The reason I posed the questions is because I would have a hard time using my basic KitchenAid stand mixer with a C-hook to emulate hand kneading and artisan bread making techniques, other than incorporating autolyse and similar rest periods and possibly preferments/starters. Also, with my stand mixer, unless I use a short knead and rely more on biochemical gluten development, I would likely end up with a more fully developed gluten network and a tighter crumb with smaller, tightly packed alveoles. I would perhaps have to go with hand kneading and using techniques such as you described to be able to transfer the principles of bread making to pizza dough making. Or maybe I would have to get a much better stand mixer, or combine machine mixing and kneading with hand kneading and related techniques.
Thinking back, on a commercial level the only pizza operators that I can recall offhand in the U.S. that used bread making techniques to make pizza dough were Brian Spangler, a former bread baker and now the owner of Apizza Scholls, Anthony Mangieri, who also got his start in bread making, Chris Bianco, with his hand kneading and using a preferment of some sort, and Tom Douglas with his poolish-based dough at Serious Pie. Eventually, Brian Spangler went from hand kneading his dough to a commercial mixer, so it is possible that his pizza dough changed from what he made when he kneaded the dough by hand (including multiple folds). Of the foregoing individuals, I think that Chris Bianco is the only one who continues to knead his dough by hand.
Of course, Peter Reinhart, who started out on the bread making side, transferred some of the principles of bread making to pizza dough making, as is reflected in his pizza book American Pie. However, even he may be revising his thinking on long knead times, as John (fazzari) noted recently at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,12641.msg121685/topicseen.html#msg121685. Of course, that has always been the method promoted by Tom Lehmann for commercial pizza operators.
Peter, one of the things I'm currently experimenting with is to make a great bread with a great crumb structure using mostly a straight mixing regimen using a mixer, very little or no folds for gluten strengthening other than the typical folds used in preshaping or shaping. The idea is to replace Chad's hand turns with straight mixing. The hypothesis is that gluten development is not dependant on any particular or special techniques and can be achieved in many ways. If this is true which I believe it is, then I agree that if you simply just shorten (or vary) your mixing times (based on the protein content and HR), you can achieve the crumb structure you wish.
Well it's simple in theory but more difficult to achieve than that. You'd really have to balance out your hydration ratio, with proper gluten development (achieved many ways), fermentation, and baking protocol. But yes, basically we can make a mulitude of crumb structures and textures by varying these elements.
As far as hand kneading dough...I may have given the idea that I strictly hand knead which isn't true. I like to hand knead HG flour doughs b/c it takes minimal effort and produces good results. i can also hand knead high hydration lower protein doughs as well but it can be much more time consuming, so my preference here is to use a mixer. I tend to underknead and underdevelop the gluten during the initial mix and then develop it further with folds after a moderately lengthy bulk rise (1/2 of total fermenation time). But I believe that, gluten can be fully developed using a straight mixing protocol, dough minimally balled imediately without a bulk rise, and still achieve a nearly identical crumb compare to the above technique. This technique is a bit harder to do. The user would have to adjusts his mindset/perspective for it. Perhaps down the road sometime, when I'm really skillful I can show 2 nearly identical crumbs made with these vastly different techniques.
So far I have been able to make very similar crumbs using different types of flours. This finding somewhat confirms and verifies the idea that gluten development is non dependant on any specific methods or techniques or flours. If a similar looking crumb with similar texture can be achieved using different protein flours by adjusting water %, kneading times, and baking times then we should also be able to achieve the same result by simply varying the dough process but keep the same flour. It is simply gluten development secondary to agitation of the dough. It doesn't matter how we agitate it, whether we use a screw driver (as member villa roma has posted before) or if we use a $1500 spiral mixer, or a $10 bread machine from the thrift store. If we understand what we are doing and can balance the variables mentioned above, we should be able to produce the same end product.
I would love to know what members think about this crazy idea. Or is it really that crazy or impossible?