I had some downtime to ponder it this weekend, so I’m posting the following “toppings” details. If you ever wondered why people have such a fond recollection of Shakey’s pizza, it’s here. The ingredients were fresh and top grade. Papa John’s would be seriously challenged to say better ingredients compared to this. Enjoy.
Note: This is provided purely as an archive for Shakey’s on the Rockville Pike (Rockville, MD), circa 1975, and isn’t claimed to be “the” recipe for all stores/franchises. These are the ingredients we used for the menu I presviously posted. The sauce and dough recipes on this forum continue to be in-progress and are clearly a store/franchise-specific thing. Same is true for topping menu items. Also, Shakey’s didn't precook sauce or ingredients - or any of the menu items.
We didn't have a food processor or chopper of any kind. We had a Hobart slicer, Hobart mixer/grinder and a knife.
Once again – not too bad for 30 years later, eh?…
Grotto, Dynadeuce, Joel – please weigh in. We seem to be on the same wavelength recipe-wise and prep-wise.
Sauce was wire whipped in the Hobart mixer to combine purée, water and spice mix, stored in 35 gallon+ Rubbermaid cans, two large batches per can. Sauce was spread on each pizza using a horsehair paintbrush (yes – you heard me), spread to the very edge each of each skin, and sometimes beyond. Sauce was not weighed. When pizzas were ready for the oven, each pizza was scraped with a painters putty knife around, and just under, the circumference edge before giving the peel a final wiggle to verify that the finished pizza was freely rolling on the corn meal base and ready for sliding off the prep peel into the oven. For a batch, we used three (3) cases of Heinz puree per batch, six #10 cans per case, plus 1 can water per case (adding water was a cost-wise thing that allowed us to add a small amount of water to each empty can to wash out any remaining puree). I’ll need to correct my previous post that stated water was added in equal amounts. That’s not correct.
Kraft mozzarella, provolone and cheddar. Parmesan was kept in shaker jars at each make-station of which a light dusting was added as a final topping just prior to baking. The same parmesan shakers were available for patrons to take to their tables for addition after pizzas were cooked. Crushed, dried, red pepper flakes were also available to patrons to take to their tables. The three cheese mix was ground on premise in the Hobart grinder. The three cheese mix was supposed to be stored in covered bus tubs in the cooler, (everything in the cooler is required to be covered) but it was well known how much easier it was to prep pizzas with a slightly dry, crumbling mixture versus a freshly ground, wet mix, so the dehydrating effect of the cooler was allowed to dry the mix, otherwise the cooks complained - lots. When the Shakey’s cops showed up on occasion we knew to scramble to cover the bus tubs. So, at this store, on this date, there were no seven cheese pizzas at this store, only four. Cheese was weighed and spread on each pizza to within one-half inch of the edge. Proportions are a bit fuzzy. Mad _Ernie says 70% mozz, 15% prov, 15% cheddar which isn’t right. Cheddar was the least proportion. When I see posters with pictures of pizzas with orange cheddar spread on top, or burned cheddar pizzas, I know they’re off. Cheddar was just a small component. I’d estimate mozz/prov/ched something on the order of 80:15:1. Cheddar was a piece of the flavor/color profile, but not much.
#10 cans, whole black olives, cans opened on bench opener, drained and sliced on premise in Hobart slicer, stored in covered bus tubs in walk-in cooler. Free toss on each pizza.
Fresh produce delivered daily, provided whole, stem core popped with a smack of the palm, or a jab of a knuckle, deseeded by pulling the stem core out with as much of the seeds attached as possible, a quick shake to get any additional loose seeds out, then sliced on premise in Hobart slicer, stored in covered bus tubs in walk-in cooler. Free toss on each pizza.
Fresh produce delivered daily, whole white onions, soaked in a sink of water, then hand prepped by slicing caps off, then one slice down from top to bottom to release skin, peel skin and discard, sliced on premise in Hobart slicer, stored in covered bus tubs in walk-in cooler. Free toss on each pizza. I can't remember if we diced the onions or used sliced onions on the pizzas. I do remember diced onions on the steak sandwiches though so we likely hand chopped enough for the sandwich make table. Perhaps we ran onions through the slicer twice? Anyone recall?
Hormel sticks provided in a cardboard case, est 24 per case, 3 feet long, each wrapped in deli wax paper casings, paper was sliced long-wise with box cutter razor and then peeled off, sliced on premise in Hobart slicer, stored in covered bus tubs in walk-in cooler, slices were placed edge to edge on each pizza.
Fresh ground Hamburger delivered daily, mixed with ground black pepper, allowed to dry uncovered using the dehumidifier effect of the walk in cooler, hand mixed after drying, stored in covered bus tubs in walk-in cooler. Weighed for each pizza size, spread evenly. There may have also been a Shakey’s bag added here too. I don’t think so, I just don’t recall. I’m also not perfectly sure that we didn’t grind our own hamburger, but I don’t think so.
Fresh never frozen thick sliced pork chops, delivered daily, low grade, high fat, ground on premises in Hobart grinder, mixed with bagged Shakey’s seasoning mix, hand mixed, stored in covered bus tubs in walk-in cooler. Much wetter than the beef mixture, the Italian sausage was weighed for each pizza and then small bits were pinched from the weighed mass and placed evenly on the pizza. Weighed for each pizza size, spread evenly.
Hard Genoa, delivered in deli wax paper casings, sliced on premise in Hobart slicer, stored in covered bus tubs in walk-in cooler. Slices placed evenly, edges close or touching.
Hormel brand, delivered in plastic sleeves, high quality, est 4 inches diameter by 3 feet long, appearance of a nice canned ham, high fat, high water content, sliced on premise in Hobart slicer, stored in covered bus tubs in walk-in cooler. Slices placed evenly, edges close or touching.
Eastern Polish Sausage:
Hmmmm, I forgot we had that, rarely sold other than the Captains Delight menu item, delivered as links, sliced on premises in Hobart slicer, stored in covered bus tubs in walk-in cooler. I don't recall how it was measured for each pizza.
The menu says they're sourced from Lisban. I believe it. Provided in steel cans, kept under lock and key until opened, cans opened with bench opener or old style "twist key" (really can't remember), very expensive, imported. One can was stored in one make station and returned to cooler each night.
I can't say enough about the produce we got, mushrooms were beautiful fresh white mushrooms, est 2-4 inches avg, some larger, soaked in the prep sink full of water to remove dirt, sliced caps and stems on premise in Hobart slicer. (...and all this from someone who doesn't like mushrooms), stored in covered bus tubs in walk-in cooler, free toss on each pizza.
If the above are all considered toppings then corn meal must be included as the bottomings: each pizza was prepared on a healthy dusting of very fine yellow cornmeal. Provided in 25# bags, stored in rolling plastic food bins.
Enjoy - Lightmeter