Author Topic: Donatos Pizza - anyone got a recipe?  (Read 61311 times)

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Offline Aimless Ryan

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Re: Donatos Pizza - anyone got a recipe?
« Reply #160 on: May 15, 2011, 01:19:35 PM »
Peter,

After posting my previous post, I immediately began drafting a word document that will eventually cover everything I know about Donatos. Other than about half of Page 1, I haven't even read any of this thread yet. I was shocked to stumble upon this thread, but then I was even more shocked to see how popular it once was. Consequently, I'm curious to read the whole thing.

Unfortunately I cannot provide any real details about the dough formula because, as you probably already know, the dough came from a commissary, even back in 1992. However, I can probably provide a lot of very helpful info/knowledge.


Offline Aimless Ryan

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Re: Donatos Pizza - anyone got a recipe?
« Reply #161 on: May 15, 2011, 01:35:07 PM »
Actually, now that I think about it, my last couple attempts at the Tommy's clone have ended up a lot like Donatos. The texture of the crust, that is. Heck, the last one I photographed even looked a lot like a Donatos pizza: http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,12446.msg128786.html#msg128786.

I can probably pull it off without much trouble.

Offline Aimless Ryan

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Re: Donatos Pizza - anyone got a recipe?
« Reply #162 on: May 15, 2011, 03:36:59 PM »
I also wonder how thin the Donatos pepperoni slices are. I know that Donatos portion controls everything, so the 100-105 slices might equate to a smaller number if the slices are very thin.

A 14" Donatos pepperoni pizza contains exactly 0.300 lb of pepperoni; I'm absolutely positive about that. On multiple-topping pizzas that include pepperoni, the pepperoni weight is 0.220 lb. (I'm about 95% sure about that.)

I'm almost certain the pepperoni is not Ezzo. Donatos pepperoni is very mild and lean. It's very thin, too. In fact, it's just like the pepperoni that Tommy's uses, which I suspect is Hormel. I don't remember ever noticing a brand on the pepperoni packaging when I worked at Donatos.

And that's on top of 0.450 to 0.480 lb of "base" cheese. (It's probably supposed to be exactly 0.480 lb, but you know how managers love to pad their food costs and bank accounts.)
« Last Edit: May 15, 2011, 03:42:11 PM by AimlessRyan »

Offline Aimless Ryan

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Re: Donatos Pizza - anyone got a recipe?
« Reply #163 on: May 15, 2011, 04:01:21 PM »
Having read through the first five pages so far, there's one thing I really want to point out before I continue reading (as I assume no one else has pointed it out in any of the remaining posts).

Very Important Detail: Donatos dough is a lot stiffer than any of the attempted clone formulas I've seen so far through the first five pages. Their dough is very stiff, probably in the range of 40% to 45% hydration. Even though a lot of the clone pictures I've seen here look really good, you have to trust me on this one. Their dough is very stiff, yet slightly "spongy" when it's ready to use.

Also, they "proof" the dough on the pan in the walk-in. Donatos used to proof in proofers, but they changed that procedure (for the better) in about 2000.

I will thoroughly discuss this stuff pretty soon, along with pages and pages of other Donatos-specific stuff.

Offline Aimless Ryan

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Re: Donatos Pizza - anyone got a recipe?
« Reply #164 on: May 15, 2011, 04:38:44 PM »
Another thing that has really stood out to me as I've read the first five pages is the speculation about the consistency of Donatos sauce. People have assumed that Donatos sauce must be really thick, but it's quite the opposite.

Donatos sauce (for the original thin crust) is almost liquid. The sauce is so thin, they don't even use spoons or ladles to distribute it around the dough skin. Instead, after the automated sauce dispenser "spits" the sauce onto the skin, they just pick up the dough skin (on the pan) and tilt it to let gravity distribute the sauce all the way to the edge. Once the sauce reaches the edge of the skin, they turn the pan/skin (almost like a steering wheel) to let the sauce work its way around the skin. (I think there was even a commercial a few years ago that showed them doing this.)

The sauce is very plain and simple, too. Other than the tomato product and water, there's not much in it. (Now that I think about it, their sauce is a lot like what I remember about Appian Way sauce. It might even be nearly identical. Do they still make Appian Way pizza kits?)

