Considering yesterday's minor overfermentation issues, which resulted from allowing the dough to bulk ferment at room temperature overnight, I kept today's dough (same batch) in the fridge all night, after already having it in the fridge for the previous 24 hours since mixing. (So that's about a 33-hour cold bulk ferment.) I took the dough out of the fridge a little before 9:00 this morning and immediately rolled it because I figured rolling cold dough could make a pretty big difference, both in how it feels while rolling and in how it bakes.
The dough definitely felt different today, due to this procedural change. It felt much stiffer than yesterday's dough, of course, but not stiff. Still, it felt stiff enough that I will most likely try 56% hydration for an upcoming batch of this dough (not for tonight's batch, though). My immediate thoughts are that I like this method better than the overnight room-temperature bulk ferment. But I'll hold off making a final judgment until after I make the pizza tonight.
With the lamination/rolling procedures I use for this dough, it's almost impossible to use too much bench flour between the laminates of these pizzas. If you do use too much, the excess flour ends up spurting out the edges of the dough as you roll it into a skin.
Today, instead of spraying the skin with nonstick spray and covering it with plastic wrap before putting the skin in the fridge, I just applied sauce to the skin to keep it from drying up. That was at 9:20, and I used 5 oz of sauce.
Today's 11" dough skin weight is 10.5 oz (TF=0.110 oz of dough per square inch), as shown in pic 1. I'm taking a little chance with this. I've gotten into a pattern of preferring my skins to be about 10 oz, so this might end up a little too thick for my tastes, even though it's probably not quite as thick as an actual Tommy's pizza.
(I forgot to mention this in the post that listed the formula for this batch of dough, but this batch of dough was made of 23 oz of fresh dough and 7 oz of scraps from the previous batch.)
My kitchen lighting problem (for pics) has been fixed, at least in my prep area. If you didn't already notice, check out how much of a difference it made between the pictures of Monday's pizza (pic 2) and yesterday's pizza (pic 3).
Here's one thought that goes through my mind every day while eating and analyzing these pizzas: "Is this characteristic representative of present-day Tommy's, or is it representative of Tommy's from 25 years ago?" And it confuses me every day, because there's such a big difference between the pizzas of now and then. Consequently, my clone attempts tend to have characteristics of both Tommy's of today and Tommy's of the past.
Today's Tommy's pizza is kinda pale and has blisters on the bottom, while Tommy's of the past has a smooth bottom that browns more (due to the bubbles in the laminates, as in pic 4) and breaks up, leaving a hundred small flat crust crumbs in your box or on your tray. I think Tommy's of the past was also a little thinner than Tommy's of today, which is probably one of the main reasons why I like to make them a little thinner than you'd get if you went to Tommy's today.
And in case anyone is wondering: Tommy's of the past is much better than the Tommy's I've had in my two visits since this thread began two years ago.
I'm thinking about taking a trip to the OSU Tommy's sometime, rather than the one in Upper Arlington, to see if they serve me a noticeably different pizza than the UA Tommy's. It kinda makes sense that they might, because no small chain with only four units is gonna have the same kind of quality control that a large chain has. Consequently, the pizza at the different stores has probably evolved independently of each other for long enough that they might be making considerably different products.
So if anyone would like to meet me at the OSU Tommy's sometime, let me know.
One more thing: Man, this pizza is complicated. The formula, the ingredients, the dough management, the prep procedures, and the baking methods; all of it. There are so many different variables to consider when making this kind of pizza, each of which can change everything.
Most people probably wouldn't consider this kind of pizza remotely as good as a New York pizza or a Chicago deep dish, but it's infinitely easier to figure out how to make great NY pizza and great deep dish. Not just one or the other, but both. Possibly in the same week.