Author Topic: Dough/Skin Transfer Onto Peel Distasters  (Read 2408 times)

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Offline pizzablogger

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Dough/Skin Transfer Onto Peel Distasters
« on: June 17, 2009, 09:06:07 AM »
Been reading this forum for a little while now and have been awe struck by the quality information as well as the conversations and help given at this site. ;D

I am having a very difficult time transferring my uncooked and topped skins from the counter top, onto the peel, into the oven and onto the pizza stone. Three of my last 4 pizzas never even made it into the oven, becoming completely stuck on the peel and the "blow under the dough" trick would not even work. All that beautiful dough and expensive cheeses for naught.....arrgghh!  :o

The pizzas in question are not heavily topped (small amount of sauce with 2-3 cheeses, basil, EVOO and maybe something like red onions), are dressed relatively quickly and I am using what I feel is already too much bench flour....after a few initial shakes of the peel to keep the skins from sticking, they usually always become glued to the peel, and sometimes the counter before transferring to the peel.

I have just recently switched to a much wetter (62% Hydration now, was at 56% beforehand) and realize this may take some getting used to, but I was wondering if the fact that my counter is formica and my peel is a resin composite, not wood, may have something to do with this? Should I obtain a marble slab for dressing the skins on and a wooden peel to help out?

The dough is made with the help of an Ischia poolish, is a mixture of KABF and Caputo 00 flours (75%-25%) and is mixed in a Kitchen Aid with a dough hook, using a kneading method very similar to the Varasano recipe. I use his two 20 minute autolyse periods (but skip the final 10 minute one before putting the balls in the fridge). The dough balls emerge from a 48 hour cold rise and I give them a bench rest on top of the oven while it heats up to 550F and also for 45 minutes after that while the stone reaches 550F itself. The dough has a good amount of bubbles, feels baby skin soft (with some flour dusted before hand, but is quite sticky by itself) and is very extensible, with a 280g dough ball able to be stretched to 16 inches or so (measured in a windowpane test) before it starts to tear a little at the edges. I am making 12 inch pizzas with these 280g dough balls. So, I'm not sure it is a problem with the dough per se.

I feel this might just be an unfamiliarity dealing with a wetter dough and a terrible technical shortcoming on my part. Or it could be the materials I am putting the dough in contact with. Any thoughts or tips? Thanks for any help! :-[
« Last Edit: June 17, 2009, 09:20:04 AM by pizzablogger »
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Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Dough/Skin Transfer Onto Peel Distasters
« Reply #1 on: June 17, 2009, 09:36:40 AM »
pizzablogger,

You indicated that you are able to open up a 280 gram dough ball to 16". What is the actual size skin you have been making? If it is anything larger than a typical Neapolitan size pizza that you can "drag" onto a peel from a work surface, you should be dressing the pizza right on the peel, not on your counter. Also, does the 62% hydration include the water contributed by your Ischia starter? If not, your hydration may be too high to safely use the peel without the skin sticking to it. In my experience, when the hydration starts to get around 65%, or if the dough is wet or sticky to the feel, possibly because of excessive fermentation, I have to decide whether to use the peel or go to the use of parchment paper. I personally would rather use parchment paper than to use a ton of bench flour to keep the dough from sticking to the peel.

Is the composite peel you are using specified for pizza dough use, specifically, for peeling pizzas into an oven (as opposed to use as a cutting board, for example)?

Peter

Offline Art

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Re: Dough/Skin Transfer Onto Peel Distasters
« Reply #2 on: June 17, 2009, 10:45:20 AM »
For pizzas 14" and under, you can't beat a "SuperPeel"!

http://www.superpeel.com/
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Offline DaveH

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Re: Dough/Skin Transfer Onto Peel Distasters
« Reply #3 on: June 17, 2009, 11:29:41 AM »
I still find the easiest way, for me, is to put parchment paper on the peel, dress the dough on the peel and the pie willeasily slid onto the stone. After a few minutes remove the paper and finish directly on the stone.

Offline pizzablogger

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Re: Dough/Skin Transfer Onto Peel Distasters
« Reply #4 on: June 17, 2009, 11:41:45 AM »
Hey Pete. The skin I am making is 12 to 13 inches in size.

The hydration takes into account the addition of the starter.

My wife bought the peel for me and it did say "pizza peel" on the cardboard wrap around packaging that came with it.

