Pizza Making Forum

Pizza Making => American Style => Topic started by: alm99 on October 16, 2006, 10:23:40 PM

Title: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: alm99 on October 16, 2006, 10:23:40 PM
Anyone know how to make their dough or imitate their pizza? My wife and I move away from Atlanta last year and have been dieing for another slice. I have done a search, but cannot locate a good copycat recipe. Anyone have any ideas? They feature spring water dough, but not really sure what makes that special. Please help!
Title: Mellow Mushroom dough recipe?
Post by: Halo on September 14, 2007, 05:31:20 PM
Not exactly "NY" style crust... But somewhat similar ;D
Mellow Mushroom restaurants claims their dough is made with "spring water" and I must say I believe them because their pizza's are definitely a cut above regular fair in the ATL. Does anybody have a dough recipe that comes close(or hopefully NAILS!) what Mellow Mushroom puts out? TIA for any response....  :pizza: :pizza: :chef: :pizza: :pizza:

Title: Mellow Mushroom - Your Thoughts, Experiences, and Recipes
Post by: jagercola on October 12, 2008, 03:59:02 PM
I'm normally a 100% whole grain pizza maker, but every now and again I splurge at Mellow Mushroom.  They have a thicker American/California type crust which is chewy, airy, and has a unique tang to it they attribute to "spring water dough".  Does anyone here have any stories or experiences to share, either in working there, trying their pries, or figuring out what their recipes are?  I do know they bake the pies with Parmesan cheese on the crust, which gives it a great flavor.  I'm assuming they use filtered water as their "spring water", but I swear there is some abnormal ingredient which gives the pies a zing.   What do you guys think?
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom - Your Thoughts, Experiences, and Recipes
Post by: Jackitup on October 12, 2008, 04:17:52 PM
Maybe a sourdough starter or buttermilk powder in their mix. I recently made a homemade ranch dressing dry mix that has buttermilk powder in it that has a real nice 'tang' as you say. I haven't tried it in pizza dough yet but it has crossed my mind as something to try out.
Jon
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom - Your Thoughts, Experiences, and Recipes
Post by: dbrennan84 on January 18, 2010, 08:39:04 PM
I'm normally a 100% whole grain pizza maker, but every now and again I splurge at Mellow Mushroom.  They have a thicker American/California type crust which is chewy, airy, and has a unique tang to it they attribute to "spring water dough".  Does anyone here have any stories or experiences to share, either in working there, trying their pries, or figuring out what their recipes are?  I do know they bake the pies with Parmesan cheese on the crust, which gives it a great flavor.  I'm assuming they use filtered water as their "spring water", but I swear there is some abnormal ingredient which gives the pies a zing.   What do you guys think?


I work at the one in Chattanooga

Actually, the crust is basted with garlic butter and sprinkled with Parmesan cheese after it is baked. As for the dough, supposedly there is no sugar. Perhaps they just don't use white sugar. I don't know. Although I am interested in finding the recipe of dough. I will post my experiments
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom - Your Thoughts, Experiences, and Recipes
Post by: Mad_Ernie on January 19, 2010, 09:45:02 AM

I work at the one in Chattanooga

Actually, the crust is basted with garlic butter and sprinkled with Parmesan cheese after it is baked.

Sound like something Domino's has recently tried to emulate. ;)
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom - Your Thoughts, Experiences, and Recipes
Post by: Tampa on February 16, 2010, 05:53:41 PM
The garlic butter and parmesan cheese after baking does fit with my experience in eating Mellow Mushroom pizza and in my attempt to replicate the crust.

I've read that Mellow uses honey and a percentage of whole wheat flower -but I don't think that is correct.  For me, the closest approximation, which is pretty close, is 100% high-gluten white flower (eg KASL) and molasses 1-2 TBSP.

Dave
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom - Your Thoughts, Experiences, and Recipes
Post by: jagercola on March 14, 2010, 10:44:58 AM
Molasses!!! I bet that is the key because the dough has a slight brown color to it, but it's not caused by wheat flour as far as I can tell.  I had been putting the parm cheese on prior to baking, and that didn't come out the same.  I'll mix a little garlic butter, then parm after the oven.  I wonder how much one of their dough ball weighs because I never quite get quite the puffy crust, though I am making the pies with 75% white wheat flour. 

Keep the recipe ideas coming in!
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom - Your Thoughts, Experiences, and Recipes
Post by: JConk007 on March 14, 2010, 04:30:19 PM
Is there one of these on Hilton Head Island In the sea pines mall?
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom - Your Thoughts, Experiences, and Recipes
Post by: Tampa on March 17, 2010, 06:18:28 PM
I'm pretty sure molassas is the answer, along with garlic-butter around the crust and sprinkled parm.  I've eaten a lot of Mellow pizza, along with my wife, and we both think we've found the forumla.  My daughter is back from college this weekend.  During the last visit, she was marginally-amused with the honey-based attempt.  I think we'll see three thumbs up by Sunday. 
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom - Your Thoughts, Experiences, and Recipes
Post by: StrayBullet on July 11, 2010, 01:07:48 PM
I'm pretty sure molassas is the answer, along with garlic-butter around the crust and sprinkled parm.  I've eaten a lot of Mellow pizza, along with my wife, and we both think we've found the forumla.  My daughter is back from college this weekend.  During the last visit, she was marginally-amused with the honey-based attempt.  I think we'll see three thumbs up by Sunday. 

Now I really can't wait to sit down and talk!!!  I love their dough, although it can be a little dense at times.  I'd love to shoot for something along these lines, maybe a little thinner with a decent char, I'd be in home-chef heaven!
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom - Your Thoughts, Experiences, and Recipes
Post by: Tampa on July 11, 2010, 01:53:23 PM
Glad to hear it.  My family is still mostly in the mellow-making pie business.  It's one of my favorites, from the handful of really good pizzas I've had over the years.  But more importantly, my daughter is home from college for the summer, so "if we're having pizza it better be mellow" - or I'll be in real trouble.

Bob is more of a purist Ė dough, sauce, and cheese.  Everyone else is using pizza as an ďedible plateĒ for ingredients.  Iíve had good fun over the last year or so with Bob and even talked him into trying a mushroom pizza one time.  There is some chance that I will be able to turn him to the dark side.  Hopefully Bob will be around when you are in town so you can try both styles.

We had some friends over last night and threw 4 pies with everything from cheese to ďthe worksĒ.  Once you get the setup and process down, pizza makes for a great party.

Dave
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom - Your Thoughts, Experiences, and Recipes
Post by: StrayBullet on July 11, 2010, 02:29:16 PM
Bob is more of a purist Ė dough, sauce, and cheese.  Everyone else is using pizza as an ďedible plateĒ for ingredients.  Iíve had good fun over the last year or so with Bob and even talked him into trying a mushroom pizza one time.  There is some chance that I will be able to turn him to the dark side.  Hopefully Bob will be around when you are in town so you can try both styles.

Sounds awesome Dave!!!  I didn't mean to overstate my travel as it's usually just during the week, 2-3 weeks/month but that doesn't led to much "me time" :D  I guess I'm around more than I intended it to sound and seeing as it's a nice invitation, I don't want to put it off!  Does this Saturday sound good?  I'm really eager to try your Mellow Mushroom clone and talk pizza in general!!!  Thanks!

Mark
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom - Your Thoughts, Experiences, and Recipes
Post by: Tampa on July 12, 2010, 11:57:43 AM
Saturday works for me.  I'll have to get back to you regarding the good doctor & will send you a pm.
Dave
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom - Your Thoughts, Experiences, and Recipes
Post by: Art on July 12, 2010, 12:27:19 PM
I recently tried Mellow Mushroom for the first time in Gainesville, Ga.  I doubt I'll be giving it a second chance.  As per usual, it didn't come close to what I turn out at home. No better, no worse than the average pizza joint as far as I'm concerned. Art
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom - Your Thoughts, Experiences, and Recipes
Post by: StrayBullet on July 12, 2010, 12:35:08 PM
I recently tried Mellow Mushroom for the first time in Gainesville, Ga.  I doubt I'll be giving it a second chance.  As per usual, it didn't come close to what I turn out at home. No better, no worse than the average pizza joint as far as I'm concerned. Art

For me Art, it's not that it's the end all of the pizza world, it's just that there's something different about the crust; a different category all together in my opinion.  Using my sauce, techniques, etc it would be cool to recreate this crust at home :)
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom - Your Thoughts, Experiences, and Recipes
Post by: Biz Markie on February 21, 2011, 12:48:34 PM
Mellow 'Shroom is my favorite Pizza, hands-down (with Crust in Sewanee, TN a close second, but totally different experience really).

I was excited when I found this board because I was sure someone would have a Mellow Mushroom clone recipe.  But alas!  There is none!

I found this thread, though, and saw molasses postulated as the secret ingredient.

Yesterday I cooked-up a pie using Pete-zza's Papa John's clone recipe substituting Molasses for sugar.  I am pleased to announce that I think molasses definitely is the secret ingredient!  I was shocked how similar the taste and texture was to the real thing.

So if there's anyone else out there looking to re-create Mellow 'Shroom at home, I would suggest using Pete-zza's PJ clone formulation and substituting molasses 1:1 for sugar.

Good luck!
Biz
Title: Mellow Mushroom by the slice pans?
Post by: PizzaChicka on March 06, 2011, 08:59:55 PM
 Does anyone have a guess or info on what size/brand etc pans Mellow Mushroom using for the huge by the slice pizzas? Thanks!
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom - Your Thoughts, Experiences, and Recipes
Post by: Pete-zza on August 14, 2011, 08:34:57 PM
Biz,

After seeing the Mellow Mushroom YouTube videos at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P7-oxqmv7L8&feature=related, (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P7-oxqmv7L8&feature=related,) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lvixfngmz-g&feature=related (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lvixfngmz-g&feature=related) and http://www.youtube.com/watch?NR=1&v=albTZa4xlJw, (http://www.youtube.com/watch?NR=1&v=albTZa4xlJw,) I can see how there may be a similarity between the MM pizza and a Papa John's pizza.

Out of curiosity, I did some searching on what goes into a MM pizza dough. This is an old item, but in 2003, at http://www.vegfamily.com/forums/showthread.php?t=503&page=2, (http://www.vegfamily.com/forums/showthread.php?t=503&page=2,) there is a post by capersmama that the ingredients for a MM dough, as given by MM itself, are as follows:

The ingredients include flour, salt, yeast, molasses and vegetable oil. In addition, our sauce does not contain any [animal products or byproducts] either--just tomatoes, spices and water. Note: The bracketed entry is mine.

Of course, water is also an ingredient. I read in several places, including at the old MM website at http://mellowmushroom.com/public/old_site1/aboutus.html, (http://mellowmushroom.com/public/old_site1/aboutus.html,) that the water is spring water (in many cases indicated to be Georgia spring water). Elsewhere, including at http://frenchtowner.com/travel/mellow-mushroom-pizza/, (http://frenchtowner.com/travel/mellow-mushroom-pizza/,) I read that the flour is a high gluten flour that is vitamin enriched high gluten flour with wheat germ. There apparently is no refined white sugar used in the dough.

Things change, so it is possible that the ingredients for a MM dough have changed over time. However, I would say that using molasses and spring water (or possibly purified water using reverse osmosis) are staples of the MM dough. I did not read whether the molasses is in a liquid or dried form. In either event, the amount of molasses shouldn't be so great as to cause the bottom of the pizzas to darken prematurely when baked in a deck oven.

From the videos, I would say that high gluten flour is a distinct possibility. See, for example, http://www.thefamuanonline.com/2.10465/pizzeria-offers-healthy-options-1.1401434. (http://www.thefamuanonline.com/2.10465/pizzeria-offers-healthy-options-1.1401434.)

Sometime you might purchase a basic MM pizza, such as a 14" (medium) unsliced pepperoni pizza, weigh the pizza (preferably in grams), and count the number of pepperoni slices. Or, you might just buy a basic cheese pizza. The weights might offer a clue as to how much dough to use to replicate the MM pizza. If you can provide the numbers, I might be able to suggest something. You might also send an email to MM and ask them if they have the Nutrition Facts for their pizzas. There is no need for you to explain why you would like that information. However, if you tell them that you have allergies or special dietary requirements (e.g., you are a vegetarian/vegan), they might also tell you what goes into their doughs if you ask for that information also. Although MM has no stores in California, you might also ask if the flour they used is bromated, which is a legitimate dietary/health concern given that California deems bromates to be carcinogenic.

Peter

EDIT (9/13/14): For the archived Wayback Machine version of the frenchtower article, see http://web.archive.org/web/20120724105956/http://frenchtowner.com/travel/mellow-mushroom-pizza/ (http://web.archive.org/web/20120724105956/http://frenchtowner.com/travel/mellow-mushroom-pizza/): unfortunately, the vegfamily item was not archived at the Wayback Machine, but fortunately the pertinent portion is quoted above.
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom - Your Thoughts, Experiences, and Recipes
Post by: Pete-zza on August 14, 2011, 10:19:19 PM
Biz,

As an addendum to my last post, see the About us tab at http://redbookbr.com/bizpages/612/coupons.

