Whats the trick to getting your pizzas to not stick

Hello All,

Ive been having a problem while preparing my pizzas for the oven. I am using a Bakers Pride 452 deck oven and want to cook the pizzas directly on the stones. Problem is, once I get the crust all pressed and rolled out and floured, I top it with the sauce, cheese, and whatever toppings…its extremely difficult to get the pizza onto the deck without ruining it because it wants to stick to the counter first and then the pizza spatchula (not sure of the spelling) when I go the slide it onto the deck. I have this problem no matter how much flour I put on the crust. My solution thus far has been to put the dough on a screen while its being prepared and then bake it on the screen for about 4-5 minutes before removing it and putting it directly on the stones…is there something I’m doing wrong? As always I greatly appreciate your input…PS you’re all gonna get sick of me in the near future because I have alot of questions and my place should be opening in about 6 weeks…THANKS SO MUCH!!!

Cornmeal is your friend!!!

Wait, I just read it again… are you saying you prepare the pizzas on the counter, then spatula them into oven? Get yourself some wood prep pizza peels, then put a container of cornmeal next to your roller (or whatever you use) and sprinkle cornmeal on the prep peels for every pizza. They will slide of beautifully without any problems, everytime.

Thanks for the quick responses…Ive been using an alluminum spatula…and when I said counter, I meant my prep table. Does a wooden spatula make a huge difference? As far as corn meal goes, is there a way to not use corn meal? Ive used corn meal on my pizzas before, and some people told me they didnt like the “little grains on the bottom of the crust” but some people loved it…

build it on a screen 1st, then remove it to the deck 2 finish - also, mix the cornmeal w/flour, 2:1 or 3:1 flour/meal

Other than cornmeal, I really have no other suggestion. I’ve never heard of anyone complaining about cornmeal at the bottom of a pizza. Now that I think about it, I don’t even notice it, and I usually eat about 2 pizzas a day. We brush the cornmeal out the ovens after every pie, so theres no excess cornmeal.

But wait, maybe I’m shot… are you prepping the pizzas on the aluminum peel or directly on the prep table?

What Ive been doing is prepping the pizzas on a screen then baking them for about 4-5 minutes…then removing them form the screen and placing directly on the deck to finish them off…Id just like to eliminate the screen all together and get the pizza on the deck from the beginning…Im thinking corn meal and a wooden spatula are the cure…but will the dough still stick to my prep table when I try to get it on the spatula…surely I dont prep the pizzas on the spatula, or should I? Im confusing myself …hahahaha…thanks again for all your responses.

Yeah, IMO your way sounds way too tedious lol. How does that work when you get busy? You could prep each pizza onto a peel, and slide it into the oven when they’re ready. No time wasted.

Semolina is an alternative . . . but still a little crunchy grit. Not so much as coarse or medium cormeal. though.

I use parchment pizza sheets. They cost aroud .07 per pizza, but no mess on the prep table or in the oven. Just like baking directly on the deck.

I like t use equal parts flour (regular pizza flour), semolina and corn meal for my dusting flour. As soon as you remove a dough ball from the box, drop it into the dusting flour (white plastic dish pan from Walmart works great), then open it up to the desired size, Have a few short handle, wood, prep peels of the width that you are making your pizzas. So, if you are making a 14-inch pizza, open the dough ball on the bench, toss a little of your dusting flour, corn meal, or whatever you opt to us onto the 14-inch wide peel so it pretty well covers, not coats, the peel surface, then transfer the formed dough piece to the peel (I like to make the piece a little larger than needed on the bench so it can be more easily fitted to the peel), dress the dough skin and take directly to the oven and peel it into the oven. Some like to shake the peel in short, jabbing shakes to slide the dough skin onto the oven deck, I like to just slide it in and with one quick reverse motion, slide the peel out from under the dough skin. When I’m trying to place the dough in a very specific spot in the oven, usually between two other pizzas, I will then use the short jabbing technique of sliding the dough skin off of the peel. Metal peels make poor prep peels because they can sweat, causing the dough skin to stick. We see it happening all the time during our October Pizza seminar, when someone will not follow directions, and use a metal, oven peel (used only to remove pizzas from the oven) to peel the dough into the oven. More often than not, they try the old reversal of direction method and end up leaving a pile of toppings on the oven deck with the dough still clinging to the aluminum peel. Oops!
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor

We used to use cornmeal, and I actually very much enjoy the crunchiness that it brings. A few years back, we decided to move away from cornmeal (much to my chagrin…), and use screens. I find that screens can produce as good of a crust as baked directly on the stone (as long as you move it off the screen once the crust sets up.), but it doesn’t compare to the awesome crunch of the cornmeal!

Some people, however, did complain about the cornmeal… Personal preference, but there were some people that really didn’t like it. One thing about the cornmeal is that you have to be really careful not to let it scorch on the bottom of the pie, and if you don’t sweep out the oven after every pie, you can get some serious smoke coming out of the oven! Plus, there’s always the danger of sweeping a flaming hot piece of cornmeal into your eye! :lol:

Safety first, kids! :stuck_out_tongue:

what we do is make the pizza on the peel and right before we put it on the stone we blow under the pizza and it floats on top of the peel and slides right off… Get used to using screens anyways because without them you may burn your pizza if the oven is running to hot when your first starting off for the day…

Lifting an edge of the dough skin and blowing under it to lift it off of the peel works well with the more lightly topped pizzas, but when a multitude of toppings are applied, the weight is just too great. From another aspect, it is really hard to convince consumers that this is a safe and sanitary practice, even beyond the consumer, I was once asked to try to convince a local health inspector that this was a safe and accepted practice. My arguement was that the oven provided a very effective kill step. The health inspector’s stand was “I don’t care, unless you can prove it to me by doing a “micro” on each pizza (an impossibility), it is a bad practice from a food safety standpoint, so I’m telling you to stop doing it”. That was the arguement, and since she held all of the aces, we capitulated.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor

I hate to be the guy to say this but…Are you opening a pizza place and dont know how to make a pizza?

Go to the restaurant supply get a wood peel. after the dough is at your preffered size throw it on the peel. sauce, cheese, toppings. Dont use too much flour on the bottom of the pizza, after a while your pizza will be tasting like a cajun roux( the flour will start to burn on the bricks).

Good luck