Author Topic: Making Costco Pizza Dough (Lamonica's)  (Read 25722 times)

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Offline Essen1

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Re: Making Costco Pizza Dough (Lamonica's)
« Reply #20 on: October 29, 2009, 06:23:17 PM »
Quote
At the retail level, I found this pizza sauce product, sold only under the Contadina brand: http://www.contadina.com/products/pizza-sauce-original.aspx.

Peter,

I have seen the Contadina brand at numerous Safeways here in California, in the cans as well as in the squeeze bottles. I have never tried it, though.
Mike

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Online Pete-zza

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Re: Making Costco Pizza Dough (Lamonica's)
« Reply #21 on: October 30, 2009, 02:37:48 PM »
Mike,

I did some more research and found more detailed ingredients listings for the Del Monte Contadina foodservice pizza sauces. I modified my last reply to incorporate the new information. As I noted in that reply, the retail pizza sauce is not exactly the same as the foodservice pizza sauces. However, I do think that it should be possible based on current information to come up with a clone Del Monte Contadina foodservice pizza sauce if someone deems that preferable to the Contadina retail product.

Peter

Offline Essen1

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Re: Making Costco Pizza Dough (Lamonica's)
« Reply #22 on: October 30, 2009, 06:13:19 PM »
Mike,

I did some more research and found more detailed ingredients listings for the Del Monte Contadina foodservice pizza sauces. I modified my last reply to incorporate the new information. As I noted in that reply, the retail pizza sauce is not exactly the same as the foodservice pizza sauces. However, I do think that it should be possible based on current information to come up with a clone Del Monte Contadina foodservice pizza sauce if someone deems that preferable to the Contadina retail product.

Peter

Peter,

Just for the fun of it, I'll try a can of Contadina sauce next week on one of my pies. But you're right about the ingredients. The commercial sauce seems to have less ingredients than the retail one. I assume it's to give pizza operators more room to add their own spice mixes.
Mike

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Online Pete-zza

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Re: Making Costco Pizza Dough (Lamonica's)
« Reply #23 on: November 03, 2009, 01:55:16 PM »
It was earlier mentioned in Reply 11, at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,9121.msg79719.html#msg79719, that Costco uses a dough press in some locations to prepare its dough skins. From a Google search I recently conducted on this subject, a prospective Craigslist seller of a dough press indicated that the dough press was the same model as the one used by Costco. The model mentioned was the DoughPro DP1100, which is capable of forming skins up to 18" size, the size of Costco's pizzas. The DoughPro DP1100 dough press can be seen at http://www.foodservicewarehouse.com/doughpro/dp1100/p361664.aspx and also in the spec sheet at http://img3.foodservicewarehouse.com/PDFs/DoughPro_DP1100.pdf. This model has a heatable top plate. According to Tom Lehmann (at http://pmq.com/mag/2002summer/doughformer.shtml), when a hot top plate is used, the formed skin must be placed on a tray or pan since the bottom is still raw and somewhat sticky. As reported earlier, Costco uses perforated disks.

In a home setting, the closest equivalent to using a dough press is to either 1) hand shape the skin out to 18", 2) roll the dough out to about two thirds of the final size using a rolling pin and stretch the skin the rest of the way out to 18" by hand, or 3) use a pizza mold such as shown in Reply 45 at  http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,2061.msg39550.html#msg39550 and, more recently, starting at Reply 6 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,9410.msg81565.html#msg81565. One advantage of using a pizza mold is that it allows one to create a well defined rim, which is a characteristic of a skin formed in a dough press.

Peter




Online Pete-zza

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Re: Making Costco Pizza Dough (Lamonica's)
« Reply #24 on: November 06, 2009, 08:58:30 PM »
Rather than dribbling around the backcourt on the Lamonica's Costco dough balls, I decided this afternoon to call Lamonica's to see if I could speak with someone about their dough balls and their use. I ended up being placed in touch with Roberto Martini, out of Lamonica's Los Angeles office. This resulted in a fairly lengthy and productive discussion with Roberto. To guide our discussion, I used the information on the Costco Lamonica dough balls that Marc (widespreadpizza) helpfully provided earlier in this thread. In fact, I used the Costco example to pretty much frame all of my questions.

