Edit ModuleShow Tags

From the screen to the deck

Tom Lehmann explains the advantages and disadvantages of starting the baking process on a screen.



 

QUESTION:

Why are some pizzas baked right on the oven deck while others are first baked on a screen and then finished on the deck?

 

ANSWER:

Many pizza makers prep the pizza skin on a screen, bake it in the oven for a couple of minutes on the screen, and then remove it from the screen and finish the bake on the oven deck. There are several good reasons for this approach, including:

It can effectively eliminate the need to use peel dust when transferring the dressed skins to the oven. Otherwise, the peel dust ends up in the oven, where it gets charred, and must be periodically removed with an oven rake and broom.

The dough won’t bake as quickly if it isn’t touching the deck surface. As a result, you can usually bake the pizza a little longer to develop a thicker, potentially crispier crust and a drier top to the pizza.

This technique can also allow for better or more convenient staging of the preopened dough skins prior to rush periods. In this case, you can place the opened dough skins on a screen, which is then placed into a wire tree rack for immediate use when things start to get backed up.

Finally, by “decking” the pizza, we get the advantages of prepping, handling and baking the pizzas on a screen while also achieving much of the crispiness typically associated with a hearth-baked pizza.

Of course, there are some disadvantages to this practice, too. For starters, the dressed dough skin must always be removed from the screen at about the same time after going into the oven. This requires additional attention to the baking process, and it adds to the complexity of the oven tender’s job.

Additionally, this practice will usually reduce the number of pizzas that you can fit into the oven at any one time. Once you remove the pizza from the screen, you must have an open spot on the oven deck on which to place it. In some cases, especially where the pizzas are almost fully baked on the screens, the oven may be filled with screened pizzas; now the oven tender must go into the oven to rotate or move the pizzas around while at the same time figuring out how to peel a pizza off of a screen, remove the screen from the oven, and place the pizza back down onto the deck. This can be done, but it requires a lot of attention and finesse by the oven tender!

 

Edit Module

Tell us what you think at or email.

Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Related Articles

Eight Ways to Jump-Start Spring Sales

From Easter through Mother’s Day, here are 8 ways to ring in the spring with seasonal flings and give your sales a jump start.

Tips from the Team: Serving Up the Suds

Sean Dempsey explains how to pour on the profits by adding craft beers to your operation.

Preventing the Pita Effect in Par-Baked Pizzas

Par-baked crusts offer some time-saving advantages, but keep these tips in mind to prevent the formation of pockets.

Old-School vs. Online Marketing: Getting the Best Out of Both

From flyers to Google Ads, Think Tankers share tips and tricks for marketing your pizzeria.

2019: Already a Year to Remember

The U.S. Pizza Team shines on ESPN3

Product Spotlight-March 2019

Maintain a Good Relationship With Your Oven to Avoid Later Heartache

Buying an oven is like getting married—weigh the pros and cons carefully before rushing into a long-term commitment.

Milwaukee-Style Pizza Offers Up Great Options for Pizza & Beer Pairing

You can’t go to Milwaukee and not drink beer. Fortunately, Milwaukee-style pizza was designed with beer drinkers in mind.

Paying Your Pizzeria's Employees Well Can Yield Big Dividends

Derrick Tung, owner of Paulie Gee’s Logan Square in Chicago, details his innovative approach to paying and incentivizing employees—and why his opening night was such a stinker.

Adding Deli Sandwiches Can Kick Up Your Pizzeria's Sales

Thinking of adding a deli component to your pizzeria? These two creative operators explain how sandwich success has kept their pizza businesses booming.
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module
Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags