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Getting my pizza onto the oven stone

n
nomdeplume Aug 26, 2007 04:21 PM

How do I get a medium sized pie onto the oven stone? Do I need to buy one of those paddles? I've tried using the back of a baking pan, but have had no luck with that. I could make the smaller, but that's less fun. Any suggestions?

  1. m
    Mellicita May 18, 2008 05:20 PM

    If a pizza peel is not an option, you could use a thin plastic cutting board in its place.
    If you dust the bottom of the pizza with some corn meal (or flour), it should slide easily on and off the stone and the pizza peel (or other device for transferring).

    1. JeffW May 18, 2008 04:22 PM

      I am a HUGE (sorry for screaming) fan of pizza "screens". They are quite inexpensive and are available at most restaurant supply stores. The thin rim is the only solid part. The entire center is very meshy. I'm not talking about a solid metal pan that has holes all over. Again, the screens are very meshy. Simply roll out your dough, place it onto the screen, assemble toppings, and easily carry the pie to your hot oven stone. All of the wonderful properties of cooking on a stone, will be a part of your pizza----just way easier!

      Cheers,
      Jeff

      1. j
        jono37 Aug 28, 2007 01:06 PM

        After learning to bake pizzas and breads on my own for the last couple of years, I can definitively provide the following pearls of wisdom:

        It is much easier to slide the dough off of a wooden peel than a metal peel. But it is much easier to take the pizza or bread out of the oven using a metal peel because of its thinness.

        My solution? I have both types!

        2 Replies
        1. re: jono37
          r
          Rhee Aug 28, 2007 05:14 PM

          The corn meal burns for me. I have to use a lot and it burns and smokes on the pizza stone where the pizza is not covering it and on the bottom of the oven. I am looking forward to trying the parchment paper. And of course it falls on the floor and countertop and just makes an irritating mess.

          1. re: Rhee
            WildSwede Aug 29, 2007 10:07 AM

            Not to mention biting into one of the bits and almost losing teeth!! ;-)

        2. DoctorQuality Aug 28, 2007 12:05 AM

          i thought the whole purpose of cooking pizza on a stone surface is for the actual contact between it and the dough. it draws moisture out which results in a nice crisp crust. the parchment paper would act as a barrier of that process so why not just bake it on a cookie sheet?

          as for the question of getting the pizza on to the stone. i just got a basic pizza peel from bed bath & beyond for about $10. it's nothing fancy, but all you really need and it works great.

          4 Replies
          1. re: DoctorQuality
            Candy Aug 28, 2007 09:05 AM

            As i said the dough I make is quite sticky and moist. The Parchement helps facilitate getting the dough shaped and on to the stone. After about 2 minutes the dough is sufficiently cooked for me to slide the parchment out from under the pizza and to continue baking it directly on the stone.

            1. re: DoctorQuality
              ccbweb Aug 28, 2007 10:24 AM

              The unique thing about parchment is that it, too, has some wicking properties, so you don't lose the key piece that you're talking about, the moisture reducing piece. As I noted above, if you don't have any issues using the peel, then you don't need it....but the parchment is a godsend when its humid or, as Candy notes, if you've got a sticky dough.

              1. re: ccbweb
                chowser Aug 28, 2007 11:21 AM

                It also makes it easy to make several pizzas at once because it's so easy to transfer them then.

                1. re: chowser
                  n
                  nomdeplume Aug 28, 2007 05:00 PM

                  I used the parchment paper tonight and it worked quite well. I slid one pie off two minutes in, but the other pie was pretty leaky so I left it on. Both were quite crisp on the bottom, though the one that I slid off may have gotten a bit more well done on the bottom. Either way, it is definitely the way to go in terms of ease of use, assembly, and crispiness. Thanks folks!

            2. Candy Aug 26, 2007 07:04 PM

              I prefer to make a fairly wet/moist dough which can be very sticky. I roll it out on parchment which I have sprinkled with corn meal. I start heating my oven and stone about 1 hour before baking and the stone is on the bottom rack in the oven. I slide the peeel (the padddle) under the parchment and on to the stone. After 2-3 minutes I slide it out again and remove the parchment placing the pizza directly on the stone to finish baking. It will ony take minutes. It is at that time I put the last of the cheese on top. Crisp bottom, melty cheese, yum

              9 Replies
              1. re: Candy
                n
                nomdeplume Aug 26, 2007 07:52 PM

                Nice idea. I use parchment paper for bread, dunno why I didn't think to use it for this. Does the paper burn? Have you ever greased the paper?

                1. re: nomdeplume
                  Candy Aug 26, 2007 07:59 PM

                  Paper crisps a bit but it is ony in there for a couple of minutes. I've never btherd to grease the paper, just a bit of cornmel or semolina is enough

                  1. re: nomdeplume
                    chowser Aug 27, 2007 06:02 AM

                    I use the parchment paper, too, and cut it so that about 1" is showing, with one small area larger as a "handle." I put it on the back of a cookie tray, sprinkled heavily w/ cornmeal before transfering to pizza stone. I'd love to have a pizza peel, though.

                    1. re: chowser
                      Candy Aug 27, 2007 02:56 PM

                      Peels are pretty cheap, the light weight wooden ones anyway. I've never had any problems with mine and have never seen the need to up grade to metal

                      1. re: Candy
                        h
                        hrdwrk May 18, 2008 12:13 PM

                        I found an aluminum one at a restaurant supply store for 20.00-works great

                  2. re: Candy
                    JasmineG Aug 26, 2007 09:17 PM

                    Yep, parchment is definitely the key! My homemade pizzas have always slid out perfectly since then.

                    1. re: Candy
                      LNG212 Aug 27, 2007 07:58 PM

                      I've never used parchment for pizza dough before. What purpose does it serve? I use a peel (w/cornmeal) and then directly onto the stone. I always get a nicely crisp crust. So I'm wondering if I should try the parchment for any reason. Does it improve the crispiness, the taste?

                      1. re: LNG212
                        ccbweb Aug 27, 2007 09:59 PM

                        The thing that parchment really does is transfer the heat so well that it's as though it's not there at all....but the parchment won't stick to your pizza peel...and then when the pizza is baked, the pizza won't stick to the parchment. It's really just a guarantee against having your dough stick to anything. We love it because it makes the whole process so easy....but if you don't have any issues with your dough sticking to the peel, then you don't really need it at all. I haven't found any difference in the crisp crust using parchment or not with a well preheated stone.

                      2. re: Candy
                        h
                        huruta Aug 29, 2007 11:25 AM

                        I'm also a user of parchment paper. I place the paper & pizze on a cookie sheet and slide it onto the pizza stone from the cookie sheet. I have removed and not removed the paper during cooking and haven't found there to be much of a difference in the way the crust turns out. I think the heat of the oven and stone are bigger factors.

                      3. l
                        ljw7 Aug 26, 2007 04:34 PM

                        I think you'll find pizza-making more fun if you use a peel.

                        1. misswills Aug 26, 2007 04:26 PM

                          A piece of cardboard can be a good substitute peel/paddle. There was a similar discussion here: http://ask.metafilter.com/8446/

                          1. LNG212 Aug 26, 2007 04:25 PM

                            My stone came with a "pizza peel" (yes, one of those paddles). It works amazingly well. Dust with a bit of cornmeal and the dough slides right off and onto the hot stone. Works just as well to get the pie off the stone and onto a cooling rack too. I'm not sure of any other way to do it since the stone is hot and you need a maneuverable surface to transport/slide/etc. I think you can get the peels pretty inexpensively at any home-type store (including Bed/Bath and the like).

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