The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Putting Stuff On the Stone

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CrewAndrew's picture
CrewAndrew

Putting Stuff On the Stone

Hello Everyone,
I'm a bit new to much of cooking, but I have got myself a baking stone. I enjoy making breads and pizzas, but the problem that I have run into is transferring the pizza from the baking sheet that I assemble on, to the stone, without the thing folding or sticking. I've tried coating the baking sheet with lots of cornmeal, and then transferring it, but then I get alot of cornmeal on the bottom of the pizza, so when you bite into it you taste the cornmeal first. I'm worried about the same thing with bread, and with the bread deflating as I put it in. If someone can walk me through this obviously basic step that I am missing, I'd really appreciate it. Or atleast some pointers. By the way, I haven't been greasing the cooking sheet if that makes a difference. Thanks again.

Floydm's picture
Floydm

I use parchment paper and semolina flour, typically. One of the other folks here promotes and swears by Super Peels. Other folks here say just using enough semolina flour and shaking it to loosen it up first is good enough for them.

Check out this earlier forum thread. A lot of different tricks are discussed. Hopefully you can find something that'll do the trick for you.

Good luck!

pizzameister's picture
pizzameister

Here is a short video clip from the Super Peel website. If you want zero transfer issues, no cornmeal mess, and tremendous versatility, this is your ticket. If would like to give it a try, let me know. I have some options which can save you a good bit on the price.

http://www.superpeel.com/vids/Thin%20Pizza%20-%20Small%20-%20no%20text%20-%20Final.wmv

Pizzameister

Nancy's picture
Nancy

Parchment is definitely the answer--just slide the stuff onto the stone parchment and all. I've never had a problem with the paper burning (I've even reused it), though it can get mighty brown at higher temps. It's expensive at the grocery store, but King Arthur sells a 100 sheet pack for--I think--about $17.

Nancy

pizzameister's picture
pizzameister

Parchment will work well for transfer, but it is generally accepted that the results will not be quite as good as with "naked" dough. The main reason is that the paper, being impervious, will seal in moisture to the underside of the dough. All other things being equal, this will result in less crispiness. The magnitude of this effect is debatable, and one can always pull the paper out before the pizza is fully cooked. However, opening the door to do this will dump significant heat from the oven during this relatively short bake, something that should also be avoided.

For best pizza results, you need to as closely as possible simulate a pizza oven. What is desired is:

1. Highest heat (pizza ovens can reach 900 F or higher),
2. Intimate contact with the stone, and
3. Ready movement of moisture/steam out of the dough.

These variables are all maximized by setting the pizza directly on the hot stone, and keeping the oven door closed. At generally advised home pizza baking temperatures (the higher the better - generally limited to about 500 - 550 F in a home oven) the parchment paper may brown heavily or burn. Parchment as advertised will resist scortching or burning only up to about "400 - 500 F".

As always, it is good to do a little comparison pricing before buying. A pack of 30 sheets (a lot of sheets, if using ocassionally and, more so if also re-using) can be purchased from the following vendor for $4.00 (converted = $13.33/100 vs. $17.00/100).

http://www.kerekesequip.com/detail.asp?id=3246

Happy Pizza baking!

Pizzameister

KNEADLESS's picture
KNEADLESS

I'VE BEEN BAKING BREAD AND PIZZA FOR OVER TEN YEARS AND WHILE I HAVE MASTERED TRANSFERS FROM THE PADDLE TO THE STONE USING CORN MEAL, IT IS MESSY WHEN YOU HAVE TO KEEP SHAKING THE PADDLE, DROPPING CORN MEAL ALL OVER THE STOVE AND FLOOR. (ESPECIALLY WHEN I HAVE BEEN HITTING THE CHIANTI WHILE ASSEMBLING THE PIZZA!)

FOR PIZZA, I HAVE FOUND ROUND ENAMELED (BLACK WITH WHITE DOTS) STEEL PANS WHICH DO NOT STICK TO THE PIZZA AND ARE EASY TO CLEAN. I DO BRUSH THE PAN WITH OLIVE OIL BECAUSE I LIKE THE EXTRA CRISPINESS IT IMPARTS TO THE CRUST. I USE A STONE UNDERNEATH, BUT IT IS NOT NECESSARY. I NORMALLY BAKE PIZZA AT 450 F.

BEST OF ALL, BECAUSE THE ENAMEL IS HARD, YOU CAN CUT THE PIZZA WITH A CUTTING WHEEL RIGHT IN THE PAN, SOMETHING THAT RUINS STANDARD BAKING SHEETS.

I HAVEN'T FOUND THESE SHEETS ON THE INTERNET, BUT THEY ARE OFTEN AVAILABLE IN KITCHEN SUPPLY STORES LIKE THOSE FOUND IN DISCOUNT MALLS.

qahtan's picture
qahtan

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I like to use one of these disks on top of the stone... qahtan

Elagins's picture
Elagins

Elagins@sbcglobal.net

I don't understand what the fuss is ... I've been using semolina flour on my wooden peel (which, btw, I oiled heavily when i first got it), and make sure to shake the dough when i first put it down on the wood. it doesn't take a huge amount of semolina, only that the grains be spread fairly evenly (for which I use an old giant spice container with a perforated lid ... like a shaker).

I think it's also possible to get good 'slip' from plain flour, although I haven't tried it yet ... maybe this week.

S