Author Topic: NJ Boardwalk Pizza  (Read 174515 times)

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Offline dscoleri

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NJ Boardwalk Pizza
« on: August 11, 2009, 11:24:17 AM »
Hello everyone, I am an avid cook but just recently started experimenting with making my own pizza. This site has been invaluable to getting me started. I am posting because I am trying to find some help replicating the Pizza style found on the NJ Boardwalks. Specifically pizza made by "Macs" or "Mac and Manco's". I live in Philadelphia so I have tons of great pizza places near me but Macs pizza from the boardwalk is just something different. I have already figured out that they use a blend of cheese (mozzarella and white cheddar) It may sound odd but it gives there pizza a unique taste. I have been trying different things with the sauce with decent results but there pizzas are notoriously light on the sauce so I am not as concerned with that right now. My main issue is with the crust. It is definitely a thin and crispy crust, but I don't know that I would call it crackery and some of the thin crackery recipes I have tried actually seemed too thin. It is not doughy or chewy at all just thin and crispy. I was going to post this in the thin and crackery section but I wasn't positive about that. Anyway, I'm just really hoping there is someone on here from the area that has had Mac and Manco's pizza before. Maybe if someone here has had it before even if they can't help with the recipe they can post their thoughts on the pizza and maybe help me describe it a little better. I am going to attach some pictures of the pizza.


Offline Kemosa

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Re: NJ Boardwalk Pizza
« Reply #1 on: August 11, 2009, 08:17:39 PM »
dscoleri,

I hope you get some replies back on your post.  My family has a place on 7th St. and we frequently wait in line like the thousands of other beach goers in OC.  I think they have an awesome crust, but honestly they often times skimp out on the sauce and cheese.  I know their style is less sauce and cheese but sometimes it's to the extreme. 

I agree with you it's hard to describe the crust.  I would say you are correct in that it's not NY style nor is it Cracker Crust Style.  It's a very thin crisp crust.  Not foldable NY Style, although it looks like NY style appearance wise.


Offline dscoleri

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Re: NJ Boardwalk Pizza
« Reply #2 on: August 11, 2009, 09:53:03 PM »
Yes you are exactly right about the crust, that's why I am having so much trouble! The picture above is deceptive, Mack and Manco's put the sauce on over the cheese so it may look like a lot of sauce but whatever you see on the surface is basically it. Also that pizza in the picture does look like it is heavy on the sauce for a Macks pizza. Anyway my family has a place at the south end of the island near 55th street and I have been eating this pizza my whole life, the biggest key is the crust so I really hope someone has some ideas, in the mean time I will keep on experimenting and post back if I make any breakthroughs.

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: NJ Boardwalk Pizza
« Reply #3 on: August 11, 2009, 10:51:53 PM »
dscoleri,

The oven shown at the Mack & Manco website at http://www.mackandmancos.com/ is a RotoFlex revolving oven (http://www.rotoflexoven.com/EXPAGES/gallery.asp). That oven has rotating metal shelves on which the pizzas are baked, although the RotoFlex ovens are sometimes modified to use stone baking surfaces. The temperatures used by RotoFlex ovens are pretty standard, maybe around 450-500 degrees F. You can actually see the RotoFlex logo on the M&M oven better in this photo: http://media-cdn.tripadvisor.com/media/photo-s/01/31/05/8f/ocean-city.jpg.

I have never been to M&M and I have never had their pizzas but, from what I have read from some quick research, they pre-bake the dough skins with just the cheese (apparently a mozzarella/white Cheddar blend that is put down first) and sauce (deposited by a hose on top of the cheese blend). Then the toppings are placed onto the pizza and finished baking in the oven. The pre-baking of the crusts should ensure that the crust is chewy, crispy and possibly crackery in places. The second pass of the pizza through the oven will also extend the total bake time and contribute to the crispy and crackery character of the finished crust. From the photos at http://media.photobucket.com/image/mack%20%252526%20manco/chrisoc_2008/100_0131.jpg and http://image53.webshots.com/153/2/2/88/412620288CbQEkg_fs.jpg, it looks like the crust has some blistering, which can suggest a fairly long fermentation.

