I've finally got 5 minutes free to post the results of my latest attempt from a few weeks ago. I tried to take ample notes and pics. As always, any feedback is greatly appreciated...
My dough was made following Craig's technique. Caputo, 60% hydration, 2.9% salt, 1.5% starter. This batch of dough went for 48 hours (24 bulk, 24 balled) at 60 degrees.
The last few times I've made dough, I've felt my starter was incredibly active so I've been slowly lowering the temperature of my mini-fridge-turned-dough-proofing-box. A few days before making my dough, I put a bowl of water in the fridge and set it for 60 degrees. After 12 hours, the water was 60-61 when measured with a digital thermometer.
This batch of dough appeared to ferment faster than I had planned. I will be honest. I don't know exactly what perfectly-proofed dough looks like. That said, I think mine had gone too fast at the 48 hour point. I aggressively feed my starter for a few days before I make my dough. Rather than mess with trying to manipulate my starter, I would rather adjust time and temperature based on my starter. The 48 hour ferment works great for my schedule. That means figuring out the temp needed to make it all work.
This was the lowest hydration I've ever tried. It was nice working with slightly "dryer" dough. I don't know that I would ever be able to taste the difference between 62% and 60%, certainly not with me making the pizzas! I will stick with 60% until I have a reason to change.
I lit my oven 3 hours before the first pie went in. Based on what I've read and experience, I wanted to try and make the oven cook similarly from the first pizza to the last. When my first pie went in, my floor was 800-875. The wall closest to the pizza (furthest from the fire) was 900 degrees. My dome was +1,000. My thermometer is maxed out above that. All of my pies cooked in the 45-60 second range. I was really surprised at how fast they cooked because I've never actually timed one.
My sauce was San Marzano tomatoes that I got duped on. I thought they were from Italy. Thanks to our B.S. labeling laws, they are actually grown and canned in the U.S. Won't buy them again.
My two sources of Buffalo Mozzarella have both stopped selling it. I need to go hit Whole Foods in Napa and check. In the meantime, this mozzarella is the best substitute I can find. It's quite creamy for being made with cows milk. It just doesn't melt as smoothly (or my technique needs adjusting).
Pics in the next post...