Author Topic: Monical's Pizza Recipe Wanted  (Read 75780 times)

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Offline scj1226

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Monical's Pizza Recipe Wanted
« on: October 19, 2004, 10:38:42 PM »
Hello!  

Thank you for this terrific forum for exchanging pizza talk!  I grew up in Champaign-Urbana, Illinois and have enjoyed Papa Dels pizza since Pop first opened his restaurant in CU.  I been fortunate to travel to all corners of the US and think that the best pizza can be found in Champaign-Urbana.  I have read a few reviews of Garcia's Pizza on the boards but I haven't read any mention of Monical's or Jolly Roger's thin crust pizzas.  Does anybody have the recipes for their pizza crusts?  

I have now made the Papa Dels Pizza recipe featured on this site three times in the last 10 days and found it to be very close to the original.  Thanks!  I'm going to try the thin and crispy recipe next - I can't wait.

Thanks again,

Scott


Mark

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Re: Monical's Pizza Recipe Wanted
« Reply #1 on: January 18, 2005, 11:04:24 PM »
Did you ever find the recipe for Monicals pizza and if so could you send it to me or even a Garcias recipe.  I am originally from Tuscola and love both styles of pizza.

Scott

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Re: Monical's Pizza Recipe Wanted
« Reply #2 on: January 19, 2005, 10:43:44 AM »
Hello,

No, I have not yet had a response yet about the Monical's pizza dough recipe.  I'm holding out hope!!  Have you tried the Thin n' Crispy dough recipe on this site?  It is pretty good, but not equal to Monical's.  I also love the pizza crust at Jolly Roger and Timpone's.  Did you ever try these?  Do you still get to Tuscola?  If so, you should try the restaurant in the big red barn behind the mall.

See ya!

Angie

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Re: Monical's Pizza Recipe Wanted
« Reply #3 on: February 06, 2005, 02:26:39 PM »
I grew up in Champaign and found out after I moved away that I took great pizza for granted! Monical's is my all-time favorite--I wish I knew what they put in either their cheese or sauce to give it that distinctive flavor. The crust is so good, but it's something to the taste of it. If anyone has that recipe I hope they'll share it. Jolly Roger is also awesome. There was a restaurant in Urbana called Pagilli's I think that also had to die for pizza. Papa Dell's and old-style Garcia's...I haven't found any place here that compares with these outstanding pizza restaurants. Makes me want to go home and visit my parents ;D

Offline Wildcat979

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Re: Monical's Pizza Recipe Wanted
« Reply #4 on: February 17, 2005, 10:17:32 AM »
I have ate at the big red barn.  It is great!

Offline EasilyOdd

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Re: Monical's Pizza Recipe Wanted
« Reply #5 on: August 11, 2005, 07:46:28 PM »
Holy Cow! This is probably one of the only places where it's good to admit that I was born in Champaign / Urbana (WTF is up with this Urbana / Champaign crap?) and raised in Rantoul, IL.  No, not an AF brat, but an actual, honest-to-goodness local.  I even had a relative that lived in Monical's home town of Tolono.

I remember Monical's pizza and have ranted and raved to many a friend of its greatness.  I lived there back in the day when Domino's had just scraped a foothold in my neck of East-Central Illinois.  As a kid it was the bitterest sweet torture to have that big round slab of joy heating my lap and filling the car with the scent of heaven. Even though I haven't had one since 1985, I vividly remember that paper bag bending up at the corners and crinckling of the tin foil cover from my little thubms as I got more and more fidgity with anticipation.  Mom snapping at me as I tried to steal those teeny tiny corner pieces.  On a winter day ride home, that pizza still ranks right up there with the best ever warming feeling.   ohhhhmannnn  It was so good that Monical's would be the only thing hard I would eat after getting my braces tightened. Oh, the pain!

Okay, I'll get a hold of myself.

I loved the Garcia's balloon and the convenience of it being across the street of the High School, but prefered the Monical's pizza.

I still use Monical's pizza as the measure of all thin crust pizza.

I'll see if I can track down some very long lost friends and see if they can get some info.  No promises.
« Last Edit: August 11, 2005, 07:48:27 PM by EasilyOdd »

Offline YoMomma

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Re: Monical's Pizza Recipe Wanted
« Reply #6 on: September 09, 2005, 08:58:55 PM »
re:  " I'll see if I can track down some very long lost friends and see if they can get some info.  No promises."

any luck tracking down those friends/info?

AF brat/Rantoul


Offline EasilyOdd

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Re: Monical's Pizza Recipe Wanted
« Reply #7 on: November 07, 2005, 04:14:21 PM »
re:  " I'll see if I can track down some very long lost friends and see if they can get some info.  No promises."

any luck tracking down those friends/info?

