Thanks for the clarifications... I usually watch for a silver dollar sized spot of dough in the bottom of the mixer bowl and that's when I quit with the flour. I use the "stir, spoon, sweep" method which explains why I have to add a little more flour than you do! It makes sense! As for the poolish, I didn't wait for the signs of falling back, mostly because I was pressed for time. I think it could have gone a little longer, based on the fact that my kitchen temp is about 3 or 4 degrees cooler than Peter's. All good knowledge to have!
And remember, the best--and only--compliment you will get from aba is his silence.
Thanks for the subjective comments. I know you are a science-guy and sometimes it's hard for science-guys to be subjective... objectivity is the norm. Recipes like Jerry's, are mix of art and science, which is why I really enjoy making this recipe! My educational background is both scientific and artistic, so I guess that explains my being drawn to a VM recipe.
And yes, I had issues with the dough sticking to the peel, so I solved it by the use of parchment paper. If you look at the photo of my tomato/cheese pie, the parchment is still there. Since it was the second pie baked, the parchment didn't turn as black as the first pie...with my oven set to 550, the paper under the first pizza browned/blackened at the edges and became very brittle but didn't catch fire. I realize that I sacrificed some crispness (but not MUCH!) by removing the initial direct contact of the dough with the moisture-absorbing stone. With the first pie, I pulled the parchment out as soon as the crust had set, so that crust was quite crisp. The crust on the tomato pie was still very good, but I wish I had let the oven/stone recover more. Or perhaps I should have started it on the hotter upper stone and moved it down. That's an experiment for the next time!
But, bottom line, I would much rather use parchment than a cold pan to resolve the sticking issue.
Thanks for the compliments! I'm sorry to hear of your issues and hope that you will be able to return to pizza making soon! How you must torture yourself looking at these photos!