Author Topic: Monical's Pizza Recipe Wanted  (Read 67231 times)

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Offline Deacon Volker

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Re: Monical's Pizza Recipe Wanted
« Reply #60 on: June 08, 2009, 09:31:25 PM »
WOW!  Way to go Brian!  Anyone who "knows" Monical's will plainly see you've got the right look anyway!  The super thin sauce to the edge, the color and quantity of the spice on the cheese.  Nicely done.  I haven't attempted this one, but judging by your photo-evidence I think I just might have to give it a whirl!


Offline TomS

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Re: Monical's Pizza Recipe Wanted
« Reply #61 on: August 30, 2009, 11:42:43 AM »
I've been experimenting with this dough, too. I started with the amounts in response #27, but after two tries I decided the dough was too thick. I think the original amounts are enough for a 16-inch pie, so I scaled them down 77%. Since my scale only weighs in 5 gram increments the formula for this test was 230 gr flour, 120 gr water, and 1/4 tsp IDY. I mixed it up, let it rest, rolled it, folded it, and put it in the refrigerator for 2 days.

The sauce was a mix of cooked down tomatoes from the garden, onion, garlic, basil, oregano, and anise.

The pizza was baked on a preheated stone for 4 minutes at 525 degrees F and finished at 475 degrees F for 7 more minutes.

This was my best attempt yet. I think the thinner crust is better and the sauce is getting pretty close. The biggest defect is that the crust is a little tough. I used KA AP flour. Maybe six minutes of kneading is too much? Next time I'll reduce that to 3 minutes and see what happens.


Tom

Offline TomS

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Re: Monical's Pizza Recipe Wanted
« Reply #62 on: September 15, 2009, 11:35:16 AM »
I took another shot at this recipe. This was my fifth version. I thought the crust of the previous versions was too tough and "hard" and I also wanted to get some open holes or "blisters" to form, especially around the edges. So although the original formula from post #27 does not include oil, I added a little oil to the dough to tenderize it. Despite the fact that the oil was very successful, I'm wondering what else can be done to tenderize and open up the dough. Different flour? Different mixing or baking procedure?

The dough for this 14 inch pizza was made from 200 grams AP flour, 80 grams water, 20 grams olive oil, and 1/4 tsp IDY. The dough was mixed, shaped, and cold aged according to Pete's method described in post #27. The sauce was made from home made tomato sauce, onion, garlic, basil, oregano, thyme, anise, sugar, and salt. The pizza was topped with 1/2 cup of the sauce, 3/4 cup of shredded Mozzarella cheese, sliced brown mushrooms, and a dusting of Parmesan cheese. Baking was done on a preheated Fibramat at 525 F for 4 minutes and finished for 7 minutes at 475 F.

This was my best try at this style yet and was, by far, the best thin crust pizza I have ever made in my standard oven.

We had an opportunity to have a Monical's pizza on the day before I made my version. The first two photos below are of a pizza from the Monical's store in Urbana, IL. The last three pictures are of the pizza I made. The next iteration will probably be made with less oil, but at this point I'm really just nit picking.



Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Monical's Pizza Recipe Wanted
« Reply #63 on: September 15, 2009, 02:39:18 PM »
TomS,

I'm glad that you are persisting with your efforts to clone the Monical's pizza. If you had told me that the first two photos were of your pizza and the last three photos were of the Monical's pizza, I would have believed you. You did a nice job.

It is always difficult to reverse engineer and clone a pizza that you have never eaten before, which was the challenge that I was confronted with when I attempted to reverse engineer and clone the Monical's thin crust pizza. This means that you have to analyze the best information available publicly and draw the best conclusions possible under the circumstances. There will also be differences in a home setting because of the relative simplicity of our stand mixers and ovens compared with a commercial operation.

Out of curiosity, I went to the Monical's website today to see what, if any nutrition information, is now available to interested parties. I found the following document: http://www.monicalspizza.com/UserFiles/file/Individual%20Pizzas.pdf. Examining that document, which was updated as of 6/25/09, I saw that they no longer indicate the size of the Thin Crust Individual pizza to which the nutrition information applies. However, since I kept a copy of the nutrition information that I used to do my original Monical clone analysis, I recognized the nutrition information as being that for an 8" thin crust pizza. It was the 8" data that I extrapolated to the 14" size based on information originally made available by Monical's that said that an 8" pizza was equal to 1/3 of a 14" pizza.

