Author Topic: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?  (Read 131498 times)

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Offline norma427

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Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
« Reply #440 on: October 21, 2011, 10:51:50 PM »
Place was brand new as well very clean, fun shroom, decorations , and comfortable space , they know what the people want for sure the salads and dressings were good as well. place was packed! will put up pics asap.  
John

John,

Great to hear you will post your pictures soon.  :)  We had the Caprese salad and that also was great!  The MM's in Washington, DC was decorated like a circus.  The MM's operation wasn't busy at all, but they said it is in the evening that they get very busy.  The other eating places nearby also get very busy in the evening.  They sure do know what customers must like.

Norma

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Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
« Reply #441 on: October 21, 2011, 10:53:14 PM »
Norma
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Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
« Reply #442 on: October 21, 2011, 10:54:26 PM »
Norma
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Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
« Reply #443 on: October 21, 2011, 10:56:20 PM »
Norma
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Offline norma427

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Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
« Reply #444 on: October 21, 2011, 10:58:24 PM »
The last few pictures and these pictures are of a pie we brought home.
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Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
« Reply #445 on: October 21, 2011, 11:19:58 PM »
Scott,

I loved the toppings on the MMís pizza.  Did you see the picture of the Grande cheese.  Grande cheese was the cheese used at the Washington, DCís MMís.

This new MMís just opened this past Monday, so the pie makers are only getting started learning to toss dough.  

Thanks for saying the pretzels looked good.  They were and they are made out of he same dough as the pizza.  I just reheated one pretzel when I got home and it was still nice and moist.

Did you see on the peel handle that it said, "Nom Nom Nom"?  I really like how that peel was decorated.

Norma


The shop is new.  That makes sense.  Thanks for clarifying that.

I am a big fan of Grande, but barely melted mozz is a huge pet peeve of mine. It always seems to me that the cheese on your pizzas is always well melted, but if you enjoyed the toppings at MM, I'll take your word for it.

Offline norma427

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Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
« Reply #446 on: October 21, 2011, 11:32:44 PM »
The shop is new.  That makes sense.  Thanks for clarifying that.

I am a big fan of Grande, but barely melted mozz is a huge pet peeve of mine. It always seems to me that the cheese on your pizzas is always well melted, but if you enjoyed the toppings at MM, I'll take your word for it.

Scott,

You might not believe this, but the pies at MM's were baked for 10-14 minutes.  I still can't understand how the crust stays so moist from the long bake.  The Grande cheese was well melted on the pie I ate. 

Norma
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Offline mailliw

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Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
« Reply #447 on: October 22, 2011, 05:40:30 AM »
Has unbleached flour been addressed? Unbleached flour wouldn't change the flavor but would impart a yellowing  color to the crust.

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Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
« Reply #448 on: October 22, 2011, 08:39:19 AM »
Norma,

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
<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lvixfngmz-g&amp;feature=related" target="_blank" class="aeva_link bbc_link new_win">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lvixfngmz-g&amp;feature=related</a>
, 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.

Peter
« Last Edit: October 22, 2011, 05:39:45 PM by Pete-zza »

Offline norma427

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Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
« Reply #449 on: October 22, 2011, 09:15:19 AM »
Norma,

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 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lvixfngmz-g&feature=related, Justin 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.

Peter



Peter,

I was just composing about my visit to MMís and will answer your questions more in detail after this post.

Since I have been trying different formulas for a MMís pie, and not really knowing if I ever have achieved anything like a real MMís pie, I had thought about taking a road trip to Charlottesville, Virginia to that MMís location, but that location is about 4 hrs. 30 minutes away from where I live.  I had noticed that the Adams Morgan MMís location in Washington, DC, was soon supposed to open.  I asked my daughter if she would take me to the MMís location in Washington, DC.  She said she would take me to MMís in Washington DC.  I had to take my mother to the doctors yesterday morning, and go to market to make my preferment, but we were ready to leave about 12:30 pm.  I had Map Quested the route to MMís and my daughter had put their address in her GPS and it said it would take anywhere from about 2 hrs. 11 minutes to about 2 hrs. 30 min. to get to their location.  

