Author Topic: basic help - peel issues  (Read 2820 times)

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Offline Jazzman

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basic help - peel issues
« on: April 02, 2010, 08:48:45 PM »
Hello,

I feel foolish asking this question, but I'm having such trouble that I don't know what else to do.  Here's the problem:

When I make focaccia style dough (I have used Reinhart's basic focaccia as well as his pizza al Taglio dough), I cannot get the !@#$$% pizza off the peel to save my life!  I have a very thin stainless steel peel, and I have had no trouble at all with this peel and other doughs, just the focaccia style.  I'm not a total newbie, but I usually make Chicago style (in the pan), or Neapolitan.  I made my 7th or 8th focaccia tonight, and it was a disaster - the pizza folded over, cheese gets on the oven floor, smoked us out of the house!  I flour the peel liberally, and have tried a combination of flour and semolina.  The dough is pretty wet, but as I roll it out I flour it quite a bit, especially on the bottom, and check it several times to make sure it's not sticky.  I have all my ingredients ready, so the dough does not sit on the peel for more than 1 minute or so before it goes into the oven.  Help - I'm about to give up and make it in a pan like my Nana used to (perish the thought)!


Online Pete-zza

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Re: basic help - peel issues
« Reply #1 on: April 02, 2010, 09:26:36 PM »
Jazzman,

If I had to guess, I would say that it is the metal peel, especially if the amount of dough is similar to what Peter Reinhart describes in his book American Pie at page 136. I estimate that the dough made using that recipe, for a 12" x 17" sheet, weighs around 49.40 ounces, or a bit over three pounds. Also, I estimate that the hydration for that dough is around 80%. Even when using a wooden peel, I start to get nervous when the skin I am dressing gets to around 65% hydration--even with a properly floured peel. A metal peel may work well for small Neapolitan style pizzas, but it is not the best peel for a large pizza. When I looked at the specific focaccia recipes at pages 235-244 of the Reinhart book, the toppings are quite weighty all by themselves, so adding them on top of a roughly three-pound dough makes for a very heavy focaccia. I might note that all of the focaccia recipes call for using a sheet pan, not a peel.

Am I missing something in my analysis?

Peter

Offline Art

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Re: basic help - peel issues
« Reply #2 on: April 02, 2010, 09:35:46 PM »
When baking, follow directions.  When cooking, go by your own taste.

Offline Jazzman

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Re: basic help - peel issues
« Reply #3 on: April 02, 2010, 11:05:39 PM »
Pete,

I was not looking at pages 235-244 - I guess you're right about the pan.  I was looking at pp 26-27.  I tried doing the 3-4" strips, but that didn't work any better - they still stuck to the peel.  When I tried making the larger pizza, I just still used the peel - perhaps it's impossible.  A shame, I love the texture I get using the pizza stone at 550.  The parts of the pizza that do cook are fantastic!  Thanks for the info - I'll try a pan.

Art - thanks for the link - I ordered one of the super peels and an extender.  Not sure it will help my focaccia woes, but it seems like it could come in handy at times.

Offline Ronzo

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Re: basic help - peel issues
« Reply #4 on: April 02, 2010, 11:25:03 PM »
uncooked dough sticks to metal peels more than it sticks to wood peels. I have had very few issues with pies sticking to the peel since I switched to a wood peel. I use the metal peel to turn and remove pies, and the wood one to put the pies on the oven.
Fuggheddabowdit!

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Offline Jackie Tran

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Re: basic help - peel issues
« Reply #5 on: April 03, 2010, 12:49:15 AM »
http://www.superpeel.com


As cool as this thing is, it's not the answer.  A wet dough of 80% hydration will still stick to the superpeel just as much as any regular wooden peel.   First off you have to flour the crap out of the superpeel and work just as fast as you would with any regular wooden peel.  When you unload the pie or bread, you end up with a bunch of flour all over your oven since the flour on the peel comes dusting off pretty easily. 

His problem is in using a metal peel instead of a wooden peel as mentioned previously.   A temporary fix (until he get's a wooden peel) is to use a piece of stiff cardboard as a peel.  If that makes a difference, then your answer is in getting a wooden peel. 

Now, I also realize that one can remove the cloth on the superpeel and use it as a regular peel.  That's what I do anyway.

Offline Jackitup

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Re: basic help - peel issues
« Reply #6 on: April 03, 2010, 01:36:25 AM »
Start on some oiled foil, slide oiled foil with focaccia dough on top onto the peel and slide all onto the stone. If you want, 1/2 way thru gently slide foil off and finish cooking or leave on foil the entire cook time. Works great.
Jon
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Offline Ronzo

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Re: basic help - peel issues
« Reply #7 on: April 03, 2010, 11:53:03 AM »
Great tip, Jackitup.

Tranman, I've switched to semolina for the dusting. Less mess than regular flour, and adds a little extra crunch to the crust.
Fuggheddabowdit!

~ Ron

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Offline Jackitup

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Re: basic help - peel issues
« Reply #8 on: April 03, 2010, 12:12:57 PM »
Also starting on a screen works great too.
Jon
Save A Cow, Eat A Vegan....Totally Organic And Hormone Free!!