Here's how much sauce they use at Donatos.

14" pizzas get 8 oz of sauce.
12" pizzas get 6 oz.
10" pizzas get 4 oz. (They don't offer 10" anymore.)
7" pizzas get 2 oz.

Offline Aimless Ryan

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Re: Donatos Pizza - anyone got a recipe?
« Reply #165 on: May 15, 2011, 05:26:20 PM »
There are a few highlights in Columbus in spite of that...

#1 RUBINOS in Bexley- since 1954.  You'll love it or hate it - but I guarantee you'll have nothing like it anywhere else...the thinest crispiest pizza you'll ever eat.  Their sausage is made from scratch on site and sliced in thin slices.  38ml pepperoni...delicious
#2.  Pizzeria New York in Pickerington, OH (Columbus 'burb) - the best pizza outside of NYC...right up there with Lombardi's and Metro in Vegas.  Norm knows what he's doing and- he helped me build the World's Longest Hot Dog in 2005 - but giving me the doughball to make the bun! 
#3.  Flyers Pizza is fine for a Friday night 'Columbus Pizza' - a unique sweet sauce but doesn't come close to those listed above.

Flyers is edible. I wouldn't even know how to describe their crust because I've never wanted to. Also, would you like some tomato paste with your sugar?

Like every pizzeria outside of New York that has "New York" in its name, Pizzeria New York tastes nothing like pizza you get in New York. It's not bad, but it's not NY.

Never had Rubino's.

Online Pete-zza

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Re: Donatos Pizza - anyone got a recipe?
« Reply #166 on: May 17, 2011, 02:46:49 PM »
Ryan,

Since you have been good enough to update us on certain aspects of the Donatos pizzas and methods as you recalled them from your tour of duty with Donatos, I thought that you and possibly other members might be interested in the latest ingredients lists for Donatos doughs, pizza sauces and cheese as I requested and received them today from Donatos.

With respect to the pizza doughs, I am not sure what the differences are between the "Thin Dough" and the "Hand Tossed dough (select markets)", so I have set forth both ingredients lists, as follows:

Thin dough: Enriched bleached flour (bleached wheat flour, malted barley flour, niacin, ferrous sulfate, thiamine mononitrate, riboflavin, and folic acid), water, yeast, whole egg, soy oil, maltodextrin, non-fat dry milk, salt, contains 2% or less of the following: sugar, modified food starch, sodium metabisulfite, cornmeal.

Hand Tossed dough (select markets): Enriched flour (wheat flour, malted barley flour, niacin, iron, thiamine mononitrate, riboflavin, folic acid), water, yeast, olive pomace oil, buttermilk, contains 2% or less of each of the following: partially hydrogenated soybean oil with natural flavor and colored with beta carotene, sugar, salt, diacetyl tartaric acid esters of mono- and diglycerides, guar gum, dextrose, ascorbic acid, enzymes, soy lecithin, calcium pyrophosphate, natural butter flavor, non-diastatic malt, natural fermentation products.

There apparently are three different pizza sauces, as follows:

Thin Pizza Sauce: Tomato paste, water, sugar, salt, citric acid, xanthan gum, aquaresin paprika, basil, ground basil.
Thicker Pizza Sauce: Tomato puree (tomato paste, water), salt, sugar, garlic powder, citric acid, black pepper, basil, oregano, xanthan gum, basil leaf.
Sweet Pizza Sauce: Tomato Puree (water, tomato paste), high fructose corn syrup, salt, dehydrated garlic, spices, citric acid.


Here are the principal cheese ingredients:

Shredded Provolone Cheese: Pasteurized milk, cheese culture, salt, enzymes, smoke flavoring, powdered cellulose to prevent caking.

Shredded Cheddar Cheese: Cultured pasteurized milk, salt, enzymes, annatto coloring, powdered cellulose added to prevent caking.

Fresh Mozzarella Cheese: Pasteurized whole milk, vinegar, enzymes, rennet, salt.

