Tscarborough, I wasn’t offended at all by any of your posts. A few of your comments actually had me chuckling. I actually prefer open honest opinionated dialogue over none at all. Thank you everyone for your insightful comments. Great posts all. I find that when ppl are passionate about a topic, there is usually real life experience fueling that passion. So I'm always curious to know the explanation behind the ideas.
As far as perfection goes, I started this thread a long time ago when I was just learning how to make pizza. If you re-read the first post, it will explain why I started the thread and my purpose at the time. As I have steadily progress in my pizza making, I have begun to change my opinion on perfection. I posted about that recently here.
I no longer think of any particular pizza as perfect, but rather great. You can have great pizza and very mediocre pizza. I want to make pizza that inspires me and others. To me, just slopping 4 ingredients together won’t get you there. There is specificity in getting a particular outcome. It’s maybe like mixing a good mortar. There are different ways of doing it but some methods yield significantly better results.
Though I can make similar pizza now without too much effort, getting there hasn’t been easy. And you are right, my standards continually change, so I keep resetting the bar.
If you read my posts, you’ll see that I’m actually not that regimented. Detailed and purposeful in my experiments – yes. I actually don’t subscribe to any methods or routine and don't like to. One of my ultimate goals has always been to make pizza by feel like the Italian masters. That is to know the dough so well that I can tell if it's lacking something or if it will make good pizza or not. One of my other goals, is to be able to make the needed adjustments to make great dough regardless of the type of flour, yeast, or time frame given. I’d like to become versatile and flexible in my pizza making. Thus my quest to try many different ingredients and techniques. The method I posted above is just ONE of the methods I use now. I will change up the method if it’s a different flour or if a mixer is involved.
Rigid methodology? – definitely not. Guidelines and specific points of dough? – absolutely. The quest continues….