Equipment: Baking Stone, Pizza Peel

Pizza Margherita

Pizza Margherita

by Cat, Jan 2008 (photo, right, from Wikimedia Commons)

Includes: 1. How to use a Pizza Peel and Baking Stone; 2. Online sources

I’m learning how to make authentic European breads such as focaccia, ciabatta, and  pizza dough. All of these require a very hot oven, preferably wood-fired, and instead of baking in a loaf pan, they are shaped free-form and baked on the hot stone (or a baking stone if using a gas or electric home oven). A pizza peel is handy to transfer the baked bread from oven to cooling spot.

If you don’t have a well-stocked kitchen store where you live, you can purchase these online.

How to Use a Pizza Peel and Baking Stone

  1. Place baking stone on a lower rack in your oven.  Preheat to 5000 F, or as hot as it will go.  it will take about 45 minutes for the stone to get hot.
  2. For pizza, shape the crust on the peel (or shape crust by tossing and pulling, then place on the peel), then add toppings.
  3. Test to ensure your pizza is not stuck on the peel by using short jerks to move the peel forward and backward — the pizza should easily slide around. If it sticks, lift it up on one side with your fingers and throw a little flour or cornmeal underneath.  Slide peel back and forth to loosen the pizza.
  4. To transfer bread or pizza to hot stone, push peel toward the stone, then stop it just short of the back edge, allowing the bread/pizza to slide off the peel while pulling backward.
  5. After baking, slide the peel under the bread or pizza and remove. Transfer pizza to plate or platter; transfer bread to cooling surface.

Sources for Pizza and other Hot Oven Baking Equipment:

You will need some special equipment and ingredients for these old-world breads (recommendations are from Food & Wine magazine):

  • Pizza peel: All wood versions, All-aluminum versions (I don’t recommend this) and synthetic versions at Williams & Sonoma (2) and Sur La Table (3).
  • Baking stone: FibraMent Baking Stone available at baking (4). Also Williams & Sonoma (2) and Sur La Table (3) have several options.


  1. Food and Wine Magazine
  2. Williams & Sonoma ( for pizza peels and baking stones  (several options)
  3. Sur La Table ( for pizza peels and baking stones (several options)
  4. has baking stones for home ovens, commercial ovens and grills


About Cat

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