Thanks for the feedback. You asked how I settled on 17% oil. I've been trying different oil levels, and I thought the amount in the HRI clone was too high and the amount in my Pizza Factory clone was too low for Aurelio's, so I settled somewhere in the middle. This dough was inspired a bit by the famed Awesome Thin Crust from Buzz with later modifications by BTB. I wanted to dial down the oil, though, and dial down the hydration level, too. I did a mix of olive and corn oils because Aurelio's doesn't seem as corn oily tasting as others (heck, I oughtta try straight vegetable oil sometime...) but a blend can smooth out the edges from any single oil source, if you know what I mean.
As for the sauce, there is no water added. I played around with the sugar and salt levels, as you know are the tricky part, by doing small batches and side-by-side comparisons. This is the real deal, IMO. I'd be curious to see if you agree. One thing I do during assembly is the sprinkle of oregano onto the sauced pie, prior to cheesing, like I saw in a video of an Aurelio's kitchen in action.
Great questions. This is an overnight cold ferment. I don't think 1% IDY is particularly high, especially given the oil level (thanks to Peter for this tip, about high oil levels suppressing yeast activity...or was it the Dough Doctor? Whoever it was, thanks!). In fact, I may want to experiment with boosting the yeast level even further, just for kicks.
Mixing? Do the usual for Chicago thin (i.e., 5-10 mins, until you get it to develop properly from feel & experience). I have a KitchenAid, so your method is known better to you. But it's not a short, 45-second knead like deep dish.
As for baking, I'm hesitant to be overly prescriptive because everyone's ovens and preferences are a little different. I'm not being coy, but if you know how to cook a Chicago thin in a cutter pan in your particular oven, then go with that. I did my recent one in an old electric oven in a cabin in the woods, which bakes totally different than my gas oven at home. I've baked pizzas successfully in cutter pans on stones and on the rack itself. All that being said, try starting low in the oven at 450 for 12-20 minutes (depending on toppings, temperature accuracy, oven recovery time from opening it up to put a pizza inside, etc.), and if the crust browns too much before the top is done, move it to a higher rack.
General assembly--get a good amount of sauce down (I use about 9 oz by weight, give or take, for a 14.5" pie), put down a lot of high quality, raw Italian sausage, sprinkle with dried oregano, then top with a goodly amount of cheese. Aurelio's goes pretty heavy on the cheese. I've had decent results with somewhere in the 11 oz range for a 14.5" pie. (May want to sub in a tiny, tiny bit of white cheddar or a miniscule grating of Asiago or the like, to give it a fuller flavor, but straight mozz is fine).
Hope this answers your questions.