For me, I would say that the major epiphany was gaining a better understanding and appreciation of the relationship of yeast, and especially yeast quantity, and temperatures, and especially temperatures of fermentation. If you think about it, these two factors are involved in just about any yeast-based pizza dough on the planet. And, the yeast need not be commercial yeast; it can include wild/natural yeast also.
I remember back many years when I started to ponder the above relationships, and I even remember an early post where I raised the subject. That post is at Reply 69 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,524.msg4967.html#msg4967
. That was over nine years ago. And I have pondered the yeast/temperature conundrum ever since. These days, when I read the posts of other members, I see that many, maybe even most, and especially new members, have failed to fully comprehend, appreciate and internalize the relationship between yeast and temperatures in the context of a dough. And that has been the source of many of the problems that members have experienced. This is not an indictment of those members. There are just too many temperature variations in the typical home setting, and there are often limits on our ability to control them. These variations can include room temperature, flour temperature, water temperature, mix/knead and machine frictional temperatures (related to the agitators/attachments used and mix/knead speeds and times), use of punchdowns and stretch and folds, delays (intentional or unintentional) during preparation of the dough (including autolyse and riposo
), jump starting fermentation before refrigerating, the temperatures of refrigerators during cold fermentation and the location of stored doughs in the refrigerators, the room temperature and the duration of any tempering of the dough before using to make pizzas, and any subsequent proofing of the skins made from the dough. And in relationship to all of these factors, there is always the question of how much yeast (or starter) to use.
To be sure, there have been some members who have comprehended many of the above factors and relationships better than most. Craig is one of those members, with his thread at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,26831.msg271398.html#msg271398
. Member November is another such member, as evidenced by the thread he started at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,5028.msg42558.html#msg42558
. What these two extraordinary guys have been trying to do is to master the yeast/temperature relationship. And their message is one of the most powerful of the forum. Everything else is secondary in my opinion.