Author Topic: Reverse Engineering/Cloning Papa John's Pizza Sauce  (Read 52484 times)

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Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Reverse Engineering/Cloning Papa John's Pizza Sauce
« Reply #20 on: June 03, 2008, 06:42:58 PM »
In the opening post in this thread, I presented a list of ingredients for Papa John's pizza sauce:

Pizza Sauce: Vine-ripened fresh tomatoes, sunflower oil, sugar, salt, spices, garlic*, extra virgin olive oil and citric acid. *Dehydrated

Recently, Papa John's introduced a whole-wheat pizza in all of its stores. According to this website, http://www.dietdetective.com/content/view/3313/65, Papa John's is using the same pizza sauce for the new whole-wheat pizza. I was in a Papa John's store recently when a customer ordered a whole-wheat pizza, and it was made just like other pizzas in terms of sauce, cheese, and toppings.

Peter

EDIT (7/14/14): For the Wayback Machine version of the above inoperative link, see http://web.archive.org/web/20081120070942/http://www.dietdetective.com/content/view/3313/65/



Offline scprotz

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Re: Reverse Engineering/Cloning Papa John's Pizza Sauce
« Reply #21 on: June 04, 2008, 09:06:23 PM »
The base tomato product used in Papa John's sauce is Stanislaus Full Red.  They used this for many years until they had Stanislaus 'brand' the product for Papa John's (so now the labels all say Papa John's instead)

Also, if you've ever examined one of the Spice packets (about 20 ounces of spice) or tasted it, the stuff seems like it is mostly pure sugar with a bit of salt and some minor other spices (garlic being easily tasted).

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Reverse Engineering/Cloning Papa John's Pizza Sauce
« Reply #22 on: June 04, 2008, 09:19:17 PM »
scprotz,

What you say about the Stanislaus Full Red seems to make sense. May I ask where you came into possession of that information?

Also, are the spice packs still being used in any way? I am aware of some small "Special Seasoning Packets" but they are mostly salt.

Peter

Offline scprotz

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Re: Reverse Engineering/Cloning Papa John's Pizza Sauce
« Reply #23 on: June 04, 2008, 09:35:04 PM »
Before all the drivers worked 'for' Papa Johns (back when they were Ryder drivers), you could ask any one of them what they were hauling...lots of dough..lots of Leprino Cheese and lots of Stanislaus cases of Full Red - Plus I knew an ex-driver who confirmed it... This was circa 1996/1997 (but I don't think the flavor has changed much since then...if it has, I think it is for the worse).

Also, I asked a driver for some spice one day..he just gave it to me...go figure...

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Reverse Engineering/Cloning Papa John's Pizza Sauce
« Reply #24 on: June 04, 2008, 09:42:51 PM »
scprotz,

The Papa John's sauce is part of the puzzle. I also was able to identify Leprino as the source of the cheese blend. Do you know offhand who makes their pepperoni?

Peter

Offline scprotz

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Re: Reverse Engineering/Cloning Papa John's Pizza Sauce
« Reply #25 on: June 04, 2008, 10:08:22 PM »
Doskocil (which you can get from just about any vendor)...you can try others, but the flavors are obviously different.

(they use Doskocil for all their meats I think)

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Reverse Engineering/Cloning Papa John's Pizza Sauce
« Reply #26 on: June 04, 2008, 10:40:10 PM »
scprotz,

Thank you. I remember reading about Doskocil, after they acquired Wilson and then went into bankruptcy. I believe that Doskocil survived the bankruptcy. They were suppliers of meat products to Domino's and other pizza operators. When I was doing my research on Papa John's, I saw that the ingredients for the PJ pepperoni were very similar to the ingredients used in the Domino's pepperoni.

Peter

Offline scprotz

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Re: Reverse Engineering/Cloning Papa John's Pizza Sauce
« Reply #27 on: June 04, 2008, 11:08:47 PM »
Last I checked on Doskocil was around Oct 2003.  I also think Sysco foods is a distributor for them (many smaller pizza foods distributors carry both Doskocil and Leprino).