As noted before, the best information to date suggests that the only ingredients used to make the Monical's dough are flour, water and yeast. And no salt or oil. However, in reviewing the current Monical's nutrition information (and re-reviewing the earlier nutrition information), there is some sodium and fat listed as being present in the dough. However, in the case of sodium, the levels of sodium are so low as to suggest that the sodium is the sodium that is naturally present in very small quantities in the flour itself. For example, when I converted the sodium levels for a 14" Monical's clone dough, it was equivalent to 5/1000 of a teaspoon of table salt. So, it is about zero for all practical purposes (and effectively confirms that no salt is added to the Monical's dough).

With respect to the fat content of a typical 14" Monical's clone dough based on the current nutrition information, it is about 1%. However, there is also a small amount of fat naturally present in the flour, so the total oil quite possibly includes the oil naturally present in the flour plus some added oil. However, if I had to guess, it is possible that some oil is dribbled onto the sides of the mixer bowl to make it easier to remove the dough from the mixer bowl. This is a common technique that Tom Lehmann has discussed before. In fact, I believe his video with Jeff Zeak for the NY style dough demonstrates this technique. Using oil in this fashion might not be viewed as being the same as adding the oil directly to the dough, especially if the dough goes directly to the sheeting equipment without working the oil into the dough. BTW, 1% oil for the dough formulation in Reply 27 (at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,600.20.html) comes to about 2/3 teaspoon (vegetable or olive oil) for a 14" pizza. Your use of 20 grams oil for 200 grams of flour would be 10%, and clearly far outside of the range of the Monical's dough.

I feel quite comfortable with the dough formulation that I set forth in Reply 27 based on my analysis at the time I posted that dough formulation. However, there have been some changes in the nutrition information that is now on the Monical's website. One area that might be worthy of further investigation is to use a smaller thickness factor. The Monical's nutrition information has never given the weights of their different pizzas from which to attempt a calculation of the weight of the dough used to make their pizzas. One would have to purchase a typical Monical's pizza (I would suggest a basic 14" cheese pizza), weigh the pizza and, using the nutrition information for sauce and cheese, try to work backwards to determine the weight of the crust itself and make adjustments to compensate for losses during baking. The adjusted dough weight could then be used in relation to the pizza size (14") to determine a more accurate thickness factor.

Peter

Offline TomS

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Re: Monical's Pizza Recipe Wanted
« Reply #64 on: September 15, 2009, 03:37:17 PM »
Thanks for the response, Peter.

I did find with my first test or two that the thickness factor in reply 27 is too high. The thickness of the crust in my last version was very close to the thickness of the purchased pizza. So that part I am confident of.

I'll reduce the amount of oil on the next try and see what happens. I'm going to have to stray outside of a strict clone to get a pizza I can reproduce in my home oven with the ingredients I can obtain easily. I'll also try cooking one of these in my wood fired oven to see what happens at a higher temperature and drier environment.


Tom

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Monical's Pizza Recipe Wanted
« Reply #65 on: September 15, 2009, 04:25:38 PM »
Tom,

The total weight of your dough ingredients is 300.75 grams. Was that amount of dough for a 12" pizza?

From the latest Monical's nutrition information, the sauce profile seems to most closely fit plain old crushed tomatoes, such as a Redpack crushed tomatoes in heavy puree, at about 1/4 cup (61 grams) for a 14" pizza, plus herbs and spices, of course. It also looks like Monical's has either changed the mozzarella cheese or they have altered the amount used on their pizzas. Doing some rough calculations, the Monical's mozzarella cheese seems to most closely resemble a whole-milk mozzarella cheese or a blend of whole-milk mozzarella cheese and low-moisture, part-skim mozzarella cheese. It appears that the cheese or cheese blend is on the salty side (high sodium content), possibly to compensate for the fact that there is no salt used in the dough itself. I estimate about 7 ounces of cheese or cheese blend for a 14" pizza.

