Author Topic: Pete-zza's Papa John's Clone Pizza  (Read 304825 times)

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Online Pete-zza

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Re: Pete-zza's Papa John's Clone Pizza
« Reply #125 on: September 26, 2009, 08:42:36 PM »
November,

Thank you for your analysis. I appreciate it and will revisit my numbers.

Sometime I plan to try the lower salt number just to see whether I get a bland crust.

Peter


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Re: Pete-zza's Papa John's Clone Pizza
« Reply #126 on: September 27, 2009, 09:20:56 AM »
Peter,
Yes, I meant to say 0.75%.  Thanks for finding my error.
Norma

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Re: Pete-zza's Papa John's Clone Pizza
« Reply #127 on: September 27, 2009, 05:28:19 PM »
Having already invested a fair amount of time in analyzing and trying to replicate a Papa John’s Applepie pizza, I thought that it might be useful to purchase a “real” Papa John’s Applepie pizza for comparison purposes. So, for a purchase price of $3.99 plus tax, I bought one today from my local PJ store. Photos of the pizza are shown below.

The pizza itself was 10”, as previously noted. However, the dough ball used to make the pizza was a separate, dedicated dough ball, not half of a dough ball used to make a 14” (large) pizza, as I had previously speculated. The dough ball that was used to make my Applepie pizza was taken directly from the cooler and was cold and dense. As a result, the pizza maker who prepared the pizza found it necessary to use two dough dockers, both made of plastic, to flatten and open up the dough. The first dough docker had very short teeth and most closely resembled the dough docker shown at http://www.foodservicedirect.com/product.cfm/p/159264/Allied-Metal-Spinning-Full-Size-Dough-Docker-4-7/8-inch.htm but with a plastic handle. That dough docker was used very aggressively (with better than 20 passes across the dough) to flatten the cold dough ball and press the edges outwardly to start to form a skin. Once that was done, a second dough docker with longer teeth was used on the dough skin, also aggressively. That dough docker looks like the one shown at http://www.foodservicewarehouse.com/american-metalcraft/dd5701/p382701.aspx?source=googleps but with longer teeth. After a few hand to hand flips, the skin was placed on a dark metal disk and dressed.

The pizza was dressed with an apple topping and a second topping (more on this below), and baked. The apple topping comprised diced apples with a fairly large dice size, considerably larger than the apple dice I used. That topping amply covered  the surface of the pizza. The second topping was a sugar-based topping that was fairly light in color and sparsely applied on top of the apple topping. Later, when I was at home and was able to more closely examine the pizza, I could not find any evidence of the use of oats in the second topping, even after poking around both toppings and examining everything with a magnifying glass. I concluded that it was possible that my local PJs is using another PJ topping, called “Cinnamon Spread”, in lieu of the streusal topping earlier described. Such use would be contrary to the image of the Applepie pizza shown at the PJ website (http://www.papajohns.com/menu/side_applepie.shtm) which, to my eye, and especially after magnifying the image, appears to show oat flakes. However, the Cinnamon Spread would seem to fit the profile for the Cinnapie pie, which, upon examining its image at the PJ website (http://www.papajohns.com/menu/side_cinnapie.shtm), does not appear to contain any oat flakes. However, if brown sugar and a flour are used, it is perhaps proper to characterize the topping as a “streusal” topping, as PJs does in its promotional materials. If the Cinnamon Spread was used, it contains the following ingredients:

Cinnamon Spread: Sugar, margarine (partially hydrogenated soybean and cottonseed oils, water, salt, mono and diglycerides, lecithin, sodium benzoate and citric acid [preservatives], artificial flavor, artificial color, vitamin A palmitate added), bleached enriched flour (flour, niacin, reduced iron, thiamine mononitrate, riboflavin, folic acid), soy oil, molasses, cinnamon, water, potassium sorbate (preservative), and soy lecithin.

