Quality and loaded post Lou. 👏🏽. I agree on many points you just touched upon. This is pretty much how I've been making my L&B clone.
1) low hydration relative to the protein content of the flour. I've been using CAFP at 60-62%. It would be lower for AP or BF or a combination of. 56-60% is definitely in the ball park.
2) tight crumb structure is indicative of an intense mix.
3) I've been using a fat content of 3%. Now testing 5%. But it's right between 3-5 depending on the flour and hydration.
4) been using 2% dry milk. You could be right about this. That there is no dry milk in the dough. I will test this out as well. It would fit their low cost model.
5) sheeter is very important. Im use a rolling pin but not just once before it goes into the pan. I suspect the dough is layered. This builds strength in the dough. The dough is likely sheeted more than once.
6) thick dough and high proof. Proofing is Very important here. Makes a BIG difference in the end texture and product. We see this in anything made of dough.
7)I agree with you about just stanislaus tomato products. They taste great and low cost.
everything about L&B is low cost, high volume, high profits. They cut corners where they can. Only half the pie is cheesed. Also high volume of dough per pie. Very little grease in the pan. You're basically paying for a thick slice of bread with tomato sauce on it. Albeit one that tastes great.