Author Topic: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?  (Read 151639 times)

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Offline norma427

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Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
« Reply #680 on: November 13, 2011, 11:54:02 AM »
Norma,

I think it would be better if someone else called Melody, or someone else at MM, on the honey/vegan issue. In cases like this, you sometimes only get one bite at the apple. For me, that was getting resolution on the matters of the use of high-gluten flour (yes), wheat germ (no), Vitamin E enrichment (no), molasses (yes), spring water (yes) and no white refined sugars. Had I known at the time I spoke with Melody that honey and its relatiionship to a vegan diet was an issue, that would have been the time to ask Melody about the honey. If I were to call her again, I think the vegan issue would raise a red flag and make her suspicious, particullarly since she told me that they had vegan pizzas (and gluten-free as well) and I remained silent on that matter. If I use a falsetto voice, she will perhaps know from my telephone number or Caller ID where I am calling from. Then I would have to "invent" a female member of my household.

So, whether you or Biz decide to call MM, I would limit the next phone call to possibly two issues. One would be the honey/vegan issue. The second would have to do with the use of organic ingredients. In my research, I read a few times about the flour for the MM dough being organic. MM has never said that it uses organic flour to the best of my knowledge, only reviewers who perhaps don't have a clue about what they are talking about. I also saw occasional references to organic toppings. I don't really care about those. But it would be interesting to know if the MM high-gluten flour is organic. I tend to doubt it because when I spoke with Melody on one of our calls she read off some of the ingredients in their flour, including B vitamins. Most organic flours tend to be just plain wheat flour without the vitamin or iron enrichment, although they can include barley malt. The lead in to the organic flour question might be a comment that you read somewhere on the Internet that MM uses organic flour and that you are always on the lookout for organic products as much as possible as part of a healthy diet. It is not an allergy, vegan/vegetarian or gluten-free issue.

Peter


Peter,

I will call MM later this week on the honey/vegan issue, and also about if MM high-gluten flour is organic or not.  I will have to look up the numbers for MM headquarters, because I donít know those numbers.  Maybe at some point Biz will also call MM since he does try to follow a vegan diet.  I donít want you to have to invent a female household member, or use your falsetto voice (which Don canít imagine).  :-D

I mixed another attempt at a MMís dough early this morning using the exact formula (MM#5) you set-forth at Reply 652 http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,3940.msg159495.html#msg159495

I also used the methods you gave me before (let the dough sit out for Ĺ hr., then ball dough ball and place dough ball into the freezer).  I will take the dough ball out of the freezer this afternoon to let it defrost until Tuesday.  The color of the dough ball looks darker than my last attempts with the Malt products #732 molasses and brown sugar.  In that formula the molasses was even a higher percent of the flour, and that dough didnít look the nearly look as dark as this dough.  I am more satisfied with the color of this dough.  You were right about upping the percent of vegetable/soybean oil by 1%.  It didnít seem to matter at all.  I did use Crystal Geyser Natural Alpine Spring Water this time in the mix. Because the pictures of the dough ball were taken outside, they appear lighter than what the dough ball color really is.

Norma
« Last Edit: November 13, 2011, 11:56:37 AM by norma427 »
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Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
« Reply #681 on: November 13, 2011, 12:22:06 PM »
Don,

I should have mentioned that I found several references from my research that said that MM used honey in their dough. So, whether I raise the vegan issue, or Norma or Biz raises it, and how that is done, that issue is a legitimate one to raise in my opinion. In fact, since MM and some of its franchisees have held out the MM pizzas as being vegan, given the reports I have read about MM using honey in its dough I wondered whether anyone ever raised the issue with MM of honey in their dough. As far as allergy issues are concerned, most of the larger pizza operators avoid getting a lot of inquires about allergies by publishing charts or FAQs on their websites with all the applicable sources of allergies in their products. Domino's, Papa John's, Pizza Hut, Jet's and Donatos are just a few examples that quickly come to mind. Eventually, MM may decide to do the same thing now that they are growing rapidly. Interestingly, some of the best information I have ever gotten about ingredients in pizza doughs and other products of certain pizza operators has come from vegan and vegetarian websites. In fact, that is where I found a list of the MM dough ingredients, as I noted in Reply 18 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,3940.msg149648.html#msg149648. It was no accident that I found that website. Whenever I do any reverse engineering and cloning projects, I specifically search vegan and vegetarian websites. Vegans and vegetarians are very good at unearthing information about the products they wish to consume.

