One of the things that I discovered when attempting to reverse engineer a well known pizza, especially one that I have never eaten before, is that there is no clear benchmark. For example, when I did my research on Mack and M&M, the descriptors that I saw most frequently used to describe their pizzas were "thin" and "crispy" (followed by "oily", "too little sauce and cheese", and "expensive"). Their pizzas were said to "look" like a NY style but were not NY style pizzas, and they were not particularly "chewy". Some said that the pizzas were a cross between a NY style and a cracker style. I suppose that both descriptions can be correct. For example, a Mack's pizza right out of the oven will have slices that drip of oil and droop and can be folded and eaten like a NY style, as was noted in the YouTube video at
. But, when the pizza cools off, the crust, and especially the rim, can become more cracker like, with greater rigidity in the slices
When I looked at photos and videos of the Mack's and M&M pizzas, I saw pizzas that had crusts that were light in color and pizzas that had darker crusts, and also darker bottoms. Some of the pizzas had distinct rims but others were almost rimless. Some of the pizzas showed signs of long fermentation whereas others showed little or none. Maybe Mack's et al
have the same problems as we do with seemingly random, hard to explain blistering. Possibly some of the above factors can be explained away by noting that different pizza makers make the pizzas, in their own distinctive way, at different times of day, at different locations, and with oven temperatures that may vary based on ordering patterns and other factors. It's also possible that Mack's et al
have emergency dough versions of their regular doughs and that the ingredients used to make the pizzas vary over a period of time.
Like you, I noted certain parallels with the Trenton style as exemplified by the DeLorenzo's dough/pizza. Both use doughs that are quite extensible (see the DeLorenzo dough at the links referenced in Reply 155 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,7841.msg58419.html#msg58419
). It was reported several times at the DeLorenzo thread (at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,7841.0.html
) that the flour used by DeLorenzo's is all-purpose flour, although I don't recall that the skins were tossed. The sequence of placement of shredded mozzarella cheese and sauce used by DeLorenzo's to make a basic pizza is the same as used by Mack's et al
. The DeLorenzo pizzas are considerably smaller than those made at Mack's et al
, and they are cut family-style rather than the standard way. The cheeses and sauces are different also. DeLorenzo's uses deck ovens, but so did Mack's in the beginning (although the DeLorenzo ovens may run hotter). If I had to guess, the doughs made at Mack's et al
are more hydrated than the DeLorenzo's dough and the crusts are perhaps thicker. At the DeLorenzo's thread, it was repeatedly noted that the DeLorenzo crusts have a distinct cracker like quality and that the pieces can be held out straight without drooping.
Since you know what a Mack's pizza should look and taste like, at least as you recall their pizzas, it will be interesting to see what you come up with.