Porter, +1 on the Roma tomatoes. Since you are getting serious about this pizza thing you should probably be aware that you can buy the world's best pizza flour on line with free shipping. It is Antimo Caputo 00 flour that is made in Naples and the darling of all the great Margherita pizza makers. It ain't necessarily cheap at 4 bags for $26.25 but what the hell. My account manager called to wish me a happy 75th birthday 4 years ago and reminded me that I had 41 years of income in my account and perhaps I should loosen up a bit. I did and am really enjoying it!
I changed from a stone to a pizza steel and found it has several advantages. Being lighter isn't one of them but it heats faster and holds heat longer as well as transferring heat to the pizza more quickly. Leaving it in the oven seems to create more thermal mass and seems to make things bake more evenly but that might be more opinion than fact. Yesterday's biscuits seemed to be more evenly baked top and bottom than they were without the steel.
Finding good mozzarella is a challenge here on the tundra but the soft stuff sold at Costco seems to be better than the average supermarket product.
We have a stone, had it for well over 15 years. It actually lives on the bottom rack of the oven full time and is nicely carburized/seasoned. I think leaving it on the bottom rack of a conventional electric oven (when not using it to cook pizza) does help the oven cook more evenly, it covers the element and I think eliminates hot spots right over the actual element filament.
Jut got back from picking up a few gallons of sauerkraut and 29 pounds of bulk smoked sausage a couple miles from out hours at the Verboort sausage festival. 25 freezer bags filled after a couple coffee/hot cocoa/brandy totties. Chunked up and fried then on a pizza doesn't suck. https://verboort.org/sausage-dinner
I forgot I had these pics. This was in one of our camps for PHWFF. I rarely do everything from scratch. So used premade pizza crust. Just used a roller to thin them out more. Made my own sauce though. Has definitely been a favorite in camp.
From another trip, my breakfast pizza. Again outside the crust I made it all from scratch. For these I used pita shells sold in freezer section of my wholesaler. Start with my sausage gravy, then top with a scramble (eggs, bacon, sausage, onions, and finely diced potatoes). Cover with cheese and toss into the pizza oven until cheese is melted and a nice crust on shell.
I just ate the best pizza I have ever made and probably the best I have ever eaten! And the first one made with the 00 Italian flour. I built the dough yesterday and kept it in the fridge to rise for 18 hours and then brought it out and gave it 3 hours to come to room temp. I bought fresh ground Italian sausage at the market on Monday and fried up a few ounces today and let that cool to room temp. Also bought fontina cheese and found some wet mozzarella and let that come to room temp also. For sauce I used 1/4 cup of EVOO into which I grated 3 cloves of garlic. Into this I added sliced Roma tomatoes and let it marinate for about 3 hours.
With everything at room temp I heated the oven until the pizza steel read 547 degrees on my surface thermometer. Using semolina to shape the dough in I discovered that the new flour with a long fermentation was much easier to handle than the flour I had been using before and quickly shaped into a near perfect circle. Time to dress. Using the garlic infused oil from the tomatoes I used that for sauce and placed the fontina on top of it. Over that the tomato slices were laid out just like you would with pepperoni. The tomatoes were salted and the whole dish seasoned with Penzy's pizza spice and oregano. On top of the tomatoes I placed the Italian sausage. More cheese sprinkled lightly over the top of that and the rest of the olive oil from the tomatoes drizzled over.
Into the hot oven with the steel near the bottom. It turns out that the 00 flour is more comfortable with very high heat and will not brown well at lower temps. In fact, it seems that it is not recommended for pizza use at under 500 degrees. I didn't realize that when I bought it nor does it say so anywhere but fortunately my oven gets up around 600. The crust came out beautifully browned and just perfect. I had thought that perhaps I had used too much garlic in the olive oil and tomatoes but the end result was just what I wanted. I would probably have to register as an incendiary device in several midwestern states right now but for sure more garlic is better than less.