Author Topic: Monical's Pizza Recipe Wanted  (Read 73602 times)

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Offline skyy

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Re: Monical's Pizza Recipe Wanted
« Reply #20 on: January 25, 2008, 11:28:19 AM »
It's cute to hear all the speculation on the Monical's recipes.  Any self-respecting former employee - myself included - will NEVER tell the specifics. 

I will say that Pizzagurl is essentially correct about the crust and sauce - there is NO OIL in the thin crust, only the deep dish dough and breadsticks.  The sausage is contract packaged for Monical's and no one else so you will never get your hands on that. All veggies are fresh, not frozen (mushrooms included - they aren't canned) Green Peppers and Onions come pre-diced and bagged.  Olives are pre-sliced and canned.  Cheeze is real Mozz.

Here's the deal.  Many of the key ingredients for the sauce, crusts, and revered "red dressing" are custom packaged and not readily available and are definitely imperitave to the overall "Monical's Pizza Experience".  No matter how hard you may try, you won't ever get exactly the same product.  I'm not saying the sauce for example, comes pre-made and the dough is definitely NOT frozen (I remember making ungodly amounts of the stuff), they are hand made every morning, but the ingredients in it are very specific as well as measurements.  Personally, I've tried and can't come close and I KNOW THE RECIPES BY HEART!  My guess is it has to do with the brand and grade of the ingredients.  Better to try to copy someone elses...  ;)

As far as the comment about saying your kid got sick - you will probably be referred to corporate who will most likely tell you to provide them medical evidence of allergies.  Besides, that's rude, selfish, and very bad Karma to pull some bull s*** like that.


Online Pete-zza

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Re: Monical's Pizza Recipe Wanted
« Reply #21 on: January 25, 2008, 12:54:51 PM »
skyy,

I realize that I am at a disadvantage in trying to reverse engineer the Monical's dough/pizza since I have never had a Monical's pizza but, on the other hand, if what I come up with tastes great I won't really mind that it might not be identical to a Monical's pizza, and I won't wallow in disappointment with each "failed" effort. I am also aware that for a chain of Monical's size, a large number of the ingredients used in making the pizzas come pre-packaged from a variety of contract vendors. Over time, as vendors come and go and as taste preferences change, I am sure that even Monical's makes changes to its products and suppliers.

Out of curiosity, when you have tried to make the dough for your home Monical's "clones" did you use baker's percents to scale down a typical Monical's dough batch, or did you use your best estimates of the amounts/volumes of ingredients to use?

I have been doing some preliminary experimentation with a possible Monical's clone dough formulation using just flour, water and yeast (ADY or IDY)--no oil or sugar--and hope before long to post some results if the pizzas are good enough to talk about. Absent knowing what kind or brand of flour Monical's uses (e.g. all-purpose, bread, high-gluten, etc.), I plan to use Harvest King (bread) flour, mainly because I found that I like the results using that flour for thin cracker-style crusts, which I assume describes Monical's thin crust pizzas. At this point, I am using my best estimates as to the thickness of the dough skin to use, even though this renders the exercise more difficult when using dough balls rather than sheets of dough from which skins are cut.

Peter




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Re: Monical's Pizza Recipe Wanted
« Reply #22 on: January 26, 2008, 04:42:25 PM »
Even though I don't have all the information on the Monical's dough, I decided to give it the old college try at coming up with a clone pizza. The pizza I made, shown below, is a 14" pizza with sausage, pepperoni, diced green peppers and onions, sliced mushrooms (raw), sliced green olives, and pepperoncini peppers.

For guidance purposes, I used the photo of a Monical's pizza with similar toppings as shown at the flickr.com website at http://www.flickr.com/photos/emosquid/126250302/.

Peter
« Last Edit: January 26, 2008, 04:45:58 PM by Pete-zza »

Online Pete-zza

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Re: Monical's Pizza Recipe Wanted
« Reply #23 on: February 04, 2008, 10:18:14 AM »
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.

Peter
« Last Edit: February 04, 2008, 10:20:05 AM by Pete-zza »

Offline cougarblue

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Re: Monical's Pizza Recipe Wanted
« Reply #24 on: February 04, 2008, 10:53:32 AM »
Peetza,

That looks really good.  I just ate Monicals thin crust for the first time this last Thursday.  It was very good.  I noticed the bottom of the crust was quite blistered and not really brown.   This may be a result of their ovens. That being said, i really look forward to your posting the recipe.  You need to work on their deep dish.....in my opinion, Monicals deep dish pizza is even better than the thin crust.  On a side note, thank you for your dedication to this forum.  I know you are highly admired.

