Author Topic: Little Caesars Dough Recipe?  (Read 151831 times)

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Offline IlliniPizza

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Re: Little Caesars Dough Recipe?
« Reply #60 on: October 22, 2006, 03:49:42 PM »
Thanks for responding November,

I use to work at a Little Caesars 12 years ago, so I am familiar with the pizza prep, but I worked nights so I never actually made the dough. 

I was wondering if you knew the dough recipe and knead times.  I have king arthur hi-gluten flour, I was wondering about yeast, oil, anything else, and knead times.  I know that it had a 24hr. refrigerated rise.

Anything specifics from the manual you remember?


Thanks


Offline noon

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Re: Little Caesars Dough Recipe?
« Reply #61 on: October 22, 2006, 04:42:14 PM »
I'd also be interested in knowing baker's percentages and processes (knead times, rests, etc.) -- as mentioned previously, I also worked there and did routinely make the dough, but that was 20 years ago now.  I'd be interested in whatever info you can share -- would especially love to be able to take a look at those manuals!

Offline November

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Re: Little Caesars Dough Recipe?
« Reply #62 on: October 23, 2006, 07:43:24 AM »
As you know, the dough is kneaded in a large multi-purpose mixer (the same that is used to crumble the cheese).  As a result of translating from such large batches, the quantities lose a little resolution when converting the proportions to a single 14" pizza.  So I took the liberty of converting the dough ingredients and their quantities into real-world values, but some of the precision is lost when rounded to the nearest gram.  I'm sure it won't affect the outcome that much.  If you are wanting a 100% Little Caesar's pizza experience, I would seriously suggest ordering a pizza from Little Caesar's.  There are things that affect flavor that can only happen in a chain restaurant due to the volume of their sales.  A 50 lb. batch mixer does not translate well to a home mixer as far as knead time.  My suggestion would be to knead it less than you probably think you should, or about 3-4 minutes if you need a place to start.  Little Caesar's dough is pretty tender for having such high protein levels.

Little Caesar's Pizza Dough (14")
   322 g   high-gluten flour
   192 g   water
     17 g   sugar (high-fructose corn syrup solids)
     10 g   soybean oil
       6 g   kosher salt
       3 g   ADY

Refrigerate for at least 8 hours in the coldest part of your refrigerator.  LC standards dictate the dough must be used within 3 days.  The ideal time to use the dough is 24 hours.  After refrigeration, roll dough ball in flour to cover completely.  Feed through dual sheeter, hand stretch, and place in pan with coarse cornmeal bottom for round, and oiled bottom for square.  Allow the pan of dough to sit on the rack for at least 30 minutes before use.

- red.november

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Little Caesars Dough Recipe?
« Reply #63 on: October 23, 2006, 12:19:13 PM »
November,

As I understand it from reading earlier posts in this thread, LC uses yeast packets containing ADY, sugar and salt. Can you describe how the packets are used in the LC dough making process, and how the ADY is activated (rehydrated)?. Also, based on what you know about the individual ingredients themselves and their normal behavior, is there a particular sequencing of ingredients that you would recommend for a home environment? One that may even be better than what LC itself uses?

I see that the formulation you posted calls for sugar in the form of high fructose corn syrup solids. Should one substitute the liquid form of corn syrup or just use sucrose for home applications? I assume that the liquid form of corn syrup contains some water, which may slightly alter the hydration of the formulation.

Also, I understand from another post that the LC pizzas are baked at 425 degrees F for about 7 minutes. What would you recommend for a standard home oven, and at what oven position?

Thanks.

Peter

Offline November

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Re: Little Caesars Dough Recipe?
« Reply #64 on: October 23, 2006, 03:58:16 PM »
It's already been described in this thread how the ADY is activated.  Just dump the packet contents into water at between 105 F and 110 F.  As a side note, I always took that literally and waited until the temperature was 107.5 F.  It used to drive other people crazy when we were in a hurry.  I never made anyone else be that specific though.  Wait until the temperature drops to around 95 F and pour into the mixer with the flour.  If someone wants to hand mix their dough, they can start at 100 F.  The idea is to keep the temperature low enough going in so that the mixer doesn't cause the dough to overheat.

