Tuesday, November 6, 2012

My first attempt at cloning Shakey's

Three days ago I decided it was finally time for me to try cloning Shakey's pizza. Having only ever eaten at Shakey's four times (between 2006 and 2012), it seemed pretty inevitable that figuring out how to make a good Shakey's clone would require a ton of time and effort. However, there are a lot of very good Shakey's clues available on internet message boards, written by people who once worked at Shakey's, as well as some good espionage results from people who have never worked at Shakey's. So good news: After making only one batch of Shakey's clone dough so far, I've already made some pretty incredible pizza. I won't go so far as to call it a Shakey's clone yet, but I'd say it's pretty close.

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The most useful pizzamaking lesson you'll ever learn.

Sorry, I haven't taken a lot of pics yet. But what I have, I'll share. Besides, I'll eventually write another post about cloning Shakey's, with pics to document almost every step.

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The above pic is of my first attempt at cloning Shakey's, as are the next two pics. This pizza (crust) was good, but my second attempt with the same dough was much better. (There are a few pics of the second pizza below.)

Open this pic in a new window to get a better look at the crust.
As you should see, I used cornmeal on the bottom of the crust. Won't do that again.

You can probably tell that this pizza was a little thicker than a real Shakey's pizza.
Still, it was very good, and the excessive thickness helped me
figure out how to make a better pizza the next day.

The next three pics are from my second pizza, which was made of the same dough as the first pizza. I made some minor changes in how I handled the dough for this pizza, including rolling it thinner than I rolled the first pizza.

I recommend opening each of the following three pics in a new window so you can zoom in close enough to see what made this pizza so awesome.

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The formula I used for this dough was as follows:

100% Pillsbury bleached all-purpose flour
40.02% Water
1.33% Active dry yeast
1.53% Salt
6.67% Oil
1.63% Sugar

And the recipe to make 34 oz of dough:

22.49 oz Pillsbury bleached all-purpose flour
9 oz Water
3 tsp Active dry yeast
2 tsp Salt
2.25 oz Oil
3 tsp Sugar

I don't feel like writing all the procedures right now, but I may edit this post to add instructions because there's some pretty important information you need to know if you're going to try to make this kind of pizza (like dough management and how to laminate the dough skins). Regardless of whether I post instructions here, there will eventually be instructions somewhere (probably in a future post). Please come back later to see if I've added anything.

Update (6/11/13)

I actually spent quite a while working on this kind of pizza last fall, eventually making a fantastic Shakey's clone, as well as many similar pizzas that were all pretty phenomenal. There are just so many small changes you can make with this kind of dough/crust, all of which lead to similar but slightly different versions of a Shakey's-style pizza. I have a lot of very useful notes somewhere in this computer (and probably some pictures, too), and maybe someday I'll dig them up and reveal some useful information.

Update (8/5/13): I just found a picture I had pretty much forgotten about.

Standing in front of Shakey's in Redlands, California (10/6/08).

Also, having done a ton of investigating, I'm almost positive I have figured out almost the exact formula for Shakey's dough.

100% AP Flour
40% Water
1.1% Instant dry yeast
1.5% Salt
4.36% Shortening (or possibly as much as 6%)
1.51% Sugar