Author Topic: Shakey's thin crust pizza dough part three  (Read 35649 times)

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Offline DNA Dan

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Re: Shakey's thin crust pizza dough part three
« Reply #60 on: February 27, 2012, 09:24:56 PM »
Here are some shots from the 60% hydration dough.


Offline Lydia

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Re: Shakey's thin crust pizza dough part three
« Reply #61 on: February 28, 2012, 12:10:49 PM »
Dan  :o

Wow...That looks like the perfect RT crust!!!!! But I wouldn't be able to tell without biting down into it.... I know I want to. I'm drooling. :P

Just want to make sure I'm understanding correctly. In the pic with the bubble, I'm not seeing a gummy layer ??? The technical definition of "Gummy layer" is a gelatinzed layer that is kinda grey and translucent that is below the moistened sauce layer. Is that what you got?

My bet is if you go to a lower hydration that textually you'll get "modern day Shakey"s" which to my palate was horribly dry and in addition if you went with several very thin layers you'd get "Old Skool StrawHat".

Wishing I had a sheeter  :( but very glad you have one  :)
The roundest knight at King Arthur's round table was Sir Cumference.They say he acquired his size from eating too much pi.

Offline DNA Dan

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Re: Shakey's thin crust pizza dough part three
« Reply #62 on: February 28, 2012, 12:25:38 PM »
Thanks for the compliments Lydia. I guess by "gummy layer" I am talking about layers where there is little to no separation. This typically happens in the middle of my pies. The way the laminated crust seems to form in the oven (yes I continuously watch all my pies cook!) is from the rim of the pie towards the center. The whole thing will puff up a bit, then at about 1/2 cooking time the rim gets larger bubbles which are more isolated, then they move towards the center - but only a little bit. I feel the missing link I still don't have right is the oven. I am using a convection bluestar oven @ 550 ish, but there isn't a lot of top heat to really singe the top. I think this top heat is required to get the center of the pies to bubble up more. John your thoughts on this? You can also tell the top heat is lacking in my pies due to the lack of singe on the toppings. It's minimal at best. Use the broiler you say, well the broiler on this model oven is the worst piece of crap I have ever used. I am contemplating getting a dual element PX-16 or similar but I am concerned about bubbles filling up the oven and burning on the top element. I know the Chinese Sage models of this style have a small window in them, but I don't think they put out the same amount of heat as the baker's pride models. Another possibility is I don't have a thick enough pizza stone to transfer the right amount of heat. I am using a 1/2 stone, nothing special.

The shot of the interior is after the slice has had a few bites taken on it. So what you are looking at is the last third of the slice. I was trying to get the interior up close so the moistness could be seen. Again comparing to the interior pics of the RT slices I posted years ago, it's far from it. I think the next step is to take the lower hydrations ~42% or lower and play with some conditioners to make them more slack. This way you get the bubbling effect of the low hydration but the workability of a higher hydration dough. When I did the 40% low hydration dough I had to move it through the sheeter so many times that it developed too much. It's a delicate balancing act with the sheeter because you can really "knead" the dough a lot with successive passes easily.
« Last Edit: February 28, 2012, 12:28:35 PM by DNA Dan »

Offline Lydia

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Re: Shakey's thin crust pizza dough part three
« Reply #63 on: February 28, 2012, 12:59:34 PM »
If it helps

The last time I had "Old Skool Shakey's" was somewhere around 1995-96. This Shakey's was ran by a couple who had been with the franchise for a very long time. The crust had been how I always remembered it from the 70's on. The internal structure had lots of dry leathery layers, not tough and not insipid. Visually its like when you tear apart a RT crust, and see the craggly fragments, but drier than RT with a bit more tooth. I would compare it to a pita.  I want to say it had more chewiness than RT but, I'm not sure that is completely correct. You see, the top layers were tender like RTs and the bottom crust texture might best be described as being like the chewy outer crust of some french breads, but not particularly crispy. The bottom crust color had a deeper, more consistent browning, like you'd see with the use of milk, malt extract or higher oven temps. on firebrick. But the edges and rim didn't have this browning, so I say malt extract is out.

