So I was trying to make pizza for dinner. It's been a while since I've done it and I'd forgotten the one thing that I can't do. I can't get my pizza from the peel to my stone. It sticks ALWAYS!!!
So I ended up with a doughy disaster on my hands.
So the question is, how do I keep it from sticking??
I've tried all the usual suspects, like flour and corn meal. Nothing I've done has worked. I'm thinking it's the dough however since pizza was a last minute idea, I used store bought. The problem was even worse.
From someone whose made thousands of pizzas....
-You are most likely taking too long putting your pizza together once you have laid the dough out. Cornmeal or flour are there to prevent sticking, but they only do their job for so long before the moisture of the dough finds your peel and starts to stick. Before you lay the dough out on the peel have all of your toppings in arm's reach and ready to throw down. Don't spend more than 2 minutes putting it together.
-If you made the dough yourself, any patch that is too thin will let the moisture from the sauce bleed through. If you have a patch that looks almost see through, you need to correct that. You might trim a piece of dough from the outer edge (or use any scrap you might have had) stretch it very thin and use it to make a patch to prevent this.
-Before you try to slide your pizza off the peel onto a hot stone you need to slide it back and forth on the peel first to make sure it isn't already sticking to the wood. If it is sticking youcan try this:
Lay something like a plate on top of your pizza covering the whole thing. Then very carefully turn the whole thing upside down and very gently and slowly remove the peel from the pizza dough. Now you can reapply a little flour or cornmeal and return it to the peel. Then quickly slide it onto the stone. I have also seen people lift the edge of a (smaller) pizza and blow a cushion of air underneath it. As long as it isn't sticking the dough slides off the peel like magic.
But honestly you would have the easiest time just using parchment paper as someone else suggested. Just slide the whole paper with dough to the hot stone.
I think Deat is right about taking too long to put the pizza together. My husband and I make fresh dough every friday night for pizza and it seems to work the best when the oven is preheated and the toppings are ready to go. The longer it sits, the more sticky the dough gets and it glues itself to things.
Homemade pizza is worth the extra effort :) :) I cant even eat anyone else's pizza anymore.
I remember sliding a pizza from my peel to my pizza stone and ending up with a very large Calzone. When it flopped clumsily onto the stone I couldn't think of anything else that would save it besides folding it over and renaming it. So don't feel bad. You're not alone in this experience.
I've found that, as "chowser" points out, parchment paper makes the job a lot easier. I made the mistake of putting corn meal on the peel, parchment paper on top, the pizza on top of that. I didn't have very good luck with that. But with corn meal on top of the parchment paper and being able to hold on to the parchment paper while the pizza slides off has worked pretty well. I bake 12 - 14 inch pizzas so I need all the "slide" help I can get.
Those guys in the pizza parlor have an advantage because they have lots of room to aggressively slide their pizza off the peel. If I was that aggressive in my oven I'd bind the pizza rolled up against the oven's back wall.
It might also help if you reduced the size of your pizza, making more than one. Smaller pizzas are a bit easier to "position" that the larger heavier variety.
If the stone has not been preheated for 20minutes at 500°F , it will work as a insulator for the crust, and you will get the opposite effect from what you seek. I max out my oven for 20 minutes and then give the stone a few more minutes to soak up the heat the oven has created. I turn the oven back to 400° just before I slip the pizza in , but the stone should be as hot as you can achieve.
I agree with Chowser's idea, but I don't bother trimming the paper. The parchment wont burn, and you can pull it away after the crust sets in 2-3 minutes and then you will have direct crust contact with your hot stone.