From Roberto I learned that their Costco dough product is as simple and as basic as indicated in the ingredients list on the box for which Marc provided a photo. Unlike many of their competitors, they use no chemical additives or conditioners or anything else like that in their frozen dough balls (I was told that their basic dough formulation has not changed much over time). The "wheat" listed in the Lamonica's Costco's ingredients list turns out to be a modifier for the flour used in their dough, not a separate ingredient, such as vital wheat gluten that is commonly used in frozen doughs. The flour is a high gluten flour, and it is not bromated. When I asked the protein content, I was told that it is "13 point something" percent. Had I guessed, I would have said something between 13% and 14%, since it is very common to use higher protein flours for frozen doughs. Roberto did not know the precise amount of olive oil used in the dough, but its use is mainly for flavor. The yeast used in the Lamonica's dough is a dry yeast. When I asked if it was instant dry yeast, he said yes (although I suspect that the yeast may be a special freeze-tolerant strain). He also confirmed that the yeast levels are high to compensate for the destruction of some of the yeast during freezing. Since it was clear that Roberto did not know specific baker's percents, I did not probe further on those numbers.

We spoke for some time on the best way to use their dough balls, with emphasis on the duration of the slack out (defrost) time, and the window of use after the dough has defrosted. It is important to keep in mind that the numbers for flash frozen dough balls are not the same as for dough balls that are frozen in a static freezer environment, as might be done in a typical home freezer environment. However, for their dough balls, the recommended time for defrosting the dough balls is a day, and preferably two days in the cooler (to get more fermentation). From that point on, the recommended use is about one day at a recommended room temperature of 75 degrees F. That temperature is to promote sufficient proofing of the dough. Roberto acknowledged that if the room temperature is not as high as 75 degrees F, it is possible to temper the dough balls longer in order to compensate for the lower room temperature. Remember that the only fermentation that a frozen dough gets is during the slack-out time and during the temper time, so it is very helpful to stretch these times out as much as possible, but without overfermenting the dough, to yield more fermentation and better crust flavor. It is also possible to take a dough ball from the freezer and let it warm up at room temperature. This is a method that is often used by operators. As an example, Costco's might bring frozen dough balls to room temperature at around 8 AM and be ready to use at 11 AM, when they open up their food court for business. In its own test laboratories, Lamonica's has been able to keep defrosted dough balls in its coolers for up to 7 days without any problem. However, it recommends a window of three days for its customers. No doubt, over time customers have figured out the longer workable window of usability.

The lifespan of Lamonica's dough balls is six months at 0 degrees F. However, in its laboratories, it has held dough balls for over a year without any problems. By contrast, for a home static freezer environment, Tom Lehmann recommends 10 days, and possibly up to 15 days. Lamonica's recommends that users use their frozen dough balls within six months.

I was not able to get any pricing information. The reason is that Lamonica's does not sell directly to end users. It uses distributors and foodservice companies, who set the pricing to end users.

Roberto also confirmed that Costco's uses dough presses to shape out their skins, mainly since little training is required for their workers to operate the dough presses. The results are also more consistent and uniform using the dough presses compared with alternative methods (like hand stretching), especially for skins that are 18" in diameter.

In closing our conversation, I asked Roberto how big the Costco's pizza "business" is compared with the large chains. He said that Costco's has over 500 stores and that he was told by Costco that if they were a standalone pizza operation they would be one of the largest pizza operators in the country. He pointed out that most pizza chains don't get the traffic that Costco's gets. Also, Costco sells slices as well as whole pizzas, and the slice business is a big contributor to their "pizza" business.