Online Pete-zza

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Re: basic help - peel issues
« Reply #9 on: April 03, 2010, 12:21:02 PM »
And let us not forget parchment paper, which works well with very high hydration doughs (and is less likely to attach itself to a screen).

Peter


Offline Jackie Tran

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Re: basic help - peel issues
« Reply #10 on: April 03, 2010, 12:25:27 PM »
Great tip, Jackitup.

Tranman, I've switched to semolina for the dusting. Less mess than regular flour, and adds a little extra crunch to the crust.
Jackitup - that is one huge pie.  How big is that sucka?


I agree Ronzo.  I too prefer semolina flour over corn flour.   What what is really cool is a 1/2 and 1/2 mixture semolina and flour.  I think it's Pete's Papa John's Dustinator bench flour or something like that.  Works really well!  It's kind of the best of both worlds.  Slides really well off the peel but you only use a very small amount.  You can change up the ratio as well, say 1/3 semolina and 2/3 flour.  

Pete I was just discussing the use of parchment paper on another forum.  There is some concern that at high temps above 450-500F, silicone is released. 

One possible work around is to pull the parchment paper after the pizza cooks for a minute or 2 or until the crust firms up a bit. 
« Last Edit: April 03, 2010, 12:29:11 PM by Tranman »

Offline Jackitup

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Re: basic help - peel issues
« Reply #11 on: April 03, 2010, 01:01:11 PM »
Jackitup - that is one huge pie.  How big is that sucka?


Whenever I make ribs or pizza it's like a magnet, people calling, dropping by, pretty soon there's a houseful. The pies I usually make are 17-18 inches. Tomorrow ribs, Italian sliced beef, and all the fixin's....Oh. and rabbit!!
Jon
Save A Cow, Eat A Vegan....Totally Organic And Hormone Free!!

Offline Ronzo

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Re: basic help - peel issues
« Reply #12 on: April 03, 2010, 01:46:25 PM »
I agree Ronzo.  I too prefer semolina flour over corn flour.  
I love the smell of the semolina when it hits the flame in the LBE on the backporch. Smells intoxicating.
Fuggheddabowdit!

~ Ron

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Offline Art

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Re: basic help - peel issues
« Reply #13 on: April 04, 2010, 03:29:09 PM »
As cool as this thing is, it's not the answer.  A wet dough of 80% hydration will still stick to the superpeel just as much as any regular wooden peel.   First off you have to flour the crap out of the superpeel and work just as fast as you would with any regular wooden peel.  When you unload the pie or bread, you end up with a bunch of flour all over your oven since the flour on the peel comes dusting off pretty easily. 

His problem is in using a metal peel instead of a wooden peel as mentioned previously.   A temporary fix (until he get's a wooden peel) is to use a piece of stiff cardboard as a peel.  If that makes a difference, then your answer is in getting a wooden peel. 

Now, I also realize that one can remove the cloth on the superpeel and use it as a regular peel.  That's what I do anyway.

You most certainly DON'T have to "flour the crap out of the superpeel and work just as fast as you would with any regular wooden peel"
. I don't use ANY flour (or anything else) on my Superpeel and I've used some pretty wet doughs. Nothing as high as 80% (not very common), but I'm confident the Superpeel could handle that too. You infer that you have one of these great peels, but you don't sound like someone who has ever used one.  Art










When baking, follow directions.  When cooking, go by your own taste.

Offline Jackie Tran

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Re: basic help - peel issues
« Reply #14 on: April 04, 2010, 04:48:48 PM »
I do have one and use it often for loading ciabatta (hydration rate of close to 80%), so that's where it shines for me.  If you'd like I can attach a pic as well.   You can't be confident that the SP would handle a 80% hydration dough without adding flour to it if you haven't done it.  Do it and then tell me your confident.

Since it's my only wooden peel, when i do pizza I use it as a regular peel.  Using it with the cloth sprinkles flour into my oven.  You don't have this issue?  Are you even flouring your superpeel?  You must know something I don't. 

To clarify I had more of an issue with it sticking when i first started making pizzas.  This is when I didn't know how to properly knead dough.  As a result of that (not neccessarily SP's fault), I did require an exorbatent amount of flour on the cloth.  Since I have learned how to knead dough properly, I have also learned how to use a peel.  There's no subsitute for that. 
   IMO, the OP should invest in a regular peel for $10 rather paying $50 for a superpeel unless he is planning to use it for making high hydration bread or loading delicate things like a latice pie crust. 

The other limitation to a superpeel is the size.  You can't make and load 16" pies unless you buy their extender kit which is another $15 + shipping.    No biggie but it's just a piece of cardboard and a bigger cloth.  The $, IMO is better spent on getting a "regular" big wooden peel to begin with and learning how to use that. 
  It doesn't matter as it sounds like he has already ordered a superpeel.  Hopefully he will post his opinion of the device and if he likes it in the long run. 
  For me, I will buy a 2nd and larger peel for pizza and use the superpeel for bread and other things.
My 2 cents. 
« Last Edit: April 04, 2010, 04:50:56 PM by Tranman »


 

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