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Baking (rec.food.baking) For bakers, would-be bakers, and fans and consumers of breads, pastries, cakes, pies, cookies, crackers, bagels, and other items commonly found in a bakery. Includes all methods of preparation, both conventional and not.

Pizza Screen vs. Stone



 
 
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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 20-12-2005, 12:08 PM posted to rec.food.baking
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Default Pizza Screen vs. Stone

About making pizza. . .

Reading up on stones vs. screens and cornmeal vs. parchment paper has left
me confused. Those who like screens seem to swear by them and hate stones.
The opposite also seems to be true--stone people don't seem to like screens.
And I suppose it's an either/or thing. I don't guess somebody would use
both. It reminds me of the MS-Windows vs. Macintosh loyalty thing. I'd like
an unbiased explanation about the pros and cons of each.

Today I bought a stone and a long-handled wooded paddle (peel) and had the
same disaster I've been reading about all over the Internet: the dough stuck
to the peel while the topping and cheese slid off onto the 400 degree stone
and oven floor. Ouch! What a mess. Thank God for self-cleaning ovens,
though the smoky house wasn't fun. I sure hope my brand new stone isn't
ruined (I did not have the stone in the oven during the self-clean). Some
Internet sites say that corn meal is not good enough for beginners and
parchment paper, directly on the stone, is better for newbies. Others say
to use semolina.

With time and experience, I'm sure I'll develop my own opinions, but I'd
like to toss this to the group for some feedback.

Thanks!

Rich


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  #2 (permalink)  
Old 20-12-2005, 03:15 PM posted to rec.food.baking
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Default Pizza Screen vs. Stone


"Rich Hollenbeck" wrote in message
news:9DRpf.5300$vJ4.5201@trnddc07...
About making pizza. . .

Reading up on stones vs. screens and cornmeal vs. parchment paper has left
me confused. Those who like screens seem to swear by them and hate

stones.
The opposite also seems to be true--stone people don't seem to like

screens.
And I suppose it's an either/or thing. I don't guess somebody would use
both. It reminds me of the MS-Windows vs. Macintosh loyalty thing. I'd

like
an unbiased explanation about the pros and cons of each.

Today I bought a stone and a long-handled wooded paddle (peel) and had the
same disaster I've been reading about all over the Internet: the dough

stuck
to the peel while the topping and cheese slid off onto the 400 degree

stone
and oven floor. Ouch! What a mess. Thank God for self-cleaning ovens,
though the smoky house wasn't fun. I sure hope my brand new stone isn't
ruined (I did not have the stone in the oven during the self-clean). Some
Internet sites say that corn meal is not good enough for beginners and
parchment paper, directly on the stone, is better for newbies. Others say
to use semolina.

With time and experience, I'm sure I'll develop my own opinions, but I'd
like to toss this to the group for some feedback.


I see no reason to use both a screen and a stone. I would just learn to use
the stone and peel, either with corn meal or parchment. I like parchment
simply because there is no mess and it works well. I don't have a peel.
Everyone has their own technique and preferences. Try them all and then
practice, practice, practice.

Your oven should be as hot as possible, not 400F. The stone should be
pre-heated for at least 20 minutes. If you find that the hotter oven is a
problem, pre heat as hot as possible and turn the oven down when you put the
pizza in.

Try to make-up the pizza at the very last moment possible and then quickly
slide it into the oven. If you make up the pizza on the peel or parchment
and let it sit for 15 minutes, it will stick to the surface and it will not
slide into the oven. Since you will never get your home oven as hot as a
commercial pizza oven, you might try pre-baking the dough for a few minutes
(~10), remove it from the oven, build the pizza, and put it back in the
oven. This will allow you to get the dough into the oven quickly and let it
crisp a little without and heavy, moist topping. This may improve the
texture of the dough as well as reduce the risk of sending sauce and topping
spraying across your stone and oven.

Pizza stones are not decorative accessories. Your stone will get stained
with use. I leave mine in the oven and run the self-clean cycle to remove
burned on food. Some people say not to clean the stone as it becomes
"seasoned" with time. I prefer a clean stone. It's up to you which school
you subscribe to.


  #3 (permalink)  
Old 20-12-2005, 03:56 PM posted to rec.food.baking
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Default Pizza Screen vs. Stone

If the point is to season the stone I don't know how parchment paper would
do that. I have a stone and love it. Works very well. As I recall I used
cornmeal to begin but not necessary now. wendy
----- Original Message -----
From: "Rich Hollenbeck"
Newsgroups: rec.food.baking
To:
Sent: Tuesday, December 20, 2005 6:08 AM
Subject: Pizza Screen vs. Stone


About making pizza. . .

