Author Topic: What do you use to cut & serve your pizza on?  (Read 5755 times)

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Offline husker3in4

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What do you use to cut & serve your pizza on?
« on: October 07, 2006, 12:30:41 AM »
Thanks for all your help everyone.. I'm slowly getting in mind what types of equipment I want for all of this.
My next question is, what type of pan do you place your cooked pizza on to cut it and serve it? I can't very well serve it on the heated pizza stone, and I dont have any plates that are 12" diameter, not that I would want to cut on glass anyway. Is there some kind of serving pan that most of you use?


Offline enchant

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Re: What do you use to cut & serve your pizza on?
« Reply #1 on: October 07, 2006, 08:22:55 AM »
Up until I discovered pizzamaking.com, I was using a rolling pin to spread my dough and creating rectangular 18" x 12" pizzas that fit on my six 6" quarry tiles.  This also fit perfectly on my 12" x 14" wooden cutting board.  I sliced it and served it on that board.  Once I learned the proper way to handle dough and create round pizzas, I bought a 16" stone and needed a new surface to cut it on.

My brother, a carpenter, took a bunch of oak flooring and made me a round 17" cutting board.  That's what I use today.
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Offline gottabedapan

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Re: What do you use to cut & serve your pizza on?
« Reply #2 on: October 07, 2006, 09:47:42 AM »
I'm not sure that a cutting board made from hardwood flooring is a good idea. For one thing, practically all hardwood flooring, whether sawn strips or a laminate, is chemically treated for water- and mildew-resistance and enhanced durability; with strip-flooring, it is highly improbable that the adhesive used to hold the individual pieces that make up a plank is food-safe. Exposure to high temperatures or spilled food (I'm thinking of the tomato sauce) may cause the chemical treatment and/or adhesive to leach out of the wood into the pizza. Another concern is whether or not the the adhesive used to join the individual planks together is food-safe. Most adhesives that are used with wood—including carpenter's glue—are not food-safe.

Online Pete-zza

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Re: What do you use to cut & serve your pizza on?
« Reply #3 on: October 07, 2006, 09:59:12 AM »
husker3in4,

Many pizza operators use a special cutting board, such as shown at http://www.pizzatools.com/productdisplay.aspx?catid=36, but, as you will see, they can be quite expensive. I personally use a hardwood Boos cutting board, which I also use for many other purposes and regularly clean. You can also cut a pizza on a metal serving tray but I don’t recommend doing so for a couple of reasons: 1) the tray will in due course become scratched by the pizza cutter (and possibly create small, loose metal particles), and 2) heat transfers from hot to cool, so the heat from the pizza will pass through the pizza to the metal tray and make the pizza soggy.

The best way to prepare the pizza for cutting in my opinion is to let the baked pizza cool on a grid-like cooling rack spaced above the surface of the counter and then transfer the pizza to a cardboard round in preparation for cutting. As noted by Pizza Shark at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,3736.msg31168/topicseen.html#msg31168, the pizza can be cut on paper towels layered over the serving tray (Pizza Shark recommends a perforated pan) to absorb moisture, fat, etc. and also protect the surface of the serving tray. You can then serve the pizza slices on paper plates if you’d like, as also recommended by Pizza Shark. Of course, there will be times where you may want to serve the slices on regular plates.

Peter

Offline enchant

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Re: What do you use to cut & serve your pizza on?
« Reply #4 on: October 07, 2006, 12:06:51 PM »
I'm not sure that a cutting board made from hardwood flooring is a good idea. For one thing, practically all hardwood flooring, whether sawn strips or a laminate, is chemically treated for water- and mildew-resistance and enhanced durability
I just checked with three of the local lumber yards near me, and they say that they've never heard of plain oak flooring being chemically treated.  It's often kiln-dried, but until it's installed and finished, it's raw wood.  They say that other specialty woods like bamboo or cork might be treated, but not oak.
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Offline SemperFi

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Re: What do you use to cut & serve your pizza on?
« Reply #5 on: January 14, 2007, 03:44:55 PM »
husker3in4,

The best way to prepare the pizza for cutting in my opinion is to let the baked pizza cool on a grid-like cooling rack spaced above the surface of the counter and then transfer the pizza to a cardboard round in preparation for cutting.
Peter


Peter,

I understand the reasoning behind the slight rest period of the pie (cheese not as stringy, more control) but what window do you use for waiting?  Notice any difference in allowing a wait period?  Pizzerias go from the oven straight into a cardboard box, then "seal" it.  Just wondering your take on this.  Adam
Adam

