You should of course consider other dough recipes on the forum. However, since you specifically indicated that you are looking for a thick-crusted pizza, I will tell you how to modify the recipe you posted to get you headed in the right direction. At some point, you may also want to take a look at the Sicilian section of the forum since a Sicilian style dough will also produce a thick crust. I suggest also that you take a look at Randy’s American style dough recipe since the dough made from that recipe will also produce a thick crust with the type of crust characteristics you indicated you prefer.
I will present my comments starting with the ingredients and then tell you how I would use your recipe, as modified, to make a same-day dough and a cold-fermented dough.
Flour. You can use either the King Arthur all-purpose flour or the King Arthur bread flour. I personally prefer the King Arthur bread flour because it has more protein and gluten than the all-purpose flour and will have a more developed gluten network that will hold the gases (mainly carbon dioxide) better and create a more open and airy crumb, which is a characteristic you indicated you are looking for. The bread flour will not produce as soft a crust as using the all-purpose flour but it will have a bit more flavor and chewiness and will result in a slightly darker crust. You should also get some tenderness in the crust through the use of the sugar and oil. The oil will also help with the extensibility (stretchiness) of the dough. In fact, if you wish, you can add a bit more oil to the dough.
Water. I would increase the amount of water in your recipe to 19-20 ounces by weight. That’s about 2 1/4 to 2 1/3 cups. Using the increased amount of water will increase the hydration of the flour and yield a slightly wetter dough that will ferment slightly faster and better and handle better than the dough you made.
Yeast. Essentially any kind of yeast can be used to make pizza dough. However, if you plan to make a lot of pizzas, I suggest that you look for one-pound bags of instant dry yeast (IDY) as sold at places like Costco’s and Sam’s and intended primarily for use by professional bakers. Some good brands of IDY include SAF Red and Fleischmann’s. If you can’t find either of those brands locally, they are available at many places online, including bakerscatalogue.com, Amazon.com, and pennmac.com (look under the Pizza Makers tab). A Google search should uncover many other possible sources.
If you have no choice but to use the supermarket yeast packets (or bottles), you can use any of the brands and types commonly available, including active dry yeast (ADY), bread-machine yeast (which is essentially an instant dry yeast but not called such), all-purpose yeasts such as the SAF Gourmet yeast, and the so-called fast-rising yeasts, including the Fleischmann’s RapidRise yeast or the Red Star Quick-Rise yeast. If you decide to use the Fleischmann’s RapidRise yeast--which, BTW, is not the same as the Fleischmann’s IDY sold to professional bakers--I would use it as I would IDY in any recipe calling for IDY. If anything, I might reduce the amount used slightly. In due course, you should migrate to the IDY brands mentioned above.
Same-day Dough. If you want to use the recipe you posted to make a same-day dough, I would reduce the yeast to 2 1/4 t.--or one packet of the Fleischmann’s RapidRise yeast if that is what you will be using. To make the dough, I would start by adding the yeast to the flour and stirring it in. I would then add the salt to the water, which can be at room temperature or a bit higher, and stir to dissolve. You can also add the sugar to the water and stir it in, but it can alternatively be added to the flour if you prefer. The flour mixture should then be gradually added to the water in the mixer bowl and mixed together at low speed on your mixer.
When all of the flour has been added to the bowl and the dough comes together in a rough ball, the oil should then be added. Adding the oil last keeps it from interfering with the absorption of the water by the flour. The dough should then be kneaded at low to medium speed only until it is smooth and cohesive, with no tears on the outer surface. It should also be a bit tacky. Since different mixers operate differently, you might find it useful to read the following thread which was put together to help beginning pizza makers on this aspect of the dough making process, among many others: http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,2223.0.html
. The instructions given there are for a NY style dough, but the procedures are fairly generic.
Once the dough has been made, it should then be divided into two balls, lightly coated with oil, put into separate covered containers, and left at room temperature. I recommend that the dough balls be allowed to ferment for at least four hours, at which time the dough can be punched down and allowed to rise for about another 2 hours. At that point, it can be used to make your pizzas as you have been doing. I estimate that the dough recipe you posted, as modified, will produce a total dough weight of around 54 ounces, or around 27 ounces each—enough to make two thick crusted pizzas.
Cold-fermented Dough. A cold-fermented dough will produce more crust flavor, and a better crust texture, color and odor. This is because of all the biochemical activity that occurs within a dough while it is under refrigeration. And the longer the fermentation, the more pronounced the crust flavors will be. To use the recipe you posted to make a cold-fermented dough, I would cut the amount of yeast back to a bit over 1 t. I would also use all cool water. The rest of the dough making process is the same as described above, but instead of leaving the dough ferment at room temperature it will be placed in the refrigerator. I suggest a 24-hour fermentation if you choose to use all-purpose flour and 48 hours if you choose to use the bread flour. After that time, the dough balls should be brought to room temperature and allowed to warm up for at least 1 to 2 hours. The dough balls can then be used for up to a few hours thereafter to make your pizzas, as you have been doing. You might find it interesting to try both a room-temperature dough and a cold fermented dough just to compare the two results.
Baking method. You should be able to use your perforated pizza pans, however for the type thick crust pizza you indicated you want I think you may want to consider looking into using another type of pan that is commonly used for thick-crust pizzas, such as a Sicilian or similar style pan. You can also use a pizza screen. However, if you choose to use the perforated pan, at least for now, I would suggest that you let the dough in the pan proof for about 45 minutes to an hour before dressing and baking to allow the dough to rise more and provide a thicker final crust. You can do the proofing in a slightly warm oven (no more than 100 degrees F) along with a bit of humidity provided by a cup of water that has been boiled. After proofing, the pizza can be dressed.
After the pizza has been dressed, I would use an oven temperature of around 450-475 degree F to allow the pizza to bake slowly enough to cook everything. To get better bottom crust browning, you can slide the pizza off of the pan part way through baking onto one of the oven racks. You can also use the broiler element to help bake the top of the pizza if it does not bake fast enough relative to the bottom of the crust. If you read the Sicilian section of the forum, you will see other possible bake options, including pre-baking the dough before adding sauce, toppings, etc.
Feel free to ask other questions. Good luck.