Baking Pizza – Sticking ProblemsDavid P. Vella
What causes a pizza to stick to a pan? The most common reason is the dough itself; however, this is not the only cause. Getting sauce or cheese on the pan is another culprit. Take the pizza off with a spatula the best you can. It will still taste great. To remove the remnants stuck to the pan just soak in warm water with a bit of dish soap for an hour or so, and everything should come off without scouring.
Why does pizza stick to pure food grade aluminum pans? Well, the answer is simple. Crown Cookware pure food grade aluminum pans have no artificial plastic release coating however with a little “Pizza Know How” you will have your pizzas sliding right off the pan like a pro. Just like learning to ride a bike or drive a car, you can learn the simple way the pros use. First, understand that “Pure Food Grade Aluminum” is AL on the periodic scale. This is aluminum the way nature intended it to be. The stickiness is not because of the pan, it’s because of the dough. Once you understand this you will be making pizza like a pro.
Pizza dough is made from flour, water, yeast, some sugar, and salt. Flour and water when mixed is very sticky and gluey. This is the gluten in the flour that serves a very important purpose when making pizza. Gluten is the bonding agent that holds the whole dough together and allows for the bubbles formed by the yeast to stay suspended in the dough giving you the light fluffy textured crust.
When rolling dough you would use flour to keep the dough from sticking to the rolling pin, and your counter. This works because the flour dries up the surface of the dough so the gluten loses its adhesion qualities. Dough that has been rolled in flour and is not sticky to the touch can then be placed in the pan without the worry of sticking to the pan. Be certain your pan has no water residue that will make the dough sticky again.
Do I have to season my new pans?
The simple answer is no, however, seasoning offers two benefits to a pan. First, the yellowing effect increases the abortion of the heat in your oven. If you remember in high school science class, dark objects absorb heat faster than shiny objects. The second benefit of seasoning is the release properties so your dough doesn’t stick so easily to the pan. You should still flour your dough surface to ensure proper release.
Pans do season over time just from use. The way I do it is roll out the dough with flour. Ensure the base of the dough is dry to the touch and spray a thin layer of non-stick cooking spray on the surface of the pan just before placing the dough on the pan. Dress the pizza and place it into the oven. It will come sliding right off when ready.
How to season a pan.
Warning: Seasoning your pans is not difficult if done correctly. It is important to follow the recipe properly to ensure success. You must know how to operate an oven safely and be a responsible adult of over 18 years of age. Ovens are inherently dangerous and can cause injury or fire when not operated correctly. Don’t be in a rush to season your pans. Make sure you have nothing else on your calendar that will interrupt the process. Keep children at a safe distance. Pans will be very hot and will burn unprotected flesh.
Use regular basic vegetable oil. Don’t use high temp oils such as fryer oil, grape seed oil, or peanut oil for seasoning. These oils do not dry up so easily and will stay wet or sticky and not result in a seasoned pan.
Clean and wash your new pans with mild soap and water, and air dry on a rack.
Arrange your oven racks, in your oven before preheating
When pans are dry, preheat your oven to 450 F
Prepare your oil in a small bowl and soak a paper towel in the oil.
Wait for your oven to reach full temperature before oiling your first pan.
Then use the paper towel to coat oil on your pan by wiping the surface of the pan. Just wipe a thin even coat of oil. Don’t make the pan dripping wet. For pizza pans, you can do both sides of the pan, if you choose to do so then coat both sides so the seasoning completes together.
Immediately place your pan in your hot oven and leave the door closed for approximately 8 to 10 minutes. Don’t walk away from your oven, pay attention to the pan. The oil on the pan will start smoking at about the 8 – 10-minute mark. Let it smoke for 30 – 40 seconds then remove and place it on a cooling rack. Let the pan air cool to the touch and then repeat the process several times.
Your pan should develop a yellow layer of dried oil with each cycle. If the oil you’re using does not start smoking in the 8 – 10-minute window then the oil is not suitable or the oven is not 450 F.
- Cutting Your Hot Pizza
Slide your hot pizza onto a cutting board for cutting. This way you save your pan for baking. When cutting slices, first cut down the center of the pie so you have two halves. Then at 90 do another cut down the center so you have 4 equal slices. Then cut each quarter in half again to finish with 8 slices.
- Expert Advice
Your oven temperature is not always what your oven may say it is. It is best to use an oven thermometer to know the true temperature of your oven.