It wasn't perfect. Making pizzas at home without a peel...But it was fun and they were tasty!
...and beautiful, at least before the bake. Four 12 inch rounds of whole grain yeasted dough topped with a rich tomato sauce, some fresh mozzarella, some basil, all sitting so nicely on the counter.
Now, how to get them to the blazing hot pizza stone in the oven? Hmmm. This is where I realized I should have formed the pizza ON the peel, that I don't own. Oh well, easy to remedy: For attempt #1 I grabbed my biggest bbq flipper in one hand, my 5-inch wide mini-peel I bought on a trip to France (more decorative than useful, as it turns out) in the other and moved fast hoping for the best. Not so lucky. This attempt resulted in a baguette shaped "calzone" of pizza filling mostly making its way to the pizza stone. While gearing up to sling #2 in the same manner, I heard a voice of reason from somewhere over to my right, "Stop. Let's think for a minute." Oh, the magic words every fiber in my Type-A body longs to hear during such heights of adrenaline surge...!
The remaining little pizzas had a better chance of baking off into recognizeable pizza shapes after we used almost every available large, flat-surfaced item in the kitchen as a peel stand-in. The best improvised peel was an upside down cookie sheet pan. We formed the pizza (*) on the backside of the cookie sheet sprinkled with a little corn meal. This pan topped w/pizza we then placed into the oven for a partial bake; just until the crust hardened up enough to move it from the metal pan directly to the pizza stone for the last few minutes. (If you have a real, pizza-sized peel, congratulations! Use it. It is worth the storage inconvenience.)Whole Wheat and Barley Flour Pizza Dough
1 envelope active dry yeast
1 3/4 cups warm water (90 - 105 degrees)
1/2 teaspoon sugar
3 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1 cup barley flour
2 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
In a large bowl (I use the mixing bowl from my Kitchen Aid stand mixer), mix yeast with 1/2 cup of the warm water and sugar and let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes. Add remaining 1 1/4 cups water, the flours and salt. Mix with paddle until soft dough forms. Switch out paddle for dough hook and mix about 5 - 8 minutes, adding a little more barley flour to make a soft, not too wet dough. (Wet dough is sticky dough. Sticky dough doughn't really slide onto the pizza stone.)
Transfer dough to a lightly-floured work surface and knead a few times to assess moisture content (adding a little more barley flour, as needed) then form into ball shape and place in a lightly oiled bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and put in the fridge overnight. (Punch down dough in the morning if you are going to leave it in the fridge until dinner time the next day.)
This amount of dough makes 4, 12 inch pizzas.
Form and bake on pizza stone, 475 degree oven for about 12 minutes or until bottom of crust in nicely browned and cheese is bubbly to your satisfaction. Enjoy!