Hope this makes sense  ???
The roundest knight at King Arthur's round table was Sir Cumference.They say he acquired his size from eating too much pi.

Offline DNA Dan

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Re: Shakey's thin crust pizza dough part three
« Reply #64 on: February 28, 2012, 01:06:06 PM »
I get what you're saying. The description of the "leathery" layers is exactly what I observed on the 40% hydration dough. When I experimented with the ingredients in my malty beer crust, I found the using more NF dry milk gave the crust less crisp, more tooth. The other thing here is the low hydration dough didn't have as much bottom crunch as the 60% hydration dough. So I think the amount of water being cooked or not cooked out of the crust while cooking determines a lot of the crunch factor.

Is that franchise still in business? I might make it out there when I am in Cali this summer.

Offline fazzari

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Re: Shakey's thin crust pizza dough part three
« Reply #65 on: February 29, 2012, 07:40:42 AM »
Thanks for the compliments Lydia. I guess by "gummy layer" I am talking about layers where there is little to no separation. This typically happens in the middle of my pies. The way the laminated crust seems to form in the oven (yes I continuously watch all my pies cook!) is from the rim of the pie towards the center. The whole thing will puff up a bit, then at about 1/2 cooking time the rim gets larger bubbles which are more isolated, then they move towards the center - but only a little bit. I feel the missing link I still don't have right is the oven. I am using a convection bluestar oven @ 550 ish, but there isn't a lot of top heat to really singe the top. I think this top heat is required to get the center of the pies to bubble up more. John your thoughts on this? You can also tell the top heat is lacking in my pies due to the lack of singe on the toppings. It's minimal at best. Use the broiler you say, well the broiler on this model oven is the worst piece of crap I have ever used. I am contemplating getting a dual element PX-16 or similar but I am concerned about bubbles filling up the oven and burning on the top element. I know the Chinese Sage models of this style have a small window in them, but I don't think they put out the same amount of heat as the baker's pride models. Another possibility is I don't have a thick enough pizza stone to transfer the right amount of heat. I am using a 1/2 stone, nothing special.

The shot of the interior is after the slice has had a few bites taken on it. So what you are looking at is the last third of the slice. I was trying to get the interior up close so the moistness could be seen. Again comparing to the interior pics of the RT slices I posted years ago, it's far from it. I think the next step is to take the lower hydrations ~42% or lower and play with some conditioners to make them more slack. This way you get the bubbling effect of the low hydration but the workability of a higher hydration dough. When I did the 40% low hydration dough I had to move it through the sheeter so many times that it developed too much. It's a delicate balancing act with the sheeter because you can really "knead" the dough a lot with successive passes easily.

Dan
Here is a conversation I shared with Peter and Tom Lehmann yesterday.  Although it isn't exactly the type of crust you or I are after, the techniques and reasoning are very important:
http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,17956.0.html

While I had asked Peter for any info he could give me regarding low hydrations and cracker doughs and was waiting for a response, I tried increasing my hydration from 36 to 40%, and then cut way back on the mixing to about 4 minutes.  I was pulling pieces of dough out of the mixer bowl and throwing in my bucket for fermenting.  I let the dough rise at room temp for about 45 minutes, it almost doubled, but was no way near soft and spongy...it was simply very workable.  Very easy to sheet and laminate.  Made excellent skins.

As for your skins..if I remember right, you laminate but only get your dough to about three eighths inch thick...in my opinion, that is about 3 times to thick and could be the cause of your gummy layer problem.  Also, I'm sorry I don't have time to follow everything, but are you sheeting cold dough the day after mixing?  If so, why not take a note from Lehmanns recipe above, take it out and let it warm up and then sheet it.  I've tried the method of sheeting dough the day after mixing, and found it very taxing on my sheeter and I have a big Rondo.

