Author Topic: My attempt at Papa John's clone  (Read 3342 times)

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Offline james456

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My attempt at Papa John's clone
« on: May 12, 2010, 11:37:27 AM »
I followed Pete-zza's papa johns crust recipe detailed here: http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,6758.msg58196.html#msg58196

I also used Pete-zza's papa johns sauce clone detailed here:
http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,6633.msg57044.html#msg57044

Dough was hand kneaded. Kneading time took approx 9 minutes. Dough was soft, thick, and smooth when dusted with a little flour with minimal tackiness. Each dough was kneaded 360-380 times in the span of 9 minutes.

Dough kneading technique used:
n9


1 knead = (1) stretch dough away; (2) pull it back and over; and (3) turn

The dough was allowed to ferment in the fridge for a total of 84 hours (3 and a half days) after which it was left on the counter, of room temperature, for 2 hours 50 minutes to prepare for baking. 

Toppings used on pizza:
-jalapenos
-tomatoes
-cherry tomatoes
-green peppers
All toppings where squeezed between paper towels to remove as much water as possible before placing on the pizza.

Oven temp: 250 Celsius / 482 Fahrenheit
I have an electronic fan assisted oven with equal heat dispersion from the top and bottom.

The pizza was baked for 9 minutes.

---

I'm a newbie to home pizza making, so many of my predictions were violated - I learned a lot!

The end result didn't meed my expectations. Firstly, the pizza tasted and looked much like my previous NY style attempts using the Tom Leyman recipe: bread-like; dense; thin; bland.

One of the errors was in my dough-stretching technique: I stretched out too much dough from the middle, creating a thick crust with a relatively thin centre. I also had to shrink the dough to fit the intended 14" screen as I overdid the stretching to 15"-16" -- I wasn't accustomed to dealing with an extremely extendable dough. I believe these two errors are largely to blame for the dense texture of the crust.

To counter the bland, bread-like taste and texture of the crust I put half the pizza back into the oven for 2 minutes thinking the dough needs to be baked longer. Not the case, the dough developed a crispier biscuit-like crust while maintaining same bread-like filling.

The sauce was off the mark too, it had a pang to it that zapped the tongue much like concentrated tomato puree does -- too strong of an acidic taste. In my attempts to mimic the 6-in-1 formulation of tomato product found in the states (I'm in the UK) I used a blend of San Marzano plum tomatoes and tomato puree, clearly, I used too much puree. I was aware of this when I made the sauce, however I had hoped that refrigerating the sauce overnight to allow the spices and herbs to diffuse throughout the sauce, coupled with "cooking" it on the pizza, would remove the strong acidic pang to leave a pleasant tomato ping.

I used regular mozzarella made from whole cow milk which would explain why it cooked quickly and browned.

Further, the crust developed very little browning after 9 minutes in the oven. It seemed the crust needed longer to brown, but the longer it remained in the oven the quicker the cheese approached burning point.

Overall I learned a few things to remember for my next attempt, here's the gist of them:

-accurately measure all ingredients (I can now rely on my new digital scale instead of volumetric instruments)
-after removal from refrigeration, prepare dough once it reaches room temperature
-be careful when stretching dough, insure an even thickness
-decrease tomato puree by 10% in relation to 100% of drained plum/crushed tomatoes (and experiment with increasing sugar amounts)
-source low moisture part-skim mozzarella

Pictures, in order:

1) dough after kneading
2) dough after 84 hours of refrigeration
3) pic showing the bottom of the bowl containing the dough after 84 hours of refrigeration
4) dough left on counter dusted with semolina flour + white flour + vegetable oil blend
5) dough spread out ready for toppings
...
« Last Edit: May 12, 2010, 12:01:00 PM by james456 »


Offline james456

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Re: My attempt at Papa-John's clone
« Reply #1 on: May 12, 2010, 11:45:09 AM »
6) dough immediately removed from oven
7) side view of crust
« Last Edit: May 12, 2010, 11:52:38 AM by james456 »

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: My attempt at Papa John's clone
« Reply #2 on: May 12, 2010, 01:58:14 PM »
james456,

Actually, I think that your pizza looks pretty good but none of that matters if you weren't satisfied with the pizza.

I looked at the video you referenced on the method you used to knead the dough, specifically, the stretch and fold method. That is not a method I use for the Papa John's clone dough. I also doubt that Papa John's simulates that method when it makes its dough in its commissaries. Otherwise, I would have specified using the stretch and fold method. I use the standard hand kneading method, and I only hand knead until the dough ball is smooth and supple. I then stop and get the dough into the refrigerator as fast as possible. With too much kneading, there can be excessive gluten development that can manifest itself as an overly dense and breadlike finished crust and crumb. There may be some normal breadlike character in the crust because of the softness and tenderness that comes from using a lot of sugar and oil, but the crumb should not be dense. Unlike bread doughs, pizza dough does not need full development of the gluten. In fact, it should be somewhat underdeveloped. With several days of cold fermentation, there should be ample opportunity for the gluten to be developed biochemically. I am sure that I have never kneaded a dough ball 360-380 times.

With respect to the sauce, there is not much that I can suggest on that point. In the U.S., we have several sources of fresh-pack tomatoes. My recollection is that Domino's in the UK uses fresh-pack tomatoes. I am pretty sure that they come from Portugal. I don't know if they are available at retail where you are in the UK.

I also can't explain the deficiency of top crust coloration. There is plenty of sugar in the dough formulation and that should have been sufficient, barring excessive fermentation, to produce plenty of crust coloration. I would also expect that your convection oven feature would have assisted in that respect. You might substitute honey for sugar in the dough formulation you used, although Papa John's does not use honey, but I would rather wait to see if your next dough, should you decide to proceed, develops the proper crust coloration without using honey.