Offline loowaters

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Re: Monical's Pizza Recipe Wanted
« Reply #25 on: February 04, 2008, 11:43:04 AM »
Peter, this looks really good!  What exactly have you come up with for a formula and TF?  Is it posted somewhere in this thread and I'm just not seeing it?

I've never had a Monical's either as every time I ended up in the C/U area and needed pizza I ended up at Garcia's.  I'm always looking for good thin crust recipes. :chef:

Loo
Using pizza to expand my waistline since 1969!

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Re: Monical's Pizza Recipe Wanted
« Reply #26 on: February 04, 2008, 12:40:36 PM »
I just ate Monicals thin crust for the first time this last Thursday.  It was very good.  I noticed the bottom of the crust was quite blistered and not really brown.   This may be a result of their ovens.

cougarblue,

Thank you for the compliment.

I am not sure whether Monical's has switched over to conveyor ovens at any of its locations. Often regional chains will do that as their business grows and they have to make larger volumes of pizzas using largely unskilled labor, which usually leads operators to conveyor ovens. If conveyor ovens are used, then that means using screens or disks, which will produce somewhat different crust characteristics and coloring. It's also possible that the Monical's skins are being used cold, which can result in bubbles in the finished crust. I decided to just bake the entire pizza on the stone, and not to use a cutter pan or the like or to pre-bake the crust. The results were so good, with a nice balance between top and bottom that John (fazzari) talks about so often, that I think I would use the stone alone for future Monical's clone pizzas made in my oven. I might try using a cold skin, however, just to see what effect that produces.

Peter


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Re: Monical's Pizza Recipe Wanted
« Reply #27 on: February 04, 2008, 02:19:33 PM »
loo,

There were a couple of things that I principally used to come up with the dough formulation: the fact that the Monical’s dough consists of only flour, water and yeast, and that the nutrition information given at the Monical’s website is provided separately for the thin crust, sauce and cheese. The latter data was given for an 8” pizza, but a footnote indicates that an 8” pizza is equal to 1/3 of a 14” pizza. If you calculate the surface area of an 8” pizza and compare that with the surface area of a 14” pizza, you will see that the 3 times number holds pretty well. I elected to go with the 14” size only because that is the largest size I can bake on my pizza stone. From analyzing the nutrition data for the crust, I came to the conclusion, rightly or wrongly, that all-purpose flour with relatively low protein content is being used by Monical’s, at least as of the effective date of the nutritional information provided at the Monical’s website. The Pillsbury all-purpose flour seemed to fit the bill. However, I wouldn’t be afraid to use something like the Gold Medal Harvest King flour with its higher protein content. When I looked at the specs for that flour, it looked to be similar to the numbers given at the Monical’s website for their thin crust.

I used 8 ounces of diced mozzarella cheese on the most recent pizza, even though I estimated from the nutrition information given for diced mozzarella cheese at the nutritiondata.com website that the amount used by Monical’s is perhaps closer to about 6-7 ounces. I also estimated that the amount of sauce is around a half cup, with perhaps some salt added.

The biggest surprise is that I calculated a thickness factor of about 0.104258. That was based on the amount of dough I made for the 14” pizza. I somewhat made an educated guess on the hydration and yeast only because there was no way to ascertain these numbers from the Monical’s nutrition information. I knew based on my prior work with low- to medium-hydration doughs that the hydration of the Monical’s dough couldn’t be too high since the skins would have to be prepared in advance and conveniently held in a cooler for a day or so before using. This suggested a hydration of about 50-53%. I estimated that a normal yeast quantity for such a dough would be around 0.30-0.35% (IDY). I used tap water at around 68 degrees F, although it is possible that Monical’s has a water treatment system.

