Q: My dough seems to stick to the peel when I try to get it in the oven. How can I get it off without ruining the shape of my bread?
A: As the dough sits on the cornmeal or other flour it will be absorbed into the wet dough and cause the dough to stick. Aaargh! To prevent this you can either add more cornmeal to the peel or use a sheet of parchment instead. If you form your loaf and put it on a sheet of parchment you can eliminate the cornmeal or flour all together. Just place the parchment on the peel and slide it right onto the stone. You can bake the bread entirely on the parchment or remove it near the end of baking. This will also help if you have been having trouble with smoking cornmeal on the bottom of your oven.
Q: When I bake the bread on parchment the bottom crust doesn’t seem to brown nicely, what can I do?
A: If you find that the bottom crust of your bread is not browning as well as you’d like you can remove the parchment and finish baking directly on the stone.
When we were on the Splendid Table with Lynne Rossetto Kasper she told us her trick of getting nice color on the bottom of the loaves. She flips the bread over and bakes it up-side down for the last 5-10 minutes of baking. It works like a charm!