As for using a scale, you only need to use it to weigh out the flour and water. For the rest of the ingredients, using the volume measurements should be adequate.

I wish you luck in finding a source of the low-moisture part-skim mozzarella (LMPS) cheese. You should be able to use some whole milk mozzarella cheese but I think you will also want to use some LMPS mozzarella cheese.

Peter

Offline james456

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Re: My attempt at Papa John's clone
« Reply #3 on: May 12, 2010, 03:02:01 PM »
james456,

Actually, I think that your pizza looks pretty good but none of that matters if you weren't satisfied with the pizza.

I agree, it looked pretty good and it even smelled pretty good but it didn't taste pretty good.  :-D

I know your papa johns crust and sauce recipes are sound, I need to do a lot of tinkering on my end. I'll be throwing out the 2nd dough of the first batch since it's useless now. From your comment it seems I over kneaded the dough and used an unsuitable method to do it - I do remember having to pop a bubble just before I placed the dough in the fridge. You mentioned the standard hand kneading method, could you briefly describe it? I've searched youtube but the videos (from my perspective) are too varied in technique for me to pinpoint the "standard".


Quote
With respect to the sauce, there is not much that I can suggest on that point. In the U.S., we have several sources of fresh-pack tomatoes. My recollection is that Domino's in the UK uses fresh-pack tomatoes. I am pretty sure that they come from Portugal. I don't know if they are available at retail where you are in the UK.

Are "fresh-pack tomatoes" simply canned tomatoes? Do you know the brand name of the tomatoes Dominos uses? Cloning a UK Dominos pizza is next on the my list.  :chef:

Quote
I also can't explain the deficiency of top crust coloration. There is plenty of sugar in the dough formulation and that should have been sufficient, barring excessive fermentation, to produce plenty of crust coloration. I would also expect that your convection oven feature would have assisted in that respect. You might substitute honey for sugar in the dough formulation you used, although Papa John's does not use honey, but I would rather wait to see if your next dough, should you decide to proceed, develops the proper crust coloration without using honey.

Ah, I should have clarified, I was referring to the bottom of the crust. I checked to see if the bottom of the crust had browned to indicate whether I should remove the pizza from the oven or let it remain until it did.

As you've suggested, I think the fault lies in the kneading process. I'll be making a 2nd batch tomorrow, another 3-8 day cold fermented dough and a 2 day cold fermented dough factoring in everything I've learnt from this first attempt. I'm estimating it will take about 7-8 pizzas to reach 80% of my this-PJ-clone-tastes-amazing goal.  :chef:
« Last Edit: May 12, 2010, 03:07:27 PM by james456 »

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: My attempt at Papa John's clone
« Reply #4 on: May 12, 2010, 04:40:06 PM »
james456,

If you look at just the beginning of the video you referenced, before the woman starts the stretch and fold technique, that is generally the method I use to knead the dough. I knead only until the dough comes together to form a smooth ball. The large amount of oil in a PJ clone dough helps produce a nice and smooth and cohesive dough ball with very few imperfections.

The fresh-pack tomatoes are canned tomatoes where the tomatoes are processed at the peak time (color and natural sweetness) and quickly canned. In the U.S., there are two dominant brands, Stanislaus and Escalon. They are mainly intended to be distributed by foodservice companies although many of our members have been able to find sources of those tomatoes without having to go through foodservice companies. I would be surprised if the fresh-pack tomatoes from Portugal are similarly available in the UK. You might try sending an email to Domino's/UK to see if they will tell you who their source is. Their workers in their stores are unlikely to know.

I'm surprised that you didn't get better bottom crust browning. Did you use a pizza screen that looks something like this: http://www.webstaurantstore.com/14-aluminum-pizza-screen/12418714.html?

Peter

Offline james456

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Re: My attempt at Papa John's clone
« Reply #5 on: May 13, 2010, 03:23:01 AM »
Yup, that's the screen I used.

Instead of throwing out the 2nd dough from the first batch, I used it to make a crust. This dough had been in the fridge for 108 hours (4 and half days) and was left on the counter for 1 hour 30 minutes.

I used all the toppings and adhered to the same process as I did in my first attempt, except I used a roller to stretch out the dough to 14" to ensure an even thickness throughout the dough. The dough was extremely extensible, just as the one before it.

It baked for exactly 8 minutes.

This time the result was great. The crust was actually of pizza texture, it was chewy and light with appropriate side and bottom browning. The only thing that let it down was the sauce, I didn't have time to make another batch so I used the same batch as I did in my first attempt, it still had a slight acidic taste but it was edible.

Glorious pics:
« Last Edit: May 13, 2010, 06:01:00 AM by james456 »

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: My attempt at Papa John's clone
« Reply #6 on: May 13, 2010, 09:24:16 AM »
james456,

I agree. That is an improvement. No doubt the the longer fermentation contributed to the final crust flavors and texture. Remember, the PJ clone dough recipe you used is intended to make a dough that isn't really ready to use after a couple of days. It is intended to go out five or more days. It is perhaps the hardest PJ clone dough to make in a home environment because of the long fermentation time required. Many members seem to like the version at Reply 20 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,6758.msg59217.html#msg59217. It is perhaps a good version to practice with.

What some people do as they are learning to open up dough balls by hand is to use a rolling pin and roll the dough out to say, 12" for a 14" pizza, and open the skin up the rest of the way by hand. After a while, as they start to become more proficient and comfortable with the process, they do it all by hand. If you want to get more height in the crust, you can also let the skin proof on the pizza screen for about a half hour before dressing and baking it.

Peter


 

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