Thank you for conducting the recent experiment using a fresh MM clone dough ball. I have been assuming all along that MM uses the same dough balls for both fresh and frozen applications. If that assumption is correct, then I wondered how a fresh dough ball would perform in a normal room temperature setting. The approximately 6 1/2-hour room temperature fermentation you mentioned is in the ballpark of what I would have estimated for 0.60% IDY. I'm sure that you got a lot more fermentation with the recent fresh dough ball than the frozen/defrosted MM clone dough balls that you have been using.
I'm not quite sure how to explain how you ended up with a lighter crust and crumb and a sweeter crust than your frozen/defrosted versions. Most sweeteners (e.g., excluding something like lactose) are fermentable, albeit yeast favors some sweeteners over others in terms of fermentation activity and yeast will ferment different sugars at different rates as a result. In the case of the molasses (including the molasses in brown sugar), it contains simple sugars for the yeast to feed off of quite quickly while other, more complex sugars, including those locked up in the starch in the flour, need to be converted to simple sugars for the yeast to use. If you got a lighter-colored crust and crumb and added sweetness in the finished crust, that would seem to suggest that the sugars in the molasses were first used by the yeast and at least partially depleted and that the sugars that ended up as residual sugar to contribute to crust sweetness (and final crust coloration) came in good part from the sugars released by the amylase enzymes from the damaged starch in the flour. The 6 1/2-hour room temperature fermentation should have been long enough for this to happen, especially when compared with the fementation that a defrosted frozen dough ball gets as it defrosts and warms up during tempering. This is just my speculation since I have never read of that sort of thing occurring and I have never tested the idea. Also, I believe that it is the ash content and minerals in molasses that are primarily responsible for the color (and taste) of molasses, which I believe would remain after fermentation. You would have to repeat the experiment, in exactly the same way as much as possible, to see if the results are reproducible. I wouldn't think that the oven used to bake the pizza (that is, your home oven versus your deck oven at market) would make a material difference, but that is another variable that would have to be removed from the equation.
Out of curiosity, have you been selling the MM clone pizzas at market or do the rules at market prevent you from doing so?
I wanted to see what would happen with a fresh MM dough, and how long it would take to ferment at room temperature. Right now since it is cooler in our area, my kitchen isnít the warmest. I let the dough balls sit on the counter and a chair near a heat source for the 6 Ĺ hrs. I could have put the dough balls in the oven (with the light on) to speed-up the fermentation process, but I wanted to see how long the dough balls would take to look like they were ready to be used. I think I could have used the dough balls before I did. I had a final dough temperature of 79.8 degrees F. The dough balls just looked like they sat there for awhile doing nothing and then they started to ferment faster. It could be seen in the one picture I posted how when I pressed out the rim of the skin, how gassy it looked. The pretzels also were gassy, but just by rolling them the gas disappeared.
If your assumption is correct that MM uses the same dough for fresh and frozen applications, how do you think they manage the dough balls for a few days, if they used the same yeast amount? I know they could use a cooler to keep the dough balls from fermenting too fast, but would think over a few days they might ferment too much. I donít think there would be any problems with frozen doughs balls, like you and I have been testing.
I am not sure why I did get a lighter crust and sweeter crust, but I know when I did the one experiment in freezing the dough, and then letting it defrost, the dough and crust did become darker. The dough getting darker is still a mystery to me.
Your explanations on why my crust might have been lighter and sweeter are interesting. I wonder if the molasses and brown sugar, (with molasses) are different in that the sugars in the products were first used by the yeast and then partially depleted in good part from the sugars released by amylase enzymes from the damaged starch in the flour. I still donít understand enough about residual sugars and how they contribute to crust sweetness. Maybe the 6 Ĺ hr. room temperature fermentation would have been long enough for the things you mentioned to happen. It still wonders me about the dough ball not getting darker from not freezing it. I might do another experiment next week, and make two dough balls at home again and see if I can get the same results. To keep my final dough temperature exactly the same and also the method of room temperature fermentation the same, might be difficult. I doní t think there are enough pizza formulas that used molasses and brown sugar before to know what might happen. At least I found out from the experiment that a MM pizza can be made in a relatively short time. How would I remove the oven equation if I do another experiment?
To answer your question about if I am selling the MM clone pizzas at market, the answer is no. I am still trying to find the best formula to use there. I do want to start making the MM clone pizzas at market, but want to do some more tests. I am allowed to sell any kind of pizzas at market, since I am the only person at market that makes fresh pizza. I think the MMís pizzas would sell, but I wouldnít be sure until I try to sell them.
BTW, about the pretzels experiments with the different dressings used, they did all taste different in some way or another. The pretzels I had put the butter garlic butter with honey mix in, were sweeter and had a shiny appearance. Since I didnít taste any like that at MM, I donít know how they are supposed to taste, but the honey added to the butter garlic mix did make the pretzels shiny. The salt added on some of the pretzels, did also make the taste of those pretzels different, because of the salty taste. I donít know from the rolling of the dough for the pretzels, (they were denser) if that somehow affects the taste of them or not. My pretzels all seemed to taste a little on the sweeter side, but they were good. The pretzels I ate from MM werenít that sweet. That is still another mystery for me.