After reading up on Malnati type recipes here on the site I decided to give it a go. A few nuggets of info really stood out and those pieces were the focus of trying to duplicate the crust. What were they? First, and I can't find the thread, someone said (i think it was buzz) that there's a considerable amount of oil in Malnati's pizza. Second, the thread DKM posted on the Lou To Go mail order pizza's and the listing of ingredients in the crust. That thread can be found here: http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,571.0.html
I grew up in the Chicago area but I haven't had a Malnati's in some time and only periodically would I mail order them since moving to Iowa, so I'm going off a pretty distant memory of the flavor but I think this came really close. It's quite simple, very rich, and quite tasty!
For flour, I used King Arthur All-Purpose.
For water, I used hard tap water that I heated in the microwave to 110*.
I didn't use corn oil because I don't have any and I'm allergic to corn and usually avoid it if I can. I used Crisco vegetable oil.
Colavita Extra Virgin Olive Oil.
Red Star active dry yeast.
Crisco shortening for the pan.
Thickness factor of .125. My 10" (10x2 straight sides) dough ball weight was based on 248g flour.
Corn oil 15
Olive oil 8
In my mixing bowl I dissolved the yeast in the water for about five minutes. Add the remaining ingredients mix the dough until it was fully combined. Then I kneaded it by hand for about five minutes.
I placed it in an olive oiled bowl, covered with Saran Wrap and a towel, and let rise in a warm oven (fired it to 200* then shut it off when I began making the dough) for two hours. Punched it down once then gave it two more hours to rise again.
Into a ziplock bag it went overnight.
Let the dough thaw on the counter for a couple hours then I patted the dough out on a table to the size of the pan then placed it into the CRISCO GREASED PAN!!! I think the Crisco shortening may be key. It's a stiffer dough than the Gino's type dough that I've been doing based on foodbloggers baker's formula (a good crust by the way). Pinch it up the sides and it will stay in place. I layed the cheese in the pizza then covered it and put it back in the fridge for a couple hours. I removed it from the fridge and set it on the stove above the oven for about 45 min. to bring it to room temperature before topping it and baking it.
I heat my stone as hot as my oven will go...about 525* then back off the temp to 450* to cook the pie. This was a 10" topped with Stella whole milk - part skim mozz, Johnsonville sweet Italian sausage, Hormel Pepperoni, and a sauce made of Progresso whole Italian tomatoes (crushed by hand, squeezing out most of the water and seeds), two cloves garlic sauteed in a little olive oil, about 1/2 t. basil, 1/4 t pepper and maybe a 1/2 t. sugar. I topped it with fresh grated parm reggiano after it came out of the oven.
This didn't come out quite as flaky as Malnati's (more crumbly, like Gino's East) but the flavor was very similar. I don't own a mixer so that probably makes some difference in the consistency of the dough. I'm getting a mixer for Dad's day and I'll know the differnce soon enough.
Next time I make this I'm going to try a little more water and less olive oil (it was a little heavy on the oil side) and try a slightly lower thickness factor of maybe .12.
This came out pretty good for the first attemp on an improvised recipe. Give it a try and let me know what you think.