The Marco's dough and pizza would be difficult to reverse engineer and clone because some of the information is sketchy and there are no weights given for slices or entire pizzas. One would have to purchase a Marco's pizza (the best one for reverse engineering and cloning purposes would be the most basic pizza, such as a large cheese pizza), weigh the pizza, and estimate the losses during baking.
Having looked at the information for a large cheese pizza, and also what is otherwise said on the website (at http://marcos.com/about-marcos-pizza
), and what I know about the PJ pizzas, this is what I take away from that review:
1. The flour used by Marco's is bleached, malted and bromated. Papa John's uses an unbleached, unbromated, malted flour.
2. Marco's appears to be using an oil blend comprising corn oil and pure olive oil. The blend is said to be "RBDD". I don't know what the last D stands for, but RBD usually stands for refined, bleached and deodorized. Papa John's uses soybean oil. I have no idea if that oil is RBD, but I have never seen anything to suggest that the soybean oil is RBD.
3. Marco's uses a Dough Additive that comprises sugar, salt and yeast. I suspect that is what is sometimes called a "goody bag". As discussed by Tom Lehmann in a Pizza Today article reproduced at Reply 7 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=7465.msg64349;topicseen#msg64349
, it is common to combine sugar, salt and yeast in a premix. Such premixes are commonly used at the store level, and makes it easier for workers, including unskilled workers, to be able to make batches of dough without difficulty. Papa John's uses salt, sugar and yeast in its doughs but it is unlikely that they use goody bags at its commissaries.
4. Marco's uses three different fresh pack tomatoes to make its sauce. According to the ingredients list for the large cheese pizza, the tomatoes are said to be crushed tomatoes. If that is correct, then that would mean that Marco's uses three different crushed tomato products. Stanislaus has three different fresh pack tomato products that are described as crushed (see http://stanislausfoodproducts.com/products/nutrition-facts
) but I would be surprised to see that they are the crushed tomatoes that Marco's is actually using. I haven't checked the fresh pack tomato products from Escalon, but Escalon could be a source of the crushed tomatoes used by Marco's (the Escalon link is http://www.escalon.net/products.aspx
). Another possible source for the crushed fresh pack tomatoes is the Neil Jones Food Company. See, for example, http://www.neiljonesfoodcompany.com/types/crushed-and-ground-tomatoes/
. Whatever the source of the tomatoes, it appears that Marco's adds water to the tomatoes, along with sugar and fructose. Papa John's uses a proprietary pizza sauce made for them by Stanislaus. Like Marco, the PJ pizza sauce is made from fresh pack tomatoes. The actual sauce composition can be seen at Reply 493 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,6758.msg260046/topicseen.html#msg260046
. There is no added water for the PJ sauce.
5. Marco's uses three fresh cheeses for its pizzas. However, the ingredients list for its large cheese pizza mentions cellulose. That would suggest anti-clumping. If one of the cheeses is a grated cheese, it is quite common for such cheeses to include cellulose. But, then, such a cheese wouldn't be characterized as "fresh". So, it is possible that some grated cheese is put on top of the Marco's pizzas as a fourth cheese. All three (or four) Marco cheeses will contain cholesterol and be reflected in the Marco nutrition information. There is no cholesterol in the dough or pizza sauce. Papa John's uses a cheese blend from Leprino Foods. Its composition is given in Reply 493 referenced above.
6. A large pizza from either Marco's or Papa John's is 14" and is cut into eight slices. Comparing the nutrition information for a large cheese pizza from both companies, it appears that there is a bit more total fat and saturated fat in the Marco's pizza, about the same amount of cholesterol, a bit less salt (sodium) and more total sugars (natural and added). But it is hard to make much of these factors because total fat and sat fat are present in the dough (trace), in the cheeses, and in the oils. And sodium is just about everywhere: in the flour (trace), in the tomatoes and final sauce, in the dough, and in the cheeses. Dietary fiber is in the flour and in the tomatoes and to a minor degree in the cheeses. The sugars are in the flour (trace), in the tomatoes (natural) and in the sauce, and in the dough. Trying to allocate these nutrients to the various components of the pizza (dough, cheeses and sauce) is what makes reverse engineering and cloning pizzas such a challenge. The nutrition information for a large PJ cheese pizza can be seen at http://order.papajohns.com/nutrition.html
It would help to know a typical weight of a baked large pizza from Marco's. That would help determine the "feel" of the pizza and slices from a weight standpoint, which might also provide clues as to crust thickness and dough weight.