Peter
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom - Your Thoughts, Experiences, and Recipes
Post by: Biz Markie on August 15, 2011, 11:18:33 AM
Thanks for the info, Pete!

I feel somewhat silly because in my post above, I declared that molasses must be the key ingredient, then in another later post in another thread, I cast doubt on that just based on my own tastes, etc.

I think I am probably using too much molasses.  I was replacing 100% of the sugar in my PJ clone dough with molasses.  I want to try lessening that and either not making up the Sugar difference, or also using a little diastatic barley malt (I also want to try one with no molasses and some diastatic malt in some amount or another.)

I had not thought of youtubing MM to see what was out there, so I will definitely check out those links.  I may request a kitchen tour next time I go to MM as well, just for kicks.  I think emailing them is also a great idea.

I will try to keep you posted.

Meanwhile, I have several posts I need to make. . . .. I had a total disaster last night with a high-hydration (69-70%) neapolitan attempt so I'm really feeling quite downtrodden!   :'(
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: Pete-zza on August 15, 2011, 01:16:40 PM
Biz,

I thought that you might find this article of interest: http://www.nbcdfw.com/the-scene/food-drink/Mellow-Mushrooms-House-Special-Recipe.html. I am generally skeptical of articles that attempt to replicate commercial pizzas at home, especially when the instructions say to use an oven/pizza stone temperature of 450 degrees F and a 25-30 minute bake time, as does the abovereferenced article. However, it may well be that the amounts of dough (12 ounces), sauce (3 ounces) and cheese (4 ounces) are correct for the 10" size pizza discussed in the article. If those numbers are correct, by extrapolation the corresponding amounts of those ingredients for a 14" size with the same characteristics come to 23.52 ounces, 5.88 ounces, and 7.84 ounces, respectively. It is also possible that the amount of sauce is by volume rather than by weight. There is no way to know for sure. But, if the above numbers are anywhere near correct, a plain 14" MM cheese pizza would weigh somewhere around 37 ounces pre-baked and somewhat less when fully baked. Adding pepperoni to the pizza would typically add around two more ounces. Having actual weights to work with as previously discussed would tell us if the above numbers are off the wall. However, in your experience, did you feel that the MM pizzas are on the hefty side?

BTW, I merged some other scattered MM posts into this thread to keep things together as much as possible. I will also be moving this thread to the American board. I do not think that the original Georgia Tech founders of MM would have considered their pizzas to be California style.

There is still a random MM thread out there sitting by itself, at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,15063.msg149088.html#msg149088. Since you started that thread, I can delete it if you'd wish, either before or after you have had a chance to consider whether you want to add something from that thread to this thread.

Peter
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom clone?
Post by: StrayBullet on August 15, 2011, 03:00:13 PM
Here in the Tampa area, Dave and Bob were messing around with this and they locked in on it pretty good.  I don't know if they ever posted the recipe/process but I'll see what I can dig up :)
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: Biz Markie on August 15, 2011, 05:37:33 PM
Yep, let's delete that thread I started. .I had forgotten about this older one.  

Thanks for your advocacy of this topic!! LOL

I honestly don't know if I'd consider an MM Medium hefty or not.  It's actually been quite a while since I've patronized the local MM. I really want to swing by soon though.

I called MM today and got someone who said it was their first day on the job and they'd have to get back to me on the Nutritional Info.  Didn't hear back from her BUT I did get an email response, which said they are trying to gather nutrition facts for all their menu items but have it completed it yet.   ???

I am really intrigued by the Wheat Germ references in the links you supplied earlier.  I keep thinking about what gives their crumb such a golden color... not brown, but really golden-y, as I remember it.  Germ could do it, but much molasses (as I have used about 1.5 TBSP in a 24oz ball) turns it a pretty dark brown.   I've never baked with wheat germ so not sure how that would affect the color (and of course taste).  Not sure what added Barley Malt Powder would do to color/flavor either.

I am not nearly as technically inclined as you so in my mind I'm thinking more in terms of qualitatively getting the flavor and color right.

But I definitely feel energized to solve this riddle.  It'll be a nice way to salve my pride after the aforementioned recent neapolitan disasters.

Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom clone?
Post by: Biz Markie on August 15, 2011, 07:41:03 PM
Here in the Tampa area, Dave and Bob were messing around with this and they locked in on it pretty good.  I don't know if they ever posted the recipe/process but I'll see what I can dig up :)

SWEET!!!
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: Pete-zza on August 15, 2011, 08:23:28 PM
Biz,

As a veteran of many reverse engineering and cloning projects, I think that, absent insider information, you cannot realistically reverse engineer and clone a commercial dough/pizza in a reasonable time frame without numbers. Numbers means weights, dimensions, nutrition information and ingredients lists from which the pecking order of the ingredients, by weight, can be ascertained. Concentrating on flavors and color is subjective in nature and, in the abstract, can mean endless experiments to achieve the desired end results. Moreover, flavors and color are largely a function of the precise ingredients used. Often these ingredients are not available to the average home consumer at the retail level. The best marriage is to come as close as possible on the dough formulation and the ingredients actually used to make the dough and the rest of the pizza that is to be cloned.

On the matter of the flour, when I researched that specific ingredient in the context of the MM dough, I saw references to the flour being 1) a high gluten flour, 2) a Vitamin E enriched high gluten flour with wheat germ, and 3) whole wheat flour. I think it is safe to rule out whole wheat flour because, while containing the E Vitamin (alpha tocopherol), and while containing wheat germ and a fairly high protein content (in some cases as high as 15% or more) that can contribute to dough and final crust color, whole wheat flour does not have the gluten forming characteristics of most high protein refined white flours and it cannot yield a dough with the forming, stretching and tossing characteristics as shown in the videos referenced earlier.

Wheat germ by itself, whether raw/crude or toasted, contains a fair amount of Vitamin E (see, for example, the Nutrition Facts for the Kretschmer toasted wheat germ supermarket product at http://www.quakeroats.com/products/more-products-from-quaker/content/cereals/kretschmer-toasted-wheat-germ.aspx (http://www.quakeroats.com/products/more-products-from-quaker/content/cereals/kretschmer-toasted-wheat-germ.aspx)). By contrast, regular refined white high gluten flour, while enriched with various B Vitamins, does not contain Vitamin E (see, for example, the specs for the General Mills All Trumps high gluten flour at http://www.gmiflour.com/gmflour/flour.aspx?type=Espring#50121 (http://www.gmiflour.com/gmflour/flour.aspx?type=Espring#50121)). If the above analysis is correct, then a Vitamin E enriched high gluten flour with wheat germ seems to me to be the most logical combination of ingredients.

As the MM chain expands, it would also be entirely logical and natural for the flour used by the various MM stores to be a blend made especially for MM. It is also possible that, if the molasses is in dry form, it also can be included in the flour blend (actually a pre-mix) along with yeast (if IDY) and salt. In a home environment, you would have to experiment with blends of wheat germ and high gluten flour and molasses and introduce the yeast and salt in the normal manner.

The increased dough coloration that some writers mentioned can come from the wheat germ and the molasses used by MM in its doughs. Since the MM red sauces do not contain added sugar (there are natural sugars in the tomatoes used to make the sauces, however, and small amounts in mozzarella cheese), this is one of those instances where having the Nutrition Facts for the MM dough would give us a rough idea as to how much molasses is likely to be used in the dough. It would help, of course, to know whether the molasses is in liquid or dry form since that can also affect the math.

Malt, both in liquid and in dry form, and nondiastatic in nature, has been used before in commercial doughs. A good example is the early Sbarro NY style pizza dough. I have used the liquid form of malt and it will add color to both the unbaked dough and the final crust and crumb. If liquid malt can have that effect, then molasses should have a similar effect. I would stick with the molasses for your experiments.

Peter

EDIT (4/15/14): For the most recent link to the GM All Trumps flour, see http://professionalbakingsolutions.com/product/all-trumps-enriched-flour-50-lb/50111000 (http://professionalbakingsolutions.com/product/all-trumps-enriched-flour-50-lb/50111000)

EDIT (9/1/14): For the Wayback Machine version of the Kretchmer item, see http://web.archive.org/web/20120106133435/http://www.quakeroats.com/products/more-products-from-quaker/content/cereals/kretschmer-toasted-wheat-germ.aspx (http://web.archive.org/web/20120106133435/http://www.quakeroats.com/products/more-products-from-quaker/content/cereals/kretschmer-toasted-wheat-germ.aspx)

Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: Biz Markie on August 15, 2011, 10:50:47 PM
As a veteran of many reverse engineering and cloning projects, I think that, absent insider information, you cannot realistically reverse engineer and clone a commercial dough/pizza in a reasonable time frame without numbers.

Totally agree. . . I was just sayin that I don't know if I'm capable of truly reverse engineering this sucker, though it does sound like fun.  

Is it the case that without detailed nutritional information we can't really make progress outside of trial and error subjectivity?

I'd be willing to get an MM pie for laboratory purposes but sounds like it wouldn't do a whole lot to help the cause without knowing more about what's in the thing.

In the meantime, thanks for the additional info and logical deductions based on what we do know at this point.

(Coincidentally, I made some poolish baguettes from BBA tonight and it seemed that they almost had an MM taste to them.  The recipe uses finely sifted whole wheat flour - an approximation of clear flour.  Not sure if this was a fluke or due to the Germ/Vitamin E type of thing we've discussed.  I should also point out it's been a while since I've had an MM pie so my memory may be off.  Either way,  I agree that MM definitely doesn't use all whole wheat flour, but I have seen it postulated that a small % may be used.)
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: Pete-zza on August 16, 2011, 10:12:35 AM
I was just sayin that I don't know if I'm capable of truly reverse engineering this sucker, though it does sound like fun. 

Is it the case that without detailed nutritional information we can't really make progress outside of trial and error subjectivity?

I'd be willing to get an MM pie for laboratory purposes but sounds like it wouldn't do a whole lot to help the cause without knowing more about what's in the thing.

Biz,

Having nutrition information is helpful although by itself is not as useful as one might think because nutrition information can be hard to analyze and there are a lot of quirky things about nutrition facts and the way that that information is created (mostly using specialized software for this purpose). My preferred combination for reverse engineering and cloning purposes is having an ingredients list and nutrition information. Also very helpful is actual pizza data such as the weight of the target pizza and its size (diameter), thickness, number of pepperoni slices, estimated amounts of sauce and cheese, etc., since these help define the physical characteristics of the pizza. Specific brands of ingredients is also good to know, since that also helps define the ultimate dough formulation and final pizza configuration. Unless MM has changed things since they have expanded their scope of operations, I think we pretty much know the ingredients used to make the dough--flour (most likely high gluten flour with wheat germ), spring water (or its equivalent), molasses, salt, yeast and oil. It would be helpful to know whether the MM dough is a same-day dough fermented at room temperature or cold fermented since that should help us determine how much yeast to use. If MM makes its doughs in its stores, that information might be obtainable from workers in the stores.

I might add that I did not intend that you personally do the reverse engineering and cloning of a target MM pizza. I am willing to help you with this to the extent that I am able. I am handicapped because I have never had an MM pizza to be able to analyze it and, hence, have to rely on others who have had such a pizza to tell me if a clone is successful and, if not, why not. Perhaps other members who have played around with MM clones may be able to add something to the effort. What I have in mind at the end of the exercise is an MM clone dough formulation with baker's percents, ingredients, etc., for you to test and experiment with. I am not big on just running one experiment after another testing one thing after another hoping to hit paydirt. That is far too much like work, and is not fun for me.

Peter
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: Biz Markie on August 16, 2011, 11:05:35 AM
Ahh yep. . . I follow you. 

I think i'd like to start by visiting a store and seeing what kind of info I can gain from them, if any.

Then perhaps I'll get the "lab pie" so we can take some measurements, etc.

I suppose I'll keep you posted!  In the meantime maybe some other members will come up with some info.
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: wucactus1 on August 17, 2011, 11:17:15 AM
mellow sells dough balls...small is $3 and medium $4.  The dough actually comes in balled and frozen, in one day batches.  No effort is put in to keeping them at a consistant temp throughout the day as well...
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: Biz Markie on August 17, 2011, 01:45:40 PM
mellow sells dough balls...small is $3 and medium $4.  The dough actually comes in balled and frozen, in one day batches.  No effort is put in to keeping them at a consistant temp throughout the day as well...

Holy Toledo, Batman!!   :o

How did you come across this info?  Do you work there?

I did call my local MM and at first the girl was like "hmmm I don't think so" but she went and asked and sure enough, they do sell the dough.

