Since Modern Apizza was mentioned at the beginning of this thread, I'll place my inquiry here.
Anybody familiar with New Haven pizza knows that Sally's, Pepe's, and Modern pizza enjoy the most notorieity in the area. And I think most people would like them all, noting only subtle differences between them.
If you consume their pizza on a regular basis you will develop a favorite and mine is Modern. Their crust, baked with what many would call excessive charring, has the coal fired flavor. Modern Apizza sells their dough and I have purchased it on several occasions. I have had great success with it at home. One thing that has surprised me is that it cooks up significantly different at home, and in a good way. At Modern their crust has a somewhat low profile, a few bubbles here and there, and a nice dark rim.
Upon purchasing their dough, Modern places it in a small pizza box buried in a mountain of flour. It is a one pound ball that comes "out of the back" and does not feel warm. I don't know how long it may have been out in a dough box, if at all. It then endures a 45 minute car ride with me at room temperature. When I arrive home, I heat the oven at 525F with a stone for about 1 hour. So before the dough is cooked it has warmed at room temperature (in my possession) for around 2 hours. The resulting crust, for my personal taste, is great. I stretch it to a 14" skin, coat it thinly with olive oil, a modest amount of a san marzano sauce, then 8 oz. of Grande shredded whole milk mozz. The crust has a lot more oven spring and large bubbles along the edge, with a few other bubbles throughout the pie. The pies at Modern do not exhibit the oven spring or the extent of bubbling that I get. Although I do not get the charring & coal fire flavor that the Modern ovens yield. This crust also reheats beautifully - crisp but not cracker-like.
Their dough does not seem overly hydrated. I hydrate most of my dough recipes at around 65%, and I would judge by feel, and relative to the hydration of my dough, that Modern is around 55 to 60%. It doesn't feel as wet as my dough, but it's hard to say how much drier it is. Another interesting thing about the Modern dough is that before baking, it is very non-reactive. Some other doughs I have made will spread out or puff a little during the room temp warming, but not the Modern dough. Recently, I brought it home one night, plans changed, & I couldn't use it. Oh well, I put it in the fridge and thought I'd try it the next evening. I'm thinking that it already proofed at Modern, warmed during the car ride, now chilled again, and warmed again the following evening - good luck. Well when I took it out it looked just the way it was when I put it in the night before. Didn't rise any more, didn't collapse any more, it was just sitting there. This also is how their dough behaves when I use it on the same night that I purchase it. So I'm thinking this stuff is dead & I'm going to waste the Grande mozz on it. Oh well, I let it warm about 1 & 1/2 hours and made a meatball pizza with it. It was fantastic! Great oven spring, bubbles that charred during the bake, I was shocked! Go figure.
When stretching their dough for a skin, it is clearly more elastic than my higher hydration doughs. Their dough does spring back a bit during shaping, but it is not difficult to stretch it to whatever size you want. I have no experience with Sally's or Pepe's dough, but I have not had the Modern dough exhibit any tearing or even a tendency to tear. I use almost no bench flour when handling it since arrives well dusted.
What do we think they use for flour? Scott, Pete-zza, or any other member, please let me know where I should start in an effort to clone this dough. I need to eliminate the car trips.