I bake my pizzas most generally at about 550 degrees right on the deck.  To get the skins I love, there has to be a huge transfer of heat, from bottom crust to top....good ones take no more than 5 minutes to bake.  In my home oven, I bake on the highest rack, so that the top of the oven radiates all that heat for the top of the pizza..it works for me.

Since your are mixing your dough by hand, it seems Lehmann's method will be right up your alley.  but honestly Dan, I think a thinner skin might be what you want....and with a sheeter, you should be able to take a laminated sheet, and cut 3 or 4 different skins at differing thicknesses to test if this is true.

John
« Last Edit: February 29, 2012, 07:44:06 AM by fazzari »

Offline DNA Dan

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Re: Shakey's thin crust pizza dough part three
« Reply #66 on: February 29, 2012, 11:07:23 AM »
John you are absolutely correct. At first i was closer to a 0.375 TF because that is closer to the TF of the California laminated style pizzas. I didn't however account for the fact that once it puffs up, it's thicker than that, so in actuality they are thinner skins prior to cooking. I began going thinner, and the dough does get more "crackery" as you go thinner, however at 0.125 TF the dough is more crispy with not much tooth. Still a great dough, but just not where I wanted to be. So I am currently at 0.25 TF. This gives me a good crispy bottom layer with about a 1/8" soft layer below the toppings. I saw the conversation with Tom and his feed back was great. I usually sheet my doughs cold out of the fridge because I am about 48% hydration. I never thought of letting it warm up a bit, but this will be my next approach. I also want to try something in the low 40 range- upper 30s again similar to where you are, but with some dough conditioner in the mix. I just could not work the dough at 40% hydration using All Trumps flour. I am going to start using the dough calculator tool that Peter helped develop to make sure I am hitting that ratio correctly each time. I am reminded of our conversation a while back about flour moisture and how you constantly watch for that. At these low ratios every bit of water makes all the difference. 

Offline fazzari

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Re: Shakey's thin crust pizza dough part three
« Reply #67 on: February 29, 2012, 03:45:03 PM »
I didn't however account for the fact that once it puffs up, it's thicker than that, so in actuality they are thinner skins prior to cooking. 

Dan
What does the above sentence mean.  Are you letting your skins rise before baking???

John

Offline DNA Dan

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Re: Shakey's thin crust pizza dough part three
« Reply #68 on: February 29, 2012, 04:05:08 PM »
No, not letting them rise before baking. I was just giving a historical account of how I ended up at 0.25 TF. At first I didn't realize just how much a laminated skin would puff up. The final crust on some of these pizzas ends up being somewhere around 1/2-5/8" thick on a nice pizza. So when I first got my sheeter I just assumed this came from a skin that was 3/8" or so in thickness. I did several rounds like this only to end up with something that was super gummy, didn't have much life to it. That was where I started at. Once I learned that going thinner seems to give more puffiness, I dropped it down. I kept going until I hit the 0.125 TF, but that thin didn't seem to give any more puff, just more crunch. So I came back up to the 0.25 and it seems to give the proper balance of crunch and tooth.

Offline fazzari

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Re: Shakey's thin crust pizza dough part three
« Reply #69 on: February 29, 2012, 07:50:56 PM »
John you are absolutely correct. At first i was closer to a 0.375 TF because that is closer to the TF of the California laminated style pizzas. I didn't however account for the fact that once it puffs up, it's thicker than that, so in actuality they are thinner skins prior to cooking. I began going thinner, and the dough does get more "crackery" as you go thinner, however at 0.125 TF the dough is more crispy with not much tooth. Still a great dough, but just not where I wanted to be. So I am currently at 0.25 TF. This gives me a good crispy bottom layer with about a 1/8" soft layer below the toppings. I saw the conversation with Tom and his feed back was great. I usually sheet my doughs cold out of the fridge because I am about 48% hydration. I never thought of letting it warm up a bit, but this will be my next approach. I also want to try something in the low 40 range- upper 30s again similar to where you are, but with some dough conditioner in the mix. I just could not work the dough at 40% hydration using All Trumps flour. I am going to start using the dough calculator tool that Peter helped develop to make sure I am hitting that ratio correctly each time. I am reminded of our conversation a while back about flour moisture and how you constantly watch for that. At these low ratios every bit of water makes all the difference. 

