Well, all done! Though before I post the pics I want to note a couple things.
I did NOT scald the dry milk this round and I think that was a mistake. I am guessing that the bulk dry milk I have gotten at Whole Foods is not of baker’s quality. But I thought I’d try – and my microwave conveniently died the day I made the dough, so I didn’t have much of a choice anyhow. I believe the final product suffered a bit because of this. It did not quite taste “right”, the bottom didn’t develop as rich a golden-brown color as normal, and the crust overall did not rise in the oven as much as necessary and had more of a stale/chewy taste. I’m not suggesting all of this is directly a result of not scalding the milk, but I’m sure some of it was.
I also cooked the pizza’s at a neighbor’s house and I think his oven performed a bit differently than mine, necessitating in longer cooking times.
But even so, they were still enjoyable and I took pictures to post here as well. I’ll reference the pictures again from here out.
1. Sauce the sucker – leave no crust edges!!!
2. Topped with pepperoni, mushrooms, and sausage.
3. This pizza is done “Mariachi Beef” style (provolone & cheddar, seasoned ground beef, roma tomato slices, fresh jalapeno slices)
4. Pizza is done! It looks a bit “flatter” than normal. As I mentioned above it didn’t rise quite as much as it usually does, and I had to cook it longer in my neighbor’s oven. The longer it cooks the more the toppings “sink” into the pie – Donatos isn’t a very “flat” pizza, it has lots of texture (for lack of a better term) from all the toppings.
CUT IN SQUARES!!!
5. Here’s the finished Mariachi Beef. Again, it’s a bit flatter and thinner than normal. Not by much, but slight changes make a big difference in this pizza.
6. Here’s what you should shoot for in the bottom crust – almost burnt edges so they’re crispy, and a golden brown bottom.
7. This piece has the toppings scraped off to show the contrast from the bottom of the crust. The top of the crust should come out almost spongy.
8. A side shot – this piece is roughly the thickness to shoot for. There should be the browned crispy bottom crust, the spongy top, and an almost chewy layer between.
When you pick up a piece it should be able to support its own weight – pieces that are floppy and have no discernible “middle” layer are too thin.
Well I was hoping to get the perfect result this time for the pictures, but it goes to show how some more experimentation is needed to get this 100% right. I know there are a few more out there now actively trying this recipe who are also able to do side-by-side comparisons, so hopefully they’ll be able to help this recipe get even closer. And in all honesty I hope to end up with a pizza that’s even better than Donatos!
Thanks to anyone actively reading this, and again, I hope some more people out there give this a try. I’ll probably stop actively posting on this thread now, except to answer any questions people might have.