This thread has been a very interesting--yet puzzling--one. It is only a couple pages long (as of this writing) but it has almost 7700 page views. Several posters have posed questions about the Monical’s pizza and dough formulation, and others have made periodic contributions, only to then disappear and not be available to answer follow-up questions—mostly mine. So, I have had to rely on what has been given to the forum by our members and that which I have been able to find through my own independent research.
One of the most important pieces of research has been the nutrition data that appears on the Monical’s website, at http://www.monicalspizza.com/navbar/index.shtml
(see the link “Nutrition Information”). Since that information conflicted with information I found elsewhere on the Internet, that conflict led to several exchanges of emails with a representative of Monical’s. The results of those emails led me to a possible Monical’s dough clone formulation that seems to offer great promise. It took me many hours of analyzing nutrition data (I am slow on these types of analyses) and trying to piece things together, but in the end I think I came up with a product that is exceptionally good even if it is not exactly the same as a Monical’s pizza. Since I have never had a Monical’s pizza before, I am not quite sure what I came up with. Only that it was very good.
The photos below show my latest effort to make a Monical’s clone pizza. It was based on using all-purpose flour (Pillsbury unbleached, 10.5% protein), but no salt, sugar or oil in the dough—only flour, water, and yeast (IDY). Because the dough was stiff and had to be rolled out by hand using a rolling pin, I used the dough warming method described at Reply 16 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,5762.msg49138.html#msg49138
to condition the dough so that it would roll out effortlessly, which it did. In this case, I rolled the dough out to 14”, folded the skin in quarters with plastic wrap between all mating surfaces (so that the dough wouldn’t stick to itself), and refrigerated the skin for just about two days, just in time to make a Super Bowl pizza.
After removing the skin from the refrigerator and unfolding it, I let it warm up for about 1 ½ hours at room temperature. I left the skin uncovered so that it would dry out a bit. I then docked the skin on both sides using a dough docker and placed the docked skin on a wooden peel that had been dusted with white cornmeal. The skin was dressed using the Wal-Mart Great Value brand of crushed tomatoes (about 4 ½ oz.) that I had seasoned with a variety of herbs and spices, hand-diced low-moisture part-skim mozzarella cheese (Best Choice brand, 8 oz..), raw pieces of hot Italian sausage (about a half-link of the Kroger’s house brand), a mixture of diced red and green bell peppers and onions and raw mushroom slices, sliced green olives, pepperoncini peppers, and pepperoni slices (Hormel). I lightly dusted the top of the pizza lightly with dried herbs and garlic powder. I believe that Monical’s refers to this combination as their “Deluxe” (except that I added some red bell pepper).
The pizza was initially baked for about four minutes on a pizza stone that had been placed on the lowest oven rack position and preheated for about an hour at around 500-550 degrees F. The temperature of the oven was then lowered to about 475 degrees F, and the pizza was allowed to bake for about another six to seven minutes.
The finished pizza was exceptional. The crust was crispy on the bottom (a thin veneer of crispness) and both crispy and crunchy at the edges. Yet the center of the crust was chewy and tender. The crispiness persisted even after the pizza had cooled down. The crust was not super thin from a thickness factor standpoint but the crust was not fluffy like, say, a NY style, even using the same thickness factor. Surprisingly, the crust was sweet, which I was not expecting since, as noted above, no sugar was added to the dough. I could detect the absence of salt in the crust, but there was adequate saltiness provided by the sauce and the cheese and the toppings. I see no reason to add any salt to the dough formulation. I will provide additional details on the dough formulation I used and how the dough was prepared once I receive feedback on whether I am reasonably close to a Monical’s pizza based on the description and the photos of my latest clone.