually isn't the culprit.  It's usually 2) or 3).  As far as how much bench flour to use, the dough ball should be covered entirely or immersed into bench flour and then the excess shaken off as the dough is opened.  As mentioned, corn meal, rice flour, etc on the peel also helps but may not be necessary, unless you like the flavor and texture that cornmeal adds to the bottom crust.  I usually just use AP or 00 to cover the dough ball and peel.

5) When using the metal perforated peel, the pizza is meant to be built off the peel, then dragged onto the peel, quickly restretched and loaded.   You can also build the pie on a smooth surface and quickly slip the peel under the pie as well.  The pies are not meant to be built on the peel as you would do with the wooden peels.  I did have sticking issues with the metal perforated peel, but it was due to either building the pie on the peel ( a no no), not building sufficient strength into the dough, or not using any peel flour.  
  
Generally speaking you don't want the pizza sitting on the peel any longer than is required to quickly sauce, cheese, top, and load.  The longer a pizza sits, the higher the chance of it sticking to the peel.

6) There are a couple of methods you can also use to help prevent sticking.  Some people will blow some air under the pizza before loading the pie as a visual cue that the pizza is not stuck.  I don't use this method but have seen it used in a commercial setting before.  Some will say that it is gross and unappetizing, but be assured any nasties will be baked off.   :-D  Also mentioned already, you can give the pizza a slight shake back and forth before loading as well.  

Now, back in the day when I started and had a major sticking issue at the last minute.  As a last resort in salvaging a pie, I have covered the pie with a stiff board, flipped the covered pizza and peel over to get the pizza off, refloured the peel, and reflip.  Thank goodness I haven't had to do that but once or twice.  :-D  You can also make calzones as mentioned above if you screw up a pizza and don't want to waste it.  

And finally, rice flour and a wooden peel will work just fine.  Good luck.

Chau
« Last Edit: September 19, 2011, 10:14:12 PM by Jackie Tran »

Offline RobynB

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Re: from peel to oven....
« Reply #11 on: September 19, 2011, 11:31:16 AM »
Wow, that's a GREAT idea!  (the flipping onto paper and then back)  I'm no longer having many problems on the GI peel, but Saturday night I got a tear in the bottom of my 2nd pie when getting it on the peel, so the sauce was leaking and of course it stuck and I could NOT get it off and it was a big mess.  With your trick, I might have salvaged that pizza or at least made less of a mess.  Thanks for the great tip!! 

Offline Mad_Ernie

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Re: from peel to oven....
« Reply #12 on: September 19, 2011, 02:48:08 PM »
Embth:

Just to add to the information that Jackie Tran and others have posted, there are some folks on this forum who swear by the Superpeel (Art being one of them) ;).

http://www.superpeel.com/

If you are not looking to spend much money, I'll tell you what I do.

As with most of the replies here, I lay my dough onto a wooden peel.  Before doing that, however, I dust semolina flour on it.  Depending on the hydration of you dough, you may need only a little or a lot of semolina.  Dusting flour and cornmeal can do the same things, but I have found the best results with semolina flour.  I then finshing prepping my pizza (docking if desired, sauce, cheese, etc.).  

When transferring the pizza to the stone, indoors or outdoors, I then use a metal peel by sliding it between the wooden peel and the pizza and using a slow pulling-back motion with my wooden peel hand to withdraw the wooden peel.  The underside of the pizza will gently slide off of the metal peel and lay on the stone.  

It may take 1 or 2 tries for you to get this technique, but it's not all that hard (heck, if I can do it, anyone else can).  I use the same technique whether I am making a New York style pizza or a more American/cracker style pizza.

-ME
Let them eat pizza.

Offline embth

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Re: from peel to oven....
« Reply #13 on: September 19, 2011, 09:32:31 PM »
Wow, folks. You are all most generous and I appreciate all your input and the time you have taken to help me.  I can't wait to make pizza again and try some of your techniques.   :pizza:

Offline Jackie Tran

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Re: from peel to oven....
« Reply #14 on: September 19, 2011, 10:05:40 PM »
Wow, that's a GREAT idea!  (the flipping onto paper and then back)  I'm no longer having many problems on the GI peel, but Saturday night I got a tear in the bottom of my 2nd pie when getting it on the peel, so the sauce was leaking and of course it stuck and I could NOT get it off and it was a big mess.  With your trick, I might have salvaged that pizza or at least made less of a mess.  Thanks for the great tip!!  

Robyn, I made a mistake and posted about the wax paper.  I corrected the post to say a stiff board.  A stiff piece of cardboard or even a flexible cutting board, or a plastic child's place mat will work just as well.  Place over the pizza, then very quickly flip!  Red our and reverse the process.  

Chau

Offline LD

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Re: from peel to oven....
« Reply #15 on: September 23, 2011, 05:12:10 PM »
I have found that straight semolina works the best for me on a wooden peel.  Corn meal seems to burn.  I only use the metal peel for taking out and turning.

Offline embth

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Re: from peel to oven....
« Reply #16 on: September 23, 2011, 09:44:06 PM »
The wooden peel works!  I used rice flour and a bit of corn meal.  It is really nice when the pizza
slides off peel in good form.   
embth


 

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