From the YouTube videos at
<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W1VqTOgJKM0&amp;NR=1" target="_blank" class="aeva_link bbc_link new_win">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W1VqTOgJKM0&amp;NR=1</a>
and
<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6V-5wPLdHwI&amp;feature=related" target="_blank" class="aeva_link bbc_link new_win">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6V-5wPLdHwI&amp;feature=related</a>
, I would guess that the hydration is fairly high (but under 60%) and that the dough contains some oil and possibly sugar. From the top crust color, I would guess all-purpose flour. I tried to recall a pizza that I have made that is essentially a cross between a NY style and a cracker style, and the one that seems to best fit that profile is the one described and shown at Reply 119 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,5762.msg50909.html#msg50909. That pizza was inspired by member Jackitup's pizza as described in a series of posts starting at Reply 107 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,5762.msg50791.html#msg50791. A thinner and larger (maybe 16") version of those pizzas, with a lower hydration, might be a useful starting point to clone the Mack & Manco dough/pizza. It should also be possible to use a peel and to dispense with the docking. If you can determine whether Mack & Manco's refrigerates their dough, that would be an important clue.

Good luck.

Peter

Offline norma427

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Re: NJ Boardwalk Pizza
« Reply #4 on: August 11, 2009, 11:25:33 PM »
dscoleri,
I would be interested in knowing how they make their dough, pizza sauce, and what kind of cheeses they use, too.  I used to vacation in Wildwood, New Jersey for many years and always enjoyed their pizza.  If anyone else knows something about how Mack's makes their pizza it would be interesting. Thanks Peter for the information you found out. As I recall it was always called Mack's.  Its that true?
Norma
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Offline dscoleri

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Re: NJ Boardwalk Pizza
« Reply #5 on: August 11, 2009, 11:28:43 PM »
The last time I ate there I sat at the bar and tried to watch the whole process (they make the pizza in front of you). You are pretty dead on with everything. The oven had a digital display and they were set to 500 degrees. You are right about the blistering, that is common for M&M pizza. Also since these are cooked on metal shelves I assume my best bet would be to use a cutter pan not a stone correct? So far with all my attempts I have use a cutter pan.

Anyway the pictures and description of the pizza you made look promising. I am going to give that a shot. You mentioned trying a lower hydration, what do you think would a good starting point? 50% or lower like 30-40? I am going to do a little more sleuthing and try to find out if they refrigerate the dough or not.

I just wanted to say I have been lurking around the message boards for a while now. I usually like to try to search and find things on my own before I start asking for help. I really have to admit I wasn't expecting responses so soon or so thorough. This site really is a great resource and I really appreciate the help with trying to figure this out. I will report back with my results.

Dennis

Offline dscoleri

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Re: NJ Boardwalk Pizza
« Reply #6 on: August 11, 2009, 11:45:51 PM »
Norma,

The place in Wildwood is called Macks, the places in OC are called Mack and Manco's. From what I hear they are all owned by the same family and although I have never eaten at the one in Wildwood, supposedly they are the same. If you are going to try this the only thing I know for sure so far is that the cheese definitely has white cheddar in it. I have heard that they use all white cheddar and I have heard that they use a blend. My first attempt I tried a blend of about 50/50 sharp white cheddar and mozzarella. While it was cooking you could smell it and it definitely had that Mack's smell, but I felt like the white cheddar taste was too sharp. I bought a decent size block of the sharp white cheddar so I am using that up before trying it with mild white cheddar. Honestly I was intending to use mild white from the beginning but I must have grabbed the wrong one before I checked out. Even though the cheddar I am using is too sharp the cheese tastes so close to macks that it is unbelievable. I haven't spent too much time on the sauce but what I do know is that the sauce they use is very thin compared to anything I have tried so far. I think the cheese and the crust really give this pizza most of its memorable taste so I have really been focusing on that stuff before working on the sauce too much. It seems like I am not the only one interested in Mack and Mancos pizza so I will keep everyone posted as I try different things, and if anyone else has any suggestions I am all ears.

Dennis

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: NJ Boardwalk Pizza
« Reply #7 on: August 12, 2009, 12:03:46 AM »
Dennis,

If M&M is baking on the metal RotoFlex shelves, I think I would use the cutter pan. If M&M is baking on a retrofitted RotoFlex with stones, I think I would use a pizza stone. One of the reasons why I suspected the use of sugar in the dough is because I saw a photo of the bottom of an M&M slice that was quite dark, which could occur with either a metal baking surface or a stone surface. An all-purpose flour dough without sugar tends to bake up quite light when normal bake times are used.

For hydration, I was thinking something like 55% and maybe a bit higher, mainly because a dough skin at that hydration should be capable of being tossed, as is apparently done for show in the M&M shops. I think I would use a thickness factor of around 0.085 as a starting point and shoot for a 16" size if that is about what M&M makes.