After piecing everything together as best I could, I came up with the following dough formulation using the expanded dough calculating tool at http://www.pizzamaking.com/expanded_calculator.html:

Flour (100%):
Water (52.8%):
IDY (0.32%):
Total (153.12%):
298.5 g  |  10.53 oz | 0.66 lbs
157.61 g  |  5.56 oz | 0.35 lbs
0.96 g | 0.03 oz | 0 lbs | 0.32 tsp | 0.11 tbsp
457.06 g | 16.12 oz | 1.01 lbs | TF = N/A
(Note: No bowl residue compensation used)

To prepare the dough, I put the water into the mixer bowl of my basic KitchenAid mixer with a C-hook, and then combined the yeast and flour in a separate bowl. Using the stir speed and the C-hook, I added the flour/yeast mixture to the water in the bowl by scoops of about two tablespoons each. I continued this until the water could not take on any more flour. I estimate that about half of the flour/yeast mixture was added over a period of about 4 minutes (on stir). I then covered the bowl and let the dough rest for about 15 minutes in order to improve the hydration of the flour.

At the expiration of the 15-minute period, I added the remaining flour/yeast mixture and, using my hands almost exclusively, brought all of the ingredients together in the mixer bowl in an effort to make a unitary dough mass. The dough was clearly on the dry side, so I found it necessary to add a half-teaspoon of extra water. That is all that was needed, and again using my hands I was able to form everything into a cohesive ball. The dough was then kneaded for about 6 minutes at speeds 2-3. Next time, I would be inclined to sift the flour to improve its hydration. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if the extra water wouldn’t be needed. I’m sure I can improve the hydration even further by using the whisk/flat beater/C-hook dough preparation method as described elsewhere on the forum.

The effect of the added water was to increase the nominal hydration noted in the above formulation to about 53.6%. I would rather have it at the nominal value. The finished dough weight was about 16.05 ounces. From that weight, I calculated the abovementioned thickness factor of 0.1042588. I coated the finished dough ball with a very light coating of oil so that it would not develop a crust at the surface when it went into my proofing box. As it was, the dough was on the stiff side and would have been difficult to roll out by hand. Hence, the decision to use the proofing box to condition the dough so that it would roll out much easier and much more quickly.

After putting the dough ball into a lightweight, thin-walled plastic container, it went into my proofing box for about an hour and 15 minutes at around 130 degrees F. While in the proofing box, I estimate that the dough ball expanded by about 40%. Upon its removal from the proofing box, I rolled out the dough to 14” using a rolling pin. It took less than a couple of minutes to do this. The process was so simple and easy that I was able to roll the dough out in all directions to exactly 14” without needing a template to cut a 14” skin out of a larger sheet of dough. The 14” skin was then dusted with bench flour on both sides and folded in quarters. Because of its relatively high hydration, I used plastic wrap on all of the exposed surfaces of the skin before folding so that no part of the skin would come in direct contact with another part of the skin and stick thereto. The skin then went into the refrigerator for about 2 days.

The photos below show the Monical’s clone dough at the different stages, including the initial dough ball before going into the proofing box, the dough ball after removal from the proofing box, the 14” skin, and the 14” skin after being quartered and encased in plastic wrap.

I hope you will give the dough formulation a try and report back on the results. My feelings will not be hurt if you do not like the results.

Peter
« Last Edit: December 03, 2008, 03:16:52 PM by Pete-zza »

Offline cougarblue

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Re: Monical's Pizza Recipe Wanted
« Reply #28 on: February 04, 2008, 05:01:33 PM »
Peter

FYI,

Monicals uses all deck ovens and cooks them directly on the deck using the pizza peels to insert and remove...... Also, I have a good friend that used to work there that has confirmed that thin crust pizza is pulled right from the cooler and made and put into the oven as you indicated may be the case.  She has also confirmed that the dry herbs used on top of the pizza are basil and oregano and she told me garlic salt and not powder on top.  Anyway, hope that info helps.

Deep dish pizzas are done in the pan, they brush a garlic/olive oil paste in the pan prior to putting the dough in it to proof.  The same sauce is used on both pizzas.....she said it consisted of Tomato paste, water, basil, oregano, salt, sugar and the secret ingrediant.....anise.

Mike

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Re: Monical's Pizza Recipe Wanted
« Reply #29 on: February 04, 2008, 05:23:55 PM »
Mike,

Thank you for the additional information. I suspected that Monical's was using deck ovens because of the photos in the menus shown at their website, specifically, pizzas on wooden peels. However, sometimes chains quietly shift to other ovens over time, even though they may still have and be using some of the original ovens, as Home Run Inn in the Chicago area has done. Sbarro's is one of the few pizza chains of any size that I am aware of that is still using deck ovens. However, they were bought out a while ago by a buyout firm, so who knows what they will do.

