Thanks to you and Steve for collecting all of the data on your Buddy's cheese and pepperoni pizza and giving us your assessment and opinions on the pizza. I will confess that I am often skeptical of claims that pizza operators make about the quality of their mail order pizzas. As I was awaiting your report, I was reminded of the experience that member DKM once had when he ordered and baked two frozen deep-dish pizzas that he had purchased from Malnati's. It took me a while to find his report but it is at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,571.0.html
. It looks like you had better results than DKM had with his frozen Malnati's pizzas. Yet your pizza did not appear to be identical to a freshly baked cheese and pepperoni pizza as sold in Buddy's store based on the photos I have seen of Buddy's pizzas. I don't mean this as a criticism. It is what it is.
I agree with you that Buddy's sent you more of the sauce than they use in their stores for the 4-square pizza. It might fit their 8-square pizza better. However, you at least have a sample in case you want to analyze it or conduct tests on it at some future date. My understanding has always been that Buddy's uses a Stanislaus tomato product of some sort. That aside, I have not found much in my searches on the makeup of the Buddy's sauce but I do recall that tasters mentioned oregano and a hint of garlic. Seeing the basil leaves in the sauce in the YouTube video you prepared, I might add that the Stanislaus tomato products that include basil leaves include the Full Red with Fresh Basil (http://www.stanislausfoodproducts.com/_pdfs/Full-Red-Pizza-Sauce-w-Fresh-Basil.pdf
), the Saporito Super Heavy Pizza Sauce (http://www.stanislausfoodproducts.com/_pdfs/Saporito-Pizza-Sauce-w-Fresh-Basil.pdf
), and the SuperDolce (http://www.stanislausfoodproducts.com/_pdfs/Super-Dolce-Pizza-Sauce.pdf
). I do not recall that the Buddy's sauce is super sweet, which might rule out the SuperDolce. My recollection is that Buddy's has an herb/spice blend for its sauce and, according to lufty, the former Buddy's employee, the Buddy's pizza sauce is a watered down sauce (Reply 318 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,3783.msg136795.html#msg136795
). By any chance, did you see any basil leaves in the sauce on the pizza itself?
With respect to the cheese, I can't say that I am surprised that it did not appear that there was 8 ounces on the pizza you received. It's not clear whether all of the pizza assemblers at Buddy's use portioning cups or just free throw the cheese onto the pizza, but in either case, the amount of cheese can vary from one pizza to another. You might also remember that in one of the exchanges that I had with Buddy's I was told that there are variations on the items that go on their pizzas because they are using volume measurements rather than weights. From the photos, it also looks like the Buddy's cheese is diced rather than shredded. Was that your observation also?
It is also good that you were able to confirm that, to the best of your knowledge, there was only one type of cheese used on the pizza you received. To the extent there was a mystery on that point, it appears that it has been resolved. If that is in fact so, then I think it is safe to say that the cheese is brick cheese.
The pepperoni slices appear to be in the ballpark in terms of diameter but a bit light in the weight department when compared with the data you previously received on the Margherita coarse grind pepperoni. No doubt there were some losses in weight due to oiling off during baking and maybe a small amount of shrinkage. In any event, I can't say that we can rule out the Margherita coarse grind pepperoni as the product that Buddy's uses on its pizzas with pepperoni. By any chance, were you able to determine how many pepperoni slices were used in the pizza you received?
Like you, I noticed that the difference between the "before" and "after" weighs of the pizza was not large. However, it should be remembered that there would have been some losses during the partial baking of the pizza. We will never know what those losses were.
On the matter of the crumb and its relationship to the hydration of the dough, it is hard to know what to make of the tighter crumb of the Buddy's pizza you received since the pizza was partially baked and then frozen, making it hard to say whether those two steps had an effect on the crumb.
When I read your comment on the air bubbles at the bottom crust and that the bottom crust was not especially flat, I was reminded that Tom Lehmann was once asked about that over at the PMQ Think Tank. I did a search of that forum and found two questions on that point, one at http://thinktank.pmq.com/viewtopic.php?p=75816#p75816
and the other at http://thinktank.pmq.com/viewtopic.php?p=49630#p49630
. I don't believe that Tom ever responded to the first questioner but he did answer the second questioner at http://thinktank.pmq.com/viewtopic.php?p=49641#p49641
. Interestingly, Tom blamed shortening for the cratering problem, not oil, which is what the first questioner used. I was also intrigued by the first questioner's post (at http://thinktank.pmq.com/viewtopic.php?p=75816#p75816
) since it described a Detroit style dough that has similarities to the Detroit style doughs we have been studying and researching for some time. It was also the first time that I read of someone using the Lloyd anodized pans (most likely a Sicilian pan rather than one of their Detroit style pans, based on the size) to make the questioner's Detroit style pizza.
I'm glad that both you and Steve enjoyed the pizza. But what I'd really like to know is how you (and Steve, if he wishes to opine on the matter) would compare the Buddy's clone pizzas you have been making with the Buddy's pizza you and Steve ate. And did you learn anything from the Buddy'a pizza that would give you cause to change anything you have been doing to arrive at a credible Buddy's clone dough or pizza?