Step 6: Pizza Time!
1. Make sure to place your pizza stone on the bottom most rack. If you have a convection oven, you can place the stone right on the floor of the oven. I've always made pizza with a stone, so if you don't have one, you're on your own.
2. Preheat oven to 500 F. That's as high as my oven goes, but if yours goes higher you can try even hotter temperatures. I never have, cause I can't. Once you've reached temperature let the stone get hot for 15-30 minutes. Rumor has it that that's a good thing to do.
3. Shape the dough. You could try hand-tossing or hand-stretching. It takes practice but is supposed to be worth it because the crust will be better formed. Again, see that Good Eats episode for the technique. I have low ceilings, so I use this French style rolling pin. It's also worked out pretty good so far.
4. Give the paddle a shake to make sure the dough didn't stick. If it does stick, add more flour underneath. Sticking is bad. It will make the transfer to the oven a whole heap of big trouble.
5. Add toppings. Remember: Less is More! Here I brushed on some olive-oil, with a dusting of kosher salt and fresh-cracked pepper, some diced ham and pepperoni, and mozzarella cheese.
6. Slide the pizza off the paddle onto the hot stone. Be gentle but firm. Before transferring to the oven, I like to give the paddle another shake. It helps get a feel for the inertia needed to slide it off, and sometimes cheese will come off. It's better for the cheese to fall off on the counter than on the stone, or else the cheese could fuse the pizza to the stone and make extraction difficult.
7. Wait ~5 minutes and the pizza should be baked!
8. Basically do the opposite of what you did to get the pizza into the oven, to get the pizza out of the oven.
9. Wait ~5 minutes to let the pizza cool and the cheese to settle down.
10. You're done. You can cut it up and eat it now. Or roll it up and smoke it or however you prefer.