I'm pretty sure that Dominos and PJs use Leprino.  I also think Dominos and PJs both use the Doskocil crumbled meats..not as sure on the Pepperoni, but its a good bet.

I've found if you don't have a distributor to make the sauce, I've used off the shelf Hunts Sauce (from any grocery)...the consistency is similar (though the flavor is off slightly)...I have some sweet sauces that I've conjured up to make similar PJ pizzas..but I find with enough sugar and salt in the Pizza Sauce, it really comes down to the cheese and dough to make it just right...

I'm hoping to give Randy's recipe a test run soon (this weekend maybe)...to see how accurate it is..

When I was in college (ages ago) I learned how to 'hand dock' a pizza (Dominos Style)...PJs does it the same way..so going to use that technique on the dough and see how it comes out.  Also, I'm going to use King Arthur flour with filtered water (the gluten content is decent at 11%-12%...I may even pick up a bag of the KA bread flour with the higher gluten content so it is closer to industrial flour)...Any suggestions on flour alternatives?
« Last Edit: June 05, 2008, 10:46:59 AM by scprotz »

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Reverse Engineering/Cloning Papa John's Pizza Sauce
« Reply #28 on: June 04, 2008, 11:44:56 PM »
scprotz,

Doskocil was ultimately acquired by Tyson Foods, the big poultry outfit that has now branched out into other meat products.

I recently asked Papa John's for information on its various products. I had done this a few years ago but wanted to get updated information. According to the information I received today, the Papa John's pizza sauce now comprises the following ingredients:

Pizza Sauce: Vine-ripened fresh tomatoes, sunflower oil, sugar, salt, spices [oregano, black pepper, basil], garlic*, extra virgin olive oil and citric acid. *Dehydrated. No trans fat.

The updated list of ingredients for the pizza sauce is basically the same as what I started out with in my reverse engineering/clone efforts, but specifically identifies the spices as comprising oregano, black pepper and basil. In my clone sauce, I did not use any ground pepper, even though I had identified it as a possible "spice", because I couldn't detect it in the sample of the Papa John's pizza sauce that I used to come up with my clone sauce.

I have done a lot of research on Papa John's, and hope soon to be posting the results of my research, along with a recommended dough formulation that I believe is a good clone formulation. I have been using bread flour (King Arthur, at 12.7% protein) for my experiments but believe that Papa John's uses high-gluten flour with a protein content close to 14%. I am now in the process of trying to get additional information from Papa John's to nail down some remaining aspects relating to the flour. Whether I get that additional information or not, I plan to post the results of my research and the recommended clone dough formulation. My dough formulation bears similarities to what Randy has done but it also has several differences.

You are correct about Leprino being the supplier to both Papa John's and Domino's. Leprino mentions it in their own documents.

Peter


Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Reverse Engineering/Cloning Papa John's Pizza Sauce
« Reply #29 on: July 03, 2008, 06:47:31 PM »
I recently opened up one of the small mini-tubs of Pizza Dipping Sauce that Papa John's sells along with its pizzas (currently, PJs gives a free mini-tub of its Special Garlic Sauce with its pizzas). As noted in Reply 18 in this thread, the Pizza Dipping Sauce sauce is made up of the following ingredients:

Ingredients: Tomato sauce (tomato puree, sunflower oil, sugar, salt, garlic*, extra virgin olive oil, spices, citric acid), water, natural flavor (yeast extract), sodium benzoate and potassium sorbate (as preservatives). *dehydrated

What I was most interested in determining is whether the same sauce is used for dipping purposes as is used on PJ's pizzas. I had attempted to get the answer to this question from Papa John's itself but I was only told that the mini-tubs of dipping sauce are prepared by a different vendor than the regular pizza sauces. That vendor adds the preservatives to the sauce and does the related packaging of the sauce into mini-tubs.

