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Pizza disaster (long post)

Steve-OSteve-O Posts: 302
edited 3:51AM in EggHead Forum
Well, others have bemoaned their pizza tribulations on the egg, so I thought I'd share mine. My previous pizza attempt was two DiGironos and, while not great, they were certainly ok. I decided this time to step up to home made of sorts - store bought sause, Pilsbury pizza crust in the can, Canadian bacon, mozzerella and parmesan cheese and black olives. It was a think of beauty! The egg came up to 650 in about 30 minutes with my plate setter and pizza stone in place. Everything was humming along fine until I tried to slide the pizza off of the wooden peal onto the stone - it would not budge. I had sprinkled corn meal on the peal prior to laying out the dough, but that puppy was mated to the peal like bark to a tree. First we tried spatulas, but having nothing but the typical hamburger type, it became obvious pretty quickly that was not the answer. Then we tried a large butcher knife and a long slender bread knife, thinking we could slide them under the pizza. Of course, all we achieved was tearing it in a few places. Finally my wife got a large flat cookie sheet and thought she would slide it under the pizza. Yeah, right - more torn pizza. My fire is really roaring now, but with the daisy wheel set about half closed I was able to maintain 650 degrees during these fiascos. After all our attempts to get the pizza off the peal failed, and after a few choice words, I remembered reading someone's account of having to turn their first pizza into a calzone. So, I took my two spatulas and forced as close to half the pizza as I could to fold over the other half. Then, using my other pizza peal, I "bull dozed" the whole mess onto the stone. As soon as I heard the "tssssssss" I knew I was in for more trouble later. After 10 or 11 minutes I tried to scrape the mess off the stone and, once again, it didn't wouldn't budge - half the cheese had burned to the stone acting as a kind-of glue to hold the whole thing there. The corn meal on the stone didn't really help much here. I turned once again to my trusty spatulas and scraped as much off as I could. My pizza stone looked awful, the "pizza/calzone" looked awful, but smelled pretty good and, much to my surprise, didn't taste half bad. Now, I have taken quite a long way around the bush to ask this question: just how much corn meal does it take on the peal to keep the dough from sticking to the peal? And, am I correct in thinking the you lay out the dough on the peal? Thanks, again, for the help and wisdom that so many of you share on this forum. [Next time I think I'll go back to frozen :-( ]

Comments

  • Hey Steve,[p]If you'll remember a few posts back, the same thing happened to me. The pie I made and the peel had become one and in my haste to move away from the 650 degree heat that was licking at my arms, I ended up with pizza toppings including cheese glued to the felt. When I pulled the dome open a few minutes later the felts came along for the ride.[p]Someone told me to pre-cook the pizza for a couple minutes in the oven to get rid of the stickiness. Incidentally, I had also dusted the peel and the pre-heated stone with lots of corn meal. I am going to try and pre-cook mine for a short period of time the next time.[p]Anyway, I replaced my felts yesterday and cooked a beautiful wild Northwest King Salmon filet today with Tom Douglas's salmon rub(He owns a popular local Seattle restaurant). It was sublime.
  • Judy MayberryJudy Mayberry Posts: 1,986
    Steve-O,
    Well, you have a story you can tell your grandchildren! That was some night. I have a few comments that might help both you and Paul B.[p]First, use a really long flame retardant mitt with those higher temps. It only took me one searing moment to realize that skin is too precious to waste.[p]I just got a plate setter and haven't used it yet, but having a small electric French pizza oven that gets up to 700°, with a stone in it, I can definitely recommend making your pizza on a oiled pizza screen and just placing it on the stone/place setter to cook. It works PERFECTLY. No slipping, sliding, or whoops-ing involved. You can have several pizzas on screens lined up ready to cook. The pizza lifts right off the screen when it's done. So everyone's gonna ask "What's a pizza screen?". It's a round metal screen with a metal rim, comes in small, medium and large sizes. and is carried by Sur La Table cookware stores and can be found online at pizza and restaurant supply sources. Put "pizza screen" in Google and something will come out. [p]Now, I have a question I hope someone can answer. How or where do you store your place setter so that it's handy but safe and doesn't get broken? It's pretty bulky. Thanks, anyone.

