I thought I'd resurrect this topic, after having read it and as I was interested in what people have tried so far. I have been working on emulating a Di Fara pie for the past week, and few observations I made.
I visited Di Fara last Wednesday, I timed my pie in the oven at a little over 5 minutes before he took it out.
The bottom of the crust is crispy and quite thin and definitely charred which adds to the overall flavor and texture of the pizza. Surprisingly, the "meat" of the crust remains tender. Depending on the pie he just made, the crust rim has a 3/4" spring, and some just flat. The char adds that slight bitterness that completes the 4 tastes.
I asked Dom while he was cutting my pie if he uses dough from the day before or if they're made the same day. He said dough is made fresh all day and used the same day. When I observed him opening and stretching dough, it's looks like an all purpose flour dough like 00 flour in it's elasticity. This is not a dough you'd spin and toss.
Because of the high intensity of heat level in his ovens which reach 700-800 degrees, the cheese is cooked to what many people would consider well done, or to the tooth. This is one of the most important techniques to the texture of a Di Fara pizza. Because the oven is set much hotter than most deck ovens, the pizza will "dehydrate" the toppings quicker, and crisp the bottom quicker without drying out the overall crust. The crust remains tender because it's a faster bake at 4-5 minutes. If I would have used a dough in a lower temp oven, and got the cheese cooked, browned and dehydrated to the point they do it, the crust will be clearly dried.
The baked pie is given additional oil after a few minute resting, which essentially refreshes the cheese which is clearly a more concentrated texture at this point. And a layer of fresh Grana Padano finishes it. This really gives it a really interesting texture profile, the layering of the cooked mozz, oil and fresh grana padano and believe this is one of the most important aspects of their pizza.
Since I believe it's the extremely hot oven doing alot of the work here, and because I also only have a home oven, I have worked a way to get ovens up to 650, without changing the hardware. I used a large cast iron Creuset dutch oven pan, and placed it on the middle rack, and my steel on the lower rack. This is superior to using two stones, as the radiant heat from the cast iron really pumps out heat on the top side. After heating the oven for 1 hour, by changing bake to broil several times, I was registering 650 degrees on the cast iron and lower steel. I have not tried baking a Di Fara style pie yet, but have done this with my other pies, and it works really well. However, at 650 degrees, it may still be too low to effectively bake a Di Fara style pie. What I believe makes Di Fara unique is because he is the 1% of pizzerias who uses a low clearance deck oven that can reach 800 degrees and produces a different texture profile that can't be made in other ovens.