Wow guys. Thanks for all the responses. To answer some of your questions...."The burnt bottoms are likely due to over fermentation"
I had this theory myself. I have used a few dough recipes, including Spangler Clone. What I use most often is Peter Reinhart's recipe from "The Breadbaker's Apprentice." This calls for all ingredients to be prechilled and then overnight fermentation. The formulation is below. Please tell me what you think."Excess sugars from fermentation and excess bench flour are usually the culprits."
Bench flour has definitely always been an issue. I always TRY to use as little as possible, and always cake flour (I heard that protien burns easier). That's another thing I love about screens. The completely eliminate the potential for wet dough peel issues and irregularly shaped pies.
"A lot of discussion about burnt bottoms has gone on in the Neapolitan section." Insert another, "DOH!" here. I never thought to look in the Neapolitan section. I feel stupid."No sugar in my dough. @Tannerwooden: what all is in your dough?"
100 General Mills Better for Bread Flour
I've tried a few different flours, but really I like the chew and taste of "Better for Bread" the best. I have also tried some oil, but generally I prefer without."Or the pizza was simply over-baked - too much time in the oven. Despite the tweaks, setup may not be properly balanced to cook the top fast enough. @Tannerwooden: how long do your pizzas take to bake?"
With the screens, a little over 3 minutes at nearly 800 degrees. Without the screens, also a little over 3 minutes at 650 degrees. I've tried a lot of different setups, but I'm sure not every one. It always seemed that even if I got the top heat hotter (broiler, foil), the bottom would still burn. I almost think the heat goes through the pie, but I don't know...
"Do you know anything more about this stone." A tad over 5/8", codierite (spelling?). Brand is "Old Stone." At least, that's what someone else on this forum thought after seeing pictures."But maybe he can post pics."
I know, I know. Lame. I'm doing a pizza party as a going away present for my sister. I'll try then. Until then, I'd like you all to pretend they look like your idea of the perfect pie...