The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Wood or metal peels,parchment and effects on crust

wvdthree's picture
wvdthree

Wood or metal peels,parchment and effects on crust

Hi,

    This is a very basic question but I haven't located an answer to it yet. I just purchased a metal peel from Amazon and used it for the first time last night. Not quite sure why I chose metal as I did read some comments about how dough tends to stick to a wood peel less than a metal peel.  So,my son and I made pizza last night using Forklish's straight overnight recipe. We stretched and formed the pizza on a large cutting board and then transferred it to the cornmeal dusted peel. We then dressed it with the toppings. We then attempted to slide it onto the 15" pizza stone and we had some sticking which caused the dough to buckle,get out of round and on the stone it ended up being smaller than the size it was on the peel. All this said it all ended up quite well. The dough was a little thicker than ideal but the taste/flavor and chewiness of the dough was quite good. Could have used more charred,bubbly spots on the crust.

 

     My question is this. Is using a wood peel easier than a metal peel,does it stick less? For some reason the stone I bought says not to use alot of flour on it as it would burn. This is why we used cornmeal on the peel. Lastly and importantly; do people use parchment and if so are the results on the crust less ideal than if the crust was directly on the stone. Does the parchment not allow the stone to pull moisture out of the dough and does that effect the final quality/taste/texture of the crust. I used parchment years ago to slide the crusts in the oven off of the backside of a half sheet pan and it worked very well.

 

     Sorry about the long post but I thought some background and clear questions would yield me the best answers. Going to be baking in a dutch oven tomorrow and will try some batards on the stone later in the week. I dreamt all last nite about bread doughs! Exciting!

 

Best,

         Vance

barryvabeach's picture
barryvabeach

Vance, for pizza, there are many that suggest that wood is less likely to stick than metal, but actually the best of all is the superpeel.  https://www.amazon.com/EXO-Non-Stick-Polymer-Sealed-Super/dp/B00NGOOM6K/ref=pd_lpo_vtph_bs_t_1?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1&refRID=5M5V62R9K4Q1KTB11CYC   

You are right that flour is not great to get on a pizza stone ,  since it burns pretty easily.  Some suggest cornmeal, others say that semolina works even better.  The primary thing, and you seem to already know this, is that when making a pizza, on something other than a pizza stone, ever second the pie sits on the peel makes it more likely to stick.  When I don't use a pizza peel, I make sure I have everything lined up so that it only takes 20 to 30 seconds to load the pie ( I haven't actually timed it, but I do go very fast )   When I am about halfway through - I will stop and shake the peel just a little to keep the pie from sticking, then finish then right into the oven.  Again, I am not at all good at that, so I have made knockoffs of the super peel sized to fit my different ovens.  

 

There are some that use parchment paper, or even a pizza screen, but in my opinion, the texture and taste of the crust of a pizza suffers from that. 

wvdthree's picture
wvdthree

Hi Barry,

               Thanks for the response! I'll watch the Superpeel video and consider it. I'll probably order a wood peel to try and semolina flour instead of cornmeal.

 

Best,

        Vance

Bmorse's picture
Bmorse

I have both wood and metal peels. I find that a wood peel works best for loading pizzas on the stone, because the dough sticks less to wood.  A metal peel works best for removing the pizza, as the thin edge of the metal is easier to get under the pizza.  I also use a 50/50 mix of semolina and flour to dust the peel.  Dust liberally.  Also make sure not to get any sauce on the peel.  

If you find the pizza is sticking just before you're going to load it on the stone, lift up the part that's sticking and dust the area with more semolina/flour mixture. You can brush or blow the semolina around to get it to cover the spot that's sticking.