Author Topic: rolling surfaces and pizza stones  (Read 2452 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline chotaerang

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 1
rolling surfaces and pizza stones
« on: March 13, 2007, 02:32:48 AM »
Are pizza stones only for cooking the pizza or also for rolling out the dough and serving the pizza up? I roll out my dough on a pretty small surface (a placemat size cutting board) so rolling the dough on a stone seems plausible. Also, I'm living in Korea where I haven't been able to find a stone yet, so I'm wondering if an unglazed tile cut to fit in my oven work as well for rolling and cooking? Thanks very much. CTR


Offline DWChun

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 99
Re: rolling surfaces and pizza stones
« Reply #1 on: March 13, 2007, 09:30:12 AM »
If you're using a pizza stone as most(I believe) use it, you would have it in the oven during the heating of the oven in order to get the full benefit of using the stone so you'd have to use another surface for preparing/shaping the pizza dough. I would also not recommend using the stone for serving because if you take the hot stone out of a hot oven, the shock of the change in temperature from the hot oven to the far cooler air outside can cause the stone to crack and break. The same goes for putting a cold/cool stone into an already heated oven. Anytime you use a stone, put a cool stone into a cool oven before beginning to heat up. If you plan on removing a stone from the oven, make sure you wait until the stone has had time to cool down. I don't have a peel right now so I just use a wooden cutting board as a surface to shape my dough and then slide it into the oven, onto the stone.

I believe you can use unglazed tiles. Hopefully an expert can offer advice on what type(s) are best for oven use.

Offline Ebony

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 18
Re: rolling surfaces and pizza stones
« Reply #2 on: March 30, 2007, 05:26:14 PM »
Being a newbie myself.  I have Pizza stone but how do I get the pizza onto the stone without ruining the pizza? Should I use a rack of some sort and put the rack on the stone?. :-\

Offline derbow

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 34
  • Location: Northwest Atlanta
  • I Love Pizza!
Re: rolling surfaces and pizza stones
« Reply #3 on: March 30, 2007, 06:13:00 PM »
Hey CTR,

I worked for a while without a Pizza Peel, so they are not absolutely necessary.  But let me tell you, it is much easier with one.  Normally, you prepare the Pizza on a Peel, and then transfer it to your stone that is already heated in the oven as DWChun already posted.  If you don't have a Peel, you can use the back of a large cookie sheet or a large cutting board.  You might not be able to make as large of a pizza.  I would take the dough for a 16 in NY, and make 2 10-12 in pizzas instead.  (Ebony, this will help you also) The trick with the back of a cookie sheet, or even with a peel for that matter, it to dust it with Cornmeal before you put the dough on it.  I have never rolled out my dough, but if you do roll it out, just get it the size you want, roll it onto your rolling pin, and then put the cornmeal underneath it.

If I were you, I would practice a few times by transferring the dough to the counter to get the feel of sliding it off before you top your pizza and slide it upside down onto your stone.  I did that once.  The front edge of the pizza dropped down and the pizza slid off almost upside down.  It was a mess you would not believe.

A peel is really not that expensive.  Last time I was in Bed Bath and Beyond, I saw a 15 in peel for $9.99.  One thing that some other people do is to use a Pizza Screen.  You can prepare the pizza on the screen and set the screen right on your stone.  You can get screens prety cheap too from online retailers.  Take a look here: http://www.abestkitchen.com/store/pizza-screens.html - you can get a 16 in screen for under $4.00.  I think that they will ship to Korea

As far as unglazed tiles go, many people use them.  Just make sure that they are unglazed and that toxic chemicals (like a hardener or something)  have not been added to the clay before the tiles were fired.

