I'd like to add one other issue that may have been missed as people here talk about how the restaurants/pizzerias make your favorite pizza and what equipment and ingredients are "necessary" for the home pizza maker. Regardless of what kind of pizzas are made in your favorite pizzeria, we as home pizza makers have all kinds of advantages over the pros. Yes, they have vastly more experience and access to ingredients and equipment we may not have. On the other hand, we have so many other things going for us:
- We don't have to worry about making a profit. This alone gives us enormous freedom to make the best pizza we can and not have to worry about surviving. Many people consider pizza to be "fast food" which means low cost and low margin.
- We don't have to worry about health codes, building inspectors, restaurant critics, lawsuits from employees and customers, etc.
- We don't have to make sure we have enough proofed dough and other ingredients for the upcoming shift, but not so much that there is waste. Home pizza makers can know exactly how many pizzas they'll be making and have just the right amount of everything on hand. If someone is hungry, well open up the damn fridge and make yourself something else.
- We don't have to rely on low-skilled, low-paid, high-turnover employees to make our consumers happy.
- We can experiment and tweak and often fail and our consumers will probably still love us.
For the pro, all of these issues and more conspire to make it very tough to turn out a high-quality product at a profit. There are high-end places like Chris Bianco's, whose success may somewhat aided by the dearth of decent pizzerias in his area. And there are "low end" (I hate to call it that) in places like Naples where the locals are so demanding that any place less than excellent will go out of business unless it caters to tourists. MaybeNew York is like that also but there is so much bad (IMHO) pizza in New York that you have to wonder.
Anyway, I'd hate to be a pro and even though my concept of great pizza has its roots in some of the pies I enjoyed as a youth, my mission is to produce the best pizzas I can for me, my family, and friends using whatever ingredients and equipment give me the best results. I don't want t be a pro or bake like the pros.