She quoted prices of $4 for small, $6 for medium, and $8 for large.  She said they are kept at room temp, as you stated.

I tried to get a little more info out of her by asking if the dough they use in the restaurant is made fresh or arrives frozen in balls.  She said "a little of both."  I didn't want to press the issue so left it at that.

Pete - where does this put us for our reverse engineering project?  I would think this is a quantum leap forward!  Maybe I could get some ingredient/nutritional info when purchasing a ball . ..
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: scott123 on August 17, 2011, 01:49:14 PM
She quoted prices of $4 for small, $6 for medium, and $8 for large.

 :o :o :o :o

$8 for a dough ball?!? What the...
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: Biz Markie on August 17, 2011, 02:25:12 PM
:o :o :o :o

$8 for a dough ball?!? What the...

Yeah, not sure if you've got MM in your neck of the woods, but their pies are REALLY pricey. .. like $20 bucks for a large House Special.

But maaaaannnnnn they're tasty.
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: Pete-zza on August 17, 2011, 02:37:55 PM
I did call my local MM and at first the girl was like "hmmm I don't think so" but she went and asked and sure enough, they do sell the dough.

She quoted prices of $4 for small, $6 for medium, and $8 for large.  She said they are kept at room temp, as you stated.

I tried to get a little more info out of her by asking if the dough they use in the restaurant is made fresh or arrives frozen in balls.  She said "a little of both."  I didn't want to press the issue so left it at that.

Pete - where does this put us for our reverse engineering project?  I would think this is a quantum leap forward!  Maybe I could get some ingredient/nutritional info when purchasing a ball . ..

Biz,

I did a Google search and was able to confirm that there are MM stores that do sell dough balls. I also saw a piece at http://thecriticalelephant.blogspot.com/2007/04/downtown-athens-eating-tavern-at-arch.html that confirms that MM uses frozen dough balls, at least in some stores. Using frozen dough balls is becoming quite common, including in some pizza chains. For example, Pizza Hut has been using frozen dough in its stores for several years, and Donatos has been using frozen dough it its stores for some time. There are also many independent pizza operators--more than most people know--that also use frozen dough balls, from places like Lamonica's (which ships all around the country, including to the Costco pizza food courts) and Rich's, to name just a couple such outfits that make frozen pizza dough balls. It would help to know where MM is getting its frozen dough balls. Some chains use commissaries to make dough balls for several stores but you usually need enough stores to justify a commissary. Some pizza operators contract with local sources for its dough needs. There is no reason why the dough balls can't be fresh or frozen. However, the big commercial frozen dough ball companies use very expensive equipment for flash freezing dough balls that have a window of usability of up to six months.

Being able to purchase a dough ball from MM might help to compare with a dough ball that you might make. But not all chains have Nutrition Facts for their pizzas. For example, Buddy's, a small regional pizza chain in the Detroit metro area, put up a web page for that purpose at http://www.buddyspizza.com/nutrition.asp, but when I emailed them to find out when that information would be available I was told that it was not imminent. I was hoping to use that information to analyze the Buddy's pizzas. If MM doesn't already have Nutrition Facts or similar information for its pizzas, you aren't going to get anything from MM store workers.

Peter
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: Pete-zza on August 17, 2011, 05:27:45 PM
Following up on my last post, I did some more searching and found photos apparently taken at the MM in Nashville, TN and showing what appears to be dough making commissary, at photos 43-46 at http://www.mobile.mellowmushroom.com/nashville/gallery/show/photo/108777623450#/store/gallery/nashville/show/photo/108777593450. (http://www.mobile.mellowmushroom.com/nashville/gallery/show/photo/108777623450#/store/gallery/nashville/show/photo/108777593450.) In photo 44, one can see bags of flour at bottom left of the photo. Note also the large containers of spring water in photo 54. MM has ten stores in TN. So, maybe MM does use a commissary business model. That would allow them to make and ship both frozen and fresh dough balls to their stores.

It also looks like the set of photos at flickr at http://www.flickr.com/photos/jasongriset/1336195609/in/set-72157601895895177/ (http://www.flickr.com/photos/jasongriset/1336195609/in/set-72157601895895177/) and at http://www.flickr.com/photos/tikiloti/3298173733/in/photostream/ (http://www.flickr.com/photos/tikiloti/3298173733/in/photostream/) contain some photos of the MM dough balls/skins.

Peter

EDIT (9/13/14): Since the above links no longer work, and were not archived at the Wayback Machine, some of the photos mentioned above can be seen starting at Reply 278 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=3940.msg155911#msg155911 (http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=3940.msg155911#msg155911) and starting at Reply 1410 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=3940.msg172823#msg172823 (http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=3940.msg172823#msg172823); unfortunately, the flickr photos are no longer available and were not archived at the Wayback Machine.
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: Pete-zza on August 17, 2011, 06:27:36 PM
So, maybe MM does use a commissary business model. That would allow them to make and ship both frozen and fresh dough balls to their stores.

MM does use a commissary. According to the last paragraph in the article at http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m3190/is_41_40/ai_n26707254/, MM stores in the Atlanta area get fresh dough balls and all of the other stores outside of that market get frozen dough balls.

Peter
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: Biz Markie on August 17, 2011, 07:05:04 PM
Wow, Pete!

That's amazing info. thanks so much.

I feel like we're really getting some great info but not really sure how we get at the dough formulation.  I guess other than what we feel are the sure-fire ingredients - HG Flour, Wheat Germ, Molasses, yeast, oil, salt - sans nutrition info or insider info, all we can do is trial and error. . .? 
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: Jet_deck on August 17, 2011, 07:09:16 PM
In the interest of pizza science, there are two nutritional guides that I have seen.  How accurate or where they came from I don't know.

1) http://www.myfitnesspal.com/nutrition-facts-calories/mellow-mushroom (http://www.myfitnesspal.com/nutrition-facts-calories/mellow-mushroom)
2) http://www.livestrong.com/article/364574-mellow-mushroom-nutrition-guide/?utm_source=popup&utm_medium=1 (http://www.livestrong.com/article/364574-mellow-mushroom-nutrition-guide/?utm_source=popup&utm_medium=1)
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: Pete-zza on August 17, 2011, 07:40:08 PM
In the interest of pizza science, there are two nutritional guides that I have seen.  How accurate or where they came from I don't know.

1) http://www.myfitnesspal.com/nutrition-facts-calories/mellow-mushroom (http://www.myfitnesspal.com/nutrition-facts-calories/mellow-mushroom)
2) http://www.livestrong.com/article/364574-mellow-mushroom-nutrition-guide/?utm_source=popup&utm_medium=1 (http://www.livestrong.com/article/364574-mellow-mushroom-nutrition-guide/?utm_source=popup&utm_medium=1)

Gene,

I consider outfits like myfitnesspal.com and livestrong.com to be essentially diet/nutrition "content farms" or "community created content" entities that are created to link people to articles and advertising based on searches and search terms. Not long ago, I discussed how content farms basically operate at Reply 204 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,13686.msg140103/topicseen.html#msg140103. Often the information is incomplete and not particularly useful as a result. Also, it isn't also always clear what the provenance of the information is. If I am going to spend a lot of time studying and analyzing nutrition information, which I do, I want it to be reliable and from a good source. As it so happens, livestrong.com, which has its fingers in a lot of pies, is affiliated with Demand Media, which is mentioned in the post referenced above.

Thanks anyway for your efforts. I appreciate it.

Peter
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: Pete-zza on August 17, 2011, 08:04:48 PM
I feel like we're really getting some great info but not really sure how we get at the dough formulation.  I guess other than what we feel are the sure-fire ingredients - HG Flour, Wheat Germ, Molasses, yeast, oil, salt - sans nutrition info or insider info, all we can do is trial and error. . .? 

Biz,

I think it is very helpful to understand MM's business model and to know that the dough balls used by MM come in fresh and frozen form. If I had to guess, I would say that the dough formulations for the fresh and frozen dough balls are possibly different, especially with respect to the frozen dough balls. For our purposes, and to simplify matters, I think we should concentrate on the fresh dough balls.

Two pieces of information that would be helpful at this point are the weight of a typical MM baked pizza, for example, a medium (14") pizza, and the corresponding dough ball weight for that pizza size. You get the first piece of information by buying and weighing an MM pizza. The best choice is a plain cheese pizza but a pepperoni pizza is OK too so long as you note the size (diameter) and number of pepperoni slices. You should be able to get the second piece of information (the corresponding dough ball weight) by calling your local MM store. If they are willing to sell dough balls, they should be willing and able to tell you their weights. I would ask them for all of the dough ball weights, not just the one for the 14" pizza. That way, we can see if the thickness factors are the same or different for the different pizza sizes. If the MM store won't give you that information, you can call another MM store to see if you can get the information or just buy a dough ball, such as one for the 14" size. In my experience, the amounts of sauce and cheese used on 14" pizzas, especially for chain pizza, fall within a fairly narrow range and should serve as a good starting point for those ingredients.

With the above information, I think we should be able to come up with a test dough formulation for you to play around with. There is no guarantee that you will achieve the results you are looking for but you have to start somewhere. It is never easy to reverse engineer and clone someone else's pizza in the absence of insider information. To drive home this point, you might check out the NJ Boardwalk Pizza reverse engineering/clone thread at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,9068.0.html. (http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,9068.0.html.) There are currently 738 posts in that thread spread over 37 pages and we still haven't nailed it.

Peter

Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: Pete-zza on August 29, 2011, 01:00:30 PM
Biz,

I spent this past weekend in Jacksonville, FL, and on my way to my hotel I came upon a Mellow Mushroom on Jacksonville Beach (http://mellowmushroom.com/store/jacksonville (http://mellowmushroom.com/store/jacksonville)) or Rte 1A just north of Ponte Vedra. Since it was about lunchtime and I hadnít yet had lunch, I thought that it would be a perfect time to try a MM pizza and to try to gather more intelligence on the MM style of pizza and hopefully contribute something of value to this thread.

Upon entering the building, I asked to be seated near the ovens where workers were busy making pizzas. Unfortunately, there was a rather tall counter in front of the workers that obscured the bench work but I was able nonetheless to see the workers twirling the skins for the pizzas. There were a series of double deck Blodgett deck ovens behind them, with several workers, all male but for one girl, making the pizzas. I would say that they were of college age. In fact, it appears that many MM stores are near college campuses, giving them access to low-cost labor. That suggests that the MM dough is such as to be capable of being formed into skins and made into pizzas by unskilled labor with modest training since it cannot be expected that college students are likely to be motivated to stay on the job for long. The workers I saw looked like they were actually having a good time, as though they really didn't have jobs. The design of the restaurant was hip and colorful design-wise, with a lot of beer being consumed by diners (MM stores typically have a large selection of beers) and a lot of background music and TVs scattered throughout the store to entertain the diners.

I ordered a 10Ē (four slices) pepperoni pizza, which is about all that I thought that I could handle given that I was scheduled for a big dinner later that night. It took some time for the pizza to arrive at my table (maybe about a half-hour) but the place was quite busy and I was actually happy for the delay because it gave me more time to watch the workers.

When the pizza arrived, I approached it as though I was performing an autopsy. I examined all of the physical, coloration and textural characteristics of the pizza, and I smelled and tore apart and tugged and stretched the crust and crumb, and tasted all of the components, isolating them for taste purposes as much as I could. Based on the notes I took, here is my critique.

The pizza that I ordered had an exceptionally large rim, actually quite bulbous and considerably larger than any pizza I can recall as having had before in a pizzeria. To begin, the rim was not uniform in height, as is shown, for example, at the various MM websites I visited. Some parts were significantly taller than others, as though the worker who made the pizza had not formed a rim of uniform size and height before dressing and baking. There were a lot of small blisters on the rim. As I reported earlier in this thread, all of the MM stores outside of Atlanta use frozen dough balls. This is also true of the Jacksonville Beach MM location. Frozen dough balls usually contain a lot more yeast than fresh dough (because freezing of the dough kills off some of the yeast) and are more prone to overfermenting, resulting in a rather short period of usability (typically about 2 days for defrosted flash frozen doughs). If I had to guess, I would say that the dough that was used to make my pizza was on the long end of the fermentation cycle and that is why the rim had the profusion of small fermentation blisters. I would actually view that as a good thing because the longer fermentation contributes favorably to the final crust texture, flavor, aroma and taste because of the increased fermentation byproducts.

The rim of the pizza was also quite dense. It was not light and airy, which might have indicated a relatively high hydration. Moving from the rim to the center of the pizza, the crust got thinner but it was also more tender and a little more airy with larger alveoles and maybe a bit on the underbaked side but in a pleasing, satisfying way (for example, it was not pasty or gummy). The color of the top crust of the pizza was a light to medium brown. The bottom crust was considerably darker and it evidenced the use of cornmeal in the formation of the skin. I later learned that the frozen dough balls that are sent out to the MM stores from the MM commissary have some cornmeal on the bottoms of the dough balls. However, I later saw that cornmeal was also on the bench.

