Author Topic: Off the peel and into the oven  (Read 2375 times)

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Offline Steve

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Off the peel and into the oven
« on: February 27, 2005, 05:26:10 PM »
I started with cornmeal, then tried semolina flour, then a light dusting of regular flour.

Then it happened.

I tried a technique that I've often heard about but never tried. "Addicted" posted a message not too long ago saying the same thing. Lift the edge of the dough closest to the handle of the peel and blow an air pocket under the dough.

Tonight I tried this technique and let me tell you... IT WORKS!

It works almost too good!!

My first attempt almost ended in disaster with raw pizza all over the floor. The dough was like nothing I've ever seen before... it was like the peel was a sheet of ice... or, a better analogy would describe the uncooked pizza as one of those air-hockey pucks.... I lifted the peel in my usual manner and tilted it ever-so-slightly as I lifted it... and the whole pizza started sliding off and onto the counter! I could not believe my eyes!  :o

During my next attempt, I kept the peel as level as possible and let me tell you... that pizza literally floated off the peel and into the oven.

Never again will I use flour or cornmeal. Nope, I'll be blowing under my dough!  8)
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Offline canadianbacon

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Re: Off the peel and into the oven
« Reply #1 on: February 27, 2005, 06:01:34 PM »
Hi Steve,

Maybe I'm just dopey, but you totally lost me..... just as you were putting your dough into the oven you lifted it off the peel and then
blew air with your mouth under the pizza dough ? ..... urrr..... I"m totatally lost......

Mark



I tried a technique that I've often heard about but never tried. "Addicted" posted a message not too long ago saying the same thing. Lift the edge of the dough closest to the handle of the peel and blow an air pocket under the dough.

Pizzamaker, Rib Smoker, HomeBrewer, there's not enough time for a real job.

Offline canadave

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Re: Off the peel and into the oven
« Reply #2 on: February 27, 2005, 06:13:59 PM »
What I don't get is, even if you blow air under the dough, unless you blow enough air to completely lift the dough off the peel, there will still be parts of the dough that are in contact with the peel, right?  So if you don't flour or cornmeal the peel, even with an air pocket how would you be able to prevent that part of the dough (the part that's not lifted off by the air bubble) from sticking to the peel?

Dave

Offline Steve

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Re: Off the peel and into the oven
« Reply #3 on: February 27, 2005, 06:25:36 PM »
The pressure of the toppings at the center of the pie will press the trapped air downward which will tend to lift the entire pie. Here's a step by step:

Stretch/toss dough as usual (remember, we're making a NY style pie here).

Place dough on an undusted peel.

Apply sauce, toppings, and cheese as usual.

Immediately prior to transferring the pizza to the oven, lift the edge of the dough that's closest to the peel's handle. Lift it only a small amount, perhaps 1/2 to 1 inch. Gently blow under the dough until the center of the pie puffs up and shows a bubble of trapped air.

BE CAREFUL... the dough is now like the puck of an air hockey game... the slightest tilt of the peel will send the pizza sliding off!

It's simply amazing.... I've never experienced anything like it. Like I said, I've transferred hundreds of pies into my oven and I've never seen anything like this before!

I'll never use cornmeal or flour again!
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Offline pftaylor

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Re: Off the peel and into the oven
« Reply #4 on: February 27, 2005, 06:40:12 PM »
I just tried it and it works. It's as if the pie is sitting on a cushion of air. I am dumbfounded.
« Last Edit: February 27, 2005, 06:44:50 PM by pftaylor »
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Offline canadianbacon

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Re: Off the peel and into the oven
« Reply #5 on: February 27, 2005, 06:40:53 PM »
Ok I"m not completey nuts then !  :P

I thought perhaps I didn't read that right.  Ok will have to try this for fun next time,
I can't believe that a heavy pizza can lift up like that, but I shall try it out, sounds neat !

damn, nothing like giving your pizza a blow job  :P
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Offline addicted

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Re: Off the peel and into the oven
« Reply #6 on: February 27, 2005, 06:43:34 PM »
I wish I could claim that trick for myself, but I learned it by watching the pizzaola at the local New York style pizza place. That is the best way to get the trade secrets, most New York style pizza shops have the preparation area and oven right next to where you order your slice. If you have one in your area, go there for lunch, sit where you can see and watch their techniques. I have learned quiet a lot.
Well....okay,then.