MM has not done the best job in keeping the public informed of what is in their pizza dough, and how the ingredients have changed over time, and Melody even admitted as much when I had my conversations with her. She also confessed that the use of "refined" in the context of sweeteners in their dough, including molasses, was something that MM is likely to discontinue doing in the future. Until I spoke to her, she did not even know that wheat germ and Vitamin E enrichment were not being used in their dough. All of that preceded Melody at the company. At some point, they and their franchisees will perhaps get their act together on these matters.

The falsetto thing is just a running joke between Norma and me :-D.

Peter

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Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
« Reply #682 on: November 13, 2011, 02:51:50 PM »
Peter, I also do my share of research and what I have uncovered is your rank and file vegans will not consume honey.
Don

Offline norma427

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Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
« Reply #683 on: November 13, 2011, 03:33:01 PM »
This was the same dough ball, that has now been taken out of the freezer, to be left to thaw and ferment in the refrigerator.  This picture was also taken outside (on the same camera setting), but it wasnít sunny outside when this picture was taken.

Norma
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Offline norma427

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Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
« Reply #684 on: November 13, 2011, 07:52:44 PM »
I made some pesto to go with my MM pie this week.  I used fresh basil, spinach, cloves of garlic, nutritional yeast, 1 tomato, olive oil, salt, pepper, and walnuts to make the pesto.  I didnít buy any pine nuts because they are too expensive.  My pesto doesnít look nearly as colorful as MM pesto does, but it does taste good.

Norma
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Offline Biz Markie

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Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
« Reply #685 on: November 14, 2011, 03:36:16 PM »
Howdy all.

I wanted to chime-in with my latest MM pie results.  As I think you know, I only bake 1 pie a week, so I move a little more slowly than Norma and Peter!

I kinda had a crazy idea this past week.  Despite the amazing results I had with the molasses/honey dough of the week before, I got this crazy notion to try something different.

I think I took some subconscious inspiration from Peter and his Barley Malt Syrup experiment, but the primary inspiration for last week's dough was some Italian Bread I baked earlier in the week from Bread Baker's Apprentice.  The Italian Bread was just so good that it really struck me.  I thought, "Man, that'd make a pretty good pizza dough with a few tweaks."  Then I thought a bit about what seemed to be unique about the Italian Bread.  

In the end I decided one of the biggest "wow" factors was the use of diastatic barley malt powder.  The Italian Bread formula calls for a little over 1% diastatic malt powder (sorry, I don't have it in front of me.)

So for last week's MM clone attempt, I decided to stick with just the Brer Rabbit Molasses and then use diastatic malt as the only other "secret" ingredient.  No honey or other sweetener.  I also lowered the Oil 1% and upped the molasses 0.5%

Here's what I did:
KABF/VWG Blend*= 100%
Spring Water = 53.0%
IDY = 0.6%
Salt = 1.75%
Soybean Oil = 2.0%
Brer Rabbit Mild Molasses = 5.5%
King Arthur Diastatic Barley Malt = 2%
TOTAL = 164.85%

* The flour blend was 97.6% KABF and 2.4% VWG

This was mixed in the Zojirushi for 6-7 minutes, balled, and thrown in the fridge for 25 hours and 30 minutes.  It was tempered at room temp for about 2.5 hours.

The dough handled very well - like the other MM doughs I've made.  Always fun to toss these skins.

I baked on my new Fibrament stone at 500 for 6 minutes with just a few seconds of broiler action at the very end.

The results were amazing.  I think even better than last week, which I didn't think was possible.  Not only was the flavor superb, but the crumb texture was to me perfect.  It was not bready and soft, but had the perfect amount of bite and chew for my taste.  And the outer crust had the most amazing flavor, a result I assume was due to the diastatic enzyme action and to a lesser extent the higher molasses content.