Something else that people don't consider when trying to convert a restaurant chain's procedures for home use is that although consistency is very important in the restaurant, it's not as easy as at home.  The difference between someone really liking LC pizza and disliking it could be the difference between the first dough ball formed and the last dough ball formed in a batch.  Let me give you a likely scenario.  The "dough guy" (and it was usually a guy because of the upper body strength needed, ladies) dumped his dough from the mixer into the oiled tub and then lifted it to the work surface and dumped it out.  He starts cutting with his scraper, measuring, and forming balls.  He gets one tray finished, but because it's only himself and one other person on the morning shift that day, a crowd arrives and he is forced to abandon his dough to help with customer orders.  Twenty minutes go by.  He returns to his dough and continues to work.  By the time he gets to his last dough ball, that dough has been sitting out for 52 minutes.  I've seen it happen, and I've it worse than that.  So, if you like LC pizza, you have to ask yourself: "Self, do you prefer the dough that was put in the walk-in within just a few minutes of being made, or do you prefer the dough that sat out for almost an hour because of preoccupation?"  This is just one of the things I was referring to when I said, "There are things that affect flavor that can only happen in a chain restaurant."

I listed high-fructose corn syrup solids in parentheses, because it is indeed authentic to the packet ingredients, however, the manual calls for sucrose during a supply shortage (not honey or corn syrup or any of the other interesting things people have come up with).

The temperature depended on when the pizza was cooked during the day if you really want to get down to it.  Cookies for the display case were baked first thing in the morning at 375 F, and if there was a rush for making pizzas around the same time, the pizza enjoyed a slightly cooler trip through the conveyor oven as it heated up to 425 F.  The cook time at 425 F is supposed to be 8 minutes.  Some restaurants I'm sure tweaked their oven to run a little faster to cut corners.  District management is responsible for making sure the speed is set for 8 minutes, but sometimes they either forget to check it, or the store management sets it back and forth based on how much business they're getting.

As I mentioned before, the breadsticks enter the oven through the first door which means they baked for 5-6 minutes.

The heat distribution is so much more even in a conveyor oven than a typical home oven.  I would recommend 425 F if someone uses a convection oven, and 450-475 F for a conventional oven, both center stage.  It's been mentioned before, but just to emphasize, the pans need to be black or very very dark.

- red.november

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Little Caesars Dough Recipe?
« Reply #65 on: October 23, 2006, 06:29:34 PM »
November,

The reason I singled out the ADY in my last post was because I thought the packets contained ADY, salt and sugar together in what is sometimes referred to as a "goody bag". But, as I understand the goody bag, it includes IDY, not ADY, so that the contents of the bag can be added directly to the flour, as noted in this Lehmann piece, for example, http://www.pmq.com/cgi-bin/tt/index.cgi?noframes;read=2817. From what you say, it sounds like the ADY is in a separate packet, in which case I can understand how it can be activated just as one would do in the home. Tom Lehmann's standard advice is not to activate ADY together with the salt and sugar. Hence, the source of my confusion.

Peter


Offline November

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Re: Little Caesars Dough Recipe?
« Reply #66 on: October 23, 2006, 07:53:51 PM »
Peter,

To my knowledge, the packet includes ADY not IDY, and must be activated with warm water.  The packet was never added directly to the flour.  It would not make any sense for the manual to specify ADY in shortage situations if the packet included IDY.  That would mean having to teach two different procedures to the staff, and that's inefficient from an operations standpoint.  My advice of course is to bloom the ADY without the salt if you aren't working with a packet, but it makes little difference due to the amount of yeast in LC dough.  Blooming the yeast with sugar is fine.  I've read a few times on this forum about how this is supposedly a bad thing.  It isn't really.  The only harmful mechanism related to yeast and sugar is known as Sugar Induced Cell Death (SICD).  But that risk is only high when yeast and sugar are left by themselves for several hours, and only for hexokinase-deficient strains.  I've heard people say that sugar (or any dissolved solids) messes with the osmotic pressure, but that's to be expected.  Yeast grows on things, not in things like bacteria.  So yeast is not as sensitive when it comes to osmosis.

