That is a nice pictorial. Thank you for doing it. I am also glad that you and your daughter had a good time and enjoyed the pizzas and other items you had at the DC MM location and the items you brought back home.
I have several comments and questions that get more to what we have been doing in this thread:
1. Were you able to learn whether the DC MM location uses fresh or frozen dough balls and, if so, were you able to learn anything about their dough management protocol (e.g., fermentation time, temper time, defrost time if frozen dough balls are used, and whether frozen dough balls, if used, are ever defrosted and re-frozen for later use, etc.)?
2. Since you did not show any photos of a dough ball in your possession, I take that to mean that the DC MM location does not sell dough balls. Is that correct?
3. Were you able to gauge the color of the MM dough balls compared with the MM clone dough balls you have been making? Or even compared with a brown coffee filter?
4. It looks like the pizzas you had at the DC MM location were 10Ē pizzas and that the pizza you took back to PA was bigger than 10Ē. Is that correct?
5. Apart from the visual characteristics of the MM crust as shown in your pictorial, can you describe the other aspects of the MM crust, including taste, flavor, sweetness, color, chewiness/crispiness, texture, degree of doughiness (if any), stiffness/droopiness, and also in relation to the MM clone doughs and pizzas you have been making?
6. In observing the handling of the dough balls by the MM workers, I concluded that the hydration of those dough balls is in line with what we have been using. In fact, the handling aspects of the dough balls, including the formation of the skins, were essentially the same as I have been experiencing with my MM clone dough balls, even when using the KABF and added vital wheat gluten (VWG). Did you get the same impression? I did not see any real slapping of the skins from hand to hand to open up the dough balls. This is harder to do with a small skin for a 10Ē pizza, but this leads me to believe that in the videos we have seen the dough balls were perhaps tempered for a fairly long time before opening. Or else, a much higher hydration value was used, which would appear to be inconsistent with the "stiffness" of the dough balls shown in your pictorial and the videos we have seen.
7. You mentioned a bake time of 10-14 minutes. I note the use of the Montague deck ovens but do you know the bake temperature that relates to the 10-14 minute bake time? For comparison purposes, you may recall from Reply 40 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,3940.msg151292.html#msg151292
that I was told that a typical bake time was up to 10 minutes (depending on what was in the oven at the time) at a bake temperature of around 550 degrees F, using a Blodgett deck oven. Also, in the video at
, Dustin mentions a bake temperature of 475 degrees F and a bake time of 20 minutes. I believe that with some tests I can match those conditions in my standard electric home oven but I would either have to use a higher oven rack position, a lower bake temperature than I have been using, or some combination of both, or possibly a combination of two pizza stones with the proper oven rack positioning and bake time and temperature. Unfortunately, we have been trying to divine the MM dough formulation and a proper bake protocol simultaneously. In your case at market, your options are more limited, given that your oven temperature is dedicated to the NY style pizzas that you have been making there.
8. I see that you confirmed the use of the Grande mozzarella cheese. I would say that they are perhaps using the Grande low-moisture, part-skim mozzarella cheese as described at http://www.grandecheese.com/products/Pages/Product_Spec.aspx?ProductMasterID=18
. If that is correct, it would make sense if one is interested in keeping things simple. Also, if there is no planetary mixer in the store, there would not be the option of using an attachment with the mixer to do in-store shredding of cheeses.
9. Was there anything particularly noteworthy about the sauce? I read that the sauce is made from fresh-pack tomatoes. Were you able to tell if that is the case?
10. Were you able to learn anything else that is glaring or that we have been missing in our efforts to reverse engineer and clone the MM dough/pizza?
To the above, I would add that yesterday I made a pizza using a dough with 7.5% Grandmaís Original molasses, 7% raw cane sugar, and 2.5% Kretschmerís ground/toasted wheat germ (plus KABF and VWG). Finally, I was able to get very noticeable sweetness. In fact, if anything, the crust was too sweet. Also, the sweetness seemed less complex than the crusts I have made with more molasses but less raw cane sugar. I am now inclined to raise the amount of molasses and lower the amount of raw cane sugar even if that means a darker dough and finished crust. I may even leave out the wheat germ since 2.5% did not seem to make a material difference.