I admit I'm riding a little high on the success, but I don't know if there's anything I can do to improve upon this dough.  

I'm stoked!! :chef:
« Last Edit: November 14, 2011, 03:39:19 PM by Biz Markie »

Offline norma427

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Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
« Reply #686 on: November 14, 2011, 05:02:25 PM »
Biz,

I am glad you were satisfied with your attempt at a MM clone using Diastatic Barley Malt.  :) Did your pie have the sweet taste in the crust rim like a MM pizza?  How was your crumb color compared to MM pies?  I could imagine the color would have been close with using 5.5% Brer Rabbit Molasses.

Congrats!  :chef:

Norma
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Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
« Reply #687 on: November 14, 2011, 05:21:06 PM »
Biz,

I'm also happy to hear that you had such good results using diastatic malt in lieu of another sweetener to supplement the molasses. It is always a good idea to see if you can reproduce good results so before moving on to another experiment you might want to repeat your last experiment to see if you get the same good results. If you can reproduce the results, then others who have had real MM pizzas might want to try your MM clone dough formulation to see if they get results that are the same or close to the real thing. Another good experiment would be to make two identical MM clone doughs but with one of the doughs including diastatic malt and the other omitting it. That way, you can determine whether it was the diastatic malt that was the differentiating factor and responsible for the good results you achieved.

If you have not seen it, there is a good article on malt, both diastatic and non-diastatic, at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,8308.0.html. You will note from that article that the recommended amount of diastatic malt is around 1%. However, my recollection from a discussion I once had with an employee of Malt Products is that around 2-3% was recommended, although at the time that seemed on the high side to me. It is possible that the 2-3% figure was intended to be for the non-diastatic form of malt. On a volume basis, the typical recommendation is to use 1/2 to one teaspoon of diastatic malt for three cups of flour, as noted in the definition of diastatic malt in the forum's Pizza Glossary at http://www.pizzamaking.com/pizza_glossary.html#D. I might add that when sweetness is desired, it is more common to use a non-diastatic form of malt. Diastatic malt works on damaged starch to reduce sugars from the starch but generally the purpose of doing this is just to get more enzyme performance and increased fermentation activity and not to get materially more flavor, color or sweetness.

More on the subject of the use of diastatic malt can be found at the PMQ Think Tank at http://thinktank.pmq.com/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=6146&hilit, where Tom Lehmann and others opined on such use. See, also, http://thinktank.pmq.com/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=3037&p=15642&hilit=#p15642 and the article at http://www.maltproducts.com/news.whatismalt.html.

Your dough formulation is very similar to the very first MM clone dough formulation I tried under this thread except that I did not use any diastatic malt and I used less yeast (0.375% IDY) since I was going for a three-day cold ferment, not a roughly one-day cold ferment such as you used. Also, I used 7% of an older version of the Grandma's molasses (then called Mild Flavor) that, based on the Nutrition Facts, seems to most closely resemble the Brer Rabbit Full Flavor molasses. I have not been able to find the Brer Rabbit Mild molasses that you used in the supermarkets near me. That molasses product seems to most closely resemble the Grandma's Original molasses but with maybe a bit less sugar than the Grandma's Original molasses. When I used the molasses at 7%, I got a very nice crust flavor, even though it was not particularly sweet, but both the dough and the finished crust were considerably darker than the MM crust I had in Florida. I made a mental note at the time to return to my original dough formulation once this thread had run its course, with the view of possibly coming up with something that was even better in my opinion than the real MM crust. However, for purposes of this thread I made a note on my printed copy of the dough formulation to use about 5% molasses the next time. Of course, we were soon off to the races and ended up trying all kinds of formulations looking for the one that most closely matched what MM was doing, especially trying to solve the sweetness problem.

Peter
« Last Edit: January 25, 2013, 11:44:02 AM by Pete-zza »

Offline norma427

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Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
« Reply #688 on: November 14, 2011, 06:41:15 PM »
Peter,

I wonder if the Dry Malt DME-B I had posted about at Reply 223 http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,13820.msg154873.html#msg154873  is diastatic malt or non-diastatic malt?  When I asked for the sample of the #732 molasses for this thread, John Johansen asked me how the Dry Malt DME-B worked out.  I told him didnít notice any difference in the taste in the crust from using the malt at 2.5%.  He told me I could up the malt in the formula I was trying.