AF brat/Rantoul



Located two friends that still live in Rantoul. (Scary thought) One said 'No Way' and the other will look into it.  I'm guessing from their lack of response that they didn't do it.  I'll keep hitting them up.

My girlfriend says to "call 'em up and see what happens."  That's so low-tech and not very networky tho.

Offline YoMomma

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Re: Monical's Pizza Recipe Wanted
« Reply #8 on: November 09, 2005, 12:34:40 PM »
Listen to your girlfriend, please!

Offline Central IL Gal

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Re: Monical's Pizza Recipe Wanted
« Reply #9 on: March 11, 2006, 07:35:03 PM »
My Hubby's family owns the Monical's in Tolono.  I wish I knew the secrets too.  I do know they use basil!  Lots and Lots of Basil!  Wish I knew more, I could sure go for a Monicals pizza tonite.   :chef: :pizza:


Offline ralph

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Re: Monical's Pizza Recipe Wanted
« Reply #10 on: March 29, 2006, 06:15:43 PM »
WOW, Monical's...I wish I had a buck for every pie I had at the Olney store.  Is there a Garcia whole wheat recipe anywhere??

Offline jackpine

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Re: Monical's Pizza Recipe Wanted
« Reply #11 on: May 02, 2006, 06:33:39 PM »
I've searched the world over trying to find the Monical's Pizza recipe also.  There is only one Monicals in Wisconsin and it's in Minoqua.  Since I was introduced to it, I crave no other pizza but their's.  I'm trying my darndest to duplicate it but can't.  I started out last week by bringing one home and weighing it.  A large house special with the cardboard only weighs 1 pound.  I know I'm overloading my pizzas.

Please help out all of us Monical pizza lovers.

Jackpine

Offline Peteg

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Re: Monical's Pizza Recipe Wanted
« Reply #12 on: May 02, 2006, 08:20:13 PM »
This is kind of funny that I found this thread now.  I was just in minocqua last week and stopped in for a pizza.  I was pleasantly surprised with how good it was.  I did notice more basil than a typical thin crispy pizza would have.  It actually tasted like fresh basil.  So is this the same Monical's that used to be in Champaign?  How many more are there.  Some one could always try the old "Top Secret Recipes" trick and call them up saying that your kid got sick on there food and you need to know whats in their pizza.  Just an idea.  It was very good pizza.  Pete

Offline Atheen

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Re: Monical's Pizza Recipe Wanted
« Reply #13 on: May 11, 2006, 03:39:03 PM »
Some one could always try the old "Top Secret Recipes" trick and call them up saying that your kid got sick on there food and you need to know whats in their pizza

Call me superstitious, but I dont like the idea of calling somebody pretending your kid got sick :-\



Atheen

Offline jackpine

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Re: Monical's Pizza Recipe Wanted
« Reply #14 on: August 25, 2006, 06:54:07 PM »
It's been 3 months now and I still can't find anyone to say they know how Monical's pizza crust and toppings are made.  I ordered 6 large last night for myself and my kids.  They are delighted each time I treat them to this special delight.  It's quite expensive when I know I could make it myself.  Any hints would be appreciated.

Jackpine

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Monical's Pizza Recipe Wanted
« Reply #15 on: August 25, 2006, 09:53:18 PM »
jackpine,

Trying to reverse engineer a pizza dough is very difficult to do. You need a lot of information, much of which may not be public information and may be closely guarded. However, Tom Lehmann, the dough/pizza guru at the American Institute of Baking, was once asked for a Monical's style thin crust dough recipe. The one he recommended can be seen at http://www.pmq.com/recipe/view_recipe.php?id=50. Please keep in mind that Tom did not say that the recommended recipe is Monical's dough recipe. It is his best guess.

If you can describe a typical Monical's pizza in detail, maybe I can help you come up with an ingredients list and quantities for making a dough along the lines of the thin crust recipe referenced above. What I am most interested in at this point is the thickness of the crust, in relation to something I might understand, and also a description of the texture and flavor of the crust. I have never had a Monical's pizza, so I know nothing about the pizza beyond what I have seen in photos at the Monical's website. So, anything you tell me will be more than I now know. If you have photos of a real pizza from Monical's, that might help.

I would also be interested in how a Monical's pizza is baked, that is, on a screen or disk, and whether a deck oven is used or possibly a conveyor. At this point, I am guessing that a deck oven is used because Monical's website shows a photo of a pizza on a pizza peel. If you have ever seen the pizzas made, anything you can tell me about the procedures should be a big help--things like whether the dough is put through a sheeter one or more times and cut to size, whether the dough is docked with a docking tool, and whether the dough is pre-baked before saucing, cheesing, and dressing or whether it just goes directly in the oven.