Reading up on stones vs. screens and cornmeal vs. parchment paper has left
me confused. Those who like screens seem to swear by them and hate

stones.
The opposite also seems to be true--stone people don't seem to like

screens.
And I suppose it's an either/or thing. I don't guess somebody would use
both. It reminds me of the MS-Windows vs. Macintosh loyalty thing. I'd

like
an unbiased explanation about the pros and cons of each.

Today I bought a stone and a long-handled wooded paddle (peel) and had the
same disaster I've been reading about all over the Internet: the dough

stuck
to the peel while the topping and cheese slid off onto the 400 degree

stone
and oven floor. Ouch! What a mess. Thank God for self-cleaning ovens,
though the smoky house wasn't fun. I sure hope my brand new stone isn't
ruined (I did not have the stone in the oven during the self-clean). Some
Internet sites say that corn meal is not good enough for beginners and
parchment paper, directly on the stone, is better for newbies. Others say
to use semolina.

With time and experience, I'm sure I'll develop my own opinions, but I'd
like to toss this to the group for some feedback.

Thanks!

Rich


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  #4 (permalink)  
Old 20-12-2005, 04:18 PM posted to rec.food.baking
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Default Pizza Screen vs. Stone


"Wendy" wrote in message
news:mailman.1.1135090592.43463.rec.food.baking@ma il.otherwhen.com...
If the point is to season the stone I don't know how parchment paper would
do that. I have a stone and love it. Works very well. As I recall I

used
cornmeal to begin but not necessary now. wendy


The point of using parchment is to get the pizza or other item into and out
of the oven. It has nothing to do with "seasoning" the stone. Like many
problems in life there are often many solutions. You have to choose what
works for you. Some people like parchment, some like cornmeal, and some
like neither. I say use what works. Some people insist that you must never
clean your baking stone. I put mine through the self-clean cycle. It works
for me, but if someone else has a different idea, then they should do what
works for them. When people have unsolved problems, I think they should
keep an open mind, seek advice, experiment, and choose the best solution for
themselves.


  #5 (permalink)  
Old 20-12-2005, 06:26 PM posted to rec.food.baking
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Default Pizza Screen vs. Stone

I think we must be talking about two different things here. The stone I'm
using has the pizza on it which is why I can't figure out the need for
parchment in this instance. I use parchment all the time for other things.
Wendy
----- Original Message -----
From: "Vox Humana"
Newsgroups: rec.food.baking
To:
Sent: Tuesday, December 20, 2005 10:18 AM
Subject: Pizza Screen vs. Stone



"Wendy" wrote in message
news:mailman.1.1135090592.43463.rec.food.baking@ma il.otherwhen.com...
If the point is to season the stone I don't know how parchment paper

would
do that. I have a stone and love it. Works very well. As I recall I

used
cornmeal to begin but not necessary now. wendy


The point of using parchment is to get the pizza or other item into and

out
of the oven. It has nothing to do with "seasoning" the stone. Like many
problems in life there are often many solutions. You have to choose what
works for you. Some people like parchment, some like cornmeal, and some
like neither. I say use what works. Some people insist that you must

never
clean your baking stone. I put mine through the self-clean cycle. It

works
for me, but if someone else has a different idea, then they should do what
works for them. When people have unsolved problems, I think they should
keep an open mind, seek advice, experiment, and choose the best solution

for
themselves.


_______________________________________________
Rec.food.baking mailing list

http://www.otherwhen.com/mailman/lis...ec.food.baking

To unsubscribe send a mail to and

then reply to the confirmation request.


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Internal Virus Database is out-of-date.
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Version: 7.1.362 / Virus Database: 267.13.13/199 - Release Date:

12/13/2005



  #6 (permalink)  
Old 20-12-2005, 09:35 PM posted to rec.food.baking
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Posts: n/a
Default Pizza Screen vs. Stone

"Wendy" wrote:
Vox writes:


The point of using parchment is to get the pizza or other item into and
out of the oven. It has nothing to do with "seasoning" the stone. Like
many problems in life there are often many solutions. You have to choose what
works for you. Some people like parchment, some like cornmeal, and some
like neither. I say use what works.


I think we must be talking about two different things here. The stone I'm
using has the pizza on it which is why I can't figure out the need for
parchment in this instance. I use parchment all the time for other things.


The proper way to use a stone is to leave it in the oven to get hot,
and slide the prepared pizza onto it. Many people use a peel and
cornmeal between the peel and the pizza dough. This is one way of
doing it, by no means the only.