Norma
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Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
« Reply #689 on: November 14, 2011, 07:12:36 PM »
I wonder if the Dry Malt DME-B I had posted about at Reply 223 http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,13820.msg154873.html#msg154873  is diastatic malt or non-diastatic malt?  When I asked for the sample of the #732 molasses for this thread, John Johansen asked me how the Dry Malt DME-B worked out.  I told him didnít notice any difference in the taste in the crust from using the malt at 2.5%.  He told me I could up the malt in the formula I was trying.


Norma,

DME is a generic term for Dry Malt Extract. According to the Malt Products website at http://www.maltproducts.com/news.whatismalt.html, the dry malt extract is "the spray-dried form of the liquid non diastatic extracts". So, it is nondiastatic. The "B" form is perhaps one of the versions of DMEs that John thought might work best for your particular application.

Peter


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Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
« Reply #690 on: November 14, 2011, 08:22:49 PM »
Norma,

DME is a generic term for Dry Malt Extract. According to the Malt Products website at http://www.maltproducts.com/news.whatismalt.html, the dry malt extract is "the spray-dried form of the liquid non diastatic extracts". So, it is nondiastatic. The "B" form is perhaps one of the versions of DMEs that John thought might work best for your particular application.

Peter


Peter,

Thanks for telling me That the DME-B I have a sample of is nondiastatic. 

Norma
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Offline Biz Markie

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Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
« Reply #691 on: November 14, 2011, 08:25:08 PM »
Biz,

I am glad you were satisfied with your attempt at a MM clone using Diastatic Barley Malt.  :) Did your pie have the sweet taste in the crust rim like a MM pizza?  How was your crumb color compared to MM pies?  I could imagine the color would have been close with using 5.5% Brer Rabbit Molasses.

Congrats!  :chef:

Norma
Thanks Norma!  It was sweet I think but in a subtle, complex way.  Seemed pretty close to the Franklin MM pie that I had a while back.   The color I think was pretty much the same as I have been producing, which was identical essentially to the Farragut crust that I saved and used as a benchmark.  I did only increase the molasses a bit, so I don't think it had much of a darkening affect.

Offline norma427

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Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
« Reply #692 on: November 14, 2011, 08:52:46 PM »
Thanks Norma!  It was sweet I think but in a subtle, complex way.  Seemed pretty close to the Franklin MM pie that I had a while back.   The color I think was pretty much the same as I have been producing, which was identical essentially to the Farragut crust that I saved and used as a benchmark.  I did only increase the molasses a bit, so I don't think it had much of a darkening affect.

Biz,

Thanks for telling me that your crust of your MM's attempt was sweet in a subtle, complex way.  Good to hear it seemed close to the Franklin MM pie that you had a while back.  I didn't think your amount of molasses in your formula would affect the crust color.

Norma
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Offline briterian

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Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
« Reply #693 on: November 14, 2011, 09:54:24 PM »
Interesting.  Biz is using about half the molasses that I and others have used and I used brown sugar.   Is it coming down to personal judgement on sweetness?

Offline Biz Markie

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Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
« Reply #694 on: November 14, 2011, 10:58:15 PM »
Interesting.  Biz is using about half the molasses that I and others have used and I used brown sugar.   Is it coming down to personal judgement on sweetness?

I think so.  I was going to say something along those lines in my post.  Another thing to note is that I am making my pies for the family Sunday night supper.  In other words, I'm making a whole pizza to feed the family and am just trying to make the best tasting pizza I can, toppings and all.  So I am not particularly approaching this in a very scientific way.  When I say it was amazing, that really includes the whole experience, whether I want to admit it or not.  It could even depend on things like how hungry I am or whatever.
 
To be really technical you'd almost have to do some double-blind taste testing or something. 

So basically I'm agreeing with you that there's a good bit of subjectivity. 