Peter



« Last Edit: February 19, 2012, 07:18:26 PM by Pete-zza »

Offline johnnytuinals

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Re: Making Costco Pizza Dough (Lamonica's)
« Reply #25 on: November 06, 2009, 10:23:56 PM »
I see that Lamonica's sell their dough balls where I buy my Grande chesse at Bova in Pa.
I have used a few Dough balls from Bova,,,,I am not sure they are Lamonica's  dough balls...
I still have a few Dough balls from Bova
Buy I rather use the ones I buy from Walmarts in the frozen area....
But it would be nice to know if I was useing Lamonica's  dough balls since the box says they are from Brooklyn......JT

Online Pete-zza

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Re: Making Costco Pizza Dough (Lamonica's)
« Reply #26 on: December 01, 2009, 10:10:32 AM »
Today, I read a very interesting post by Tom Lehmann at the PMQ Think Tank on the matter of the commercial production of frozen dough balls, at http://thinktank.pmq.com/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=8108. To preserve the content of that post, I have copied and pasted it below:

In order to achieve a longer frozen shelf life your dough will need to be blast frozen either mechanically at -30 to -35F with 600 to 800 linear feet of air flow, or cryogenically at -60 to -65F. This should get you into the 6 to 8-week shelf life range; to go beyond this, you will need to work with ingredients (high protein flour and fresh, well maintained yeast, plus oxidants such as ascorbic acid, enzymatic oxidation, and possibly azodicarbonamide ADA). This should get you into the 10 to 12-week shelf life range, and with a high level of control over packaging, distribution, storage, and display/marketing of the frozen dough, you might be able to push into the 14 to 16-week shelf life range. While this may sound to be quite easy, it is really a very sizeable challenge to accomplish, and expensive too if you are talking about doing any sizeable quantity of dough. With regard to equipment, aside from the freezer, you most important piece of equipment will be your dough mixer, it will need to be a horizontal mixer, with dual drive, from both ends of the agitator shaft, and it must have a direct expansion, refrigerated bowl, with a three arm agitator and a refrigerated breaker bar. If possible, the bowl ends should also be refrigerated. The mixer will need to be specifically built for mixing of frozen doughs. All of this is critical to the production of long shelf life frozen dough as finished dough temperature will be targeted at 65F, with a variable tolerance of just +/- 1F. To keep mixing times within reason while mixing these cold doughs, you will need to use some type of reducing agent in the dough such as L-cysteine or glutathione/dead yeast. Failure to maintain these conditions can lead to unexpected loss of dough performance, which in the case of frozen dough could involve as much as two or more months of production, a sizeable loss. This is why producing long shelf life frozen dough is so expensive, and represents such a significant challenge. By the way, going back to those finished dough temperatures, and doughs that are outside of the tolerance range must be discarded as they will pose a potential for future failure. My personal approach has always been to tell anyone interested in getting into long shelf life frozen dough production is that you MUST do everything by the numbers, with no compromises, if you can't commit to doing that, then you should not get into this type of production as it will come back to haunt you and eventually put you out of business as you listen to your customers complain about poor dough performance, or watch the dough fail in the market place.

Peter


Offline PizzaEater101

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Re: Making Costco Pizza Dough (Lamonica's)
« Reply #27 on: June 18, 2011, 03:09:22 PM »
I know I am reviving and old discussion but has anyone ever gone to the Costco pizza window and asked if they will sell dough balls?  In the store itself I never seen any dough for sale in the refrigerated or frozen section.  I think I read this thread pretty good and didn't see anyone who has asked the pizza people at Costco to sell them some.  

I see the Lamonica factory is about 7 miles from where I live so I e-mailed them to ask if I could buy directly from their factory.  It's Saturday so I expect a reply on Monday or Tuesday.  If they say yes and I don't have to buy tons of it I'll give it a try.  If not I wonder if Costco can sell me some.  Like most of you, I make my own dough but I'm curious how this Lamonica stuff is.   I do buy sometimes from Fresh & Easy when I don't feel like making my own.  I have contacts at two local Sbarro's where I can buy and I probably will go back next week and buy some.   