The crumb of the crust was a light brown color. I was told later by one of the workers that the color of the crust and crumb (and also for the unbaked dough) was due to the use of molasses. I donít recall seeing any specks of wheat germ in the crumb but I suppose it is possible that, if actually used, it is processed to reduce its particle size and blended into the main flour (said to be a high gluten flour) so that it is not visible in the finished product. The crust itself was quite chewy. The bottom of the crust itself was not cracker-like or particularly crispy. I was able to bend a slice of the pizza and, upon releasing it, it returned to its original position. There was no permanent crack in the slice. The crust was flexible and pliable.

From a taste standpoint, I could clearly detect sweetness in the finished crust. It was sweeter than the Papa Johnís clone pizzas that I have made using around 4-4.5% sugar (table sugar) or versions made using honey at around 5%. I will have more to say on the molasses and other parts of the MM pizza I had below, but I did not find the molasses flavor to be overwhelming in any way. Also I did not find the crust to be overly salty to my palate but the sweetness of the crust may have masqueraded the saltiness to some degree. I understand that the rims of MM pizzas are brushed with butter (I have read that it can be garlic butter) and sprinkled with Parmesan cheese after baking but if the crust of my pizza was buttered, I did not detect the presence or taste of butter (or garlic). On my pizza, there was just a light sprinkling of Parmesan cheese, to the point of almost being undetectible. I love Parmesan cheese, so I would have liked more on my pizza.

I counted 11 pepperoni slices on my 10Ē pizza. I have read that MM pre-cooks all meats and drains them of excessive fats and oils. I don't know it that is done with pepperoni slices, but I did not detect much in the way of surface fat on the pizza I had.

Overall, I liked the pizza quite a bit. I ate three of the slices and had my server package the remaining slice to take back with me to the hotel. Fortunately, my hotel had a small refrigerator where I was able to hold the final slice to bring back with me to Texas (in an insulated container) to re-taste when I got back home to see if the crust of the slice became tough and whether it retained its sweetness. (As it turned out, the crust did get tougher but the sweetness persisted and the slice reheated well but obviously was not as good as a fresh slice.)

When I was done with my pizza, I approached the work area where the workers were busy making pizzas and struck up a conversation with them. I asked several questions to gauge the depth of the workers' knowledge about the MM dough. It became evident quite quickly that they knew little about the dough balls themselves. However, one of the things I did learn is that the pizzas are baked in the Blodgett deck ovens at 550 degrees F. I was told that the actual bake time varied depending on how many pizzas were in the oven at any given time and how often the oven doors were opened and closed but that the bake time could be as long as 10 minutes. I was also able to see the workers form skins, and I noticed that an effort was made to make a distinct, upstanding rim before stretching and tossing to get the final skin size. (For examples of how this is done, see the videos at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lvixfngmz-g&feature=related (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lvixfngmz-g&feature=related) and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3mRNUt4XbdM. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3mRNUt4XbdM.)) One skin that was formed by the young lady actually developed a hole in it but she quickly patched it and went on to finish dressing the pizza. If one is able to achieve an oven temperature of 550 degrees F, I think there is a reasonable chance of achieving good results in a standard unmodified home oven. This is something I discovered when I made my Papa John's clone pizzas using my basic unmodified electric home oven.

As I was ready to leave the restaurant, another worker happened to join the group and, hearing my discussion with his associates, seemed receptive to answering more of my questions. I told him that I had never seen a pizza dough like theirs before and asked him if he could tell me more about it. He said that the dough was ďjust a regular doughĒ using unbleached flour but had molasses in it, which gave the dough and crust its characteristic light brown coloration and taste. When I asked whether the water used to make the dough was reverse osmosis water or something similar, he said no, that it was actually spring water (the pizza boxes themselves say ďSpring Water DoughĒ). He also said he knew the dough ball weights, which he gave to me. Later, I found the costs (pre-tax) of the dough balls, which they do offer for sale at this particular MM. On the way home on the plane, I was able to calculate the thickness factors based on the dough ball weights that were given to me. Here is a summary of the information on the dough balls (pizza size, corresponding dough ball weight, cost and corresponding thickness factors):

10Ē, 14-16 ounces, $4, TF = 0.17725-0.20372
14Ē, 24 ounces, $5, TF = 0.15591
16Ē, 28 ounces, $6, TF = 0.13926

As you can see, there is a wide variation in thickness factor. This is quite wide although it is common to use different thickness factors where multiple pizza sizes are offered. In the case of MM, for example, it is possible, I suppose, that as the pizza size goes up, the thickness factor goes down so that the pizzas bake within a fairly standard period of time irrespective of what goes on the skins. I am also sure that the MM oven tenders learn how to move pizzas in and around the oven to achieve the desired end results. For your purposes, I think I would go with the 14Ē size. If you decide to purchase a frozen (or fresh) MM dough ball, I'd like to know the weight of the dough ball you purchase to see if the above weights are correct inasmuch as I tend to be skeptical of what workers in stores who are away from where the dough is made tell me (I am a trust and verify type). I may also call an MM store myself to see what answers I get there, if any.

Here is some other information to consider in relation to your clone experiments.

Hydration. Judging from the chewy, fairly dense crust, especially at the rim, I would say that the hydration perhaps isnít all that high. I would guess around 56-57% or so. I would say that the 550 degrees F bake temperature may help with the oven spring despite a lower hydration value. A relatively low formula hydration value is also perhaps a good idea if relatively inexperienced kids who may not be around for long are to open up dough balls.

Yeast. If I had to guess, I would say that the MM dough is likely to contain a lot of yeast, to assist in producing a good oven spring, especially if the hydration of the MM dough is on the low side as I suspect. Also, as previously noted, frozen dough balls typically contain an excess of yeast, a part of which has to be available when the dough is defrosted (which is typically done overnight in the cooler) to promote some fermentation. About the only fermentation that a frozen dough gets is during defrosting and during the bench warm-up time before using to make pizzas. I don't have any idea of how the fresh doughs are used in the Atlanta-area MMs.

Salt. I did not detect anything in the crust to suggest that the amount of salt in the dough was on either the high or low side. Remember, also, that salt is also imparted to the palate by the sauce, cheese and pepperoni slices. When in doubt, and absent any evidence to the contrary, my practice is to use about 1.75%, and adjust upwardly or downwardly for future efforts based on the final results. A lot of this involves personal preference and how salt levels are perceived on the palate.

Molasses. Since the MM crust was quite sweet, I think I would start with a value of 6%. Molasses is mainly sucrose (about 70%) with the rest being glucose and fructose, which, as simple sugars, are more readily available for the yeast to use as food. Molasses is also said to be less sweet than table sugar. You perhaps donít want to use too much molasses because that might cause the bottom crust to finish baking prematurely and turn a dark brown or even burn before the rest of the pizza is finished baking. Too much molasses might also be overwhelming from a taste standpoint. However, you want enough to produce the desired degree of sweetness and crust/crumb coloration. Since molasses is about 22% water, as can be calculated from the data at http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/sweets/5573/2 (http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/sweets/5573/2) if you use a liquid molasses, which would be my personal preference over the dried form, it may be necessary to adjust the hydration value to compensate for the water content of the molasses. However, at the single dough ball level, I would not expect the difference to be material but that is something that can be tested. If used at a high enough level, the molasses should also coat the gluten strands and increase the plasticity of the dough and improve dough volume and handling.

The MM Sauce. I found the sauce to have a pleasant sweet tomato-ey flavor. There was some salt in it but it might have been balanced by the overall sweetness of the pizza crust. I did not detect any herbs in the sauce that overwhelmed the natural tomato flavor of the sauce. I thought that the amount of sauce was just right for my taste. According to the article at http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m3190/is_41_40/ai_n26707254/ (http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m3190/is_41_40/ai_n26707254/) in the past, at least, it was reported that MM used only fresh-pack tomato products for its pizzas. If that is true today, that usually means fresh-pack tomato products from Stanislaus, Escalon, San Benito or maybe a smaller outfit that sells canned fresh-pack tomato products that are naturally sweet. Generic MM literature frequently states that no refined white sugar is used in their sauces. So, unless a different form of sugar/sweetener is used in the sauce (which I did not detect), the sweetness must be the natural sweetness of the tomatoes themselves. Also, as I noted in Reply 18 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=3940.msg149648#msg149648 (http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=3940.msg149648#msg149648) at least back in 2003 MM used only tomatoes, spices and water for its pizza sauce. If you can't find fresh-pack tomato products from the above companies, you might try the Pastene Kitchen Ready crushed tomatoes, if they are available to you, or the Wal-Mart crushed tomatoes, with maybe some added sugar to enhance their sweetness, even though they would not be my first choice for this application.

The MM Cheese. It was earlier noted that MM apparently uses a part-skim, low moisture mozzarella cheese (MM refers to the mozzarella cheese they use as being "reduced fat" or "low fat"). When I was researching that part of the MM pizza, I came across a fairly recent post in a yelp review where the owner of a MM in Tempe, AZ said that his store uses a Premium mozzarella cheese from Saputo (see the reply of Jay B. to Ken C. at http://www.yelp.com/biz/mellow-mushroom-tempe?rpp=40&start=40 (http://www.yelp.com/biz/mellow-mushroom-tempe?rpp=40&start=40)). The Saputo Premium mozzarella is a foodservice product. However, if you look at the bottom of the page at http://www.saputousafoodservice.com/ (http://www.saputousafoodservice.com/), you will see several other brands of mozzarella cheeses produced by Saputo. I have seen the Frigo, Stella and Dragone mozzarella cheeses at the retail level and I think that a low-moisture, part-skim version of any of these cheeses should be an acceptable substitute for the Saputo Premium mozzarella cheese. Saputo also offers a mozzarella cheese brand called Golden State (see Reply 171 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,14928.msg151772.html#msg151772 (http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,14928.msg151772.html#msg151772)) but I have not seen it in any store near me. It may be a Left coast brand. I found the amount of cheese used on my pizza to be just right.

Earlier in this thread I made reference to an article at http://www.nbcdfw.com/the-scene/food-drink/Mellow-Mushrooms-House-Special-Recipe.html (http://www.nbcdfw.com/the-scene/food-drink/Mellow-Mushrooms-House-Special-Recipe.html) where the dough balls weight is 12 ounces (which is the correct weight for a 10Ē pizza), and 3 ounces of sauce and 4 ounces of mozzarella cheese are used. The cheese is stated to be ďextra cheeseĒ so a normal amount for a simpler 10" MM pizza might be somewhat less, maybe 3 ounces or so. So, for a basic MM 10Ē pizza, equal amounts of sauce and cheese by weight might be reasonable amounts. If those values are reasonably correct, then one can scale up the quantities of sauce and cheese to larger size pizzas based on the surface areas of the larger size pizzas.

On the matter of sauce and cheese quantities, as you might expect, reviewers of the MM pizzas, on yelp and elsewhere, often complain that there is too much or too little sauce and/or cheese. These are personal preferences that I usually ignore when I am trying to reverse engineer and clone a particular pizza. Knowing the final weight of a given size MM pizza is more useful to us to help us determine how much sauce and cheese to use. Of course, we will have to have the correct dough ball weight and account for losses in weight during baking of the pizza. Based on my experience with the Papa John's clones, I would place the weight loss at around 8-9%, or maybe a bit more for an MM clone, depending on the total total unbaked pizza weight, and total bake time and temperature.

I hope that the above serves as a backdrop for what you would like to do. Once you have had a chance to digest the above information and have concluded your own research on a real MM pizza as previously discussed, I think we should be able to come up with an MM clone dough formulation for you to test out.

Peter

Note: The dough ball information other than cost given above turns out to be incorrect. For details and the correct information, see Reply 42 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,3940.msg151482.html#msg151482 (http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,3940.msg151482.html#msg151482)
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: Pete-zza on August 30, 2011, 07:15:20 PM
Following up on my last post, I called a Fort Worth MM and asked whether they sold the dough balls used for their pizzas. I was told that they do not sell the dough balls. When I asked if the dough balls used to make their pizzas were delivered to the store frozen, I was told that they are not and are made fresh in the store. Apparently it does not make sense to ship frozen dough balls all the way from Georgia to Texas.

