7

I've been experimenting with Neapolitan pizza dough(recipe) and what I would call a normal wooden peel(here). I have run into trouble transferring the pizza from the peel to my baking steel in the oven on about 10% of my pizzas. Usually what happens is I'm fine transferring the first 1-2 pizzas, but by the 3rd or 4th in a row(within 20mins or so) the pizza sticks to the peel and causes a huge mess in the oven and me to throw out the dough.

The way I am making dough is about as wet as I can make it, I add about 20-30g to the existing recipe noted above to make it extra wet. I flour the peel, dough, my hands, and working surface quite liberally with a dredge. I stretch the dough about as far as possible for 200g pizza, until it almost tears.

I did find a tip on YouTube where they recommended lifting up the edge of the dough after it is prepared on the peel, and blowing under the pizza dough to "lift" it up before trying to launch it off of the peel. I do this each time and still run into my issue.

Note - I do own an aluminum peel as well, but the first and only time I tried that to transfer the dough into the oven I failed so I'm too afraid to try it again without further advice on the matter(this peel)

Here is what my dough usually looks like with the peel I normally use floured and ready to be launched into the oven: enter image description here

Here was a successful peel to steel transfer to give you an idea of my oven and setup: enter image description here

5

You might have better luck with cornmeal or semolina flour on the peel, those have a "ball bearing" quality to them, even in addition to some regular flour on the dough. Be sure your pizza is sliding easily before you move to the oven. Practice the motion a bit with just some plain dough some day. There is a bit it a trick to it, a left to right motion to get it nice and loose, and quick front to back motion to get it into the oven.

Here's a YouTube video, he gets into the peel at 4:30.

If you want to spend the money, this is a foolproof option: EXO Peel, they demonstrated it on America's Test Kitchen. It was really nifty.

  • 1
    After a year I can say that using semolina had made all of the difference, along with going as fast as possible between placing the dough on the peel, topping, and launching in the oven. – dpollitt Feb 13 '16 at 14:51
  • 1
    Three years later, I'm back to say that after hundreds more pizzas, your tips were spot on. Semolina flour has worked great. I dust ~1tsp of it all over my wooden peel before I place the stretched dough on it. While topping the dough, I shake the peel back and forth a few times to continuously check that the dough isn't yet sticking. If it's sticking, I pickup the edge that is sticking and toss a bit more semolina under that area. I do one final check before launching in the oven. With those tips in mind, I've had no issues in hundreds of pizza launches! Thx – dpollitt Jan 6 at 15:33
4

The semolina flour has a higher temp rating and is more compatible to the pizza dough that results in a gentle sweet taste.

Clean the pan in the oven after each pizza with the hand mitt to take away the cooked flour otherwise this browning flavor gets transferred to the bottom of the crust.

White or wheat flours will burn easily and leave a chalky taste.

Cornmeal can be used but it is very crunchy and nothing like what is used in the restaurants.

Shorten the time between placing the ingredients on the dough disk and entry into the oven. Slide often with the flour below. If it sticks anywhere, add the flour at the edges and lift slightly up to get it around the disk. Then perform the slide technique to get it all together. If it rests for more than 2 min. slide it back an forth to keep it loose.

3

Here's what works for me.

  • 50% wheat flour
  • 50% either cornmeal, semolina, or rice flour

This mix causes the bottom of the dough to absorb some of the wheat flour to prevent the bottom from being 'wet' and as @jolenealaska says, the other component acts like 'ball bearings' to keep the dough moving. I usually keep this mix in a shaker for general purpose bread non-stick flour stuff.

Use that mixture to A) dust the peel, and B)rub some on the dough and then flip it over onto the peel. If you just dust the peel, it will often absorb the flour too quickly and stick.

After dusting the peel and rubbing some onto the dough, timing is the most critical factor. You have to be fast. If the dough is sitting on the peel more than just 30-60 seconds, I usually have stick-age.

  • 1
    ! It's been awhile mate. Thanks for the tips! Mmm pizza. – dpollitt Jan 6 '15 at 18:15

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.