When I used to work in downtown Los Angeles there was a pizza joint called Lamonica NY Pizza.  I'm wondering if Lamonica NY Pizza and Lamonica the pizza dough company are related.  My e-mail to Lamonica dough company included that question.  I love the Lamonica NY Pizza and if indeed they are related then the dough from Lamonica dough company is excellent.  I have not had a Lamonica in ages because I no longer work in downtown LA and there is no real reason to go to downtown unless I work there, not even for pizza.

I used to get Costco pizza and to me it's good stuff but I wish the crust was thinner that's why I don't get it anymore.  I will however go back to Costco and get a slice just to taste test it again.  Oh also I have to get a churro -

http://www.bajafresh.com/images/menu/dessert_churro.jpg

Here see Lamonica NY Pizza -

http://www.lamonicasnypizza.com/

Peter, you did an awesome job figuring out the Costco pizza.  I'm always impressed by your detective work and your ability to figure out pizzas.
« Last Edit: June 18, 2011, 03:45:16 PM by PizzaEater101 »

Offline PizzaEater101

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Re: Making Costco Pizza Dough (Lamonica's)
« Reply #28 on: June 18, 2011, 03:47:20 PM »
Went to costco the other day,  the clerk asked me if i wanted a box for my stuff this is what he gave me. Thought it might help this thread out a bit.  -marc

Here is the ironic thing about the box that widespreadpizza was able to take a picture of and post, that the address says Brooklyn New York yet the phone number on the box has an area code of Los Angeles.  The traditional LA area code if (213) but because of the ever increasing number of new phone numbers over the years, the greater LA area has had to have added new area codes and (310) is one of them.  

I just checked and the phone number is to the Lamonica pizza dough company in Vernon, which is in Los Angeles, it's just called Vernon.  So is the dough made in Vernon or is it made in NYC according to the address?  Well I wrote to the company and will find out later in the response.
« Last Edit: June 18, 2011, 03:57:19 PM by PizzaEater101 »

Offline PizzaEater101

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Re: Making Costco Pizza Dough (Lamonica's)
« Reply #29 on: June 18, 2011, 04:09:01 PM »
Update to the above posts of mine -

1) I called Costco pizza kitchen and asked if I could buy the dough from them and they said no.  So that's out of the kitchen.

2) I called Lamonica NY Pizza in dowtown Los Angeles and asked if I could buy and they said yes but it's $15.  Yikes no way, rip off.  They might be thinking in their twisted logic that if I buy a dough ball I won't buy a pizza from them therefore they must charge the price of a pizza.  Ironically as much as I love their pizza I would not buy a pizza from them anyway, I don't work in DT any longer so why would I go all that way for a pizza.  Then again they don't know that.

3) I called Lamonica NY Pizza in Westwood (near UCLA and about 25 miles from where I reside) and the girl was cool, she said I could buy a dough ball for $2.  I asked how many ounces it is and she said she did not know but it's enough for an 18 inch pizza.  So whatever weight an 18 inch thin NY pizza is.   As a teenager I used to go out to Westwood a lot. In the '80s Westwood was a very happening place.  I also had friends who went to college at UCLA so I'd go there to hang out with them.  Then in the '90s it was not too happening.  Over the years I've only been out there a few times.  Should I end up that way some time I'll stop by Lamonica and buy some.  I asked if their pizza dough was made in Vernon at the Lamonica dough plant and she said no, it's made in NYC and shipped to them.  Makes me think that Lamonica pizza is not related to Lamonica pizza dough in Vernon.   I did not ask  Lamonica in downtown if theirs was made in Vernon or NYC.  I wonder even if Lamonica NY Pizza in Westwood and the one in downtown are related even tho they share the same copyrighted name.  I wonder because at the Lamonica NY Pizza website there is no mention of the Los Angeles location, only Westwood. Maybe it's like Big Boy restaurants.  Out west they are Bob's Big Boy and out east they are Frisch.  Both are called Big Boy but are different ownership.   Or Dinah's Chicken in Glendale is not associated with Dinah's in Culver City even tho same name.