Dan
It's interesting that we are basically making the same laminated skin except that you are sheeting the next day and I sheet right after bulk fermentation the first day.  I have tried the method of sheeting the second day...the skins are very good, but in my opinion they are no better than sheeting the first day.  Having said that, we check the thickness factor of our skins every single day...I didn't know there was such a thing as a thickness factor until I was introduced to hit here, but we have always weighed our skins knowing what was optimal for us.  We have found that the optimal thickness factor is .1.   Most of our skins are right in between .09 and .12.  Anything outside of those boundaries means trouble to us.  Our goal is to create a skin, that bakes in a 550 degree (approximately) oven, that never has to be touched except to check for color, where the bottom and top are done at approximately the same time, including the usage of raw Italian sausage and ground beef.  If our skins go above the .12 mark, what usually happens is that the bottom of the skin cooks much quicker than the top, meaning the pizza has to be manipulated by using a screen to slow down the bottom so the top can catch up.  It also can means that heat is not reaching the top of the pizza, so all the meat chunks have to be rolled over to make sure they all get done.  If you are an oven tender, and you are baking 3 ovens full of pizza at a time it is a mess.  If you are the eater of the pizza, your pizza is subpar because the bottom will tend to be overdone if not caught in time, and pizza will be heavy and dense.  If the skin is less than .09, it will tend not to brown correctly, and a lot of the time the top will be done sooner than the bottom, so this means you will move your skins to hotter spots in the oven to get them to brown.  I would much rather have a skin a little to thin than a little too thick...because the end product is better.  Of course, we always shoot for .10 though.

I know our techniques and our equipment are different, if any of this information is helpful, use it...if not, that's quite all right too.

John


Offline DNA Dan

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Re: Shakey's thin crust pizza dough part three
« Reply #70 on: March 05, 2012, 12:32:53 PM »
Thanks for the information regarding the TF of your pies. That is much thinner than the style I am after. However, what you describe with the top not being that cooked relative to the bottom is exactly what I am seeing. I want the thicker pies, so I think what I am up against is really an oven problem. I just need some radiant heat above or a stone up top to conduct more heat. There is a lot of steel in my oven, it's a commercial style oven, but the top is pretty lacking in metal thickness because there is a weak broiler mesh there. I may do a thinner skin experiment to confirm this.

How long do you bulk ferment before sheeting? Is the dough warm when you sheet? Reason I ask is I recall in another thread you said you use little to no flour when sheeting. If I sheet the next day, quite a bit of moisture had developed in the bag and I need to use flour to keep it from sticking on the sheeter. I know your hydration ~10% lower than mine, so this could account for the added moisture, yet do you find your skins "sweat" when you pull them out for use the next day?

Offline fazzari

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Re: Shakey's thin crust pizza dough part three
« Reply #71 on: March 05, 2012, 05:38:36 PM »
Thanks for the information regarding the TF of your pies. That is much thinner than the style I am after. However, what you describe with the top not being that cooked relative to the bottom is exactly what I am seeing. I want the thicker pies, so I think what I am up against is really an oven problem. I just need some radiant heat above or a stone up top to conduct more heat. There is a lot of steel in my oven, it's a commercial style oven, but the top is pretty lacking in metal thickness because there is a weak broiler mesh there. I may do a thinner skin experiment to confirm this.

How long do you bulk ferment before sheeting? Is the dough warm when you sheet? Reason I ask is I recall in another thread you said you use little to no flour when sheeting. If I sheet the next day, quite a bit of moisture had developed in the bag and I need to use flour to keep it from sticking on the sheeter. I know your hydration ~10% lower than mine, so this could account for the added moisture, yet do you find your skins "sweat" when you pull them out for use the next day?

