In order to improve my understanding of pizza formulations, I’m in the process of dissecting Domino’s crust. I want to replicate the feel and taste of its crust to understand the appeal, with the intention to perhaps adapt it to my independent delivery operation where we have the ability to prepare fresh dough.
My current dough has a similar taste profile to Papa Johns i.e. “light and airy”. Domino’s, in comparison, is “chewy and dense”. Pete-zza over at http://www.pizzamaking.com has done a fantastic job of replicating the PJ formulation for a home setting, I’m looking to do something similar for Domino’s crust.
As a delivery operation, I assume they’d be using a protein content of around 12-12.8% and oil 3% to curtail the characteristic “cardboard” taste they were (are?) known for. Judging from the additives and preservatives listed in their dough ingredients (see: http://www.dominos.com/pages/ingredients.jsp under “hand tossed crust”), it’s likely their dough is made at a central location then delivered to the individual stores.
I want to eliminate these additives and preservatives to a) save costs, b) perhaps use as a feature in my marketing and c) it’s unnecessary as my dough will be made for use within 24-48 hours.
Here’s my my current formulation of Domino’s crust, to be used between 12-24 hours after mixing:
Flour at 12% protein content
Oil (Rapeseed): 3%
is this formulation likely to produce the taste profile of Domino’s crust? If not, what would you change or improve?
Their dough is definitely made at a central location - but those ingredients you are calling preservatives are not - they are “conditioners”. Basically, they are adding PZ-44 dough conditioner to their mix. The vitamin C helps the dough proof and handle “better” - it is a replacement for potassium bromate, which (unfortunately) is being banned by many states.
Which states have banned or are moving to ban it? A google search turned up nothing for me on this front other than…
in 1991, California declared bromate a carcinogen under the state’s Proposition 65. As such, baked goods sold in California would have to bear a store level cancer warning if they contained m ore than a certain level of bromate. As a result, most California bakers have switched to bromate-free processes.
I’m guessing Dominoes simply wanted to avoid having to label their product in California.
The only changes that most bakers find they need to make are slightly longer mixing times…
Some bakers find that they don’t have as much fermentation tolerance using unbromated flour. there are two fixes for this. One is to use preferments in your dough. This increases the acidity of your dough giving it m ore tolerance for longer proof times and overnight retarding. If this doesn’t fit your production requirements then you can consider using ascorbic acid (Vitamin C). Ascorbic acid is a slow acting oxidizer so you won’t get much benefit in the mixer but your dough will have more tolerance to overnight retarding.
Like Registered Guest said, it sounds like Vitamin C works better with a commissary setup where you’re shipping near-frozen dough around the country.
I have a question. Why try to duplicate Dominos? Why not just come up with a better crust of your own and sell on that point. It seems like if you run with ads that compare your dough to theirs…you stick yourself with using their prices also. How can you say your dough is like Dominos and then charge more? This seems like a lot of work for something that will hold you back.
My path to creating a better crust is to first deconstruct and replicate a widely popular crust (a crust that is very profitable too) upon which I can decide whether or not to improve or neglect the crust formulation entirely.
I didn’t say anything about marketing the crust as Dominos or within the same space/category as Dominos, that would be an unwise business move, check out “22 immutable laws of marketing” to find out why.
Domino’s crust is not what is widely popular, it is the low price, consistency and efficient delivery that attract and keep Domino’s customers. Most Domino’s customers are not buying the product, they are buying the price.
Ok I got bored and searched this “22 laws…” WOW! I love that law #1 says be first not better. Then law #2 says if you fail at law #1… makeup a new category that you can claim to be first in. I also agree that Dominos crust is not great nor sought after it is totally a price point. Yes, they are profitable but not because people love the pizza…they love the price. CHEAP! They use low cost ingredients and labor to put out mass produced garbage. IMO! I think there are not many around here that would say going head to head with the big 3 would be wise. I may be wrong…but matching their selling points or even worse…offering their pizza at a higher price… will not work. They make money off very high volume not good food. Just make a great pizza and people will buy it for a fair price and hopefully a profitable price!
Just a side note…I see that a lot of people praise this book but even more have almost 2 decades of write-ups about how off this book is. I have not read the book…just glazed at the 22…but either way… I would not take a book writen almost 20 years ago about marketing…that used facts and more so the opinions of marketing in the prior 30 years as a reference to use today. The world is not even close to what it was when this book was thought out. There are a lot better marketing reads out there that are more up too date on how the world spins these days. :idea:
Let’s stay on topic here; I don’t want to get into bashing Domino’s or whatever, I’m just interested in replicating their crust.
If you have any any suggestions for creating the Domino’s crust, chime in. I gave the above formulation a shot but it didn’t produce the characteristic Domino’s taste. Tom, if you’re reading, can you recommend a formulation that is closest to Domino’s crust?
