Author Topic: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?  (Read 144777 times)

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Offline SquirrelFlight

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Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
« Reply #880 on: December 13, 2011, 12:58:58 PM »
I'm generally a "lurker" here, and I've been following this thread pretty much since it started (which also prompted me to visit the MM we have here in Tempe).  I've thoroughly enjoyed observing the effort and passion you guys put into it - "geekness" and all   ;D


Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
« Reply #881 on: December 13, 2011, 01:49:36 PM »
SquirrelFlight,

C'mon in, the water's fine. Maybe you can try some of the MM clone dough formulations and tell us how they stack up against the MM in Tempe.

Peter
« Last Edit: December 13, 2011, 05:05:34 PM by Pete-zza »

Offline Biz Markie

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Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
« Reply #882 on: December 13, 2011, 07:09:27 PM »
I realized I didn't report on my last pie.

I tried the same formula as I posted most recently, except I added 0.75% untoasted wheat germ.  Also this was my first try with grandma's.

The dough color was lighter due to the less robust Grandma's as compared to the Brer Rabbit. 

I let it temper about 3 hours I believe, and it did improve the rise, but the dough was a little harder to stretch than I prefer. If I wanted it softer, I would increase the hydration a bit, I suppose.

The finished product was good - still had the detectable sweetness I had recently achieved.  I can't say I was as impressed with this pie, but I wonder if it was just my mood and hunger level  :P  Also the toppings we used this time just didn't seem very good, so the overall experience wasn't quite there.
 I couldn't really tell any impact from the Germ.  If I had to point out a specific negative, it would be an apparent lack of flavor complexity.  I also wonder if - now that I've added honey and therefore nearly doubled the "sugar" content - I need the malt anymore.  I could almost perceive an undesirable flavor that I attributed (perhaps erroneously) to the malt.  I may soon try this formula without the malt.


Offline norma427

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Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
« Reply #883 on: December 13, 2011, 09:45:26 PM »
I'm generally a "lurker" here, and I've been following this thread pretty much since it started (which also prompted me to visit the MM we have here in Tempe).  I've thoroughly enjoyed observing the effort and passion you guys put into it - "geekness" and all   ;D

SquirrelFlight,

I agree with Peter, just try one of the MM clone dough formulations out and let us know how it compared with the MM pizza you had in Tempe.

Norma
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Offline norma427

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Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
« Reply #884 on: December 13, 2011, 09:48:30 PM »
This is the one MM pie I made today that I didn’t know before if I mixed the dough right.  Even if I didn’t mix the dough right it still turned out the same.  Either that, or I am so used to mixing the MM clone doughs that I know about how they should feel after they are mixed and added the right amount of extra flour, or close to the right amount.

Norma
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Offline norma427

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Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
« Reply #885 on: December 13, 2011, 09:50:15 PM »
Norma
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Offline norma427

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Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
« Reply #886 on: December 13, 2011, 09:51:07 PM »
Norma
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Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
« Reply #887 on: December 13, 2011, 10:07:20 PM »
Norma,

In Reply 870, you indicated that you had made a four dough ball batch, with the intention to use same at market today. Did you actually use them all today, and did you offer your MM clone for sale?

BTW, which MM clone dough formulation did you use?

Peter

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Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
« Reply #888 on: December 13, 2011, 10:30:54 PM »
Norma,

In Reply 870, you indicated that you had made a four dough ball batch, with the intention to use same at market today. Did you actually use them all today, and did you offer your MM clone for sale?

BTW, which MM clone dough formulation did you use?

Peter

Peter,

I used the MM#7 formulation for the four dough balls.  I used KASL flour as the flour.  I only used two dough balls today, one for a pizza and one for pretzels.  I have frozen the other two dough balls tonight to see how they refreeze.  I did sell the one MM pizza at market today.

