Pizza Making Made .. uh, Easy?

We got a pizza stone and pizza peel for our wedding.  That, along with a new food processor, has changed the direction of my cooking experiments.  I’m now trying pizzas from home-made dough (hard), pizzas from store bought dough (better) and bread loaves cooked on the stone (good, getting better).

The pizza stone we had selected came with a wooden peel – the flat thing you see pizza-makers slide the pizzas in and out of the oven with.  Cute idea, and certainly helpful – if and when we can learn to use it.  The technique is easy – cover it with cornmeal (which is coarse, and allows the pizza to slide), and then jerk it onto the stone.  When the pizza’s done, scoop is up.

Here is the summary of our last three battles with the pizza peel:

  • First time:  To slide pizza onto the stone, I pull the oven tray with stone halfway out of the oven.  Quick jerk of the peel – not quite all the way off.  Quick jerk again – to much.  Half the pizza slides off the end of the stone and tray.
  • Second time:  Slide the pizza onto the stone – while the stone and tray are pushed to the back of the oven.  So far, so good.  When taking the pizza out, some cheese has melted over the side, sticking the pizza to the tray.  We pull the tray out and try to “cut” through the cheese with the wooden peel.  Imagine trying to cut through a steak with a spoon – we end up pushing the pizza – again, back and over the stone and tray.
  • Third time:  The charm, right?  Not enough cornmeal – or something.  As soon as the pizza hits the stone, it stops dead.  Except the layer of toppings stacked on the tomato sauce don’t.  A third of our pizza is now cooking directly on the stone….

Grand total –
Pizza stone: 3
Eaters:  3 mangled – but good – pizzas.

Tries 4-10 are coming up.  Hopefully by the time we had guests over to try our pizzas, we’ll have it down – or we’ll have chucked the peel and use a cookie try to slide pizzas off.

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