help with pizza stone

mollyjaneaSeptember 17, 2005

ok, first i'll admit it: i am white rice challenged. cooking is NOT my thing. but i did make an excellent pizza dough from scratch recently. my problem is this-how the heck do i get my pizza onto the hot stone for baking? the directions say to preheat stone to 450 and place dough (complete with toppings) on stone and then into oven. but how do i move an uncooked shell covered with stuff onto the stone? i don't get it! what am i missing here??? lol

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I have done it two ways. The first was to use a pizza peel. That is one of those long-handled metal or wood paddle looking things that you can buy in a restaurant supply store. You need to make sure the crust is not sticking to it anywhere and you sort of slide it onto the stone with a quick jerk (similar to the old trick of pulling a table cloth out from under the dishes). In a pinch, you can use a cookie sheet with no sides.

The second way, and my favorite, because I had issues of sticking to the peel no matter how much corn-meal I used, is to spread and stretch my dough, and assemble my pizza on a piece of parchement paper and just put it on the stone, paper and all. I still use the peel for that, but it never sticks and I don't really need to. I just do it because I already had the peel.

    Bookmark   September 17, 2005 at 10:06AM
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sunnyco, thank you! just one more question...what happens to the parchment paper in the oven? lol, told you i'm not a cook!

    Bookmark   September 17, 2005 at 10:27AM
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To begin with, sometimes the tension of the dough trying to reach it's original shape causes a few wrinkles in the parchment, but it is no big deal. Once your pizza is baked, the parchment might be blackened a bit or brown and brittle around the edges, but it has not ever ignited in my oven at 450 degrees. The pizza will come off of it very easily if the crust is cooked throughly and your pizza will have a nice, crisp bottomed crust.

    Bookmark   September 17, 2005 at 5:00PM
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I make 5-8 pizzas every Friday night, depending on how many of my kids grandkids, friends and neighbours show up for pizza night.

A wooden peel is the easiest. I have two. The first was easy to make, just a 17 inch wide piece of 1/4 inch plywood with part cut out for a handle. The other is a real work of art that my husband made to my specs out of solid maple with a carved handle.

Dust the peel with coarse cornmeal. Roll the dough out on a separate surface first. Let it rest a minute or two after you get it to the size you want. Then lift it onto the peel and start coating it. Smaller pizzas, thicker dough and fewer toppings are easier to slide, but you can work up to 16 inch paper thin crusts with lots of toppings.

Try taking the stone out of the oven to slide the pizza on. You can take a little more time if you need it, and not lose heat by having the door open a long time. Hold the peel at a very slight tilt with the leading edge on the far side of the stone. Start jiggling it and pulling it out from under the pizza as the pizza slides onto the stone. If the pizza is not sliding easily, you can try using a chef's knife, or some other long thin blade under the edges to try to loosen the sticking part while you jiggle the peel.

I also remove the stone to slide the pizza onto the chopping block for cutting with the 24 inch long pizza sabre my son got me last Christmas. (Great tool if you get hooked on pizza making.)

    Bookmark   September 19, 2005 at 7:37AM
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xoxo, molly

    Bookmark   September 19, 2005 at 11:46AM
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