Peter
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: Pete-zza on August 31, 2011, 12:46:18 PM
After posting Reply 40 above, I decided to double check the dough ball weights given to me by one of the MM workers during my recent visit since I have learned that store employees who are remote from the issue often do not give out correct information. To check the information that was given to me, I called MM's corporate office in Atlanta and spoke with one of their employees. She said that my question was not a corporate one and suggested that I call the Jacksonville Beach MM store directly since each store operates somewhat differently and not all MM stores sell dough balls. So, I called the Jacksonville Beach MM and posed my question to the gal who answered the phone. She had one of the workers weigh the dough balls for the three pizza sizes (10", 14" and 16"). As it turns out, the information I posted in Reply 40 was incorrect. I have set forth below the corrected dough ball weights along with the corresponding thickness factors. They are as follows:

10", 12 ounces, TF = 0.15279
14", 18 ounces, TF = 0.11693
16", 24 ounces, TF = 0.11937

The above numbers indicate that the crusts made for the 14" and 16" sizes are thinner than the Papa John's clone pizzas. The crust for the 10" will be thicker.

So, the moral of the story is to trust and verify. I have posted a note in Reply 40 to link to this post for the correct numbers for the different size MM dough balls.

Peter

Edit (1/21/12): It now appears that the above dough ball weights and thickness factors may not be correct. For the most recent post on this matter, with dough ball weights taken by one of our members, Chicago Bob, see Reply 1071 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,3940.msg168252.html#msg168252 (http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,3940.msg168252.html#msg168252)
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: norma427 on August 31, 2011, 03:34:50 PM

When the pizza arrived, I approached it as though I was performing an autopsy. I examined all of the physical, coloration and textural characteristics of the pizza, and I smelled and tore apart and tugged and stretched the crust and crumb, and tasted all of the components, isolating them for taste purposes as much as I could. Based on the notes I took, here is my critique.

Peter

Note: The dough ball information other than cost given above turns out to be incorrect. For details and the correct information, see Reply 42 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,3940.msg151482.html#msg151482.


Peter,

You sure are doing great detective work for Biz and others that might want to try a Mushroom Mellow pizza!  :)  I really had to chuckle when you posted "when the pizza arrived, I approached it as though I was doing an autopsy."  I know you always do great job in reverse-engineering pizzas!

Norma
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: Pete-zza on August 31, 2011, 04:33:42 PM
Norma,

There is a real advantage to being at a pizza place in person. But my visit also told me that you have to be careful about what employees tell you. I think sometime they try too hard to please you with an answer, especially if you are a customer or prospective customer, and they end up telling you things with sincerity but that are wrong. I had hoped to get more information on the flour but I knew that it would be fruitless to ask the workers at the MM store because the answer is back in the Atlanta commissary. That is the benefit of a commissary business model. The workers in the stores are just pizza assemblers. I remember when my server first asked the workers making the pizzas if they knew the weights of the different dough balls and they just looked at each other and said Huh? Only one worker ventured to answer and he was wrong.

Peter
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: norma427 on August 31, 2011, 05:19:08 PM
Norma,

There is a real advantage to being at a pizza place in person. But my visit also told me that you have to be careful about what employees tell you. I think sometime they try too hard to please you with an answer, especially if you are a customer or prospective customer, and they end up telling you things with sincerity but that are wrong. I had hoped to get more information on the flour but I knew that it would be fruitless to ask the workers at the MM store because the answer is back in the Atlanta commissary. That is the benefit of a commissary business model. The workers in the stores are just pizza assemblers. I remember when my server first asked the workers making the pizzas if they knew the weights of the different dough balls and they just looked at each other and said Huh? Only one worker ventured to answer and he was wrong.

Peter

Peter,

I know there can be an advantage in being at a pizza place in person.  I sure havenít been to all the pizza places like you have, but once you really have a chance to taste their pizzas, watch how the dough handles, and then see how all the characterizes of the crust are, sauce, and cheese taste,  that can really help in knowing when you really make the pizza, once a formula is set-forth, if the pizza really tastes like it should.  I think you are the best member to taste and analyze a pizza, because you do have the most experience in doing that. 

I know most employees really donít know what is going on.  They have their own jobs, and that is what they mostly know about the pizzeria.  It is good you called the Mellow Mushroom pizzeria you visited again.  It sure led to more useful information. 

I donít know how you are going to be able to find information from the Atlanta commissary, but if you are ever able to visit the Mellow Mushroom pizzeria in your area, you might be able to find the flour brand, or even if you call them, you might be able to find out the flour brand.

Norma
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: briterian on August 31, 2011, 09:19:58 PM
Pete
What a wonderful post!  My kids love this place and have been badgering me to try to clone and bake in my P44.  I was curious if you were going to take a stab at a recipe.  I'd be game for trying it out and reporting results along with you and others.
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: Pete-zza on August 31, 2011, 09:55:25 PM
Brian,

I am glad that you liked my post. As Yogi Berra once said, "You can observe a lot just by watching.Ē That is basically what I did. I was at the Jacksonville Beach MM for lunch but I can imagine that the place really hops at night. The concept that MM follows is unique, to say the least.

Once member Biz Markie returns to the forum and weighs in, I expect that I will suggest a dough formulation to use. It would help to get a weighing of a completely baked pizza, such as a fairly basic cheese or pepperoni pizza, to get an idea as to how much cheese and sauce (and pepperoni) are used for a typical pizza. A 14" pizza is a good size to play around with since it is a size that most members can deal with in a home setting. But since we know the dough ball sizes, and can easily calculate thickness factors, we can come up with just about any size of pizza to play around with. The key challenges are to get the right flour blend and the amount of molasses to use to achieve the proper balance. Unfortunately, to the best of my knowledge, MM does not have any nutrition data to help us zero in on the desired final product. That usually means having to do more experimentation with recipes. But having dough ball weights and thickness factors are important parts of the exercise. Getting the form factor right is really important in my opinion, as I discovered from my Papa John's clone pizza experiments.

Peter
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: norma427 on September 01, 2011, 09:10:54 AM
Peter, Biz, Brian, or anyone interested in Mellow Mushroom pizzas,

This article on the WayBackMachine tells about the history of the Mellow Mushroom, but doesnít tell the brand of flour Mellow Mushroom uses, but it does say the high-gluten four with wheat germ is vitamin-E enriched.  Click on more in the article.  Peter probably already found out this information, but I thought I would post it in case any members might be interested.

http://web.archive.org/web/20071018035309/http://www.mellowmushroom.com/aboutus.html

More information and games to play and other stuff, if back is clicked.
http://web.archive.org/web/20071011001350/http://www.mellowmushroom.com/menu.html

Norma
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: Pete-zza on September 01, 2011, 12:06:53 PM
Norma,

Yes, I did find the information about which you posted. In fact, I provided the same or similar links in Reply 18 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,3940.msg149648.html#msg149648. (http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,3940.msg149648.html#msg149648.) That may have been before you joined this thread. The reference to wheat germ and Vitamin E enrichment has been around for years and I came across such references numerous times in my searches.

As you may know, Vitamin E (alpha tocopherol) is not a vitamin that millers add, or is required by law, to add to flours. I suspect that Vitamin E ended up in flours in a couple of ways. Back in the 1970s, when the original founders of MM started their pizza business, there was a big health food craze in full swing and using whole wheat flour, wheat berries, wheat germ and the like became a part of that craze. In the case of wheat germ, it was added by the health conscious to their regular white flours, cereals, cookies, etc. Wheat germ has always been viewed as a good source of natural Vitamin E. The second way to retain the benefits of Vitamin E is to buy flour from which the bran is removed by sifting as it is being milled but retain the wheat germ. I don't know if that was done back in the 1970s, but you can see an example of such a product today (Prairie Dancer White Flour from Montana Milling) at http://truefoodsmarket.com/wheat-flour-unbl-organic-w-germ-50-lbs.html. (http://truefoodsmarket.com/wheat-flour-unbl-organic-w-germ-50-lbs.html.) As noted there, the flour is a hard red wheat from Montana. I believe that most of the Montana hard red wheat is winter wheat but it can be high in gluten just as the hard red spring wheat. Today, it is possible that MM procures its flours with the wheat germ retained although it is also possible that it adds wheat germ at its central commissary. Cost may be factor as well as potential rancidity problems because of the wheat germ.

MM has always made a point of extolling the health virtues of its products. I think that that is more of a marketing tactic for those who are increasingly becoming health conscious. I would be more impressed if they used only whole wheat flour but that would never fly with its customers.

For our purposes, I would think that the most practical approach is to just add some wheat germ, for example, from a source such as Bob's Red Mill (http://www.bobsredmill.com/product.php?productid=4966&cat=0&page=1 (http://www.bobsredmill.com/product.php?productid=4966&cat=0&page=1)), to a good quality unbleached, unbromated high-gluten flour. I see from http://www.organicmall.com/products/850?PHPSESSID=41b51319f236cbb9cbbb36d52c391131 (http://www.organicmall.com/products/850?PHPSESSID=41b51319f236cbb9cbbb36d52c391131) that the Prairie Dancer flour is also sold in five-pound bags, so that is another option.

Peter
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: norma427 on September 01, 2011, 03:26:12 PM
Peter,

I must have missed the link you provided before.  I can understand the practical approach would be to just add some wheat germ, to Prairie Dancer flour.

Norma
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: Pete-zza on September 01, 2011, 05:22:14 PM
Norma,

As I understand it, the Prairie Dancer flour already has the wheat germ in it but not the bran.

BTW, I spoke with a technical person from Pendleton Mills today on another matter and, while I had his attention, I asked him how one would normally produce a flour with the wheat germ already in it. He said that in the Pendleton mill both the bran and wheat germ are separated from the flour and sold separately. He said that the wheat germ would be in flat fragments and one would perhaps want to run it through another mill to make it into more of a powder. When I mentioned the Prairie Dancer flour, he said that their method of milling would also work but might require other steps (which we didn't get into). He also mentioned that flour with wheat germ already in it is prone to spoilage because of the oil going rancid, especially over time and in warm climates. He agreed that keeping the wheat germ separate and refrigerating it would give the end user better control over the final product.

Peter

Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: norma427 on September 01, 2011, 10:55:51 PM
Norma,

As I understand it, the Prairie Dancer flour already has the wheat germ in it but not the bran.

BTW, I spoke with a technical person from Pendleton Mills today on another matter and, while I had his attention, I asked him how one would normally produce a flour with the wheat germ already in it. He said that in the Pendleton mill both the bran and wheat germ are separated from the fllour and sold separately. He said that the wheat germ would be in flat fragments and one would perhaps want to run it through another mill to make it into more of a powder. When I mentioned the Prairie Dancer flour, he said that their method of milling would also work but might require other steps (which we didn't get into). He also mentioned that flour with wheat germ already in it is prone to spoilage because of the oil going rancid, especially over time and in warm climates. He agreed that keeping the wheat germ separate and refrigerating it would give the end user better control over the final product.

Peter



Peter,

Thanks for explaining that the Prairie Dancer flour already has the wheat germ in it but not the bran.

It is interesting that flour with wheat germ in it is prone to spoilage from the oil going rancid.  That sounds something like when I ground the whole wheat grains from the fields, and had to put the ground grains in the refrigerator. I know I ground the whole grains and nothing was taken out of them, but I am always wondering how different flours are milled.

Thanks for the information.

Norma
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: dwighttsharpe on September 08, 2011, 02:37:55 PM
No recipes or formulas? Disappointing.

That picture of the pizza in the second post looks good.

I'll be glad when I can make it.
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: Pete-zza on September 08, 2011, 04:43:14 PM
No recipes or formulas? Disappointing.

I can't speak for anyone else on this forum but I am not prepared at this time to post a dough formulation. Reverse engineering and cloning someone else's pizza with limited information is hard work and takes time. However, if you can't wait, you might want to use one of the dough calculating tools and superimpose what I and others have written in this thread about the MM dough and pizzas onto one of the Papa John's clone dough formulations at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,6758.0.html. Also, if you live in a Mellow Mushroom area and can purchase either fresh or frozen dough balls from an MM store, you can examine them and, if you are willing, share whatever you learn with the folks on this forum. You can do likewise with purchased MM pizzas.

Peter
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: briterian on September 08, 2011, 07:04:22 PM
We ate at MM last week and I took a pic of the bottom of the crust.  Here you go:

Cornmeal and a nice thick crunchy brown crust.  I plan to try this crust. Going to use PJClone and sub molasses for sugar.
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: Biz Markie on September 10, 2011, 11:48:47 PM
Hey y'all!

Sorry for the protracted absence. ... I was out of town for 3 weeks and wasn't able to do any baking or pizza making of any kind, and had limited access to the Forum.

I just saw all the activity on this thread. ..phenomenal!  Pete - I have not read your treatise regarding your MM experience but can't wait to dig into it.

In the meantime though, I took a somewhat wild stab at a MM-inspired dough today.  I was shooting for a 24-hour usability window since Sunday night is our fam's pizza night.
Basically all I was trying to do was incorporate the Wheat Germ and lower the molasses content from previous PJ Clone doughs I had made with what I now realize was way too much.
Since this is just a slightly educated guess formula, we don't have to dissect it unless someone wants to.

