Armed with the additional information about the DiFara dough, I decided this afternoon to take a stab at making a same-day, two-hour, non-refrigerated DiFara dough clone.
Starting with the information from pftaylor that a typical DiFara dough ball weighs around 22.6 ounces and is used to produce a pizza of about 16 inches in diameter, I calculated that the thickness for the pizza would be a medium thickness (TF = 0.11). Since we have no specific information on the hydration percentage other than what one might guess from the rough volume measurements Dom DeMarco provided, I decided for today's dough to use 65%. From that assumption, I could then calculate the amount of each flour to use and also each of the remaining ingredients. For the flours, I used weights rather than volumes to apportion between the Caputo 00 flour (75%) and the All Trumps high gluten flour (25%) since I concluded after weighing "equal volumes" of the two flours that their weights were pretty close and being off a slight bit was unlikely to alter the outcome of an experiment that was built around volumes anyway. Because I was trying to expedite the fermentation of the dough to have it ready within a couple of hours, as I understand to be the practice at DiFara's, I increased the amount of IDY by about 50% and used warmer water (at around 125 degrees F) to achieve a finished dough temperature of around 90 degrees F. I estimated that the combination of more yeast and higher water temperature would expedite the fermentation process and produce a dough ready to use within two hours or so. It will be recalled that my last experiment with the DiFara clone used a small amount of yeast, cooler water, and a long, slow overnight fermentation.
To prepare the dough, I started by combining the IDY and the two flours in the bowl of my stand mixer. Since I didn't know how much water the flours could absorb, I gradually added the water to the bowl as the kneading took place. Slowly but surely I was able to get the flour to absorb all the water at the 65% hydration level, although it took around 10 minutes of kneading (at speeds 1 and 2 on my machine) to do so. Along the way, I added the salt and kneaded that into the dough also. When the dough was done, it was smooth, soft and silky with no tears, and it was tacky. After lightly oiling the dough ball, it went into a covered container on my kitchen countertop. It rose fairly quickly and in two hours it had doubled in volume. I will interject here that I am highly skeptical of pizza doughs made within a short period of time. This includes just about every flour except the very low protein 00 flours, such as the Bel Aria. So, as the dough came off the hook, I had reservations about getting a first-rate pizza crust out of it even though it looked perfectly fine.
After the two-hour rise, the dough was shaped and stretched into a 16-inch skin. The dough handled beautifully and I had no difficulty whatsoever in working with it. Since the largest size pizza my pizza stone can handle is 14 inches, I put the 16-inch skin on a 16-inch pizza screen, with the intention of baking the pizza on the screen at an upper oven rack level for several minutes and then transferring it to the pizza stone on the lowest oven rack level for a final few minutes (the oven and stone had been preheated for about 1 hour at about 500-550 degrees F.) I intentionally dressed the pizza simply with just cheese and a tomato sauce so that I could focus my attention more on the crust and not be distracted by the toppings.
The photos below show the finished product. It was not one of my better pizzas. The crust was soft and breadlike with kind of a cardboard-y bottom crust and little in the way of chewiness or crispiness. In many respects it was quite typical of other crusts that I have made based on a same-day, few-hour dough, especially a dough made using a high-protein flour. I suspect I am missing something in the formulation and processing I used today, or quite possibly a gas oven is the missing component, since it is hard to believe that a DiFara crust is like the one I made today and the shortcomings are disguised only by using the highest quality toppings. My efforts today also demonstrate how difficult it is to replicate a dough when everything is specified in volumes--and rough volumes at that--and nothing in weights.