Even the road trip was interesting because our fall leaves are starting to turn beautiful colors.  I have visited Washington DC many times, but not in many years.  It took about 3 hrs. to get to the MMís location because of traffic going down, and traffic in Washington DC.  When we got there it was a nightmare trying to find a parking space and my daughter drove around the streets many times trying to find a parking space.  It seems like as soon as one person pulled out of a parking space another person was waiting to pull in.  Finally we found a parking space about a block and a half away from MMís.  

The MMís wasnít busy at all when we went in.  A young lady greeted us and asked us where we wanted to be seated.  I said I would like to be seated near the pizza makers so I could watch them.  We sat right in front of where the pie makers were making their pies.  Our server was very attentive, and helpful in any questions I had to ask about.  I asked if I could go and watch and take pictures of the pie makers and he said yes.  All the pie makers were very friendly.  I didnít tell the pie makers or the server that I also make pizza.  I just said I was from Pa. and had wanted to try a MMís pie for awhile.  The pie makers did ask me questions about where I lived in Pa. and I said between Lancaster and Harrisburg.  The one pie maker said he and his mother go to the outlets in Reading, Pa. to shop.  He said there was a diner he remembers that had a big man statue outside but he couldnít remember the name of the diner.  I said that was Zinnís diner, but it is now closed.  He said he did remember that was the diner.  The server, kitchen manager, and the pie makers were impressed that we came the whole way from Pa. to try their pies.

I couldnít figure out what pizza to order, but the Kosmic Karma sounded interesting to me.  My daughter couldnít decide what to order either, but ordered pretzels and the Capri salad.  I also couldnít decide what draft beer to try because there were so many, and I am not familiar with all kinds of brewed draft beers.  I had thought about trying Shiner Bock, but decided on the DC Brau Rotating Tap, because it had the DC name.

After we placed our order, I went up to where the pizza makers were stretching the pizza dough and topping the pies.  I asked a lot of questions.  I asked about the temperature of the ovens, and the one pie maker wasnít sure, but he did look and said the temperature was 500 degrees F.  I remember thinking I wondered how long their pies take to bake.  I did later time the bake of 4 pies.  They were only 10Ē pies.  I asked the pie makers how long the pies do take to bake and how they know when the pies are finished baking.  They said the pies take around 10 to 15 minutes to bake.  I later confirmed that was about the times the 10Ē pies took to bake.  The pie maker said that it all depends on how often the oven doors are open and how many pies are baking at a time.  He said each time the oven door is opened the oven loses about 50 degrees in heat.  I canít still understand how such a long bake can produce such a nice moist rim.  I also asked about if I could buy a dough ball to try at home, and the one kitchen worker said he would get the kitchen manager to come and talk to me after we were finished eating.  I asked the pie makers if the dough is made right there and they said no.  I then asked if the dough balls come in frozen and they said yes, because the MMís operations want all their doughs consistent, and if the commissary makes the dough they are all consistent.  I said that is a long way for the dough balls to come from the commissary.  I watched and they just take the dough balls out of a refrigerator under where they open and dress the pies.  As far as I could see the dough balls are opened cold.  I also saw two times they opened bags of shredded Grande mozzarella.  The soft pretzels are cut out of one small dough ball as seen in the pictures I posted.  What I found very interesting is the pie makers open up dough balls and put them into a plastic container for later use when they are busy.  I asked if they stretch the dough balls more when someone orders a pies when they are busy and he she said yes, they just stretch them a little more later.  I then wondered how the stretched dough skins donít stick together.  I didnít want to ask too many questions, because I thought they might become suspicious about why I would want to know if the dough balls could be defrosted and then be refrigerated again, because they are a new store and I donít think they have done that yet.  