Flour   100.00%
Water   58.77%
IDY   0.50%
Salt   1.75%
Oil   6.76%
Molasses   5.00%
Wheat Germ   1.75%
TOTAL   174.53%  (22 ounce ball weight)

I used KASL, Crystal Springs Spring Water (what I use in all breads/doughs), SAF Instant (Red) yeast, fine sea salt, Berrio "Extra Light Tasting Olive Oil", Brer Rabbit Mild molasses, and Hodgson Mill Untoasted Wheat Germ. 
This was my first attempt to really manipulate a formula to try to achieve a particular fermentation time.  So not sure if it will turn out or not.  So far after several hours in the fridge it looks pretty good though.

Anyway - I can report back on how this dough performs after tomorrow night.  But I definitely will go back and read your post, Pete, and get back to you. 
I also really need to visit an MM store soon and just remind myself of what their crust tastes like. . it's been far too long.

Good night!
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: Pete-zza on September 11, 2011, 09:24:46 AM
Biz,

You did a nice job with your stab at an MM clone test dough formulation, except that I might have used a slightly lower hydration value to compensate for the increase in "wetness" of the dough due to the large amounts of oil and molasses. Unfortunately, there is no way to tell at this point what all of the baker's percents are, but hopefully your test will be instructive, especially how the dough behaves from a hydration and handling standpoint and final crumb structure. However, if your dough ball actually weighs 22 ounces, that places it between a 14" and 16" MM dough ball size. You can trim two ounces off of your dough ball to make the 14" size or you can make a 15" pizza if you can make that size on your stone. You will also want to monitor the bottom crust coloration when you bake the pizza. If it browns too quickly, you can raise the pizza to a higher rack position in your oven and hope that the top of the pizza doesn't bake too much. That approach is the one I used to make the Papa John's clone pizzas.

I look forward to your results.

Peter
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: Biz Markie on September 11, 2011, 09:50:40 AM
Thanks for the encouragement!  Yeah, I was pretty excited when I saw that some of your proposed percentages were pretty close to mine, since I hadn't even read your post!

I agree that the hydration was probably a goof on my part.  I think my logic was that I was reducing the molasses amount from my previous PJ Clone doughs, so I should increase the hydration.  Maybe not a bad idea but I think I bumped it up too much.

The dough was actually slightly sticky (wanted to stick to my hands a fair bit) and softer than my PJ Clone doughs in the past. 

I'm hoping it will still be workable.

As for the dough ball weight - unfortunately all I have is a 14.4 inch round stone and a 14 inch screen.  I was considering rolling up a rim prior to baking, which I do sometimes because I just like the big, chewy crust.  I agree that if I don't roll up a rim, it will be much thicker than a true 14'' MM pie.

So far the fermentation seems to be on track. ..it's risen about 75% or so, I'd say, since I believe 3:15pm Central time yesterday.

Will keep you posted!
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: Tampa on September 12, 2011, 04:02:25 PM
Peter,
Amazing contribution to the MM thread.  Really good work.
Dave
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: Pete-zza on September 12, 2011, 04:21:21 PM
Peter,
Amazing contribution to the MM thread.  Really good work.
Dave

Dave,

Thank you. This has been an interesting and informative exercise. Like other similar exercises, I have learned that the pizza dough formulation has to fit the business model and is, in fact, dictated to a large degree by the business model. In the case of MM, one also has to keep in mind how the MM business evolved from the time that the original hippy-like founders of the company came forth with the idea of using natural and healtful ingredients, including the high-gluten flour with wheat germ, bottled spring water, and molasses instead of refined white sugars. I have been recently looking at a lot of the MM You Tube videos and they paint a pretty good picture of the way the MM chain is being promoted. It is a tricky business because of their extensive menu of food and beer offerings and reliance on high turnover, low-cost labor, but the formula may be a good one for a good businessperson willing to work hard to make a success out of the business.

Peter
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: Pete-zza on September 12, 2011, 05:20:27 PM
Over the weekend, I sent an email to Tim Huff, a technical director at General Mills, about flours with wheat germ. He replied today by saying that he has heard of wheat germ fortified flours but hasn't worked with them. He also said that GM does not make such a product.

Peter
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: Pete-zza on September 12, 2011, 06:54:35 PM
Having struck out with General Mills, as reported in my last post, I decided to call Montana Milling (http://www.montanamilling.com/index.html) in Great Falls, Montana. I ended up speaking with a sales representative about their flours. I was most interested in the Prairie Dancer flour that I had earlier discovered through a Google search and that I had mentioned in an earlier post. As I previously mentioned, that flour has most of the bran sifted out of the flour during milling but retains the wheat germ. As it turns out, that product is no longer sold under the Prairie Dancer brand. It is now sold under the Montana Milling name. I was told that websites using the Prairie Dancer name need updating to reflect the name change.

One of the things I learned from speaking with the Montana Mills sales representative is they only mill to order. They do not mill flours in advance and package and store them in a warehouse somewhere. The flour that used to be called Prairie Dancer is milled from whole-wheat flour from which most of the bran has been sifted, but leaving most of the wheat germ intact. Interestingly, once the bran is removed, the flour can no longer legally be called a ďwhole-wheatĒ flour. It can be called a ďwheatĒ flour or a white flour, although I was told that the flour actually has a ďmedium tanĒ color. When I asked about the flourís protein content, the sales rep told me that her best guess is that the flour has a protein content of around 13-13.5% (other types of flours at the mill can go over 14%). The flour is milled from hard red spring wheat, which suggests that the flour has a high protein content.

When I asked the sales rep the rated absorption value of the flour, she said that that was not something that they test for and, hence, did not know the answer. However, she told me that that falling number is around 350-400. That high an FN value tells us that the flour is not supplemented with barley malt or enzymes. As it also turns out, there are no vitamin supplements, iron or any other additives, like ascorbic acid, bromates, etc., added to the flour. There is no chemical bleaching of the flours. I asked whether the flour was organic and was told that the flour can be procured organic or nonorganic inasmuch as their mill is certified for organic production. I had asked about the organic feature since I read on a few occasions that the flour used by Mellow Mushroom is organic. That is a slippery term so I wanted to see if organic was a real possibility and not just sloppiness on the part of the people who write about MM. Montana Milling does not do any premixing of ingredients. That was a possibility that occurred to me for MM since a pre-mix would simplify their preparation of dough in their commissary. It is still possible that a third party produces the pre-mix, so a pre-mix canít be ruled out completely.

I also explored the potential rancidity problem with the Montana Milling flours because of the oil content of the wheat germ. I was told that the flour holds up well in Montana where it is dry but that in a humid environment, like the Southeast (which is where a large number of the Mellow Mushroom stores are situated), the flour can spoil more quickly. This might not be a problem with Mellow Mushroom if its commissary is humidity controlled, which is a common measure used in commissaries. I learned this some time ago when I was researching the Papa Johnís business model and methods. It still remains a possibility that MM supplements a high-gluten flour with wheat germ, which is something that seems reasonable in a commissary environment.

For those who are interested in replicating the MM dough, a flour such as described above--the former Prairie Dancer flour--might be explored to see if the flour can produce a pizza dough that has the same or similar functional and operational characteristics as an MM dough. The only other possibility that I can think of is to supplement a good high-gluten flour with wheat germ. It is indeed interesting that even the experts in the field couldnít come up with better solutions or options.

Peter
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: Biz Markie on September 12, 2011, 06:54:46 PM
I look forward to your results.

Peter

Well, I made the pie last night.

I will apologize up-front about not being more scientific in my approach and in my methods.. ..For one, I only make one pie a week for Sunday night "Pizza Night" for the family.. . .since this is the family meal for the night, I tend to be mostly concerned with just getting it on the table and not screwing it up.   So I don't often take time to snap photos or things like that :(

Also - I don't feel like I have the acumen at this point to know a whole lot about what I'm doing :P

But anyway - I pulled the dough out about 2 hours ahead of time to a room temp of probably 76-79 degrees.  In that time it rose perhaps 10%.  I dusted the counter with semolina and turned out the dough.  I dusted it with semolina and hand-stretched it to about 9 inches or so.  The dough was pretty extensible (I think that's the right word). ... stretched very easily.  It was so floppy that I was loathe to attempt tossing it, so I just stretched it with the backs of my fists, which worked well.  
As mentioned previously, I sort of realized this is really too much dough for a 14'', so I stretched it bigger than my 14'' screen and then rolled the rim to make it fit.  
I should also pause here to confess that my focus has really been entirely on the dough.  I love MM's toppings too, but we tend to have set toppings that we use here at home, plus we try to eat vegan.
So after I got the skin ready, we dressed it and baked it at 500 (high as mine goes) on the second-lowest rack position for 8 minutes.
Not being a very good judge of done-ness, I decided to pull it out at this point, fearing an overbaked crust more than an underbaked one.

The rim was quite large due to the artificial pre-bake rim.  The color of the crumb was much closer to MM - it was a mild golden color, not brown like my previous attempts, caused by too much molasses I think.
I fear the pie was underbaked.  The crust was pretty bready and very soft.  It was also surprisingly sweet. . .sweeter than I expected given the lower molasses content than previous attempts.  My palate also seemed to be yearning for a bit more saltiness. .. my wife agreed.  Not sure if this is legitimate or if it was due to the underbake.

However, to me the flavor was the closest I've come to MM yet.  This is all subjective of course, but I was encouraged by it.  

I think the under-bakedness definitely detracted from the overall appeal (as well as a new sauce we tried and some other topping issues).

Lessons Learned:  I think I will lower the hydration a good bit and possibly increase the wheat germ.  The Germ flavor - if my palate is correct - seemed to be more of an "ah-ha!" factor than the molasses.  In my opinion it was the biggest factor contributing to the MM likeness.
I will definitely lower the ball weight and not form an artificial rim.
I wonder if more salt would be in order as well, but my inexperience has me worried about adversely impacting the fermentation in doing so.
I also wonder what a longer cold fermentation would do to the flavors as well.

Well, that's about all I can report for now. . sorry again for the lack of technicality.  Cheers!
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: Pete-zza on September 12, 2011, 07:43:23 PM
Biz,

No need to apologize about the technical aspects of what you did with the clone MM dough. What you have reported should help us with the next MM test dough.

Can you tell me whether the crust was sweeter than a typical MM crust that you have had in the past? Also, you might want to use cornmeal as your bench flour since that is what MM uses in its stores and contributes to the taste and texture of the crust.

I agree with you that the hydration should be lowered. Raising the salt should not be a problem. I think I would also raise the amount of wheat germ and lower the amount of oil so that the finished crust isn't quite as bread-like.

On the matter of the duration of fermentation, I read or heard somewhere (maybe in one of the MM videos I looked at) that the MM dough is a 48-hour process. If the dough ball is a frozen dough ball, allowing it to defrost in the cooler for a day and holding it under refrigeration for another day would be a 48-hour exercise and quite normal. It is when you get to the third day, that problems with defrosted dough balls usually arise.

When do you want to make the next clone MM dough and pizza? I assume that it would be 14".

Peter
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: Biz Markie on September 12, 2011, 09:12:13 PM
Can you tell me whether the crust was sweeter than a typical MM crust that you have had in the past?
Unfortunately I can't say with a lot of certainty.  My memory does seem to tell me yes.  A problem in this process is that I haven't made it to a MM store in several months.  It's high on our to-do list, and clearly would help with this whole process.  While I may tinker with my own doughs in the meantime, it may be best to wait to post more formulas here until I can actually have more of a comparison.

Also, you might want to use cornmeal as your bench flour since that is what MM uses in its stores and contributes to the taste and texture of the crust.
Good point.  I will definitely do that.

When do you want to make the next clone MM dough and pizza? I assume that it would be 14".
My mind has been racing with what kinds of tweaks I want to make next, one of which is a longer fermentation.  The PJ Clone doughs I have made the most of and with the most success have been 5-day doughs (I believe your original PJ Clone), so I was considering making one Tuesday night for use this coming Sunday night.  In that case of course I'd have to reduce the yeast, but I will also attempt your suggestions of lowering the hydration and oil and increasing the salt and germ.  

If you (or anyone) has any other suggestions, let me know.  Oh, and I also wondered about switching to soybean or grapeseed oil (the latter I've used a lot with good results).  I had intended to use soybean with the formula posted above but I was out.

Thanks!
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: Pete-zza on September 13, 2011, 10:19:02 AM
Biz,

In my experience, the most effective way to replicate a given pizza dough, whether it is an MM dough or some other, is to try to come as close as possible to the original, in as many respects as possible. Of course, you wonít be able to achieve this one-hundred percent because you wonít have access, or easy access, to many of the ingredients used to make the original and there will be differences in oven and bake protocol. However, it is the best place to start in my opinion and from which to adapt the dough formulation to your particular circumstances once problem areas are identified. There is nothing wrong with taking a detour or a different route but that will take you away from the desired endpoint and goal rather than toward it. You might even end up being more confused than when you started. You will note from the Papa John's clone thread that I spent a lot of time to come up with the version that I thought came closest to an original PJ
dough. It was only then that I came up with other versions to meet the needs of end users who did not
want to wait 5-8 days to make their clone PJ pizzas.

