To finally resolve the bottleneck of the pizza peel, I decided to make some wooden paddles, the like of which I saw being used at a German Christmas market last December to mass-produce flammkuechen.
So I bought a sheet of 6mm exterior WBP plywood (2.4m x 0.6m, simultaneously the smallest they sell and the biggest I could fit in the car) from Wickes, and using one of my metal peels as a template, I cut out ten (yes, 10) wooden paddles. After a thorough sanding and dressing with oil, they certainly look the part, and on their first outing at the weekend they proved very effective.
Now everyone can build their own pizza on a floured paddle, leaving the long-handled metal peel for the ovenmaster to wield. The finished pizzas slip easily off the paddle and onto the semolina-dusted peel. The cooked pizza could also be returned to the paddle for consumption, though it's best not to cut on them as the outer ply is very thin and can't really take it.
One tip I have if anyone wants to do this is to use food-safe white mineral oil for dressing the boards. I was all set to use linseed oil, or even Danish oil, but thank goodness I checked, only to learn that neither of those are safe for food use. Also don't use a food oil such as olive oil or even walnut oil, as it will go rancid.
I thought Danish Oil was foodsafe! We have it on our kitchen worktops ... Found this ... and as I've never had a problem
What is it? Tried & True Danish Oil is pure, highly refined Polymerized Linseed Oil. It is 100% solids, solvent free, and contains no heavy metal driers.
What do I use it on? Danish Oil is a good choice for any wood work where you want a satin finish. This would include cabinets, paneling, and furniture. Use Danish Oil on kitchenware, cutting boards, and children's furniture, since it is food safe and non-toxic. Because Danish Oil is inexpensive and the coverage is 600 sq. ft./gallon, it is very economical to use.
How do I use it? Apply a thin coat.(This is not a flood and soak finish!). Allow the Danish Oil to penetrate for about 5 minutes. Wipe off excess. Buff dry. Recoat in 24 hours. Consult the label for instructions on disposing wiping cloths.
How many coats do I use? Two or three coats is typical for most applications. Danish Oil will build up more protection after 3 coats, but it will not increase sheen.
How do I maintain it? Polymerized Linseed Oil gets harder and more durable with age. Buff occasionally with a soft cloth.
Personally I would use it on the paddles, but there you go
I've been baking all (well nearly!) our bread for longer than I can remember - I still enjoy it I enjoy cooking and eating the pizzas as much, if not more ...
hi, I love these paddle plates!! i have set my dad the task of re creating them!! what size are they?? not got my paddle yet so cant copy the size, plus my dad lives 100miles from me!!! only 18 days til the party and only 4 more days til our first curing fire!!! so excited!!
There's no science to the sizing of these paddles -- it was just a function of how many suitable sized boards I could cut from my sheet of ply. The main part measures about 30cm square. The handle is another 14/15 cm long, and about 5cm wide.
Using a circular saw, I cut the sheet of ply into 10 boards each 30 x 45cm, marked out the final shape on one of them, then clamped them all together and cut through the whole stack of them using a fretsaw. If I'd had a working electric jigsaw I'd have used that and saved myself a couple of hours and an aching arm.
I rounded the edges using an abrasive drum on a Dremel hand tool, then each board was then sanded off using an orbital sander before oiling.
Pizza paddles in naples are made in a little workshop in the back streets near the central station in the historic centre. I was here last year and they will make anything out of metal while you wait or come back in a few hours. There is a great market nearby and some great pizza sellers & street food. This place is ancient If you go to google maps, put in the coordinates below in the search bar, hit enter, click the picture then on the main screen on the right you can look at their wares.
ps, keep your hand on your wallet in naples even from google maps, you have been warned
Great idea, will definitely be having a go at those! Ikea currently have some great chopping boards at £8 but they need oiling and are therefore also selling a food safe BEHANDLA Oil I think its £5.99 but only instore not available online.