Diced Mozzarella: Low Moisture Mozzarella (Pasteurized Milk, Cheese Cultures, Salt, Enzymes), Powdered Cellulose to prevent caking, Natamycin to protect flavor.

Since the Donatos pepperoni was mentioned, here are the ingredients for the two types of pepperoni used by Donatos:

Pepperoni: Pork, beef, salt, spices, dextrose, lactic acid starter culture, oleoresin of Paprika, flavorings, sodium nitrite, BHA, BHT, Citric acid.

Spicy Pepperoni: Pork, Beef, Salt, Dextrose, Spices, Natural Flavoring, Oleoresin of Paprika, Natural Smoke Flavor, Garlic Powder, Lactic Acid Starter Culture, Sodium Nitrite, BHA, BHT, Citric Acid.

I have the Donatos information for all of their products in case I have omitted any of the material products.

It appear that at least with respect to the Thin dough Donatos has retained the egg and milk components that were the heart of their doughs from the very beginning. They just don't advertise the fact anymore. From the high position of the yeast in the pecking order, I would guess that the Donatos Thin doughs are frozen as delivered from the Donatos commissaries.

For those who are interested in getting their own ingredients documents from Donatos, as well as allergy informatioin, in pdf form, the person who sent me the informtion is:

Maurice Moore
Guest Service Ambassador
Donatos Pizza
935 Taylor Station Road
Columbus, Ohio 43230
1-800-DONATOS
www.donatos.com
MMOORE@donatos.com

Peter

Edit (5/21/11): Added provolone, cheddar cheese and fresh mozzarella ingredients

« Last Edit: May 21, 2011, 10:34:44 AM by Pete-zza »

Offline Aimless Ryan

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Re: Donatos Pizza - anyone got a recipe?
« Reply #167 on: May 17, 2011, 05:24:46 PM »
I just made a batch of dough based on Peter's formula in Reply #59 (http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,2711.msg29079.html#msg29079). I made some slight changes here and there, with one big change as well. The big change was in the hydration level, which I changed dramatically (from 54% to 35%).

Here's my formulation:

100% All Trumps High Gluten Flour
35% Water
10.8% Egg
0.5% ADY
1.3% Salt
3.8% Canola Oil
0.93% Sugar

I omitted dried dairy whey and nonfat dry milk for a couple reasons: 1) I doubt that either of those things exist in this house, and 2) I like to keep things simple.

I'm gonna let the dough bulk ferment for at least a couple hours before I roll and trim a couple skins. I'll shoot for a TF of 0.095, which comes out to 14.62 oz of dough for a 14" skin. (I made enough dough for two 14" skins.) When I'm nearly finished rolling out the dough, I will sprinkle some cornmeal on my work surface and finish rolling the dough. Next, I will dock the dough and use a 14" pan as a template to cut out a skin. Finally, I will place the skin on a dark perforated aluminum pan, then spray the top of the skin with non-stick spray before placing the pan and skin into a refrigerator to retard.

Tomorrow I will remove the skin from the fridge at about the same time I turn on the oven (500 degrees). Once the oven has reached 500, I will apply 8 oz of sauce to the skin. For sauce I will use tomato paste diluted nearly to the consistency of water, with some basil added, and probably some salt as well. Atop the sauce I will add 7.68 oz of cheese and 4.8 oz of pepperoni. The weights I've mentioned for sauce, cheese, and pepperoni are the exact weights Donatos uses for sauce, cheese, and pepperoni. I'm not sure what the dough weight should be, but I know my estimate is very close.

Just before I bake the pizza (on the lowest rack of a 500-degree oven, with a stone on the top rack to block excessive top heat), I will shake a mixture of oregano and romano on the pizza. Donatos calls this 'bird seed' or 'romano mix.'

I will leave the pizza on the pan from start to finish. I anticipate that the baking time will be about 12 or 13 minutes.

Offline Aimless Ryan

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Re: Donatos Pizza - anyone got a recipe?
« Reply #168 on: May 17, 2011, 06:02:04 PM »
With respect to the pizza doughs, I am not sure what the differences are between the "Thin Dough" and the "Hand Tossed dough (select markets)", so I have set forth both ingredients lists, as follows:
With Donatos the only crust that really matters is the thin crust. That's all they had until about ten years ago. Then they introduced a "traditional" pizza, which has a thick, dense crust that's actually pretty good. However, the sauce for that pizza is horrible. I used to make myself personal pies using thick crust with the original sauce (for thin), and it was a million times better than thick dough with thick sauce.