The kitchen manager did come and talk with me after we were finished eating.  I asked him if I could purchase a dough ball to take home and he said he would be willing to sell me a dough ball but Washington, DC has some of the tightest food laws in the US, and nothing that isnít cooked (or raw) can't be sold.  He also said I wouldnít have the same results because of using a home oven.  I said I do have a pizza stone in my home oven and do make pizzas at home, but could understand why they arenít allowed to sell any dough balls. The server and the kitchen manager both said the difference in their dough is the vitamins in the dough, the mountain water from Tennessee, and molasses in the dough.  I asked the server if no sugar is added to the dough and he said maybe a little amount of brown sugar (he wasnít sure if they add any white or brown sugar) to the dough, but I am not sure if that is correct.  I asked the kitchen manager if they add vitamin pills to the dough and he said no, they just add a special kind of vitamin.  I didnít ask if that was wheat germ.  

My daughter and I thought the pizza, pretzels, and Capri salad all were excellent.  I had wanted to order a different kind of pizza to eat at home, but since I really like the one I had ordered, I order the same kind to take home.

From my observations of the dough it now makes me wonder if our hydration is low enough.  

The GPS took us home a different way and then it only took less than 2 hrs. 30 minutes to get home.  When I arrived at home my great-granddaughter, her boyfriend, and my great-granddaughter were there.  We reheated the leftover pretzels in the microwave, and the pretzels tasted as fresh as when they were just baked.  I am anxious to reheat a slice of the pizza I brought home.  I think I am going to save a slice of the pizza I brought home for Steve, but am not sure if I should try to freeze it or just wrap it until Tuesday.

The pizza I had almost reminded me of a WFO pizza, in that it was moist, had good oven spring, and the texture of the rim was something like a WFO pie.

The kitchen manager told me the people that bought the MMís franchise rights in Washington, DC. have the exclusive rights to open 6 more MMís operations if they decide to.

If anyone has any other questions just ask.  

Norma
« Last Edit: October 22, 2011, 09:27:58 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 #450 on: October 22, 2011, 09:47:58 AM »
Norma,

It is interesting that the kitchen manager mentioned the possibility of using brown sugar in addition to the molasses. Yesterday, after I made and tasted the pizza, I thought to use brown sugar next time in addition to molasses and balancing their amounts as best I can to achieve the desired end product. When I was at the supermarket recently and noting the dizzying array of sugar products, the brown sugar products were described as natural products using pure cane sugar, etc. I was always of the impression that molasses was added to refined white sugar to make brown sugar but at least the brown sugar is not a "refined white sugar". Rather, it might be a "refined brown sugar" and, as such, would pass muster. It would also add more molasses.

The vitamin that was mentioned could be the Vitamin E. Vitamin E is stripped out of flour as it is being milled as well as most of the other vitamins, including the B vitamins. The flour is later enriched to add back the B vitamins but not the Vitamin E. I have never seen a flour that is enriched with Vitamin E. I studied the specs of all of the GM flours and did a search on this a while back and came up completely empty, with almost no hits. The Vitamin E is principally in the wheat germ. However, if the wheat germ is defatted, or possibly if it is ground into a powder and heated as a result, there is a loss of the Vitamin E. As was discussed before, it is then possible to add a synthetic Vitamin E (d-alpha tocopherol acetate) back into the wheat germ to replace the Vitamin E that was lost.

Peter

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Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
« Reply #451 on: October 22, 2011, 10:02:12 AM »
Peter,

I was able to gauge the color of the MMís dough balls, compared to what I have been making.  My last attempt was about the closest in color in the dough ball and finished crumb.  The color of the dough balls at MMís did look a little darker than a brown coffee filter.  The pizza I brought back home also was a 10Ē pizza.  I want to reheat one slice today for myself, give one slice to my mother, and also do something with one slice for Steve.  What do you suggest I do with the slice for Steve to preserve it for Tuesday?  

