Are there ways to play around with the flavor of the crust?
Ie using honey or brown sugar instead of sugar.
If I did that would it make a difference in taste and would I need to change any part of the formulation aside from using the honey/brown sugar?
Although Papa John's does not add flavorings to its dough, sometimes members complain that the PJ clone crusts are too bland. To answer your question, yes, it is possible to use honey or brown sugar instead of ordinary table sugar (sucrose). Most retail brown sugars, in particular, are really processed sucrose with a bit of molasses. Honey has some advantages over sucrose in that it has natural sugars that can be used as food by the yeast fairly quickly, whereas it can take some time to break down table sugar into the forms of sugars that yeast like. I have tried using honey in the PJ clone doughs but only to make "emergency" type doughs. See, for example, Reply 52 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,6758.msg66312.html#msg66312
, Reply 107 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,6758.msg80757.html#msg80757
, and Reply 172 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,6758.msg96745/topicseen.html#msg96745
. I have not made non-emergency PJ clone doughs with honey, but I do not see any reason why you can't replace at least some of the sugar with honey.
Molasses also adds a nice flavor, and also some color, to a finished crust, but if that is a flavor that has special appeal to you, I would rather try out a Mellow Mushroom style of pizza. There is an entire thread on that style at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,3940.msg32937.html#msg32937
. That thread has only 93 pages and 1850 posts (as of this date)
It is also possible to add garlic powder, or onion powder, or even a combination of both powders, to the dough. However, as discussed at Reply 8 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,8566.msg74341/topicseen.html#msg74341
, you have to be careful as to how much to use. Of course, you would not want to use these powders for a dessert style pizza such as shown in Reply 172 referenced above.
For other crust flavors, and especially topical flavorings that can be applied to the rims of pizzas, you might check out a Hungry Howie's website for some ideas. I did that this morning, and I saw the following ingredients lists for the Hungry Howie Flavored Crust Ingredients, from which you might glean some ideas (you can perhaps safely ignore a lot of the strange sounding chemical ingredients or find a commercial version of a particular flavor product of interest):1.Ranch
Salt, buttermilk powder, whey, dehydrated onion & garlic, dehydrated tomato powder, monosodium glutamate, sodium diacetate, butter powder, natural cheddar cheese flavor, natural cream flavor, sugar, non fat dry milk, parsley flakes, black pepper, natural and artificial sour cream flavor, ground nutmeg.
Maltodextrin, salt, dehydrated onion, butter powder, dehydrated garlic, natural onion flavor, poppy seed, parsley flakes, silicon disoxide, whole oregano & basil.
Maltodextrin, salt, dehydrated garlic, butter powder, dehydrated onion, parsley flakes, whole oregano & basil, garlic extractive, silicon dioxide, turmeric & paprika extractive.
Salt, dehydrated onion, maltodextrin, dehydrated garlic, paprika, whole thyme, crushed red pepper, whole basil & Oregano, ground red pepper, paprika & capsicum extractives, silicon dioxide.
5.Sugar & Cinnamon Blend
Sugar, ground cinnamon, soybean oil
Partially hydrogenated soybean oil, salt, natural and artificial flavors, beta carotene (color), TBHQ and citric acid added to protect flavor, dimethylpolysiloxane, an anti-foaming agent added.]
Jet's Pizza also offers flavored crusts but does not provide related ingredients lists. However, you can get some general ideas here:http://jetspizza.com/menu/category/3
Finally, if you don't mind reading, you might check out this PMQ Think Tank thread on increasing the flavor of dough: http://thinktank.pmq.com/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=4231&hilit=
. I believe that it is one of the most viewed threads that has ever been posted on the PMQTT.