Cooking your pizza at home should not be an arduous task if you have the right tools and ingredients. Transferring the pizza is a part of the process and should be easy with cornmeal or these cornmeal substitutes for pizza.
It would be best if you considered many things when cooking a pizza- The right temperature, the toppings, the hot surface it should be on, and more to make the perfect crust and finish on it.
So you might have the tools, but what if your pizza is still sticking on the pizza peel?
The first option we usually have is to put cornmeal over the pizza peel before sliding the pizza on it. This is the easy route as it helps the pizza slide quickly on and off the pizza peel.
However, there are some other options that you can choose from to do the same part of the process. We have listed them down below, along with some tips to make it even easier for you.
Please read on as we go into the details of transferring your pizza properly and keeping it from sticking to the pizza peel. We will look into the substitutes you can have for cornmeal.
The Traditional Choice
If you are like me and you love cooking your pizza at home, then you have probably used the technique of choosing cornmeal to allow the pizza to slide off of the pizza peel easily.
Cornmeal is finely milled ground corn kernels. You have to dust it onto the pizza peel so your pizza can move from the table to the oven or pizza stone easily without sticking.
While it does its job of making the pizza slide off easily from the pizza peel, bits of corn stay on the pizza dough. This can either alter the taste or the texture of the pizza or both of them.
Cornmeal can burn very quickly compared to the flour used to make the dough. It can give unnecessary browning on the pizza dough that is bitter when burned in the oven.
It is also the ingredient put along with the other ingredients on the dough to make it crispier. So unless you purposely put cornmeal on the pizza, it can bother the pizza’s texture.
Cornmeal also has more liquid in it compared to regular flour. So if you use cornmeal and you do not regularly clean the oven, the cornmeal residues can set off the fire alarm in your house.
Some people love cornmeal on their pizza since it adds a little bit of texture to the dough. But we have different taste buds, so you will be the judge of whether you like it or not.
Cornmeal Substitutes For Pizza
There are not many choices for replacing the cornmeal you use to transfer the pizza easily, but we have a few for you. Let us take a look at those alternatives one by one to see which is best.
This is an essential ingredient with any baked goods that you have. It does not need an introduction as it is one of the main ingredients when you make pizzas or other baked goods.
Using it on your pizza is basic knowledge since the main components of dough are flour and yeast. All-purpose flour is perfect for your pizza dough and when transferring it to the oven.
All-purpose flour does not give off a strong taste to the dough. It is bland and will hardly make a difference to the dough’s overall taste when you use it on the pizza peel.
Flour also does not create any bold texture that might affect the crispiness or doughy-ness of the pizza crust. This makes the dough consistent, even if some flour gets left on the pizza crust.
This ingredient does not burn as easily as cornmeal, so it does not add any type of browning or other textures to the crust. It is the least-damaging ingredient to use for transferring pizzas.
The issue with using flour when transferring the pizza to the oven is that the pizza still gets stuck to the pizza peel at times. The issue when that happens is on the dough itself and not the flour.
The most likely reason behind this is the dough itself has not been allowed to rise to its full potential. The gluten inside the dough is still working, or there are still some left inside the dough.
By letting it rise and giving it time to rest, the dough will eventually release the gluten inside. That way, it will not collect more flour, so the dough will easily slide out of the pizza peel.
Remember to give the dough an ample amount of time to rest to use up all the gluten inside it. That way, the gluten will not soak up the flour you put on the pizza peel and stick to it.
Semolina is another ingredient that you can use to transfer the pizza dough. While it tastes best with milk and sugar, semolina has many uses other than just a simple snack.
Semolina or semolina flour is a tasteless ingredient that can helps transfer your pizza into the oven. It is a good alternative for cornmeal as it does not have any special flavors to it.
Aside from not adding flavors to the dough, you also do not need a lot of it to easily make the pizza slide off the pizza peel. Semolina hardly sticks to the pizza peel or the pizza itself.
So if you want to use semolina on your pizza peel, you will only need a pinch or two and spread it all over. Place the pizza on the pizza peel and then transfer it to the oven like you used to.
The difference between semolina and cornmeal is mainly on the texture. Semolina does not have a gritty or rough texture compared to cornmeal, so the pizza slides off smoothly.
Compared to flour, semolina does not have the absorbing characteristics of flour. So, the dough’s moisture stays out of the semolina, therefore keeping it slippery on the surface.
Using parchment paper is not the most popular method of transferring your pizza to the oven. It is pretty simple, and you do not risk adding texture or flavors to the dough with this technique.
The trick is to place the parchment paper on the pizza peel before putting the pizza on top of the parchment paper. Slide them both into the pizza stone, and the pizza should not stick to the peel.
The parchment paper comes with the pizza into the oven, and it is great since some people even use parchment paper for cooking pizzas. However, this process can be a little bit tricky.
Using parchment paper to transfer the pizza into the oven is that it does not necessarily go out of the pizza oven when you use it. You need to cook with the pizza on it.
You can cook the pizza perfectly at the right temperature, but it is not that easy to do that. You need to make sure that the pizza cooks without the parchment paper sticking to it.
So I would not recommend using parchment paper unless you have been truly used to it and you know the temperature to cook on it with the pizza. I prefer the other options for this.
The main problem with cornmeal when you use it to transfer the pizza to the oven is that it adds texture and flavor to the dough, which can ruin both the consistency and the taste of the pizza.
That is why it is best to go with the alternatives and choose other ingredients to do the job. The ones that will not add any unnecessary texture and flavor to the pizza once cooked.
The ones listed above are the commonly available ingredients that are good and get the job done. So you can select the best one from them to slide your pizza easily into the oven and prevent it from sticking to the pizza peel.
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