Norma
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Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
« Reply #889 on: December 14, 2011, 11:58:30 AM »
Yesterday, I used my most recent MM test clone dough to make a pizza. The sole purpose of the test was to determine an amount of molasses to use to achieve the values of “sugars” as given in the MM Nutrition Facts, as I deciphered that number. For the test, I decided to use the Brer Rabbit Full Flavor molasses all by itself without any other sweeteners that would have complicated the math. The Brer Rabbit Full Flavor molasses is a second or third boil molasses with a sharper “tang” and flavor profile, but less sweet, than many of the other molasses products we have been examining in this thread. Based on my calculations, I came up with a value of that molasses to use of 18%. Yes, 18%. From my “sucrose equivalency” calculations, that amount of molasses should have been equivalent to a bit over 6% sucrose. Since I did not have the actual mono- and disaccharide percents for the Brer Rabbit Full Flavor molasses or its actual water content, neither of which is published by the maker of that product, I used the corresponding generic values for molasses as were given to us by member November and as supplemented by the data given at the nutritiondata.self.com website at http://nutritiondata.self.com/.

Because of the high value of sucrose equivalency of the Brer Rabbit molasses used in my experiment, I decided to increase the amount of IDY from 0.60% to 0.70%. That was done because even molasses in large quantities can exert an osmotic effect on yeast, much like plain sucrose, and inhibit its performance. So, to compensate, I simply increased the amount of IDY to 0.70%, with sorrowness on my part that some of the yeast cells would give up their lives to support the experiment. The other baker’s percent values I used were 50% hydration, 1.50% table salt, and 2.46% soybean oil. The “adjusted” hydration value that compensated for the water content of the Brer Rabbit molasses was about 54%; the “effective” hydration that also took the soybean oil into account was about 56.4%. The flour was my usual KABF/VWG blend with a total protein content of 14.2% (derived using the Mixed Mass Conversion Calculator at http://foodsim.unclesalmon.com/).

As with my past experimental MM clone doughs, I prepared the dough in my 14-cup Cuisinart food processor. I do not believe that I mentioned it before, but because of the low hydration of those doughs, the Cuisinart food processor does not make a perfectly round and smooth ball. Rather, you will get discrete “chunks” of dough. However, it is very easy to gather the dough fragments and form them in a nice round ball by hand. It might have been possible just to run the food processor until a unitary dough ball formed but that would have increased the finished dough temperature to an excessively high value.

Not surprisingly, the most recent experimental MM clone dough was considerably darker than an MM dough, or any of the other MM test doughs that I have made to date. That was of no concern to me since the purpose of the test was not to try to replicate a real MM dough. The test was a “sugars” test only. As it turns out, after the dough had been defrosted in my refrigerator compartment for a day and allowed to ferment there for another day, the dough handled beautifully after about two hours at a room temperature of about 64 degrees F. I know that I mentioned this before, but the method I have been using to open up the MM test dough balls is the one shown in the video that Norma took while she was at the Washington, DC MM location, at
<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qaYQBaOypfw" target="_blank" class="aeva_link bbc_link new_win">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qaYQBaOypfw</a>
. Since my test pizzas have all been 10”, I found that method to work quite well. In all cases, I have tried to keep the rim as thin and as distinct as much as possible.

The pizza was baked on my pizza stone that had been placed on the lowest oven rack position and preheated for about an hour at around 500 degrees F. My oven can get somewhat higher than that, so I took pains to keep it at that temperature as much as possible, including at the time I loaded the dressed pizza onto the stone. It took about 7 minutes on the stone to bake the pizza, followed by about 30 seconds of additional bake time on the uppermost oven rack position.

The “sugars” test was a success. There was sweetness in the crust from the first bite at the tip of a slice to the rim. And it was a complex and flavorful sweetness, not a type of sweetness that one would get using plain table sugar (sucrose). The test also demonstrated that it is possible to get sweetness out of a molasses product if enough of it is used. If anything, maybe the sweetness in the test crust was a bit too much. That leads me to believe that the “sugars” number in the MM Nutrition Facts is not a value that can be readily translated to a sweetener at the point of introduction into the dough. Along the way, after further research, I learned that there is instrumentation that is used to measure the free mono- and disaccharides in products. Also, it appears that some of the companies that do Nutrition Facts for clients like to have both finished products to test as well as the ingredients and quantities used to make the products, which they can use in highly-specialized databases.

