In a recent post on this thread (Reply #59), I described a DiFara clone dough based on using a 60/40 ratio, by weight, of All Trumps high-gluten flour and Caputo 00 flour, a relatively high hydration percentage (65%), a small amount of salt (1/4 t.) and a 16 hour overall period of fermentation/ripening. When that dough was made into a pizza following the instructions given at the abovementioned post, I came out with what I deemed to be an exceptional pizza.
The recipe I used that produced such good results was as follows:
5.07 oz. All Trumps (General Mills) high-gluten flour (about 1 c. plus 1 2/3 T.)
3.38 oz. Caputo 00 pizzeria flour (about 3/4 c. plus 1 t.)
5.49 oz. water (around 65% hydration) (a bit less than 3/4 c.)
1/4 t. salt
Slightly less than 1/4 t. IDY
Subsequently, we learned from pftaylor that Dom DeMarco at DiFara's uses predominantly Caputo 00 flour and a lesser amount of All Trumps high-gluten flour, in a roughly 75/25 ratio. Based on that input, I decided to make another DiFara clone dough using that ratio of flours (by weight). I also decided to increase the amount of salt and to slightly reduce the total fermentaition/ripening period. For purposes of the dough, I used the 14-inch pizza size, and a thickness factor of around 0.09. The final recipe was as follows, including the baker's percents:
Flour (100%), 6.50 oz. of Caputo 00 flour (about 1 1/2 c.) and 2.17 oz. All Trumps (a bit more than 1/2 c.)
Water (60%, temp. adjusted to achieve a finished dough temp. of 80 degrees F), 5.20 oz. (2/3 c.)
Salt (1.5%), 0.13 oz. (between 5/8 and 3/4 t.)
IDY (0.25%), 0.022 oz. (a bit less than 1/4 t.)
Because of the small amount of dough involved, I chose to knead it entirely by hand. When done, it had a final weight of 14.04 oz. and an internal temperature just shy of 80 degrees F. I placed the dough into a plastic storage bag and set the bag on my kitchen counter late last night. By early morning, about 10 hours later, the dough had spread into a pancake-like disk. It was soft and a bit moist but not nearly as wet or moist as the previous dough that had a considerably higher hydration percentage. I was able to reball the dough without having to add any more flour. I then returned the dough to a bowl (covered) for about another 4 hours, during which time the dough at least doubled. It was still soft and a bit moist and it exhibited a tendency to bubbling. but I was able to easily shape the dough into a 14-inch skin. The dough was a combination of extensible and elastic at the same time, but it handled well.
After dressing the pizza, it was baked for about 6 minutes on a pizza stone that had been preheated for about an hour at 500-550 degrees F. I thereupon moved the pizza to an upper oven rack position to continue baking for about another 1-2 minutes under the broiler, which I had turned on about 4-5 minutes into the baking process.
The photos below show the finished product. Overall, I was quite pleased with the results. The crust was soft and delicate in the middle, with a nice lightness, and crunchy at the rim--which had a quite open and airy structure. I thought the crust had a very nice taste. As between today's pizza and the last one I liked so well, I think I preferred the last one a bit more--but not by much. They were both quite good. As for the increased amount of salt that I used for today's dough, I can't say that I noticed a big difference in terms of dough performance or crust taste. The lower hydration percent made for a bit tougher time kneading, but the finished crust was still open and airy.
I think what today's experiment taught me most is that it is possible to make a decent dough and crust using a combination of flours that ranges quite widely between a 60/40 ratio of high-gluten and 00 flours and a 75/25 ratio of 00 and high-gluten flours. It is also possible to use a lower hydration percent than the 65% previously used and get an open and airy crumb. I also believe it is possible to make a decent DiFara dough clone on a same-day basis, without requiring an overnight stay on the kitchen counter. I suspect that one could start the dough early in the morning and use it later in the afternoon of evening, with respectable results. To get an even lighter and more delicate crust, it should also be possible to use an even lower thickness factor, possibly around 0.07-0.08, which is similar to that used by pftaylor in his Raquel recipe.