I figured out the problems regarding my earlier post above and wanted to report back to everyone what I came up with, which I believe is pretty close to a buddy's pizza according to everything I've read and gathered on my own. I've included a ton of details so newbies can create this pie correctly the first time....
I'm using an 8" round cast iron pan (6.5" bottom/8" top) because I like smaller pizzas which give me more crust per square inch of pizza. I also get to eat pizza more often this way! Here is the recipe exactly how I made it last night. I didn't take pictures because of the problems I've had trying to make this correctly in the past and it was so good I ate it too fast to stop and take pics as well.
Use dough calculator for different pan sizes.
Dough: 1 8" round
100% 110g bread flour 11-12% protein (do not add Vital Wheat Gluten as I've tried many times without success)
64% 70g warm water -added some vitamin C in it - see below
1% 1/2t IDY for same-day dough (1/4t for overnight rise)
2% 1/2t Sugar (adjust for browning purposes - some pans allow for faster browning)
Absobic Acid/Vitamin C - my flour was plain flour so make sure you have some sort of conditioner in your dough or it won't rise well. If you buy from Sam's Club, their flour has nothing in it except flour!
4-5oz by weight Tomato Magic Ground Tomatos (buddy's uses Stanislaus products)
Pinch crushed red pepper flakes
Pinch of salt
1/8t black pepper
1/8t Garlic powder
1/4t Basil flakes
1/4t Italian seasoning mix
1/4t Olive Oil
4oz Sorrento 50/50 Whole Milk Mozz/Prov
2oz Tuma Muenster (this blend makes it 33/33/33 each cheese)
1.5oz Margherita Coarse pepperoni stick (thin sliced by hand)
1 oz each (mushrooms/green pepper/onion)
I kneaded the dough slowly w/hooks for 4-5 minutes then left in covered bowl for 1-2 hours on countertop for first rise. In my pan I only used enough olive oil to coat the pan then I coated my hands with oil from the excess laying in the bottom of the pan to oil the outside of the dough as I shaped it. No oil inside dough, just outside...I placed flattened dough into pan and covered again for 4-5 hours to rise a second time on countertop. 2 hours before preparing, I popped it into the oven at about 80-90 degrees to rise further.
Toppings: Place all "wet" toppings and sliced pepperoni in between several paper towels and nuke them for 30 seconds. The longer they sit in the paper the better to remove all excess water without damaging veges. This defats the pepperoni a bit as well. The tomato product is almost perfect out of the can, but I do nuke it on half power for a few minutes to "cook" down the tomato and spices a bit to remove excess water. If you don't take these steps to remove the water, your pizza will taste fine, but texture will be horrible!
Typical Buddy's style: pepperoni down first, cheese, sauce and then veges on top.
Oven: Preheat oven to 550-600 degrees for 20 minutes. Slide in pizza on lowest rack and lower temp to 500 degrees, cook for 17 minutes. Get it out of the pan asap and onto cooling rack to let moisture out. If pizza gets cold while drying, put rack back in oven before cutting.
Note: If bottom is not brown enough for you, do not put back in pan and oven attempting to brown more. It just doesn't happen for some reason. Adjust sugar next time around and/or increase cook time.
Sorry for no pics, but this did make a beatiful slice, very "sponge-like" on the inside without excess water and no gum line at all. The bottom was lightly browned, not greasy at all (one dime-sized piece of dough stuck to pan actually) with no leftover grease in pan when done.
I've tried making this pizza 50 times in a bigger pan, always messing something up. If done this way, your pizza will be perfect as well! Even the newest rookie should benefit from this recipe if followed carefully. I've used at many authentic ingredients as research would allow, so this is as close to Buddy's as it's going to get.