A very nice side effect of the experiment is that the test pizza I made as described above was one of the best I have made in the course of this thread, even if it is not a true replica of an MM dough/pizza. That is why I posted my methods in greater detail than usual, just in case someone wants to give it a try. In such a case, I think I would lower the amount of the Brer Rabbit Full Flavor molasses to about 16%. And I might raise the salt to 1.65%, based on my analysis of the MM Nutrition Facts. I would leave the other baker’s percents values alone, although I might substitute corn oil or a light olive oil or cottonseed oil (if available) for the soybean oil (as discussed in a recent post). Using the expanded dough calculating tool at http://www.pizzamaking.com/expanded_calculator.html, for whatever pizza size is desired and with the appropriate thickness factor value, should make easy work at coming up with the modified dough formulation. However, it should be kept in mind that the end pizza that I made, although it was quite similar to a real MM pizza in terms of texture, crumb, and appearance and form and chewiness, had a considerably darker crust than a real MM pizza.

Peter


Offline norma427

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Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
« Reply #890 on: December 14, 2011, 12:59:22 PM »
Peter,

That was a very interesting test you did to determine an amount of molasses to use to achieve the values of “sugars” as given in the MM Nutrition Facts.  Wow, 18% of Brer Rabbit Full Flavored molasses was a lot in the percent of the formulation!  Glad to hear your experiment did work out in terms of the right amount of “sugars” for a MM pizza.  Also interesting to hear the very nice side effect of your experiment was that you produced your best tasting pizza in this thread.  That is great news!   :)

I also think it was good that you explained how you used your Cuisinart food processor to mix the dough.  Anyone that might to try your methods will be helped by what you posted.

I can only imagine how complicated the instrumentation that is used to determine Nutrition Facts for companies food products are.

Norma
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Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
« Reply #891 on: December 14, 2011, 02:46:40 PM »
Also interesting to hear the very nice side effect of your experiment was that you produced your best tasting pizza in this thread. 

Norma,

It is hard to say if that was the best pizza I made in the course of this thread but it certainly was one of the best. I had a reheated leftover slice for lunch today and it was still good. Of the other MM clones, I though the one with all Grandma's Original molasses and one with honey and Grandma's Original molasses and one with raw cane sugar (Turbinado) and Grandma's Original molasses were also very good. My notes say that the honey/Grandma's Original molasses version was the closest to what I recall of the MM pizza I had in Florida. However, the one I made yesterday with all Brer Rabbit Full Flavor molasses had a lot of the characteristics of an MM pizza, but for the color and flavor (the flavor of yesterday's pizza was more pronounced).

BTW, while I was out shopping today, I checked out the oils in two supermarkets, one a high-end supermarket and the other a low-end supermarket, and I could not find any cottonseed oils. I know that cottonseed oils can be bought online but it seems that supermarkets do not carry them for some reason. As I mentioned before, I don't think it matters all that much what oil is used to make an MM clone dough. It may well be that MM is using a commercial product that has specs that are a bit different than the ones I looked at recently at the nutritiondata.self.com website. This project has certainly taught us a lot about a lot of things, hasn't it?

Peter

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Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
« Reply #892 on: December 14, 2011, 03:57:29 PM »
Norma,

It is hard to say if that was the best pizza I made in the course of this thread but it certainly was one of the best. I had a reheated leftover slice for lunch today and it was still good. Of the other MM clones, I though the one with all Grandma's Original molasses and one with honey and Grandma's Original molasses and one with raw cane sugar (Turbinado) and Grandma's Original molasses were also very good. My notes say that the honey/Grandma's Original molasses version was the closest to what I recall of the MM pizza I had in Florida. However, the one I made yesterday with all Brer Rabbit Full Flavor molasses had a lot of the characteristics of an MM pizza, but for the color and flavor (the flavor of yesterday's pizza was more pronounced).

BTW, while I was out shopping today, I checked out the oils in two supermarkets, one a high-end supermarket and the other a low-end supermarket, and I could not find any cottonseed oils. I know that cottonseed oils can be bought online but it seems that supermarkets do not carry them for some reason. As I mentioned before, I don't think it matters all that much what oil is used to make an MM clone dough. It may well be that MM is using a commercial product that has specs that are a bit different than the ones I looked at recently at the nutritiondata.self.com website. This project has certainly taught us a lot about a lot of things, hasn't it?

Peter

Peter,

Thanks for clarifying what you thought were you best attempts at a MM clone and why you thought so.