After the pizza was baked, the icing was applied. That step was done behind a counter outside of my view but after the pizza was boxed and handed to me, I examined it and saw that the icing had already melted and had largely disappeared into the pizza. Once I got the pizza into the car, I weighed it. It was 17.92 ounces. When I got the pizza home, I examined it more closely. The crust of the pizza was thinner than mine, but as previously noted, I was using an "emergency" PJ clone dough with a lot of yeast (and using very warm water) that resulted in a very gassy dough after better than tripling in volume. The PJ Applepie apple topping also had a "pasty" texture indicative of the use of flour or some other thickener for the apple topping. As shown in the photos below, the rim of the pizza looks pockmarked. That was because of the use of the two dough dockers that riddled the dough skin with holes.

The pizza itself was quite tasty with a pleasant “apple pie” flavor. At $3.99 (plus tax), it might be considered a relative bargain and preferable to attempting to replicate it at home. However, it will have a more “commercial” quality, rather than a "homemade" quality, with a lot of chemicals and additives and preservatives that one might prefer to avoid.

Peter

Offline November

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Re: Pete-zza's Papa John's Clone Pizza
« Reply #128 on: September 27, 2009, 05:55:42 PM »
Peter,

I think I would rather eat what you crafted earlier.  Although, maybe they had the same idea for the streusel that I did (http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,3904.msg32714.html), which excludes rolled oats.  I don't remember exactly why I excluded them, but it probably had something to do with the texture combination of oats and pizza crust.

- red.november

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Re: Pete-zza's Papa John's Clone Pizza
« Reply #129 on: September 28, 2009, 09:01:48 AM »
Peter,
Your PJ clone Apple Pie does look a lot better than Papa John's.
I did email Papa Johns's and asked why their website says they put the icing on before baking and I copied their reply for you to see.

Ms. Norma Knepp,
 
We are instructed to put the icing on after it comes out of the oven.  Sorry about the confusion.  We will have someone check the website to correct the error.  Thanks for catching the mistake.
 
Scott Steimel
PAPA JOHN'S PIZZA
District Supervisor
Md/Pa Pizza/ Slap Dough Pizza (PJ Bay Subsidiary)
York/Lancaster/Hanover/Ephrata
cell:  717-818-7192
fax:  717-266-1404

Norma

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Re: Pete-zza's Papa John's Clone Pizza
« Reply #130 on: September 28, 2009, 12:31:35 PM »
Norma,

Thanks for following up on the icing matter.

Peter

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Re: Pete-zza's Papa John's Clone Pizza
« Reply #131 on: September 28, 2009, 10:02:32 PM »
Not to belabor the clone PJ Applepie pizzas but since I had some leftover apple topping from my prior effort I decided to use it to make another clone Applepie pizza. However, this time, I decided to use the Cinnamon Spread that some--or maybe even many--PJ stores use to make Applepie pizzas. I believe that the Cinnamon Spread is also used to make Cinnapie pizzas. That spread is a streusel topping, in that it contains brown sugar and flour, but does not contain any oats.

For the dough formulation, I decided to use the same one as before but in which I increased the amount of salt from 0.75% back to the 1.50% that I frequently use for clone PJ doughs. In all other respects, the dough formulation was the same as the last one and the dough was made in exactly the same way (using hand kneading). Using the expanded dough calculating tool at http://www.pizzamaking.com/expanded_calculator.html, the final dough formulation was this one:

King Arthur Bread Flour, unsifted (100%):
Water (56.5%):
IDY (0.80%):
Salt (1.50%):
Vegetable (Soybean) Oil (7.3%):
Honey (5%):
Total (171.1%):
189.69 g  |  6.69 oz | 0.42 lbs
107.18 g  |  3.78 oz | 0.24 lbs
1.52 g | 0.05 oz | 0 lbs | 0.5 tsp | 0.17 tbsp
2.85 g | 0.1 oz | 0.01 lbs | 0.51 tsp | 0.17 tbsp
13.85 g | 0.49 oz | 0.03 lbs | 3.05 tsp | 1.02 tbsp
9.48 g | 0.33 oz | 0.02 lbs | 1.36 tsp | 0.45 tbsp
324.57 g | 11.45 oz | 0.72 lbs | TF = 0.1457682
Note: The dough formulation is for a single 10” pizza based on a nominal thickness factor of 0.14291; bowl residue compensation = 2%.