Hope that helps,

Derrick

Offline trohrs123

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 33
Re: rolling surfaces and pizza stones
« Reply #4 on: March 30, 2007, 06:55:28 PM »
Hey all,

just figured I would throw my $.02 in with the rest
I hate the taste of corn meal on the bottom of the pizza. Instead I use parchment paper on top of the peel and the pizza on top of the parchment paper. I slide the pizza and parchemtn paper onto the hot pizza stone. I usually spin the pizza to cook evenly and I when I do this I slide pizza out onto the peel pull the paper and put the pizza back onto the stone to finish baking. Works great for me. The parchment paper box says good to 450 degrees but I have my oven set to 550. The paper is very dark around the edges when I pull it so that is why I dont leave it in for the whole baking time. It doesnt spend more than 4 to 5 minutes in the oven. I have been making and expermimenting with a lot of pizzas recently so I actually am reusing the parchment paper without problems. Hope this helps someone
Tim

Offline Ebony

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 18
Re: rolling surfaces and pizza stones
« Reply #5 on: March 30, 2007, 08:50:38 PM »
Thanks Tim & Derrick for the help.  I've been looking at pizza peels  and can get a good price with no shipping costs.  I have a friend who works in the office for a pizza chain.  I may pick up a screen & a peel.  :chef:

Offline DWChun

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 99
Re: rolling surfaces and pizza stones
« Reply #6 on: April 01, 2007, 03:01:13 PM »
Hey folks.

I'm a newbie to the world of pizza as well, Ebony, so I'll just share a bit of my own learning experience with shaping/transferring pizza dough to the stone. I work with a New York style pizza formulation so my advice will deal strictly with that sort of pizza dough. The basic idea behind what works for my dough is continual checking and adjusting during the shaping to ensure that I don't trap myself later with an under floured/"lubricated" dough that will stick to my preparation surface rather than glide off when it comes time to go to the oven.

1. I use a steel mixing bowl as a "flour bowl", which I put my dough into before beginning to shape. I give the dough ball a good coating and then lightly shake off the excess before moving onto my shaping surface(wooden cutting board in my case), which is lightly dusted with flour. The dough does feel relatively "dry" at this point but as the shaping progresses, it will become tacky. I then use the tips of my fingers to flatten out the dough ball, working from the center outwards, turning as I go in order to maintain a relatively circular shape for the dough.

2. Once it has been flattened out into a disc, I then take the dough disc and  drape it over the back of my hands, using the back of my fingers and knuckles to stretch the disc. My dough is usually at 64% hydration, a bit higher than normal New York style doughs, so it's a bit tricky to work with it without it sticking but all I can say is that it takes practice and I second derbow's advice to take a few practice tries at first. Also due to the higher hydration of my dough, gravity does a lot of the stretching work for me as I "shuffle" the dough over the back of my fingers/knuckles.

3. Now as the dough stretches out to the size I want the pizza to be, the dough becomes somewhat tacky so I put the dough back down on the cutting board, which still has a bit of flour on it, and apply a little more flour. The dough takes up the flour and keeps the dough from sticking to the board. I give the board a light shake, keeping the motion horizontal, and make sure the dough slides over the surface with no problem.

4. So now that the dough is at the desired size, I add the sauce and toppings, shaking again after layering the sauce, and then again after the toppings to make sure the dough hasn't become tacky during this time of adding toppings. I find it saves headache if I find out the dough is too tacky with just sauce on top than with sauce AND toppings.

5. I then transfer the pizza to the pre-heated oven and do the "shake/slide" technique to get the pizza from the cutting board to the stone.

I'm sure my approach isn't perfect but it works for my current set up of type of dough I make as well as the tools I have available. I prefer not to use corn meal and I don't want a lot of flour on the surface of my dough so this method works great for my desired results.

Your dough will require its own handling procedure, Ebony, but hopefully my approach gives you some reference point to guide you towards your dough's needs. When I first started out, I found that I either had too tacky dough or I had way too much flour on my dough even though it finally would slide easily off my prep surface. I've had to work with my dough, take note of its characteristics, and treat it like a living thing(Yeast is in it, afterall! :)) that isn't always going to behave exactly the same, in order to arrive at a point where I have a decent method for shaping and transferring my dough. It may sound cryptic but I suggest "Getting to know your dough." in order to find out the best way to get your pizza from your prep surface to your stone. Good luck!

