Dear friends, I would like to share with you a practical way—practical to a point—to practice rotating a Neapolitan pizza in a simulated fashion. Verily, to properly handle a Neapolitan pizza inside a Neapolitan oven is an art that on the surface seems uncomplicated, yet it has its own levels of difficulty, as I am sure both dear Craig and Matthew can affirm this fact. In my estimation, incompetent rotation of a pizza inside a Neapolitan oven—where the temperature is infernal and, hence, where time is of essence—can rip, burn, and/or negatively change the gastronomical qualities of the pizza. Furthermore, besides turning a pizza inside the oven, there are other intimately related factors of importance:
1. When to approach the pizza with the turning peel;
2. What part(s) of the pizza rim, sitting on the oven floor, to approach with the turning peel;
3. The angle at which the peel should approach the pizza;
4. The angle(s) at which the peel should be maintained during the rotation;
5. The type of pizza (not excluding the type of dough that serves as the foundation of the pizza) that is to be rotated; and
6. More. . . .
To do this practice, I take a fresh flour tortilla (12 inches in diameter) and top it with tomato paste, with heavier concentration on the rims in order to simulate the weighty cornicione. (See the 1st picture below.) Sometimes, I pour a little amount of water in a warm pan and briefly warm up the bottom of the tortilla in it in order to make it somewhat fragile. Next, I place a pizza stone on top of a table or platform that is more or less elevated to the height of the floor of a Neapolitan oven. At last, I start spinning my simulated pizza placed on the pizza stone. (See the 2nd picture hereunder.) This way, since I am not bound by the time limits of a Neapolitan oven, I can take my time to do this simulated practice without waisting precious dough. Of course, turning a real pizza on the floor of a Neapolitan oven is not exactly the same, yet my proposed simulation is a great start! Please, let me know if anyone has alternative methods of practicing this art. Thank you and good night!