Thank you very much for posting the two links to your videos. They were very professionally done and I enjoyed watching them very much.
As you may already have gathered, my approach to reverse engineering the Giordano's crust has been to try to determine the types and brands of ingredients and the amounts used for one of the Giordano's stuffed pizzas. In my case, I decided to use the 10" stuffed cheese pizza as my working model because it contains the fewest components (crust, sauce and cheese) and, thus, is the simplest and easiest one to use for my purposes. I know that a baked Giordano's 10" stuffed cheese pizza weighs 42 ounces, so if I were able to determine the types of cheeses and tomatoes that go into such a pizza, and their respective quantities, that would allow me to determine how much dough is used in the pizza. I would have to adjust the weights of ingredients to compensate for the fact that an unbaked pizza weighs more than an unbaked one, but that is something that I believe can be adjusted fairly easily. Knowing the amount of dough used for the pizza, along with the pan size (10") and pan depth (2"), and the fact that the dough skin in the pan uses up all of the 2" pan depth, would allow me to play around with the deep-dish dough calculating tool at http://www.pizzamaking.com/dd_calculator.html
to determine the thickness factor for the dough.
Where I have encountered some difficulty is in getting nutrition information for the Stella mozzarella cheeses that Giordano's is said to be using. I have read that Giordano's is using either a shredded blend of low-moisture, part-skim mozzarella cheese and low-moisture whole milk mozzarella cheese (as noted in the information sent to me some time ago by Giordano's) or only shredded low-moisture whole milk mozzarella cheese. It is possible that the cheeses are a proprietary blend developed exclusively for Giordano's.
Unfortunately, the Stella cheese website does not show any mozzarella cheeses in its product line, and the Sam's in my area does not carry the Stella mozzarella cheeses to enable me to look at the nutrition information on the labels for such cheeses. I know that Stella is owned by Saputo, which carries several brands of mozzarella cheese, so maybe there is some corporate reorganization and rebranding going on. I have looked at several of the Saputo mozzarella cheese brands and have noted some wide variations in the nutrition information for such cheeses, which suggests that I need Stella-specific information on the two Stella shredded mozzarella cheeses. I feel that having reliable information for the Stella mozzarella cheeses, if indeed they are still being used by Giordano's, would help me better determine how much oil (vegetable oil according to the Giordano's information) is used in the Giordano's dough particularly since I believe that Giordano's may be using considerably less than what our members have been using based on my analysis to date. In light of the recent information on the 3-4 day fermentation window for the Giordano's dough, I also now believe that much less yeast is used than what our members have been using.
It would also help to know what the ingredients are that are listed on the packaging for one of the Giordano's frozen stuffed pizzas, if only to confirm the information previously sent to me by Giordano's.
BTW, for a frame of reference for the 10" stuffed spinach pizza you made and showed in the videos, the weight (baked) for a 10" stuffed spinach pizza from Giordano's is also 42 ounces. To keep the weight of the 10" stuffed spinach pizza the same as the 10" cheese pizza, the information I received from Giordano's suggests that the way this is done is to use less cheese. If you weigh one of your 10" stuffed pizzas some time, both before baking and after baking (allowing the baked pizza to first cool down for a while), that should give you an idea as to how your pizza measures up weight-wise against a like Giordano's stuffed pizza. I realize that you may not be benchmarking against a Giordano's pizza but it might be interesting nonetheless to see how the two pizzas compare.
As a final comment, I would like to offer a small suggestion and that is to rehydrate the ADY separately from the salt, even though the salt is first dissolved in the water before adding the yeast. Another member recently combined the salt and yeast (and, I believe, sugar) in the water but it was not clear whether the problems he experienced were solely because of such combination. However, the advice generally dispensed by Tom Lehmann on the matter can be seen at a recent PMQ Think Tank post at http://thinktank.pmq.com/viewtopic.php?p=44454#44454
. It's possible that in your case you used enough yeast (about 1.6% by my calculation) that some loss of leavening power may not have mattered that much.