I've pointed out before that yeast actually needs micro-nutrients to function normally.  This includes salt.  Mind you, the yeast only needs a very small amount, but it does need sodium (or some salt) ions for proper nutrient transport across the plasma membrane.  White granulated sugar usually possesses enough of the salt (as impurities) needed for yeast, but it's none the less important to know.  Here's a scientific study related to this phenomenon observed in brewer's yeast:

http://pubs.acs.org/cgi-bin/abstract.cgi/iechad/1933/25/i09/f-pdf/f_ie50285a034.pdf?sessid=1567

- red.november

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Little Caesars Dough Recipe?
« Reply #67 on: October 23, 2006, 08:54:15 PM »
November,

Thanks for the clarification.

My current practice with salt is to dissolve it first in the water, before adding the yeast (ADY). If I am also using sugar, I either add it to the dry ingredients or dissolve it in the water. I have heard of the Sugar Induced Cell Death but I understand that the yeast can tolerate some sugar and even some salt, especially where the contact time is short. I note, however, that the yeast producers don't suggest blooming the yeast in the presence of sugar. I have seen that recommendation only for "proofing" ADY (typically 1 cup water, 1 T. ADY and 1 t. sugar).  I also understand that there is an optimum or recommended ratio of sugar to yeast, which may also apply to salt and the yeast. This leads me to believe that if one wants to combine ADY, salt and sugar in a goody bag and the ADY is to be activated in water along with the sugar and salt, it is perhaps wise to increase the amount of ADY beyond what might be needed if the ADY were to be used separately. If I got this right, then one might not need as much ADY as you indicated in the dough formulation you posted. Is that correct?

Peter

Offline November

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Re: Little Caesars Dough Recipe?
« Reply #68 on: October 23, 2006, 10:08:33 PM »
Peter,

That is correct.

My current practice is to use dark brown sugar (as mentioned in "Dutch Apple Pie") dissolved in 167 F water, then add yeast at 110 F, then add everything else at 100 F.  Dark brown sugar contains 6.5% molasses, and thusly contains lots of micro-nutrients and minerals that make dough a playground for yeast.

- red.november

Offline scott r

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Re: Little Caesars Dough Recipe?
« Reply #69 on: October 24, 2006, 12:07:03 AM »
november, some time ago I found out that one of my favorite pizzerias from growing up uses molasses in the dough.  I tried a few times to include it in my dough recipe, but I decided I didn't love the flavor that it brought to the finished product.  I am also not a huge fan of sugar in my dough.   Could you reccomend an amount of straight molasses to be used in a dough that would be enough to give the positive effects on the yeast development, but hopefully not be enough to give the dough the flavor of molasses?  I don't really expect you to know how much would be perceptable to the palate, so I guess what I am looking for is a bare minimum amount that would fully develop the yeast.   I don't know if this would effect your numbers, but I tend to go for fairly long fermentations when compared to many on the forum, especially with my refrigerated doughs.


Offline November

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Re: Little Caesars Dough Recipe?
« Reply #70 on: October 24, 2006, 04:19:23 AM »
scott,

As a matter of fact, that's the reason why I use brown sugar.  I don't mind the flavor that molasses gives dough, but I don't like to have to switch recipes every time someone else wants me to bake them a pizza.  The taste of molasses in brown sugar is imperceptible at that level, and pouring 0.158% (0.91 g or 0.1365 tsp) molasses into a batch for two 14" pizzas is just a ridiculous proposition.  At 2.43% dark brown sugar, I've never noticed a sweet flavor to the crust, but someone who is used to never having sugar in the crust might notice it just very slightly.

Just to cover the principle behind my preference of molasses over other sweet micro-nutrient additives like honey, molasses is a 100% plant byproduct.  Since honey is an insect byproduct, it would be like eating chicken raised on cow's milk, rather than grain.  Yeast is opportunistic and doesn't care (except for the higher percentage of free fructose), but I still like to keep the yeast's nutrition in mind as well as my nutrition when I consume the yeast later.  That shouldn't stop someone who really likes the flavor of honey though.

