Thanks Norma--it's a lot of work to figure that all out!
Norma and I have been working offline on the frozen dough project for close to a month, through emails and PMs. What got everything going was that Norma said that she liked the Lamonica dough balls that she purchased from Bova. So, it was natural to try to decipher the Lamonica dough balls. However, Norma was not anxious to use a high gluten flour such as used by Lamonica's (more on this below) but rather to use the Full Strength flour that she normally uses at market. So, one of the first suggestions I made to Norma was that she conduct a hydration bake test and a gluten mass test on a sample of the Lamonica dough that she had in her possession. In parallel, we both made separate approaches to Lamonica's from which we obtained some fairly detailed nutrition information and also Nutrition Facts and ingredients statements. From that information, I was able to establish that Norma's hydration bake test was on the money, so that helped determine a probable hydration value. Norma's gluten mass test suggested a lower flour protein value than used by Lamonica's so that left a few open questions. I should mention at this point that Lamonica's is fairly guarded about disclosing its nutrition information for its products but it will do so privately to existing customers or those who want to purchase their products, especially through fairly large orders.
Also by way of background, Lamonica's sells several frozen dough products. They include frozen doughs balls--with or without semolina--and fresh frozen pizza shells. They also sell a retail frozen dough ball, also with semolina. An example is the Lamonica's frozen dough balls sold by Sur La Table, but without a Nutrition Facts panel, at:http://www.surlatable.com/product/PRO-1392471/Lamonicas+Pizza+Dough
Subsequently, through the kind help of Mitch, we saw the ingredients statement and Nutrition Facts for a retail Lamonica's frozen dough sold on the West Coast. That dough also includes semolina.
The use of the semolina has always puzzled me because it is used in such small quantity that its presence in the dough will not be detectible--which is something that Mike (Essen1) noted when the tried a Lamonica's retail frozen dough ball. And, from what Norma told me, there was no surface semolina on the Bova dough balls in her possession, much like Mellow Mushroom ships its frozen doughs to its stores covered with a fair amount of cornmeal.
The above aside, Norma and I decided to focus on Lamonica dough balls that include only flour, water, salt, yeast and olive oil. These are the ingredients for the Lamonica frozen dough balls sold to Costco. I was quite familiar with that dough through the work I conducted in the thread at:http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=9121.msg78926#msg78926
And in the above thread, one of the most important posts is Reply 24 at:http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=9121.msg83041#msg83041
So, working with the above information, I started to create frozen dough formulations for Norma to use but with the Full Strength flour. And in that vein, I was eventually able to come very close to the Lamonica's nutrition information. At the same time, Norma continued to pursue Lamonica's and also Bove's and another Lamonica's distributor and even Costco to try to get specific nutrition information for the basic Lamonica's dough such as used at Costco and, we believe, in the Bova Lamonica's frozen dough. I also continued my exchanges with Lamonica's. At one point I so puzzled the person I was dealing with at Lamonica's with my technical questions that he asked me for my telephone number so that someone more knowledgeable about the matter could call me to discuss. Later that evening, I received a call from Lamonica's. It was from John Lamonica, the president of the company. We had a very nice conversation. I told him of my concerns, including the fact that some of their Nutrition Facts, if publicly disclosed, would not be in compliance with the FDA rules and regulations. A lot of what I told him he seemed not to be aware of, but, to be fair, I wouldn't expect him as the president of the company to be privy to every detail of the production of their products. However, he did tell me the name of the miller of the flour they use, and he said that the protein content of the flour was "north of 13%". At the end of the conversation, which ran for several minutes, he thanked me. He said that the thought that he was going to educate me but instead I educated him. And he thanked me again for that. I offered to work with his people if he wanted, but I did not hear back from them.
Some interesting things came out of the above exercise. For one, pretty much all of the people that Norma and I came in contact with, either through emails or telephone calls, did not know much about Nutrition Facts and what they mean and what the FDA requires. In some cases, the people couldn't even relate the nutrition information to their own products. The other thing is that there is a special science that applies to making and using frozen dough balls as opposed to fresh dough balls. And that science does not work particularly well in a home setting where dough balls are frozen in the freezer compartment of a standard static refrigerator where there is an automatic defrost cycle. Norma has a leg up on other members in the sense that her freezer does not have an automatic defrost cycle. It has to be defrosted manually. So, her dough balls will be better. To give the readers an example of how difficult it is to recreate a commercial frozen dough in a home setting, see the following PMQ Think Tank thread, including the posts by Tom Lehmann, at:http://thinktank.pmq.com/threads/different-dough-bake-relative-to-oven-type.14329/
You are correct, Bill, that frozen dough balls do not get much fermentation. The fermentation starts when the dough balls defrost, which might be as little as one day and as much as two or three days (especially if the defrosted dough is reballed after the second day and returned to the refrigerator for another day), and also when the defrosted dough is tempered at room temperature. What Norma is trying to do is to optimize the dough such that a one day defrost may be enough, given that most people are unlikely to want to go through a defrost period in excess of one day.
If I misstated anything, Norma should feel free to correct me or to add to what I posted.