With the foregoing posts as background, I used the expanded dough calculating tool at http://www.pizzamaking.com/expanded_calculator.html
to come up with the following recommended PJ dough clone formulation, which, based on the results I achieved, I believe represents a good starting point to make a very good PJ clone dough and pizza:
Vegetable (Soybean) Oil (7.3%):
|354.44 g | 12.5 oz | 0.78 lbs|
200.26 g | 7.06 oz | 0.44 lbs
0.5 g | 0.02 oz | 0 lbs | 0.16 tsp | 0.05 tbsp
6.2 g | 0.22 oz | 0.01 lbs | 1.11 tsp | 0.37 tbsp
25.87 g | 0.91 oz | 0.06 lbs | 5.7 tsp | 1.9 tbsp
17.01 g | 0.6 oz | 0.04 lbs | 4.27 tsp | 1.42 tbsp
604.28 g | 21.31 oz | 1.33 lbs | TF = N/A
Note: Dough ball weight = 21 oz. (for a 14" pizza); a nominal thickness factor of 0.136419; bowl residue compensation = 1.5%
Before proceeding further, some comments are appropriate.
First, I used King Arthur bread flour (KABF)—only because I do not have any high-gluten flour on hand. Although a high-quality bread flour, like the KABF, is a very good choice based on my results using that flour, my recommendation to others is to consider using a high-gluten flour if it is available. Typically, a high-gluten flour has a protein content of around 14%, as compared with 12.7% for the KABF. Although it is not entirely clear what flour PJ’s is currently using (it is a proprietary blend), in the past it has used high-gluten flour to prepare its dough. Its current flour is described only as being a “high protein” flour (see, for example, http://www.uppereast.com/papajohns.html
For those who use the KABF and wish to supplement it with vital wheat gluten (VWG) to achieve an overall protein content comparable to a high-gluten flour, which is a method that I often use, I suggest that November’s Mixed Mass Percentage Calculator at http://foodsim.toastguard.com/
be used to determine the amount of VWG to use to achieve the targeted protein content of the blend. If I were to do this using the Hodgson Mill brand of VWG, the amount of KABF to use to achieve a targeted protein content of 14% is 12.20 oz. (345.83 g.), and the amount of VWG to use is 0.30 oz. (8.6 g.), or about 2.85 t. The comparable numbers for those using the Bob’s Red Mill brand of VWG are 12.24 oz. (347.04 g.) of KABF, and 0.26 oz. (7.39 g.), or 2.96 t., of VWG.
Second, the amount of IDY (instant dry yeast) used in the above formulation is quite small--equal to a bit less than 3/16 t., or just under three of the “pinch” measuring spoons for those who have mini-teaspoon sets such as shown, for example, at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,5583.msg47264.html#msg47264.
For those who do not have mini measuring spoons, using 1/8 t. plus almost half again should come pretty close.
Third, as noted in the above table, I used a bowl residue compensation factor of 1.5%, to compensate for minor dough losses during preparation of the dough. That number turned out to be a reliable number.
I elected to use a fairly simple method to prepare the dough. I started by adding the water (I used bottled spring water), at a temperature of 55 degrees F, to the mixer bowl of my basic KitchenAid stand mixer. I then added the salt and sugar to the water and stirred to fully dissolve, about one minute. The oil was then added to the mixer bowl, followed by all of the flour. (Normally, I would sift the flour to improve its hydration, but decided this time to skip that step to simplify the procedure.) I used the flat beater attachment to combine all of the ingredients in the mixer bowl, at stir/speed 1, for about a minute, or until the dough mass pulled away from the sides of the mixer bowl and collected around the flat beater. In my case, there was no raw flour left in the bowl. I then scraped the dough off of the flat beater (it was shaggy and on the sticky side) and switched to the C-hook attachment and kneaded the dough mass at stir speed, for about 2 minutes, or just until the dough gathered around the dough hook in a fairly cohesive, but still somewhat wet and sticky, mass.
At this point, I sprinkled the IDY over the dough mass in the mixer bowl. This is a step that I have used many times before to help prolong the useful life of a dough. For those who are interested, some of the theoretical and practical underpinnings of this step have been described in detail at this thread: http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,3985.0.html.
The dough was then kneaded for about 5-6 minutes at speed 2. The finished dough weighed 21.30 ounces, corresponding to a thickness factor of 0.13837 (or 0.13642 without the bowl residue factor), and had a temperature of around 78 degrees F, which was within the range of about 75-80 degrees F that I often use. After about a minute of hand shaping and rounding, the dough ball was lightly oiled and placed in an oiled 1-quart glass Pyrex bowl (*Note: see the 3/31/14 EDIT below), covered with the accompanying plastic lid, and placed in the refrigerator. To allow gases in the bowl to escape during fermentation while retaining the moisture of condensation, I had drilled a hole in the middle of the lid, the idea for which came to me from November (I believe that Bill/SFNM does the same).
The dough remained in the refrigerator for five days. During the first two days, there was little noticeable expansion of the dough. It is unlikely that the dough could have been used during that time, because of insufficient fermentation. On the third day, the dough started to expand, but slowly, and then appeared to level off in terms of its expansion. The dough was used after about five days, which was within the window of usability (3-8 days) that I believe applies to the dough balls used at PJ’s stores, as discussed in detail in Reply 1 in this thread. From the appearance and firmness of the dough to the touch, I believe that it could have lasted at least a couple days more, but at the risk of increased extensibility.
