Are you a big fan of homemade pizza? If yes, then you might have encountered one of the primary tools of baking a pizza, a pizza peel.
Using a pizza peel is not difficult. However, there are some unique techniques you need to know about.
Before we go further, it’s good to know that pizza peels range in regards to material and size. How you used your pizza peel might depend on these two factors.
Using a pizza peel [factor #1]
What kind of pizza oven do you plan on using? The kind of pizza oven you are going to be using has a huge effect on what type of pizza paddle you will be using.
Using a pizza peel [factor #2]
How are you going to be baking your pizzas? You need to know this so you know whether to use a wooden pizza peel or a metal pizza peel.
A wooden pizza peel is the best material to place dough onto the pizza stone as it prevents sticking. Some argue that wood pizza peel are more rustic and decorative as a serving board.
Metal pizza peel, on the other hand, is thin and best for retrieving the pizza from the pizza stone.
A composite pizza peel is a better version of wood in regards to looks and efficiency.
Now that you have an idea of which pizza peel will suit you, using a pizza peel properly is our next task.
Pizzeria pizza peel technique
In the pizzeria technique, the pizzaiolo prepares pizza dough on a stainless steel surface. From there you slide an aluminum pizza peel beneath the dough and onto your pizza stone or oven. If you are baking your pizza on a pizza stone.
If using an aluminum pizza peel, buying a perforated one is preferred. These perforations create less surface area for the dough to stick. If you insist on a solid one, then you need to dust it with cornmeal.
Some like the taste brought by the cornmeal, others don’t. If you are in the category of don’t, try using flour and sugar. The flour is used to limit sticking and the sugar is used to add browning of the crust.
Again, the technique of using a pizza peel will depend on the type of peel you have. Besides the perforations, select an aluminum pizza peel with a long and light handle. This handle should be hollow and in an ergonomic shape for easy grip. Wooden handles are therefore not preferred, they are heavy and warp if too long.
Baker’s pizza peel technique
Another technique of using a pizza peel is using along with parchment paper. The role of parchment paper is to eliminate the possibility of dough sticking with the peel.
You can prepare your pizza dough and even bake on the parchment paper (optional). It has been proven that parchment paper affects neither the taste nor the texture of pizza crust.
The direct technique of using a pizza peel
The cheapest and preferable method of using a pizza peel is to prepare the pizza on it directly. Composite wooden pizza spatula or aluminum spatula are preferred.
First, brush the peel cornmeal or flour. As you knead or flatten the dough, keep shifting it to ensure it is not sticking. This is more important if you are preparing a pizza with a thin crust because chances are better that you will put a hole in the dough.
After assembling the toppings, give the pizza a giggle and slide it into the oven.
If you encounter sticking, don’t panic. You can try using a pizza wheel or another pizza peel, preferably wooden or composite to slide underneath the sticking dough.
If you only have one spatula, use a large spatula to gently scrape the dough and introduce some more flour or cornmeal.
If the above two methods are in vain, try and chill the pizza peel. On your baking tray, put some ice and on top place your pizza peel. The aim is to make the dough firm hence less sticky.
If you are a newbie here are some tips to make the process of using pizza peel flawless.
- Start off small: You might be in a rush to make pizza for the entire family, but still you need to start by baking small pizza (less than 12 inches). A small size pizza is easy to slide onto the pizza stone.
- Avoid the temptation to overdo toppings: make a small, less thick crust and keep the toppings to the minimum.
- Don’t let the pizza dough sit too long on the peel: Prolonged contact with your dough and pizza peel will warm the dough and stick.
Benefits of using a pizza peel
A majority of us love pizza. However, the process of baking it should not be hell. A pizza peel keeps your knuckles at a safe distance from the 500-degree oven furnace.
After retrieving your ready pizza from the oven, you can use a pizza peel as slicing and serving board. To avoid denting your pizza cutter use a wooden or composite pizza peel.
Do you now feel like an expert in using a pizza peel? Hope so. Put it into action and remember to share our pizza peel website link with your pizza loving friend or family.