    Judy in San Diego
  • Thanks, Judy, for the great tip. I had never heard of a pizza screen before, but I have already ordered one. I'll be trying a pizza on the BGE one more time.
  • Judy MayberryJudy Mayberry Posts: 1,986
    Paul B.,
    You must live in the West--I didn't think anybody stays up as late as I do. All those East Coast and Middle America types are probably snoozing in their beds by now. Maybe all those beers have something to do with that.

    Judy in San Diego
  • Tim MTim M Posts: 2,410
    Steve-O,[p]I don't add any cornmeal on my peels - I do add some to the stone before I add my pie. They will burn so use just what you can get by with. I build my pie on a counter top 1st. flour one side a little more and flip it over onto my peel. Then I make sure it will slide around on the peel or I add more flour to the bottom until it does. A fairly dry dough is needed. Then build the pie while shaking the peel to assure it still moves easily. Avoid tomatoes (IMH) since they render down to a lot of extra water. Keep the cheeses and sauce away from the edges or it can migrate onto the stone (burn - mess - yuck). [p]I prefer a little hotter fire than 650° so the toppings brown more quickly before the bottom is burnt. I also don't preheat my stone as much, I add it after the cooker is stabilized for 10 min or so. You will master it on the next cook, everybody does it a little differently - do what works for you. [p]Tim
    [ul][li]My place[/ul]
  • The Naked WhizThe Naked Whiz Posts: 7,780
    Judy Mayberry,
    I store my plate setter upside down on the bottom shelf of my cart.[p]TNW

    The Naked Whiz
  • The Naked WhizThe Naked Whiz Posts: 7,780
    Steve-O,
    If your pie sticks to the peel, the dough isn't dry enough. Another tip is that you shouldn't leave the pie sitting on the peel any longer than necessary. Even with a pizza from my local pizza place and a little corn meal on the peel, if I leave it sitting on the peel for very long, it will start to stick.[p]TNW

    The Naked Whiz
  • ShelbyShelby Posts: 803
    Judy Mayberry,
    I measured the plate setter then went searching. Found a sqaure one at Wal-Mart with a lid. It holds my plate setter, 2 stones, fish grid and V-rack. It stays on the lower shelf of my table and keeps all my Egg things with the Egg and away from normal kitchen use!

  • YBYB Posts: 3,861
    Judy Mayberry,
    I bought this Rubbermaid cabinet to keep my cooking toys in...If you look close you can see the two plate setters on the bottom next to the 5 gallon bucket of lump.
    Larry

    [ul][li]Rubermaid Cabinet from Home Depot[/ul]
  • Judy Mayberry,
    Pizza screens are great. Restaurant and Catering supply stores are wonderful and much less expensive than Sur La Table and the like.
    ~Teddy Bear

  • GretlGretl Posts: 670
    Steve-O,
    I have a bunch of small (13-inch) pizza pans. I make up a production line of pizzas in lightly oiled pans, and Egg them one at a time. After 10 minutes, using an oven mitt and a big spatula, I slide the pizza out of the pan onto the stone to crisp up the crust. I use the peel to remove it. Never have had any problems. When one's done, the next goes on in its own pan for a ten-minute pre-bake and so on. Great crusts, no mess. Just my method.
    Cheers,
    Gretl

  • GretlGretl Posts: 670
    p.s....I forgot to mention that when the pizza comes out of the Egg, be sure to set it on a rack so the crust doesn't get soggy. Makes a huge difference.

  • Steve-O,[p] One other thing to try rather than cornmeal is parchment paper. Put a sheet of it on your counter top, roll out the pizza dough on it, and you can let it sit as long as you like. Pick it up with the peel and it just slides right off on to the stone with no problems at all. After about three minutes, you can pull the parchment paper right out from under the pizza to get that nice crispy crust. This is especially helpful when making multiple pizzas. Parchment paper is available in kitchen shops and some specialty grocery stores, I haven't found it in the bigger chains. [p]
  • Steve-O,[p]Never tried it but I once heard here
    that you can slide dental floss under
    the dough for this problem !