If there is a particular pizza size that you would like to try, please specify that size. If there is a particular form of yeast that you use, please indicate what it is. I assume that you have a stand mixer, such as a KitchenAid, and that you also have a scale.

Don't be afraid to give me lots of detail. Maybe I won't need it all to get to the next step, but it might help or be useful at a later time.

Peter
« Last Edit: December 26, 2007, 10:30:55 PM by Pete-zza »

Offline pizzagurl

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Re: Monical's Pizza Recipe Wanted
« Reply #16 on: December 28, 2007, 07:55:33 PM »
i used to work at monicals, i never made the crust myself but i know that it's only flour yeast and water. all of the  toppings are frozen toppings, its mozz cheese. the pizza is cooked in a stone oven. they have 3 different types of sauces. they all have salt, oregano, tomato paste, water, pepper. some add garlic salt and sugar. hope some of this helps

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Monical's Pizza Recipe Wanted
« Reply #17 on: December 28, 2007, 10:55:04 PM »
pizzagurl,

The absence of salt and oil comes as a surprise. Is it possible that some oil--even a little bit--was added to the bowl at the end of the knead rather than with the water? Do you recall what kind or brand of flour was used? Many places that make cracker-style doughs use sheeters and cut the skins out of a long sheet in advance, keeping them in the cooler for next day use. Is that how Monical's did it? Do you recall what sizes the pizzas were (maybe 8", 12", 14" and 16")? Thanks.

Peter
« Last Edit: December 28, 2007, 11:40:07 PM by Pete-zza »

Offline hotelie

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Re: Monical's Pizza Recipe Wanted
« Reply #18 on: January 16, 2008, 01:22:21 PM »
I grew up in Urbana and ate many a Monical's pie.  I still love to go there whenever I get back to Urbana.  Here's what I remember about the pizza:

The crust was a simple dough, rolled super thin on a sheeter.  The dough was placed between two cardboard circles and trimmed; stacks of these were kept in the cooler until needed.  The resulting dough was as thin as the cardboard circle.  The dough was laid out on a wooden paddle or peel which had been sprinkled with corn meal, to help it slide off into the deck oven.  The pizzas were baked directly on the stone hearth of the deck oven, which was pretty hot(450-500?).  The guy manning the ovens was artful in making sure the pies were rotated to cook evenly, and to pull them out at just the right doneness.  The pies were then cut into approximately 3" squares.

The sauce was simple - canned tomato puree with salt and pepper.  The pie was just barely sauced otherwise all the toppings slide off.

The cheese was mozzarella only, but had been pushed through a grinder to create "pellets."  I watched them sprinkle these pellets on the pizza more evenly than with shredded cheese.

As I recall, Monicals put the meat under the cheese, and all the other toppings on top of the cheese.  The sausage (as well as hamburger) was put on raw in tiny balls, which cooked in the oven and stayed juicy (as well as contributing to the grease factor).

They used fresh green peppers and onions, but their mushrooms were canned.  My favorite was their Italian Special, which as I recall had sausage, onions, mushrooms, green/black olives and pepperoncini peppers.  You can use fresh mushrooms, but it isn't the same.

The final thing I remember is that the pie was sprinkled with herbs prior to baking, after all toppings had been placed.  I think it was sprinkled with basil leaves, and garlic powder.  Just a light dusting!

The real key here is that there isn't much on the pie.  If you overload it the crust becomes soggy and it is difficult to eat without silverware.  I've always found that you have to eat Monical's pizza there - even a short ride in the car can change the moisture of the crust and it quickly becomes like wet cardboard.

I've made my knock off of this for years, baking in the oven on a pizza stone, but it will never be like what you can get at the restaurant.  For one, it is difficult to roll the dough thin enough at home without a sheeter.  You also have to crank the oven up as high as it will go, using a baking stone.  And I always loved their salad with their creamy Italian dressing.  Hard to beat!

When I was in the mood for thick crust I loved Garcia's Pizza in a Pan, but their pizza is now a shadow of its former self.  I believe they make their pizza entirely differently, with different ingredients than the original.  Now I'll take Papa Del's instead.

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Monical's Pizza Recipe Wanted
« Reply #19 on: January 16, 2008, 03:07:57 PM »
hotelie,

Thank you for helping to fill in some of the blanks. Everything you have said about the dough and its preparation is consistent with what I have learned to date.

If I had to guess, I would say that the hydration of the dough is around 50%. If so, one should be able to roll the dough out thinly using a rolling pin. But if that entails too much physical exertion, I would simply use the "dough warming" method described at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,5762.msg49138.html#msg49138 (Reply 16). Using that method, you will have no difficulty rolling out the dough as thinly as you would like. It gets to be somewhat more difficult if you fold the dough one or more times and try to roll it out thinly again using a rolling pin. Do you know offhand if Monical's uses a multiple fold method?

Peter


 

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