The parchment is a way to get the pizza onto the stone. Put the
parchment on a peel (or not, you can just use the parchment w/o a
peel), place the pizza on the parchment, place the parchment on the
stone, slip the parchment out from under the pizza.

jenn
--
Jenn Ridley :
  #7 (permalink)  
Old 21-12-2005, 12:00 AM posted to rec.food.baking
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Posts: n/a
Default Pizza Screen vs. Stone


"Wendy" wrote in message
news:mailman.2.1135109436.43463.rec.food.baking@ma il.otherwhen.com...
I think we must be talking about two different things here. The stone I'm
using has the pizza on it which is why I can't figure out the need for
parchment in this instance. I use parchment all the time for other

things.

The stone should be placed in the oven and pre-heated for at least 20
minutes. The pizza is built outside the oven. You have to get the pizza in
the oven, onto the hot stone. Some people dust a peel or a baking sheet
dusted with cornmeal. The cornmeal acts like a lubricant and facilitates
sliding the pizza onto the stone. This takes a bit of skill and sometimes
the pizza stick, sending a shower of sauce and topping into the oven. The
loose cornmeal also goes all over the oven. As an alternative, you can
build the pizza on parchment and slide it into the oven on that. It works
well for me and eliminates the cornmeal in the oven.


  #8 (permalink)  
Old 21-12-2005, 12:27 AM posted to rec.food.baking
Usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default Pizza Screen vs. Stone

Vox Humana wrote:

"Wendy" wrote in message
news:mailman.2.1135109436.43463.rec.food.baking@ma il.otherwhen.com...

I think we must be talking about two different things here. The stone I'm
using has the pizza on it which is why I can't figure out the need for
parchment in this instance. I use parchment all the time for other


things.

The stone should be placed in the oven and pre-heated for at least 20
minutes. The pizza is built outside the oven. You have to get the pizza in
the oven, onto the hot stone. Some people dust a peel or a baking sheet
dusted with cornmeal. The cornmeal acts like a lubricant and facilitates
sliding the pizza onto the stone. This takes a bit of skill and sometimes
the pizza stick, sending a shower of sauce and topping into the oven. The
loose cornmeal also goes all over the oven. As an alternative, you can
build the pizza on parchment and slide it into the oven on that. It works
well for me and eliminates the cornmeal in the oven.


All good points as usual.

One thing I would add is that if you do use cornmeal it helps to
use the coarse kind, there's less sticking. I like it because it's
also adds a nice texture. It does add to the oven cleanup though.

--
Reg email: RegForte (at) (that free MS email service) (dot) com

  #9 (permalink)  
Old 21-12-2005, 12:34 AM posted to rec.food.baking
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Posts: n/a
Default Pizza Screen vs. Stone

On Tue, 20 Dec 2005 15:35:57 -0500
Jenn Ridley wrote:

The proper way to use a stone is to leave it in the oven to get hot,
and slide the prepared pizza onto it. Many people use a peel and
cornmeal between the peel and the pizza dough. This is one way of
doing it, by no means the only.

The parchment is a way to get the pizza onto the stone. Put the
parchment on a peel (or not, you can just use the parchment w/o a
peel), place the pizza on the parchment, place the parchment on the
stone, slip the parchment out from under the pizza.



The parchment paper will have some small effect on the texture of the
crust. The purpose of the stone is not strictly heat storage - it's porous
surface allows some water vapor to escape the dough. Maybe not so much with
the parchment paper.

I have seen some people advocate a preheated aluminum baking sheet, and
Lodge used to sell a cast iron slab for the job.

If it were only about dumping stored heat into the dough, the iron would
be ideal. I'm a big believer in cast iron cookware, but i don't think it
would make the same sort of crust i get off the fibrament slab. Some day i
need to try a deep dish pizza in my #9 Griswold skillet.

fwiw i prefer semolina for the job, and some people just use flour. You
walk a fine line with the hydration of the dough and the mess in your oven
in any case.

I find that it can help to have handy a long, thin, flexible instrument
to slide between the dough and the peel before attempting oven insertion.
An Ekco bread knife works well for this, as would one of those crazy
spatulas they use to apply frosting to large cakes.

  #10 (permalink)  
Old 21-12-2005, 12:49 AM posted to rec.food.baking
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Default Pizza Screen vs. Stone

Eric Jorgensen wrote:

On Tue, 20 Dec 2005 15:35:57 -0500
Jenn Ridley wrote:

The proper way to use a stone is to leave it in the oven to get hot,
and slide the prepared pizza onto it. Many people use a peel and
cornmeal between the peel and the pizza dough. This is one way of
doing it, by no means the only.

The parchment is a way to get the pizza onto the stone. Put the
parchment on a peel (or not, you can just use the parchment w/o a
peel), place the pizza on the parchment, place the parchment on the
stone, slip the parchment out from under the pizza.



