As you know, making a dough in a home environment with a standard stand mixer is different than making dough in a commercial setting using a commercial mixer. Sometime, you might try making a Buddy's clone dough batch at market, or maybe a small test batch at home, that uses a longer knead time, to more fully develop the gluten structure. That would not be unusual for a high hydration dough and need not penalize the finished crust and crumb in terms of airiness or texture. See, for example, the dough and pizza described at https://sites.google.com/site/hollosyt/quickrusticciabattapizza. My recollection is that the hydration of the dough described in that article was around 90% or so but the principles might be the same for a dough with a hydration of around 71%, but with a shorter total knead time.
Interestingly, Buddy's often touts its pizzas as being healthy and, in so doing, often mentions that their dough contains no oil or sugar, both of which have become villains in certain health and nutrition circles. However, if Buddy's is using no salt in its dough, or very little salt, it has not touted that fact even though salt content of foods has been under attack for many years. Knowing that people often equate no salt with no taste, I am not sure that I would tell people that the dough has no salt either. Also, since there are people out there, like you and me, who are trying to reverse engineer and clone their dough, telling the world that there is little or no salt in their dough would not be a good idea.
It is very difficult to frame highly technical matters as though they are coming from a typical consumer. Ordinary consumers do not try to determine how much cheese and sauce is used on pizzas, including the brands of those ingredients, and then do all kinds of calculations to determine if any salt is used in the dough.
If I had to guess, the Hunt boys at Via 313, having lived in the Detroit area, where PizzaHog also lives, were perhaps testing out the Foremost Farms brick cheese that perhaps was reasonably available in the Detroit area. As we have discovered, there really aren't that many suppliers who can provide commercial quantities of brick cheese to multiple end users, such as Buddy's, Loui's, Shield's, Tony's, etc. Just as Klausie's had trouble sourcing good brick cheese in Raleigh, others outside of the Midwest may also have problems getting good brick cheese locally.
As has been widely reported in the press, Detroit has been suffering for some time, economically, politically and otherwise. Operating successfully and profitably in such an environment, and also in an environment where the prices of pizza ingredients has been rising quite dramatically, just as we have experienced with our own pizza ingredients, can be extremely challenging. So, looking for cheaper substitutes and cost cutting as much as possible may be behind the lowered quality of the end products. Also, consumers may have less disposable income to spend on pizza, so cheapening the product may be needed to keep existing customers.
I know my Kitchen Aid mixer doesnít mix exactly the same as my Hobart mixer does, and my Hobart is usually faster and does mix better, but I found something Steve told me Tuesday interesting. Steve told me my crumbs at market are softer than when he used the same formulation as I did (by that I mean the slices just about melt in your mouth if that can be understood (when the BuddyĎs clone doughs are tempered right). I told Steve my best results on both mixers are when I just use the flat beater on my Kitchen Aid and Hobart mixers and I told him the mixes are on speeds like 1 first then 2 and 3 and sometimes 4 on my Kitchen Aid mixer. I mix until the dough isnít really sticky in both mixers. I found Steveís comment about my crumb being different than his crumb somewhat strange, because even at home my Buddyís clone are almost the same in the softer crumb. Steve told me he doesnít have a flat beater or a Kitchen Aid mixer and mostly mixes by hand and sometimes uses his Bosch mixer if I recall right. Steve then does stretches and folds different times when I donít do that with my Buddyís clone doughs. Do you have any explanation as why Steveís Buddyís clone pizzas donít turn out like mine in the crumb? Maybe if Steve sees this post he can also explain more. Steve has been looking at some used Kitchen Aid mixers, but I donít know if he will get one or not.
I am not sure either how far I am developing the gluten structure really at either places, but to me the dough feels strong when trying to be stretched right out of both mixers. I guess what I am trying to explain is the dough feels something like when trying to feel is the dough is windowpaning if that makes any sense to you. It can be seen in some of my photos of how the dough balls look after being formed after I divide and scale. I guess I could mix longer to see what happens. I also did work on some higher hydration doughs before like in the Pizzarium thread and I know what it takes to get that kind of higher hydration dough stronger. My way for that is using the stretch and fold methods.
When I sent Buddyís a thank you email for the questions they didnít answer me about the salt. I just said I understood that if they used no salt in their dough that would be proprietary information, but I also said I thought if they really didnít use salt in their dough that would be healthier for their customers and wondered why if they didnít use salt in their dough why they wouldnít let customers know they are eating a healthier pizza. I didnít think about people often equate not salt with no taste. I do know that they are other people out there that are trying to reverse engineer and clone their dough.
I know it would difficult to discuss highly technical matters with anyone at Buddyís as they would be coming from an ordinary consumer wanting to know about cheese, sauce and salt. Most ordinary consumers of their products wouldnít care in the least.
I might to try to call Foremost cheese again to see if their brick cheese is available outside of the Midwest area. I know PizzaHog lives in the Detroit area as the Hunt boys of Via 313 did. I wonder where Via 313 and Klausieís both get their brick cheeses, since I am almost at the end of the rope in finding a brick cheese unless I would go to Scranton to purchase some. Scranton is probably about 2 hours away from me and I am not particularly fond of traveling that far just for brick cheese.
I probably will continue to use the AMPI mild white cheddar and the mozzarella blend in my Buddyís clone pizzas, because those combinations seem to work well for me.
This isnít related to the Buddyís clone pizzas and donít want to get too far off topic like I can, but find when trying to quote what someone said and erasing some things I donít want to quote the screen wants to jump too much to get rid of that stuff I donít want in my quote if lots of things need erased. Do you have the same problems? I see you can easily just put different quotes and then answer right under them, which I can't easily do.