I'm not sure if that's the crust they're talking about when they use the term "hand tossed," but I don't think it is the same thing because it seems like I've seen commercials lately that mention a new "hand tossed" (yeah, right) pizza.

From the high position of the yeast in the pecking order, I would guess that the Donatos Thin doughs are frozen as delivered from the Donatos commissaries.
Yeah, the dough comes in boxes of about 50 frozen disks.

Online Pete-zza

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Re: Donatos Pizza - anyone got a recipe?
« Reply #169 on: May 17, 2011, 06:36:55 PM »
Ryan,

Donatos got rid of the whey but kept the dried milk powder. Otherwise, but for the yeast, everything else seems to be in the same pecking order as the recipe I posted in Reply 59. It will be interesting to see how the much lower hydration affects your ability to work the dough and also the finished pizza.

I took a look at the Donatos nutrition data for a thin crust pepperoni pizza, using the online tool at at http://www.donatos.com/menus_features/nutrition_information.asp, and it appears that the baked pizza weight is 4 x 230 grams = 920 grams, or 32.45 ounces. If you use say, 14 ounces of the total dough (14.62 ounces), plus 8 ounces of sauce, 7.68 ounces of cheese, and 4.8 ounces of pepperoni, the total comes to 34.48 ounces. It would be nice if there were a standard weight loss due to baking, but, alas, that does not exist. Different types of pizzas lose different amounts of weight, even when limited to a simple style like a basic cheese or pepperoni pizza. Bake time also has an effect on the weight loss. In your case, it may be greater than usual because of the longer than average bake time. If you are in a position to weigh your pizzas before baking and after baking, that should give you a pretty good idea as to the weight loss in your particular circumstances with your particular oven and bake protocol. The weight data might also help you zero in on the amount of dough to use the next time. There are two plus factors in your case. You know the exact amounts of sauce, cheese and pepperoni, and you have eaten more than your share of the real Donatos pizzas. I did not have the latter benefit, not even once. Waz was my seeing eye dog.

I am not sure whether you mentioned it, but did you like the Donatos pizzas? And did you like the company?

Good luck. I look forward to your results. These are always fun exercises, at least for me.

Peter


Offline Aimless Ryan

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Re: Donatos Pizza - anyone got a recipe?
« Reply #170 on: May 17, 2011, 10:38:25 PM »
Donatos got rid of the whey but kept the dried milk powder. Otherwise, but for the yeast, everything else seems to be in the same pecking order as the recipe I posted in Reply 59.
I guess I should get some of that. In fact, right before I read your post, I remembered a Donatos commercial from years ago in which they made it a point to reveal that they used milk and eggs in their dough. As I believe you mentioned earlier in this thread, their yeast percentage is surely a lot higher than what we're used to because their dough is frozen. Of course, they're using IDY (I think), while I'm using ADY. Also, I’m not going to freeze my dough, so that all complicates things a little with yeast. Still, I feel comfortable with my yeast figure.

[Paraphrased] I took a look at the Donatos nutrition data for a thin crust pepperoni pizza: Their baked pizza weight is 32.45 ounces, while your pizza weight is 34.48 oz (dough=14, sauce=8, cheese=7.68, pep=4.8 oz)
Hmmm. Yeah, surely baking off some of the moisture has a little to do with that disparity, but probably not much. The Tommy's clone I made tonight, which I accidentally rolled too thin (with a TF of 0.100), was just a hair thicker than a Donatos crust. I'd say 0.090 would be the absolute minimum TF for Donatos, with 0.095 being more likely.

Maybe corporate has become skimpy with certain ingredients in recent years, as so many other food producers have done. It's hard to account for a 2-ounce disparity, but the weights I've provided for sauce, cheese, and pepperoni are the weights they used as of 2002. Acceptable base-cheese weight was expressed as .450 lb to .480 lb, and pepperoni weight was expressed as .300 lb. The sauce was dispensed from a machine, but the sauce quantities were listed somewhere as 2, 4, 6, & 8 ounces.