Some time today, I will set forth a couple of test formulations, one for those who want to try to replicate the MM dough based on our best intelligence to date and another one for you to use as a detour. Making a five-day or more cold fermented MM clone dough poses some challenges, so you might want to try both formulations so that you increase the chances of having a functional dough to make pizza from next Sunday. But, whichever way you decide to proceed, it would be helpful to see some photos if that is possible so that we can compare your results with those achieved at a typical MM or otherwise learn from your experience.

Peter
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: Pete-zza on September 13, 2011, 03:08:13 PM
Based on the information that has been assembled in this thread to date, I have set forth below a test MM clone dough formulation for those who have the necessary ingredients to make such a dough. I used the expanded dough calculating tool at http://www.pizzamaking.com/expanded_calculator.html to come up with that formulation. As noted below, I decided on a hydration of 55%. The actual value will be a bit higher (just shy of 56%) because the molasses contains about 22% water. Also, both the molasses and the oil will increase the ďwetnessĒ and plasticity of the dough and its extensibility when opened up to make the skin. Depending on the outcome, further adjustments in hydration and the levels of molasses and oil may be needed. Ideally, one wants to achieve a fairly dense/stiff dough but one with still enough hydration so that it can be opened up and formed into a skin that can be tossed and twirled, much as shown in the various YouTube videos referenced earlier in this thread.

For the flour blend, which comprises both an unbleached high-gluten flour and wheat germ, I decided to go with 3% wheat germ. Normally, wheat germ in a milled flour represents about 2 Ĺ% of the wheat berry. I decided on 3% just to see if we can establish a threshold for the wheat germ and to see if that amount will increase the color of the flour and finished crust and crumb.

I also lowered the amounts of molasses and oil from my earlier estimates. That was done to keep the finished crumb from being too bread like. I also increased the amount of salt based on Bizís and his wifeís perception that the last MM clone pizza that he made needed more salt. For the yeast, I elected an amount to allow for a one day cold fermentation yet be sufficient to assist a good oven spring given that the dough may be on the stiff side.

I assumed a pizza size of 14Ē and a nominal thickness factor of 0.11693, which is the thickness factor mentioned earlier that is associated with an MM dough ball used to make an MM 14Ē pizza. I used a bowl residue compensation of 1.5%, on the assumption that the dough will be made in a basic home stand mixer.

Here is the test MM clone dough formulation:

Unbleached High-Gluten Flour/Wheat Germ Blend* (100%):
Spring Water (55%):
IDY (0.60%):
Salt (2%):
Vegetable (Soybean) Oil (4%):
Molasses (4.5%):
Total (166.1%):
311.53 g  |  10.99 oz | 0.69 lbs
171.34 g  |  6.04 oz | 0.38 lbs
1.87 g | 0.07 oz | 0 lbs | 0.62 tsp | 0.21 tbsp
6.23 g | 0.22 oz | 0.01 lbs | 1.12 tsp | 0.37 tbsp
12.46 g | 0.44 oz | 0.03 lbs | 2.74 tsp | 0.91 tbsp
14.02 g | 0.49 oz | 0.03 lbs | 2.02 tsp | 0.67 tbsp
517.44 g | 18.25 oz | 1.14 lbs | TF = 0.118567
*The Unbleached High-Gluten Flour/Wheat Germ Blend comprises 302.18 grams (10.66 ounces) of unbleached (unbromated) high-gluten flour and 9.35 grams (0.33 ounces) of wheat germ.
Note: Nominal thickness factor = 0.11693 and corresponds to a dough ball weight of 18 ounces; bowl residue compensation = 1.5%.

Peter
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: Pete-zza on September 13, 2011, 03:21:15 PM
Biz,

Until you are able to make a visit to your local MM store to revisit their pizzas in light of what you have been doing at home from a cloning standpoint, if you want to experiment with a long, cold fermented MM clone dough (about 5 days), you might consider the MM clone dough formulation set forth below. It mirrors the MM clone dough formulation as set forth in the last post but for the amount of yeast. The comments set forth in the last post apply here also.

Since you have prepared doughs (the Papa Johnís clone doughs) that are low in yeast but can sustain a long, cold fermentation, you should prepare the MM clone dough the same way as you have been doing. For others, I suggest that the instructions given at the Papa Johnís clone thread at Reply 2 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,6758.msg58197.html#msg58197 be followed except that the molasses can be added to the water. Also, in lieu of a semolina-based bench flour, I suggest that cornmeal be used since that is what MM uses in its stores.

Unbleached High-Gluten Flour/Wheat Germ Blend* (100%):
Spring Water (55%):
IDY (0.14%):
Salt (2%):
Vegetable (Soybean) Oil (4%):
Molasses (4.5%):
Total (165.64%):
312.39 g  |  11.02 oz | 0.69 lbs
171.81 g  |  6.06 oz | 0.38 lbs
0.44 g | 0.02 oz | 0 lbs | 0.15 tsp | 0.05 tbsp
6.25 g | 0.22 oz | 0.01 lbs | 1.12 tsp | 0.37 tbsp
12.5 g | 0.44 oz | 0.03 lbs | 2.75 tsp | 0.92 tbsp
14.06 g | 0.5 oz | 0.03 lbs | 2.03 tsp | 0.68 tbsp
517.44 g | 18.25 oz | 1.14 lbs | TF = 0.118567
*The Unbleached High-Gluten Flour/Wheat Germ Blend comprises 303.02 grams (10.69 ounces) of unbleached (unbromated) high-gluten flour and 9.37 grams (0.33 ounces) of wheat germ.
Note: Nominal thickness factor = 0.11693 and corresponds to a dough ball weight of 18 ounces; bowl residue compensation = 1.5%.

The amount of IDY in the above dough formulation is a bit less than 3/16 teaspoon, or just under three of the ďpinchĒ measuring spoons for those who have mini-teaspoon sets such as shown, for example, at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,5583.msg47264.html#msg47264. For those who do not have mini-measuring spoons, using 1/8 teaspoon plus almost half again should come pretty close.

If the above dough formulation works out for you and the pizza you plan to make will be a vegan pizza, I assume that that means that you will not be using any cheeses on the pizza, including the dusting of the baked rim of the pizza crust with grated Parmesan cheese. To the extent that you use a tomato-based pizza sauce, I suggest about 5.5-6ounces of pizza sauce, by volume. For those who might choose to try the above dough formulation and are not vegans, I suggest about 7.5 ounces of shredded low-moisture part-skim mozzarella cheese, by weight. For pepperoni pizza lovers, I would use 22 pepperoni slices. To be true to a real MM pizza, the baked rim of the pizza should be brushed with butter (including garlic-flavored butter) and dusted with grated Parmesan cheese.

Peter
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: Pete-zza on September 13, 2011, 07:11:41 PM
After my recent exchanges with flour experts at Montana Milling and General Mills, as recently reported in this thread, and after seeing that a giant like General Mills does not have a wheat germ flour product, and that its flour expert couldnít even enlighten me on the subject, I came away with the impression that maybe Mellow Mushroom does not use a flour with the bran removed but with the wheat germ intact, and is perhaps supplementing its high-gluten flour with wheat germ. So, I decided to dig further on the wheat germ part of the flour blend.

By way of recapitulation, the language that is often seen in the literature, and which originated with MM, is that their dough is made from ďVitamin-E enriched high-gluten flour with wheat germĒ. As previously reported in this thread, I had assumed that the Vitamin-E enrichment part of the above-quoted language was in reference to the Vitamin E that is naturally present in the wheat germ.

However, after researching wheat germ today, I discovered that there are brands of wheat germ that are actually enriched with Vitamin E. Two such brands are the Kretschmer toasted wheat germ and the Motherís toasted wheat germ. In the case of the Kretschmer product, the added Vitamin E is Vitamin E acetate (see the Nutritional Info at http://www.quakeroats.com/products/more-products-from-quaker/content/cereals/kretschmer-toasted-wheat-germ.aspx), which is essentially a dry form of Vitamin E. The Motherís wheat germ product also has added Vitamin E but the form is not identified. Not all toasted wheat germs are Vitamin-E enriched but I did not find any raw wheat germ products that are Vitamin-E enriched. Interestingly, as I found at the foodservicedirect.com website, which offers both brands of toasted wheat germ, the shelf life of both of those products is 540 days. Of course, once a bottle is opened, it is a good idea to refrigerate it.

I also did some research on how much of the flour in a recipe can be replaced with wheat germ. What I found is that the amount of added wheat germ can be small, such as a few teaspoons or tablespoons, but perhaps the most common suggestion was to replace ľ of the flour with wheat germ, and as much as half. In the MM clone dough formulations I posted, I looked only to replace the wheat germ that is removed during milling. If MM is, in fact, using a toasted wheat germ that is enriched with Vitamin E, then that opens up the possibility of adding more wheat germ than I suggested in the MM clone dough formulations I posted earlier today.

The above analysis might properly prompt one to ask whether ďVitamin-E enriched high-gluten flour with wheat germĒ is the same as ďHigh-gluten flour with Vitamin-E enriched wheat germĒ. However, I have never seen or read of a flour that is Vitamin-E enriched. Also, when I did a Google search of the phrases ďVitamin-E enriched flourĒ and Vitamin-E enriched high-gluten flourĒ (with both phrases in quotes), I got very few hits and all of the hits for the ďVitamin-E enriched high-gluten flourĒ were in relation to Mellow Mushroom.

Peter
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: briterian on September 14, 2011, 11:49:10 AM
Can't wait to try these doughs.  Pete - 2 questions.  Can I use canola or EVOO instead of soybean oil?  Also, do I brush the butter/parm on the crust before it bakes or after?  I'm going to back at 550 in my bakers pride P44 which should be interesting to see the bake time.
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: Pete-zza on September 14, 2011, 12:57:32 PM
Can't wait to try these doughs.  Pete - 2 questions.  Can I use canola or EVOO instead of soybean oil?  Also, do I brush the butter/parm on the crust before it bakes or after?  I'm going to back at 550 in my bakers pride P44 which should be interesting to see the bake time.

Brian,

Yes, I think you should be able to use canola oil but I might not want to use EVOO because that might be a bit too strong on the flavor front. Maybe you can use a light, mild flavored olive oil. I did some searching to see if I could find what kind of oil MM uses in its doughs, given its emphasis on heatlh, but I couldn't find anything.

The rim of the crust should be brushed with butter after it is baked. The grated Parmesan cheese is sprinkled on the rim right after it is buttered.

Peter
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: Biz Markie on September 16, 2011, 09:31:17 AM
Peter,

I may soon be visiting an MM store for intelligence-gathering purposes and to remind myself of the experience.

Is there anything from a reconnaissance perspective that I can/should do to benefit our experiment?

Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: Pete-zza on September 16, 2011, 03:21:08 PM
Is there anything from a reconnaissance perspective that I can/should do to benefit our experiment?

Biz,

Can you tell me which MM you plan to visit and what kind of pizza(s) you think you might order?

There is a limit as to what you can learn about a pizza dough that comes from a commissary. One of the beauties of the commissary model is that the workers in the field do not have to know anything about the dough other than how to form skins, dress them and bake them. The commissary model shields the field workers from all the trade secrets and proprietary information that relate to the dough. To give you an example of how workers, even franchisee owners, are unaware of what is in a MM dough, look at 4:13 in the MM Germantown/Memphis, TN YouTube video at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FyhkznN2qzc&feature=related where the owner/franchisee mentions that the dough has a "touch of molasses in it" that gives the crust some of its "brown" and is "not sweet, just a hint". I would say that if you can taste a distinct sweetness, as I did, that is more than a hint.

What I would look for are the same sorts of things I described earlier in this thread at Reply 40, provided that your family does not make you sit alone at another table as you conduct your in-depth "examination" and the wait personnel and by-passers give you a funny look as they pass by your table and see you with scalpel and stethoscope in hand. You might also ask to be seated at a table near the ovens and, while you are waiting for your pizza(s), or after you have eaten, you might also go up to the work area and watch how the pizzas are made, especially the way that the dough balls are opened up and formed into skins with a pronounced rim, since that is what you will want to replicate at home. You might also make note of the make of the ovens. I have seen a couple different deck oven models in the MM videos I have viewed. I would also pay close attention to the color of the dough balls, since that is the color you will want to emulate at home. If you decide to purchase a dough ball, that can later be used for dough color comparison purposes. I personally think that the bulk of the color of an MM dough is from the molasses and that it would take a lot of wheat germ to produce the same degree of coloration in the dough. It is the balance of the molasses and wheat germ that you are after. I am leaning toward a toasted wheat germ since I did not find any brands of raw wheat germ that are enriched with Vitamin E. I think the toasting may yield more color.

