I'm still trying to digest the discussion on page three of this thread, and there may be some clues in there. However, we are at a point now where we are stumped. The reason I have never posted any of the recipes we used for dough is because they don't taste like samples of corporate Shakey's pizza. Sure, our starting point was ingredients lists off the bags and recipes for cracker and American-style pizza found on this website. We made 11 batches of dough using the variants of malty laminated beer pizza dough that DNA Dan posted. We thought it was tasty and had a lot of fun when trying to buy Olde English malt liquor. Most of the stores around here don't carry it and they laughed at us. We finally found it in the downscale parts of town (pack your Uzzi). However, a delivery of Shakey's pizza in the fall showed that Olde English 800 was not a good match.
A big difference between the genuine Shakey's pizza and our clones is that the Shakey's emits a unique aroma when reheating it. But we can't place the smell. We finally tried narrowing it down by disassembling these large size pepperoni pizzas. We defrosted our samples, then removed the pepperoni slices. Next, we scraped the cheese and sauce off and transferred them to Camillo's pizza crusts found at Dollar Tree. (They are made by the Mama Mary folks for a lot less money.) The sauce/cheese on Camillo's crusts and the Shakey's crusts were reheated separately at 400 degrees F for 10 minutes.
The aroma turned out to be coming from the crusts. But we can't place it. I can place the aroma (or stink) coming from Wonder Bread white bread factories, Cinnabon stores and kiosks, a rye bread plant like Pechter's in Harrison, NJ, brownies in a home oven, garbage dumps, and unmodified sewage treatment plants. But this aroma eludes us. If we get real close to the reheated dough, there is a faint hint of an herb like basil. But it could just be that it leached from the sauce into the crust. The unique taste is throughout the entire dough, as we still taste it on the edges where there was no sauce, cheese, or pepperoni.
We tried some Mellow Mushroom pizza (due to the extensive discussion of their flavored crust here). That reheated pizza did not emit a similar aroma. Some of the ideas we are kicking around: It could be technique, such as not adding any scrap dough. The corporate Shakey's are adding something to the bagged mix. The bagged mix may have something that does not need to be declared, so they don't list it. The shortening they add to the bagged mix may be flavored. It could be one of the dough additives that Lightmeter provided a link to a list of. I am reminded of a similar case with the Subway sandwich shops chain. They bake their own bread from frozen dough. They do publish their list of ingredients. Their doughs contain a lot of the products found in Lallemand's white paper. If you pass their shops, you can often smell baking bread. But it is a stink more than an aroma. Google Subway Sandwich Shop Smell. Employees, patrons and nearby residents complain the smell gets in your clothes.
Enclosed are photos of the bottom of the sample. The "high water marks" were caused by ice crystals. This is a quarter of the pie, selected because the slices were not completely cut through. They were baked in a conveyor oven, and if any corn meal was used, it fell off by the time we defrosted it.
Can anybody suggest a source of that aroma?