Doing a side-by-side taste test of the two sauces, I came to the conclusion, rightly or wrongly, that the two sauces are not the same. It's possible that the two sauces tasted differently because of the preservatives added to the Pizza Dipping Sauce, but I think that the tomatoes are also different, especially since the tomatoes used for the Pizza Dipping Sauce are described only as "Tomato sauce", including "tomato puree" whereas the tomatoes for the basic PJ pizza sauce are described as "Vine-ripened fresh tomatoes". These are the fresh pack tomatoes that PJ's boasts about in its advertising.

Peter


Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Reverse Engineering/Cloning Papa John's Pizza Sauce
« Reply #30 on: July 04, 2008, 08:30:47 AM »
Having run out of my 6-in-1 Papa John's pizza sauce clone, I thought that it might be useful to make a new batch of the sauce but using the Wal-Mart Great Value (WMGV) Crushed Tomatoes in Puree instead of the 6-in-1 tomatoes. Such a clone might come in handy when I am out of 6-in-1s. Also, a can of the WMGV tomatoes is much less expensive (a bit over $1 for a 28-ounce can) than a can of the 6-in-1s. (There is also a WMGV Concentrated Crushed Tomato product, which may be better to use to make a clone sauce, but it is not sold at my local Wal-Mart.)

To begin the exercise, I started by comparing the labels of the two tomatoes. The ingredients for the WMGV tomatoes are cut tomatoes, tomato puree, salt, citric acid. By contrast, the ingredients for the 6-in-1 tomatoes are Vine-Ripened Fresh Unpeeled Ground Tomatoes, Extra Heavy Tomato Puree and Salt. A comparison of the nutrition information for the two tomatoes shows that the two products have the same fiber, sugars and protein for a 1/2-c. serving, but that the WMGV tomatoes have a bit more sodium. The 6-in-1s have a bit more total carbohydrate. The differences between the two tomatoes became much more apparent when I processed the WMGV tomatoes in preparation for adding the ingredients to make the WMGV PJ sauce clone. I did this by pureeing the WMGV tomatoes with a stick (immersion) blender (as I had also previously done with the 6-in-1s) and then draining off some of the water from the pureed WMGV tomatoes until the consistency was about the same as I used to make the 6-in-1 PJ sauce clone. It was then that I discovered that there was less drained product with the WMGV tomatoes than with the 6-in-1 tomatoes--587 grams versus 668 grams for the 6-in-1s. The WMGV puree also looked more watery and was not as smooth as the 6-in-1 puree. This condition persisted even when I added the rest of the ingredients, including the sunflower and olive oils, to make the PJ sauce clone, as discussed below.

In preparing the WMGV sauce clone, I considered the comments about salt and sugar levels made by member November in earlier posts in this thread even though those comments were not specifically directed to the WMGV tomatoes.

The WMGV sauce clone was prepared in the same way as I prepared the original 6-in-1 sauce clone, using an actual sample of the pizza sauce as used by PJ"s on its pizzas in its own stores. As will be noted below, I reduced the amount of dried oregano that I originally used--based on my experience in making PJ clone pizzas--and I added some freshly ground black pepper on the assumption that some black pepper is actually used in the PJ pizza sauce. The quantities of ingredients were selected to provide the closest "taste" match to the PJ pizza sauce that I could achieve. The final WMGV sauce clone was as follows:

100%, 587 g. (20.71 oz.) WMGV puree
2.556%, Sunflower oil, about 3 1/4 t. (15 g.)
2.317%, Sugar, about 3 1/2 t. (13.6 g.)
0.35%, Salt, 3/8 t. (2.06 g.)
0.12%, Dried Italian oregano (ground in a mortar and pestle), about 1 1/8 t. (0.70 g.) (Note: the weight is after grinding)
0.069%, Dried Italian basil (ground in a mortar and pestle), about 3/8 t. (0.41 g.) (Note: the weight is after grinding)
   -      A couple of pinches of freshly ground black pepper
0.20%, Garlic powder, a bit less than 1 1/8 t. (1.17 g.)
0.172%, Olive oil, about 1/4 t. (1 g.)

