As you (I believe from the picture) started out with a pre-made 'Boboli-type' crust, that is problem #1. Putting those quality ingredients on a Boboli is like putting an $8,000 set of chrome wheels on a clunker.
Problem #2 is that all those thick-cut tomatos leeched way too much moisture into the Boboli crust, so much so that the fresh cheese didn't even brown.
As the others advised above, home-made pizza ideally starts with a pizza stone pre-heated to at least 450 and raw dough. A few tips from observing Mrs. Metro - whi learned these things by trial and error.
Buy dough. Luckily you live in Cali, so there are Safeways everywhere. Of all the raw doughs we have tried - including Grimaldi's - Safeway's "Original Italian" is by far the best. It is in a refrigerated case by the deli and is the best $1.69 you'll ever spend there!
- Put stone in oven at least 1/2 hour before starting to fool around with the dough.
- Use that time to thin-slice your veggies with a mandolin or ceramic knife.
- Roll the crust out to desired size and thickness.
- Set an elevated rack on your counter, remove stone from oven, and set on rack.
- Dust stone with coarse-ground corn meal and lay dough over the stone.
- Carefully cut away overage and crimp edges with a kitchen tool of your choice (a fork works fine).
- Apply sauce, cheese, & toppings.
- Put stone and pizza back in oven.
- Bake 12 minutes, watching it after 10. (Note: the crust starts to bake as soon as you lay it on the stone).
For us, this yields a 14" pie with a wonderful, crisp crust that will not even droop when you hold it by the edge. Yes, handling the stone and laying and crimping the crust are a little tricky, but my wife was yet to burn herself. Shara
had a nice idea about a pizza screen. Using one of those would reduce the "stone handling", but also increase the oven time by 5 minutes or so. I'd still dust the screen with corn meal, though.
<message edited by MetroplexJim on Sun, 09/8/13 6:24 PM>