Dan
I mix my dough and let it ferment 45 minutes...it is made with hot water.  It is then sheeted, cut and cooled.  The only use of flour is after the lamination process is done, in the final passes as the thinning occurs..  Haven't had a sweating problem.  By the way, had a nice conversation with my Hobart repairman last week.  The Hobart people also repair the sheeters in this area.  He noticed we had a Rondo and commented he was constantly repairing a Rondo used in Moses Lake by a pizza restaurant I am familiar with there.  They also make a laminated cracker crust, but they sheet there dough the next day.  He said there process just rips up the machine.  Soooo, if your are convinced this is the way to go, how about trying mixing your dough very loosely, and immediately refrigerating, and then pulling it out the next day 2 hours prior to sheeting...I'd bet this would be easier dough to sheet.

In regards to making a thicker pizza, I'm thinking you will have to bake in a cooler oven, because the bottom will be done way before the top, or bake in a pan of some kind....the goal is always to have the bottom and top done at the same time.

John

Offline DNA Dan

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Re: Shakey's thin crust pizza dough part three
« Reply #72 on: March 09, 2012, 03:08:07 PM »
John, Just did the calculation on my latest dough to get a more accurate measurement of the TF and the skin came out 0.098 TF which is essentially similar to what you're doing. This equates to roughly 1/10", but it really seems thicker than that. Not sure if I am calculating this correctly. I have a skin weight of 1lb 3 3/4 oz, or 19.75 oz. Diameter of the pie is 16" so R = 8". I used (19.75)/(3.14x8x8) and it comes out to 0.098278. The skin measures about 1/8 inch or so, so I don't know what the deal is. Perhaps I am sheeting thinner than I realize or using a ruler is just HIGHLY inaccurate. It also seems like if you drive down the thickness in one huge jump lower on the sheeter, the strain on the rollers gives a slightly thicker skin unless you pass it at that thickness a few times. I'm sure there's some tension rod on there that lets the rollers slack a bit if the dough is too thick for that pass. Anyway, didn't get to try the bulk ferment -> sheet tidbit you gave me previously because I have a dough conditioner experiment going. It's on the list to try.

Offline fazzari

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Re: Shakey's thin crust pizza dough part three
« Reply #73 on: March 09, 2012, 11:37:50 PM »
John, Just did the calculation on my latest dough to get a more accurate measurement of the TF and the skin came out 0.098 TF which is essentially similar to what you're doing. This equates to roughly 1/10", but it really seems thicker than that. Not sure if I am calculating this correctly. I have a skin weight of 1lb 3 3/4 oz, or 19.75 oz. Diameter of the pie is 16" so R = 8". I used (19.75)/(3.14x8x8) and it comes out to 0.098278. The skin measures about 1/8 inch or so, so I don't know what the deal is. Perhaps I am sheeting thinner than I realize or using a ruler is just HIGHLY inaccurate. It also seems like if you drive down the thickness in one huge jump lower on the sheeter, the strain on the rollers gives a slightly thicker skin unless you pass it at that thickness a few times. I'm sure there's some tension rod on there that lets the rollers slack a bit if the dough is too thick for that pass. Anyway, didn't get to try the bulk ferment -> sheet tidbit you gave me previously because I have a dough conditioner experiment going. It's on the list to try.

Good job Dan
I might be wrong, but I don't think the thickness factor has anything to do with the measured height of your skin..after all the thickness factor is measured in ounce per inch squared, while the height is measure in inches...not comparable.  I made the same mistake once and Peter explained it to me.  I also hope that you keep good records of your experiments....so that when you find the exact thickness factor you are looking for, you will know exactly what you have to do to sheet that dough, given the changes you will experience in flours, fermentation, etc.  You will find that some dough will "feel" heavy, or another one "light", but you have to use something to be consistent....we use a scale, and we feel it's the best way to go.  good work Dan

John

Offline Chicago Bob

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Re: Shakey's thin crust pizza dough part three
« Reply #74 on: March 09, 2012, 11:46:38 PM »
John,

That was an excellent post. You are very good at expressing and sharing your knowledge, thank you.