Offline Pizza Meister

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Re: Off the peel and into the oven
« Reply #7 on: February 27, 2005, 07:00:14 PM »
The trick is an old one and one that applies best to pizzeria use, where there is a large landing surface.  For most home use it could work, but does not provide much in the way of control.

A patent (US Pat. No. 5716086) was issued to Phil Bifulco in 1998 for a peel with a hole in the center and a bulb inflator at the end of the handle.  I will try to post a picture, but had to convert it from a tiff so not sure how it will come out.  It has not made it to the market as far as I know.  The reasons are probably cost and not a large market in the pizzeria world.  It would be too costly to manufacture and still not provide the control sought for home use.  Sticking dough is only a part of the equation.  As posted above this method has the possibility of total loss of control in the other direction.

A better design is offerec by US Pat. No, 6068313, Casper and Casper 1999, in that it is eliminates the sticking issue completely and also is infinitely controllable.  In addition it provides for pick up of pizza or other from the work surface, a fuction not provided by other peels.  And this peel has made it to market.

 8) 8)

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Offline friz78

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Re: Off the peel and into the oven
« Reply #8 on: February 27, 2005, 08:16:54 PM »
Do you guys think this technique will work for a metal peel as well as a wood one?  Also, what sized was the pizza that you used this technique for?  Do think it would work for large pizzas - 16 inches?
Thanks,
Friz

Offline Pizza Meister

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Re: Off the peel and into the oven
« Reply #9 on: February 27, 2005, 08:46:50 PM »
Friz,

I would think that it would work even better for a larger pie.

Reasoning:

1. Simple Physics: There is a larger internal area, vs the crust ring that must stay sealed to the peel, and
2. This is what has been used and observed in pizza establishments, and they are (I would imagin) generally making a larger pie.

We need more actual test data!!!!  :D  :D

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Offline Steve

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Re: Off the peel and into the oven
« Reply #10 on: February 27, 2005, 09:10:15 PM »
Do you guys think this technique will work for a metal peel as well as a wood one?  Also, what sized was the pizza that you used this technique for?  Do think it would work for large pizzas - 16 inches?

I used it on a 16" pie loaded with mozzarella and pepperoni. I could not believe what I was seeing!

I used a wooden peel, but I bet it would work exaxtly the same on a metal peel. Just make sure that the dough is not sticky.
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Offline bortz

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Re: Off the peel and into the oven
« Reply #11 on: February 28, 2005, 09:29:28 AM »
Why don't they just make a metal peel with teflon coating.  I have a teflon coated pizza pan by calphalon and nothing sticks to it.  It's gotta be a high grade of teflon though, not that junk that comes on the $1.99 frying pans that you can buy at the supermarket.

Offline Steve

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Re: Off the peel and into the oven
« Reply #12 on: February 28, 2005, 09:38:52 AM »
I believe that Teflon keeps foods from sticking during cooking and not necessarily at room temperature.
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Offline vitoduke

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Re: Off the peel and into the oven
« Reply #13 on: February 28, 2005, 03:09:13 PM »
I think if teflon is heated at a high temp. it gives off toxic fumes.

Offline Pizza Meister

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Re: Off the peel and into the oven
« Reply #14 on: February 28, 2005, 05:10:32 PM »
Steve is 1000% correct.  Teflon is no better than bare metal for raw sticky dough.  A company who licensed my Patent a few years ago made the same mistake.  They tried to use "non-stick" parchment paper for the sliding belt.  While cheap, toss-away, and not needing washing, it was not a reliable material for wet bread or pizza doughs, unless a lot of flour or cornmeal was used.  They just didn't get it. (It does work pretty well for some "delicate, but not sticky" things)

I will have a mildly technical discussion of "what makes things non-sticky to sticky things" on my new website, when it is up.

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