Peter

Offline TomS

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Re: Monical's Pizza Recipe Wanted
« Reply #66 on: September 15, 2009, 06:09:22 PM »
My dough was for a 14" pizza. It only took one try to realize that the thickness factor from Reply 27 was too high. My pizza was about the same thickness as the Monical's pizzas we ate on Sunday.

We had five pizzas available to us on Sunday. There was a large variation in the amount of cheese on each one. The Veggie had the most cheese, the Italian Special had about the same amount I used. I put 6 ounces on mine. I thought the "real" pizzas were a bit salty. I would have to sprinkle mine with salt to get them to the same level.

Tom

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Monical's Pizza Recipe Wanted
« Reply #67 on: September 15, 2009, 06:45:48 PM »
Tom,

I went back to my original dough formulation at Reply 27 and I am hard pressed to find that it is in error. I don't know if the Monical's nutrition data is for a raw pizza or a baked pizza, but if you look at the nutrition data for the 8" crust, at the top line at http://www.monicalspizza.com/UserFiles/file/Individual%20Pizzas.pdf, you will see that it is fairly close to 100 grams of a standard all-purpose flour, for example, as shown at nutritiondata.com at http://www.nutritiondata.com/facts/cereal-grains-and-pasta/5745/2 (you will have to select the 100 g. number in the pulldown menu). If the 14" pizza is three times the 8" pizza (72/42 = 3.06), then the amount of flour would be around 300 grams. That is about what I used in Reply 27.

If you used 300.75 grams (10.61 oz.) of dough to make a 14" pizza, the corresponding thickness factor is 0.0689139 [(10.61/(3.14159 x 7 x 7) = 0.0689139)]. If I use the same hydration that you used for your dough, that is, 40%, then the weight of dough would drop and the thickness factor for my dough formulation would drop to around 0.096. I understand that Monical's uses a sheeter of some sort, so that makes me wonder whether it sheets out skins thinly but with a greater density than what might be possible using a rolling pin at home. I might add that the most recent Monical's nutrition data is the same for the dough/crust as the nutrition data I originally used.

I would need some actual pizza weights, such as that for a basic 14" cheese pizza, to be able to tell if my numbers are not consistent with what Monical's is actually using at their store you visited or, alternatively, my analysis and/or math are somehow in error.

Peter

Offline TomS

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Re: Monical's Pizza Recipe Wanted
« Reply #68 on: September 15, 2009, 06:53:46 PM »
Perhaps I misread it, but Reply #27 has a dough weight of 457.06 for a 14" pizza for a thickness factor of 0.104258. That amount of dough would make a 16" pizza. I think 300 grams is the right amount for a 14" pizza.

I can't vouch for the correspondence between the nutrition data and the real thing. All I have to go by is the pizza we buy at the Monical's store in Urbana, IL.,

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Monical's Pizza Recipe Wanted
« Reply #69 on: September 15, 2009, 06:57:34 PM »
Tom,

I appreciate your input. My objective was only to try to reverse engineer the Monical's dough based on the data available to me. That is always my practice when reverse engineering the doughs of others. Maybe other members can chime in on the subject.

Peter


Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Monical's Pizza Recipe Wanted
« Reply #70 on: September 15, 2009, 07:48:22 PM »
To preserve last year's (2008) Monical's nutrition information, it is at http://www.monicalspizza.com/UserFiles/file/Nutrition.pdf. The original Monical's nutrition document I used, dated 8/1/05, specifically related the 8" size to the 14" size in a note at the bottom of the document. That note is no longer being used, either in the 2008 version or the 2009 version. Maybe Monical's is using a thinner crust for the 14" size than for the 8" size.

Peter

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Monical's Pizza Recipe Wanted
« Reply #71 on: September 17, 2009, 01:09:39 PM »
Because of the issue raised in my last post relative to the note that was formerly included with the Monical's nutrition information, I sent an email to Monical's and inquired as to what the nutrition information would be for a 12" pizza or a 14" pizza. This morning, I received the following reply:

Thank you for your interest in our nutrition information and your patience
while I worked with our team to find the information you requested.

According to our staff, the 12" thin crust (where available) is 2.25 the
serving as the 8".  The 14" thin crust is 3.1 the serving size of the 8"
pizza.

