"Honey, Is Something Burning?" yells the better half from the living room.
"Uh, nothing dear," I holler back from an increasingly smoke filled kitchen as I'm cranking open windows, turning on the bathroom fan and hoping that the shredded mozzarella that hit the oven floor, will extinguish itself before the smoke detectors start beeping.
So here's the scenario.
I'm making pizza.
I'm going for a real thin crust.
I spread the dough as thin as possible onto cornmeal on the peel.
Now, I have been using parchment paper, on the peel, to ease access onto the stone.
It's pretty much failsafe.
We had a discussion on Slice a while ago about this method.
The results were mixed. The purists said to use flour or cornmeal, while others stated that parchment was a perfectly acceptable means to prevent sticking etc.
Since I had an ample supply of parchment that's what I've been doing, until last night.
My good friend and fellow pizza maker DM Cavanagh got on my case in the talk thread above-His argument being that with practice using flour saves money, as parchment is expensive. I couldn't argue with the economics.
So last night (after running out of parchment paper) I used cornmeal on the peel.
As I said above I wanted a real thin, crisp crust. My spreading/stretching skills are much improved, so while I'm not tossing the dough in the air just yet, I can quickly stretch that dough into a big old disk.
Two problems here, my peel is basically a square, maybe a little rectangular, meant for smaller circular dough shapes.
I got over ambitious and stretched out a big old circle, then made it fit onto the peel.
That was mistake #1.
The peel in question.
Now I didn't take any pics of the dough on the peel because I didn't think I'd be posting, so let's move along to mistake # 2.
I suppose I could just say I had a moment of geometrical impairedness.
Basically, the pie was bigger than the stone and when I slid it on the stone, the right edge drooped over the side as did the far end, and cheese fell onto the 525 degree oven floor.
Hence the smoke and the better halfs inquiry which makes up this post title.
Well, all's well that ends well.
The cheese burned up rather quickly after producing a ridiculous amount of smoke, and the kitchen was smoke free in 20 minutes or so after ventilation.
The pizza came out really good, and for the most part, the crust was thin and crisp, except where it bunched up a bit during the transfer.
The pie on the stone.
Lesson learned. Make smaller pies. At least ones that fit the stone.
Measure twice, cut once!
Eat well my friends.