As noted previously in Reply 127, the PJ Cinnamon Spread comprises the following ingredients:

Cinnamon Spread: Sugar, margarine (partially hydrogenated soybean and cottonseed oils, water, salt, mono and diglycerides, lecithin, sodium benzoate and citric acid [preservatives], artificial flavor, artificial color, vitamin A palmitate added), bleached enriched flour (flour, niacin, reduced iron, thiamine mononitrate, riboflavin, folic acid), soy oil, molasses, cinnamon, water, potassium sorbate (preservative), and soy lecithin.

To prepare my clone version of that spread, I combined the following ingredients: 76 grams (2.68 oz.) of packed light brown sugar, one tablespoon of margarine (low-end supermarket soft margarine), two tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour, ¼ teaspoon soybean oil, ¼ teaspoon molasses, and 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon. It seemed to me that my clone version of the Cinnamon Spread was lighter in color than the one I saw used in the PJ store recently, so it is possible that the “sugar” in the above ingredients list includes a combination of both sucrose (table sugar) and brown sugar. My version produced far more than I needed for the latest Applepie clone pizza. As it turned out, I used only 19 grams (0.67 oz.). One can easily halve the recipe and have more than needed. Or else reserve whatever is not needed for future pizzas.

The pizza was dressed in the same manner as previously described but for the substitution of the clone Cinnamon Spread for the one that contained the oat flakes. The apple topping weighed 185 grams (6.52 oz.) and the clone Cinnamon Spread weighed 19 grams (0.67 oz.). The total weight of the unbaked pizza, without the icing, was 533 grams (18.80 oz.).

After dressing the pizza, it was baked in the same way as previously described except that it took about seven minutes this time to bake the pizza. After the pizza was done and had a chance to cool, I applied the white icing. With the icing, which weighed 55 grams (1.94 oz.), the weight of the finished pizza was about 535 grams, or 18.87 oz. That was about an ounce more than the real Applepie pizza I purchased from PJs. My pizza used more apple topping than the one I bought so that might account for part of the weight difference.

The photos below show the finished pizza. I thought that it was a very tasty pizza. My apple topping was a bit drier than the PJ version and my apple topping seemed a bit darker but these are things that can be easily remedied if one so wishes. But the flavors overall were very good. The pizza tasted even better, in my opinion, with ice cream.

Peter 
« Last Edit: October 07, 2009, 03:15:17 PM by Pete-zza »

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Re: Pete-zza's Papa John's Clone Pizza
« Reply #132 on: September 28, 2009, 11:17:09 PM »
Peter,

Again, better looking than Papa John's.  I wonder if some of the difference in topping color has to do with the processing of the the apples.  There could be a marked difference between the amount of citric acid Papa John's uses and how it's used in the topping (whether directly on the apples or just in the mixture) and your use and quantity of lemon juice.  If you have any pH strips lying around and get another pie, you could dip the strip for the tip on acidity.

- red.november

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Re: Pete-zza's Papa John's Clone Pizza
« Reply #133 on: September 29, 2009, 06:28:27 PM »
I wonder if some of the difference in topping color has to do with the processing of the the apples.  There could be a marked difference between the amount of citric acid Papa John's uses and how it's used in the topping (whether directly on the apples or just in the mixture) and your use and quantity of lemon juice.  If you have any pH strips lying around and get another pie, you could dip the strip for the tip on acidity.

November,

I wondered whether the darker color of my apple topping was due to the amount of cinnamon I used. I can't say that the real Applepie pizza had a pronounced cinnamon taste, whereas it was more detectable in my clones. When I used the lemon juice, I simply gave a few squeezes from a fresh lemon on the apples in a bowl as I was dicing the apples to keep them from turning brown. I have a little bag of citric acid that I thought about using but decided instead to use the lemon juice since most people are more likely to have lemons on hand than citric acid.

