aqua fortis

Friday, January 20, 2012

How to Make Pizza Without the Crust Sticking to the Parchment Paper

I'm writing this post for two reasons. 1. So I don't forget that this method worked incredibly, amazingly well, and 2. Because I couldn't find adequate information online and had to do some experimentation based on what little information I did find, and I'm trying to save others a little guesswork.

Okay. So you're having issues making homemade pizza because the crust sticks to the parchment paper, regardless of how much flour you use. When you try to take it off after baking, bits and pieces stick to the bottom of the pizza. But you don't want to bake directly on the stone because often there is topping leakage. (I know, I know; that "seasons" the stone. But let's say your husband really doesn't want to clean the stone afterward when it's got baked-on toppings.) Well, thanks to some suggestions by Gnancy on The Baking Circle, tonight I came up with a method to try. And, lo and behold, it worked perfectly.

Here's what I did:
  1.  Preheated the oven to 500 F, with the stone inside and in position. Then after about 30 minutes, I reduced the heat to 450.
  2.  Once the pizza dough was ready (depending on your dough recipe) and stretched into shape, I set it on a floured cutting board and brushed it with oil. 
  3.  Then I put the crust on a nonstick cookie sheet that I had sprayed with plenty of cooking spray.
  4.  I pre-cooked the pizza crust for about 4 minutes--putting the cookie sheet directly onto the baking stone. While it cooked, I prepared the pizza peel with a sheet of parchment paper liberally sprinkled with flour.
  5.  I took out the cookie sheet, dislodged the pizza crust using a plastic spatula, and set the crust onto the floured parchment paper.
  6.  I put the toppings on the pizza, slid the parchment paper sheet onto the baking stone, and then baked it for another 10-12 minutes or so.
After I removed the pizza (on the parchment) using the pizza peel and let it cool for a minute or two, I used the spatula to dislodge it from the parchment and slide it onto a cutting board. It just slid right off. I have never had such an easy time getting the pizza off the parchment paper. And the texture was just fine.

I think the issue stems from the fact that the parchment paper sort of "bakes into" the bottom of the crust and doesn't hold up well at high heat.

In case you're curious, I made an experimental pizza from James McNair's New Pizza cookbook--Tandoori chicken pizza. I was afraid it might be weird, but it was REALLY good. Highly recommended.


adrienne said...


Now I want to make pizza.