I haven’t checked for any cottonseed oils in supermarkets near where I live, but don’t recall seeing any.  Maybe at a Health Food store near me they might sell cottonseed oil, but I don’t know.  You could be right that MM might be using an oil that has different specs than what you looked at on the nutritiondata.self.com website.

I agree that we did learn a lot on this thread.  Whenever you are “at the helm” I know there will be a lot to be learned. It has been a fun journey.  :) Peter/Thelma, I know you will never steer anyone wrong in any thread.  Thanks for helping all of us with this thread.

Norma/Louise
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Offline Biz Markie

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Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
« Reply #893 on: December 14, 2011, 06:34:37 PM »
Nice experiment, Peter!


Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
« Reply #894 on: December 14, 2011, 08:12:28 PM »
Norma,

I found a product that you might find useful and want to sample if you decide to make MM clone pizzas at market. It is called Whirl. I first heard of that product when one of our members who went on to become a professional pizza operator with his own pizzeria reported over at the PMQ Think Tank that he used Whirl in one of the dough formulations that he took from our forum to his business. Whirl is a liquid butter-flavored product that, among other uses, can be brushed on the rim of a baked pizza crust. However, there is no real butter, or even margarine, in the product. It is basically an oil-based product, using either soybean oil or a high oleic sunflower oil with soybean lecithin. There is even a "butter"/garlic version of Whirl that is made of a vegetable oil with artificial and natural garlic flavor. You can read more about the Whirl products at http://www.stratasfoods.com/brandOverview.aspx?brand_id=39, including the links toward the bottom right of the page.

Naturally, it did occur to me that MM might be using a Whirl product, especially since it a time saver, it is fluid and pourable at room temperature, it does not require refrigeration and it is about half the cost of butter. However, after studying the MM Allergens pdf document at http://mellowmushroom.com/public/allergens102411.pdf, I could not find any evidence of the use of a Whirl product. For example, the Butter & Garlic base (at page 7) that is used to brush the rims of pizzas and one of the pretzel options (the butter and salt option) is indicated as having a "Milk" component, most likely the milk component of real butter. Also, where a product includes soybean lecithin, the MM Allergens document so indicates in the Soy column. Further, if you look at the MM Dustin YouTube video, at about 0:35 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>
, you will see what appears to be melted butter with the milk solids separated out at the bottom of the contaner. The grated parmesan cheese is in a separate small bowl.

If the Whirl product is of any interest to you, there is a "Send me a FREE SAMPLE" button at http://www.todayswhirl.com/index.htm.

BTW, there is no reason why a Whirl product can't also be used on your preferment Lehmann pizzas at market. If you get the version with the sunflower oil, that is a good oil from a nutritional and health standpoint.

Peter

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
« Reply #895 on: December 14, 2011, 08:42:26 PM »
Norma,

You may recall that one of the unsolved mysteries about the MM pizzas is that some of the rims look shiny. I was looking at one of the MM videos again, at
<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=albTZa4xlJw&amp;feature=related" target="_blank" class="aeva_link bbc_link new_win">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=albTZa4xlJw&amp;feature=related</a>
, and I noticed in that video that a worker to the right of the oven is shown applying something to the baked pizza with a brush, most likely the garlic butter base. The grated parmesan cheese is in a shaker. However, if you look more closely, you will see that the worker also looks to be using the brush to transfer what I would imagine are fats or oils from the middle of the pizza to the rim. If that is what he is doing, I can see how the rims might have a shine to them. If the rims are coated with butter before oils or fats from the middle of the pizza are added, the butter can serve as a barrier to the oils and fats and create a shine on the rim.

Peter

Offline norma427

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Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
« Reply #896 on: December 14, 2011, 09:38:57 PM »
Norma,

I found a product that you might find useful and want to sample if you decide to make MM clone pizzas at market. It is called Whirl. I first heard of that product when one of our members who went on to become a professional pizza operator with his own pizzeria reported over at the PMQ Think Tank that he used Whirl in one of the dough formulations that he took from our forum to his business. Whirl is a liquid butter-flavored product that, among other uses, can be brushed on the rim of a baked pizza crust. However, there is no real butter, or even margarine, in the product. It is basically an oil-based product, using either soybean oil or a high oleic sunflower oil with soybean lecithin. There is even a "butter"/garlic version of Whirl that is made of a vegetable oil with artificial and natural garlic flavor. You can read more about the Whirl products at http://www.stratasfoods.com/brandOverview.aspx?brand_id=39, including the links toward the bottom right of the page.

