Since you gave me a heads-up on this matter via PM, I had some time to look into the Weisenberger Mill and their products, including their Pizza Crust mix. The Weisenberger story is a fascinating one inasmuch as the mill has been in operation through several generations of the Weisenberger family since 1865, all in a small town called Midway, Kentucky (http://www.weisenberger.com/
). Until you mentioned the company, I had never heard of them. Yet, they have a lot of interesting products.
After studying the ingredients list you provided and did my preliminary analysis, I was intrigued enough to call the Weisenberger Mill this morning to see if I could nail down some open questions on the Weisenberger Pizza Crust Mix. But even before calling the Mill, I immediately recognized a couple of ingredients in that mix--the whey and L-Cysteine Hydrochloride. That combination is known in the trade as PZ-44. I don't know how many manufacturers make that particular product but having researched and written about that product on several occasions on the forum before (you will also see the description of PZ-44 in the forum's Pizza Glossary at http://www.pizzamaking.com/pizza_glossary.html#P
), I came to identify the source of that product as Foremost Farms, a supplier of many dairy products to the professional trade (but not to individuals or the retail trade). You can read about PZ-44 at http://www.foremostfarms.com/Commercial/pdfs/Specifications/TDS_PZ44_450.pdf
and at http://www.foremostfarms.com/Commercial/pdfs/PZ-44_sell_sheet.pdf
. If you do a forum search on PZ-44 under my forum name, you can also read some of my posts on that product. However, the key takeaway from my perspective from the Foremost PZ-44 documents is the recommended usage level for PZ-44, which is 1-2% of the formula flour.
As noted above, Foremost does not sell to individuals or the retail trade. Also, PZ-44 comes in 50-pound bags. However, as you can see from the thread at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,3458.msg29305.html#msg29305
, I once cleared the way for another member, a home pizza maker like most of us on the forum, to get a 5-pound sample of PZ-44. I don't know what the member said, but he got the 5-pound sample.
Returning to my discussion with the person who answered my phone call at the Mill this morning, I learned several things about the Weisenberger Pizza Crust Mix. First, the flour is a 4:1 blend of a flour milled from strong red spring wheat (described to me as being essentially a bread flour) and a flour milled from soft red winter wheat. If I were to come up with a blend of flours to use for reverse engineering purposes, I think I would use a blend of King Arthur bread flour (KABF) and a cake or pastry flour, many of which are milled from soft red winter wheat (see, for example, the General Mills cake/pastry flours at http://www.gmiflour.com/gmflour/flour.aspx?type=ECake
). If you proceed with this project, you might use a retail brand of cake flour--one that is plain cake flour without any other additives. King Arthur now sells an unbleached cake flour but if Weisenberger Mills is using a cake flour, I would guess that it is bleached. King Arthur also sells a pastry flour.
The second thing I learned is that the yeast mentioned at the Weisenberger Mills website at http://www.weisenberger.com/moreinfo.cfm?Product_ID=62&CFID=10735857&CFTOKEN=29789802
is really not Red Star yeast but rather SAF instant dry yeast, which the Mill also sells as a separate product. Those familiar with yeast brands will know that both brands of yeast are owned and sold by the same company, Lesaffre (http://www.lesaffreyeastcorp.com/products/category/1/view/43
The third thing I learned is that the vegetable shortening used in the Weisenberger Mills Pizza Crust Mix is a spray form of soybean oil. Spray or encapsulated oil products are commercial products. I have read the labels of countless margarine, lard and shortening products sold at the retail level and there is nothing that is just plain shortening made from vegetable oils. One would have to search out a commercial supplier and try to get samples of spray forms of oils for use in efforts to reconstruct the Weisenberger Mills Pizza Crust Mix.
The one thing I forgot to ask about the Weisenberger Mills Pizza Crust Mix is the sugar. Most "instant" type mixes, including pizza crust mixes, tend to use dextrose rather than ordinary table sugar (sucrose), or sometimes a combination of dextrose and various other forms of sugar. The advantage of using dextrose is that it is a simple/reducing sugar that is immediately available to feed the yeast and can participate in the Maillard reactions to produce crust coloration. Sucrose is a complex sugar and needs to be broken down into simple sugars for the yeast to use, which can take some time. If I were trying to reconstruct the Weisenberger Pizza Crust Mix, I think I would use dextrose instead of table sugar. Dextrose is inexpensive and available from many online sources. In retrospect, maybe it was a good idea that I didn't ask about the sugar in the mix being dextrose. That might have outed me.
If you are able to get the ingredients discussed above, I think there is a reasonable chance of coming up with a functional clone of the Weisenberger Mills Pizza Crust Mix. I might be able to help you with some numbers, but I would rather not spend the time at this point to come up with a set of numbers as a purely academic exercise. The task is not as simple as it might appear given the seeming simplicity of the ingredients used in the mix. But, that said, I would perhaps build the reconstruction around the PZ-44 based on knowing the recommended levels of usage of that product.
It was also interesting to see that the Weisenberger Mills Pizza Crust Mix comes in a large bag and also in multiple packs of the small pouches. The killer is that shipping costs can be high (I was told that the shipping for me in Texas would be more than the price of the product). I see that Amazon sells the multiple packs that are eligible for free shipping for orders over $25 (http://www.amazon.com/Weisenberger-Pizza-Crust-6-5-Ounce-Pack/dp/B00473ULA0
), but I did not see the larger size (5-pound bag) available at Amazon.
EDIT (2/7/13): For an alternative to the above PZ-44 link that is no longer operative (since the PZ-44 product line was sold to another company), see http://web.archive.org/web/20060311221117/http://www.foremostfarms.com/products/ingredient/pdf/450PZ44.pdf