The sauce I made had all of the seasonings you mentioned, including, believe it or not, the anise. Using the garlic salt instead of the garlic powder also helps explain why the salt (sodium) levels were on the high side. When I examined the sodium levels of typical canned tomatoes, they seemed to be too low for the estimated amount used to account for the levels I saw at the Monical's website.

Pulling and using skins directly from the cooler makes a lot of sense. If my hydration level is anywhere near correct, the skin will be easiest to handle while it is cold. When it warms up, it is more like a conventional skin with more volume (rise). The finished crust using a cold skin may also be thinner because of the lack of a proof. Either way, the pizza should taste just fine.

I hope that you can try out the formulation I posted since you know what the real deal is like.

Peter



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Re: Monical's Pizza Recipe Wanted
« Reply #30 on: February 05, 2008, 12:46:50 PM »
You need to work on their deep dish.....in my opinion, Monicals deep dish pizza is even better than the thin crust. 

Mike,

By deep dish, do you mean the pan pizza? I have looked at the Monical's nutritional information for the pan pizza and think I can come up with a possible dough formulation. It's pretty clear that there is a fat in some form in the pan pizza dough. It's hard to say but I think the fat is either a single oil (e.g., olive oil), an oil blend (maybe olive oil and canola or vegetable oil) or possibly margarine (because of its sodium/salt content). I estimate that the amount of flour used in the 8" pan pizza is about 125% of that used in the 8" thin pizza crust. Making some assumptions on hydration and yeast (IDY), I estimate that the 8" pan pizza is based on about 7.32 ounces of dough. If the 3 times factor applies for the pan pizzas also, then the dough weight for a 14" pan pizza would be 21.96 ounces. Pizza Hut uses 22 ounces of dough for its 14" pan pizza, so the number I came up appears to be credible.

It would also be helpful to have an idea as to how Monical's prepares the dough for the pan pizzas. I can imagine several possibilities, including a same-day dough and a cold fermented dough, with the dough being proofed in both cases, much as Pizza Hut does with its pan pizzas. I understand that before Pizza Hut went to frozen doughs, the doughs made in individual store locations would be processed through a dough sheeter/roller. In a home setting, the more likely option would be a rolling pin (or pasta machine for those who prefer that method). The answer to these questions will govern the amount of yeast to use.

Peter

Offline csacks

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Re: Monical's Pizza Recipe Wanted
« Reply #31 on: February 09, 2008, 05:28:27 PM »
Peter, I tried your dough recipe and although I had my doubts, it was very good.  The very bottom of the crust cooked up to about 1/4 inch thick and looked like a mini sponge.  Crispy on the bottom, yet chewy.  I can't quite imagine producing this dough on a large scale because of how dry it seemed.  I worked all that I could in by hand, then put the dough into the KA.  The flour did all finally work in, but I am glad that I lost a little on the table top while I was working the flour in by hand.  I left the dough set out in my warming mailbox while I attended two basketball games.  I came home from the games, rolled it out, and put the rolled and folded dough into a wine cooler at 48 degrees for two days.  Unfolding the dough and pulling off the plastic was easier than I antipicated.  I will make the dough again.  Something is kinda compelling about it.  Sorry that I can't tell you if it is authentic.  I have never had a Monical pizza.  Craig

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Re: Monical's Pizza Recipe Wanted
« Reply #32 on: February 09, 2008, 06:02:23 PM »
Craig,

As I understand it, Monical's makes up the skins in advance and puts them in the cooler, separated by spacers made of paper or cardboard or something similar. I folded my skin for convenience because of limited refrigerator space. As you perhaps know, I have been using the dough warming method as a substitute for a commercial sheeter/roller. It just makes the dough so much easier and quicker to roll out. However, using the dough warming method can make the dough a bit moist at a hydration of around 54%. If I did not put plastic wrap on both sides of the skin before folding it, it would stick to itself while in the refrigerator and be almost impossible to separate later. Without using the dough warming method I suspect that I could have rolled the dough out eventually and that it would have been dryer as a result. Then it would have been more like the commercial skins that Monical's produces. I don't think that they can get too high in hydration because they have to get the dough through the rollers--although I suspect it is possible that they use a lot of bench flour. That certainly would result in dryer skins. In my case, I used only enough bench flour to be able to roll out the dough without its sticking to my work surface and a little more on the surfaces of the skin before encasing it in plastic wrap.