Naturally, it did occur to me that MM might be using a Whirl product, especially since it a time saver, it is fluid and pourable at room temperature, it does not require refrigeration and it is about half the cost of butter. However, after studying the MM Allergens pdf document at http://mellowmushroom.com/public/allergens102411.pdf, I could not find any evidence of the use of a Whirl product. For example, the Butter & Garlic base (at page 7) that is used to brush the rims of pizzas and one of the pretzel options (the butter and salt option) is indicated as having a "Milk" component, most likely the milk component of real butter. Also, where a product includes soybean lecithin, the MM Allergens document so indicates in the Soy column. Further, if you look at the MM Dustin YouTube video, at about 0:35 at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lvixfngmz-g&feature=related, you will see what appears to be melted butter with the milk solids separated out at the bottom of the contaner. The grated parmesan cheese is in a separate small bowl.

If the Whirl product is of any interest to you, there is a "Send me a FREE SAMPLE" button at http://www.todayswhirl.com/index.htm.

BTW, there is no reason why a Whirl product can't also be used on your preferment Lehmann pizzas at market. If you get the version with the sunflower oil, that is a good oil from a nutritional and health standpoint.

Peter


Peter,

Thanks so much for posting about Whirl.  I heard of Whirl before, but really didn’t know what it was, or it was cheaper than margarine or butter. Being it wouldn’t need refrigerated is also a plus. You must already know how happy I am to receive free samples to try.  The 8 oz. free sample would be really nice to try.  ;D I already sent a request for a free sample.  Whirl might be a free sample that I might actually use. If you would see the wall of free samples I have already acquired and am not using, you might be surprised.  :o Naturally you always think of everything related to pizzas and although Whirl wouldn’t fit the Nutrition Facts for MM it might be great for me to try. Since you have studied the allergens and couldn’t find any evidence of the use of a Whirl product, I know you would note that the butter & garlic base that is used to brush the rims of pizzas and one of the pretzel options most likely would be butter, since milk is a component of real butter.  I had wondered about that video you have referenced in what was in the container.  I can now see that it appears to be melted butter with the milk solids separated out at the bottom of the container.  I do also see the grated parmesan cheese in a separate small bowl in the video.

I never thought about using a product like Whirl in the preferment Lehmann pizzas at market.  I know sunflower oil is a good oil from a nutritional and health standpoint, but didn’t know Whirl came in that version. 

I do plan on making the clone MM at market.  I had only wanted to do this last test to see if the MM dough balls could be refrozen and used the next week, in case dough balls are left over at the end of the day. The pretzels I made yesterday from the other MM clone dough did really taste good when reheated today.  They were really soft and tasty.  BTW, I did try Imperial margarine yesterday instead of butter with garlic powder and I couldn’t notice any difference than when I used real butter with garlic powder. 

Norma,

You may recall that one of the unsolved mysteries about the MM pizzas is that some of the rims look shiny. I was looking at one of the MM videos again, at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=albTZa4xlJw&feature=related, and I noticed in that video that a worker to the right of the oven is shown applying something to the baked pizza with a brush, most likely the garlic butter base. The grated parmesan cheese is in a shaker. However, if you look more closely, you will see that the worker also looks to be using the brush to transfer what I would imagine are fats or oils from the middle of the pizza to the rim. If that is what he is doing, I can see how the rims might have a shine to them. If the rims are coated with butter before oils or fats from the middle of the pizza are added, the butter can serve as a barrier to the oils and fats and create a shine on the rim.

Peter


I do recall one of the unresolved mysteries was is that some of the rims look shiny.  I had posted on my visit to MM in Washington, DC that they took the pizzas somewhere and I couldn’t see what was applied to the rims.  I think you are a real Sherlock Holmes in spotting the worker applying something to the baked pizza with a brush!  ;D I never would have picked that up.  Do you now think the fats from the pizza make the shiny crust which has eluded us until now?  That could be the link we have been missing.

