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A Better Dust for Your Peel: Semolina

By Cook's Illustrated Published January 2011

One of the keys to success in making any pizza is ensuring that your perfectly formed pie easily slides off the peel and onto the stone, without any rips or tears to the bottom of the crust.

To prevent the pizza dough from sticking to the peel, many recipes advise using cornmeal or bread crumbs. While both coatings work, they also leave a gritty or crunchy residue on the bottom of the pizza. We typically call for a generous dusting of flour, but even this isn’t the perfect solution, as too much flour on the peel can lend a dusty, raw-flour taste to the crust, while too little will allow the dough to stick. The best approach is to spring for a bag of semolina flour. This coarsely ground wheat doesn’t char as easily as all-purpose flour, so you can make two pies in succession without brushing off the stone. And almost any amount of semolina will allow pizza to release easily without leaving too gritty a residue.