Here's some feedback, suggestions and checklist items, as requested:
Looks like you had pretty decent results.
Using cold dough or a slow yeast rise can cause a really thin and overly sturdy, and less pie-like crust.
Did you do a first rise in a warm place for at least 1-2 hours before you put it in the fridge?
Did you give the dough time to warm up after taking it out of the fridge?
Don't expect much rising to happen during refrigeration.
Refrigeration slows down yeast activity. If you like your dough on the puffy side, you might want to skip refrigeration altogether and just punch down the dough every few hours until you're ready to use it.
Different brands of tomatoes vary in the amount of water they have in them. If the brand you use gives you a watery pie, you'll need to strain them, even 10 minutes can help. You can always speed up the process a bit by pressing on the tomatoes in the strainer with a spoon.
Try not to use too much tomato sauce on your pie. Start with a small amount in the center (for a 9" pie, start with maybe 8 oz of sauce) and with a ladle (or your clean hands), work the tomatoes out to the edge. You can always add a little more if you think your pie needs it.
Use mozzarella that tastes good before you bake it in a pizza. I like Stella brand that you can get from many deli counters, but also have used Boars Head, Kraft, Sargento, and Jewel-Osco (SuperValu) and Mariano's (Roundy's) store brands, . Some store brands are better than others. I've also been a fan of the 5lb block of Bakers & Chefs brand (Stella) mozzarella that you can often get from Sam's Club.
Also, consider using more than one kind of cheese.
I've used provolone, swiss, cheddar, wisconsin brick, white american, and even gruyere in combination with mozzarella.
I suggest a single overlapping layer of cheese as a starting point, but you can certainly use more.
Try not to go overboard though, or you may end up with a river of cheese when you try to take it out of the pan.
I'm not sure if you used it, but if you are using the speed-bake feature on your oven... STOP.
Don't use speed-bake with deepdish. It over-bakes parts of the pizza before other parts are done.
All in all, it seems like minor adjustments will get you where you want to be.
Good luck with your next one!
Made my 2nd pizza ever....today. I followed the recipe on realdeepdish.com for a 9" pie.
It was very good and I had to stop myself from eating the whole thing! I made some mistakes that I wanted to talk about so perhaps some here can give advice on how to improve the pizza (see pics below!). Ingredients were: Walmart's Crushed Tomatoes in Puree (excellent taste!), Walmart's Low Moisture part-Skim Mozzarella, KA AP flour, veg oil, olive oil, a pinch of salt, ADY, a pinch of dried leaves of Basil and Oregano.
- I think I should've left the pizza in a little longer because the sauce was a little runny/watery. I tried to drain it but I didn't want to wait an hour or whatever it takes to do that. It seemed the sauce got sweeter after baking (something I've seen mentioned in the forums here, as well).
- Walmart Tomatoes in Puree
- didn't care for it too much. The cheese seemed to not much of a flavor and felt "dry" and a bit too elastic. I will try Polly-o next. I also think I need to add more cheese. I only put one layer.
- this is where I made my major mistake. I made the dough ball this morning and put it in the fridge for 7hrs. When I got home, I noticed it did not rise at all. Also, the crust was very hard to cut with a fork after baking. is this because the dough didn't rise during proofing? Since I'm new to kneading, I think I also didn't knead it correctly.
All in all, a very enjoyable experience and I look forward to making the next one! I have 6n1 and Polly-o for the next along with Semolina.