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://tools.foodsim.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
. 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.