After my last post, I wondered how a fixed weight of table sugar (sucrose) and a fixed weight of molasses would break down into the different forms of sugars. As it turns out, sucrose (granulated table sugar) is 100% sucrose (see http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/sweets/5592/2
). By contrast, liquid molasses contains three different sugarsósucrose, glucose and fructose. The glucose and fructose are reducing sugars so they are immediately available to yeast in a dough as food. The sucrose, which is a complex sugar (that is, it is a disaccharide and not a reducing sugar), has to be hydrolyzed (by enzymatic action) to the reducing sugars glucose and fructose before they can be used by the yeast as food. These actions are all described in detail at the theartisan.net website at http://www.theartisan.net/The_Artisan_Yeast_Treatise_Section_One.htm
From what I learned at the nutritiondata.self.com website at http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/sweets/5573/2
, molasses is about 55.5% sugars (sucrose, glucose and fructose). The rest is water, ash (which gives the molasses it's color) and small amounts of other elements. I was not able to quickly find the percents of the three sugars in molasses but I did read that there is more sucrose than the two other sugars and I found one old report that broke down molasses into about 32% sucrose, 14% glucose and 16% fructose.
Applying the above numbers to a 10-gram sample of ordinary table sugar (sucrose) and to a 10-gram sample of molasses, and assuming my numbers and calculations are correct, the full 10 grams of table sugar is 10 grams sucrose, and for the 10-gram molasses sample it would be 1.78 grams sucrose, 0.77 grams glucose and 0.89 grams fructose (for a total of 5.50 grams). We already know that molasses is less sweet than sucrose (member November also tells us this at Reply 8 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,4159.msg34741/topicseen.html#msg34741
), but the above numbers would seem to suggest that it would take a lot more molasses to equal sucrose as a sweetener. Now, if one were to flash freeze a dough ball with molasses right after the dough ball has been made so that there is no fermentation, and then defrosts the dough ball for the minimum recommended time (maybe a day at best), with gradual fermentation during the defrosting step (note that November tells us in the abovereferenced post that molasses ferments at a slower rate than sucrose), then maybe more of the sugars in the molasses will be available at the time of use to provide the optimum amount of sweetness that molasses can deliver in a pizza dough application. This is essentially the test that I believe Norma will be conducting.
EDIT (10/5/2011): According to member November's post at Reply 4 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,1272.msg31890.html#msg31890
, molasses comprises 29% sucrose, 13% fructose, 12% glucose, 22% water, 24% other. That changes the above quantities of sucrose, glucose and fructose in a 10-gram sample of molasses to 1.6 grams sucrose, 0.66 grams glucose, and 0.72 grams fructose.