Hereís my latest effort. More than a year since I started this thread, Iíve finally succeeded in producing something I was really happy with. The details:
420 grams flour, enough water for about 88% hydro, .35 standard teaspoon IDY, 1.5 teaspoons salt, 3.5 oil. Dumped in my mixer, ran it until it cleaned the bowl, then less than 3 minutes of hand-kneading, 20 minute rest, another >3 minutes hand kneading, another 20 minute rest, and a final >4 minutes kneading. Refrigerated for 46 hours, warmed on counter for 3.5 hours, formed, topped with sauce, large pieces of Italian sausage, Ďshrooms, and green peppers, and then into the oven it went @ 450 for 20 minutes.
This dough had tremendous elasticity and tenacity, so much that I deliberately weighed it down with sausage to control the oven spring. That just barely worked; in fact, some bubbles formed that were so unrelenting as to just push some of the sausage sections right off (in some of the pics, you can see one forced by a bubble to stand on end- and it wasnít a little one, either). Honestly, the gluten was developed to the point of overkill and hopefully as my technique improves so will my level of control. Iíve been told that one of the things that separates the pros from the amateurs with these pies is this consistency of the crumb, and as you can see from the pics Iím still very much an amateur in that respect.
Moving along to its eating characteristics, the crust coloration was a darker brown than I usually get, something like well-done toast, and it had a nice toasty flavor on the exterior. The exterior was very lightly crispy, about at the point where chew gives way to crisp. The interior was very, very fluffy, but surprisingly toothsome and did not give the impression of biting into thin air. Finally, it was highly digestible considering how much meat there was on it. The slices I ate left me satiated, but not stuffed- something Iíve been striving for for a long time, and which led me to the Pizza Romana to begin with.