I allowed the WMGV sauce clone to "marinate" overnight in the refrigerator before actually using it on a PJ pizza clone. Although the WMGV sauce clone did not spread as smoothly on the pizza as the 6-in-1 sauce clone, and was more watery, I could not detect significant taste differences on the finished pizza itself. Unfortunately, I did not have an actual PJ pizza to use for comparison purposes, or even one of my own clones using the 6-in-1s, so some more testing may be necessary. There is little doubt that the 6-in-1s are a better tomato than the WMGV's, so given a choice I would personally choose the 6-in-1s. There is still a slight taste difference between my sauce clones and the actual PJ pizza sauce, but it is hard to tell where that difference comes from. However, on the most recent clone pizzas, my taste receptors could not detect the difference. 

For a photo of a recent PJ clone pizza using the above sauce, see Reply 20 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,6758.msg59217.html#msg59217.

Peter
« Last Edit: August 25, 2008, 12:21:57 PM by Pete-zza »

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Reverse Engineering/Cloning Papa John's Pizza Sauce
« Reply #31 on: August 26, 2008, 02:41:39 PM »
I recently had occasion to open a #10 can (6 lb. 10 oz.) of Stanislaus Tomato Magic ground tomatoes, which is the Stanislaus counterpart to the Escalon 6-in-1 fresh-pack ground tomatoes. The major difference between the two products from an ingredients standpoint is that the Tomato Magic product includes citric acid. The 6-in-1 product does not. I thought that this would be a good opportunity to try to make a Tomato Magic clone of the Papa John's basic pizza sauce. So, to this end, I measured out 28 ounces of the Tomato Magic tomatoes. As with my prior clone efforts, I pureed the tomatoes more finely using a stick blender and allowed the tomatoes to drain until what remained was roughly the consistency of the PJ pizza sauce as I remembered it. After draining, I was left with 671 grams (23.69 oz.) of pureed Tomato Magic tomatoes. As it turned out, that quantity was very close to the amount of ground tomatoes, 668 grams, that I used to make the 6-in-1 PJ clone sauce. I added the same ingredients to the pureed and drained Tomato Magic tomatoes as I used for the previous PJ sauce clones (the 6-in-1 and Wal-Mart versions). The final sauce formulation was as follows:

100%, Stanislaus Tomato Magic pureed tomatoes, 671 g. (23.69 oz.) (Note: the weight is after pureeing and draining)
3.212%, Sunflower oil, 4 3/4 t. (21.55 g.)
2.239%, Sugar, 4 t. (16 g.)
0.312%, Salt, 3/8 t. (2.09 g.)
0.161%, Dried Italian oregano, ground in a mortar and pestle, 1 1/8 t. (1.08 g.) (Note: the measurements are after grinding)
0.075%, Dried Italian basil, ground in a mortar and pestle, 5/8 t. (0.5 g.) (Note: the measurements are after grinding)
     -      Five grinds of fresh black pepper
0.224%, Garlic powder, 3/8 t. (1.5 g.)
0.149%, Olive oil (I used the Classico olive oil in the bottle with the yellow label), 1/4 t. (1 g.)

I have not yet had a chance to try the Tomato Magic clone sauce on a PJ clone pizza. However, from a taste standpoint, the Tomato Magic clone sauce seems quite close to the 6-in-1 version. I should also add that, in my opinion, the 6-in-1 and Tomato Magic versions are both better than the Wal-Mart version. I believe it is because of the fresh-pack tomatoes that both Escalon and Stanislaus use. However, in the absence of the Escalon and Stanislaus fresh-pack products, the (non-fresh-pack) Wal-Mart canned tomatoes will produce a reasonably good alternative.

There is still a taste component in the real PJ pizza sauce that I have not been able to capture in any of the three PJ clone sauces I have made to date. However, I am not sure that I could detect it in a real PJ pizza either. I will have to pay closer attention to the sauce in the next PJ pizza I buy from Papa John's to see if I can detect a difference in the sauces. To date, I haven't been able to detect a difference from the finished PJ pizzas themselves. I thought that perhaps the citric acid was the missing taste component, but it is not. It is something else, maybe another herb.

