There is no denying that to make the best pizza, you must let things get a little messy, but that doesn’t mean that when you are making pizza, it should be difficult. A common problem with pizza making is that when you put the pizza onto the stone, it can stick.
The good news is that you can cook pizza on parchment paper, also known as a baking sheet but not always on aluminum foil. However, there are some downsides to using parchment paper such as not getting such a crisp base, and you would when cooking directly on the pizza stone. But it will stop the pizza dough from sticking.
In this post, we will be giving you some advice on how to get the best pizza results by cooking pizza on parchment paper or aluminum foil. You will still be able to get that delicious crisp pizza crust and a golden-brown dough that turns out just as the recipes suggest it will.
Things To Keep In Mind When Using Parchment Paper
If you have chosen to get cooking with parchment paper, the baking sheet may fall apart when it is in the pizza oven – this is down to the high heat in the pizza oven. As a result, if you do not use the correct method, you may find that you end up with a small piece of parchment paper on your pizzas.
That being said, if you use parchment paper, this is a great way to transfer the pizza onto the stone without any mess. However, you should remember that the way parchment works will have an effect on the pizzas, and while you will still get a nice pizza crust, your pizza base may not turn out in the way that the recipes suggest, being less crisp when sitting on a cookie sheet.
Can You Cook Pizza On Parchment Paper?
In short, you can cook pizza on parchment paper when using a pizza stone. Pizza stones are not meant to be used in this way, but a lot of people make pizza this way as it is easier and will make sure that the pizza dough doesn’t stick to the pizza stone.
Whether you are using a convection oven or a pizza oven, you can use parchment paper to transfer the pizza into the oven and onto the pizza stone. But if you do not like this way of cooking, you can use a pizza peel, sometimes called a pizza paddle to move the food onto the baking stone.
If you choose to do it this way, you should use flour to coat the pizza peel as this will prevent the raw pizza dough from sticking. Corn meal flour is one of the best ways to stop the dough from sticking to a pizza peel and is used in pizza making around the world. If you do not have corn meal flour, you might also use semolina – whichever way you choose, it is important to use flour.
This is because the pizza stone will get very hot in the oven before cooking, and this is to help achieve the best crust and cook the pizza quickly. But at this heat, it would never be wise to use your hands to transfer the food into the oven.
If you are using a regular oven, you will likely make pizza on a pizza pan, and this raises the problem of whether you can use parchment paper with the pizza pan. The good news is that you can use parchment paper with a pizza pan. It is as simple as taking a baking sheet and lining the pizza pan.
However, much like using a pizza stone, you should be aware the while the crust and toppings will still cook to a lovely golden brown colour in a baking pan, the bottom of the pizza may not be as crisp as you would see in the pizza recipes.
Parchment paper is designed to be used in an oven – and whether you call it a cookie sheet, baking paper or any other name, you will be pleased to know that it works well with moisture and won’t burn on the oven rack. You can use parchment paper to cook on a cast iron pan or simply to line the oven rack – although doing this may be a little tricky and using your pizza peel to lift the pizza off the oven rack might be a wise idea.
You should be mindful not to confuse a piece of parchment paper with wax paper which is something else commonly used in cooking. If you placed this at the bottom of a pizza pan and put the pan in the oven, it would likely burn. The reason for this is that unlike the parchment paper you would use to make pizza, wax paper is not moisture and heat-resistant.
How To Cook Pizza On Parchment Paper
Using parchment is one of the greatest ways to cook your pizza if you do not want to place it directly into the oven, but using this method of baking does require a special approach. Following these simple tips will allow you to bake the perfect pizza without compromising on that authentic crust or ending up with a soggy base.
- The pizza stone needs to be really hot in order to get the best results, so do not be afraid to allow it to heat up to the maximum before even thinking about popping your pizza on top of it. For the greatest results, you should leave the stone in the oven and allow it to heat up for at least forty minutes, although, if you are really pushed for time, you could reduce this to half an hour.
- Stretch your pizza dough while you are waiting for the oven to heat up the stone and prepare your toppings – but don’t add them to the base just yet.
- Once this is done, you can now cut your parchment to the desired size. The pizza should be able to fit nicely onto it with a little room around the edge – an inch will suffice, you do not want to use too much.
- Lay the paper down onto the kitchen countertop and place the dough on top. You can now load the pizza base with your favourite sauce, cheese and any other toppings. Always keep in mind that using too many toppings, especially ones that contain a high level of moisture can cause your pizza bottom to become floppy and moist. It is better to use fewer toppings, particularly if you won’t be placing the pizza directly on the stone.
- There are two ways in which you can put the pizza into the oven – if you are using a normal oven, you should pick up the parchment at the corners and pull out the rack, gently placing the parchment down either onto the rack itself or your favourite pizza pan. We would advise using a pan as this will mean less mess. In contrast, if you are using an outdoor wood-fired oven, you will need to pick up the parchment with the pizza on top onto your peel.
- A peel with a long handle will serve you best as this is the safest method to get the pizza into the oven. Slide the pizza off the peel with the parchment.
- Allow the pizza to cook for half of the cooking time before you spin it around using your peel so that it can bake evenly. At this point, many people find that removing the parchment is a good idea. The food will have baked enough that it will no longer be moist and so will not stick to the base of the oven but with the remaining baking time, you will then be able to achieve a base that is as crisp as the crust.
- It is important to keep in mind that the time it takes for the pizza to bake will depend on the type of oven that you are using. An outdoor wood-fired oven typically takes far less time to fully cook the pizza, usually around 2 minutes. However, if you are using your normal kitchen oven, the process may take between 10 and 15 minutes, so do keep this in mind when following this method.