Upon removal from the refrigerator, the dough was allowed to warm up at room temperature (about 80 degrees F) for about an hour. In preparation for shaping and stretching the dough, I had made my own version of PJ’s Dustinator flour blend that is used by PJ’s pizza makers on the bench--both on and in the dough skins--when working with the dough balls to form skins, as well demonstrated in the YouTube videos referenced in Reply 1. To make a “clone” of the Dustinator flour blend, I used a combination of semolina flour, white flour (KABF in my case), and soybean oil (I worked a few drops into the flours). The first photo below shows the dough ball as it warmed up on my work surface. The flour blend shown is my Dustinator “clone”.
After I opened the dough ball to about 10”, in the same manner as noted in the videos, I used a dough docker (mine has blunt metal pins rather than plastic pins) but concluded that it was not really necessary. The dough was quite extensible as it was, and was easy to shape and stretch out to the desired final size of 14”. Because of the extensibility of the skin, I did not attempt to toss it in the air, as it is done at PJ’s. I simply draped the skin onto a 14” pizza screen. I made no attempt to form a rim for the pizza—only a tug here and there to fit the skin to the screen. This is the way I saw the workers at PJ’s do it (and also in the videos).
To dress the pizza for baking, I started with 5.5 ounces (by weight) of pizza sauce, which was spread to about 1 Ľ” of the edge of the pizza. The pizza sauce I used was a “clone” sauce based on Escalon’s 6-in-1 fresh-pack tomatoes (which is similar to the Stanislaus Tomato Magic product but without citric acid). The actual composition of the clone sauce is set forth in Reply 8 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,6633.msg57044.html#msg57044.
After saucing the pizza, I distributed 9 ounces (about two cups) of diced low-moisture, part-skim mozzarella cheese (Best Choice brand) over the pizza. Although I didn’t do it with the pizza shown below in this post, I suggest that the cheese be distributed across the entire pizza, including random parts of the rim. Any cheese that spills over the edge should then be retrieved and placed back on the pizza to maintain the weight of the cheese. This method ensures that some of the cheese covers the rim, as is done at PJ’s, and creates a mottled effect on the rim when the cheese bakes and browns. Had I used that approach, I think that the rim of my pizza would have more closely resembled the rims of the pizzas I bought from PJ’s.
I finished by placing 44 Hormel pepperoni slices over the entire pizza, in a pattern where the edges of the slices touched each other, as has been stated to be the proper procedure to be used at PJ’s. However, before placing the pepperoni slices on the pizza, I allowed the slices to “sweat” at room temperature for about a half hour to induce release of some of the fat. I then placed the slices between layers of paper towels and firmly pressed them together to absorb the released fat. By doing this, I removed about 6 grams of fat, reducing the weight of the pepperoni slices from 88 grams (3.10 oz.) to 82 grams (2.89 oz.). This simple measure had the effect of reducing the “oiling off” of the pepperoni slices on the baked pizza, which had been a problem I was experiencing before instituting the new measure. I hasten to add that this method may only work with a fairly high room temperature, which, in my case, was around 82 degrees F.
The dressed pizza was baked, on the 14” screen, on the lowest oven rack position, at around 500 degrees F (preheated for 15 minutes), for about 8-9 minutes, or until the bottom of the crust was browned. The remaining photos in this post show the finished pizza.
After the pizza was baked, I had the benefit of comparing it with a 14” pepperoni pizza that I had purchased from PJ’s. The overall appearances of the two pizzas were somewhat different--which I attributed mainly to the different ovens and bake protocols and the absence of cheese on the rim of my pizza--but the sizes of the pizzas were essentially identical. Similarly, the crust thicknesses at the rim and at the rest of the crust, and the texture (soft and tender, and fluffy in parts) and mouthfeel of the two pizzas were remarkably alike. Both pizzas also behaved the same upon coming out of the oven--with the slices being initially soft and flexible with drooping tips, and firming up only after being allowed to cool for several minutes.
As for differences, there was a slight difference in the two sauces, with mine having a slightly more noticeable oregano taste. The PJ crust also seemed to be slightly less sweet than mine. These differences suggest some possible experimentation or tweaking, for example, reducing the amount of oregano in future sauce batches or using a different variety of oregano (my dried oregano is an Italian variety and is potent and aromatic) and reducing the amount of sugar in the dough, for example, to something between 4% and the 4.8% I used.
Interestingly, when I did several side-by-side tests of reheated leftover slices of the two pizzas, I found them to be virtually indistinguishable. To eliminate as much of the subjective component as possible, I cut the slices into small bite-size pieces and shuffled them around on my plate, without looking. I then randomly picked them up off of the plate and ate them without examining them (I actually closed my eyes). I could not tell which pizza was which.
Some changes to the dough formulation that I hope to implement in future clones include sifting the flour (KABF or equivalent) to improve its hydration, and using vital wheat gluten (for texture and flavor purposes). I also plan to reduce the sugar to about 4-4.25%. I might also use a small amount of ascorbic acid (Vitamin C) as a dough conditioner for dough strengthening purposes. As best I can tell from information that was provided to me by PJ’s, it does the same thing.
EDIT (3/4/13): Replaced the Calculator link with the current link.
EDIT (3/31/14): Once the dough ball has been formed and placed in its storage container, one can use the poppy seed trick as described at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,6914.0.html
to monitor the volume expansion of the dough during the course of its fermentation.