The main obstacle to achieving these results at home is the fact that home ovens don’t get hot enough to produce a deeply browned crust before the interior crumb dries out and toughens.
The best solution has always been the hottest setting on the oven dial and a baking stone, which soaks up the radiating heat like a sponge. Most recipes call for the stone to be placed as low in the oven as possible, where it gets maximum exposure to the main heating element.
But that technique doesn’t really make sense, and there’s an industry clue to prove it: commercial pizza ovens.
These wide chambers with low ceilings quickly reflect heat from the oven floor back onto the top of the pie as it cooks, cooking the toppings and browning the cheese and crust exterior quickly, before the crust interior has a chance to dry out.
Obviously you can’t alter the shape of your oven—but you can move the stone closer to the top to narrow the gap between the stone and the ceiling. We discovered that the best position for the stone is as close to the top of the oven as possible—4 inches or so from the ceiling.