Thanks for the kind words.
I tried modifying my dough just a bit this time by cutting back on the yeast and salt. As I get more surefooted by doing this more and absorbing the wisdom of the experts on this board, I'm realizing that salt can become a crutch to add flavor when you're not sure how to develop it, and yeast can become a crutch to develop extensibility by ballooning the dough. Therefore, I'm trying to cut back on both habits. Not drastically, but enough to let the dough speak for itself. Here's my latest formula:
1140g flour (100%)
26g salt (2.2807%)
7g ADY (.61403%)
I bloom the yeast first in the warm water. I'm old fashioned that way, and I still use ADY instead of IDY, so I guess I have to. I give that at least 5-10 minutes to get going.
I start the KA Pro 5 with about 2/3 of the flour and all the salt, and add the yeast/water as it runs on the lowest speed. When fully incorporated, I mix for a minute or so and let it rest for maybe 5 minutes to hydrate the flour. I then start it up again and slowly add the rest of the flour. I don't mix for long (maybe a minute or two at speed 3 or so); just until the dough is fully uniform and has come together. Then I hand knead. It should be sticky to the point where you can't keep your hands clean. The more I knead, the more manageable it becomes. I resist the temptation to add more flour unless I just can't keep it together. (I am influenced by Varasano in regard to high hydration, and I've found his advice very sound.) After kneading to the point of smoothness, I do a bulk counter rise (covered of course) for a couple of hours. Even with less yeast, I still get plenty of rise (I'm thinking of cutting back further on the yeast.) Then, I scale and ball the dough (six 315-g dough balls), put it in Glad containers with no oil, and refrigerate overnight. The dough will rise again before it gets cold. The next day when they are thoroughly chilled, I degass and reform the doughs, coat each with a little evoo for easy release later, and put them quickly back in the cooler. In my opinion, this dough doesn't reach it's peak of flavor, texture and extensibility until day 5 or so. 3 days will make a good crust, 5 days and you have more cell structure and webbing in the cornicione and a much deeper flavor. The pic was an 8-day dough and was delicious. I've never kept one around long enough to see it go bad, so I don't know when that happens. I let it at least come close to room temperature before stretching and dressing. If there are air pockets, stretch it just a bit, and give it a good counter smack in the center. I try not to violently flatten the rim because I want it airy. It should stretch like a dream. The flour I used was GM Harvest King. If you use another flour or blend of flours, I'm sure your experience will vary (quite possibly for the better...) If anyone tries this, I hope you'll post and let me know your results and thoughts.