The lovely browning is matched only by your perfect pepperoni coverage. Seriously, that's a really nice golden brown. Flavorful?
The crust browning was actually a different "browning" than what I normally achieve with the basic Lehmann NY style. It was more "golden", with more of a bread appearance. Craig mentioned that he used his preferment at 25% of the total dough weight. Mine used all of the formula water, plus an equal weight of flour, and it represented almost 74% of the total dough weight. That was intentional because I wanted to see what I would get if I subjected the maximum amount of flour to the prefermentation of the poolish. As a result, my crust had more of the attributes of a baked bread than a pizza crust. I think I would be inclined to agree with Craig that the 74% figure is too high. Like Craig, I, too, experienced an increase in elasticity. I wondered about this since the acids of preferments are supposed to strengthen the final dough. In Norma's case, she did not experience that, as her videos demonstrated. I did. However, my dough was very robust and not difficult to open up, and I did not develop thin spots or webbing, albeit the dough was more elastic than what I normally experience.
From the standpoint of crust flavor, it was flavorful but not great. I somewhat anticipated this result because of the cool prefermentation of the poolish, both before and during refrigeration. That was also intentional because I wanted to see if such a regimen was workable and to what extent. I was especially mindful of Norma's restrictions at market where she would most likely not be permitted to make a poolish at home and bring it to market for the final mix. That alone could rule out a lot of possibilities. Maybe Norma's Hatco unit will solve this problem, and thereby avoid the need to use some kind of proofing unit, but that remains to be seen.
This "cool" poolish test pretty much convinced me that you need a lot of prefermentation activity in order to develop the byproducts of fermentation that are responsible for crust flavor. In my experiment, the dough doubled by the time I decided to use it (based on the poppy seed method I used). The dough was still firm to the touch, and I seriously entertained the thought of leaving the dough in the refrigerator until I returned from my planned trip. However, I didn't want to lose the results of my test up to that point so I completed the pizza at that time. But I do believe that the dough could have held out much longer and, as a result, might have produced more byproducts of fermentation to provide more crust flavor. It would have been like a preferment version of your now famous quasi-geriatric dough.
The pepperoni coverage comes from all of my Papa John's clones where I tried to fit over 40 pepperoni slices on a 14" pizza
. Essentially the whole pizza is covered with almost no space between slices. They shrink a bit during baking, thus creating a bit of space between them. But they don't slide all over the pizza due to cheese upheaval during baking as can happen when you use a lot less slices.