Finally made some pizzas last night I was both proud of and optimistic about the potential of my oven...
Last weekend I made two large batches of dough with the camaldoli starter. I must have mis-weighed the water because one batch of dough was way too wet, as in almost unusable too-wet. It took so much flour to keep it from sticking that the flour burned while the pizza cooked. I was very bummed after the weekend.
Fast forward to yesterday. My once-contaminated Ischia starter was finally raring over the weekend. I fed it every 12 hours up to Tuesday night. Then made a batch of dough with it following Craig's process (62.5, 1.5, 3.0). I only had 24 hours for fermentation so I used his predictive model and went with 12 hour bulk/12 hour ball at ~75 degrees. About 4 hours before I was ready to bake, I knew the dough was something special. Even though I am very new to this, the dough just looked and smelled "right."
In an effort to prevent any burning of flour, I cheated and used AP when preparing the pizzas on the counter and peel. This is probably frowned upon but it worked well. The dough turned out great. It took a lot less flour to keep from sticking, it stretched easily, and most importantly, tasted awesome. It was soft, chewy, crunchy on the bottom, and had great flavor. About the only thing I know was off was my oven wasn't quite hot enough so the pizzas were taking around 2 minutes to cook and I didn't get much in the way of leoparding.
Needless to say, this is what I was hoping making pizzas would be like, which is a completely different feeling from this past weekend when I was let down by the process. I still have a way to go but feel like the first part of the process finally clicked.
Unfortunately, my usual photographer (my pregnant wife) was busy eating the pizzas so we only got two photos and they are lousy. I will add them anyway. Thanks to everyone that contributes here (especially Craig) as the information is priceless for someone like me trying to learn.
On a side note, I also made two loaves of Barm Brack with the leftover Ischia starter. The recipe is out of the Sourdo book. My wife said it's good.
I am now heading back out of the country so will be anxiously dreaming up the next round of pizzas for when I get back!