With the research on the abovementioned flours out of the way, here are what I believe to be the closest flour matches to the Weisenberger all-purpose flour and the Weisenberger bread flour:Closest matches to the Weisenberger all-purpose flour:
General Mills Golden Shield pastry flour (http://www.gmiflour.com/gmflour/Flour_SpecSheet/GOLDEN%20SHIELD%20ENR.pdf
). Like the Weisenberger all-purpose flour, the Golden Shield flour is milled from soft red winter wheat (actually a blend), has a protein content of 8.5%, and is unmalted and unbromated. However, it is enriched. The closest match at the retail level is the White Lily all-purpose flour. However, that flour, although ground from soft red winter wheat, is bleached and it has a lower protein content (8%) than the Weisenberger all-purpose flour. It is also enriched but unmalted. Closest matches to the Weisenberger bread flour:
General Mills/Sperry organic bread flour (http://www.gmiflour.com/gmflour/Flour_SpecSheet/ORGANIC%20BREAD%20UNTR.pdf
). The Sperry organic bread flour is ground from a blend of hard wheat, has the same protein content (12%) as the Weisenberger bread flour, and is unbleached, unmalted, unbromated and unenriched. It is organic, however. Another possible match is the General Mills Harvest King (now Better for Bread) flour (http://www.gmiflour.com/gmflour/Flour_SpecSheet/HARVEST%20KING%20ENR%20MT.pdf
). That flour, which is available at both the foodservice and retail levels, is ground from a blend of hard wheat, has a protein content of 12%, and is unbleached and unbromated. However, it is malted and enriched.
I should note that the above matches are based on seeing only the Nutrition Facts that are available for the products mentioned. I did not see any Nutrition Facts for the Weisenberger flours at their website nor was I able to find them through Google searches.
I also ran the Weisenberger protein numbers for their all-purpose flour and bread flours through the Mixed Mass Percentage Calculator at http://foodsim.unclesalmon.com/
, on the assumption that a 4:1 blend of the Weisenberger all-purpose and bread flours is used, as was originally mentioned to me when I first called the Weisenberger Mill. On that basis, the protein content of that blend is 11.3%. One might be tempted to ask why not use an all-purpose flour with that level of protein, or something close to it, like the King Arthur all-purpose flour with a protein content of 11.7%. The problem with that notion is that two different flours, or flour blends, can have the identical protein content but perform differently because of the particular grains used to make the flours, the degree of grind, differences in protein quality and the presence or absence of malting, etc. However, if one does not have access to the flours that I think represent the best matches to the Weisenberger flours, my view is that they should consider using something like the King Arthur all-purpose flour. Or they can use something like the White Lily flour and the Better for Bread flour in the ratios mentioned above.
I think the above analysis amplifies the types of problems that an individual encounters in trying to come up with a clone of the WPCM. For example, if an individual can get past the flour issue, including selection and cost, there are still barriers to overcome. Specifically, products like the PZ-44 and the spray dried shortening powders are needed to come up with an acceptable clone. There are no easy, inexpensive home-type equivalents to those products. Unless one is able to convince the vendors of such products to send them samples for free, they will have to be purchased in the normal quantities and prices for those products. For example, I saw a price of $115 for 50 pounds of PZ-44 and a price of $60 for 28 pounds of a dried shortening powder. Most individuals who do not have access to the WPCM in local markets might be better served to either purchase the WPCM directly from Weisenberger or from amazon.com (http://www.amazon.com/Weisenberger-Pizza-Crust-6-5-Ounce-Pack/dp/B00473ULA0/ref=sr_1_2?s=grocery&ie=UTF8&qid=1311711864&sr=1-2
). The major drawback from ordering directly from Weisenberger is the high shipping charges. I did a test of a purchase of a 5-pound bag of the WPCM, which is enough to make 12 pizzas and costs only $4.95, but the ground shipping charges to Texas would be $13.56. To save on shipping charges on a per unit basis, I would have to order more 5-pound bags. For example, for 3 bags, the shipping charges are $15.59, for a total of $30.44. That would be enough of the product to make 36 pizzas at a cost of about $0.85 per crust. At Amazon, even with free shipping, the per-unit price is $1.14. My advice is for people to play around with the numbers to get the best per-unit price after shipping.