So, I've been making my own pizza for about 2 years now, but the improvements I've been able to achieve over the last few batches are almost entirely due to the knowledge gained from discovering and reading this forum. I'm still not completely zeroed in on where I want to be, but I now have a much better framework for getting there.

As a way of saying thank you, I'd like to share the spreadsheet I put together to help manage the process. First, I enter a Diameter in inches and a Thickness value (standard value is 0.1, but I find that is too much, so I'm down around 0.085 now) and it will compute a desired ball weight using the formula which I got from Pete-zza. Next, I enter a # of balls and a Shrinkage compensation (a small amount to compensate for dough that sticks to the mixing bowls, dough hook, fingers, etc.) and it will compute the weight for the whole batch. I try to adjust the number of balls to be near the 4.5 pound capacity of my KitchenAid mixer as I find that it gets the best kneading action that way. Too little dough and it just spins in place on the hook. Besides, it's the same mess whether I make one pizza or 5, so I like to keep the pizza/mess ratio as high as I can.

Finally, I enter my desired baker's percentages for each ingredient and it computes the weights to measure out for adding to the mixer. Yellow fields are computed and should not be adjusted. Everything else is fair game.

I find it's easier to just use grams since there's no way to get my kitchen scale to output only ounces. I'm stuck with pounds and ounces, which doesn't work well when the spreadsheet calls for, say 41oz of flour. However, I've included both versions for people that are averse to using grams.

What I've been doing is making a new copy of the calculations for each time I make dough. There's a section for adding the date and notes so that I end up with a log of exactly what I did, what the results were, and what I think I should try next time. Hopefully this helps others who want to use non-standard sizes (I use 15") and isn't too complicated for the beginner to see what's going on. It's not set up to handle a starter, but I did include fields for oil and sugar even though I don't use either of them. Adding additional ingredients to the list should be pretty easy for those who need to.

http://www.knoo.com/pizza/PizzaDough-ts.xlsAgain, thank you to everyone who has gotten me to where I am now. I think I'm pretty close to reaching the limit of what's possible without circumventing the safety lock on my oven's clean cycle. My cooking process involves 2 minutes on a screen at the very top of my oven, followed by 3 minutes bare on a stone at the floor of the oven to char the crust, followed by another 3 minutes on the top rack with the broiler turned on. Soon, I'm guessing I'll hack that latch off and try working with a really hot oven....

-Todd