I'm an avid cook and baker and have been reading these forums for a while now. Been making pizza at home for years and have honed my techniques somewhat, but I'm not in the big leagues like most here. My main use case is to make pizza for my family 2-3 times per month.
I've got a simple sauce I really like (garlic, olive oil, tomatoes and balsamic), and we usually do a bit of pre-cooked pepperoni and onion, with some basil after the fact, though I've been known to mix it up with spinach or arugula as well, to sneak in a few extra veggies. Usually use very light cheese, and a blend of mozz and parm or similar hard Italian, all fresh. Also sometimes make a "grown-up" pie for hubby and self that's a little more daring, and generally sauce free: pesto, bacon/onion, eggplant, straight Marg with fresh tomatoes, lobster, etc.
Used Cook's Illustrated's pan pizza recipe (using skim milk as the liquid and AP flour) for years, pretty happily. Doctored it up a bit with herbs, parm, etc. now and again, just to shake things up.
Recently moved from there to a more New York style, baked on an oven stone (currently using the Dough Joe) at 500 degrees for about 6-8 minutes. Started with Cook's New York recipe, and a few others, but have found we generally prefer the Dough Joe blend.
Right now I'm pretty happy with the texture of my dough. I've been doing half recipes--a full recipe just makes too much pizza for us--divided into two balls. I'm using King Arthur organic bread flour, as that's also what I use in my bread. I use filtered water, kosher salt, organic EVOO and SAF instant yeast. I've been letting the greased balls rest/develop in the fridge for 24-48 hours, then proof at 70-80 degrees 3-4 hours before using.
Been happy with the thickness, elasticity when rolled out into two 12-14" pies, and end result chewiness. The crust has had nice air bubbles, with acceptable, but not outstanding, browning on the outside and some softness/chew left on the inside--which is my goal. (Though a little extra exterior crunch would be nice, I don't want to sacrifice the soft interior.)
What I'm not as excited about is the crust's flavor. It definitely lacks a little something, and I am looking for ideas to improve that. I've tried using a bit more yeast (2t, instead of 1) and sugar (roughly 3t) in my initial dough, and think that helped a bit, but I'm still not getting that "yeasty", complex flavor I want. I do have a sourdough starter for bread baking, but so far haven't had much success translating that to pizza. (My two attempts were abysmal failures, resulting in unusable dough.)
Would adding more sugar help with the browning? I kind of felt I was already at the limit, with such a small batch.
Have some 00 flour (Caputo) I'd like to try, but am a little nervous to futz with the flour, as the texture now is solid. Will that help flavor any? If I wanted to try, do you guys suggest a 50/50 ratio of flour types? And, when adding the 00, would you bump the bread flour for good old AP?
Any other ideas/suggestions? I didn't think adding herbs or parm/garlic would be advisable for a pizza cooked on a stone, as I was afraid of those elements burning and becoming bitter. (The pan offered protection for the dough.)
Advice is always appreciated. Thanks!