If you're against adding any kind of sweet substance in your dough, you could consider adding a plant powder from this list:

http://www.vgdllc.com/pharmacy/Botanical-Powders.asp

Yes, that's a big list.  My recommendations to cut that list down to size would be either wheat grass powder or barley grass powder, since those are the two powders that replace the exact nutrients lost in processed flour which is the only reason I add molasses in the first place:

http://www.vgdllc.com/pharmacy/Botanical-Powders-Section-W/25345-Wheat-Grass-powder.asp
http://www.vgdllc.com/pharmacy/Botanical-Powders-Section-B/24604-Barley-Grass-powder-organic.asp

A third option for adding micro-nutrition to your dough is picking up a container of broccoli sprouts from your local grocer, and using a blender to liquify about 0.5% (by weight) with your water.  Broccoli sprouts have the highest nutrition density of any locally available sprouts.  This is especially good if you or the people you're making the pizza for like vegetarian pizzas.  There will definitely be a broccoli flavor component to your crust.  Sprouts you can order online like oat sprouts would be even better, but they're difficult to get and probably cost prohibitive for such a minor additive for pizza dough.

There are several more options but they progressively get more costly and cumbersome for such a trivial tribute to the yeast.  Even the over zealous baker isn't going to care that much.  As I mentioned above, my interest in adding micro-nutrients to dough is due to the nutrients the yeast would normally have available to it if it were growing in the wild.  Even enriched flour has only about half the mineral content of whole wheat flour.  The bottom line is that I include as much molasses or some other source of micro-nutrients and minerals to compensate for the absence in processed flour as I can get away with.  You would need more molasses than flour to make up for the minerals stripped from the wheat berry, and you obviously can't get away with that.  Grass powders and grass juices (if not adulterated) are the best source if one wants all the mineral levels restored.

All of this is of course if you care about your yeast like a farmer cares about his livestock.  Very few people care that much, and I don't blame them one bit.

- red.november

EDIT: I meant to mention that Voigt also sells barley and oat sprout powders, and I actually prefer them over the grass powders.
« Last Edit: October 24, 2006, 07:28:22 AM by November »

Offline scott r

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Re: Little Caesars Dough Recipe?
« Reply #71 on: October 24, 2006, 12:47:28 PM »
I think I am going to stay away from the powders, but I find this information very interesting.   2.5 % sugar is definitely perceptable to my palate, not to mention my 800 degree pizzas would burn with that amount in there.  So from your post it looks like roughly .16 % molasses would be your recommendation?  I just want to make sure I have the right number there.

I usually make fairly large batches of dough, so it would not be that hard for me to measure out .16%.  I use 1/4 teaspoon of IDY per 1000g of water already, which I think is even less than you are reccomending for the molasses.

Thanks November!

« Last Edit: October 24, 2006, 12:51:08 PM by scott r »

Offline November

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Re: Little Caesars Dough Recipe?
« Reply #72 on: October 24, 2006, 02:54:29 PM »
scott,

Somehow I didn't think you wanted to go through too much hassle.  It's the convenience of brown sugar that keeps me using it on a regular basis.  If someone made a darker brown sugar with a higher level of molasses, I would probably use it.  The 0.158% figure I gave is just because of the limits I place on the sugar itself, not the molasses in the sugar.  If I were to use just molasses, and I didn't want it to affect the flavor, I would be inclined to use 0.25% or 1/8 teaspoon per 1000 grams of flour.  I've used as much as 7.2% before, but that's just me.

