Cooking and Entertaining

How to Launch Your Pizza to Your Oven Properly

Image of a chef launching pizza in the oven with a pizza peel.

Did you know that the secret of a crispy and delicious pizza lies not only in its recipe but in how you launch it in the oven as well? From sticking problems to pizza foldings and topping mess-ups, many find it hard to transfer their palatable pie in ovens on stones from peels.

If the issue sounds familiar, worry no more as launching pizzas is a skill you can master in little to no time. So what are the tips and tricks you need to follow? To find out, let us get started and master the skill of launching pizza in an oven properly with the steps below!

1. Use 00 Flour For Your Dough

High angle view of dough with baking ingredients.Using 00 flour allows you to make a dough that is neither sticky nor dry, letting you launch your deliciously light-weight pie in the oven with ease. As one of the most refined flours, it gives your homemade pizza an authentic Italian taste with great texture. Doughs made with 00 flour are also stretchable and consistent, making launching an easy process.

2. Skip the Rolling Pin: Stretch Instead

Picture of a pizza dough next to a variety of ingredients with a black wooden background.For a perfect crispy bottom, it is essential to retain the air bubbles within the dough. Rolling pin removes these air bubbles leading to a super cracky bottom. Therefore, unless you want a super-thin and hard crust, skip the rolling pin and stretch your dough instead.

Whether you’ve chosen homemade or ready-made dough, stretch it at room temperature for the best results. If you have cold proved it, we recommend letting your kneaded flour sit at least 4 hours on the shelf. However, avoid heating or warming the dough; high temperatures make pizza doughs sweaty and sticky, making launching incredibly hard.

Hence, to make sure you can launch your dough in ovens on a plate from a pizza peel properly, stretch the dough at room temperature.

3. Work With Two Pizza Peels; Prep Peel & Warm Peel

Image of a pizza peel and pizza oven in a restaurant.For a seamless process of launching your pizza in the oven, use two pizza peels at once; one for layering your dough with topping ingredients and the other in the oven for turning and tossing it. Not only does using two peels make the work a lot easier, but it also helps your pizza dough stay consistent and firm. The former peel, called the prep peel, does not let the dough soften or become sticky because of its room temperature.

While there are several types of pizza peels, we recommend using wooden pizza peels if you’re a beginner. They absorb moisture and prevent pizza dough from becoming sticky and sweaty. You may use steel ones as warm peels for tossing or both as well if you have commendable speed.

4. Flour everything

Image of professional male cook sprinkling flour on surfaces.Before you start with the toppings and baking, put flour on everything from your hands to the surfaces you will use. Sprinkle adequate amounts of it to prevent sticking problems.

However, if sticking problems persist despite this measure, you might want to consider the amount of flour you’re using. If you think you’re using a lot already, check the temperature of your ingredients and keep them at room temperature.  You may sprinkle cornstarch as well for better results.

5. Check & Pop Them Holes

Image of a delicious pizza.Check for any holes in the base of your pizza. These holes are a result of any moisture that gets between the dough and peel, causing your pizza to become sticky. If you knead your dough well and use the right ingredients, you will not find any holes. However, if you encounter any, pinch them together with care.

6. Shake It Before You Bake It

Image with the back-view of a chef in the kitchen, making pizza.Once you’ve spread your deliciously consistent and firm pizza base on a peel covered with flour, it is time to add sauce and toppings. However, before you layer up your pizza base, pick your pizza peel, and give it a shake. If your pizza does not move around or budge, pick up the stuck spots specifically and sprinkle more flour beneath them. Keep doing this till your pizza moves freely. Make sure to keep this step in your mind, as you won’t be able to do this once your pizza base is all layered up.

7. Keep Your Toppings Light & Dry

Image of Pizza on a wooden board.For allowing yourself to get your pizza off the peel and into your oven with ease, use light and dry toppings. Heavy ingredients will make it hard for you to launch your pizza. Furthermore, culinary experts suggest that for a high-quality pizzeria-style homemade pie, the lesser is always, the better. We recommend paying extra attention to your sauce: spread it with extreme care and do not let it drop onto the peel to make your launching easy.

8. Be quick and fast

Image of a Pizza cooking in a pizza ovenAfter you’ve topped your pizza with ingredients tailored to suit your palate, it is time to get it in the oven. Be quick and fast with all your steps after you have put your pizza base on the peel. If you lag the process, the sauce may seep through the dough, making it sticky by causing a gluey effect. However, our quick and fast does not mean you have to rush or panic. Just work at a good pace and do not get distracted. Launch your pizza as soon as you’ve layered up to your pizza.

9. Use The Hovercraft Trick

Image of a woman baking pizza in a wood-fired pizza oven.The Hovercraft trick is a life-saver when it comes to launching pizzas in the oven. You have to lift one edge of your pizza base and gently blow air under the dough, creating air pockets between the peel and dough. It also helps spread excess flour to areas that may stick because of moisture. This trick makes pizza slide off the peel to your pizza stone, pan, or screen. You may add extra flour underneath the base during this step as well to prevent any sticking problems.

The Takeaway

Make use of these tips to launch your pizza to your oven well. Treat your loved ones and yourself with delicious, crispy-crumbed pizzas. If you’d like to go one extra mile, have a look at our ‘Top 10 Portable Pizza Ovens’ to get yourself the best one!

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