Peter

Offline norma427

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Re: NJ Boardwalk Pizza
« Reply #8 on: August 12, 2009, 12:37:01 AM »
dscoleri,
I will keep watching this post and see what your results are and what Peter has found out about their pizzas.  I would be very interested in finding out how to make this pizza. 
As I remember the cheese was very greasy and had a unique taste like you said.  I also remember watching them use a tube to put the sauce on.  Years ago when I was younger, I thought I remembered  Mack's baking in a deck oven.  The taste of the pizza always stayed the same.  The last time I was there, which was about 5 years ago, I remembered watching them baking in the kind of oven you and Peter are talking about. 
Norma
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Offline norma427

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Re: NJ Boardwalk Pizza
« Reply #9 on: August 12, 2009, 09:59:49 AM »
dscoleri and Peter,
From what dscoleri is telling me, Mack's in Wildwood and Mack and Manco's are owned by the same family.  Here is a link I found interesting about Mack's in Wildwood.  It isn't their website, but shows if you look under fun things to do at Wildwood a place to click on Mack's Pizza and their whole history with many pages with lots of pictures. 
www.funchase.com/Images/Macks/MacksPizzaPg1.htm
Norma
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Offline DavePZ

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Re: NJ Boardwalk Pizza
« Reply #10 on: April 14, 2010, 04:47:16 PM »
Fellow Pizza Fanatics -

I'm a huge Manco's fan, and I've been checking every few month to see if anyone has made progress on a Recipe.

Anyone have any luck with a complete recipe for a cheese pie from Mack and Manco's?

Thanks!

Offline norma427

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Re: NJ Boardwalk Pizza
« Reply #11 on: April 14, 2010, 08:20:17 PM »
Fellow Pizza Fanatics -

I'm a huge Manco's fan, and I've been checking every few month to see if anyone has made progress on a Recipe.

Anyone have any luck with a complete recipe for a cheese pie from Mack and Manco's?

Thanks!



DavePZm,

I still would like to be able to replicate this kind of pizza.  I haven't done much research on how it might be made.  I just read over the posts in this thread today and might try to find a formula that could work for a pizza like this.  I have eaten Mack's pizza many times and still remember how it tastes.  While reading over this today, I see that the cheese might be white cheddar and mozzarella.  I have some experience with those two cheeses, now.

I also was looking over a old post I did when I first started making pizza.  That crust reminded me of the lower hydration in the dough then and also the lower bake temperatures I was using. http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,8341.msg74714.html#msg74714  See if you think this old crust I was making looks anything like the pizza. Years ago, I remember Mack's making the pizza in a deck oven. 

I might try out a lower hydration dough than I am using now and also combine the white cheddar and mozzarella to test how the final pizza turns out.

Norma
« Last Edit: April 17, 2010, 10:16:06 AM by norma427 »
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Offline norma427

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Re: NJ Boardwalk Pizza
« Reply #12 on: April 16, 2010, 07:59:37 AM »
Does anyone have any ideas of what hydration this dough might be?  This pizza isnít like a cracker-crust.  The Mackís pizza is more like a NY Style pizza.  As can be seen in this video the dough can be stretched and there no bubbles in the dough.  There isnít much oven spring and the bottom of the pizza is a nice brown color.  The rim is somewhat flat.  The dough can be twirled.
Another thing that can be seen in this video is they first put cheese on the dough, then sauce and cheese, again.

Mackís
<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bs4h5Gr_GKc" target="_blank" class="aeva_link bbc_link new_win">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bs4h5Gr_GKc</a>



The Mack and Marco in Ocean City is about the same as Mackís pizza.  The bottom isnít charred.  This is the same video that Peter posted to compare with the Mackís pizza.
Mack and Marco
<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6V-5wPLdHwI" target="_blank" class="aeva_link bbc_link new_win">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6V-5wPLdHwI</a>


Norma
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Offline scott r

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Re: NJ Boardwalk Pizza
« Reply #13 on: April 16, 2010, 10:54:27 AM »
Norma, there are definitely some clues in these videos.

First off, that is a VERY long mixed dough, and definitely made with high gluten flour.  Its incredible smoothness and elasticity (ability to withstand the throwing) combined with the ease at which it was pulled out tells us that it is probably somewhere around 60-61% hydration and possibly a mix as long as 25 minutes in a fully loaded hobart planetary mixer.   You will notice that the dough has a yellow color to it, which tells us that it has a good amount of oil in it when you consider that with a mix long enough to get this amount of smoothness/elasticity you are typically going to see a very white dough due to the amount of oxidation.  My guess is that the oil amount is probably 2-3%, but it could even be higher.    The lack of bubbles and voids tells us that it is almost certainly a cold fermented dough with minimal expansion in the fridge.  That indicates that is probably left in the cooler for a good number of days.   From the looks of things I would guess somewhere around .2%  yeast fermented for five days going right into the fridge after mixing/balling should get you close.   The flatness in the rim can be attributed partially to the way the edge of the skin is fully pressed down during the early puck forming stages in shaping.   Looks to be about a 675-700 gram dough ball if those are 18 inch pizzas.   

