I just spent several hours skimming all 39 pages or so of this thread. Sorry I didn't read all the post, it is just too overwhelming. I commend everyone for their efforts. I've never had an HRI pie, but based on the discription and efforts, I want to give it a try. Instead of building on everyone's efforts I want to take a slightly new approach. I have a few thoughts in mind concerning the characteristics of this peculiar crust. Sorry if any of this has already been discussed or tried but it's where my gut tells me to go. Again, I apologize for not having read every post here.
1) yeasty flavor. Of all the doughs I've ever made from emergency doughs to moderately long fermented doughs, the ONLY doughs that had that yeasty taste whether it be pizza or dinner rolls were emergency doughs with around 2% cake yeast. If you all want that "yeasty" flavor, that is where I would look.
2)Flakiness and use of oil versus solid fats. I know the ingredients list corn oil and I am aware that Norma mentioned modifying a pie crust recipe. I make an ETREMELY flaky pie crust that is basically comprised of 50% shortening and 50% AP flour with just a small amount of water, salt, sugar, vinegar, and an egg. I'm not suggesting using a pie crust recipe for this dough, but I will be starting out with about 25% to perhaps 30%+ butter flavor crisco shortening and then working in small amounts of water to get a semi stiff dough. I will also be using the pie crust technique of cutting the fat into the flour first. The crumbles, especially marble sized should help create that layered effect resembling lamination.
My pie crust also calls for a small amount of vinegar. It is suppose to help relax the gluten. What I need to know from those of you who have eaten a lot of this pizza is if the crust is chewy at all? How much chew is there? A little or a lot or none at all? Again, I'm not making a pie crust per se, but will use that knowledge to make a HRI clone with similar crust characteristics.
My pie crust recipe also calls for freezing the dough first and then allowing it thaw out. The reviews that I read on this particular pie crust, one poster commented on how he had tested freezing vs not freezing the pie crust and that there was a difference in flakiness. Is it possible that HRI is freezing their dough first or keeping them at really cold temps prior to thawing out and making pizza? Just wondering.
Anyways, I hope to attempt this in the next several weeks and will try to post pictures if I get anything close to what HRI is suppose to look like.