I recall discussion that the thickness factor range in the Lehmann dough calculator - 0.1 to 0.105 - is really higher than desirable. In light of your recommendation of 0.075, could you please comment on this history, and if there is a different, preferred range?
For the last 100 years, ever since the advent of the manufacturing age, good regional food has been under attack. Corporations, in the very beginning, began as small business. As they grew, they became regional entities. A regional corporation will cater to regional tastes but, as the corporations grew larger they had to cater to national/multi-national palettes. Foods with unique regional attributes, with strong character, lost those traits as they went through the process of being packaged for multi-national consumption. The corporations were/are polishing off all the sharp edges of cultural identity, all while paying strict attention to their financial bottom line and saving as much money as they can with cheaper ingredients. You can't walk down the frozen aisle at the supermarket and not get a glimpse at how powerful the forces of homogenization, gentrification and commodification are. You can't turn on a television and not come to the understanding that culinary cultural identity is breathing it's dying breath.
There have been a handful of movements worldwide that have attempted to counteract these forces, but they are feeble and few. Cask conditioned ale, for instance, is the most wonderful drink ever known to man and it can't be mass produced, can't be commodified, can't be advertised. There was a movement in the 90s in the UK to try to resurrect it, and, while partly successful, access to real ale is still incredibly limited. Slow food began in California as a means of battling corporatization, and, while it has it's adherents, it's really only an isolated foodie kind of thing and is a drop in the bucket compared to fast food. The French, with their rich culinary heritage, fought this scourge valiantly for a few decades, but even they eventually caved in. As long as you have kids watching television (which, these days, is pretty much everywhere), good regionally authentic food doesn't stand a chance.
I bring all this up, because .1 TF is chain pizza. It has no correlation whatsoever with the pizza in NY- either historically or presently. It is a thorough warped, debased and commodified entity. On a conscious level, most forum members would never dream of making chain pizza- consciously, most of them understand how crappy fast food can be, and, yet, when flour gets combined with water, the subconscious corporate imprinting is so powerful, so pervasive, chain pizza gets made.
When the chains emerged on the market, they couldn't compete with independents on a crust level, so they went crazy with toppings. If you put a load of toppings on a traditionally thin NY style crust, everything slides off. So the chains took a breadier/sturdier direction. As the chains, with the power of TV advertising behind them, started taking business away from the independents, the independents- at least, the independents outside the NY area, all emulated this sturdier/more topping centric approach.
There's other influences at play in the history of .1 thickness factor, but corporate influence tops the list. That and the skill factor. Whoever came up with the recommendation was most likely a home baker themselves and didn't have stretching skills to achieve anything below .1- and was targeting their advice towards others with similar skin stretching experience.
I think that if one polled the areas outside of NY, the pizza they describe as 'NY style' might overwhelming be in the .1 range. If this was just a numbers game- the more people that define it a particular way, the stronger the definition, then sure, NY style should be a football shaped monstrosity. But it's not about numbers- it's about cultural identity, history and the forces that have been/are defiling it.My baseline is 64% hydration of King Arthur bread flour, 0.4% IDY, 2% salt, and 1.5% oil. I will probably cook at about 500 F, as I have issue with burning the crust at higher temperature on the Big Green Egg.
One word: Deflection. That's the only way you're going to get a BGE to give you good top browning with fast NY style bakes. You've got to incorporate some kind of pan under the stone to direct heat up to the ceiling to brown the top of the pie. Take a look at my bottom heat configurationhttp://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,21503.msg217026.html#msg217026
You can try lowering the ceiling as well, but I'd add deflection first.