I have a friend that worked there for a few years.   I called him to get any advice from him that I could, but the only useful info I could get was that the cheese is definitely mild white cheddar.  He remembered having to unload boxes of it from the truck into the cooler, and said that it was stamped with "made in wisconsin".    He was somewhat surprised when I told him that they may be mixing in mozzarella, and said that he didn't remember using another type of cheese.   The flour bag he remembers had red lettering on it, and that could indicate that they were using a bromated all trumps flour.  From the looks of the sauce, I have a feeling it is a thinned down paste product like bonta or saporito, but it could also be a ready to use smooth product like full red. 

Good luck norma, and I hope I have helped in some way! 
« Last Edit: April 16, 2010, 11:16:18 AM by scott r »

Offline norma427

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Re: NJ Boardwalk Pizza
« Reply #14 on: April 16, 2010, 11:19:45 AM »
scott r,

Wow..thanks for all the information you can tell from watching the video.  It is interesting that you can tell it is a very long mixed dough, about 60% hydration, has a good amount of oil added,  and certainly a cold ferment dough.  I could mix this dough in my Hobart mixer.

I also thought about how the rim gets pressed down and then maybe the crust doesnít have the rise that it could. 

I have access to mild white cheddar from Wisconsin, so I will start with this and then maybe on another crust, try a blend of white cheddar and low moisture whole milk mozzarella cheese. 

Thank you for contacting your friend for information.  I donít have any All Trumps right now, but will try Kyrol and then if needed I will purchase a bag of All Trumps. 

I can try to figure out the sauce when trying to recreate the Mackís pizza.  I have access to the different kinds of sauces you mentioned.

I did email a person on a fishing forum in Wildwood Crest that goes to Mackís regularly and he said he wasnít sure of the flour, but would ask.  Maybe I will be able to get more information.  I also wrote to a person on Facebook that had created a Facebook page for Mackís.  He is just a fan, but loves Mackís pizza also. I found out he lives close to me, so maybe he could be my taste tester.

I ate Mackís pizza for many years and always enjoyed the greasy pizza. 

Thanks for saying good luck and I will let you know if I find out any other information.

I appreciate all the information you have given me.

Norma
« Last Edit: April 16, 2010, 11:21:43 AM by norma427 »
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Offline Pete-zza

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Re: NJ Boardwalk Pizza
« Reply #15 on: April 16, 2010, 02:52:22 PM »
Norma,

I read your earlier post this morning, before scott r posted, and I viewed the YouTube video you referenced. That was a video I had not seen before but it was clear that it showed much better, and in greater detail, the way the Manco's pizzas are made. I viewed the video before going back to see what I had written on this subject before, so that I would not bring any preconceived notions to the video you referenced. As I watched the video, I tried to guess the type of flour, the hydration, whether there was any oil in the dough, and a possible thickness factor. You may find this hard to believe, but I guessed high gluten flour, a hydration of 60-61% and 2-3% oil, and possibly even more. The crust seemed to be quite thin, so I guessed a thickness factor of around 0.09. It appeared that there were a couple different pizza sizes in the video but I couldn't tell whether the larger size was 16" or 18". At 0.09 thickness factor, a dough ball for a 16" pizza would weigh 513 grams, and for a 18" pizza, about 650 grams. I tried to find a menu with pizza sizes, but did not find any pizza sizes listed.

When I went back to what I had written before, I noted that the description of the M&M pizza was one that had a thin and crispy--but not chewy or crackery--crust and an overall appearance that most closely resembled a NY style. This, along with what appeared to be a light top crust color from the photos I examined, and the statement that the crust was not chewy, led me to believe that M&M was possibly using an all-purpose flour instead of a stronger flour, such as a high-gluten flour. The blistering of one of the crusts I saw in a photo led me to believe that the dough had undergone a fairly long fermentation. I speculated on the use of sugar in the dough based on the darkened bottom crust I saw in one of the videos I had viewed.

I had also mentioned before that I had learned from my research that the M&M crusts were prebaked. That clearly was not the case with the cheese pizzas shown in the video you referenced. Maybe they use that approach for some of their specialty pizzas with a lot more toppings. Or maybe that method is used at the M&M location.

I'll be curious what additional information you can round up on the Mack's or M&M pizza.

