The photos below show the results of my latest effort to make a Mackís clone pizza. The major differences from the last effort were the following: 1) the dough ball weight was increased to 21 ounces, 2) the hydration was lowered to 55%, 3) the oil (I used olive oil this time) was increased to 5%, 4) the dough was used after 91 hours of cold fermentation (I extended this period by using ice cold water in making the dough), and 5) I used about 12 ounces of cheese and about 7 ounces of sauce.
As discussed more fully below, I also used a pre-bake as a way of depositing the cheese so that the cheese wouldnít overcook and break down. This method was used because I do not have a source of white cheddar cheese that can withstand temperatures above about 500-525 degrees F in my electric oven without breaking down and releasing excessive amounts of fat. The cheese that I used this time was actually a blend of shredded extra sharp white cheddar cheese, mild white cheddar cheese, and low-moisture part-skim (LMPS) mozzarella cheese. The mild white cheddar cheese and the LMPS mozzarella cheese were leftover cheeses and were only used, together with the extra sharp white cheddar cheese, to get a total weight of 12 ounces. The ratio of these cheeses was 39/35/26. The sauce was just a plain sauce that I defrosted from a previous sauce recipe. Again, since I donít have the correct sauce, I was more interested in the weight at this point.
The dough formulation prepared using the expanded dough calculating tool at http://www.pizzamaking.com/expanded_calculator.html
was as follows:
|KABF/VWG Blend* (100%):|
Olive Oil (5%):
|367.32 g | 12.96 oz | 0.81 lbs|
202.03 g | 7.13 oz | 0.45 lbs
0.73 g | 0.03 oz | 0 lbs | 0.24 tsp | 0.08 tbsp
7.35 g | 0.26 oz | 0.02 lbs | 1.32 tsp | 0.44 tbsp
18.37 g | 0.65 oz | 0.04 lbs | 4.08 tsp | 1.36 tbsp
5.51 g | 0.19 oz | 0.01 lbs | 1.38 tsp | 0.46 tbsp
601.3 g | 21.21 oz | 1.33 lbs | TF = N/A
* The KABF/VWG Blend comprises 356.71 grams (12.58 ounces) of King Arthur Bread flour and 10.61 grams (0.37 ounces) of Hodgson Mill vital wheat gluten (a bit more than 3 Ĺ t.), based on a total protein content of 14.2% and using the Mixed Mass Percentage Calculator at http://tools.foodsim.com/
Note: Dough is for a single 18Ē inch pizza; the corresponding nominal thickness factor = 0.08252; bowl residue compensation = 1%
The dough was prepared the same way as the recent Mackís clone doughs, using the combination of my Cuisinart 14-cup capacity food processor and basic KitchenAid stand mixer with the C-hook. Although the dough had more oil than the previous Mackís clone doughs, the color of the dough did not seem much yellower than the previous doughs. When time came to use the dough, it was tempered at room temperature for about 1 Ĺ hours. I found the dough ball easy to open and shape and stretch to 18Ē. It had a good balance of elasticity and extensibility although the skin did have a slight tendency to contract when I placed it onto my 18Ē pizza screen. However, I noted that the Mack's workers in the video at
also experienced that effect as well. Overall, I would say that the latest dough ball was the best of the ones I have made as part of this project from the standpoint of being able to work with it without it getting away from me or developing thin spots or other imperfections. It could be stretched easily and tossed.
The pizza was dressed in the same way as the previous Mack clone pizzas except that this time I divided the cheese blend into two portions. The first portion, which came to 5 ounces, was distributed on the skin as was done with my previous efforts. The pizza sauce was then swirled onto the pizza in a spiral pattern, using a squeeze bottle in the same manner as previously described. I then placed the pizza, on the 18Ē pizza screen, on the second from the top oven rack position of my oven. The oven, together with a 14Ē x 16Ē inch pizza stone on the lowest most oven rack position, had been preheated for an hour at about 500 degrees F. This was a bit lower oven temperature than I have been using because I wanted the pizza to bake more slowly and for a longer time so as to achieve a more crispy and cracker-like rim. The pizza on the upper rack position baked for about 4-5 minutes, or until the crust had set enough to allow me to remove the pizza off of the screen. However, rather than moving the partially-baked pizza directly onto the pizza stone, as I have done before, I removed the pizza entirely from the oven, quickly added the remaining cheese blend (7 ounces), and returned the pizza back to the oven and on top of the pizza stone. The pizza then baked for an additional 4 minutes or so, or until the rim of the pizza was browned and with the cheeses still intact (that is, not broken down).
I should note at this point that the method I used to bake the pizza was primarily to keep the cheeses from breaking down and excessively oiling off. If someone has a white cheddar cheese that can tolerate a 500 degrees F oven temperature or higher without breaking down and excessively oiling off, as appears to be the case with the white cheddar cheese that Norma has been using, it should be possible to put all of the cheese on the pizza as it is being dressed. Also, if one has a pizza stone that can handle an 18Ē pizza, it should be possible to bake the pizza on that stone without the need of a pizza screen and the two-step baking process that is necessary when using a pizza screen. As I have noted before, I have to use a pizza screen because my stone cannot handle an 18Ē pizza by itself.
Overall, the methods I used seem to work well. The finished pizza weighed 962 grams, or about 33.93 ounces. By contrast, the weight of the ingredients that went into the pizza before baking and after the pre-bake, was 1101 grams, or 38.84 ounces. That represented a loss during pre-baking and the final bake of 139 grams, or 4.90 ounces, or about 14.5%. These numbers suggest that my latest pizza was perhaps 1-2+ ounces too heavy, based on Normaís recent report that the par-baked pizza she purchased from Mackís was 34 ounces. To put the next iteration of the pizza on a diet, I think I might use slightly less sauce and maybe slightly less cheese, or possibly some other apportionment of these two items.
In terms of the finished characteristics of the pizza, I would say that the latest pizza seemed to capture the look and feel of an authentic Mackís pizza better than my previous versions. The crust evidenced blistering along with some large bubbles in the finished crust. The rim was fairly flat (I had intentionally flattened the rim of the unbaked skin) and stiffer and more cracker-like than my previous efforts. The slices themselves were fairly soft and floppy away from the rim, and foldable. The crust flavors were good. The total weight of the pizza seems to be close to the Mackís target, although I canít say whether the amounts of cheese and sauce are correct. As before, I still donít have any idea as to how close these characteristics match up with a real Mackís pizza. No doubt, having a better cheese and sauce would go a long way to improving my version of the Mackís pizza even if the dough is not the correct one. Norma or others familiar with the Mackís pizzas will have to sort out these issues.
The photos appear below.