The taste of the crumb in the rim wasnít as sweet as I thought it would be.  It only had a tiny bit of sweetness.  Some of my attempts were much sweeter in the finished pizzas.  The only thing I could taste in the crust was molasses.  The slice did have a chewiness to it, and even after it was just baked had a droop.  The bottom crust wasnít real crisp.  The slice could be folded right away as can be seen in the pictures.  There wasnít any doughiness that I could detect in the slice.  As I said the color of the crumb was lighter.  I ate two slices, and my daughter also ate two slices and we both agreed that my attempts werenít like a real MMís pizza in the amount of sweetness in the crust as my last few attempts.  There is something about their crust that is something different, but I canít put my finger on what the difference is.  My last attempt did have almost the same amount of chewiness.  As I said in my last post, I now wonder if we have the right hydration, and maybe if it needs to be lowered a little after watching how I though the dough looked and handled.  I still canít understand how light the crumb is in taste and texture, and was how that is achieved.  As can be seen in the pictures of the crumb, it was light in texture.  They were using the Grande low-moisture part skim shredded mozzarella.  I tried to get a better picture of it, but didnít want them to see that I was trying to take a picture of the cheese.  The sauce just had a good taste, and didnít taste sweet at all.  I will have to taste the sauce again on a reheated slice.   The tomato sauce did taste very fresh.

I donít know what to tell you about glaring or what we might be missing in trying to clone the MMís pizza, because I wouldnít know what to do to try and make the pizza the same as MMís.  Maybe you will get some ideas from my posts.  As I posted the pie I tasted almost tasted like it came out of a WFO.  I canít understand that with the long bake.   ???

I see you are also having problems in deciding how to change your dough formulation.

Norma
« Last Edit: October 22, 2011, 10:07:33 AM by norma427 »
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Offline norma427

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Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
« Reply #452 on: October 22, 2011, 10:18:57 AM »
Norma,

It is interesting that the kitchen manager mentioned the possibility of using brown sugar in addition to the molasses. Yesterday, after I made and tasted the pizza, I thought to use brown sugar next time in addition to molasses and balancing their amounts as best I can to achieve the desired end product. When I was at the supermarket recently and noting the dizzying array of sugar products, the brown sugar products were described as natural products using pure cane sugar, etc. I was always of the impression that molasses was added to refined white sugar to make brown sugar but at least the brown sugar is not a "refined white sugar". Rather, it might be a "refined brown sugar" and, as such, would pass muster. It would also add more molasses.

The vitamin that was mentioned could be the Vitamin E. Vitamin E is stripped out of flour as it is being milled as well as most of the other vitamins, including the B vitamins. The flour is later enriched to add back the B vitamins but not the Vitamin E. I have never seen a flour that is enriched with Vitamin E. I studied the specs of all of the GM flours and did a search on this a while back and came up completely empty, with almost no hits. The Vitamin E is principally in the wheat germ. However, if the wheat germ is defatted, or possibly if it is ground into a powder and heated as a result, there is a loss of the Vitamin E. As was discussed before, it is then possible to add a synthetic Vitamin E (d-alpha tocopherol acetate) back into the wheat germ to replace the Vitamin E that was lost.

Peter

Peter,

If you can think of a formula to set-forth with brown sugar and molasses, I would be willing to try it for this Tuesday.  I knew molasses is added to white sugar to make brown sugar, because of our use of brown sugar in our Caramel Corn business. I know from adding brown sugar and corn syrup together from making the caramel corn, the taste is sweet when the caramel corn is finished, but not that really sweet, if that makes any sense. I asked how the crumb of the MMís pies became so nice and light brown in color, and the kitchen manager said it was from the molasses.  I find you comment about Vitamin E interesting.  What do you suggest to do about that?

Edit:  I didn't have time to search, but is there any meaning from what the sign that MM's had posted on the one door that said Dough Boys Enterprises LLC?  Is there anything you want me to look for in the whole pie I brought home?  It is still whole.

