I just want to preface this by saying that my homemade pizza has come a long, long, LONG way in the past month.
Prior to February, my dough consisted of AP flour that was risen for an hour and then baked, but not before I rolled it out with a rolling pin. As you can imagine, my pizza dough was flat, pale, bread-like, etc. Just awful. My sauce was literally just some generic 'pizza sauce' that I found at target and used.. again, awful. Cheese? Just a handful of shredded mozz. My pizzas sucked.
I'm a NY native at heart, so only having access to extremely sub-par pizza in MN, as well as making awful pizza myself, just wasn't cutting it for me anymore. First thing I did was go out and buy a book called 'The Art of Pizza Making'. In hindsight, probably a waste of $15 since everything in that book is likely in this book. But, no complaints as it did improve my pizza tremendously. So far, here's what I've changed:
Dough: Caputo 00 High Gluten flour, along with a very simple flour/water/yeast/sugar/salt(I think) dough. I autolyse it, kneed it in a food processor, and then follow his 2 rising methods (initial rise on the counter, punch down, rise overnight in the fridge). My dough is a 100x better. Chewy, slightly crisp, better flavor. It still needs a lot of work, but I'm much happier with it.
Sauce: Began making my own sauce, and the first big change was buying Carmelina 'e San Marzano tomatoes to use as a base. This, along with the author's sauce recipe has made my sauce something I'm really, really happy with. In fact, I won't even bother trying to improve it as it's exactly where I want it - slightly sweet/acidic, just a hint of taste in the pizza, etc. I like it where it's at.
The cheese.. the cheese is the one damn thing in the pizza that has always been the biggest thorn in my behind. The book author's #1 suggestion was to try Cooper's Sharp American as a very flavorful cheese. So, I spent $40 and bought this cheese from a deli back in NY. It's honestly pretty good - nice flavor, melts well, etc.. but it's just not the flavor and consistency that I want from a delicious cheese pizza. It's good, but not the right flavor. I miss the stretchy, slightly salty/flavorful mozz (I'm assuming) that they use in NY.
My problem is that whenever I look up NY pizza recipes, they pull the same crap on me.. they just say "1 cup of mozzarella", as if all mozzarella is the same. I know they aren't the same, but for the life of me, I can't find one that has a nice, delicious taste. I've tried a handful of them from the grocer, from pre-shedded, to in a log, to water-packed.. they all just wind up having zero taste when the pizza is done.
If anyone has any suggestions in this department, or could point me to a thread on this site that could help me, I would greatly appreciate it. I checked out the cheese forum, but I really didn't understand what was going on with all of the talk of making your own, what grande cheese is, etc.