- red.november

EDIT: Incidentally, if you're being judicious with moisture, 1/8 teaspoon of molasses contains 0.7175 g of water.
« Last Edit: October 24, 2006, 02:58:07 PM by November »

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Little Caesars Dough Recipe?
« Reply #73 on: October 25, 2006, 06:06:52 PM »
The photos below show the results of my first attempt at a Little Caesars clone pizza. The dough formulation I used was based on the one posted by November except that I used Karo light corn syrup (a liquid) instead of table sugar (sucrose), substituted canola oil for soybean oil, and I converted everything in the dough formulation to the U.S. standard (Imperial) to be able to calculate the thickness factor and use it in the Lehmann dough calculating tool. Hence the oddball percent numbers in the dough formulation set forth below. The value of thickness factor I calculated was 0.1263 but for purposes of the dough calculating tool I used 0.127 to compensate for the loss of a bit of the dough that I expected would stick to the mixer attachments during the preparation of the dough. The final dough weight was about the same as if I had used 0.1263.

It’s possible that my changes may have altered the original dough formulation in some way but for my initial effort I just wanted to get a feel for the dough produced by the formulation.

For dough preparation purposes, I used the new method that I described recently at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,3985.msg33251.html#msg33251. I did this mainly to get more experience with that method using another dough recipe. Had I been true to the LC dough making process, I would have used the procedures described by November.

The dough formulation I ended up with was as follows, for a 14” pizza.

KASL Flour (100%):                         324.54 g  |  11.45 oz | 0.72 lbs
Water (59.6%):                              193.42 g  |  6.82 oz | 0.43 lbs
Oil (3.11%):                                    10.09 g | 0.36 oz | 0.02 lbs | 2.16 tsp | 0.72 tbsp
Kosher Salt (1.86%):                      6.04 g | 0.21 oz | 0.01 lbs | 1.26 tsp | 0.42 tbsp
ADY (0.93%):                                  3.02 g | 0.11 oz | 0.01 lbs | 0.8 tsp | 0.27 tbsp
Corn Syrup (5.28%):                      17.14 g | 0.6 oz | 0.04 lbs | 2.55 tsp | 0.85 tbsp
Total (170.78%):                            554.25 g | 19.55* oz | 1.22 lbs | TF = 0.127
                                                     * Actual dough weight was 19.4 oz.

The dough came out of the refrigerator about 27 hours after it went in. During that time, the dough increased in volume by about 50 percent. After letting the dough sit on my counter for about 1 hour (lightly covered with a sheet of plastic wrap), I rolled it out to around 12”, using a rolling pin. I then hand stretched the dough the rest of the way out to 14”. The dough handled nicely even though it had a bit of elasticity which was overcome simply by letting the dough rest for a few minutes. The shaped dough was placed in a 14” cutter pan (the only dark pan I have in that size) in which I had scattered cornmeal, and allowed to proof, covered lightly with a sheet of plastic wrap, for about 40 minutes. After dressing the pizza, including using a diced blend of low-moisture, part-skim mozzarella cheese and Muenster cheese, the pizza was baked on the middle rack of my oven, which had been preheated to about 475 degrees F. It took about 8-9 minutes to bake.

It has been a long time since I last had a Little Caesars pizza so I had no idea of what to expect beyond my speculation from just looking at the dough formulation. The crust had a soft, tender, bread-like texture throughout, including the rim. Surprisingly, it was not sweet, as I expected it might be. It was, however, light in the crust flavor department, which was not a surprise given the short fermentation time.

Although the pizza tasted fine, my inclination would be to use a thinner dough next time, purely as a matter of personal preference. I perhaps would also extend the fermentation time out a few more days to get more crust flavor. I’d be happy to receive additional advice from the hard-core LC pizza fans.

Peter

Offline November

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Re: Little Caesars Dough Recipe?
« Reply #74 on: October 25, 2006, 06:37:56 PM »
Peter,

The picture looks right.  It certainly has the same appearance as the marketing material LC uses.  Unfortunately it's been a while since I've had a LC pizza too, and unfortunately I can't taste your pizza.  If I could, it might bring back the proper sense memories.  There are all kinds of reasons why the dough might not turn out 100% like LC as I've mentioned before.  Duplicating a restaurant pizza involves a lot more than just a recipe.  One distinct difference comes from how accurately the "dough guy" at LC weighs his dough.  There is actually an acceptable tolerance of about half an ounce when weighing, since all LC uses is a cheap analog food scale.  Light corn syrup is not going to taste anything like sugar or HFCS solids.  Light corn syrup will also cause your dough to rise a little more than HFCS.  I would go a minimum of 36 hours in the refrigerator.  The dough used at the end of the day always tasted better, and of course that dough would have come from a batch prepared 36-39 hours earlier.