Norma
« Last Edit: October 22, 2011, 10:26:56 AM by norma427 »
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Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
« Reply #453 on: October 22, 2011, 12:15:47 PM »
Alright, I haven't read every single post of this thread, so my apologies if this has been discussed before, but here are two ideas that I've been pondering.

Ingredient List Acquisition

MM is big and corporate enough, imo, that, if you contacted them asking them for an ingredient list, they might oblige.  Has this been tried?  Here's what I write:

Dear MM,

I was thinking of throwing a birthday party for my daughter at one of your locations and some of her friends have food allergies.  Would it be possible to get a list of ingredients for your pizzas?  The ingredients for a plain pizza would be fine, as that's what we'll get for the kid's with allergies.

Industrial Sweeteners

If MM is using commissary dough, there's a really good chance that their operations are large enough to be using industrial sweeteners.  When you get into the industrial sweetener realm, you have access to sweeteners that provide the textural qualities of sugar without the sweetness.   One of these high bulk/low sweetness sweeteners is plain corn syrup. You can't walk into a supermarket and buy plain corn syrup. Karo is a combination of high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) and corn syrup. HFCS is corn syrup that's been combined with enzymes to convert the non sweet/bulky components of the corn syrup into sweet components, to give it more of a sweetness profile that matches sugar (so that it can be subbed for sugar in many many foods/beverages). Non enzyme altered corn syrup is still used in the industry, though, and, when used, will give foods sugary bulk/texture (gooeyness, chewiness, moistness), but won't give them that much sweetness. This bulk will also, to an extent, raise the temperature at which the proteins in the flour set, allowing for the dough to rise a bit longer and potentially improve oven spring (theoretically).

The main reason I bring this up is that the bulk in sugar/corn syrup is a humectant (absorbs water from the air), so one way that MM might be maintaining moistness in their crust without pushing the sweetness envelope is by using an ingredient like non HF corn syrup. It's pretty obvious that this is not a high hydration dough, so when you get into non slack doughs, the options for moistness with long bake times dwindle. My money is industrial corn syrup (or possibly corn syrup powder).

Offline norma427

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Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
« Reply #454 on: October 22, 2011, 12:39:53 PM »
A few more pictures of what the area looks like right around where MMís is located in the District of Columbia if someone has never visited there, and of us to MM's and traveling home.  

I have one other observation I have wondered about since I was on the way home last evening.  I saw the pie makers open the dough for my pies, dress my pies, and watched them baked in the oven.  I saw them take my pies out of the oven, but than sat down to wait for my pies.  When the pie maker removed the pies from the oven, I didnít watch how the melted butter with garlic was brushed on, or how the Parmesan cheese was applied.  They take the pies back somewhere to do that.  It makes me wonder how the pies rim then gets so brown and glossy looking, when it wasnít  like that when they first took it out of the oven.  None of the pies coming out of the oven has that brown glossing looking rim.  I now wish I would have tried to watch how they did that if I could have watched.  Did anyone else watch that process when they were at a MMís pizzeria?

Norma
« Last Edit: October 22, 2011, 12:46:41 PM by norma427 »
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Offline norma427

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Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
« Reply #455 on: October 22, 2011, 12:41:01 PM »
Norma
« Last Edit: October 22, 2011, 12:48:05 PM by norma427 »
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Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
« Reply #456 on: October 22, 2011, 12:42:11 PM »
Norma
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Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
« Reply #457 on: October 22, 2011, 12:43:05 PM »
Norma
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Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
« Reply #458 on: October 22, 2011, 01:35:18 PM »
scott123,