Much like the soft elastic dough used as the foundation for which their mainstay product is built, Domino’s Pizza has shaped their marketing strategy into a juggernaut that has enjoyed nearly half a century of success. Currently a market follower—second only to Pizza Hut—Domino’s longevity and rapid rate of growth is due largely to their ability to establish, maintain, and remain true to their original marketing mix. Domino’s success, however, is due to the fact that they have been able to differentiate themselves on a very crowded playing field.
I must ask…how long have you, shortie, worked for Dominos? The big 3 survive on the business plan of putting out the most product at the lowest price. Never in any board meeting has the subject of high quality and low volume come up. It is very difficult in any business plan to sell high quality at high volume…and Dominos does not fit that bill. They do not employ workers that are there to learn the history or understanding of pizza making. They hire production line workers that have corporate white papers of how too wipe on break! Success has followed the big companies as they have created their own worst enemy. Their own price wars. They have created the image that pizza should be cheap and always available. They have success in that rite but only because they market garbage at the expense of indie pizza shops around the world. They are nothing more than the fastfood of pizza. Ask yourself what you would do if your only option for dinner every night was McDonalds? All other restaurants are gone because cheap, available, garbage is all that is left. The others could not survive the price wars. Why sit down and have a ribeye when you can have a Big Mac! Why has Dominos gone through the big “crust change” recently? Oh… people got sick of the 40 years of garbage and were wondering. So lets change the recipe and try to get some of that market share back. Wait…wait… here it comes…another round of $5 and $10 pizzas. The economy sucks and the people that control the marketing do know that low prices will drive sales now more than ever. So new recipe, low prices… pizzas sold! What is missing? Quality, customer service, highly trained and benefited employees, oh… and the general overall image that you are anything more than pizza fastfood! :idea:
What he said. The premise of your post is incorrect as far as your assumption for Domino’s success.
If you had posted you think Domino’s has a great product in their crust, and want to duplicate it, that is another matter entirely.
Walmart is not successful for the products they carry. Best Buy did not survive all the now gone electronic retailers because of some special products they carried that others did not. They both did it by providing better service and better efficiencies in their business operations to provide better pricing.
Sales at the big 3 are driven by huge marketing budgets…Not only to they spend a lot of money, because of the volume they buy they are buying magnets, menus, boxes, tv ads, etc. for 1/3 to 1/2 less than independents…
Sorry to be so late in arriving at the party, but here’s my take.
Domino’s uses a frozen dough that is shipped from central commissaries. The additives used reflect this fact. The L-cysteine is used to reduce the dough mixing time when cold doughs are mixed at the commissary. The SSL is a volume enhancer to help give more height to the finished crust, and to possibly control, to some extent, ice crystal size in the frozen dough for better shelf life characteristics. Ditto for the ascorbic acid. I’m betting that the silicate is there only as an anti-caking agent for their “additive” blend. The enzyme cited is probably a maltogenic enzyme, meaning that it is an oxidative enzyme that replicates the functionality of potassium bromate, which they don’t use due to public health concerns relating to its use.
As a frozen dough, I’m betting that they use more than .28% IDY. I would think they might be closer to 0.5% IDY. Unless the stores are doing some special handling of the dough, the amount of fermentation is rather limited, essentially none as the frozen dough leaves the commissary, and probably not more than a day at the store after slacking (thawing) it out. Open the dough entirely by hand slapping, bake it on a screen in an air impingement oven.
To replicate, try reducing the IDY to 0.375%, deleting all of the “additive” ingredients, setting the finished (mixed) dough temperature at 75F, take the dough directly from the mixer to the bench for scaling and balling, box, lightly oil the top of the dough balls, cross stack in the cooler foro 2-hours, then down stack and use after 18-hours in the cooler. If you find th\at the dough has a little too much memory/snap back, add about 0.5% PZ-44 (L-cysteine + whey). This should help to replicate the effect of the glutathione that is released from the yeast damaged through the freezing process.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor
Your analysis puzzled me inasmuch as I have always believed the Domino’s uses fresh dough in its stores, not frozen dough. When I couldn’t confirm that by doing some online searching, I called the Domino’s customer care center. The answer I was given is that they use only fresh dough in their stores. I was told that the dough is refrigerated. Can you tell me how that would alter your analysis?
You must be new to Bakers Percentages, each ingredient is stated as a percentage of weight based on the flour being 100%. In this case if the flour is 10lbs then the water would be 5.6lbs or 56% of the weight of the flour.
The 12% protein content of the flour does not come into play when calculating the weights of ingredients, it is an indication of the properties of the flour. Click on this link to learn more about the properties of flour as well as other helpful pizza information.