Can I Use Foil Instead Of Parchment Paper For Pizza?
If you have used parchment paper and found it to be difficult then you might have wondered if using aluminum foil would be best – you can use foil to cook pizza both on a pizza stone and in a pizza pan in both a wood-fired oven and regular fan oven. But there are some things you should keep in mind.
Years ago, home pizza chefs may have reached for the foil but would likely have noticed that the bottom of their pizza just wasn’t as crisp as the crust. The reason for this is that the heat transfer is not as good as when using a cookie sheet on your pizza stone.
Nothing terrible will happen if you make pizza using foil on your pizza stone or pan, but when you look at how this method affects the dough, you might reconsider.
One of the best things about homemade pizza is that perfectly risen crust and a pizza bottom to die for, but when you put foil on your pizza stone or pan, the bottom won’t cook in the same way as pizzas that have been placed directly onto the stone.
As we mentioned, the heat cannot transfer to the bottom of the pizzas as effectively, and this is because the foil will reflect heat rather than draw it in. Pizza dough needs to be placed on a hot pizza stone so that the dough can start to cook quickly. This is why a wood-fired oven is the best way to cook pizzas as the fire will get the pizza stone nice and hot for that perfect combination of a fluffy crust and evenly cooked bottom.
Furthermore, when you use foil on your pizza stone or pan instead of parchment, the moisture cannot be drawn out of the dough as easily. Dough is full of moisture but to get a nice crust and perfect pizzas, this moisture needs to be drawn out during the cooking process. Foil does not allow for this, and you will end up with a pizza that has a soggy base.
Of course, there is an even better method for using foil; you may wish to place a piece of floured foil onto your pizza peel as you transfer the pizza onto the pizza stone, this will prevent it from sticking but will also allow it to cook on the stone without the quality being affected.
Is It Better To Use Aluminum Foil Or Parchment Paper?
The topic of this post is to explore whether you can cook pizza dough on foil or parchment in the oven and whilst it is possible to use both methods, you will always get a better result when placing the fresh dough covered in your favourite toppings onto a preheated pizza stone or pan without anything underneath.
This is because the pizza needs to bake on a super-hot stone. This type of food needs to cook quickly and using anything on top of the stone takes away some of the heat. Whilst a sheet of parchment is preferable to some foil, using neither will give you the best results.
If you feel that inserting the pizza into the oven on a floured peel is not the best method for you and you want to use something to line the pan or stone, we would advise going to parchment.
There are several things that might affect how well aluminum works, but for the most part, the dough will not cook as well, and you will get a soggy pizza base. Some of the factors that might have an impact on this could be as follows;
- The time between cooking the pizzas. If you are cooking in a wood-fired oven and the stone has not been given the right amount of time to reheat, placing a pizza onto it as well as that extra layer of foil will mean that the heat has even more trouble distributing and the meal will likely be far more moist and soggy.
- Even if no other pizzas have been cooked on the stone beforehand, if it has not been left to heat up for long enough, this will also have an effect on the overall baking results. You should always be mindful to give your outdoor wood-fired oven plenty of time to get hot. The oven door should be kept closed whilst it reaches the correct temperature, and then you should allow plenty of airflow as the pizza cooks.
- The time that each pizza spends on the stone will also determine the outcome. Cooking on foil sheets will mean that you won’t get the most incredible results, and the base will likely have at least a little moisture. Baking like this causes the food to be steamed at the bottom rather than receiving direct baking heat from the stone, which is what dough requires to become crispy. Of course, you could leave it longer before you take the peel and remove it, but this could cause the toppings to burn.
How Do You Keep Pizza From Sticking To Foil?
One of the most common problems that people face when baking pizza at home is that when they use foil, the pizza will stick to it, and this can be extremely messy.
We know the pain of this, and there has been one too many home chefs who have taken their pizza out of the oven expecting a beautiful crust and perfectly melted toppings only to find that the whole thing is a disaster because their meal is not stuck to the foil. Short of flipping this pizza upside down and peeling off the stuck-on metal sheet, your only other choice is to discard the pizza and start all over again, but of course, this is something of an inconvenience.
If you must bake your pizza on some foil, then there are ways that you can prevent it from sticking – whether you are using a peel or placing the pizza onto foil on the stone.
Flour is one of the best things to use if you want to avoid the pizza from sticking to the foil in the oven. This dry ingredient will soak up any moisture which can cause the dough to adhere to the surface of the aluminum. As we mentioned earlier, corn meal flour or semolina are the most effective types of flour to use for this purpose, but regular flour will also work well.
You might also spray a touch of cooking spray oil onto the foil once it is placed on the peel or stone, this will allow it to slide off once you are ready to eat.
Making pizza at home is one of life’s little luxuries – it’s nice to eat out at a restaurant, but there is something special about creating your very own meal from scratch using raw ingredients and a wood-fired oven to finish the recipe.
However, there is a lot to keep in mind when baking pizza at home and one of the major issues faced by home pizza chefs is that the dough will stick to the stone of pizza pan. Not only is this frustrating, but it can also result in lots of food being wasted when pizzas need to be discarded.
Using parchment or foil is one method to prevent the pizza from sticking. Still, it is important to remember that this will affect the baking results with the base of the pizza becoming soggy when compared to baking without it. Parchment will see fewer problems so it always preferable, and in this post, we have detailed the best method for using a baking sheet as well as some great information on the subject.