Last week, after seeing how many sugar products in my local supermarket touted the natural and purity attributes of the products, including turbinado/raw cane sugar and light and brown sugar, I wondered whether there were really any non-refined sugar products other than things like honey, maple syrup, pure sorghum, sorghum-molasses, barley malt syrup, concentrated raisin juice, stevia, etc. So, when I got back home, I called MM and was referred to a rep who was responsible for answering questions about the MM products. Although my main purpose in calling MM was in relation to refined sugars, at least initially, in the course of my conversation with the rep she told me that the only ingredients used in MM's dough were high-gluten flour, water, salt, yeast, molasses and oil. That is the same list that I found in a 2003 post on a vegan site, as I mentioned in this thread way back in Reply 18 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,3940.msg149648.html#msg149648 (although water was obviously inadvertently left off the ingredients list). She said that the molasses was liquid molasses, not dry molasses as I had thought (she mentioned something like that "dark wet gooey stuff" that she had seen used to emphasize the point). When I mentioned that the MM pizza crust I had was sweet and that molasses doesn't really add that much sweetness itself, she said that as far as she knew it was only molasses and that, to her, molasses was sweet. When I mentioned that their promotional materials said that they used no "refined white sugar(s)", she said that I had raised a good question inasmuch as MM was thinking of doing away with the term "refined" because arguably someone could say that the molasses was refined.

The discussion then turned to the question of the wheat germ and the Vitamin E enrichment, both of which are mentioned in the promotional materials used by corporate MM and many of its franchisees. She did not seem to know what I was talking about but offered to try to find the answer to those questions. After not hearing back from her after a few days, I called again but ended up leaving a voicemail in which I told her that I was checking back for an answer. I still have not heard back. I was hoping to get a response so that I could give a more complete response on the forum raather than a fragmented one, especially since I thought that I was going to get a prompt update.

On the matter of the corn syrup, which Jet_deck (Gene) also raised in a tangential manner, I noted in response to Gene at Reply 405 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,3940.msg157439.html#msg157439, that corn syrup was a possibility because of the use of the expression "refined white sugar(s)" versus "refined sugar(s)" that franchisees and writers were using, either unknown to MM corporate or acquiesced in by MM corporate. I also knew that Little Caesar's was at least at one time using corn syrup solids in their pizza dough, which member November, who once worked for LC, told me was not the same as liquid corn syrup or the Karo corn syrup that I used in an LC clone on the assumption that I was using a proper substitute.

At this point, I have no confidence in the completeness and accuracy of what MM has been telling us. This is not new. I have many times run into customer service reps who should be able to answer some fairly simple questions yet can't in many cases.

Like you, Norma and I and some of the other members have explored what a modern commissary might use to make pizza dough, including using all kinds of dry molasses products and wet molasses products, and a whole bunch of other, mainly dry ingredients. Norma has so many samples that she may have to build an addition to her home to store all of them. And she is now waiting arrival of some wet molasses products to try, although she has been warned that the products may still not add enough sweetness and may, in fact, behave like Grandma's Original molasses.

Peter

« Last Edit: October 22, 2011, 01:37:24 PM by Pete-zza »

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
« Reply #459 on: October 22, 2011, 03:37:01 PM »
I was able to gauge the color of the MMís dough balls, compared to what I have been making.  My last attempt was about the closest in color in the dough ball and finished crumb.  The color of the dough balls at MMís did look a little darker than a brown coffee filter.  The pizza I brought back home also was a 10Ē pizza.  I want to reheat one slice today for myself, give one slice to my mother, and also do something with one slice for Steve.  What do you suggest I do with the slice for Steve to preserve it for Tuesday?  