As I indicated I would do, I went back to my notes to revisit my numbers on the oat-based clone of the Applepie pizza (0.75% salt), and not surprisingly, your numbers are correct. That led me to increase the amount of salt on the Cinnamon Spread-based clone of the Applepie pizza from 0.75% to 1.50%. When I calculated the total salt content of that clone, it was 3.40 grams, versus the roughly 3.97 grams you earlier calculated, or a difference of about 1/10th teaspoon of salt.

Since I had leftovers of the original oat-based clone of the Applepie pizza (0.75% salt), the Applepie pizza I purchased from PJs, and my latest Cinnamon Spread-based clone of the Applepie pizza (1.50% salt), I did side by side taste tests to see if I could detect major differences in the salt contents. I also had leftovers of a regular PJ sausage pizza that I added to the taste tests. As best I could tell, the crusts of the two PJ pizzas tasted the same to me, which supports the thesis that the same dough is used for the regular PJ pizzas and the PJ dessert pizzas. Surprisingly, the crusts did not taste particularly salty to me. It may be that the high sugar and oil content of those doughs masquerades the way I detect salt on the palate. I likewise did not detect a difference in the salt level of my Cinnamon Spread-based clone and the PJ crusts. The original oat-based clone crust, however, was a bit less salty. With a difference of about 1/4 teaspoon of salt for the two clones, I suppose that that should not come as a big surprise.

I still have some leftovers to continue my taste tests, even if only for reasons other than respective salt contents of the various crusts. Thus far, I have been happy with all of the dessert pizzas. One of the nice outcomes of the clones is that the "emergency" PJ clone formulation works out quite nicely. My crusts were a little sweeter than the PJ crusts but I was using a fairly high amount of honey (5%), which I substituted for sucrose to get more crust color. The sweeter crust dovetails with the sweetness of the toppings, giving the crust a more "pastry" character than a pizza crust character. As I ate the pizza clones, I did not feel like I was eating a pizza crust.

Peter



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Re: Pete-zza's Papa John's Clone Pizza
« Reply #134 on: September 30, 2009, 01:43:08 AM »
Peter,

It's good to hear that the numbers are falling into place now, and that the expected levels of salt are vindicated.  As for the darkness of the topping, I think you would have to add a lot of cinnamon to make that much of a difference (at least based on the images I see here).

Thank you for taking the time to be thorough in your review and reanalysis.

- red.november

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Re: Pete-zza's Papa John's Clone Pizza
« Reply #135 on: September 30, 2009, 05:19:56 PM »
I recently discovered a hotline telephone number at the Papa John's website (1-888-404-7537 and select option 1 to leave a message), by which individuals can pose questions about the PJ nutrition data. I decided to test that service by calling and asking two questions: 1) whether the PJ nutrition data is based on baked pizzas or unbaked pizzas, and 2) whether the flours used to make the PJ pizzas are bromated or not. Not long after I left a message, I received a voice mail message back from a woman in the Papa John's R&D operation telling me that the nutrition data is based on baked pizzas and that PJs does not use bromated flours but rather uses ascorbic acid (Vitamin C) in lieu of bromates. When I checked the ingredients information supplied to me last year by PJs, the ascorbic acid is one of the ingredients actually listed under the pizza dough entry.

Interestingly, the PJ nutrition data is developed by taking information provided by PJ's suppliers on the sauce, meats and other toppings, and cheeses and combining that information with the information on the doughs made by Papa John's in its own facilities. Both the suppliers and Papa John's account for the loss of moisture in their products as a result of baking when handing the information over to the companies that come up with the final numbers shown at the PJ website.

Peter

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Re: Pete-zza's Papa John's Clone Pizza
« Reply #136 on: October 24, 2009, 09:15:14 PM »
Here are my results, based on Pete-zza's 2-day ferment in the fridge (post #20 of this thread). This was a "personal" sized pizza I brought to my wife at work tonight, sausage, onions, & mushrooms. The dough was very easy to work with and tasted great. I cooked it right on the stone, preheated to 550F for an hour. Pete-zza, thanks for all your hard work and taking time to post recipes that even a novice like myself can follow and have great results in a home setting.