Peter

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: NJ Boardwalk Pizza
« Reply #16 on: April 16, 2010, 03:28:59 PM »
Norma,

After my last post, I tried to find where I had learned that the M&M crusts were prebaked. It is at http://www.mackandmancopizzatoo.com/piemen.asp.

Peter

Offline norma427

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Re: NJ Boardwalk Pizza
« Reply #17 on: April 16, 2010, 05:04:33 PM »
Peter,

I want to thank you and scott r for taking the time to go over these posts and finding additional information on the Mack and Marco and Mackís pizzas. 

I do not find it hard to believe that they might be using a high gluten flour.  When I used All Trumps the pies I made reminded me of their crusts.  Also when first using the All Trumps I used an oven temperature of around 500 degrees F and had a crust that was brown, something like theirs.  I since have my oven temperature higher and now have some char on my crusts.  I never remembered the pies going back into the oven, but then I didnít pay as much attention to how they made their pies.

I would like to be able to figure out how to produce a pizza like Mackís.  I donít I want to sell that type of pie at market, because I am satisfied with my current formula.  It would be more of a nogstaglic thing with me, bringing back the memories of their pies that I ate for many years.  The last time I was at Mackís was about five years ago.  We were at Wildwood for a weeks vacation.  I just talked to my mother today and she always loved the Mackís pizza, also.  Also I would like to be able to get as close as I could, so anyone could make this kind of pizza.  It might take a lot of investigation to be able to produce something like their pie. 

When I wrote the man on Facebook whether he knew anything about Mackís pizza, he said that he just went down to Mackís last year, just to be able to eat their pizzas.  I since have exchanged writings with him and told him about pizzamaking.com and he said pizza is also his weakness and he is going to look on this forum over the weekend.  Maybe he can enlighten us more.  I found out he lives close to me, so as I have said before, he might be a good taste tester. I will await for another email from the fisherman that meets at Mackís regularly.   

I will probably try 5 test dough balls, like I usually do, when I get this figured out about what kind of formula to try. 

I think, but am not sure there is a pizza place in Philadelphia that is called Joey Mackís and he is a relative of Mackís or somehow got their recipe. I had to do more searching on this.  It seems he started his own spinoff pizza business and by what I have read so far, his pizza is something like Mackís.

http://www.yelp.com/biz/joey-macks-boardwalk-pizza-philadelphia

http://macsboardwalkpizza.com/default.aspx

As I remember Mackís pizzas, I think they are 18".  The crust is not crispy to my recollection.  It is something like a NY style, but not as foldable as some are.  I believe you are right on the longer fermentation and maybe having to use sugar in the formula.  Your other ideas sound good.

I will search some more to see what I can find.  Maybe next week I will do some test dough balls.

Thanks for going over all the information,

Norma
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Offline norma427

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Re: NJ Boardwalk Pizza
« Reply #18 on: April 16, 2010, 09:27:10 PM »
I found a couple more things about Mackís, and Mack and Marco. There is a Mackís in Sea Isle City and Stone Harbor, too.  Itís  tough to find out information about these pizza places.

History of Mack and Marco

http://www.mackandmancopizzatoo.com/history.asp

Mackís in Stone Harbor NJ - if you click under menu it says 18"- menu

http://mackspizzaofstoneharbor.com/MacksPizza/HISTORY.html

Two pictures of Mackís pizza.

Do you think I should start out with High-Gluten or AP flour to start?  I am more inclined to think it is high-gluten flour. Any opinions are appreciated.

Norma
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Offline Pete-zza

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Re: NJ Boardwalk Pizza
« Reply #19 on: April 16, 2010, 10:04:20 PM »
Norma,

scott r really knows his business so I would start with high-gluten flour. As I mentioned earlier, that is also what I guessed when I first saw the video you referenced. A couple of photos that prompted me to wonder whether a weaker flour such as all-purpose flour was used are the photos at http://lisetta.files.wordpress.com/2009/05/img_2150.jpg and http://photos.igougo.com/images/p290718-Wildwood_NJ-Macks_Pizza.jpg. However, it is possible that the pizzas intended to be sold as slices are not fully baked and are reheated (finished baking) as slice orders are placed. Also, if the dough is fermented for as long as scott r mentioned, and assuming no sugar is added to the dough, then the finished crust can still be light, even with high-gluten flour, because of low residual sugar levels. Of course, the oven and oven temperature and bake time will have their own impact on crust coloration. It was noted previously that M&M operated their oven at 500 degrees F (according to the oven display).

Have you decided on a pizza size and dough ball weight to experiment with and will you be baking the pizzas at market?

Peter