The exact temperature, the fluffy dough, the delicious toppings, and the hot stone – all these are essential to make a perfect pizza.
One might say so, but what they are forgetting is that what if your pizza is sticking to your peel? Despite everything being perfect, will you get a perfect pizza then? The answer is no, but you will surely get a perfect peel sticking raw pizza.
No one wants to serve raw pizza. But what will you do if you cannot get it out of the peel and onto your stone? There are plenty of ways to prevent the pizza from sticking to the peel like using cornmeal, flour, or semolina.
This article will tell you about the cornmeal substitutes for pizza and give you tips into baking your perfect pizza at home.
The Usual Choice: Cornmeal
We all are familiar with this food staple. This dried grounded corn or cornmeal, as we call it, is used in quite a lot of food. Cornmeal is used dusted over pizza peels to prevent sticking pizza onto the peel. But honestly, who wants corn on their pizza?
The cornmeal might serve its purpose and let the dough slide easily onto the baking stone, but bits of corn will still be on the dough itself. This grounded corns will change the taste of the pizza dough. They get burnt easily and give a toasted corn taste to the whole pizza.
Also, if you use cornmeal, then cleaning the oven regularly is a must. The burnt cornmeal residue can set off the fire alarm.
Cornmeal has small popularity among some customers who like their pizza to be tasted with cornmeal. According to them, it has a distinctive texture, which pairs perfectly with the pizza dough. Well, taste buds vary from people to people, so we will let you decide how you like the cornmeal taste.
Cornmeal Substitute for Pizza
Let’s get to know the best substitutes for cornmeal.
This food staple does not need any introduction. It is an essential element in all bakery goods. From bread to cakes, all-purpose flour is used to make the delicious doughs.
Pizzas are no exception. In fact, the main components of pizza doughs are flour and yeast. So using the same flour on the peel does not need any explanation. Flour has a bland taste, it cannot alter taste when dusted over the pizza peel. It does not burn like cornmeal or give a bold texture.
Very often, there are complaints regarding dusting flour on the peel, that it still causes pizza to get stuck. It is because if your dough has not been worked properly or it did not have enough time to sit. Once the gluten releases completely from the flour, it will not soak the dusted flour over peel and thus never stick again.
We all prefer eating semolina with a milk mixture added with sugar or as a halwa. But this food staple has other unknown uses too. Using direct semolina or semolina flour on pizza peel might be a good alternative. It does not have any special flavor and is needed in a very small amount.
Dusting the pan with one or two pinches of semolina will do the work. Also, it does not have a gritty sensation as that of cornmeal. Semolina tends to soak moisture relatively late than flour, so the pizza does not stick to the peel. Hence, it is by far the best solution.
- Parchment Paper
Using a parchment paper is a non-popular method. The trick is to place the parchment paper on the peel and transfer both the pizza and paper onto the hot stone. This might work if your baking temperature is perfect. But if it is overcooked, then the paper might stick to your pizza.
Tips to Bake the Perfect Pizza
Here are some tips for you that you should follow.
- Use Yeast or Malt
Yeast or malt is necessary to make the dough rise. Using malt converts the flour of the dough into sugar, which makes the dough stick to the peel.
So using activated yeast is better for pizza. Make sure to add dry yeast in warm water; otherwise, it will not activate, and the dough will not rise. Let the dough sit overnight. Most bakeries have recommended so.
- Roll the Dough on Station
Rolling the dough on the station rather than on the peel solves the problem of gluey pizza. If you roll pizza on the peel, little pieces of dough will stick to it and dry out, causing a sandy surface. Then the pizza will be very difficult to lift up.
- Choose the Correct Peel
Metal or wooden peels are commonly used in the kitchen. But for baking pizza, the wooden peel has popularity as it is easier to slide pizza onto the stone by it. Using a metal peel causes a temperature difference between the dough and the peel resulting in the dough releasing moisture.
- Dust the Peel with Semolina or Flour
You can also use a blended mixture of cornmeal, semolina, and flour. Some prefer using rye flour or rice flour or cornflour too.
- Shake Peel
A trick is to periodically shake peel by swift hand movements as you lay down the toppings. So that you are sure the pizza is not stuck throughout the prepping process. This automatically helps to lift the pizza easily.
- Place the Pizza Properly on the Stone
While putting the pizza into the oven, a back-and-forth hand movement is required to place it on the stone. Target the middle back of the stone and quickly place it and pull your hand out. This does the magic of a perfect round pizza.
- Close the Oven Door Fast
Quickly close the oven door and only open after the required time. You do not want the heat to be released. Otherwise, you will get a stuck pizza.
Cornmeal has a bold texture that overpowers the pizza. Therefore negative feedbacks are more regarding this particular food material. Whereas semolina and flour do its work without overpowering the pizza.
The entire matter varies from people to people. So we will let the readers decide which they prefer better – cornmeal/semolina/flour.