In any event, I am glad you gave the recipe a try and liked it. I estimate that my 14" Monical's clone cost me around $3.85 (materials costs only). The 14" Deluxe at Monical's sells for around $18.

Peter
« Last Edit: February 09, 2008, 06:28:48 PM by Pete-zza »

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Re: Monical's Pizza Recipe Wanted
« Reply #33 on: February 09, 2008, 09:37:56 PM »
Since I had already conducted an analysis of the Monical’s nutritional information for their 8” pan pizza, I decided to take the exercise a step further and actually make a version of a clone of that pizza. In so doing, I thought that it would help to see an actual photo of a Monical’s pan pizza--of any size. However, after examining all of the menus available at the Monical’s website, I found no such photo. When I did a Google search, I came up empty. So, I decided just to forge ahead.

For purposes of making the 8” pan pizza clone, I decide on the following dough formulation as provided by the expanded dough calculating tool at http://www.pizzamaking.com/expanded_calculator.html:

Flour (100%):
Water (55%):
IDY (0.50%):
Olive Oil (5.41259%):
Canola Oil (1.35315%):
Total (162.26574%):
127.9 g  |  4.51 oz | 0.28 lbs
70.35 g  |  2.48 oz | 0.16 lbs
0.64 g | 0.02 oz | 0 lbs | 0.21 tsp | 0.07 tbsp
6.92 g | 0.24 oz | 0.02 lbs | 1.54 tsp | 0.51 tbsp
1.73 g | 0.06 oz | 0 lbs | 0.38 tsp | 0.13 tbsp
207.54 g | 7.32 oz | 0.46 lbs | TF = N/A
(Note: No bowl residue compensation used; the calculated thickness factor was 0.145627)

I no sooner came up with the above dough formulation only to discover that I did not have an 8” pan. However, I had a 7” dark anodized PSTK cutter pan from pizzatools.com. So, I scaled down the formulation for the 8” pizza to 7”. The resulting dough formulation that I actually used was this one, including the use of a 1% bowl residue compensation:

Flour (100%):
Water (55%):
IDY (0.50%):
Olive Oil (5.41259%):
Canola Oil (1.35315%):
Total (162.26574%):
98.9 g  |  3.49 oz | 0.22 lbs
54.39 g  |  1.92 oz | 0.12 lbs
0.49 g | 0.02 oz | 0 lbs | 0.16 tsp | 0.05 tbsp
5.35 g | 0.19 oz | 0.01 lbs | 1.19 tsp | 0.4 tbsp
1.34 g | 0.05 oz | 0 lbs | 0.29 tsp | 0.1 tbsp
160.47 g | 5.66 oz | 0.35 lbs | TF = N/A
(Note: 1% bowl residue compensation used; finished dough weight was 5.70 oz. and finished dough temperature was 69.5 degrees F)

To prepare the dough, I started by first combining the IDY with the flour. The flour itself was the Kroger’s brand of all-purpose flour. I then put the water, which was water directly from the tap, into the mixer bowl of my basic KitchenAid mixer with the C-hook. I gradually added the flour/IDY mixture to the water in the mixer bowl and mixed the ingredients together using the stir speed, about 2 minutes. I then added the oil, which was an 80/20 blend of olive oil and canola oil, and the rest of the flour/IDY and mixed them together using the stir and 2 speeds, followed by combining the ingredients more fully by hand. I then kneaded the dough at the 2 speed for about 5 minutes. In retrospect, the better choice for making the dough would have been a food processor because the dough ball was on the small side (only 5.70 ounces) and actually too small for my mixer. After removing the dough ball from the mixer bowl, I shaped the dough ball into a nice round shape. The first photo below shows the dough ball at this stage. After lightly brushing the dough ball with a bit of olive oil, I let it rest for about 10 minutes. It then went into a plastic storage container (a Rubbermaid container) and into the refrigerator. It stayed in the refrigerator for 27 hours.

Upon removing the dough ball from the refrigerator, I allowed it to warm up at room temperature, which was a bit on the cool side (66 degrees F), for two hours. I then rolled the dough out with a rolling pin to about 6 1/2 “, or a bit less than the diameter of the bottom of the 7” cutter pan. After coating the bottom of the 7” cutter pan with a combination of a pulverized clove of fresh garlic and olive oil (about a teaspoon), I placed the rolled-out skin into the cutter pan. I then coated the outer rim of the skin with a bit of oil. I did this on the basis of reading that that is the method used by Pizza Hut--but using a spray--for its pan pizzas (see, for example, Reply 5 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,4067.msg33990.html#msg33990). 