To obtain the nutritional data for an entire 12" pizza it is necessary to
multiply the 8" data by 2.25.  In other words, a 12" pizza has 2.25 servings
of the baseline nutritional numbers.  The same system holds for the 14".


So, it appears that the correlation between the 8" size and the larger sizes has not changed.

Peter


Offline PizzaNick

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Re: Monical's Pizza Recipe Wanted
« Reply #72 on: March 21, 2010, 11:42:12 PM »
Tom,

I appreciate your input. My objective was only to try to reverse engineer the Monical's dough based on the data available to me. That is always my practice when reverse engineering the doughs of others. Maybe other members can chime in on the subject.

Peter

i see this thread hasnt been active for a while, but im thinking of giving this a shot.  I grew up eating monical's but havent had one for 10 yrs or so since i moved away.  the pics in here look real close, just need to be a bit thinner i think.  still just looking at the pics is enough to make me hungry haha. ;D

Offline PizzaNick

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Re: Monical's Pizza Recipe Wanted
« Reply #73 on: March 26, 2010, 03:30:17 PM »
ok, i gave this one a shot for the first time last night.  i used the formulation in reply #27 for the dough.  i basically followed the procedure, but i do admit i cook more by feel than anything.  i started with the water, and added in the flour and yeast mix until it couldnt take more flour, then finished adding the flour mix mostly by hand which worked fine, i didnt add any extra water.  then let the dough go in the KA with the hook for prob 4-5 min. then a very very light coat of oil and i placed it into a slightly warmer than room temp oven to raise for an hr or so.  that did make it easy to roll out the skins for sure.  so i then took the dough and cut it into 3 pieces, to make 3 8" pizzas.  well my 8" doughs were more like 9" or so haha, and i managed to get enough from the trimmed off scraps to get a 4th skin as well.  i had rolled them out to the best of my memory, which i now think was prob just a bit too thin.  but the skins were lightly dusted w flour and seperated w wax paper, stacked and stored in the fridge for 24 hrs.  then pulled out one at a time, onto a makeshift peel :-D aka piece of cardboard dusted w semolina, as i didnt have any cornmeal, then docked and sauced w tomato sauce, salt and pepper, topped with shreadded, then hand chopped with a knife to get the smaller pebble like texture to the cheese.  then dusted w a bit of dry basil, oregano and garlic salt. 

then they went into the oven, gas, set at just over 500, a stone on the bottom rack, two racks up was the next rack, which has my 11 x 17 cast iron grill/griddle pan to hold top heat, and i placed sheet pans over the grill pan as soon as the pizza went in also.  5 min seemed just about right and the pizzas were pulled out, cut into squares and mostly eaten before i got to take any pics.  i did get a few of the remains of the last one though. ;D

while these were my first attempt and not quite the same as the original, they were better than anything ive had similar since.  and the difference was mostly in my prep and cooking etc.  i do think the crust formula is pretty well right on and will likely not get changed on my next attempt, but maybe ill try to follow it a bit closer this time hahaha. 

Much thanks to everyone here at this forum for everything, as its made a world of difference to me in the pizza i can now make, thanks again.    :pizza: for everyone haha.


Nick

Offline fireman117

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Re: Monical's Pizza Recipe Wanted
« Reply #74 on: April 15, 2010, 11:31:55 AM »
Wow, You all are amazing! This is exactly where I wanted to go with my request so please disregard my Milwaukee thin crust thread.  I briefly looked through this thread today and I can't believe the dedication and depth that is here. I've learned more in two weeks about making pizza than in my entire life.
The site definitely gets a donation from me!

Thank you,
Eric
PS you might want to check out the link to Maria's Pizza in MKE. It's a hoot!

Offline GotRocks

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Re: Monical's Pizza Recipe Wanted
« Reply #75 on: April 17, 2010, 01:15:15 PM »
Wow, You all are amazing! This is exactly where I wanted to go with my request so please disregard my Milwaukee thin crust thread.  I briefly looked through this thread today and I can't believe the dedication and depth that is here. I've learned more in two weeks about making pizza than in my entire life.
The site definitely gets a donation from me!

Thank you,
Eric
PS you might want to check out the link to Maria's Pizza in MKE. It's a hoot!

