Jcovey, first off nice leoparding. I love the look. Do you remember what time and temp of the bake was?
I don't remember the specifics of the Verasano technique as it has been years since I've looked at it, so would you detail exactly what you did. It's easier to help if I have all the information.
1) It was difficult to stretch this wet of dough without making the center extremely thin. Any tips?
Thinness in some spots could be caused by a couple of factors. One would be balling technique or balling late in the stages of fermentation, or doing a reball too close to bake time. The other major factor is gluten over development (IE over mixing + reballs). Basically what is going on is that the gluten strength is too strong and the doughballs were probably reballed or balled late. This causes an uneven gluten matrix. When you go to stretch it out, you have weak and strong spots which appear as the disk getts bigger. The further out you go, the thinner spots start to break.
2) Am I looking for a more chewy crust or more airy? Mine was definitely on the more chewy side. It was very good, but just wondering what the standard is. Maybe I overworked it while stretching it out. There seemed to be so little IDY, is 0.03% a reasonable amount?
I beat your crust was chewy alright. And you didn't overwork the it while stretching, but rather overworked it during the mix and/or reballs. I love the look of big leopard spotted crusts like yours, but I've always only been able to get them with a dough using IDY, when I've overdeveloped the gluten strength or from a dough that has been sitting in the fridge 4-5 days. I've never been able to achieve a leoparded crust using IDY that was tender. I've seen it with crusts made with starters (Sourdough) but not with IDY.
From seeing that your crust is relatively thick, the nicely leoparded rim, and your description of it being hard to stretch without getting the middle too thin, I'm thinking the dough was probably overmixed or balled really late (or reballed).
As far as the yeast goes, I agree with Wahoo. You may have meant to use 0.3% I'm not sure. 0.3% can be used for a same day dough or you can refrigerate it 2-3 days out.
Shriveling crust? Hmmm, sounds bad. Crust don't tend to shrivel after the bake. They can deflate a bit if your bake time is really short. Shriveling makes me think of the crust retracting, and it usually does that prior to loading not after the bake.