I do autolyze most of the time. Started doing it with baguettes and noticed a difference. Mine is longer though, an hour to two hours. What this does is just help build the gluten strands and certainly you will also get proper hydration. We do not use a mixer, and is not required when doing autolyze and long ferments. (3-5 days).I think in the end, what separates one dough from another is all about the character and layerd depth flavor of the finished dough. Very small things add up to make a difference in the final dough product. Water, the type of flour, mix times, autolyze, Levain, etc, etc, all add up to make the final flavor profile.
So IMHO weather you autolyze or not probably depends on what you are trying to do. If you want to make a fast pie with just an overnight ferment. Then you can skip autolyze, mix the dough in a mixer or food processor, use commercial yeast, tap water and away you go. You will get a good Pie!
However if you are going for a more artisan, wider flavor profile that is unique in flavor and texture, then you probably do want to autolyse, filtered water, long ferment times, and use a sourdough culture for levain.
The end result we get with the dough is pretty amazing. The flavor is so good, you really dont need anything else, just a little olive oil dip and your happy. Add sauce and cheese and WOW! LOL As a matter of fact, I use our pizza dough now for baguettes. They are super.
Dont know if any of this helps, but please let us know how it turned out.
Take starter our first day and re feed discard in a new bowl, set out at room temp for 24 hours. Feed twice during the time. Re feed mother jar also and put back in fridge. Once starter is ready the steps below is what we usually do.
First add water to large bowl
Next add the flour to your water
Mix with spoon until incorporated
Cover room temp and let site 1-2 hrs
Next we add our sourdough culture
Mix, this will be very hydrated, around 80 %
Cover and let stand another our
Add more flour and sea salt then bench it (sometimes a pinch of commercial yeast is added also)
Hand knead only a few minutes to get the consistency you want
Bulk ferment-usually we do four days (ball on the third day and put back in cold storage- take out room temp 2-4 hours before baking.
This is generally what we do. But yes I have used a blender, and yes have also made overnight rise, and yes I even will make chef boy r dee in a pinch. So, we try to cover all basis but if planning a pie night, we will take the steps above inorder to create a very special and delicious dough.
I just learned last night how to make home made Motz, let me tell ya, I was shocked that it turned out and turned out great. What a revelation. Fun stuff