Having worked recently with fellow member giotto to "reverse engineer" Trader Joe's pizza dough, I decided that maybe I should actually try to make a dough based on the formulation we ended up with. To refresh our memories, that formulation was as follows:
Trader Joe's Reverse Engineered Pizza Dough Formulation
100%, Bread flour, 9.84 oz. (278.67 g.)
63%, Water, 6.19 oz. (175.56 g.), (about 3/4 c.)
1.8%, 50/50 Olive oil and canola oil blend, 0.18 oz. (5.02 g.), (1 t. total)
Note: For the 50/50 blend, use 1/2 t. olive oil and 1/2 t. canola oil
1.75%, Kosher salt (Morton's coarse), 0.17 oz. (4.88 g.), (1 t.)
0.75%, Non-hydrogenated shortening (Spectrum), 0.07 oz. (2.09 g.), (1/2 t.)
0.27%, IDY (instant dry yeast), 0.03 oz. (0.75 g.), (1/4 t.)
Total dough weight = 16.47 oz. (466.96 g.)
Thickness factor = 0.107
In making the dough, I made two changes. First, since I didn't have any bread flour on hand, I used a blend of the King Arthur all-purpose flour (11.7% protein) and the King Arthur Sir Lancelot flour (14.2% protein). I estimated that a 50/50 blend would yield a flour with a gluten content of around 12.9%. If my estimation was correct, that is a bit less than King Arthur's bread flour, which registers at 12.7% protein. Rather than to try to fine-tune the blend to get it down to 12.7%, I simply used the 50/50 ratio (i.e., 4.92 ounces of the King Arthur all-purpose flour and 4.92 ounces of the King Arthur Sir Lancelot flour). Second, since I did not have any Spectrum spread on hand, which I would have preferred to use, I used some Smart Balance blend. Since the Smart Balance blend contains some water in it, I increased its quantity slightly, from 1/2 teaspoon, as noted above, to about 3/4 teaspoon. I might mention that if one has neither the Spectrum or Smart Balance spreads, then ordinary Crisco shortening can be substituted.
To make the dough, I started by dissolving the salt (Kosher salt) in the water in the bowl of my KitchenAid stand mixer. I then combined the flour with the IDY and the Smart Balance--which I worked into the flour with my fingers (it could also have been dissolved in a bit of warm water and combined with the rest of the water)--and added the flour mixture gradually to the water in the mixer bowl and mixed at the stir speed. Once a rough dough mass was formed, I added the canola oli/olive oil blend to the bowl and kneaded that in, at speed 1. Once the oil blend was combined, I kneaded the dough at speed 1 for about 4 or 5 minutes more. From time to time, I stopped the mixer to check on the dough and to knead it a bit by hand to speed up the kneading process. Once the dough took on a smooth and elastic consistency, I removed it from the mixer bowl, kneaded it for about another 30 seconds to shape it, coated it with a bit of oil, and placed it into a covered metal container which then went into the refrigerator. It stayed there for about 46 hours, upon which time I removed the dough from the refrigerator and set it on my counter to warm up in preparation for shaping and stretching. During the time that the dough was in the refrigerator and on the counter (for about 3 hours), I estimate that it rose by about 15-20%. This was as I had expected since I used cool water in making the dough.
The dough handled very well, and I had no problem shaping and stretching the dough into a 14-inch skin. The skin was dressed in a simple pepperoni style and baked on a pizza stone that had been preheated on the lowest oven rack position for about an hour at around 500-550 degrees F. It took about 6 to 7 minutes for the pizza to bake.
The finished pizza turned out quite well. The crust had good oven spring, and it was chewy and reasonably tender. The crust was a bit thicker than I normally prefer but that is something that can be easily remedied next time by simply stretching the dough out about another inch. It is also possible to substitute the King Arthur Sir Lancelot flour for the blend I used, but if the KASL in not available, then my recommendation would be to use the King Arthur bread flour, which I think may do a little bit better job than my blend did. I also see no reason why the pizza cannot be baked on a pizza screen, using the pre-bake technique that giotto frequently uses, if so desired. A combination of screen and stone should also work out well.
One of these days, when I am near a Trader Joe's, I would like to try their pizza dough to see how it compares with the reverse-engineered version. Whatever the results, I know that the formulation that giotto and I came up with works and is very easy to implement.
The photos below show the finished product.