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Re: Pete-zza's Papa John's Clone Pizza
« Reply #137 on: October 25, 2009, 08:55:56 AM »
madjack,

That's a good looking pizza. I'm glad that the recipe worked out well for you. I'm also glad to know that you were able to bake the pizza on a pizza stone, apparently without excessive browning or burning of the bottom crust. I've only used screens since that is what Papa John's uses in most of its stores.

Peter

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Re: Pete-zza's Papa John's Clone Pizza
« Reply #138 on: October 25, 2009, 11:03:15 AM »
The bottom was a bit darker than when I do other recipes, such as your "thin" version of Randy's American, which I have cooked the same way as I did this pie. I wouldn't call it excessive, and wasn't to the point of burning at all. I'd like to try this dough on a screen but have not ordered one as of yet, as you can see from the shape of the pie above, my pizzas could use a bit more work in the shaping department, that's due to my inexperience with my peel.
« Last Edit: October 25, 2009, 11:08:02 AM by madjack »

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Re: Pete-zza's Papa John's Clone Pizza
« Reply #139 on: December 07, 2009, 11:49:16 PM »
Although I've never had a Papa John's before, in the spirit of continued experimentation I am giving this a go.

I went with the "original" 3-8 day clone to give that a try. I have tow dough balls in the fridge now.

I did have a question I hoped I could get answered before I go to bake... until now I've only made pizza on a stone (NY), or in a cast iron skillet (deep dish). I did manage to find a screen in my pots and pans drawer, its 14", but seems to have a slight non-stick coating to it. I don't think its ever been used. Am I out of luck to try and use this? I remember using a non-stick pan for deep dish once and it was a disaster. Appreciate some input.

Also, when I first made the dough earlier tonight, I screwed up and added teaspoon measurements of the sugar portion, instead of tablespoons. So I have two dough balls with 1/3 the sugar. How are these likely to turn out? Should I adjust the fermentation time for these? The reason I ask is I wonder if in Peter's formula, there was a relation between sugar and IDY. I noticed not much was used compared to the Lehmann I usually use. (Note: this is in addition to two dough balls with the correct measurements - I went back and re-did them)

Thanks!

-- Josh
« Last Edit: December 07, 2009, 11:51:08 PM by torontonian »

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Re: Pete-zza's Papa John's Clone Pizza
« Reply #140 on: December 08, 2009, 07:58:22 AM »
Josh,

It's hard to say about the screen you have without knowing more about it and possibly seeing it through a photo. There are some screens that are coated with a nonstick coating with a recommended bake temperature not to exceed about 475 degrees F. You might be close enough to that temperature as not to pose a problem but I can't say for sure without knowing more about your particular screen. I might add that some members have been able to bake PJ clone pizzas on pizza stones without getting excessive bottom crust browning due to the high sugar content of the PJ clone doughs. If you put the pizza stone at the middle oven rack position, you might also be able to bake your pizzas on the stone. The dough with the reduced amount of sugar should be safe on the stone because it is at 4.8%/3 = 1.6%.

I'm not sure how the two dough balls with the reduced sugar level will ferment compared with one with the correct amount of sugar. Usually during the long fermentation time of the basic PJ clone dough there will be conversion of the table sugar to other sugar forms usable as food by the yeast and to contribute to final crust coloration. What I don't know is how much residual sugar will remain in the dough at the time of baking to contribute to final crust coloration. I am pretty certain that the dough and pizza will be OK but the color of the finished crust might be a bit lighter than usual if the residual sugar levels are low. You could cut the fermentation times for the two dough balls with the reduced sugar content, or maybe you can cut the fermentation time short for one of the dough balls and go to full term with the other. That should give you a good comparison and perhaps teach us something.

