The problem with the depth is that there is a lip on the rack such that if I placed the steel plate on it, especially in two pieces, they would not be flush. I guess I could see if the rack could be used on the reverse side so the pieces would sit flush on the rack. Then I could order a deeper plate. The other option is to order it wider and completely remove the rack and have the plates slide directly on the shelve slots.
I've never seen a rack with a lip that could be successfully flipped. I think they make the racks this way on purpose to prevent people from putting the racks in wrong.
It's difficult to tell from the photo, but rack lips tend to be less than an inch. Your published spec and your quick measurement involve a 3 inch difference, though. If the rack is robbing 3 inches from your depth, then I would suggest removing it. You can buy 4 lengths of steel bar, run the bars from shelf lip to shelf lip and sit the plates on those.
Air flow is critical on the sides, so you can't go wider/run the steel plate all the way across. You want at least an inch clearance between each side wall and the plate.
And, yes, hot rolled steel is what you want.
I'm going to ask if I should try Lehmann's NY style recipe versus the one I've been using from Peter Reinhart's book, American Pie? I have had good results with that but I've had tearing issues which I know what to do to prevent it next time. I have only used KASL and plan on it since I have a few bags to get through before my big purchase. Any advice on a brand (unbleached and non-bromated) that I should try? I like HG flours for both my NY and Sicilian pies...
Mary Ann, normally when people are happy with a recipe, I don't rain on their parade, but, since you're soliciting advice
American Pie is a horrible book. Reinhart is great for bread, but not that knowledgeable when it comes to pizza. The Lehmann recipe is good, as is the recipe of mine that JD linked to (they're really not that different).
If you use my recipe, you need to go with an appropriate protein content for the flour. You can either work with KABF or you can dilute your KASL with some all purpose (Walmart or Heckers 50/50). Neither approach is ideal, though. This will probably ruffle some feathers, but if I had KASL, unless I knew I would be making bagels soon, I'd probably throw it out. That's what I did with my leftover All Trumps when I bought my bag of Spring King. Toss the KASL (or make bagels with it), buy Best Bakers and don't look back.
Did you get yours in two pieces?
JD pioneered the two piece process