I think, however, that I've begun to hack their recipe. We rushed home after Christmas, Taste Tester unexpectedly ill, and stopped by Schlotsky's to get him some soup. I asked for bread on the side and began to rethink the recipe, did some research, and hit the key: the dough is 1) overmixed so the gluten is thick and creates that spongy tug to it, and 2) it's more batter than dough, heavy in water AND milk content. That also helps the gluten.
And it was superfreakineasy to boot. Which means 1) I need to buy more flour and 2) Taste Tester will be eating a lot of bread and sandwiches as I perfect this. Currently, my crust isn't tough enough and my crumb needs to just be a little more chewy and white. So I'm thinking I'll reduce the hydration ratio a little, mostly by the milk, then find a smaller loaf pan since it's risen and baked in a pie round. And, I need to convert it to a proper ratio of lbs or oz.
So far, it's
1/2 cup water
3/4 cup milk
1 packet or 2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast
2 1/2 cups flour
1/2 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp sugar, but I'm leaving the sugar out next time
Mixed in a blender till smooth, runny, and sticky, then split into 2 small pie rounds to rise for an hour (or till to the edge of the pie tin, depends on the temperature) and then baked at 375 degrees for 20 minutes. Cornmeal on the base of the pie tin and a spray of oil on top helps the crust.