The taste of the crumb in the rim wasnít as sweet as I thought it would be.  It only had a tiny bit of sweetness.  Some of my attempts were much sweeter in the finished pizzas.  The only thing I could taste in the crust was molasses.  The slice did have a chewiness to it, and even after it was just baked had a droop.  The bottom crust wasnít real crisp.  The slice could be folded right away as can be seen in the pictures.  There wasnít any doughiness that I could detect in the slice.  As I said the color of the crumb was lighter.  I ate two slices, and my daughter also ate two slices and we both agreed that my attempts werenít like a real MMís pizza in the amount of sweetness in the crust as my last few attempts.  There is something about their crust that is something different, but I canít put my finger on what the difference is.  My last attempt did have almost the same amount of chewiness.  As I said in my last post, I now wonder if we have the right hydration, and maybe if it needs to be lowered a little after watching how I though the dough looked and handled.  I still canít understand how light the crumb is in taste and texture, and was how that is achieved.  As can be seen in the pictures of the crumb, it was light in texture.  They were using the Grande low-moisture part skim shredded mozzarella.  I tried to get a better picture of it, but didnít want them to see that I was trying to take a picture of the cheese.  The sauce just had a good taste, and didnít taste sweet at all.  I will have to taste the sauce again on a reheated slice.   The tomato sauce did taste very fresh.

I donít know what to tell you about glaring or what we might be missing in trying to clone the MMís pizza, because I wouldnít know what to do to try and make the pizza the same as MMís.  Maybe you will get some ideas from my posts.  As I posted the pie I tasted almost tasted like it came out of a WFO.  I canít understand that with the long bake.   ???

I see you are also having problems in deciding how to change your dough formulation.


Norma,

First things first. To preserve the slice of MM pizza for Steve, you might want to immerse it in embalming fluid from a local mortuary. No, just kidding. I think I would freeze it. The slice might be a bit soggy upon defrosting, but if you reheat it in your deck oven at market, that might drive off some of the moisture and let Steve at least taste the crust and its relative sweetness.

On the matter of crust sweetness, the MM pizza I had in Florida had a distinct sweetness. Maybe it is because I use so little sugar in my diet that I have a lower threshhold for detecting sweetness. It drives me crazy when I pick up sugar in products where I don't think that it should even be present, or to the degree that it appears to be present in the products. As you may know, when food processors got rid of fat and some of the salt in their products, they replaced them with sugar and other sweeteners. In the case of MM, it is also possible that using messy liquid molasses, as the MM rep told me is used, that the manufacturing process in the MM commissary has variations in molasses from dough batch to dough batch. The reason I asked you about the dough management protocol at the MM DC location is because I wanted to see if they were doing something that might reduce the sweetness in the finished crust.

In one of my first experiments in this thread, I used 7% molasses (Grandma's Mild Flavor molasses), 2% oil and 54% hydration. And no other sweetener. The "adjusted" hydration to compensate for the water content of the molasses was 55.54%. When I added the 2% oil, I got an "effective" hydration of 57.54%. However, while I thought that the finished crust was delicious, principally because of the molasses flavor, the crust (and the dough from which it was made) was much darker than an MM dough and the dough was hard to open up to form a skin because it was stiff. That is what led me to increase the hydration and also to increase the amount of yeast. When I later switched over to the Grandma's Original molasses, which is a first boil product, I was able to use more of that molasses without adversely affecting the dough and crust coloration because it is a lighter molasses. Whether the samples of liquid molasses that you will soon be receiving allow you to use more of those products remains to be seen despite the admonition that were given to you by the lady at Domino's Specialty Ingredients. My thinking at this point is to drop back or even eliminate the added turbinado (raw cane sugar) and stick with the liquid Grandma's Original molasses but use more of it, mainly for the complexity of the sweetness of the molasses as opposed to the somewhat cloying sweetness of the raw cane sugar. Maybe we have been looking for love sweetness in all the wrong places.

On the matter of the tenderness and moistness of the finished crust, November once indicated that oil and sugar both have the capacity to retain moisture although oil is better at retaining moisture before the dough is baked and sugar is better at retaining the moisture during baking (see Reply 1 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,5043.msg42739/topicseen.html#msg42739). I had lowered the amount of oil that I first started playing around with to make the finished crust less breadlike and more dense and chewy. I think I would rather increase the amount of molasses rather than increasing the amount of oil, even if it means a darker dough and crust.

Peter
« Last Edit: October 22, 2011, 09:02:55 PM by Pete-zza »


 

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