Starting out as you are, and based on what you have said, I would recommend that you go with the deep-dish style and the American style, which is basically a Papa John’s style. For now, I would limit myself to maybe a 9-inch deep-dish and a 12-inch American style. For both styles you will want to do the kneading by hand. The appliances you now have won’t do. I personally like hand kneading of dough, and I think you will too.
For the deep-dish style, you will need a deep-dish pan with a depth of about 2 inches. A simple cake pan can also be used but you should look for one that is dark in color. If you go to this site and look at about the middle of the page, you can see what the pan should look like: http://www.abestkitchen.com/store/pizzapans.html
. You will note that a 9-inch pan with a depth of 2 inches is around $10. If you think you would like a larger size, that’s OK too. You should get the size you want for your particular circumstances and budget. I might mention that sometimes you can find deep-dish pans on eBay. They may be like the one at the above link or they may be commercial well-seasoned metal pans that can be used just like the dark, coated pans. You might want to keep your eyes peeled.
For the American style pizza, I recommend that you get a pizza screen. That is what the recipe for that style uses. As I indicated above, I suggest starting out with a 12-inch American style. You could go to 14 inches if you want. That’s up to you. Either way, a 12-inch or 14-inch pizza screen will cost around $3. To see what such a screen looks like, go to the above abestkitchen link and type "pizza screens" in the search box.
If you live in a major metropolitan area, you may be able to get both of the above items at a local restaurant supply store and avoid shipping charges that you would incur buying the items from an online source.
As for recipes to use, I suggest that you consider the following:
Deep-Dish: I recommend the deep-dish dough recipe developed by member buzz and stated at Reply #6 at this thread: http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,2314.0.html
. When I have used an earlier and slightly different version of that recipe, I baked the dressed pizza on the middle oven rack position of a 450-degrees F preheated oven for about 20-25 minutes (for a 9-inch pie). If the exposed crust browns too quickly (as it always seems to do in my oven), I simply cover the top of the pie with a sheet of aluminum foil. If you’d like to get an idea of what the finished pizza should look like, go to this thread and look at Reply #31 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,1585.20.html
. You might also want to take a look at the first few posts here: http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,1585.0.html
. The dough and pizza shown there is my attempt at an even earlier version of buzz’s recipe.
American Style: I am going to give you a little homework on this one. As a student, I think you will understand. I recommend that you go to this board and look at everything that has the name “Randy”, a member who, in my opinion, has developed one of the best recipes on this forum: http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/board,36.0.html
You might even look at the thread I started to detail my efforts to make a thinner version of Randy’s American style pizza, at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,1707.0.html
Whatever version you decide you’d like to try, thick or thin, you will want to use either bread flour or all-purpose flour rather than high-gluten flour since you should be able to locate bread flour and all-purpose flour, or at least all-purpose flour, at your local supermarket (you won’t find high-gluten flour there). If there isn’t a recipe for the size or thickness you would like to make, let me know and I believe I should be able to devise one for the size and thickness you’d like to make. For an interesting discussion on hand kneading Randy’s American style dough, you may also want to check out this thread: http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,2280.0.html
I hope that this gets you going in the right direction and tells you whether you should keep your New Years resolution. If you need help or want further consultation before you proceed, feel free to come back. In the meantime, I invite others to offer their best suggestions to UGAChemDawg also.