Peels for your Woodfired Oven
The subject of our latest Woodfired Workshop is Peels – who knew there was so much to tell you but there’s quite a lot of info so grab a cup of tea and have a sit down while David talks you through what’s what in the video!
Peels for putting your pizzas in the oven
The Bakery Bits one isn’t very flexible but it is cheap. The GI Metals one is much pricier but very flexible and is perforated so you can knock any excess flour off the pizza bases before they go in the oven – really useful if you are going to be cooking lots of pizzas or running a pizza business. Our preference is for the perforated peel because –
- it’s flexible so you can really get it underneath your pizza base and pick it up
- it has a bevelled edge which stops most concertinaing of the pizza base
- the perforations really makes sure any excess flour/semolina can be knocked off before the pizza goes in the oven so doesn’t sit burning on the oven flour
Again a cheaper smaller headed one and a pricier version with a round head and perforations. Our preference is for the round headed one as it really lets you turn the pizza round nimbly and in a small space.
We know some people like wooden peels for putting pizzas in the oven however we prefer the metal ones. We use our (broken) wooden peel for putting loaves of bread into the oven. The wooden peel is more forgiving for heavier weights of dough which will roll off the wooden peel easily especially after a light dusting of semolina.
Wooden Pizza Boards
If we are getting several pizzas prepared and they are lining up to go in the oven, we’ll sit them on a wooden pizza board so that they don’t get sticky which they can do if they are sitting on your work surface or on a metal peel. Obviously also essential for serving pizzas and chopping them up. Stock up here if you need some!
This may seem extravagant but we keep one peel purely for moving ash, embers or the fire around the oven or for adding logs and kindling to the fire. It doesn’t ever get cleaned and is known as the dirty peel so that everyone knows it’s not for food use.
Other useful equipment
Heat deflector/fire retainer These are so useful for keeping the fire in one place, stopping embers or ash ending up on your pizza and for lifting the flames over the top of the pizzas for better grilling of the cheese. See more of how we use them here.
A dough rolling mat. This is great for making sure you get consistently sized pizzas every time you make them.
A blow pipe. For clearing your oven floor of any excess flour or semolina which may go on to burn and make your later pizzas taste acrid.
Semolina – we use semolina mainly for bread dough as it helps the larger loaves slide off the wooden peel really easily. Some people do really like it for pizza bases for that same reason but be careful not to use too much as it will burn really easily. If you have lots on your oven floor after a pizza has finished cooking, use a brush or a blowpipe to get rid of the excess.
Now we haven’t gone into too much detail about making pizzas in this video as it’s all about the peels so if you need a recap, check out –
We really hope that’s been a useful run through of the peels we use and how we use them – make sure you use these notes in conjunction with the video on our youtube channel.
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Happy cooking – do let us know how you get on
David and Holly