This version was adapted from a few new sources including this recipe. So many of the recipes posted on the internet claim to have it "right", supported by high ratings of others who've tested them.
ATTEMPT 3: INGREDIENTS
1/4 C. corn meal
1/4 C. corn oil
1/4 C. butter-flavored CRISCO shortening
3/4 C. warm water
1 Tsp garlic powder
1 Tsp salt
1 Tsp sugar
3 C. all-purpose flour
1 packet yeast
Canned crushed tomatoes
Grated hard cheese
After the mix, REFRIGERATE OVERNIGHT. Everything else is pretty much standard. 450 degrees, 30 minutes or so.
I still haven't found what I'm looking for. This one produces a crust that is noticeably more "pastry-like", but it's not quite there.
The switch to "all-purpose" flour from bread flour arguably assists in producing a flakier (less "bready") crust. And the quality and brand of oils probably makes a difference in taste. (I used a regular Wesson Corn Oil, which was the only thing I could find nearby.)
It may be a game of percentages. I'm looking for a crust that is flaky, buttery, savory, without tasting inordinately *oily*. Some middle ground between a pie crust, a biscuit and a regular pizza crust. THIS RECIPE IS NOT THE ONE. It's not bad but it's not The One.
I no longer believe that eggs are part of the answer. I don't have a clear answer for my next move. If pushed to guess, I'd imagine a little less oil, a little more salt.
But this remains a mystery...