One of the things I have noted in the three PJ clone sauces that I think bears mentioning is that they freeze quite nicely--without significant release of water due to the effects of freezing on the cellular structure of the base tomatoes. I believe it is the addition of a fair amount of sugar or oil, or possibly both, that are responsible for the improved freezing characteristics. I recently used a previously-frozen 6-in-1 sauce with only seasonings and I found that I had to drain off a fair amount of water that remained after defrosting.

Peter


Offline jiminvegas

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Re: Reverse Engineering/Cloning Papa John's Pizza Sauce
« Reply #32 on: October 16, 2008, 03:58:44 AM »
The dippig sauce is a different recipe.. This comes from John Scnatter to my ears.. The original Pjs in indiana used to send sauce on the side in a container that was dipped per order..John found out that owners were pre dipping sauce containers and placing them in the walk in on trays.. the plastic in the contains had a negative effect on the taste after a day or so..so to prevent this he went to pre packaged to help maintain quality and consistancy

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Reverse Engineering/Cloning Papa John's Pizza Sauce
« Reply #33 on: January 16, 2009, 01:57:57 PM »
Recently I decided to make a fresh batch of Papa John’s clone pizza sauce using the 6-in-1 recipe posted at Reply 8 of this thread, at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,6633.msg57044.html#msg57044. As noted in that post, the amount of 6-in-1 tomato puree I used in that recipe was 668 grams. In order to reproduce that amount of puree for the latest batch of sauce, I decided to use a more technical approach, but still a simple one, than just going by feel (mainly consistency) and estimating the amount of liquid I would need to remove from a 28-ounce can of the 6-in-1 ground tomatoes.

I began by looking at the label on the can of 6-in-1s. According to that label, the net weight of the contents of the can is given as 794 grams. I realize that it is unlikely that the contents would weigh exactly 794 grams, due to normal variations in production can-filling processes, but I felt that that value would be close enough for my purposes. So, subtracting 668 grams from 794 grams told me that the amount of liquid I would have to remove from the can was 126 grams.

I then opened the can and scraped the tomatoes stuck to the inside of the lid back into the can. That way, I would have just about all of the ground tomatoes in the can. I then placed a one-cup Pyrex glass measuring cup on my scale and tared it out. A sieve with a fine mesh was then placed over the top of the measuring cup. The photo below shows the arrangement I used. As can be seen in the photo, the sieve is not a great deal larger than the top of the measuring cup. Using a common tablespoon, I then periodically lifted tomatoes from the can into the sieve, and stirred them to allow the liquid to drain into the measuring cup. From time to time, I would lift the sieve off of the measuring cup to check the weight of the liquid in the measuring cup. When that amount reached 126 grams, I stopped. I estimate that it took about a couple of minutes to complete the exercise. Notably, the amount of ground tomatoes that I lifted into the sieve did not exceed the capacity of the sieve. So, there was no need to empty the contents of the sieve at any time.

When I viewed the level of the liquid in the measuring cup after I was done, it was a bit shy of ˝ cup. That may turn out to be a useful measure that I can rely upon the next time I make another batch of sauce using the 6-in-1s. 

As it turned out, the actual weight of the ground tomatoes, after scraping some of it off of the sieve and removing as much of the rest as possible from the can, was 674 grams. After further pureeing the tomatoes with a stick immersion blender, and accounting for minor losses due to a small amount of tomatoes sticking to the blender, the final weight of the ground tomatoes was 668 grams—just the amount I needed.

