(Newbie) A few weeks ago I did an experiment with four flours to get an idea about flavor, workability, whatever: King Arthur Bread flour, Caputo 00 Red, Central Milling High Mountain High Gluten, and Central Milling Tony's Artisan. The only variable that time was the flour. The first thing that I noticed was that the KA Bread flour maintained its shape the most of the four--the other three were more disc-like than balls at 48 hours. All were difficult for me to shape, mainly because I don't know what I am doing, although as the doughs sprung back, I was gradually able to coax them into irregular 13" shapes that did makes decent platforms for the toppings. I used diastatic malt. I had followed the recipe to a T, as they say, with ice cold water, 83 degree water for the yeast, and I used the mixer as little as possible because of Tony's admonition that the most common mistake is mixing the dough too much. All of the doughs were sticky and did not look like Tony's in the photo that I will post below. I have since watched all of his videos on youtube as well as others, and their dough is not as sticky as mine. I should add that all ingredients less than 20 grams were weighed on a palm scale to tenths of a gram; heavier items, like the flour and water, were weighed with a scale that measures in grams up to 11 kilos. The water is Crystal Geyser spring water with about 150 PPM of "hardness" from magnesium and calcium.
The lessons that we learned that night were as follows: 1, the flavor of both Central Milling flours was extremely appealing to us, as was the texture. The texture of the Caputo 00 Red and the KA pizzas was better than anything we have in our central California coast town, but there was a noticeable difference between the two "groups". 2, the texture of the doughs was divided into a more study feel of the KA and a wonderfully supple, soft, hedonistic feel of the other three doughs. 3, we really liked margherita pizza the most---the simpler the better with the excellent dough flavor. And 4, the KA dough was very elastic and recoiled incessantly--less so after resting, and the other three were so soft that I could not do much except gently tease them into round-ish shapes. That having been said, we had discovered two flours whose flavor we liked. (Caputo 00 Blue arrived two days later) I should probably mention that I am using the master recipe without preferment and baking at 550 with a 3/8" baking steel.
Today, I had some time so I thought I would make some dough with which to practice. I used the Caputo 00 Red, and, again, I have followed Tony's recipe to a T, same as above. Here are some photos of the process. The last one is a series of photos from The Pizza Bible and shows a dough that is much less sticky than all of mine, I must say (and cleaner hands..):
(One other comment: I made a second dough later on and used the dough hook for an additional 6 minutes, wondering if that would help to develop gluten more than the "minimalist " instructions in the Bible. I want to see just how chewy chewy is....)