Last weekend I finally got back around to my Donatos pizza efforts. I’ve been having fun playing with other pizza types, and trying to make some progress for some good Neapolitan and neo-Neapolitan pizzas.
Anyhow, with football season right around the corner, I felt it was time to get back to some good Donatos pizza! I had gotten really curious about the egg content, and for this experiment I really upped the overall egg percentage (and lowered the overall hydration) to see what would happen. The recipe for this pizza was:
Flour (KA Bread) (100%): 282.32 g | 9.96 oz | 0.62 lbs
Water (40%): 112.93 g | 3.98 oz | 0.25 lbs
IDY (.5%): 1.41 g | 0.05 oz | 0 lbs | 0.47 tsp | 0.16 tbsp
Salt (1.7%): 4.8 g | 0.17 oz | 0.01 lbs | 1 tsp | 0.33 tbsp
Vegetable (Soybean) Oil (3.5%): 9.88 g | 0.35 oz | 0.02 lbs | 2.18 tsp | 0.73 tbsp
Sugar (1%): 2.82 g | 0.1 oz | 0.01 lbs | 0.71 tsp | 0.24 tbsp
Sweet Dried Dairy Whey (1.5%): 4.23 g | 0.15 oz | 0.01 lbs | 1.4 tsp | 0.47 tbsp
Baker's Non-Fat Dry Milk (1.7%): 4.8 g | 0.17 oz | 0.01 lbs | 1.23 tsp | 0.41 tbsp
Eggs, large (13%): 36.7 g | 1.29 oz | 0.08 lbs | 7.25 tsp | 2.42 tbsp
Total (162.9%): 459.91 g | 16.22 oz | 1.01 lbs | TF = 0.0918
This was also for a 14” pizza, calculated out to 15” for ease of rolling and residue.
The procedure was the same basic procedure that I feel very comfortable with at this point, which you can find posted here: http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,5977.msg51213.html#msg51213
BUT I will say there are a couple of small changes to note from the procedures listed there. I think you should ALWAYS scaled the dry milk. I got some ‘bakers quality’ at one point and skipped this step, and the final pizza was definitely missing something.
Also, in a recent trip back to Columbus (I always get some Donatos when I go back ‘home’) I noted that the ovens in the shop were all set to 470 degrees. So, baked this one at 470.
Additionally, the biggest baking problem I’ve had is getting a nice even browning on the bottom, while getting a good ‘crust’ to the pepperoni on the top. For this experiment I did the proofing step in my microwave (was surprised it fit!) and let my pizza-stone and brick-lined oven pre-heat at 470 for at least an hour, close to the top of the oven. I baked the pizza right on the stone for 5 minutes. Then I opened the door and put on the broiler to crisp up the top for 2 minutes. After that, the bottom did need a wee bit more browing, so I slid the disc off the stone and on to the bottom rack while turning up the oven to 550 (just so the element would stay “on” for me) for only about 30 seconds.
The baking procedure, while being a bit more hand-holding, gave me really good results.
The pizza, however, wasn’t so great!
The first thing I noticed that was not right was the skin after the proofing step. It had REALLY puffed up like a baked-good. Already way too thick for a thin-crust pizza. When I went to dock the skin, it was more like poking holes in dry foam or something. Very odd feeling/looking.
The final pizza, while having good color, was too soft and chewy, and the flavor was just way off. It tasted fine enough, but way off the mark.
We’re having some different friends over both this weekend and next, all of whom happen to be from Ohio, so I’m going to subject everyone to some more Donatos experiements and get some good feedback. Though after this attempt, I’m going back to a previous formulation with much less egg.
Though I must say this dough was by far the easiest to roll out. I also think ever since I started pulling the dough out of the fridge by a MINIMUM of 2 hours before trying to roll it out I’ve had some good success in the consistency of the thickness. Perhaps the new baking procedures + one of the older recipes will get me closer to my goal!!!
ps – still, THEE hardest thing to get even remotely close to the real-deal is the pepperoni. I’ve tried every brand I can get my hands on and nothing has come slightly close to what they use. For anyone new or not familiar with Donatos, they make their own pepperoni with a family recipe. The recipe calls for a much lower fat content than most pepperonis, allowing them to put over 100 pieces of pepperoni on a large pep pizza without it turning into a big pool of grease. This also keeps the pepperoni from shrinking much during cooking. They "crater" a wee bit, and they get very nice and crispy around the edges. Any suggestions or recommendations on pepperoni brands to try would be much appreciated!!!