- red.november

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Little Caesars Dough Recipe?
« Reply #75 on: October 25, 2006, 07:05:47 PM »
November,

I could see that the dough ball would be a good one for commercial use. It didn't rise all that much while it was in the refrigerator, although I used cold water for the bulk of the formula water and got a finished dough temperature of a bit over 70 degrees F. The dough at the time of shaping was not overly extensible and it was easy to handle and stretch without fear of thins spots or tears. It seemed to be a very durable dough, far more so than the typical Lehmann dough I make.

As a point of clarification, is the LC dough run through the sheeter right after it comes out of the cooler, or is it allowed to warm up before doing the sheeting? If the latter, what would be a typical (average) warm-up time?

I noticed also in an earlier thread that you gave the ratio of sugar:salt:yeast as 3:1:1, whereas the numbers you gave in the LC dough formulation were a bit different, especially the yeast. Knowing your attention to detail, I assume the differences were intentional. Was it because of the scaling of the LC dough formulation to a single 14" dough ball size? I also wondered whether the results would be the same if the amounts of sugar, salt and yeast were reduced proportionately. I did this once with an American style dough recipe that had high levels of sugar (sucrose and honey), salt and yeast and got good results from doing so. I brought the percents of each within more or less normal levels.

I forgot earlier to mention that I would be inclined to use IDY instead of ADY, simply because of ease of use.

Peter
« Last Edit: October 25, 2006, 07:07:20 PM by Pete-zza »

Offline November

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Re: Little Caesars Dough Recipe?
« Reply #76 on: October 25, 2006, 07:09:35 PM »
Peter,

By the way, I'm unsure of why you "covered lightly with a sheet of plastic wrap."  At LC, the pans of dough are placed on open frame rack shelving before using.  They aren't covered by anything.

- red.november

Offline November

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Re: Little Caesars Dough Recipe?
« Reply #77 on: October 25, 2006, 07:18:08 PM »
Peter,

The dough is usually sheeted right after coming out of the walk-in cooler.  It all depends on the person doing it.  The manual says the trays of dough should sit out to warm up first, but that almost never happens in practice.

The 3:1:1 was from memory and was for volume, not mass, because at some point long ago I did the conversion and it just always stuck.  The precision in scaling such a large batch definitely accounts for the rest of the discrepancy.

- red.november

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Little Caesars Dough Recipe?
« Reply #78 on: October 25, 2006, 07:35:19 PM »
By the way, I'm unsure of why you "covered lightly with a sheet of plastic wrap."  At LC, the pans of dough are placed on open frame rack shelving before using.  They aren't covered by anything.

November,

Thanks for picking up on that point. As I was getting the dough ready, particularly for proofing, I couldn't think of a reason why the dough needed to be covered. I did it with the dough ball when I took it out of the refrigerator to warm up because I didn't want a skin to form. But that concern wouldn't exist once the dough was in the pan. Also, I couldn't imagine LC employees covering up pans of dough all over the place. Since I wasn't sure, I used the sheet of plastic wrap out of an excess of caution. I made a point of mentioning that step hoping that someone would speak up if it was not needed.

Peter

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Re: Little Caesars Dough Recipe?
« Reply #79 on: October 26, 2006, 03:06:42 AM »
Peter,

At no point in the dough's life is it covered with anything but oil.  Once the balls are formed and placed on the tray, oil is brushed on and the tray is placed on a rack inside the walk-in.  The crusty skin that forms after being in the walk-in for a long time is apparently a trademark of LC, because it was just a part of how everything was done.  What's worse, or better depending on how fanatical you are about LC pizza, is that the dough rack was situated in the walk-in such that the blower was blowing almost directly on the dough balls.  This form of convection cooling had skins forming relatively quickly.

- red.november