I have eaten at all the places mentioned in your milwaukee thread (and hundreds more)and they are the top three, and I am also lucky enough to have a monicals right across the lake from me where I live now.
Monicals is good, but not anything like Maria's, Zaffiros, or even Demarini's (before the quality at DeMarini's went to hell in the last year)
Monicals is the best in this area, but if they had a location in Milwaukee, I bet they would struggle to stay open with all the other excellent pizza options in MKE.
People in the milwaukee area do not realize how good they have it in regards to quality pizza, I only realized that when I was living elsewhere and I now appreciate all the wonderful pizza available in Mlwaukee.
I bet you could not walk 1 mile in any direction while in milwaukee without finding superb pizza. (lets leave the north side out of that statmenet)
A skinny cook is not to be trusted!

Offline Krez

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Re: Monical's Pizza Recipe Wanted
« Reply #76 on: May 16, 2010, 11:38:18 PM »
I just recently stumbled upon this thread, and I enjoy Monicals Pizza so much that I wanted to give it a shot.  I followed Pete-zza's recipe in reply #27 as closely as possible, but I had a few questions.

For one, how the heck do you get that much flour into .35 pounds of water!?  I don't have a mixer, so I have to do this mostly by hand, but I found it extremely difficult to get all of the flour into the dough.  It took me probably 15-20 minutes of pounding away at my dough to get it all reasonably well absorbed.

Next, my dough seems dry.  I let it sit for a few minutes a couple times while working the flour in like Pete-zza did to increase the hydration, but it was so tough to work it all in that it did not seem to be about 50% hydration.  I actually have no frame of reference for that, but it would be my guess.

I am also confused on the whole "proofing" procedure.  Why do you do it?  What does it do to the dough?  How exactly can you do it if you don't have a microwave oven?

This is actually my second attempt at making the pizza.  The first pizza came out well, but it wasn't as close to a Monical's clone as I would have liked.  How required is the Anise to match the taste?

I'll report back with a few pictures if this one comes out better, but tbh, I'm a little embarassed at my primitive setup.  I've only recently started exploring cooking.

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Monical's Pizza Recipe Wanted
« Reply #77 on: May 17, 2010, 10:43:38 AM »
Krez,

The Monical's dough recipe you used is the one at Reply 27 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,600.msg53313.html#msg53313.

The short answer to your question about making the dough is that it is difficult to make a Monical's clone dough entirely by hand. As I noted in the above post, I had problems making the dough even with a stand mixer. If I were to attempt to make the dough again, I think I would sift the flour and use a food processor and maybe a rest period or two. Absent a food processor, I would perhaps have to find a way to make the dough by hand, possibly using the methods I described at Reply 61 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,5762.msg49722.html#msg49722 and elsewhere in the same thread.

With respect to the proofing, I am not sure which "proofing" you mean. If you mean the time that the dough is in my home-made proofing box, the purpose is to warm up the dough to allow it to be rolled out easier. If you mean the time that the dough skin is warmed up at room temperature before dressing and baking, the reason is to prevent or minimize large bubbles forming in the finished crust. I suppose you could use a microwave to get some warmth to heat up a dough as a substitute for my proofing box, but if you don't have a microwave, you will have to find another way of getting heat to the dough. The abovereferenced thread at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,5762.0.html discusses some alternative methods for doing that.

There are just some dough recipes that require equipment to make successfully. The Monical's recipe is one such recipe. You will have to be creative to find ways around not having the necessary equipment, like using the method described in Reply 61 mentioned above and elsewhere in the same thread.

Peter

Offline mikegallien

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Re: Monical's Pizza Recipe Wanted
« Reply #78 on: June 12, 2010, 10:58:20 PM »
I made this for the first time yesterday.  Turned out very good.  I will need to experiment with the sauce to get it just right.  The one thing I don't know how to overcome is that the crust was quite tough,  Any Suggestion?
« Last Edit: June 13, 2010, 09:34:55 AM by mikegallien »

Offline Bonita45

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Re: Monical's Pizza Recipe Wanted
« Reply #79 on: August 27, 2010, 08:50:10 PM »
Thanks so much for the recipe. I'll post a picture of the pizza once I'm done .... hope I get this right :D  :chef:


 

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