  • PujPuj Posts: 615
    JET ,[p]Parchment paper will definitely do the trick, and the crust will come out as planned whether you pull the paper out from under the pie or leave it in for the entire bake. I would still sprinkle the parchment paper with cornmeal, semolina flour, or bread flour though. Good call.[p]Also, Kroger (in metro Atlanta) stocks parchment paper. One can find it stocked with the aluminum foils, cling wraps, etc.[p]Puj

  • Shelby,
    A square WHAT, Shelby? Is it a covered box?

  • Judy MayberryJudy Mayberry Posts: 1,986
    YB,
    When I clicked on the photo link I got a Yahoo page. Will you try again?

    Judy in San Diego
  • Puj,
    What is the difference between Parchment paper, and Wax Paper? Always wondered. Looks the same on TV.
    Seth

  • Judy MayberryJudy Mayberry Posts: 1,986
    YB,
    I was able to figure out how to see your picture, Larry. I have the same cabinet for garden supplies and it's great! I will go visit the Rubbermaid domain at the discount stores for something a little smaller. BTW, my 9-year-old granddaughter instructed me on how to put that cabinet together, so Rubbermaid is definitely my speed.

    Judy in San Diego
  • YBYB Posts: 3,861
    Judy Mayberry,
    You can look at Rubbermaids site on Google and see all the different cabinets they make.
    Larry

  • PujPuj Posts: 615
    Seth Howard,[p]Parchment paper is silicone-coated paper while waxed paper is parafin wax-coated paper. Parchment paper withstands high temps. Wax paper is better as a sandwich wrap or temporary food storage.[p]... and better than parchment paper is a Silpat. Silpat is a French baking mat that is made of silicone-coated fiber and fit in your sheet pans. They are reusable, but I'd keep them in the kitchen to line cookie sheets and the like.[p]
    Puj

  • SpinSpin Posts: 1,375
    Steve-O,[p]It doesn't take very much cornmeal to keep the dough from sticking to the peel. During construction of the pie, give the peel a quick little shake every time you wonder if the dough is starting to stick. Each time the pie moves on the peel, the the sticking process is "reset" and you have more time.[p]Wooden peels, like pizza stones, get better with use.[p]Best of luck with your next one.[p]Spin
  • sdbeltsdbelt Posts: 267
    Steve-O,[p]In my experience, with a pizza sticking to a peal, it is always caused by some ingredient being too warm. Considering you had store bought dough in a can (that likely came out of the fridge) and store bought sauce (that was a worst room temp?), it does seem odd you'd have a sticky pizza.[p]My sequence of steps is:[p] o On a floured surface rolled out the dough.
    o Dust peal with cornmeal.
    o Transfer dough to peal, and then gently shake the peal, ensuring the dough isn't sticking.
    o Sauce, then shake peal again, making sure dough isn't sticking.
    o Cheese and toppings, then shake peal again, making sure dough isn't sticking.[p]Living in Phoenix, we don't get humidity, but I can imagine how a warm humid day might make the process more difficult. Keeping all of the ingredients cool, the dough covered in flour/cornmeal, and gently shaking the peal during the build process should ensure success.[p]--sdb

  • GfwGfw Posts: 1,598
    05_07_0018_40_01_small.jpg
    <p />Steve-O, check out the link, maybe it will help. You may also want to send a message to Spin - his methods work every time.[p]Sorry about the pizza, better luck next time :~}

    [ul][li]Pizza[/ul]
  • BasselopeBasselope Posts: 102
    Steve-O,
    For my first pizza I also used dough in a can and also had a very bad sticking problem.
    I think they use Wilhold or Elmers to wet the dough when they make it.

  • Steve-OSteve-O Posts: 302
    Judy Mayberry,
    Thanks for the tip about a pizza screen. I have seen them in restaurant supply stores around here but always wondered what good they would do - now I know and will pick up one today. I, too have been wondering about the best way to store my plate setter and pizza stone. We got some good ideas here generated by your question. Thanks.

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