Norma
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Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
« Reply #897 on: December 14, 2011, 09:49:32 PM »
Do you now think the fats from the pizza make the shiny crust which has eluded us until now?  That could be the link we have been missing.

Norma,

It is only speculation at this point. Or, as Jet_deck is fond of saying: Just sayin' ;D

Peter

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Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
« Reply #898 on: December 20, 2011, 02:06:54 PM »
Yesterday, I conducted some more tests using an MM clone dough, specifically, one using only Grandma’s Original molasses. I selected that brand because it is one that is readily available to just about everyone everywhere. I also conducted some interesting hydration-related tests using the same dough that I will discuss separately in the next post.

For the latest test MM clone dough, I used 12.5% Grandma’s Original molasses. That amount was based on some “sucrose equivalency” calculations I did to get what I hoped would produce the right amount of sweetness in the finished crust. I also decided to lower the total protein content of my usual KABF/VWG blend (by adjusting the amount of VWG), while still maintaining that value in the high-gluten flour range, to see if that would produce a finished crust with the requisite amount of chewiness in the rim. The protein of the new blend, as derived using the Mixed Mass Conversion Calculator at http://foodsim.unclesalmon.com/, was 13.6%. As I have noted before, we do not really know what protein content MM is using for its flour. All MM has said is that it is using a “high gluten” flour. That can mean anything from about 13.5-14.2% protein.

As a further test, I raised the salt level again, from 1.50% to 1.65%, to see if the higher level and the amount of molasses were compatible and would not reduce the sweetness sensation imparted by the molasses. And, for the first time, I decided to try using olive oil, extra virgin, at 2.46%, instead of soybean oil. The other baker’s percents were 50% hydration and 0.70% IDY. The “adjusted” hydration of the dough formulation that accounted for the water content of the Grandma’s Original molasses was 52.75%, and the “effective” hydration that also took the olive oil into account was 55.21%. The sucrose equivalency number was 5.2%. That is the number I wanted to test especially, to see if it would be high enough to get detectable sweetness. I also wanted to try to keep the color of the dough and finished crust close to a real MM dough.

The dough was prepared and managed just like the last one, in all material respects. I would say that the color of the dough was a bit darker than a real MM dough, but not enough to worry about. The pizza made from the dough was baked in the same manner as the last one that I reported. The first thing I looked for in the finished crust was its sweetness. The crust passed that test but I would have preferred a bit more sweetness. That can be accomplished by increasing the amount of Grandma’s Original molasses by a few percent or so but that will yield an even darker dough and finished crust if that is a concern to anyone. At the same time, I would be inclined to reduce the amount of salt back to 1.50%. That is a value that I have found to work quite well, without ever producing the sensation that the crust was too bland and needed more salt. I would keep all of the other baker’s percents the same.

A second thing I looked for was the effect of lowering the protein content of the flour blend I used for the latest MM clone dough. On that score, the crumb of the rim of the pizza was a bit lighter texturally than usual but the chewiness was still there. However, it is hard to say that that was due to the change in flour blend. There were too many other changes that could have contributed to that effect. Another thing I looked for was whether I could detect a difference from using the olive oil instead of soybean oil. I could detect no difference. As I mentioned earlier, I think that one can use just about any type of oil. The amount used is too small to produce noticeable differences. Yesterday, I bought a bottle of canola oil. I will try that one next time even though I do not believe that I will be able to detect a difference, for the reasons noted.

One of the final tests I conducted on the pizza was to take oils and other fluids released by the pepperoni slices on the pizza and to apply them (using a brush) to the rim. I did so both before and after placing the garlic butter on the rim. That did have the effect of making the rim of the pizza glisten, and the shine persisted for some time. When I looked at the leftover slices today, the shine was gone but perhaps the fats solidified while in the refrigerator. Whether MM is actually using the fats on pizzas to create the shine as a general practice, or whether that is something that only some of the MM franchisees do, remains to be seen but that method does work.

In summary, it looks like one can use only Grandma’s Original molasses to make a credible MM clone pizza but the sweetness will not be as pronounced as using a larger amount, which will in turn result in a darker colored dough and crust. I personally think the results of using more of the Grandma’s Original molasses, along with salt at around 1.5%, is likely to produce a better final product, not only in sweetness but in flavor as well, just as I discovered recently when I used 18% Brer Rabbit Full Flavor molasses. My next experiment may use only the Steen's 100% Pure Cane Syrup. It is higher in sugars than the Grandma's Original molasses and maybe its use can be controlled to produce a dough and crust color that is closer to a real MM dough with a comparable sweetness in the finished crust.

