Originally Posted by Andy M.
Yes, the whole inside of the oven is lined with the same material.
I have worked at 3 diff pizza places when I was in college. All 3 used thin aluminum pans because they outline the size of the pizza, they easily slide in and out of the pizza oven (which has a very small opening, height wise), and they heat up quickly. The dough was never laid directly on the firebrick. Unsanitary to say the least. But thin metal conducts heat quicker than an unheated stone, and a holey pan or a screen lets the moisture escape quickly.
Now to cooking at home... I prefer to make my dough at least 24 hours in advance, and I "feel like" 3 days in the fridge is better. I often make the dough, put it in a ziploc bag in the fridge, then into the freezer for 2-3 months ( but they NEVER last that long!! ). When we want pizza, we take the dough out the night before to thaw in the fridge, then take it out of the fridge 2-3 hours before making to come to room temp for handling.
I have a pampered chef pizza stone. If I preheat it, I get crispier pizza crust. If not, I get chewier crust (everyone loves the supreme cooked this way), and for my BBQ chicken pizza, I prefer a thin, holeyy metal round pizza pan. Makes for a nice, crispy crust. And I have learned to cook one pizza at a time on 550* on top shelf... But if I MUST cook 2 at once, the stone goes on the lower rack, or else the metal pan burns while the stone under cooks.
To do a stone pizza properly, one needs to preheat the stone, and a peel to transfer the pizza onto it. If using a cold stone, I just slap out my dough and make the pizza directly on the stone itself.
Many who have eaten my pizza tell me it's better than anything in the restaurant. Fresh ingredients and letting the dough "proof" for at least 24-72 hours is what I feel is the secret. That and MINIMAL tomato sauce. I have made the dough and cooked it right away, and it is also good... But slapping out fresh dough is not as easy. Letting it proof at least an hour is preferable.