If you are in a position to weigh your pizzas before baking and after baking, that should give you a pretty good idea as to the weight loss in your particular circumstances with your particular oven and bake protocol.
Funny that you mention that because I actually do weigh almost every pizza I make, right after I take it out of the oven. Even though I rarely document the information, it has kind of become a ritual for me. Since I haven't tried making a Donatos clone yet, I haven't had a chance to weigh one, but I will definitely do that tomorrow.

I am not sure whether you mentioned it, but did you like the Donatos pizzas? And did you like the company?
Donatos is good pizza, especially for a chain. (Last I checked, they were #14 or #15 in gross sales nationally.) Even though they sacrificed a lot of quality during their growth spurt in the late 90s/early 2000s, it's still pretty good stuff, especially compared to every other chain I can think of.

Working at Donatos was better than working at Pizza Hut, but it was still a crappy job with a greedy corporation that didn’t give a hoot about me. They had no idea how valuable I was to them, nor how much more valuable I could have been to them if they’d bothered to pay attention. One thing I did was spend a few hours every Thursday walking around the delivery area, putting up doorhangers, while other drivers spent that time at a bar. (Yes, they were on the clock). I could see every weekend that my doorhanging excursions were worth a lot of money because every weekend we would get a lot of deliveries to the neighborhoods I had “tagged” with doorhangers that Thursday.

Half of the drivers were high all the time and did a horrible job, yet I got paid considerably less than every other driver. And that’s just the beginning of my beef with Donatos. So one Friday morning I just didn’t feel like going to work, and I never went back. Their loss, not mine.

Offline Aimless Ryan

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Re: Donatos Pizza - anyone got a recipe?
« Reply #171 on: May 17, 2011, 11:00:26 PM »
At 35% hydration, the dough feels just about how I remember Donatos dough; maybe even a little softer. But it's kinda hard to say for sure because I've never felt a mass of freshly mixed Donatos dough. All the dough I've ever handled at Donatos was already sheeted, so I think you can understand why it's hard to compare my dough with Donatos at this point.

I've rolled out one of the skins. I was shooting for a 14-ounce skin, but I ended up trimming just a tad too much. Consequently, I ended up with a skin that weighed about 13.62 oz. However, about an hour after I put it in the fridge, I took it out again to weigh both the pan and the skin, and this time the skin weighed about 13.375 oz. I don't know if it's because I made a mistake the first time or because it actually lost weight in the fridge (uncovered).

So that means I have a TF of about 0.087. As I would have expected, 0.087 feels a little too thin to me. But it is a consistent thickness and I'm expecting good results. Maybe I'll have some pictures to post tomorrow night.

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Re: Donatos Pizza - anyone got a recipe?
« Reply #172 on: May 17, 2011, 11:17:34 PM »
Ryan,

I might be wrong this time, but you shouldn't be surprised to see a fairly substantial weight loss for the pizzas during baking. When I made the various Papa John's 14" clone pizzas, the weight losses were in the 7.7-9% range, for roughly 7-8 minute bakes. When I made the Mack's clone pizzas, the weight losses were around 14%. That was for 18" pizzas baked for around seven minutes. My recollection is that Norma's Mack's clones had even greater weight losses (she was using a different oven, among other differences).

Peter

Offline Aimless Ryan

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Re: Donatos Pizza - anyone got a recipe?
« Reply #173 on: May 18, 2011, 02:59:25 PM »
Last night I took the scraps from the first skin and added it to the remaining dough. I then rounded the dough into a tight dough ball (almost like a NY style dough ball), bagged it, and put it in the fridge. Despite the dough's low hydration, it was actually very easy to make a tight, round dough ball. The dough ball weighed about 16 oz.

This morning I took the dough ball out of the fridge and put it in the oven on "Dough Proof" mode for a couple hours to make it easier to roll. The dough was warm when I took it out of the oven. With only 16 oz of dough, I figured I didn't have enough extra dough to end up with a nice, even 14" skin, so I figured I'd end up trimming it to 12". However, I didn't have any trouble keeping the skin round as I rolled it out, so I quickly realized I would be able to make another 14" skin.