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Re: What do you use to cut & serve your pizza on?
« Reply #6 on: January 14, 2007, 04:17:46 PM »
Adam,

I got the idea of using the cardboard from this Lehmann answer to a PMQ Think Tank poster: http://www.pmq.com/cgi-bin/tt/index.cgi?noframes;read=29198, from which the following is an excerpt:

After removing the pizza from the oven, DO NOT place the pizza onto a metal tray, instead place it onto a cardboard pizza circle if possible. This will insulate the crust to help retain both heat and maintain crispiness. The metal tray will only serve to allow the pizza to sweat making for a short lived crispy crust.

Subsequently, one of our members, Pizzashark, a former pizza operator skilled in the NY style, suggested the combination of resting the baked pizza on a cooling rack and using paper towels on a perforated plate, at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,3736.msg31168.html#msg31168 (Reply 4). Since reading that post, I now use the paper towel approach rather than a piece of cardboard.

I personally like to eat my pizza right out of the oven, so I don't wait all that long. I put the pizza on the cooling rack, line up my paper towels, etc., and then start eating.

Peter

Offline Randy

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Re: What do you use to cut & serve your pizza on?
« Reply #7 on: January 15, 2007, 06:58:59 AM »
Oak is often treated at the mill before it is cut from the tree to make it easier to cut.  Not sure what they use.  They keep large sprinklers going on top of the log piles.

Offline Jack

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Re: What do you use to cut & serve your pizza on?
« Reply #8 on: January 15, 2007, 12:32:35 PM »
Oak is often treated at the mill before it is cut from the tree to make it easier to cut.  Not sure what they use.  They keep large sprinklers going on top of the log piles.

This is usually just water to keep the logs from drying out and warping, which would screw up the grain structure in dimensional lumber (2x4's etc.).  Once the log is cut, it is kiln dried to keep it straight.  On the other hand, the log peeling operations, for veneer and plywood, just work much better with damp wood.  The dampness allows the wood to be peeled off the log in longer, more continous strips,  providing a more cost effective final product.

The solid Oak strips used in flooring are solid oak, and are most likely untreated.  I'd use them in a heartbeat. 

What I use. . . .

I cool the NY style pizza on a screen, which is also useful for removing any extra flour <blush>.  I then transfer to a metal pan for cutting and serving, whereas my Sicilian pies go onto  wooden cutting board, covered with a paper towel (for excess oil absorbtion) for cutting.  I pull the paper towel before serving if I have company for aesthetics, but not usually if it's just family.

Jack

Offline SemperFi

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Re: What do you use to cut & serve your pizza on?
« Reply #9 on: January 15, 2007, 05:45:16 PM »
Peter,
Here is a question.  I just tried the paper towel cooling period.  Took the pizza out of the oven, straight onto a 4 ply paper towel that was placed on a rack, elevated 1/2" over my countertop.  Pizza relaxed for maybe 3 minutes. In that time though, my crust went from unreal to oh-no!  It became very bready and leathery, lost all of its crispiness.  At first I thought that the cooktime must have been off, about 8 minutes on a stone, since an airbubble that was on my crust when it came out disappeared after the wait time.  But I think that the towels may have held in the moisture, then steamed it back onto the crust.  Either way, the pizza was delicious, deserved to have a pic of, but ate it instead.  Any thoughts?  Adam
Adam


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Re: What do you use to cut & serve your pizza on?
« Reply #10 on: January 15, 2007, 06:39:06 PM »
Adam,

Out of curiosity, can you tell me what kind of flour you used? I think you were introduced to the realities of what I will refer to as "pizza death". Once a pizza comes out of the oven, it starts to decline in quality, and fairly quickly. Pizza operators who deliver pizza to their customers know this all too well, and it is not at all uncommon for delivery pizza, especially pizza based on high-gluten flours, to become tough and leathery by the time it reaches the customer. In fact, some operators choose to use a lower protein flour, which is softer than high-gluten flour and less prone to turning tough and leathery.

In a home setting, what I frequently do is place slices of my pizza on my pizza stone as it is cooling down (after I have turned off the oven). The residual heat from the stone keeps the pizza hot and crispy, just like I like it. But if I just let the pizza sit around, it won't be long before it starts to degrade and become leathery. But it usually won't be wet or moist because of moisture being introduced to the bottom of the pizza.

