Lately, I have been rereading some of the older Giordano's threads to refresh my memory. Also, I have been revisiting the nutrition information and ingredients list as originally posted at Reply 85 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=5674.msg53610#msg53610
. I am not done with my review but I have some observations that might be useful to you and other members.
First, I believe that your dough formulation should be a workable one. I am not sure about the thickness factor but, as Nate mentioned, you should roll out the skin to the desired thickness, and hopefully that will give you the desired results. I am also not sure of the sugar quantity. Based on my analysis of the data mentioned above, my calculated sugar quantity is much larger than the 2% value that you are testing. Since it is quite possible that the pizzas that yielded the data in Reply 85 referenced above were analyzed by a laboratory rather than just using specialized software, the Sugars may have reflected the conversion of starch to sugars over the period of the fermentation. But, if Giordano's is still using a roughly 3-4 day cold fermentation period, I think it would be wise to add some sugar to the dough at the outset to be sure that there is enough residual sugar at at the time of the bake to get good crust coloration.
Second, as to the yellow splotches that BTB showed, if you go to about 1:11 in the video shown at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5yOtvj6_5GY
, you will see the same splotches. As I surmised before, I think those splotches represent random drying out of parts of the skin surface, possibly during the dusting of dough balls that have a fair amount of oil in them and running them through the dough rollers. At this point, I wouldn't worry if you can't recreate those splotches. It may be entirely a random event.
Third, there has been some mention of the use of butter in the pans. No doubt, at some point someone in the Giordano's business, including franchisees, may have used butter to grease the pans. And, maybe somewhere someone is still doing that. However, at the stores in the Chicago area, I suspect that margarine is the fat used to grease the pans. In another Giordano's thread recently, I believe that it was Nate who interpreted the video at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WohsBbRcxd0&feature=youtube_gdata
to suggest that the pans were greased with butter. The host of the video, Justin, mentions at 2:11 that Gino, the Giordano's district manager, is "buttering" the pans. However, you will note that Gino himself does not use the the term "butter". Instead, at 2:31, he mentions getting a "buttery" crust. However, that does not necessarily mean a butter crust. The term "buttery" means something that contains or tastes like butter. And, in this vein, just about every margarine product includes artificial and/or real flavors. Under FDA rules, as I understand them, artificial and/or real flavors means something that has a butter flavor. If it is another flavor that is intended, such as a garlic flavor, that flavor has to be identified.
Fourth, as to the mozzarella cheeses and tomatoes that Giordano's is currently using, I believe that Giordano's is still using Saputo mozzarella cheeses and Escalon tomatoes. I say this because Saputo and Heinz were creditors in the Giordano's bankruptcy proceedings. Companies do not abandon customer accounts because the customers went bankrupt. To them, a sale is a sale and you don't let bankrupt customers who come out of bankruptcy to go to competitors. Also, in this case, one of the major reasons that Giordano's went bankrupt was not because of the underlying fundamentals of the pizza business but rather because the former owner made ill advised, ill-fated substantial real estate investments in Florida just before the real estate market there collapsed. So, I believe that Giordano's may still be using the Stella mozzarella cheese and the Escalon tomatoes. Recently, at Reply 42 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=29776.msg300325;topicseen#msg300325
, I provided links to the two Stella mozzarella cheeses that I believe Giordano's is using. I also provided links to the Frigo and Dragone mozzarella cheeses that have very similar Nutrition Facts as the Stella products. Both of those brands are also Saputo brands.
As for the tomatoes that Giordano's may currently be using, I would say that they are using a mix of 6-in-1 ground tomatoes and Bella Rossa whole pear tomatoes. The Nutrition Facts for the 6-in-1s can be seen by clicking on the 6-in-1 nutrition link at http://www.heinzfoodservice.com/escalon-pouch
. As for the Bella Rossa tomatoes, the best Nutrition Facts that I could find for that product is at http://caloriecount.about.com/calories-bella-rossa-tomatoes-i260563
To the foregoing, I should also note that the above Saputo and Escalon products appear to satisfy the descriptions of the tomato products that Nate brought to our attention in the opening post at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=29776.0
Finally, I am not convinced that Giordano's is using what we, as knowledgeable people about flours, know as high gluten flour. However, I am not able to prove that Giordano's is not using what we consider to be a high gluten flour. I am keeping this door open because Giordano's told Norma that they were using high gluten flour but told me that they were using all-purpose flour. All-purpose flours can have a wide range of protein/gluten values and I can see how someone who is not well versed in flours might deem an all-purpose flour that is on the high side protein/gluten wise to be a "high gluten flour". In this vein, Ceresota/Heckers has long noted that their all-purpose flour is higher in protein than competitive brands. I could well be wrong on my analysis and that is why I am keeping that door open for now.