From what I've seen in NYC pizzerias (the "New York slice" guys, not the high end wood-fired oven places, where pizzas bake in 90 seconds), I definitely would go with conveyor ovens for high volume, such as I remember at Buddy's, for consistent bake times if nothing else: you set the conveyor speed for, say, 12 minutes, feed the pans in one end and then they come out at the other in exactly that time. With deck ovens and high volume, where you're putting a pizza in the oven every few seconds, it's really hard to time them; when you have several pizzas in the oven that were put in at different times, you have to keep opening the door and judging visually when a pizza is done.
I wonder if anyone has heard of Singa's Famous Pizza (http://goo.gl/D5X1I), a popular chain in the area, though mostly outside Manhattan. What's unique about them, at least at the location I visited, is that they bake their pizzas in round cake pans and bake them in a deck oven. As I recall, they had only one size pizza.
I am still experimenting with how much time the dough needs to rise in the steel pans using different methods, including using my Hatco Unit to temper some doughs, so I am not really sure of what answer to give you. I can set the Hatco Unit (basically a pizza holding cabinet that can have heat and humidity) to different temperatures, but I still havenít figured out what temperature to do that at either.
At home with the last experiment I did with 1% IDY and a higher final dough temperature it took a shorter amount of time than I thought it would for the dough to temper in the steel pan. I still have a lot of experimenting to do at home and at market. I sure donít have all of this figured out yet.
I agree with you if you can get your dough to rise in the steel pan in an hour, you are doing very well. I also agree with you that it is more efficient using an emergency dough like Buddyís does, than trying to cold ferment a dough like I am trying to do for market. To answer your question about if an overnight dough tastes much better when it is baked, I canít say it does, but for me that might be the way I need to go, instead of trying to make emergency doughs. I am not sure what I am going to do yet. For me the flavors of the melted cheese, or cheeses, caramelized edges, soft and airy texture of the crumb, caramelized edges and crispy bottom crust is what I really like about the Buddyís clone pizzas that turn out right for me.
To answer your question if pizzerias used brick cheese instead of mozzarella for the taste, I would say yes. As I posted before a mild white cheddar and mozzarella blend also give the Buddyís clone pizza almost the same taste as using brick cheese alone. The mild white cheddar does have a higher fat content like brick cheese. I am not sure if the brick cheese purchased though a foodservice is cheaper or not. I am wondering about cheese prices since I saw on the news about milk prices might really be going up. I really donít know what the prices of brick cheese are from a foodservice distributor. I havenít found one yet in my area.
What I am really trying to do is produce an ďold schoolĒ Buddyís pizza like when they baked in a deck oven, but I really donít know how they tasted back then, so really I might not achieve what I want.
Are you planning on selling Buddyís clone pizzas commercially in your area?