Monday, March 27, 2006

Really obvious question

How do I get my nice homemade pizza from the bench to the piping hot pizza stone?


Oy Vey said...

cornmeal on the bench helps to keep it from sticking, but i've always used a pizza paddle - stupid one-use tool, but it's the only thing that works for me.

aha! another thing you could do is decorate the pizza on the bottom side of a cookie sheet dusted with cornmeal then slide it off onto the stone.

Martha said...

Thanks, good advice. I made it on a baking sheet with lots of flour, and it still didn't want to budge, so cornmeal is a brilliant idea.

It actually still cooked brilliantly - best pizza I have ever made.

stephen said...

I do something like oy vey. I dust one of my thinner chopping boards with cornmeal - or polenta, or flour, or whatever suitable grainy crap is in the pantry. And then I put the dough on top of that and assemble the toppings. Before I slide the pizza off the board on to the hot stone I give the board a little shaky-shake, just to check that there isn't any unexpected stickage. So basically I have a paddle without a handle. Word to the wise: if you overload the pizza, the toppings can take on a life of their own. I'm sure that's the real reason artisanal pizza always has mingy toppings. Anyway, I've only ever had one sticky episode since I adopted this technique, and that was when I let some wetter-than-usual dough sit on a poorly-floured board for a long time.

We had pizza from Al Volo the other night, and they work on a floured bench. The assembly guy rolls, stretches and works the dough all on a floured surface, so the underside stays dry and always slides. And then they use a paddle. I might try that myself next time.

I also think you'll get less sticking if you make sure the dough has rested for a few minutes after you've shaped it. It wants to contract and I think it likes to grab the surface underneath when it does.