I've been looking through Norma's first thread (http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,10018.msg87298.html#msg87298
), and I like it. I'm surprised that thread didn't get more attention. I didn't see the thread when I was reading everything I could find about stuffed pizza last week. I think Norma's dough formula is much closer to the real thing than any of the recipes I've seen elsewhere, except I have a pretty strong feeling the oil percentage is excessively high. (Maybe I'm wrong, but right now I feel pretty sure Giordano's dough contains a lot less fat.)
I think BTB's post in that thread (http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,10018.msg87338.html#msg87338
) is a very important piece of the Giordano's puzzle. What he said confirms some suspicions I had about Giordano's crust--mainly that the top and bottom crusts are the same thickness--and it has also given me some other ideas, which I intend to share later in a response on that thread.
Here's a post I think is very important. It's the information Peter received from Giordano's about dough ingredients: http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,5674.msg51855.html#msg51855
. It lists the ingredients as "Flour, water, vegetable oil, yeast, salt, spices." Take note that sugar is not listed as an ingredient. (That's a huge piece of the puzzle right there.) Also, yeast is listed before salt, which suggests that Giordano's may use ADY or that there is a very low salt percentage in their dough. In fact, it suggests that the salt percentage is likely very low regardless of which kind of yeast they use, because if they use the dough 3-4 days after mixing, it seems very unlikely that they use more than 1% yeast. Which means the salt percentage is probably well under 1%. To me, the big question is this: What are "spices"?
In this post (http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,5674.msg56707.html#msg56707
), Peter says he estimates that Giordano's uses 13 oz of cheese for 10" pizzas. Interestingly, 13 oz of cheese is exactly what I've used for the 10" pizzas I've made. (Also, 13 oz is a figure I decided to use before seeing Peter's post.) Having made three of these pizzas so far, I feel like 13 oz is about right, but I think a little more cheese would be fine, too. (Did I just say that?)
Also, Peter says in this post (http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,5674.msg69605.html#msg69605
) that the weight of a baked 10" Giordano's stuffed spinach pizza is 42 oz. With the portions and thicknesses I've used so far, my unbaked 10" stuffed cheese pizza target weight has been 46.38 oz (13.35 oz for bottom dough, 13.04 oz of cheese, 4.96 oz for top dough, and 15.03 oz of sauce). Keep in mind, every pizza loses a little weight while it bakes. Again, I arrived at this weight totally independent of Peter's input. And I only mention that because to me it helps confirm that Peter and I are both on the right track. (I haven't remembered to weigh a baked pizza yet.)
Judging by the color of the dough in this video
, I suspect Giordano's may use unbleached flour.