Ok it has been a while since I posted my question. And I will try to share what is going on. . . up until this week:
The "emergency" dough that has been the most reliable in a general sense is this:
1.5 Cups water
2 TBSP sugar
2.25 TSP Instant Yeast (isn't it called IDI?)
1.5 TSP salt
2TBSP Olive oil
4 Cups of bread flour
I'm gonna say this has been generally acceptable.. not bad enough to want to quit, but not great and inspiring (then again it is a quick dough so it is not supposed to be too whah-Hoo)
and I seem to be shooting for a medium thickness crust, not quite bread like, but not paper thin ether. (although my favorite part is the outside rim.. and that is where all my judging is going on.)
Earlier this week, I made a Poolish with 130G flour, 130G Water, 1/8 TSP IDI on the counter over night.. and then the next day
288G King Arthur General Purpose flour
splash of olive oil
( I had to add more flour to get it kneadable (too wet) but by then I was flying by the seat of my pants)
and at the same time the night before I made the identical recipe (with out the poolish) but with K.A. High protein flour maybe 1/8-1/4 cup of milk powder and tossed it in the fridge overnight..
The following day I was having fun trying to stretch the doughs out by hand, and using a pizza peel I made from a hardwood cutting board I picked up at walmart (the pizza surface is 14.5 X 16) it weighs half a ton, but it will NEVER warp like the thin ones and it met my need for personalized pizza tools.
The end result: the Poolish dough did not brown much on the top crust (at 550) but the bottom was a bit over done (I used flour to dust the peel)
and I think it cooked for about 5.5 minutes. Oh and as an aside, all my pizza's are plain cheese.. once I get that rocking, then I can get fancy. The Poolish dough pizza was a nice texture, but flavorless, or unimpressive in terms of the dough. It was not bad, I am content with it, maybe it is even as good as an average commercial Pizza place.. BUT....
The second dough I cooked right after the Poolish one, same toppings, and all, it browned better, and actually had more flavor (because of the milk powder?) BUT it was tough as shoe leather. So the obvious thing from my mind is: I need to use K.A. General Purpose or all purpose flour, milk powder and such in my recipe to be content at this point in time.
Here are my unexperienced thoughts and I am open to your reflections regarding, or general observations regarding my attempts so far... And what does an experienced eye pay attention to as guideposts along the way?
Oh and just this morning I threw together another dough cause I am itching to get on base, It was a white whole wheat variation on the above 288grams of flour recipe, (more water something like 200G) 2G IDI, 8G salt, a double splash of Olive oil, and 1/4 cup of milk powder.. and it sat out all day, or 6 hours or so. It was very easy to stretch... not real strong but it was a joy to press out and it came out pretty well. Oh and I used a fine corn meal for pizza peel lube and that was much easier to launch than the flour dusted ones earlier in the week.
While I am pleased with the WWW today it is not a white flour dough, and that is where I am wanting to understand how to create a bit more depth, and multidimensionality....
OK that is where I am at in this moment.. What am I overlooking, or clueless about that is foundational in great pizza dough?
And thanks for your time and contributions to my learning and fun in this process.