adam, on your aluminum pans, season them very light with a vegetable oil and bake them for a few hours. a good way to oil you pans for use is block shortening you can apply it with a 4 inch pastry brush and put it on a little heavy till your pans are broken in,then you can back it off if you want. shorting doesn't absorb into the dough and will give you a nice crisp bottom. it will also stop sticking if you apply a nice coat . try american metalcraft for your pans. they make 14 gauge and 18 gauge.i use the lighter aluminum as it takes to long for the pans to heat in my 550 degree oven,and not allowing my bottom to brown. if you are using a wood oven the heavier pan might balance your bake better.not sure this will help, but i wanted to offer you this method. good luck!! larry oh forgot to mention your bar pie on slice this week looks great!!!! your dough is secret yes??
Larry! Thanks for the tips. I'm sorry for the late reply. I haven't been on PM for a while, and the dang email notifications seem to only get sent a quarter of the time that there are follow-up comments here.
ANYWAY. I'm using Pizzatools.com/Lloyd Pans aluminum pans, 14 gauge (so the heavier ones). I'm doing pretty much what you recommend for seasoning. I've been putting on a very thin layer of flaxseed oil — basically spreading on about a teaspoon with my hands/fingers and then wiping it away with a paper towel. I then place it in a cold oven, heat to 500°F, and let it bake for 2 hours. I do 4–6 coats of that.
BUT last pan order, I tried out Lloyd's PSTK and was pleased with it. Good to know about American Metalcraft's 18 gauge for home use.
My dough recipe isn't so much a secret as much as that I have never written it down — it's a work in progress. I've basically tried out Norma's formulation, posted very early in this thread: http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=29785.msg299009#msg299009
I use more salt, because I like a saltier dough (3%), and I put a little more oil — 6%.
The rest is basically, cook it in the pan until it "sets," then de-pan onto the oven floor OR baking steel/stone. At home, I place the pan on my Baking Steel (1/4"), which helps turbocharge the cooking. My oven can do 550°F just barely. More like 525°F at most. But the steel gets up to 580–590°F. At the pizzeria with the WFO, obviously the cooking is turbocharged already and we're doing 650–675°F.
Mostly, though, I do it be visual cues. When the pizza "sets," and can be de-panned easily (edges pull away from sides of pan, cheese is browning nicely), I remove it onto the oven floor. Cook it there for about 45 seconds more… Until the bottom browns up more and is nice and crisp.