I'm not sure if excessive fermentation is the issue. I cold rise individual balls in Glad plastic containiners (1 ball per container) and the dough balls do not double in size while in the fridge.....increasing in size by about 40 to 50%. Even after a "bench" rise of about 75 minutes on top of my stove, the balls never completely double in size, but do have good bubble action in them. I have only used the Ischia starter on two occassions and am adding a bakers percent of 10% of the starter as part of the dough bill.

Would the temperature of the dough ball play into this problem? Just thinking that by leaving them on top of the stove, which does get warm while the oven is heating, the temperature of the dough balls may be too high. I do not have a probe thermometer to measure the internal temp of the balls. However, while the balls do not feel warm (indicating a temperature of at least body temperature, if not more), they may well be too warm. Could this be a problem? Thanks! :D
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Offline Garlic head

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Re: Dough/Skin Transfer Onto Peel Distasters
« Reply #5 on: June 17, 2009, 12:36:00 PM »
pizzablogger,
If I may suggest a couple of things regarding the peel. I have two of them, one is used strictly for dressing and delivering the pizza into the oven. The other one is used for removal. The one I use to dress/deliver the pizza gets a light sanding every now and then to make it super smooth. Just before placing the skin on the peel, it gets a light dusting of All Purpose flour, which I rub into the board a bit. Then, I'll sprinkle a little Semolina flour on it, although corn meal can be used as well. I also never let that particular board get wet. This has worked out very well for me. I never have any "doubts" anymore. My removal peel, on the other hand, I don't really care about.  :-D

Offline Franciskay

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Re: Dough/Skin Transfer Onto Peel Distasters
« Reply #6 on: June 17, 2009, 01:27:16 PM »
Hi pizzablogger, I like that question...this pizza forum is phenomenal...good replys, and I plan to try the parchment paper and the super peel, and maybe even the extra peel.  I am not lucky enough to have a wood stove, so I build my 16" pizza on the pan (with holes) and bake about 10 minutes the I remove the pizza, and place on the peel and then back into the oven, straight onto the rack for about another 10 minutes; :)the timing depends on if I am going with the thin crust or the thicker crust... I do use the cornmeal on the peel, the pie slides right off. I love this site, (so does my husband), I get a "that a boy pat on the back" ha...He and I just had our 39 year anniversary...but I just got turned onto pizza making a few months ago, when I took a pizza dough class! I now purchase our flour at Costco in 50 lb. bag aprox. $12. And their yeast is aprox.$3 for a 2 pound bag...I have also learned how to make awesome Cinnamon Buns, Sticky Buns...Oh I apologize, I get so excited about all the excellent information everyone shares,I will shut up now, ha.Everybody have a goood day!

Offline pizzablogger

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Re: Dough/Skin Transfer Onto Peel Distasters
« Reply #7 on: June 17, 2009, 01:40:58 PM »
@Garlic Head: Good points. I do use a separate utensil for removing the pizzas from the oven. I have an extra large steel spatula for grilling that is big enough to remove a 14" pizza from the oven. The other resin/composite material peel I use only to put the pizza in the oven.....and I do rub a good bit of flour into it before putting a pizza on.

Thanks for the parchment paper idea everyone.  :) I will employ it! However, while I know this sounds silly, I very much want to be able to consistently do it the "authentic" way and transfer the pizzas by hand from counter to peel or dress the skins directly on the peel and be able to get a smooth transfer into the oven.

It is soooooooooooo damned frustrating seeing a beautiful sourdough crusted, D.O.P. San Marzano sauced, mozzarella di bufala, fiore di latte, pecorino romano, manchego, D.O.P. Sicilian olive oil, fresh oregano, fresh thyme and fresh basil (all from the backyard) topped pizza not make it into the oven! One, after tyring to blow under it and finagle it off the peel, I tried giving a harsh snap-pullback to the pizza peel and I watched the ingredient laden petola buckle like an earthquake had hit it, just before listing sideways like a sinking ocean liner in its death troes before capsizing onto the floor.....mon dieu!  :-[ :-[ :-X >:(
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Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Dough/Skin Transfer Onto Peel Distasters
« Reply #8 on: June 17, 2009, 01:42:33 PM »
pizzablogger,

If you are using 280 grams (9.88 ounces) of dough to make 12-13" pizzas, the corresponding thickness factors are 0.0873278 and 0.0744095, respectively. In my opinion, those pizza sizes are too big relative to the skin thicknesses to prepare the pizzas on a work surface, even a marble one, and then slide them onto a pizza peel. Also, with such thin skins, there is a practical limit as to how much you can put on them yet get them onto the peel. I think the pizzas should be dressed entirely on the peel, as previously noted.