At this stage, I had to decide how I would proof the skin. Professionals usually proof their pan pizza doughs in covered pans at room temperature or in proofing cabinets that provide a combination of heat (around 95-100 degrees F) and humidity (around 80% relative humidity). I thought initially to use my proofing box with accompanying humidity but, upon reflection, decided instead to use my microwave unit as a proofing unit since virtually everyone has a microwave unit and very few appear to have a proofing box or its equivalent. To accomplish the proofing of the skin, I heated a one-quart Pyrex glass measuring cup filled with water to just below the point of boiling, about nine minutes. I then placed the measuring cup with the hot water in it into my microwave unit along with the cutter pan with the skin in it. There was no need to cover the pan since there was plenty of humidity to prevent the skin from developing a crust. The temperature within my microwave unit was about 104 degrees F.

The pan remained in the microwave unit for about an hour. I then repeated the above cycle of heating the water, but this time for about three minutes, and returning the pan to the microwave unit. The pan remained in the microwave unit for another hour. At the end of that time, the dough had about doubled in volume. Next time, I think I would be inclined to use my proofing box, or else my ThermoKool MR-138 unit because they are simply easier and more convenient to use. For humidification purposes, I would use a container of hot water. For those who are interested in the proofing box I use, it is described at Reply 6 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,403.msg4887.html#msg4887 and as modified (to provide a window) at Reply 69 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,5762.msg49752.html#msg49752. The MR-138 unit is shown and briefly described at http://www.thebuzzelectronics.com/thermokool_mr138_thermokool_mr-138_deluxe_mini_cooler_and_w.htm (it is also described elsewhere on the forum) .

To dress the pizza in preparation for baking, I placed the sauce on the dough, followed by shredded low-moisture part-skim mozzarella cheese (Best Choice brand), slices of pepperoni (Hormel), and a light scattering of garlic salt and dried basil and oregano herbs. The quantities of sauce and cheese were quite generous. The sauce itself was prepared from the Wal-Mart Great Value brand of crushed tomatoes, dried basil and oregano, sugar, and ground anise (about 1/8 teaspoon of the anise seed ground in a mortar and pestle). I found the sauce to have a very nice flavor, in large measure because of the ground anise. The second photo below shows the pizza as it was dressed for baking.

The pizza was baked on a pizza stone that I had placed on the lowest oven rack position and preheated for about an hour at around 450 degrees F. The pizza baked for about 12 minutes. The two remaining photos show the finished pizza.

The pizza itself was very good. It had a soft center but a crispy bottom and a chewy rim. Although not shown in the photos, the bottom had a nice brown color, reflecting the “fried” effect produced from oiling the pan before inserting the skin. Next time, I think I would be inclined to use even more oil to accentuate that fried effect even further. Needless to say, the pizza was small enough to be consumed in one sitting. A more typical size of pan pizza might be the 14” size. For that size, I would have to devise another proofing method because my microwave unit, proofing box, and MR-138 unit are too small to accommodate a 14” pan.

If anyone is interested, I can scale up the 8” dough formulation presented above to provide a dough formulation for the 14” size.

As with the Monical’s clone thin crust pizza I made and reported on earlier in this thread, I have no idea whether the Monical’s pan pizza clone is like the ones sold by Monical’s since I have never had a Monical’s pan pizza either. But it sure tasted fine.

Peter

Offline cougarblue

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Re: Monical's Pizza Recipe Wanted
« Reply #34 on: February 10, 2008, 11:57:51 AM »
Pete,

That pizza looks really good.  Thank you for working on the deep dish pizza.  What quantities did you add in the other spices in your tomatos.  Also, I will be in Champaign this coming week and I will go to monicals and order a deep dish, take some pictures and see if i can find any more info out. Once again, thank you for your dedication to this forum.

Mike

Offline cougarblue

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Re: Monical's Pizza Recipe Wanted
« Reply #35 on: February 10, 2008, 12:02:31 PM »
After coating the bottom of the 7” cutter pan with a combination of a pulverized clove of fresh garlic and olive oil (about a teaspoon),

Peter,

Did you consider roasting some garlic?

