Thanks for helping. I think and hope many folks will benefit.
Sorry for delay. Its either me or my computer but this is the first time I have seen Peter's last message. I'm on my son's now. His is more updated
You make better sense than me (of course) when you say its probably not one thing but many things together to get the crust. Reality rings true when one hears it, if he's listening.
Before I get to questions, I went to a brand new Jets location tonight and their crust was not as crunchy as the other location even though, like mine, it looked the same - the golden fried crisp look. It looked like they cooked it less time ( they told me they cooked it for 8 min. 40 secs.); or, I noticed their ovens were down to 450 deg - if that helps as a guide in any way. ( mine just gets burnt if I cook it longer for the purpose to get the crunch harder. This should tell us something too) i.e., Mine goes past the right (looking ) crunch, to burnt without passing into a hard crunch stage. I don't know if cooking it lower and slower would change the crunch but I don't think so. Fast or slow, it passes thru the crunch stage - Jets is a hard crunch - mine is a soft one. ( It hasn't been difficult to get the cheese and the bottom to coordinate except when cooking it lower and slower.) I did notice that one location started out with a harder crunch, then went to a lesser one as the hardest one was a little burnt (too hard). In any event, they can adjust this crunch and therefor the hardness stage; whereas mine is not adjustable. It goes from golden to burnt with no stages and no hard crunch. But they have a range and can count on theirs and play around with it.
I'll try to find out some answers to your questions. For present, I don't know many of them viz:
I don't know the ingredients in dough except what Jet's allergy list is. They list wheat and barley and no milk products. They list only corn oil.
Their video claims they get their flour special made for them. Looks like they send it out to their stores under their name though ( keeping it secret?). So, don't know original supplier. None of the employees I've talked to know whats in it.
Their sauce spices comes the same way from Jets too. Its not any thicker than normal etc. and it tastes just like tomato sauce you would get at the grocery with garlic, oregano and basil in it (not too heavy on spices.) They are keeping spices a secret too looks like. They call it Jet fuel. It looks brown. I do think the plentiful sauce helps give them the thick top layer of uncooked dough. They definitely have that; and, the cooked layer is very spongy and chewy also - High gluten? Their dough is very white so I guess they use bleached flour? Looks like most high gluten comes unbleached?
Their video claims they get the cheese direct from farm with "contented cows" that sit in barn and listen to opera music all day....OK....
One franchise owner said the cheese is top of the line costing them some extra bucks. Don't know any more yet.
The U-Tube critique video was exactly a correct version of the Jets I'm speaking of. The bottom crust was just what they look like and you can tell its extra hard with large chunks of crust which stick together and resist the bite. They all do have bubble spots that don't get fried, so its contact with the pan that does it. Mine looks like this, but the resistant crunch ( and chewiness) is not there)
I have looked for equipment utilized. They have large stainless table in back, but have not seen a dough rolling or proofing equipment. I see Middleby conveyor; large fridge; Hobart mixer and the big table and a couple of things I don't know what they are. I know they mix the dough on site each day from the flour that the main office sends them. I saw one guy hand tossing their round ones. They use screens on round ones.
Don't know if they use instant or active yeast yet. One employee told me they form the dough in multiple pans in advance by hand then refrigerate till time to bake. I have tried letting dough rise then pushing it down, then putting in pans to rise again some - Didn't work for me, so I guess they let it rise in pans - I have to do it this way so far, but it looks just like theirs when done???
I will definitely ask them next time if they will sell me a dough ball. Would love to have that. I figured they would shoot me or something.
I don't know their dough weights or ingredient weights. I just went by the approx size of their dough balls in their video (a guess) The video has them pushing the dough down in the pans in the middle a little right before they put the toppings on. And their edges gradually rise up thicker as if it rose in pans - at least some. The middle is not that thick. This is what I am getting when I let mine rise in pan and push it down using the same size ball as them.
Mine is not too sophisticated to put it mildly (rank beginning beginner beginning to begin). I got it from the reported "Pizza Hut" recipe that has the same crunch as Jets, but just on bottom edges) I use about two and quarter teaspoons active yeast and proof it ( have tried no proof "pizza"yeast from store in packages) I use about a cup of warm water (guess around 110) Two tablespoons of corn oil; 1/2 teaspoon of salt
(then shake little more in) two tablespoons of sugar. (I have not adjusted for anything in the proofing) I have tried all purpose and bread flour. Bread does some better. Tried cornmeal - didn't work. I do about three cups of flour, but it varies down to maybe two and half cups. I usually don't have to add any more flour to remove the stickiness. It is usually gets dry to the touch to knead. I hand knead for ten minutes. Roll it out to just over size of pan. Cut it to fit pan. I'm guessing its about 1/8 " thick - little thicker on edges. Put oil in pan. spread. Put dough in pan push to edges and let it rise in pan for several hours in oven (off) with pan of hot water in there. Have not tried refrigerator rise (few tries at it didn't work for me yet) Punch it down in middle and put on sauce and cheese to edge for burnt top edge. Cook at 500 deg for 8 min. (9 is too long) ( have tried down to 450 for little longer.) (electric home oven.) Tried middle and lower rack. ( as said, I'm passing into the fried crunch stage - its just not crunchy though) Have tried varying amounts of corn oil in bottom and sides of pan. Up to 3oz for a 9X12 pan down to just covering the bottom. Only know to now try high gluten and semolina from King Arthur's??? and get a thicker pan; Or adjust water. I see Lloyd Ind. has raised holes to keep the oil in and let the moisture out??? Jets has no holes though.
My pan (that I had already) is stamped steel or metal. It is 9 X12 but its thin (I did get it level on bottom)
Jet's sizes are approx 9 by 9 for small; 9 by 12 to 13 for large; (the extra large I don't know, but as mentioned, the extra large begins to lose the hard crunch in the middle; so,l they DO have limits in size vs crunch. (this should tell us something?)
I have a friend who will let me use his digital scale.
My result is NOT as chewy. Less uncooked layer. The cooked layer is more bread like. And, as said, my crunch is there in appearance, but in resistance its too soft and flakes into tiny particles too easily (and none in middle), not hard like Jets.
When cooked, Jet's crust rises gradually from about an inch from the edge up to about 3/4" at the edge and is fairly thin in the middle - about 1/4" to 3/8".
What they got is very chewy; very crunchy; burnt cheese top edge.
I will try to get these answers ASAP. I might have to go in and ask one or two questions at a time. They get hush hush real quickly.