Offline Ebony

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 18
Re: rolling surfaces and pizza stones
« Reply #7 on: April 02, 2007, 11:14:52 AM »
Thanks for your post,DW  It sounds like you've got it down.  I know alot of it is practice, practice,practice.  I wasnted to make a pie last night and my power went out from 2:30pm and didn't come back on until 5:00 am.  My sunday spent with no electricity.  Oh well stuff happens.

                                Ebony

Offline DWChun

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 99
Re: rolling surfaces and pizza stones
« Reply #8 on: April 04, 2007, 09:59:13 AM »
I know how it is to lose power in the most inconvenient of times! The power went out for a few hours last week while I had a batch of dough in my refrigerator. Luckily it didn't adversely affect the dough.

Offline Jack

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 404
  • Location: WA
  • Pizza; it's what's for dinner, breakfast........
Re: rolling surfaces and pizza stones
« Reply #9 on: April 04, 2007, 11:06:56 AM »
I lost the bottom heating element of my oven last night as I was getting dinner in there, with other baked goods waiting to go and guests on the way for dinner.  We pushed it back an hour, so I could run to the hardware store and get a new heating element.  Dessert came out of the oven at 9:45.  Grrrrrrr!

Yeah, a loud pop, followed by one section of the electric heater element glowing and flaming slightly.

The Enginerd in me says that it was caused by long run times at 550F, heating up a heavy pizza stone that always stays in the oven and also by the time, about 3-4 months ago, when I dumped cheese and tomato off a failed pizza on that section of the coil.  <Blush>  It was also 12 years old.  Fortunately, $39.99 + tax, and 45 minutes later, we were back in business.

Jack


Offline jasonr

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 32
  • I Love Pizza!
Re: rolling surfaces and pizza stones
« Reply #10 on: June 25, 2007, 09:57:04 PM »
Even if you use ample semolina or corn meal, getting a pizza to slide off of a peel onto your stone can be tricky. Worst case scenario, you can totally destroy your pizza in the process.

The most reliable technique, in my experience, is to shape the pizza on a well floured surface to the desired size, and then transfer it to the peel, which should be dusted with semolina or corn meal, taking care to warp it as little as possible in the process. The advantage of rolling it out on a separate surface and only transferring to a peel after (versus rolling it out directly on the dusted peel) is twofold: first, as you stretch the dough, you won't neutralize the benefit of the corn meal and semolina by kneading the dough into the surface of the peel, and second, your dough will be easier to stretch, since it will have more traction on a floured surface versus one dusted with corn meal or semolina.

Once the dough is on the peel, you gently correct any deformities (if you roll it out an inch or two more than the final size you desire, you can round out the pie by sacrificing some of your diameter; remember, it's easier to decrease the size of your pie than it is to stretch it out more once it's on the peel).

Once you've added the toppings, the final step is to run a non-stick spatula under the surface of the pizza and then immediately transfer to the hot stone. This will ensure that the pizza will slide right off the peel, with little or no need for jiggling.

The above method is pretty much foolproof. The only times I have had trouble is when dealing with especially delicate, thin doughs. When that's the case, you have to be extra careful at the final stage, since even a non-stick spatula will tend to catch on the dough and deform it as you run it underneath.
« Last Edit: June 25, 2007, 09:58:41 PM by jasonr »

Offline PizzaBrasil

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 157
  • I Love Pizza!
Re: rolling surfaces and pizza stones
« Reply #11 on: June 26, 2007, 06:42:01 AM »
Ditto!
I like to add that I always shake (little and fast horizontal forward and aft movements or vibration) the peel with the topped pizza on, just before slide the pizza either to screen or oven hearth.

Luis

Offline Art

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 225
  • Age: 67
  • Location: Hoschton, GA
  • la pizza la mia vita!!
Re: rolling surfaces and pizza stones
« Reply #12 on: June 26, 2007, 08:29:40 AM »
I hate to sound like a broken record on this subject, but..........http://www.superpeel.com/
When baking, follow directions.  When cooking, go by your own taste.


 

pizzapan