How To Use A Wooden Pizza Peel

by Blaise Wynn

Using a wooden pizza peel isn't extremely difficult, but there are a few tricks of the trade that I'd like to share with you.

To start off you have to remember to add some type of flour or cornmeal to the wooden pizza peal. The types of flour I've seen used are your average every day bread flour, rice flour, or you'll hear a lot of the pizza experts use semolina flour. A lot of people also use cornmeal if you prefer. I don't really like the taste or texture of cornmeal and I haven't noticed much of a difference between the different flours so I just usually stick with whatever flour I'm using for the pizza dough.

If you miss this first step, your pizza dough will cling to the wooden peel and make a gigantic mess when you attempt to move it into the oven. You also don't need a bunch of flour or cornmeal on the pizza peel; just a light dusting. All you have to do is spread a little bit onto the wooden peel and rub it into the peel with your hands.

Once your wooden pizza peel is gently dusted you want to add your dough to the peel and start making your pizza.

Once your pizza is assembled you really need to ensure that its not entirely stuck to the peel. As we outlined above, if the pizza is stuck to the pizza peel, you're just asking for a huge disaster of a mess. When you attempt to move the pizza to the oven the dough will be collapsed over and your toppings will be all-around the floor and oven. It's not fantastic.

Save yourself the hassle and immediately after the pizza is created check it to see that its not stuck. All you have to do is give the wooden pizza peel a little shake. Does the pizza slide around a little or does it not wiggle at all? If it slips around, that's a fantastic sign and you're ready for the next step. If it doesn't move at all, you've got a little work to do.

Occasionally getting your dough unstuck is as easy as just pulling up on the dough from the edge all around the circle of the pizza to get it unstuck. On occasion you can shake the wooden pizza peel a little harder without the toppings sliding off and the dough will detach itself from the peel. Some pros like to puff under the pizza to get it to unstick. I've never blown underneath my pizzas, but I have used the other methods with much success.

Once you know your pizza dough is not stuck to the wooden peel you are ready to move it to the oven. Here all you do is place the peel over the pizza stone and begin to shake the peel a little until the pizza begins to move from the pizza peel to the cooking surface (usually a stone).

Now your pizza is cooking and you're a couple minutes away from heaven.

I hope this post really helped you on your pizza making quest. Now all you require is a little bit of training, which is the enjoyable part and you'll be a specialist in no time.

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