Peter

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
« Reply #899 on: December 20, 2011, 02:13:48 PM »
In my last post, I mentioned some hydration-related tests that I conducted using the same dough as my last experiment. The reason for the tests was to see if they would tell me how much water was actually in the dough as compared with calculations that I could come up with on paper. That way, if I was ever able to get a sample of a real MM dough, I could run the same tests on that sample to ascertain the water content of that dough and compare it with my MM clone doughs. Any differences would guide me on selecting values for the formula hydration and/or amount of molasses to use to close any gaps between the real MM dough and mine.

My first thought was just to make a normal MM clone dough, form a skin out of it, and bake it without anything on it until all of the moisture in the dough was removed through evaporation. By comparing the “before” weight with the “after” weight, I would be able to calculate how much water was actually in the dough. Having done weight loss calculations before on many occasions, I concluded that it would take forever to remove all of the water from a full-sized skin, and that a better way must exist. So, I did a Google search. Somehow, I ended up finding something in a “Google Book” that described how to do what I wanted to do. The instructions said to take a 10-gram piece of dough, spread it with the fingers to fill a metal container around 2 ½” in diameter and about ¼” tall, and bake the flattened skin (in a vacuum environment) at a high enough oven temperature, for about 10 minutes, to cause the dough to puff up. Then, the skin would be split in two and pierced with a sharp instrument such as the tip of a knife. The two pieces of the pierced skin would then be baked at a temperature of 212 degrees F for about 12-16 hours. Presumably, the 212 degrees F temperature is used because that is the temperature at which water turns to steam.

Armed with the above instructions, I decided to run the test, using my countertop toaster oven instead of my regular electric oven, even though my toaster oven is clearly not capable of operating in a vacuum. Fortuitously, for my test I found a metal lid from a small jar that was 2 ½” in diameter by about ¼” in height. That seems to be a standard size as might be used, for example, for a jar of spaghetti sauce.

After following the above instructions, about 12 hours later, I ended up with the baked test skin weighing 6.1 grams. That represented a loss of water of 39% of the total weight of the original skin before baking. I let the skin bake for a couple of hours longer, or until it was clear that the weight had stabilized at 6.1 grams. In order to compare that value with my calculated value, I used the standard generic number for the water content of molasses, which is about 22%. However, I concluded that I perhaps would get a better and more accurate comparison if I ran a similar test on the molasses also. That would give me the actual water content of the molasses rather than the generic value of 22%. It then dawned on me that the flour blend I was using also had a moisture content. For most white flours, including KABF, the moisture content is 14%. For vital wheat gluten, the generic moisture content is about 8.1%. So, I ran a test on the KABF also. Again, I used the metal lid and “baked” the molasses sample and the flour sample, at around 212 degrees F, until it was clear that their final values stabilized. I did not run a similar test on the Hodgson Mill vital wheat gluten because the amount was too small (about 3.53 grams) to worry about.

Based on the tests conducted on the Grandma’s Original molasses sample and the KABF sample, I got a water content number for the molasses of 21.875%, and 14.2% for the KABF (my KABF is from a new bag). Using those numbers with my MM clone dough formulation, along with the generic water content value for vital wheat gluten (8.1%) and the formula hydration I used (50%), I came up with a water content for my dough of 39.94%, or a bit less than one percent higher than the actual value (39%) from the baking test. However, that difference is within the margin of error. For example, if the final baked weight of the 10-gram dough sample was 6.0 grams instead of 6.1 grams, or only 0.1 gram difference, the final numbers would have been virtually identical. In my case, the weights were taken using my small My Weigh 300-Z digital scale with an accuracy to 0.1 gram. Just breathing around the scale can cause a one gram change.

For those who may be in a position to get a sample of a real MM dough, however creative they might be to get such a sample, a 10-gram sample is about the size of a marble, maybe ¾” in diameter. So, not much is needed to do a hydration test as discussed above.

Peter