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Apr 21, 2010 05:17 AM

Assembling/making multiple pizzas w/out parchment paper?

When I make pizzas, I usually assemble each on a sheet of parchment. When I bake, I slide the peel under the parchment and pizza and it goes in and out of the oven easily. I ran out of parchment yesterday and was making pizza. I tried flouring a cookie sheet upside down and making the pizza on that so I could slide the peel below but if you leave it sitting any period of time, the dough absorbs the flour and it still sticks. Is there an easier way to assemble all the pizzas at once, if you don't have parchment paper? Does corn meal work better? I also have so much burnt flour in the oven now, from the excess. Any way around this?

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  1. Cornmeal does work better for me than regular flour. But I've also run out before, and then I do this: Stretch out the dough and immediately (ie, before putting any sauce/toppings on) put it into the pre-heated oven. Bake for 30-45 seconds. Since we all use a pizza stone (right?!!!), that is enough time to give it just the hint of a crust on the bottom.

    I remove with the peel, and go about my normal process of saucing, toppings, EVOO brushed on the crust, etc. Now that the pizza has that tiny bottom crust, it does not stick to the peel when you put the completed pie back in the oven.

    Works perfectly.

    p.s. I could not tell from your post . . . do you leave the parchment paper under the pizza in the oven while it cooks? If so, doesn't it burn? I am assuming that you have your oven at the top temp--which is likely 500 or 550. Paper burns at 451, so I don't see how it would survive the cooking process. Hmmm . . . a mystery ???? :-)

    2 Replies
    1. re: santamonica811

      Parchment (due to the additives) should be fine in most home ovens, especially if food is on top of it. Directly exposed to the broiler though, it'll probably end up burning. It definitely turns crispy and brown after cooking pizza/bread on it.

      1. re: santamonica811

        That's a good idea--that's what I do on the grill, too. And, as each one comes out, we can do an assembly line to put the toppings on.

        I use parchment for all my bread and pizza (yes, 550 for pizzas). I cut it down to 1/2" beyond the crust, but leave one longer edge to pull the pizza onto the stone and into/out of the oven. It browns but doesn't burn as amokscience said.

      2. Its easier if you have a wooden peel. No matter how much I floured a cookie sheet, my pizza dough always stuck to it. Since moving to a wooden peel, I use much less flour and never have a problem with sticking.

        I also wouldn't assemble pizzas in advance. If your toppings are even slightly moist or if you are using sauce, it'll make the dough all soggy. Maybe stretch the dough in advance but stick to topping it immediately before cooking

        5 Replies
        1. re: ESNY

          I do have a peel but thought i could get a jump on the next pizza by making the pizza on the cookie sheet, while one pizza is in the oven (need the peel free to take that one out). I've decided I can't do them in advance unless I have parchment paper. It works fine to stretch the dough to shape and leave it but assembling the pizza has to be done just before putting it in, or it'll stick. I just need to get more parchment paper.

          1. re: chowser

            Just use tin-foil - large size - instead of parchment Works every time. It doesn't burn and crumble either.

            1. re: Old E.

              Thanks, I'd run out of aluminum foil, too, of all things. And, my original plan was to use the grill but we ran out of gas. Seriously need a shopping trip.

            2. re: chowser

              Swap the order. Use the cookie sheet (assuming it doesn't have a lip) to take the pizza out of the oven and the peel to prepare the next pizza.

              1. re: ESNY

                Actually, I just have jelly roll pans so high edges. I need to plan ahead and make sure I don't run out of parchment paper! I wondered how others solved this problem but the more people I ask, the more it seems it's doesn't work well.

          2. Cornmeal works well. I alternate a variety of methods depending on the ease I think the pizza with go in the oven with a particular method.

            1 Reply
            1. re: melpy

              Can you set up multiple pizzas and slide them onto a peel, after they've been sitting out? I was wondering if cornmeal would also absorb into the crust over time.

            2. I think pizza screens would solve your problem. They're cheap, come in different sizes, can be placed on the stone or directly on the oven rack, and the screen can be slid out after the pie "sets" and finished on the stone. I buy my pizza stuff here.

              4 Replies
              1. re: grampart

                Nice! I love the reusable idea of these over parchment paper. Can you assemble all the pizzas and then slide them onto the peel easily? This might solve my problem (and great price, too).

                1. re: chowser

                  You don't really need a peel with the screens.

                  1. re: grampart

                    It would make removing the pizzas much easier, though.

                    1. re: chowser

                      Not really. Use an oven mitt and pull it out on the screen.