Thinking back to when I had a crispy thin pizza at the New York Restaurant Show and Pizza Expo, I would like to try to make something like this if at all possible. The pizzas were called Ultra-Thin pizza shells. I enjoyed this Ultra-Thin pizza very much. It reminded me some of a cracker-style crust, but had some characteristics of a New York style pizza. I tried to purchase some of these ultra-thin pizza shells, but couldn’t find a distributor in my area.
The Nutrition Facts for a 14" pizza are under The Original 1/16" thin. This is the size pizza I would like to try if I can figure out a formula.
The nutritional facts say the serving size is 8oz -8.5oz,.or 225g for a 14" pizza shell. It also says there are 7g of fat, so I think that would mean some kind of oil is used in making this ultra-thin pizza. The sodium amounts seem high to me. That also appears to be sugar in this formula.
Under the baking instructions, it says the dough should be docked to prevent bubbling. Baking instructions also say it these ultra-thin shells can be baked on a pizza stone, screen or metal deck oven, at 525-550 degrees F. It also says to sauce the shells to the edges.
Since this pizza was very different than I have ever tried, I wonder if anyone can look at the nutrition facts and get an idea of how I could proceed. I do want to use IDY in this formula. This ultra-thin pizza says it is par-baked, but I don’t think it would have to be in a home setting. Maybe the pizza shells would need to be par-baked, but this would have to be tried. The ultra-thin shells or flatbreads they sell are frozen and then baked at your location to the best of my knowledge. I think this ultra-thin pizza could be rolled out with a rolling pin.
Under their website it says Grandfather Joseph Salamone, born in Northern Italy, created the original Ultra-Thin pizza shell recipe.
There are also many recipes for topping this style of pizza halfway in this page. You can see how thin these pizza are if you look under these recipes.
Peter (Pete-zza) replied back to me:
I don't like groping around in the dark. So, I'd like to suggest the way that I think I would approach what you are trying to do. We are talking here about a fairly simple product, a par-baked crust without anything on it. We know the weight of the product (8.5 ounces), its size (14"), and we also have some nutrition data (more on this later). We know how much sodium there is in a sample size (8 ounces) and we know how much total fat and saturated fat there is in that sample. However, before I would start making a dough that might pass muster, and before trying to come up with a dough formulation, my first line of attack would be to call the company. As a professional in your case, and one who might possibly consider using the company's product, I don't think it would be out of line for you to want to know what is in the product, including type of flour (which relates to taste and texture), whether the flour is bromated or not (for health reasons), and the type of fat used in the product (mainly for taste reasons). I would perhaps also ask why a sample size (8 ounces) is less than the 8.5 ounces that is given as the weight of a 14" par-baked crust. Next, depending on what I learned, I might ask if it is possible to get some samples to try out (and to examine more closely for clues).
Looking at some of the nutrition data at the Ultra-Thin website, I think it is safe to say that the product you are considering does not contain animal fats or shortening. I believe they are using an oil of some sort. Examples of oils that meet the 7 grams of total fat and 1 gram of saturated fat include olive oil and soybean oil, but no doubt there are other oils with the same lipid profile. If you do some research at the nutrition data website at http://www.nutritiondata.com/, you should be able to find them. I would look at the one tablespoon values since they are more likely to apply to the weight of a typical 14" par-baked crust. FYI, for a lipid profile of 7 grams of total fat and one gram of saturated fat, it appears that we are talking about 1 1/2 teaspoons of oil for an 8 ounce sample of the product in question. However, that 8-ounce sample is apparently on a par-baked basis, not raw dough. There is some loss during baking but I would be surprised if it is more than say, 5%. So, in arriving at a baker's percent, I would adjust the weight of the sample before calculating the baker's percent.
In a similar vein, there is 750 mg of sodium in an 8-ounce sample. There is a very small amount of sodium in flour and in oils in large quantities, but I believe the bulk of the sodium is from added salt. 770 mg of sodium represents about a third of a teaspoon of table salt. That value might enable you to calculate the baker's percent on the "adjusted" weight of the par-baked product (that is, adjusted to compensate for losses during baking).
It is also possible that there is some added sugar in the product under consideration. There may be some sugar in the flour or released by enzymes or transformed during baking, so it is hard to say how much without doing more research. Or maybe the company can tell you if there is any sugar in the dough (which could be a legitimate concern for those on low-glycemic diets).