Peter
« Last Edit: September 13, 2009, 01:57:53 PM by Pete-zza »

Offline Steve

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Re: Reverse Engineering/Cloning Papa John's Pizza Sauce
« Reply #34 on: January 16, 2009, 07:24:01 PM »
When I make a NY style pizza with 6 in 1 tomatoes, I just puree them in my blender (after I add the spices). Perfect consistency for NY style sauce (not watery at all).
« Last Edit: January 16, 2009, 07:29:54 PM by Steve »
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Offline Essen1

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Re: Reverse Engineering/Cloning Papa John's Pizza Sauce
« Reply #35 on: January 17, 2009, 03:31:50 PM »
Steve,

I agree. I usually use a boat motor for a few pulses after adding the spices and that's it.
Mike

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Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Reverse Engineering/Cloning Papa John's Pizza Sauce
« Reply #36 on: January 17, 2009, 03:57:25 PM »
Steve and Mike,

I was trying to replicate the consistency of the PJ sauce based on a sample that I got from one of the PJ shops. If I used the 6-in-1s as is right out of the can, the sauce would have been too watery.

Peter

Offline smarttowers

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Re: Reverse Engineering/Cloning Papa John's Pizza Sauce
« Reply #37 on: June 29, 2009, 06:37:14 PM »
Well I have whipped up a version of the WMGV sauce using the WMGV crushed tomato's in puree.
Quote
100%, 587 g. (20.71 oz.) WMGV puree
2.556%, Sunflower oil, about 3 1/4 t. (15 g.)
2.317%, Sugar, about 3 1/2 t. (13.6 g.)
0.35%, Salt, 3/8 t. (2.06 g.)
0.12%, Dried Italian oregano (ground in a mortar and pestle), about 1 1/8 t. (0.70 g.) (Note: the weight is after grinding)
0.069%, Dried Italian basil (ground in a mortar and pestle), about 3/8 t. (0.41 g.) (Note: the weight is after grinding)
   -      A couple of pinches of freshly ground black pepper
0.20%, Garlic powder, a bit less than 1 1/8 t. (1.17 g.)
0.172%, Olive oil, about 1/4 t. (1 g.)

Using those numbers I modified it to use the crushed tomato's.
This is what I came up with:

806g           Tomatos
20.60g   Sunflower oil   1T 1.55t
18.675g   sugar       1T 1.62t
2.821g    salt      .59t
.9672g    oregano      1 3/8t
.55614g      basil      1/2t
1.612g    garlic powder   1 3/8t
1.386g    Olive Oil   3/8t


I thought it was pretty strong on garlic before I put it in the fridge. Hoping that after the other spices have had time to meld better that it will tone the garlic flavor down some. Also didn't seem as sweet as I remember Papa John's sauce but again time will tell if the sugar will disperse better.

So Pete few questions when you made it did the garlic seem pretty strong?
Did the sweetness come out more after the sauce was cooked or when it had sat for awhile?

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Reverse Engineering/Cloning Papa John's Pizza Sauce
« Reply #38 on: June 29, 2009, 07:32:42 PM »
smarttowers,

My recollection is that it was the oregano--which I had dried from Sicilian oregano grown in my own garden--that I had to adjust in the various PJ sauces I tried to reverse engineer and clone, not the garlic powder or the sugar. As you can imagine, there are a lot of variables involved in trying to reverse engineer and clone a sauce. Our tastebuds are unlikely to be the same, and there can be variations among different brands of herbs, spices, garlic powders and the rest of the ingredients used in the sauce. The age and condition of the ingredients will also be a factor. Moreover, a freshly prepared sauce will taste different the next day after a period of refrigeration, and an uncooked sauce will taste different than the same sauce cooked on a pizza. Apart from the fact that the Escalon- and Stanislaus-based PJ clone sauces tasted better to me than the one using the WMGV, I could not detect major differences between the various sauces once they were cooked on the pizzas and buried under the cheeses and the toppings.

In your case, you should assess the results you get on the pizzas you make and use the results as a baseline to make adjustments in future batches of the sauce.

Peter

Offline Sonic98

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Re: Reverse Engineering/Cloning Papa John's Pizza Sauce
« Reply #39 on: November 10, 2010, 02:11:10 AM »
I tried your sauce clone, but every one thought it came out much too sweet. Did I use the wrong type of pure? It actually seemed a little on the sweet side right out of the can.