Ok, the results are in! (the pizza was eaten before I could take pictures!)
DKM's Chicago Pizza (using canola oil) -- This pizza was the clear winner with our guests (and with me and my wife!) Unbelievable taste and texture. The dough got a full 24 hour rise in the refrigerator and was excellent. I used Polly-O whole milk mozzarella sliced into 3/16" slices as the first layer, the next layer consisted of raw 6-in-1 tomatoes with added fresh basil, fresh garlic, and dried oregano. On top of that I added precooked chunks of sweet Italian sausage, and finally I dusted the top with freshly grated Parmesean cheese and a drizzle of olive oil. Baked the pizza for 30 minutes at 450 degrees. Truly awesome pizza!
The second pizza was my "ultimate thin-crust" pizza. The dough got a full 24 hour rise at room temperature. This pizza turned out good as well, but I ended up overcooking the toppings because I had to use my other oven (my main oven was occupied by the Chicago pizza). The toppings started burning with the bottom still not crisp. Oh well. This pizza was ranked #3 by everyone.
And lastly, I made a "soda cracker" thin crust (using the correct amount of shortening this time
) This pizza was rated #2 by everyone, including myself. The crust was light, flaky, and crisp! Each and every bite produced a slight "crunch" sound and sensation, the crust had a decidedly "crackery" taste... very good in my opinion. While the crust was almost paper thin, it was able to hold its shape, someone used "diving board" as a good analogy. I thought it was a bit too thin, but everyone else said they liked it.
My final thoughts:
DKM's "canola oil" Chicago pizza recipe is excellent.
My "best ever" thin crust would have been better had I cooked it properly. I did pre-bake the crust this time which created the air pockets that everyone seems to like. Need to try, try agian!
And the "soda cracker" crust is a real winner. I'm going to try this again, only double the recipe and make a slightly thicker thin crust.
All in all, an excellent pizza weekend!!