Mike

Online Pete-zza

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Re: Monical's Pizza Recipe Wanted
« Reply #36 on: February 10, 2008, 12:37:06 PM »
What quantities did you add in the other spices in your tomatos. 

Mike,

I just eyeballed the amounts of basil and oregano. I grew my own basil and oregano and dried them as the weather started to turn cold. When I use the dried basil and oregano, I just rub them between my fingers to get to a more powdery stage and add them to the sauce. The oregano is an Italian variety with a potent taste and perfumy aroma so I have to be careful not to overdo its use. The sugar was about a quarter-teaspoon. I am not a big fan of sweet pizza sauces so I use just enough to get the Wal-Mart crushed tomatoes to the natural sweetness level of the 6-in-1s. I did not add salt to the sauce because I find the Wal-Mart tomatoes to be salty enough on their own. The anise flavor showed through the sauce nicely. There was no salt in the dough I made (based on my analysis of the sodium content in the Monical's nutritional information), but I could not detect its absence. No doubt there was plenty enough salt in the rest of the ingredients.

I did not consider roasting the garlic. However, the aroma of the fresh garlic filled the room as soon as I removed the pizza from the oven and the pan. I'd be interested in the nature of the garlic-oil blend used by Monical's in the pans, that is, whether the garlic is a fresh garlic (roasted or not), a commercial garlic paste, or a dry form. I'm sure that roasted garlic on the pizza itself would be a great addition.

I look forward to hearing from you when you return from your Monical's trip. The best example of the Monical's clone pan pizza should be the 12" or 14" size. After I posted, I discovered that I have some 8" deep-dish pans after all. They are seasoned Chicago Metallic aluminum pans. The 8" personal size is good for one person.

If you can get a rough idea as to a typical weight of a Monical's thin crust pizza, say, a 14" pie, that would be very useful. The one I made started out weighing over a pound with all of the toppings and cheese and sauce. Some of the weight was lost during baking when water was driven out of the ingredients, like the crust, sauce, veggies, etc., but I would estimate that the baked pizza was still well over a pound, and maybe closer to 24-25 ounces if I had to guess. Often thin crust pizzas weigh more than people think. If I am way off on the weight factor, that would cause me to wonder what I am missing from my analysis of the Monical's nutritional information for the 14" size.

Peter

Offline cougarblue

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Re: Monical's Pizza Recipe Wanted
« Reply #37 on: February 11, 2008, 10:01:20 PM »
Peter,

I made your recipe for the Monicals deep dish with some experimental modification of my own.  When I talked to my friend that worked there, she indicated that the oil/garlic that was brushed in the bottom of the pan, was paste like......so I took a whole head of garlic and cut off the top of it....I then drizzled olive oil into the garlic and wrapped it tightly in some foil.  Then into the oven for an hour......this made a nice thick paste of roasted garlic. I mixed this thick paste with some olive oil and a little bit of salt.  It combined nicely using a small whisk.  I then brushed it into the pan in a small quantity and put the dough inside of the pan to proof.
 
For the sauce, I used a can of 6 in 1, dried oregano, garlic powder, onion powder, dried basil, and finally the anise.  The sauce was very good.....I think I should have put some salt in the sauce but other than that, it was very good.  I might put a bit more anise in as well.  I did as you suggested and ground the anise in a mortar. 

Overall, I think we are moving in the right direction.  I did cook the pizza on top of my stone so it was a little too crispy on the bottom.  Monicals pizza is more bread like.  I have the same problem with the crust that I have when I have made Chicago style......the final product is too hard.  Very possibly because I am not cooking it right.

The flavor of the roasted garlic was very subtle....there might be more to that paste than I am aware but again......I think we are headed in the right direction. Any suggestions would be appreciated.  I did not take pictures.....I will take some of my next attempt.

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Re: Monical's Pizza Recipe Wanted
« Reply #38 on: February 11, 2008, 10:21:22 PM »
Mike,

What kind of pan did you use, and what bake temperature? And did you use the recipe for the 8"?

Peter

Offline cougarblue

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Re: Monical's Pizza Recipe Wanted
« Reply #39 on: February 12, 2008, 12:38:55 AM »
Mike,

What kind of pan did you use, and what bake temperature? And did you use the recipe for the 8"?

Peter

Peter,

I used a 9" round pan from pizzatools.com with the non stick coating on it.  I baked at 450.

Mike


 

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