Peter

Offline SemperFi

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Re: What do you use to cut & serve your pizza on?
« Reply #11 on: January 15, 2007, 09:01:01 PM »
Pizza Death?  Jeez, sounds fitting enough.  Unbelievable what a few minutes can make.  At this time I am using the last 5 # of my Gold Medal "Better for Breads" Bread flour, which according to this site:

http://www.theartisan.net/flour_test.htm

has it rated at 12.2%-12.7%.

And though the pizza wasn't necessarily wet on the bottom, it sure was leathery.I will have to try the residual heat on the stone trick.  Thanks again Peter.

Adam
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Offline November

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Re: What do you use to cut & serve your pizza on?
« Reply #12 on: January 15, 2007, 09:16:17 PM »
Adam,

Would that be Harvest King flour?  I remember seeing that theartisan.net write-up a long time ago, presumably before Harvest King was made available to the general public.  So I'm not positive, but I believe the information they give is for the original Gold Medal "Better For Bread" flour.

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Re: What do you use to cut & serve your pizza on?
« Reply #13 on: January 15, 2007, 09:24:09 PM »
Adam,

Some operators use a product called Dri-Pie to keep pizzas dry, such as described here: http://www.dripie.com/dri-pie.asp. However, I understand that they are quite expensive, and may not be available to home pizza makers at the retail level.

Peter

Offline SemperFi

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Re: What do you use to cut & serve your pizza on?
« Reply #14 on: January 15, 2007, 09:28:29 PM »
November,

I just checked the bag, no, it doesn't say Harvest King on it, and I just went to General Mills' website. Apparently it must be an older bag, or could it be different marketing on the west coast.  The expiration date is next year, so the flour is fresh.  So maybe I am still using the older variety.

Adam
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Offline SemperFi

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Re: What do you use to cut & serve your pizza on?
« Reply #15 on: January 15, 2007, 09:33:43 PM »
Get a load of this one.  My Better for Bread flour has the exact Nutritional facts as their newly labled Unbleached all purpose flour.  Their Harvest King variety, whis I assumed was just different marketing, is a different product.  Go figure.  Now I need to go looking for the Harvest King variety, or better yet just upgrade to KASL from now on.  Adam
Adam

Offline November

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Re: What do you use to cut & serve your pizza on?
« Reply #16 on: January 15, 2007, 09:45:02 PM »
So maybe I am still using the older variety.


It seems so.  The original "Better For Bread" flour is no longer even available where I live.  I noticed Wal*Mart is stocking Harvest King now for $0.96.

The Dri-Pie product is nothing more than a hexagonal grid.  The patent on it is just one of simple ornamental design, as there are no engineering related claims.  A cooling rack (no elevation) placed directly over cardboard or paper towels should provide similar results.  I would think that a spare pizza stone kept at room temperature would be good at keeping the texture of the crust intact.

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EDIT: http://unclesalmon.com/lib/images/products/dri-pie.tiff
« Last Edit: January 15, 2007, 10:03:34 PM by November »

Offline SemperFi

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Re: What do you use to cut & serve your pizza on?
« Reply #17 on: January 15, 2007, 09:48:50 PM »
It must be older, I got it at a discount supermarket  "WinCo".  But hey, now I know.  At least the pizza doesn't suck too bad.  But now it has me wondering, if it tastes this good, using the older ingredients, with no scale, and wrong resting method...imagine when I get my ducks in a row!  I'm going to get a second stone I think.

Adam
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Offline November

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Re: What do you use to cut & serve your pizza on?
« Reply #18 on: January 15, 2007, 09:58:31 PM »
Adam,

Before spending money on a second stone (unless you were planning on getting one anyway), I would first bake a pizza on a screen or pan and use the stone you have now to cool the pizza.  You may be able to get a pizza stone cheaply, but it's still worth knowing for sure if it gives you the results you want.

- red.november

Offline scott r

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Re: What do you use to cut & serve your pizza on?
« Reply #19 on: January 15, 2007, 11:58:25 PM »
just found this thread.


Yes, harvest king is replacing better for bread flour for the consumer retail market.   Better for bread is now only available in large wholesale size bags.

If you have better for bread on the shelves at your local grocery store it won't be there for long.

One of the best bakeries in the boston area swears by the harvest king as a big improvement over the better for bread.  In side by side tests with other flours on NY style crusts it was not my favorite, but I find that it works perfectly for a thin american style pizza similar to what you would find in Illinois and it's surrounding states.


 

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