I managed a Jakes Pizza in the 70S for a 1 1/2 years and used a deck style oven. The temp was always around 500 and baked primarily thin crust pies, usually depending on toppings, for about 10 - 15 minutes. We had very few pan orders. At that time I wasn't interested in being too creative, just turned them out like a machine. (Did I miss my opportunity or what !!???) ( Although I did create, which I had never seen offered before, at that time, a barbecue pizza where I mixed 1/2 and 1/2 pizza sauce and barbecue sauce then topped it with shrimp and green pepper and they sold like crazy) When I wanted an authentic deep dish I just took a drive to Chicago 30 miles away and went to Unos. Now that I'm in MT. my desperation as spurred my creativity. They say "Necessity is the mother of invention"!
My stone arrangement was an attempt at simulating a deck style oven as you mused. I placed a baking pan under the stone. ( and I do use the middle rack) as the instructions that came with the stone say do not broil on the stone and I assumed that heat coming from below, directly at the stone, would in effect be the same as applying heat to the stone from the element directly above. I didn't want to stress it and eventually have it crack. I read in these forums that they seem to crack quite often. Wouldn't worry about it if I had a gas oven, due to the sheet of metal, (actually the floor of the oven) between heat source and stone
I previously had tried this arrangement without the bottom stone/baking pan, using only the top stone, and the top cooked too quickly and the bottom of the pizza was undercooked. Now that I've been using the baking pan/ stone and top stone arrangement, (at 450 or 500) everything bakes evenly, finishing out exactly at the same time, in around 25 minutes.
I'm really close on the Lou texture that I want in the crust, just would like a little more flavor in the crust, but am not sure what taste it is I am shooting for. Stronger taste is the only way I can describe it, maybe it's yeastier, not quite sure. Need to eat one of mine and one of Lou's side by side I guess. I have one left from my "Lou To Go Order" (four for $65.00, includes shipping, guess it's still cheaper than eating out) and hate to sacrifice it for this test. Thanks for everyone's help.