I, too, have wondered whether there is a required ratio of sugar and yeast to make a PJ clone dough workable. If there is one, I did not find it. I have used high sugar levels with minuscule amounts of yeast (as low as 0.0125% with 4.3% sugar) and ended up with good results.

Peter

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Re: Pete-zza's Papa John's Clone Pizza
« Reply #141 on: December 09, 2009, 07:44:53 PM »
I made two pies tonight with the "accidental low sugar" doughs. I let them cold ferment for two days instead of three, but left the dough to rise at room temperature for at least two hours. I also made the PJ clone sauce to go with it. I made the dustinator with flour and corn meal. (I could have sworn I had semolina flour in the cupboard...)

I was quite surprised how much I liked these pies. Fluffier crumb than what I usually make, but very good! I would have taken pics, but alas, the pies were gone in minutes. The screen I have worked fine, and browned nicely on the bottom (not so much on the rim)

I will report back on my findings with the "correct" sugar level pies in a couple of days.

Cheers,
Josh


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Re: Pete-zza's Papa John's Clone Pizza
« Reply #142 on: December 09, 2009, 08:10:35 PM »
Josh,

I'm glad to hear that the low-sugar PJ clone pizzas turned out well. I hope that you will post photos of the pizzas using the remaining dough balls.

Peter

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Re: Pete-zza's Papa John's Clone Pizza
« Reply #143 on: December 10, 2009, 06:27:12 PM »
Tonight I baked the remaining two pizzas. These are the ones using the correct amount of sugar.

Very nice. Not nearly as sweet as I was expecting (fearing) given that the last batch were actually quite sweet even with 1/3 the sugar.

Great recipe. Definitely on my regulars list. I can't say how close it is to Papa John's, but I can say it was very good!

-- Josh

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Re: Pete-zza's Papa John's Clone Pizza
« Reply #144 on: December 10, 2009, 06:28:14 PM »
More pics. One was pepperoni and bacon, the other just pepperoni.

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Re: Pete-zza's Papa John's Clone Pizza
« Reply #145 on: December 10, 2009, 07:07:31 PM »
Josh,

Your pizzas look good, including the nicely blistered rims, and I am happy to see that you liked them. I would say that your pizzas are perhaps as good as ones purchased from Papa John's. The last time I purchased a PJ pizza, I did so on a busy Sunday afternoon at about the time that NFL football games were to start on TV. I intentionally picked that time because I wanted to see how good a pizza PJ could make when being slammed. I saw that the workers, in anticipation of being slammed, had made several skins in advance and had stacked them in racks. The skins had been docked unmercifully, which indicated that the dough balls were being used without adequate warm up time. The pizza I ordered, a simple sausage pizza, was perhaps the worst pizza I bought from PJs since I started this thread. I decided that in the future I will pick my times more carefully when I want one of their pizzas.

From the next to the last photo, I see from the spots of the bottom of the crust that you used what appears to be a perforated disk of some sort. If that is so, it is good to know that disks can be used in lieu of pizza screens. No doubt there are some PJ stores that are using something like what you used.

Did you detect much of a difference between the crusts of the two sets of pizzas and, if so, what were they? And did you prefer one set over the other?

Peter

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Re: Pete-zza's Papa John's Clone Pizza
« Reply #146 on: December 10, 2009, 09:20:21 PM »
Hi Peter,

Yes, you're right, I used a perforated disk instead of a screen. I noticed that my screens were 12" instead of 14", so I went with the perforated.

I actually did not notice much of a difference between the crusts in terms of flavor, but if had to pick a winner, it was tonights. I'm not sure if I put it down to the extra sugar in the dough, or to the extra day's ferment. Today's crust did have much better browning.

Thanks again for the recipe.

What process do you go through when "cloning" a dough? I noticed in another clone thread that you hadn't even had the original (Sbarros maybe?)

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Re: Pete-zza's Papa John's Clone Pizza
« Reply #147 on: December 11, 2009, 10:40:25 AM »
What process do you go through when "cloning" a dough? I noticed in another clone thread that you hadn't even had the original (Sbarros maybe?)