Online Pete-zza

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Re: Making Costco Pizza Dough (Lamonica's)
« Reply #30 on: June 18, 2011, 04:48:54 PM »
PizzaEater101,

It's been a while but when I was doing my research on this matter, I believe that I came to the conclusion that the two Lamonica's are not the same.

With respect to the Costco dough balls, when I sampled one of their pizza slices in Massachusetts (as I reported earlier in this thread), I did ask whether they sold the brand of frozen dough balls they used for their in-store pizzas somewhere in the store. I was told no. I did not think to ask if they would sell me a dough ball. Even if I had and they sold me one, I would have had no way to make a pizza out of it.

I will be interested to learn whether Lamonica's (the frozen dough ball maker) will sell you frozen dough balls. Lamonica's sells through distributors, a list of which is given at http://www.lamonicaspizzadough.com/online/Distributors.html. If you look at the third paragraph from the bottom of Reply 24 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,9121.msg83041.html#msg83041, you will see that Lamonica's does not sell direct to end users.

FYI, I did attempt to make a clone Lamonica's frozen dough, which I defrosted and used to make a pepperoni pizza. I do not have an 18" perforated disk but I have a 16" perforated disk (a PizzaTools PSTK dark anodized). To make an 18" pizza, I superimposed the 16" disk on an 18" pizza screen. I fairly heavily oiled the 16" disk. What I did not anticipate is that the oil would drip through the holes in the disk and through the screen. When the oil hit the lower heating element in my electric oven, that caused a lot of smoke and set off my alarm system. That sort of thing would not happen in one of the conveyor ovens that Costco uses.

I usually keep copies of my experiment worksheets so if you decide that you would like to try to make your own Lamonica's clone dough, I think I should be able to find my notes on my experiment.

Thank you for the compliment on my detective skills. For me, that is one of the fun parts of the study of pizza making.

Peter

Offline PizzaEater101

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Re: Making Costco Pizza Dough (Lamonica's)
« Reply #31 on: June 19, 2011, 03:02:12 PM »
Peter, I went to Costco yesterday just to buy a slice of the pizza.  Have not had it in years.  I really like the Costco pizza.  I think that I stopped getting it because I prefer a NY style pizza and altho the Costco is very good it's just not as thin as a real NY pizza.  But for the price it's very good.  I am glad you figured out the cheese, dough and the sauce they use.  As I tasted the pizza I really loved the sauce.  Because you found the source of the sauce I might buy some when I run out of the Sbarro sauce that I got from my contacts at Sbarro. That Del Monte Contadina sauce they use at Costco is really good.  I'm sure I'll buy some, some time.

Right now I'm working on my Sbarro copy but when I get done with that I think I'll be off to the races with a Costco copy.  If you could help me with the formula for that, that would be great.  But right now I'm working on Sbarro but later on when the Costco copy is about to start I'd sure appreciate your help.  Thanks for offering to check your lab/kitchen notes for help on the Costco.  

« Last Edit: June 19, 2011, 03:04:13 PM by PizzaEater101 »

Offline JoeP15

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Re: Making Costco Pizza Dough (Lamonica's)
« Reply #32 on: June 11, 2013, 03:49:08 AM »
I just want to take a quick second to confirm that both Lamonica's NY Pizza and Lamonica's Pizza Dough are owned by John Lamonica.

He says so right on the home page for Lamonica's Pizza Dough. Go to lamonicaspizzadough.com and you can read it for yourself.


 

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