Thanks for telling me what you recall about Buddy’s cheese taste. I don’t think Buddy’s uses sharp white cheddar now, but only uses brick cheese for their regular non specialty pizzas. I have used some cheddars in combination with mozzarellas in this thread for Buddy’s clone attempts. I did also make some attempts with only brick cheese.
I agree with you that in Buddy’s clone pizza and a real Buddy’s pizza all the flavors are “melded” together and you really can’t tasted each topping like in other styles of pizza. When you say “creaminess” in the crumb, do you mean it had a light texture if you can recall. I did read online somewhere in the last few days that Buddy’s did change the recipe from when they started to make their pizzas. Maybe what you tasted 30 years ago isn’t what a Buddy’s pizza tastes like now. Do you recall Buddy’s baking in deck ovens back that many years ago?
I did order a real Buddy’s pizza online and it was half-baked. I just wanted to confirm what other members might have thought of the cheese on a real Buddy’s pizza.
I would like to help you with what “HR” stands for, but don’t recall posting that. Maybe someone posted on this thread what hydration ratio was. It is a percent of water used in making a dough. If you need any other help understanding something on this thread let me know.
Peter helpfully pointed me to an "abbreviations section" he created, so now I know that "HR" means "hydration ratio." Now I just need to know what brick cheese is. I've been assuming that it's regular mozzarella, but sold in a block that one shreds oneself, as opposed to buying it already shredded. But maybe I'm wrong and it's also a variety of cheese - i.e., not mozzarella or maybe mozzarella combined with another kind of cheese?
By "creaminess," I mean that the dough kind of melts in my mouth. On one of my Detroit pizza attempts, I took it out of the oven a tad too soon and got that kind of mouth feel, so I'm now wondering if Buddy's pizzas are slightly underbaked - maybe a short bake at a high temperature, so that the outside is crisp, but the inside not cooked enough to dry out? Same idea of a good steak at a steakhouse, where they have grills that, I read, can get up to 1,000 degrees, so you get a steak that's charred on the outside, but rare or even raw on the inside. I'm gonna try to bake one that way on purpose and see what happens.
Regarding the oven, I always went to the original Buddy's, on Six Mile Road, and though I don't remember exactly, I'm guessing that the door to the kitchen must have been closed because I don't recall seeing the oven.
Peter has spoken with Buddy's personnel in the past. If you're reading this, Pete, maybe you could call Buddy's and ask what kind of oven they use? Maybe you can even get bake time and temperature.
Norma, I understand that you sell pizzas commercially, so maybe you can enlighten me on what you think would be the best way to prepare Detroit-style pizzas for large quantity commercial sale. Should I order, say 100 steel pans, coat them with oil, mix a bulk dough, immediately divide it, put measured portions in the pans and leave them to rise? Should I let the bulk dough rise, keep it all together and only when someone orders a pizza, pull off a piece, oil a pan, put the dough in the pan, top it and bake it? Or something in between or something completely different? What's the best way? I know the best way for "non-pan" pizzas where one takes a dough ball, stretches it, puts it on a peel, etc., but not for pizzas where one puts the dough in a pan and then into the oven. In NYC, where I live, pizzerias sell Sicilian pizzas, of course, but people generally order just slices and they order so few of them that it's not unusual for a pizzeria to have to make just one pizza in a large pan for the entire day, so the issue of efficiency never arises.