Josh,

Throughout this thread, I have discussed most of the steps I took and the type of research I conducted to reverse-engineer and clone the basic Papa John's pizza. But, in general, to successfully reverse-engineer and clone a pizza, particularly the dough and the sauce, you need a lot of data about the pizza. More importantly, however, the data has to be the right kind of data. My favorite data and my favorite starting point is an ingredients list setting forth all of the ingredients in the order of their predominance by weight. Through further research, I can then try to identify as much as possible the nature and sources of those ingredients. Ideally, I would like to use the same ingredients as the pizza operator but quite often the ingredients are either not readily available at the retail level (which means I have to look for or come up with substitutes) or they are proprietary ingredients and formulations that are provided to the pizza operator by a variety of vendors, often to the specs of the operator and on an exclusive basis. I would say that this is almost always true for the large pizza chains, including Papa John's. Using proprietary ingredients and formulations makes it difficult for others to copy their pizzas. Moreover, much of that information, particularly for many of the chains, is not available at the store level, so there is reduced risk of employees divulging that information.

The availability of nutrition information can also be helpful but I have discovered that it is very difficult, at least for me, to be able to reverse engineer a pizza only from nutrition information. The most important nutrition information for my purposes is weight information, if specified (some operators break down a pizza by parts and weights in their published information), or other information from which I might be able to calculate the weights of dough, sauce, cheese or toppings for a particular pizza. I might also be able to divine from the nutrition information whether the dough (or pizza) contains a lot of salt (sodium) or a lot of some other ingredient, or possibly the general type and amount of cheese being used, but to be able to reverse engineer a pizza and get all of the parts in their correct order by weight solely from nutrition information is beyond my skill and ability.

Other tidbits of information can come from former employees. However, in general, I have not found such information to be entirely reliable, either because memories of former employees have faded with the passage of time, or doughs, sauces and other ingredients and formulations have changed over time or have been abandoned. Some information might also come from members who have engaged in dumpster diving. I do not do that personally. In fact, I have read that dumpster diving is against the law in some jurisdictions.

I usually can tell after some basic research and study if I have enough information to proceed with a reverse engineering/cloning exercise. But, no matter how good the information, there are always blanks that I have to fill in. This is usually done by conducting further research on specific items, which can include online research and communicating with product and equipment vendors and even the pizza operators themselves, and by relying on what I know about pizza in general after many years of studying and making pizzas of all types. Since I don't often have an opportunity to sample a target pizza in person, I almost always look for clues from photos and videos of the target pizza at places like YouTube, Google Image, flickr and the websites of the pizza operators themselves. Those sources, coupled with everything else I have been able to learn about a particular pizza, help me zero in on my clone of that pizza and to more faithfully capture the "look and feel" of that pizza. I even count the number of pepperoni slices shown in photos, even though I have discovered that most workers who assemble pizzas do not count the pepperoni slices they put on pizzas.

As you can see, reverse engineering and cloning a pizza is a lot like putting a puzzle together without having all of the pieces, and using your knowledge and experience and sometimes just plain common sense to help complete the puzzle.

Peter

Offline Trogdor33

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Re: Pete-zza's Papa John's Clone Pizza
« Reply #148 on: December 13, 2009, 03:02:44 PM »
Finally got a chance to try this formula out (to be specific, the 2 day dough mentioned on page 2 of this thread). Overall I was very impressed. I lost my patience with the first one and only let it warm up for 20 minutes. The second one (not pictured) I let sit out for 2 hours before baking and it turned out much better (although the first one turned out pretty good, it wasn't great). I also out of habit opened the dough ball with a defined rim, so it doesn't have that flat look as it does in Peter's pictures.
For all you non-geeks who may be wondering what the name trogdor is all about, have a look here: http://www.homestarrunner.com/sbemail58.html

Online norma427

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Re: Pete-zza's Papa John's Clone Pizza
« Reply #149 on: December 13, 2009, 03:07:43 PM »
Trogdor33,
Great looking pie.  :)  Your rim looks fine to me.
Norma


 

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