With respect to the pizza peel itself, I did a Google search for composite pizza peels and concluded that most such peels are used for removing pizzas from an oven and cutting the pizzas on the peel. An example of such a peel is shown at https://www.goldaskitchen.com/merchant.ihtml?pid=13507&step=4. However, there are some composite peels that can be used for make-up purposes also, an example of which is shown at http://www.williams-sonoma.com/products/sku5559182/index.cfm and also at http://www.mrpeel.com/laminate_peels.html. So, unless your pizza peel has been scratched from cutting, it should be usable to deposit pizzas into your oven. From my reading, I would say that the vast majority of pizza peels used by professionals to load pizzas into ovens are wooden peels. They also typically use metal peels, as I do, to remove the baked pizzas from the ovens.

I do not believe that warming up the dough balls is the cause of the problem you have been experiencing. It might be if the hydration were too high but I don't believe that a dough with a hydration of 62% should be problematic.

In your case, I think I would try assembling a pizza directly on your peel, using semolina or other flour as a release agent, and see how that goes. I would line up the sauce, cheese and toppings in advance and dress the pizza quickly. If that doesn't work, I would then try letting the dough warm up away from the oven where you have been letting it warm up. If that doesn't work, then I would suggest trying a regular wooden peel.

I hope you will let us know how you make out.

Peter

Offline pizzablogger

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Re: Dough/Skin Transfer Onto Peel Distasters
« Reply #9 on: June 17, 2009, 01:53:10 PM »
Pete, you are the man (as if ya didn't know already  ;)!

The Epicurian peel pictured in that first link you posted is the exact same peel I have. I'm definitely gonna get a wooden peel.

I think I will try boosting the weight of the dough ball for a 12 inch pizza. Would 310g be a more appropriate weight, allowing some forgiveness but still remaining somewhat thin? I would ultimately like a pizza with a thickness definitely more than Patsy's, but not quite as thick as UPN....and still have a good puffy cornicione.

I do pre-chop/slice my toppings in advance while the oven is warming up, so I am able to dress my petolas/skins somewhat quickly.....I have not made enough pizza at home yet to be a speed demon, but I'm getting them dressed and ready to cook in about 45 seconds to 1 minute or so.

My previous pizzas at 56% hydration were quite good, but I want more. Those pizzas seemed to be slightly dried out, even with experimenting with different baking times, also with a shorter bake time to get the crust done and then putting the pizze directly under the broiler to finish the tops.
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Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Dough/Skin Transfer Onto Peel Distasters
« Reply #10 on: June 17, 2009, 01:55:10 PM »
It is soooooooooooo damned frustrating seeing a beautiful sourdough crusted, D.O.P. San Marzano sauced, mozzarella di bufala, fiore di latte, pecorino romano, manchego, D.O.P. Sicilian olive oil, fresh oregano, fresh thyme and fresh basil (all from the backyard) topped pizza not make it into the oven! One, after tyring to blow under it and finagle it off the peel, I tried giving a harsh snap-pullback to the pizza peel and I watched the ingredient laden petola buckle like an earthquake had hit it, just before listing sideways like a sinking ocean liner in its death troes before capsizing onto the floor.....mon dieu!

pizzablogger,

Just reading the above had me both drooling and in tears. One trick that you might try sometime in cases such as this is to run a length of dental floss or baker's/butcher's twine under the pizza to free the pizza from the peel. I once did this after dressing the pizza on a peel only to discover that the oven, which I thought I had turned on, did not because I somehow turned the knob too far to the right. So, the fully dressed pizza just sat on the peel for an hour until I got the stone to the right temperature. But, using the twine, I was able to free the pizza enough to get it to slide into the oven. Sometimes, you can lift the edges of the unbaked pizza enough to slip bench flour under it to "unstick" the pizza.

