What’s the best way to prevent pizza peel stick?

Tom “The Dough Doctor” Lehmann says it starts with choosing the right peel dust, but plain flour is not necessarily the best choice.



 

Q How can we keep our pizzas from sticking to the peel?

 

A There are several things you can do about this problem, but start by making sure you’re using the right peel. Pizza peels come in two styles: metal and wood/composite. The wood/composite peel is the correct peel to use for prepping, while the metal peel should be used as an oven peel only. With wood/composite peels, you’re less likely to get condensation on the peel due to temperature differences between the peel and the dough—and it’s this condensation that can lead to stickiness.

The next thing to consider: What are you using for peel dust? While plain flour works well, it isn’t very forgiving. If your dough is a little cold or sticky for some reason, it may stick to the peel at the oven’s entrance. You may want to sprinkle some cornmeal on the peel instead. As a release material, it works great, much like thousands of tiny ball bearings under the dough skin. With just a little shake, the dressed dough will slide effortlessly off the peel. However, cornmeal can impart added grit to the bottom of the baked pie. For some pizza makers, this is actually desirable; for others, it is not. The excess cornmeal also has to be swept out of the oven regularly, or it will show up on the bottoms of the baked pizzas as hard black spots.

Some operators advocate the use of semolina flour, which is significantly coarser than regular flour and doesn’t absorb moisture as quickly. For this reason, it makes for a pretty decent peel dust, a good compromise between regular flour and cornmeal. Other operators have turned to more “exotic” ingredients to use as a peel dust, such as wheat bran, rice flour, corn flour, coarse-ground whole-wheat flour, and even rye flour. Any of these materials make for an effective peel dust.

My personal favorite is a blend of equal parts cornmeal, semolina flour and regular pizza flour. Don’t ask me why I like it—it just works for me. With this blend, I can peel the dressed dough into the oven with authority and confidence, knowing it will slide off the peel every time!  

 

Edit Module

Tell us what you think at or email.

Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Related Articles

Should You Be Buying New Equipment Before the Tax Year Ends?

Mike Rassmussen breaks down the do's and don'ts of equipment purchases prior to December 31.

Chef's Corner | Shawn Randazzo Explains His Philosophy Behind Detroit-Style Pizza

Shawn Randazzo, master of the Motor City pizza, teaches you all you need to know about Detroit-style pies so you don’t have to hear it through the grapevine.

December 2018: The 2019 Pizza Power Report and more!

Detroit-style pizza, cheese trends, chicken wings and more marketing tips.

Quick-Fire Questions with The Dough Doctor

Tom “The Dough Doctor” Lehmann provides rapid-fire responses to operators’ minor dilemmas.

Make Your Wing Sales Soar With These Insights From Operators

Chefs report on the hottest flavor trends and innovative cooking techniques for pizza’s best companion: the chicken wing.

The Best Local Marketing to Find You Long-Term Pizza Customers

What cheese trends are taking off in restaurants across the country? Experts and operators weigh in.

Your restaurant should be making the most out of your cheese choices.

Detroit-Style Is Motown's Favorite Pizza

Airy dough, crispy crust and signature caramelized cheese makes Detroit-style pizza an instant winner on any pizza lover’s list.

The 2019 Pizza Power Report: A State-of-the-Industry Analysis

To stay competitive in the pizza business in 2019, independents will have to meet customers’ growing demand for speed, customization, delivery and convenience.

How to make the most of your mozz

A staple at every pizzeria, mozzarella shines for its versatility in everything from apps and salads to pizza and pasta.
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module
Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags