Having gone back through this thread, re-reading all the posts, here's what stands out to me.
I think a lot of us don't know how to respond to your issues because a lot of things just don't make sense to us. Like the fact that you're a franchisee, yet you seem to have the freedom to stray from the franchisor's standards. In my experience, franchisees never get to make the kind of decisions you're talking about making. Rather, every franchisee must offer a product that is virtually identical to what every other franchisee offers. For example, if I order a pizza from a Pizza Hut unit that I've never been to, I know it's going to taste and feel just like almost every other Pizza Hut pizza I've ever eaten.
So I think a lot of us are confused by your apparent freedom to make changes from the rest of the chain.
Also, 'WFO' and 'cracker' are not usually mentioned in the same sentence, nor are 'WFO' and 'franchise.' When I think of WFOs, the pizza that instantly comes to my mind is Neapolitan. And cracker crust is almost the last kind of pizza I would associate with a WFO. Furthermore, I'm inclined to assume a pizzeria with a WFO is an independent operator, rather than a franchisee. I figure the other people who have read and/or contributed to this thread are pretty much on the same page as me, which is probably a big reason why you don't seem to be receiving the kind of feedback you were hoping to receive.
Based on a lot of what you said early in the thread, I had the impression that you're part of a small chain, rather than a large chain. But then you mentioned using the same recipe for the last 30 years, which made me think it might be a reasonably large chain. So again, I'm confused, and I just can't make much sense of your circumstances.
I can't make much sense of your picture in Reply #10
, either. It looks like it might be crackery, but it also appears to have some characteristics that resemble NY style.
Although I don't know much about cake flour (because I've never used it), I feel pretty confident advising not to use cake flour for a cracker crust. You said your only alternative is bread flour, which I consider very appropriate for cracker style.
Based on what you said in the first paragraph of Reply #24
, I feel like you're probably looking to go with about 50% hydration; maybe upper 40s. If that ends up being true, and if you use oil, you may want to drop the hydration down into the mid 40s. But don't be afraid to try hydration percentages up to 55%, at least just to find out what happens if you go that high. After a lot of experimentation with cracker style crusts, I've found that sometimes you have to ignore your intuition, because sometimes your intuition is simply wrong.
Your dough picture (in the previous post) looks like it's in the neighborhood of 40% hydration to me. I think the earlier confusion regarding hydration percentage was just miscommunication.
Would you mind writing a new post that basically starts over, clearly stating your main objectives (in a numbered list), as well as addressing some of the issues I've indicated many of us may find confusing? And could you try to include as many details as possible? (Like oven temperature and stuff like that.)