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How to use a pizza peel?

How to use a Pizza Peel

 
Do not use a Wooden Peel
 
How to use a pizza peel is not that difficult but there are some special techniques you should know about.  Regardless of your technique, however, you should not use a traditional wooden peel.  There are much better alternatives.  There are superior aluminum peels and wood composite peels that works extremely well.  The composite peel, like an Epicurean peel, also doubles as a perfect cutting board or serving tray.
 
Now that you have a good one, how to use a pizza peel properly should be your next question.
 

Pizzeria Pizza Peel Technique

 
How to use a pizza peel will depend.  Pizzerias typically prepare the pizza on a cool, solid surface typically made of stainless steel or marble.  You can use our marble pizza board.  You then slide the aluminum peel underneath the pizza dough to slide it onto your pizza stone or oven.  The best peel you can buy is the aluminum peel that is perforated.  The perforations create less surface area so that the dough does not stick to the surface.  Solid aluminum head peels are also preferable but additional flour and/or cornmeal may be required.  I do not like to use cornmeal because I do not like the texture or taste of the cornmeal.  I actually prefer a mixture of flour and sugar.  The flour limits sticking, while the sugar adds just to the browning of the crust.
 
How to use a pizza peel will depend what type of peel you have.  When selecting an aluminum peel, do not forget to consider from what material the handle is made.  You want a handle that is long and light yet durable enough to last.  Again, aluminum is the material of choice.  The handle should be hollow and of a shape that makes it easy to grip.  Wood handles are not preferred here.  They are heavy and tend to bend depending on the length of the wooden pizza peel.  How to use a pizza peel will depend on the length of the handle.           
 
Baker’s Pizza Peel Technique
 
How to use a pizza peel may differ if you are using the baker’s technique for reducing sticking is to use parchment paper.  Prepare the pizza on the parchment paper and even cook the pizza on the parchment paper.  You can slide the parchment paper onto the peel to transfer the pizza to your oven. We have found that the parchment paper does not affect the taste or texture of the crust.  Nevertheless, we have a more preferable technique.
 
The Direct Technique
 
The technique that we prefer is to make the pizza directly on the pizza peel itself.  We suggest to you use an aluminum peel or the composite wooden pizza peel.  First, you brush the pizza peel with a light dusting of flour.  You can use cornmeal, but I suggest you avoid it.  As you build your pizza, you should gently shuffle the pizza peel to ensure that the dough is not sticking.  The thinner the crust the more often you should do this because you will find that the sauce will penetrate the dough and seep onto the surface of your peel, which is why you should always avoid a real wooden peel.  Unless you are an expert, you risk ruining the pizza and having a terrible time. 
 
Once you have your pizza complete, simply give it a final giggle in preparation of sliding onto into the oven.  If it is sticking, there are a few fail-safes you can try.

If you encounter sticking, you may try using another pizza peel to slide underneath the sticking dough.  Even if you do not have another one, try using a large spatula and gently scrape around the dough prying it from the peel and attempt to introduce more flour. If those techniques do not work, try and chill the pizza peel.  Put some ice cubes in a baking tray, then place the pizza peel on the ice cubes, and start giggling again.   If that does not work, do not give up.  Gently fold the pizza in have, and, voial, you have a calzone.  Once you have folded it, crimp the edges, then you can flip the pizza peel onto a cooking sheet or directly on to your cooking surface.
 

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