Bob
"Care Free Highway...let me slip away on you"

Offline DNA Dan

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Re: Shakey's thin crust pizza dough part three
« Reply #75 on: March 10, 2012, 12:06:05 AM »
John, what I have been doing is I have a lock on the sheeter setting. So I physically can't move the thickness adjustment past a certain point. If I drive down to this postion in 1-2 passes, I can tell the skin is a little thicker due to the roller tension release. If I do say 1-2 passes AT the lowest setting, I get pretty much the same pie every time based on using a ruler.

Thanks for pointing out the error in using the TF calculation based on weight. I see now that it will be completely different for varying hydrations, flour types, etc. I was hoping to make thickness more "quantifiable", but with my intentions of doing more hydration experiments this may not be the way to go. I think if I keep the same lowest sheeter setting locked then I can vary the hydration and compare the TF numbers that way. It's all relative but I need to have some "golden standard" to base the relative measure on. Next I am going down in hydration with the addition of some dough conditioners.

Offline lightmeter

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Re: Shakey's thin crust pizza dough part three
« Reply #76 on: March 10, 2012, 05:31:08 PM »
At the Rockville Shakeys we spot checked the weight of rolled/cut skins for consistency. It would be easy to determine the original Thickness Factor if the skin weights (DBW) and skin diameters were both known, I just can't remember the weights. Shakey's sold Single, Double and Family size pizzas, which I believe were 10 inch, 14 inch and 16 inch skins, validated by a couple of the original pans I have. Does anyone recall the corporate scale weights for each size skin?

Offline lightmeter

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Re: Shakey's thin crust pizza dough part three
« Reply #77 on: March 11, 2012, 04:20:41 PM »
Here's an excellent quick reference on all types of dough conditioner ingredients and their effects.

http://www.lallemand.com/BakerYeastNA/eng/PDFs/LBU%20PDF%20FILES/1_13DOUG.PDF

Enjoy

Offline Zing

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Re: Shakey's thin crust pizza dough part three
« Reply #78 on: March 13, 2012, 03:25:28 PM »
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?
« Last Edit: March 14, 2012, 01:26:13 PM by Zing »

Offline DNA Dan

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Re: Shakey's thin crust pizza dough part three
« Reply #79 on: March 13, 2012, 03:45:47 PM »
The malty laminated crust I threw out there is just a more flavored crust. Actually I agree with you that it's completely different. It is better than just flour, dry milk, water, shortening, salt and sugar mixed as listed on the bag. Perhaps that's why they don't care about listing the ingredients?

Having said that, I completely agree with your findings that there is something very distinct in these doughs. I have been to many proclaimed pizza parlours that exhibit this flavor in their crust and there is nothing at the retail level that I have been able to find to replicate it. Many people will argue that it's the excessive use of fresh compressed yeast (Particularly the kind made by Budweiser back in the 70's and 80's). I think for some places this is probably the case, but I've tried cultured fresh yeast myself and the results are just sub-par. It does give more flavor to the dough, but it isn't the same flavour that permeates these doughs or entire restaurants as you describe. In addition, if the shakey's mix is now "just add water", then this really negates this as a possibility.

IMO, this is an additive of some kind. Not necessarily a trade secret because I have been to several independent places that have a similar crust flavor profile. I suspect this is only available through commercial suppliers. It's akin to a great bakery, everyone knows they use flour, yeast and water, but mix that at home and you get something completely different. I understand that commercial techniques are just plain different at many levels, but this flavor goes beyond technique. There's something "else" in the dough.

Here's an example of some items you can only find commercially:
http://www.lallemand.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/B-I-11-en.pdf

These guys almost have a complete monopoly on the yeast market:
http://www.lallemand.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/BYI-Eur-09-en.pdf

Just look at some of those old world brands.
« Last Edit: March 13, 2012, 10:51:50 PM by DNA Dan »