Offline Jet_deck

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Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
« Reply #695 on: November 15, 2011, 01:10:54 AM »
To heck with subjectivity/personal judgment. If Biz can achieve the results again, then guess what?  I'm going replicate it here (at my home) thousands of miles away from the nearest MM commissary dough producing facility.  Keep up the good work Biz.
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Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
« Reply #696 on: November 15, 2011, 08:07:21 AM »
Interesting.  Biz is using about half the molasses that I and others have used and I used brown sugar.   Is it coming down to personal judgement on sweetness?

I, too, pondered this question from time to time as we went through all of our MM dough clone iterations. I even went so far as to do some preliminary research on how humans perceive sweetness, only to discover that it is a very complicated subject with considerable variation from one person to another. I even learned that cats do not have receptors for detecting sweetness at all. However, if weren't for the fact that those of us on this thread who have had real MM pizzas detected a distinct sweetness in the MM crusts, this thread would have perhaps reached closure some time ago. Each of us would simply have selected a type and brand of molasses from among the options available to us, determined how much to use to achieve what appeared to be the proper color for the dough/crust and an acceptable crust flavor, declared victory, and moved on.

Now, where does this leave us? Unless and until we discover what MM is using to achieve sweetness in their crusts, or until the active members of this thread come up with an MM dough clone formulation that they can agree on as being the closest to the real thing based on their recollections, I think the best course for our members is to simply conduct their own experiments with whatever molasses products and other sweeteners they have on hand until they achieve a final product that they enjoy, whatever that is. It shouldn't matter whether they have to use refined white sugar or any other sweetener to achieve the desired end results. I personally will perhaps slog on looking for the answers because that is in my nature. It is also fun for me and how I learn.

I also agree with Jet_deck (Gene) that Biz has done a terrific job on this thread, especially given his initial reservations about what he might be able to contribute. He has stuck with us through thick and thin, unlike others who jump ship the first sign of rough seas.

Peter

Offline briterian

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Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
« Reply #697 on: November 15, 2011, 08:57:56 AM »
Cool. I hope my post didn't offend anyone or look like I was questioning Biz's endurance and dedication or the awesomeness of his latest.  This thread has been amazing.  I noticed Norma's even made it over on slice.com showing off her MM clone.  

I was just observing that the recipes seem to be differing on one thing and that is sweetness - and I was using around 10% and Biz was around 5.5% and we will never reach a point of what is right IMHO.    

I plan on making another batch this week - first time since my last attempt - its tough with 3 young boys to make 'za more than every couple weeks - so I hope that my intermittent posting isn't viewed as indication of lack of interest.

Good to know that I'll leave my cat's view of sweetness by the wayside. :)
« Last Edit: November 15, 2011, 08:59:43 AM by briterian »

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
« Reply #698 on: November 15, 2011, 09:11:19 AM »
Brian,

My comments were directed solely to your observation on the types and amounts of sweeteners. I did not consider your comments to impugn in any way  what Biz has been doing on this thread. I also have considered you as part of the "group" that has been active in trying to get to the bottom of what MM is doing when it would have been far easier to just sit on the sidelines.

I meant to ask you before but how have your sons and your wife reacted to your MM clones, especially the last one that your discussed where you seemed to be particularly pleased and especially since you have all had real MM pizzas?

Peter

Offline briterian

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Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
« Reply #699 on: November 15, 2011, 09:17:53 AM »
Thanks Pete.  My oldest son (age 11) who has inherited my wife's honesty in telling me if my pizza is any good, came home from swimming practice, reheated a slice on our stove using the our lodge cast iron pizza pan (great way to reheat 'za), took one bite and came upstairs and told me he couldn't tell a difference and said
"dad- this is a keeper! - can you put this in your 'pizza keeper file?'  I want you to make this again." 

So I think that was the most solid positive reaction I've gotten for quite some time with any any of my pizzas.  This has been a fun ride.  Where do we go from here?  My wife and kids would love for me to make a buddy's pizza - we have family in detroit - but I've struggled to find one of their pans to start the process.   I read they have moved their manufacturing to Mexico and there is a shortage.

Brian


 

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