I think the reason that mine colored better in the oven – and let me say that I baked them identically at 450 degrees on a pre-heated stone – is that the dough contains just a touch of honey, 1 ounce. The no-knead dough is a simple flour, yeast, salt, water formula. I have a feeling that the 18-hour proofing time gives the yeast the opportunity to consume too many of the sugars in the flour, which results in a paler color when baked. There simply aren’t enough sugars remaining for caramelization. Would it have been possible to prevent it from over-proofing? Sure. I could have refrigerated it at some point to slow down the action of the yeast. But that is not how the dough, so to speak, markets itself. It is presented as one you can briefly stir up, cover, then forget about it.
As for the texture difference between them, my dough contains a bit of olive oil, as well as some cake flour, which is of a lower protein content than all-purpose flour. Fats have a tenderizing effect on protein, and cake flour is of the lowest protein content available.
This was an interesting experiment. I fell in love with my pizza dough all over again.