Thanks for the additional input.
To begin, I wouldn’t be overly concerned about the Czech article and the chemistry involved in the use of the diastatic malt and malt syrup. The most significant point to take away from the Czech article is that diastatic malt and barley malt appear to have positive effects on a dough that is based on a flour that has a “low” ash reading—specified as below 0.60. The KASL flour has an ash reading of 0.52 plus or minus 0.02, so it conceivably is a candidate for more diastatic malt. Since the KASL is already malted, it is not entirely clear whether adding more malt in the form of diastatic malt will improve its performance. Some bakers do modify their flours by adding more diastatic malt to achieve specific end results—and maybe this is what your local pizza operator is doing. However, adding too much diastatic malt can lead to a slack, sticky dough and a gummy crumb in the baked crust. The only way to tell whether it is good or bad for your purposes is to just try adding some diastatic malt to the dough recipe. The test doughs described in the Czech article used 0.5% (by weight of flour). That is the amount I would try. The recommended level for the malt syrup, which I would also use, is also 0.5% (by weight of flour). But don’t have any illusions that malt syrup is not a sugar. It is a sugar just like table sugar but less refined and in a different form and with some added nutritional value. It does not provide additional alpha-amylase enzyme as does the diastatic malt, so its benefits are more in terms of providing food for the yeast and enhancing the flavor and color of the finished crust.
I have used both diastatic malt and malt syrup before. There is nothing especially unique about their use and the benefits they confer. I recently described a couple of experiments with the Caputo 00 flour in which I added diastatic malt to the Caputo 00 flour to increase the amount of residual sugars to increase the browning of the crusts. The results of the experiments were reported at the Caputo 00/Caputo 00 Biga thread. The additional alpha-amylase enzymes added by diastatic malt work on damaged starch molecules (the starch is damaged mainly during milling) to release natural sugars from the starch. Our domestic grains, such as red hard winter wheat, have fairly high levels of starch damage (around 7-8%) and is one of the reasons that millers malt their flours.
One of the most interesting things I picked up from the Czech article is that the dough the authors chose to use in their tests is very close to the first Lehmann dough I made and reported on in the first post at the Lehmann NY Style Pizza thread. By mistake, I had used much more yeast (IDY) than called for in the basic Lehmann dough recipe, and I used no sugar (it is optional for the Lehmann recipe, but when used the recommended amount is 1-2% by weight of flour), but the final formulation is very close to the one used by the Czech authors. You will better understand when you look at the two dough formulations:
Czech Dough Formulation
4%, Fresh yeast (this is the same as 1.33% IDY)
Water—enough for optimal dough consistency at 600 Brabender Units (BU)
Lehmann Dough Formulation
1.7%, IDY (the proper amount is 0.25%)
1%, Olive oil
1-2%, Sugar (optional)
65%, Water, at roughly the optimal dough consistency at 500 Brabender Units (BU)
The closeness of the two formulations leads me to believe that you can take the basic Lehmann NY style dough recipe for the 14-inch size you prefer (and using either the normal or greater amount of IDY), add both diastatic malt and malt syrup, each at 0.5% by weight of flour, and achieve the type of crust you are looking for. To do this requires calculating the appropriate baker’s percents and so forth, but it seems doable to me. You might also add an autolyse to the dough making process to achieve some of the bread-like qualities you seem to prefer in your crusts. I would use the classic Calvel autolyse.
I am not as sanguine about your proposal to use a “cold” poolish. I would rather that your poolish heart not become a broken heart. As you know, poolishes are intended to ferment and ripen at room temperature. The problem as I see it is that unless you intend to make a lot of the poolish, and also adjust the amounts of flour and water to maintain the hydration level of the dough into which the poolish is to be incorporated, you are likely to discover that the poolish doesn’t ferment properly or sufficiently while in the refrigerator so as to be usable when it peaks in activity. I estimate that if you choose to use say, 20%, poolish (by percent of the flour used in the basic Lehmann recipe for a 14-inch pizza), the amount of flour and water for the poolish comes to about 3 tablespoons each—enough to make a small slurry with a 100% hydration level. The amount of yeast (IDY) corresponding to those quantities is so small as to be immeasurable—about 0.02 teaspoon. The total weight of the poolish will be about 2 ounces. That small amount will cool down so quickly in the refrigerator that the yeast—already in trace amounts—will have great difficulty in starting and maintaining the fermentation process in such a cold environment (around 40-45 degrees F typically). To prove this point to my own satisfaction, last night I made a poolish in accordance with the above description. After 14 hours of refrigeration, I saw no change whatsoever in the poolish. Even when I brought it to room temperature for two hours, I saw no signs of life. It took 4 hours at room temperature for the poolish to perk up a bit. Whether it would work if I incorporated it into the basic Lehmann dough after Day 1 as per your desired schedule, I have no idea. Maybe adding more yeast will solve the matter, but then the balance of the entire recipe can be thrown off—not to mention all the calculations that have to be made to get the right baker’s percents, hydration level, and dough weight. Another possibility is to leave the poolish at room temperature until it gets a head of steam and then refrigerate it.
I looked at the amount of dough you would like to use for a 14-inch size (425 grams, or about 14.99 ounces) and that yields a thickness factor of 0.097, which is close to the standard 0.10 thickness factor for a NY style dough. You should feel free to try the poolish approach is you are so inclined, but my best advice is to take the basic Lehmann NY style dough recipe for a 14-inch size and modify it to include the diastatic malt (about 1/2 t.) and malt syrup (about 1/4 t.), and possibly use an autolyse. Knowing the dough ball weight you would like to use (425 grams) and the thickness factor (0.097), modifying the basic Lehmann recipe should be fairly straightforward. I would use a 63% hydration, which would be just about optimal for the KASL (which has 63% plus or minus 2% absorption at 500 BU). And to get a big rim, I would tend to use more rather than less yeast. Under these circumstances, and temperature adjusting the water and using proper refrigeration, the dough should make it out to the 3 days you are trying to achieve.