I've been making pizza dough for a while now and I've used it to make pizza in gas ovens, wood-fired ovens and coal-fired ovens. I've used lava stones, ceramic tiles, steel plates and fire bricks to bake on.
Let me let you in on a little secret.
I've used the same dough recipe in every venue, every time.
The recipe I used came from Fiorentini's King of Pizza on West 42nd Street between 7th & 8th Avenues in Times Square. Yes, in the middle of all the triple feature and triple X movie theatres, right next to Bill's Gyro's (who are still going strong on the boardwalk in Atlantic City).
And then, when I was doing all my pizza research getting ready to open Lombardi's, I decided to go right to the source: General Mills. It took a couple of weeks to find the right person (this was pre-internet), but they gave me what they called their recommended recipe for making pizza dough.
And guess what?
It was exactly the same.
50lb bag of All Trumps Hi Gluten Flour
3.5 gallons of water (mark 3.5 gallons in a big plastic container with a black magic marker and fill to just below the line)
1lb of sugar
1lb of salt
8oz olive oil
4oz fresh bakers yeast.
Throw the water in the Hobart and mix everything but the flour with a whisk. Then add the flour. Mix on low for 8 minutes.
You now have 80lbs of dough.
That's it. Except when it's really hot & humid, add ice to the water.
You now have the dough recipe for everyplace I've ever been. Including Lombardi's.
I fooled around with different hydration percentages but wound up coming back to this - which for you guys keeping score is about 57%.
So, what's my point?
Good pizza has been around long before hydration formulas and such. Don't get so wrapped up into what is really a very simple process. Because that's what pizza is supposed to be. Plain. Simple. Food.