I reread all the posts in this thread today to see if something of potential value to newbies might have been left out. About the only thing that I felt might be added is the way I usually bake most of my pizzas, including the Lehmann pizzas, in my home oven.
Home ovens are no match for commercial pizza ovens. Commercial deck ovens, which most closely correlate to the typical home oven, are specifically designed to bake pizzas. Hence, they are usually quite shallow. This is to allow more top heat to achieve the proper balance between the baking of the top and bottom of a pizza. By contrast, home ovens are intentionally designed to be deep (tall), so that all kinds of foods can be baked in them, including a giant turkey on Thanksgiving Day and traditional side dishes that can take up a good part of the oven space. So, in using a home oven to bake pizzas, one has to be creative and inventive. In effect, what you are trying to do is foreshorten the home oven to more closely simulate a commercial deck oven.
In my case, I typically use various combinations of pizza screen, pizza stone, oven rack position, and possibly the broiler element. If I wanted to make a pizza up to 14 inches in diameter, I would only need the stone. That is because 14 inches is the largest pizza size my particular pizza stone can handle (the stone is 14'' x 16"). The largest pizza that my oven can handle is 18 inches. So, if I want to make a pizza bigger than 14 inches, say, between 14 inches and 18 inches, that is where the pizza screen comes in. In fact, it's absolutely necessary in my oven.
When I use the screen/stone combination, my practice is to place the screen--with the dressed pizza on it, of course--on the top oven rack of my oven, which has been preheated for about an hour at around 500-550 degrees F. Once the crust starts to turn brown and the cheeses start to bubble (fortunately, my oven door has a window for me to see this), I shift the pizza off of the screen and onto the pizza stone (which, as noted below, is typically on the lowest oven rack position). At this stage, the pizza crust has set and is firm enough to permit shifting the pizza off of the screen and onto the stone (I then remove the screen from the oven). It doesn't matter at this point that the pizza overlaps the sides of the stone because it is rigid.
When using the stone alone, to work best, the stone, which I place on the lowest oven rack position, has to be very hot. It is for this reason that I preheat the oven at its highest oven temperature for one hour. As the pizza is baking on the stone, I watch it to see if the top is baking too slowly or too quickly, based on the colors of the crust and cheese. In my oven, it is usually the top of the pizza that needs more baking. So, somewhere along the way, usually after the bottom of the crust has turned brown, I move the pizza to the top oven rack position for further top crust browning. Sometimes, I will turn the broiler on after the pizza has been placed on the stone and then shift the pizza to the top oven rack position under the broiler for a final minute or so of baking. This method works best with doughs made with low protein flours (like unmalted 00 flours) that do not brown as much as doughs made using higher protein flours. With experience, it becomes second nature to know when to move the pizza around the oven and when to use the broiler.
There are many possible variations to the above approach. Some members turn on the broiler element at the same time as a pizza is deposited on the stone (there would be no use of a screen in this case). Some will also place the stone at the middle oven rack position of the oven. Others might place the stone at a higher oven position. A good example of this approach is shown in the thread at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,6585.msg56478.html#msg56478.
For a similar recommendation (plus a few other, more preferred, options), see Reply 3 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=9835.msg86426;topicseen#msg86426
. It is also possible to put the screen with the dressed pizza on it directly on the stone and remove the screen once the dough sets and is firm. Others will construct an "oven within an oven", using two stones on separate oven racks or tiles on different racks and at the sides, all in an effort to more closely simulate a commercial deck oven. In my oven, I prefer not to use two stones because I have a hard time seeing the pizza through the window in my oven door because the top stone shields the pizza from a clear view. Also, with two stones, it usually takes longer for the two stones to preheat to the desired temperature as compared with one stone. In all of the above cases, one has to learn how to control bake times and temperatures since they are likely to vary quite a bit from one arrangement to another. It is also important to keep in mind that not all broilers work the same. Some can be kept on at all times, whereas others, like mine, kick off at a certain temperature.
For those with gas ovens, it is also possible to place a stone, such as a soapstone stone, on the oven floor, place pans or sheets of aluminum foil on a middle rack position to seal off the top part of the oven, and preheat the stone for about an hour.
It is also possible to use just a screen by itself, as many of our members do. However, unless steps are taken to modify the dough formulation in some fashion, as by adding sugar or honey or other color-enhancing ingredients, the bottom crust may be lighter in color and it may be less crispy (because there is no searing effect as with a hot stone). A principal advantage of using only the screen, of course, is that it isn't necessary to preheat the oven for a prolonged period, as would be required if a stone were to be used. It is only necessary to heat the ambient air in the oven to the required temperature, which usually only takes around 10 to 15 minutes in most home ovens. This can be a real plus in the summertime since it dramatically reduces the time to bake the pizza. In using only the screen, it is also possible to move the pizza around in the oven to get more or less top or bottom crust coloration and a more complete bake. For example, one can start low in the oven or high in the oven and move the pizza as needed to achieve the desired final results. If needed, the broiler can also be used. When I use just a screen, I tend to put the pizza at the lowermost oven rack position until I achieve the desired finished crust coloration and then move the pizza to the topmost oven rack position if more top crust coloration is needed or a more complete bake (slight browning or melting of the cheese and cooking the toppings more completely). This is essentially the approach that I used to make Papa John's clone pizzas as described at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,6758.0.html
. The dough for those pizzas included a lot of oil and sugar and are American style rather than NY style but using just a screen worked well for that style even though one will not get an overly crispy bottom crust because of all of the sugar and oil.
Note: Edited from time to time to add new methods or variations.