The parchment paper will have some small effect on the texture of the
crust. The purpose of the stone is not strictly heat storage - it's porous
surface allows some water vapor to escape the dough. Maybe not so much with
the parchment paper.


Notice that I said that the parchment was removed, so you've got
direct dough/stone contact.

--
Jenn Ridley :
  #11 (permalink)  
Old 21-12-2005, 12:58 AM posted to rec.food.baking
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Posts: n/a
Default Pizza Screen vs. Stone

I repeat - we are definetly talking about two different things here. wendy
----- Original Message -----
From: "Vox Humana"
Newsgroups: rec.food.baking
To:
Sent: Tuesday, December 20, 2005 6:00 PM
Subject: Pizza Screen vs. Stone



"Wendy" wrote in message
news:mailman.2.1135109436.43463.rec.food.baking@ma il.otherwhen.com...
I think we must be talking about two different things here. The stone

I'm
using has the pizza on it which is why I can't figure out the need for
parchment in this instance. I use parchment all the time for other

things.

The stone should be placed in the oven and pre-heated for at least 20
minutes. The pizza is built outside the oven. You have to get the pizza

in
the oven, onto the hot stone. Some people dust a peel or a baking sheet
dusted with cornmeal. The cornmeal acts like a lubricant and facilitates
sliding the pizza onto the stone. This takes a bit of skill and sometimes
the pizza stick, sending a shower of sauce and topping into the oven. The
loose cornmeal also goes all over the oven. As an alternative, you can
build the pizza on parchment and slide it into the oven on that. It works
well for me and eliminates the cornmeal in the oven.


_______________________________________________
Rec.food.baking mailing list

http://www.otherwhen.com/mailman/lis...ec.food.baking

To unsubscribe send a mail to and

then reply to the confirmation request.


--
No virus found in this incoming message.
Checked by AVG Free Edition.
Version: 7.1.362 / Virus Database: 267.14.1/207 - Release Date: 12/19/2005



  #12 (permalink)  
Old 21-12-2005, 01:07 AM posted to rec.food.baking
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Posts: n/a
Default Pizza Screen vs. Stone


"Wendy" wrote in message
news:mailman.3.1135123087.43463.rec.food.baking@ma il.otherwhen.com...
I repeat - we are definetly talking about two different things here.

wendy

Your turn then. What are you talking about?


  #13 (permalink)  
Old 21-12-2005, 01:23 AM posted to rec.food.baking
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Default Pizza Screen vs. Stone

On Tue, 20 Dec 2005 18:49:46 -0500
Jenn Ridley wrote:

Notice that I said that the parchment was removed, so you've got
direct dough/stone contact.



Somehow i missed that.

But i don't think the dough is any more or less likely to stick to
parchment paper than the peel. I'm not going to argue with you about it,
I'm just not really following the logic.

Maybe it depends what your peel is made of - mine is aluminum, and i
loathe those 3/4" thick soft wood peels.

Now I'm going to wait patiently for someone to advocate that silly thing
with a conveyor belt.
  #14 (permalink)  
Old 21-12-2005, 01:33 AM posted to rec.food.baking
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Posts: n/a
Default Pizza Screen vs. Stone

I have a stone from Pampered Chef. I don't preheat. I make whatever it
is,usually pizza, put on stone, putin preheated oven, cook for 10-15
minutes, then usually broil for 2-3 mins. Remove from oven and cut, serve.
----- Original Message -----
From: "Vox Humana"
Newsgroups: rec.food.baking
To:
Sent: Tuesday, December 20, 2005 7:07 PM
Subject: Pizza Screen vs. Stone



"Wendy" wrote in message
news:mailman.3.1135123087.43463.rec.food.baking@ma il.otherwhen.com...
I repeat - we are definetly talking about two different things here.

wendy

Your turn then. What are you talking about?


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No virus found in this incoming message.
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  #15 (permalink)  
Old 21-12-2005, 01:43 AM posted to rec.food.baking
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Posts: n/a
Default Pizza Screen vs. Stone

On Tue, 20 Dec 2005 19:33:10 -0500
"Wendy" wrote:

I have a stone from Pampered Chef. I don't preheat. I make whatever it
is,usually pizza, put on stone, putin preheated oven, cook for 10-15
minutes, then usually broil for 2-3 mins. Remove from oven and cut,



Oh, well, that explains everything.

There's no meaningful thermal mass in the pampered chef stones, and so
there's no real point in preheating it.

My baking stone is extremely heavy, handling it is dangerous because i
could slip and break my foot with it, or the floor, or the stone, or all
three. It hasn't left the oven since i bought it.
 




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