What makes a pizza new York anyways? It's just hydration and thickness right?
There really is no single NY style dough formulation or pizza. The reason is that the NY style pizza evolved over a period of many decades. The common denominator of all of the iterations of the NY style pizza through history is flour, water, yeast, salt, a fairly thin crust and a large size (18" is typical). No sugar and no oil (they came later with the invention of the commercial deck oven). If you are interested in the evolution of the NY style pizza, there is a very informative thread on the subject at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,14920.0.html
. If you read that thread, I believe that there is enough information there to allow one to make NY style pizzas that are targeted to several different points in time during the evolution of the NY style. Ingredients (e.g., flours, yeast, etc.) and equipment (e.g., commercial mixers, refrigeration and ovens) changed over time as they came into being or were invented, but one might still come reasonably close to the NY style pizzas that were made at different times during the evolution of the NY style.
I would characterize the fazzari Reinhart-inspired dough recipe that you and John (and several others) used with good results as a more recent version of the New York style, particularly the version that John first described without the preferments. In all of his versions of the recipe, John substituted honey for sugar, which I would say is rare for a commercial NY style as sold in NYC, and he made his pizzas 12" with a crust that was somewhat thicker than is used for most commercial NY style pizzas sold in NYC. However, as he noted, and as you demonstrated with your own pizzas, it is possible to make the pizzas larger than 12", which would automatically make the crusts thinner. However, to be more in line with the NY style, you would make the pizzas much larger, say, 18". In a home setting, of course, the 18" size is not always possible. I have also discovered that once you get out of NYC, you can expect to see pizzas sold as NY style pizzas that are just about any size, from 8" to over 20". Many of these pizzas are imitations of the true NY style, and in many cases, poor imitations.
If you used the preferment versions of John's recipe, that makes the pizzas more of an artisan NY style, since preferments came out of artisan breadmaking, not the pizza making art. In your case, the use of the preferments and the honey, along with a long room-temperature fermentation period, may have been responsible for the improved crust flavor that you mentioned. But preferment-based NY style pizzas are not at all common commercially. Other than Norma, the only pizza operator I can think of at the moment who uses a poolish preferment with commercial yeast to make his version or representation of the NY style is Brian Spangler at Apizza Scholls.
Since I have concluded that John's recipe fits the NY style better than any other style, I decided to move his thread to the NY style board. I have also added the recipe to the collection of non-Lehmann NY style pizzas.