I've been experimenting with buzz's recipe for the last few weeks. I'm going for what I think is going to be quite close to my final recipe tomorrow (is there such a thing?). The dough is in the refrigerator now for my next attempt. I am no expert like some on this forum, but for what it is worth, read on...
What I made last week seemed to work out very well. I measured some things by weight (where indicated), and the rest by volume. I do not have a KitchenAid, so this is all by hand.
This is for a 10" American Metalcraft deep-dish pizza pan, tapered sides (top rim is 10" diameter, bottom inside is 9"), 2" tall.
3 C. Gold Medal AP flour (375g)
2 tsp. Fleischman Active Dry Yeast (slightly less than one "packet")
1 ½ tsp. sugar
¾ tsp. salt
7 ½ Tbsp. Crisco Pure Canola Oil (105g)
1 ½ Tbps. Bertolli Extra Light Olive Oil (20g)
¾ C. + 3 ½ tsp. warm water (195g)
I proofed the yeast first in ¼ C. water with some of the sugar for 10 minutes while I prepared the rest of dry ingredients. I've found that I can't get any higher hydration levels than that without the dough getting very wet/sticky and impossible to work with for a short knead. I added both oils to the flour first, mixed that up, then added the proofed yeast water, mixed, then the rest of the water. All of this was quite quick. My total combined mixing + kneading time was about 2.75 - 3 minutes. After kneading I covered the bowl with plastic wrap and a slightly damp towel and placed directly in the refrigerator. I usually get a decent rise in 24 hours.
I find the dough very difficult to work with when it is cold, so I usually take it out of the fridge at least 4 hours before I want to work with it. I punch it down 30 minutes before I want to roll it out and let it rest. While it is resting I make my sauce, prepare toppings and coat my pan liberally with margarine. I separate about 1/3 of the crust and set it aside for a top crust. I roll out the dough with a regular rolling pin to the right size, and I let it drape over the top edge of the pan while I press it in.
After the bottom crust is in, I put the toppings next, then 1 lbs. of mozzarella cheese (I've found that to be about right for this size pan). I've found a combination of slices and shredded seems to cover the best. All shredded makes it too tall until it melts... On top of the cheese I placed my other dough, rolled out VERY thin. I press this against the sides of the pan to make sure it meshes well with the other side dough, and drape it over the edge likewise. There is usually about ½ inch left above the top crust before the top of the pan at this point. I then roll off the excess overhang, but I think I'll try using the cutter as demonstrated above tomorrow. Before anyone tells me that this is a lot of dough for this size pan, I end up rolling off about 25% of it by weight and discarding (I'm not very good at making perfect circles with my rolling pin). So my final dough weight including top and bottom crust ends up being about 500g give or take.
For toppings I usually use italian sausage (which I cook beforehand) and/or spinach. There is almost always garlic down with the toppings too, because we love garlic.
For sauce I am using Escalon 6-in-1 All Purpose Ground Tomatoes. I've experimented with as little as 444g and as much as 794g on this size of a pizza, trying both drained and undrained. I think tomorrow I'll go with about 550g of undrained 6-in-1's (about ⅔ of a 28 oz. can). When I visited Chicago recently, I found Giordano's sauce was much sweeter than what I was using, so I upped the sugar a bit from buzz's sauce recipe. My version of buzz's sauce recipe is as follows:
550 g Escalon 6-in-1 All Purpose Ground Tomatoes (19.5 oz.)
3 cloves garlic
2 tsp. sugar
¾ tsp. salt
¾ tsp. black pepper
1 tsp. oregano
I usually sprinkle a bit of parmesean cheese on top of the sauce for looks.
I have my pizza stone on the second from bottom rack of my oven, both oven and stone preheated to 450F (oven thermometer confirms my oven is pretty accurate). I place my pan directly on the stone and bake at 450F for 45 minutes. It comes out very close to Giordano's. My last try was sausage and spinach, with a final pizza weight of over 4 lbs! I do not even want to know how many calories.
If tomorrow's pizza turns out well, I will adapt the recipe to my 14" pan and give that a whirl as well. My next experiment is with a longer rise time for better flavor - say 48-72 hours - with a daily punch down.
As soon as I get the "perfect" looking and tasting pizza, I'll post some more pictures.