I ended up with a 14" skin that weighed almost exactly 14.62 oz. This thickness of this skin feels right to me. I'll probably use it either tomorrow or the day after.

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Re: Donatos Pizza - anyone got a recipe?
« Reply #174 on: May 18, 2011, 03:27:41 PM »
The sauce is very plain and simple, too. Other than the tomato product and water, there's not much in it. (Now that I think about it, their sauce is a lot like what I remember about Appian Way sauce. It might even be nearly identical. Do they still make Appian Way pizza kits?)

Ryan,

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0025UCFYC/?tag=pizzamaking-20

http://www.hometownfavorites.com/prodinfo.asp?number=hfst101

Peter

Offline Aimless Ryan

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Re: Donatos Pizza - anyone got a recipe?
« Reply #175 on: May 18, 2011, 03:45:08 PM »
Funny that you posted those links, Peter, because I googled 'Appian Way pizza' right after I mentioned it here. I hadn't thought about it in years, and I had no idea if they still made it, so I had to find out. Have you ever used it before?

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Re: Donatos Pizza - anyone got a recipe?
« Reply #176 on: May 18, 2011, 03:57:47 PM »
Funny that you posted those links, Peter, because I googled 'Appian Way pizza' right after I mentioned it here. I hadn't thought about it in years, and I had no idea if they still made it, so I had to find out. Have you ever used it before?

Ryan,

I tried it many, many years ago, along with all the competing products. It was fun stuff, and quick.

Peter

Offline Aimless Ryan

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Re: Donatos Pizza - anyone got a recipe?
« Reply #177 on: May 18, 2011, 07:20:17 PM »
OK, so I made my first Donatos clone about an hour ago, and it was good. Even though it wasn't perfect, it tasted like Donatos pizzas I've eaten before. I'll put up some pics later.

Regarding the weights Peter and I discussed last night, Donatos says their baked 14" pepperoni pizza weighs 32.45 oz. Here are the weights I used for the pizza I just made:

Dough = 13.62
Sauce = 7.5
Cheese = 7.68
Pep = 4.8
Total = 33.6 oz

After baking, my pizza weighed 30 oz. That's about 89.2857% of the uncooked weight.

My intended total ingredient weight was 35.11. --> 89.2857% of 35.11 oz is 31.35 oz.

Recap
Donatos cooked weight = 32.45 oz.
My cooked weight = 31.35 oz (or so).

I'm willing to bet that if you put my pizza through their oven (shorter bake time), it would end up weighing about 32.45 oz. (I don't mean the pizza I made tonight. I mean the next pizza I make, which will use the ingredient weights I intended to use for tonight's pizza.)
« Last Edit: May 18, 2011, 07:25:22 PM by AimlessRyan »

Offline Aimless Ryan

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Re: Donatos Pizza - anyone got a recipe?
« Reply #178 on: May 18, 2011, 09:22:41 PM »
Pics below: Dough skin and sauce. My sauce was a tad thicker than Donatos sauce, but it was pretty close. Since I didn't have anyone available to take pictures of me using gravity and inertia to distribute the sauce how they do it at Donatos, I took a series of pics as an attempt to demonstrate how they do it without ladles.

Note: The skin shrank to about 13.5" as it sat in the fridge for about 24 hours.
« Last Edit: May 18, 2011, 09:28:28 PM by AimlessRyan »

Offline Aimless Ryan

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Re: Donatos Pizza - anyone got a recipe?
« Reply #179 on: May 18, 2011, 09:33:12 PM »
More pics.

I sliced the Bridgford pepperoni stick as thin as possible for this one (using a consumer quality slicer). After I sliced it, I put all the sliced pepperoni on several level of paper towels, then rolled it up so the paper towels could soak up all the grease from the garsh-darn greasy Bridgford pepperoni. It actually made a huge difference. (Donatos doesn't use Bridgford pepperoni, of course, but it worked out very well for me.)
« Last Edit: May 18, 2011, 09:45:41 PM by AimlessRyan »


 

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