There are still some missing items, like the hydration and amount of yeast and the nature of the fermentation, but I would rather address these issues after I gather the information from trying the other approaches mentioned above.
For your additional information, if we assume that an 8-ounce sample loses 5% during baking, an unbaked sample would weigh 8.4 ounces. For a 14" dough skin, the corresponding thickness factor would be 8.4/(3.14159 x 7 x 7) = 0.05457. It might be worth weighing a 14" skin both unbaked and par-baked to ascertain more accurately the extent of the weight loss. Then, one might be able to come up with a set of baker's percents to use in future iterations.
I replied back to Peter (Pete-zza)
I did try to purchase this ultra-thin product and talked to many sales representatives before about their product. I also email ultra-thin, in an attempt to find someone in my area that handled this product. This was before I opened my pizza stand. I had thought along the lines of offering this ultra-thin pizza along with a NY Style pizza. I didn’t have any dough formula at the time. This was at the end of February 2009. I saw how easily they baked the pies.. The dough was already defrosted and just looked limp. The taste of these Ultra-thin crusts were great. They almost melted in your mouth. Plenty of other people at the Restaurant Show also were commenting on how good they were. I tried Sysco Foods in Harrisburg and the sales rep even said they had the product. I went there and thought I had purchased three cases of this product. When I got home, I found out they were only par-baked crusts that were thicker. They weren’t even Ultra-Thin crusts. After I tried a few crusts out, I then gave the rest to a homeless shelter in Lancaster. They sure weren’t good, in my opinion. I then tried to purchase the ultra-thin crusts from Philadelphia and gave up when they told me I needed a 500.00 minimum order. I know that I always do things backward, but eventually things do work out.
I can see that your idea is good to call them and ask all the information you told me. Maybe I can get some information about the crusts from them this time instead of worrying about purchasing their products. I also will do some research at the nutritional data website. Thanks for providing that and the instructions for finding more information.
I made a test batch today, but surely don’t know what I am doing. I will just see how this test batch works out in the crust taste. I can’t decide if I want to parbake it or not, but probably will. When I made the Bittman cracker style, the crust even rose without yeast while par-baking. Since I made a high hydration and high oil formula, it should be interesting to see how this crust turns out.
Thanks for your help,
This is a video I found for the Ultra-Thin pizza crusts. This will give an idea of what I am trying to create. This was taken at the Western Food Service and Hospitality Expo in 2007.
This website says to contact ultrathin pizza girl for a sample. Hmm, guess I will try and contact her.
May 23, 2010
Well, that day was one of those days, that nothing wanted to work out right. First I was trying to make sorbet, that I had made many times before. I had purchased all the ingredients I needed and even bought fresh strawberries, yesterday. After I made the simple sugar syrup, cut and washed the strawberries, squeezed out lemons and used the blender to puree the strawberries, I thought I was then ready to put the mixture into the ice cream freezer. Well first the blade didn’t want to turn. Then I thought I had that fixed and then the motor died, half way though the freeze. Then it was clean up the mess and put the mixture into the freezer. Now it is has been, stir ever half hour. Probably I will end up with Italian granita instead of sorbet. Time will tell. I even was taking pictures to post under off-topic foods.
Next the ultra-thin pizza. I made too much dough for my ultra-thin pizza. I first rolled out half of the dough, then put it in a deep-dish pan. I wanted to try and parbake the crust. That worked out okay. I then dressed the pie with my regular sauce and mozzarella cheese. I put the pie back into the oven. When I saw the top was getting finished before the bottom, I tried to take the pizza out of the deep-dish pan and put it onto the stone. The pizza was too thin, and tore in one place. Either it was that or maybe my formula wasn’t the best. Just a part of pizza making. The pizza did come out thin, but not like I wanted it to. On the one picture I held the one slice up to the light. It can be seen on that picture that the light shines though the crust.
I tried another pizza with the extra dough, using different methods, but that pizza didn’t turn out right either.
At least when I was at the grocery store that day, I found another brand of mild cheddar cheese to try for the Mack’s clone.
The journey will continue for awhile, until I am able to successfully be able to make a thin-crust pizza like the Ultra-thin company made. I will posts those attempts, later.