A retired Electronics Engineer, raised on Niagara Falls' defunct Trusello's Pizza, I got a kick from the "Reverse Engineering Spumoni Gardens" thread. My wife heard about the Spumoni Garden on TV the day before I decided to investigate them on this forum.
Quite familiar with reverse engineering electronic and mechanical systems, I hadn't heard the term applied to pizza. If it's done with wine and perfume, why not pizza?
Pictures can't describe taste or texture, but the Garden's Sicilian pizza looked very similar to Trusello's. I tried duplicating Nate's April 3rd Reply 166 recipe and immediately ran into a roadblock. Having never baked anything other than pre-fabbed Pillsbury Doughboy sugar-topped cinammon rolls when the kids were young, I couldn't understand any of the baking terminology or whether the ingredients were by volume or weight (my wife, an excellent cook, bakes only occasionally. Her mother baked bread almost daily. We were 16 and I was too blinded by love to realize my mother-in-law hadn't passed along her baking expertise).
Back to pizza - when I used volume, I came up with ~ 2.6 cups of hydration added to 4 cups of flour. Didn't make sense, so I tried weight (or density), which gave me ~ 0.73 cups of hydration added to 4 cups of flour. Much more plausible.
Since my usual sauce must be seed-free and Albertsons had no San Marzano tomatos, I discovered, bought and tasted some strained Pomi uncooked, and it was fine to my second generation Italian-American taste buds. I understand the Pomi reviews are mixed. My wife insisted on a quick, 10 minute sauce sizzle in olive oil, the method used by our late dear friend from Naples. I'll try pomi uncooked the next time.
I also never realized until I'd watched the "Man versus Food" YouTube episode at the Spumoni Garden that there was an almost invisible layer of Mozzerelo cheese under the sauce to keep it from sogging up the bread.
The finished pizza was suprisingly good - a little thinner than desired, partially because I'd only allowed a 2 hour rise and partially because I hadn't made enough dough. But was good enough to quell any thoughts of buying frozen dough or finished pizzas for a while.
I'm hooked and can't wait to refine my technique. Later I'll add some Boar's Head or Grandpa's Cheese Barn Pepperoni. That's another 15 year search, recently culminated - a suitable replacement for the Patrick Cudahy Margherita pepperoni (sticks only - no slices, please) of my youth.
I've also never heard of Sicilian Eggplant Caponata on a pizza. I'll look for a thread.
Many thanks to Nate, Norma, Chaze215, Bobino414 and the other Spumoni Gardens thread contributors.