Peter

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Dough/Skin Transfer Onto Peel Distasters
« Reply #11 on: June 17, 2009, 02:08:48 PM »
I think I will try boosting the weight of the dough ball for a 12 inch pizza. Would 310g be a more appropriate weight, allowing some forgiveness but still remaining somewhat thin? I would ultimately like a pizza with a thickness definitely more than Patsy's, but not quite as thick as UPN....and still have a good puffy cornicione.

pizzablogger,

Using 310 grams (10.94 ounces) translates to a thickness factor of 0.0966844. I am not sure what dough ball weights Patsy's or UPN are using, but for a Patsy's style, which is a NY "elite" style, I think I would go with a thickness factor of 0.09. For a 12" pizza, that translates to a dough ball weight of 3.14159 x 6 x 6 x 0.09 x 28.35 = 288.57 grams, or 289 grams rounded out. That's just a bit more than what you have been using. You can always go higher or lower on the skin thickness until you hit your sweet spot.

Peter


Offline ThunderStik

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Re: Dough/Skin Transfer Onto Peel Distasters
« Reply #12 on: June 17, 2009, 02:21:36 PM »
PB,
       Dont worry, I made an open ended calizone (folded over) of my first 2 pies. I use corn meal now and have never did it since. As said earlier, build on the peel. Once you have a skin on the peel give it a good shake to make sure its loose. About halfway through the build...give it a good shake. When all is done, you guessed it give it a good shake.

As with all things it takes practice.


P.S. I also use a wooden $15 peel.
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Offline loowaters

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Re: Dough/Skin Transfer Onto Peel Distasters
« Reply #13 on: June 18, 2009, 06:59:13 AM »
Over the years we all become better at getting the pies off the peel and get our own little tricks to help.  One thing in this thread that hasn't been mentioned is which side of the dough ball you are using as the bottom of the skin.  When you set the dough ball out to warm up, make sure it's uncovered and can develope a nice dry "crust" to it as it warms.  It won't dry out too much if it's only exposed for 45 minutes or so.  This crust becomes the bottom of the skin and you can still have your high hydration (I've been going with 65% of late) dough without much of the headaches of it sticking to the peel as you've given it a little head start.  I think most of us realize that the top of the rising dough ball should be the bottom of the skin for a hand shaped pie but some may not give it much thought.

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Offline NY pizzastriver

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Re: Dough/Skin Transfer Onto Peel Distasters
« Reply #14 on: June 18, 2009, 07:37:11 AM »
My trick is once you stretch and throw the dough about, on a board or counter, place the skin on a floured and a bit of cornmeal's peel. I know Peter said that already. Here comes the trick part, shake peel back and forth and make sure it's sliding, then top. Then shake it again topped and make sure it's still sliding before you open oven. Sometimes I get a spot that sticks, and even topped it's easy to lift that spot and throw some cornmeal under it. Hydration dictates how much corn meal is needed, the higher the greater, don't over do it though. Meal is to be sprinkled from about 12" in the air for a nice thin uniform layer, not spread by hand.

Just remember all in all cornmeal is your friend, it's the ball bearings of pizza making.

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Offline Cass

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Re: Dough/Skin Transfer Onto Peel Distasters
« Reply #15 on: June 18, 2009, 09:27:08 AM »
Just wanted to add, that I use rice flour on my peel....for pizzas as well as bread.

It works well, and does not burn like cornmeal does.
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Offline pwaldman

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Re: Dough/Skin Transfer Onto Peel Distasters
« Reply #16 on: June 18, 2009, 12:05:10 PM »
I agree with the rice flour, I've tried many other combinations and the rice flour seems to have the least negative affect on the outcome of the pie.  Always do the shake throughout the build and especially just before loading the oven.  I also like to blow a little air to get a small bubble but be careful, you can have the opposite problem and the pie goes flying off the peel on the way to the oven (happened to me once and my family stayed away from me for several hours while I cooled down >:().

Pete W.

Offline sourdough girl

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Re: Dough/Skin Transfer Onto Peel Distasters
« Reply #17 on: June 18, 2009, 02:38:36 PM »
Just wanted to add, that I use rice flour on my peel....for pizzas as well as bread.

It works well, and does not burn like cornmeal does.

Add my vote to the rice flour... it's all I use now as I got tired of the burnt cornmeal taste on the bottoms of my pies.  I rub it into the peel really well and also, as loowaters mentioned, I use the top of the ball as the bottom of the pizza.  Between the two methods, I have not had any  >:(  moments for a long time!   8)

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