Anything else you can learn will be pure gravy. For example, I wonder what kind of oil MM uses in its dough balls. But I would be surprised if anyone in the MM you will be visiting will know the answer. Even asking the question might bring you odd looks, although the question might be posed in the context of an allergy problem that you or a family member may have. MM is used to vegan/vegetarian/gluten-free/nutrition/allergy concerns, so you never know what you might learn.

Good luck. I look forward to your trip report.

Peter
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: Biz Markie on September 16, 2011, 03:39:49 PM
We'd be visiting either the Nashville/Vanderbilt location or the Downtown Franklin (TN) location.  We used to always get the house special, but now that we're trying the Vegan thing, we'd have to do a veggie with no cheese.  However, I have heard that at least some stores offer a Vegan pizza with soy-based cheese.  If so, we'd probably try that in a Large.

Regarding intelligence-gathering, that's kinda what I was thinking as well.  My primary reason for going is to reacquaint myself with just the flavor of the crust.

I was also thinking along your same lines of trying to observe the dough balls for coloration, etc.  I may even purchase one to bring home.  

I'll let you know. ..... I will also be trying your formula for the 24-hour dough this weekend so will report on that, I hope, as well.

Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: Pete-zza on September 16, 2011, 07:44:01 PM
Biz,

As you can see from http://www.mellowmushroom.com/promotions/vegan, the MM stores use the Daiya cheese for vegan pizzas. You might check the MM you go to to confirm whether they offer the Daiya cheese.

Peter
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: briterian on September 16, 2011, 09:17:01 PM
Biz

Pls time how long they bake a pie and if they rotate etc during the bake.  Also ask bake temp.  Thx!
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: Pete-zza on September 17, 2011, 09:09:33 AM
Pls time how long they bake a pie and if they rotate etc during the bake.  Also ask bake temp.  Thx!

Those are good questions. In the MM store I visited recently in Florida, the ovens are Blodgett deck ovens that are at around 550 degrees F. In the video at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lvixfngmz-g&feature=related, (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lvixfngmz-g&feature=related,) the ovens are Montague HearthBake deck ovens (http://montaguecompany.com/Product.aspx?pid=256 (http://montaguecompany.com/Product.aspx?pid=256)) that are run at 475 degrees F and the bake time is about 20 minutes (for the Kosmic Karma pizza shown). Those numbers may have been used for the video and may not actually be the numbers used in the store, even for the Kosmic Karma pizza with all its toppings. It would be interesting to know the numbers for a basic 14" cheese pizza and also average bake times.

Peter
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: norma427 on September 17, 2011, 10:21:02 AM
Peter,

I wanted to ask you a question to see if you think the ConAgra Mills Ultragrain flour http://www.conagramills.com/our_products/ultragrain.jsp might be able to used with a high gluten flour (KASL) to use in one of the formulas you set-forth?  I had purchased a small bag of the Ultragrain awhile ago at the Country Store.  I think the Ultragrain does include some Vitamin E and some bran in the Ultragrain flour.

Norma
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: Pete-zza on September 17, 2011, 11:07:32 AM
I wanted to ask you a question to see if you think the ConAgra Mills Ultragrain flour http://www.conagramills.com/our_products/ultragrain.jsp might be able to used with a high gluten flour (KASL) to use in one of the formulas you set-forth?  I had purchased a small bag of the Ultragrain awhile ago at the Country Store.  I think the Ultragrain does include some Vitamin E and some bran in the Ultragrain flour.

Norma

Norma,

I have not seen the specs for the Ultragrain flour but I would not consider it the best way to juice up high-gluten flour for purposes of emulating an MM dough. As a whole wheat flour, adding Ultragrain flour to KASL or any other high-gluten flour would increase the wheat germ and bran content and would add some Vitamin E (simply because Vitamin E is naturally present in the Utlragrain flour), but to get to the level of wheat germ that I think is present in the MM dough, you would perhaps have to add too much Ultragrain flour. I don't know the protein content of the Ultragrain flour but if it is less than say, 14%, it might lower the total protein content of the blend and take it out of the high-gluten category. From all of the MM-related videos I have seen, and the way that the MM dough handles on the bench and when opened up and tossed and spun, there has to be a lot of gluten in the flour blend that MM uses. For now, unless you just want to play around with the Ultragrain flour in a test, I think the better way to proceed is to use Vitamin-E enriched toasted wheat germ along with the high-gluten flour.

Peter
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: norma427 on September 17, 2011, 12:59:31 PM
Norma,

I have not seen the specs for the Ultragrain flour but I would not consider it the best way to juice up high-gluten flour for purposes of emulating an MM dough. As a whole wheat flour, adding Ultragrain flour to KASL or any other high-gluten flour would increase the wheat germ and bran content and would add some Vitamin E (simply because Vitamin E is naturally present in the Utlragrain flour), but to get to the level of wheat germ that I think is present in the MM dough, you would perhaps have to add too much Ultragrain flour. I don't know the protein content of the Ultragrain flour but if it is less than say, 14%, it might lower the total protein content of the blend and take it out of the high-gluten category. From all of the MM-related videos I have seen, and the way that the MM dough handles on the bench and when opened up and tossed and spun, there has to be a lot of gluten in the flour blend that MM uses. For now, unless you just want to play around with the Ultragrain flour in a test, I think the better way to proceed is to use Vitamin-E enriched toasted wheat germ along with the high-gluten flour.

Peter

Peter,

Thanks for your advise on not using the ConAgra Ultragrain flour in an M&M attempt. I did pick up some toasted wheat germ, mild flavored molasses, and coarse cornmeal at the Country Store today.  If I have time this week, I will try one of your formulas for this coming week. 

Norma
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: Pete-zza on September 17, 2011, 01:04:44 PM
Biz,

Earlier today, in Reply 77, I referenced a video showing how a typical MM pizza is made, at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lvixfngmz-g&feature=related. As can be seen in that video, the pizza sauce is distributed onto the 16Ē skin shown in the video using what is commonly referred to as a ďSpoodleĒ. A ďSpoodleĒ is a combination of a spoon and a ladle (generically, the device is called a ďfood portioningĒ or ďportion controllerĒ device). I wondered whether I would be able to determine the capacity of the Spoodle bowl shown in the video since knowing that would allow us to scale the amount of sauce put onto a 16Ē skin to a 14Ē size and a 10Ē size. I might add that I have now seen several MM-related videos showing the use of Spoodles in MM stores. And they are very similar.

From the video, and particularly at 1:01, the Spoodle looks to be about a couple of inches shorter than the diameter (16Ē) of the skin shown in the video. That would place the total length of the Spoodle at around 14Ē. Spoodles are often sold in sets with different bowl capacities and, in such cases, the Spoodles are color-coded for ease and convenience of use. As it so happens, Spoodles with black handles such as shown in the video are often reserved in sets for 6-ounce bowl capacities. However, I discovered that Spoodles are available in black in just about any standard bowl capacity.

Perhaps during your MM store visit you can ask what size Spoodle is used to make a given size pizza. I have a Spoodle type device, with a bowl capacity of 3 ounces, and the size is stated on the device, both in ounces and milliliters.

Thanks.

Peter
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: Biz Markie on September 18, 2011, 09:44:05 AM
Biz,
Perhaps during your MM store visit you can ask what size Spoodle is used to make a given size pizza. I have a Spoodle type device, with a bowl capacity of 3 ounces, and the size is stated on the device, both in ounces and milliliters.
I plan to go this coming Tuesday, so I will try my best to ask this and maybe other questions. 

Would it be helpful to get a weight on a finished pizza?  My only caveat would be that we will probably get 2 10'' pies, one Veggie (with vegan cheese if available, or no cheese if not) and one probably half cheese, half pepperoni or something. 

I also want to get a cup of their sauce so I can take it home and see if I can emulate it.  Their sauce is not something I remember being particularly struck by in the past - the crust (and higher-end toppings) has always been the draw for me.  But I am in somewhat of a sauce "funk" right now and need something to perhaps emulate.

On another note - I'm really wondering about the Wheat Germ.  I think I follow your logic that has led you more to the toasted, Vitamin E enriched variety.  However, do you think in a commissary model such as this, that a more "processed" wheat germ would be used?  It almost seems like a raw germ would be cheaper and easier to come by.  But of course, I have no knowledge of these things - I'm just going off the top of my head.
Also, I checked out the Kretschmer toasted germ product and noticed its Vitamin E RDA value is 20%.  The Hodgson Mill Raw germ I have has a 12% RDA value (I suspect the serving size is the same but I did not confirm).  That's a bit more but nothing giant in terms of Vitamin E content. 
I also was thinking that the Kretschmer was almost more like a granulated product - more processed and possibly more easily mixed into a dough, but I noticed that the germ looks just like the stuff I have. . . .just little flakes, etc.  So not sure it would perform any differently.  Perhaps the toasting would impact this, however.  Toasting I'm sure would impact the flavor too, like toasting nuts changes them pretty dramatically.
I was going to buy the Kretschmer to try but figured I'd finish my raw germ first.

I have a dough ball in the fridge following your formula in reply #67.  Only trouble is I was not able to use soybean oil (grrrr) so I went with Grapeseed instead.  It seems to have a fairly neutral flavor, though it seems perhaps a little "lighter" and not as heavy as soy.  Anyway - I'll let you know tomorrow how it goes.
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: Pete-zza on September 18, 2011, 11:02:33 AM
Biz,

I intentionally did not ask you to get a baked pizza weight because I did not want you to order up a pizza that you didnít really want just to get the weight. Usually the best pizza to get for weighing purposes is the simplest pizza possible with the fewest things on it, such as a plain cheese pizza or maybe one with pepperoni. This is especially true when you already know the weight of the dough ball. That leaves just the cheese and sauce (and pepperoni, if applicable) and weight losses during baking to consider. If pepperoni is used on a pizza, it is a good idea to count the number of slices. Most pepperoni tends to fall within a fairly narrow range from a weight standpoint.

On the matter of the wheat germ, I donít know that it will make a lot of difference whether you use the raw wheat germ or the toasted wheat germ although I agree that the toasted variety will add its own flavor profile and color to the finished pizza. As I mentioned earlier, I could not find any raw wheat germ that was enriched by Vitamin E by intentionally adding that vitamin to the wheat germ. I donít recall whether I mentioned it earlier, but when I spoke to the technical person at Pendleton, he said that if wheat germ were to be added to another flour, most likely it would go through a further processing step, possibly to reduce the particle size, before combining it with the other flour.

Apart from flavor and color, one of the advantages of the toasted wheat germ is that it has a shelf life of around 540 days, which would seem to lend itself better to a commissary model. But whether raw or toasted wheat germ is used, it should be refrigerated once the package is opened. Iím sure that MM has long figured out how to use all of the ingredients that go into its dough without experiencing problems with wheat germ spoilage. I should also mention that there is such a thing as a de-fatted wheat germ (see, for example, http://garudaint.com/product.php?id=19&prod_code=DWGERMDTC-CS). We shouldnít also rule out the possibility that MM uses pre-mixes in its commissary as prepared by an outside company. As for cost, the toasted wheat germ may be more expensive than raw wheat germ because of the added processing steps, but MM pizzas arenít exactly cheap, so there may be room in their profit margin to absorb that higher cost. Remember, also, that a 25-50 pound bag of wheat germ should go a long way.

BTW, if you want to see a couple of examples of Spoodle/portion controller devices with a black handle of the desired shape and a length of about 14Ē, see http://libertywareusa.com/products/s/spo6.aspx (Libertyware, 14 1/2Ē) and http://www.bakedeco.com/detail.asp?id=13319& and the related photo at  http://www.bakedeco.com/info/dispWin.asp?is=/images/large/Portion6.jpg (manufacturer not identified, 14 ľĒ). I did find a portion controller in the 8-ounce size with a black handle but the description of the length of the controller was unclear. I have asked for clarification and will report back if my inquiry is answered. But, by and large, Spoodles/portion controllers with black handles tend to have 6-ounce capacities. In the MM videos I looked at, I did not see portion controllers with other than black handles, and I did not see several different portion controllers lying around. Maybe the pizza assemblers use the same portion controller for the three different pizza sizes by just filling the bowls to different levels for the different pizza sizes. It is also possible that the portion controllers can be shorter than about 14", since there are models out there that are less than about 14" in overall length but with the same capacity. With MM stores in 15 states and the District of Columbia and increasingly moving out of the South, It would be illogical to expect that all MM stores have identical equipment and devices to work with.

I donít know if you are aware of this, but soybean is just ordinary vegetable oil and is sold as ďvegetable oilĒ in supermarkets, either alone or as part of a blend with another oil, such as canola oil. However, your grapeseed oil should work fine.

Peter
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: Biz Markie on September 18, 2011, 01:25:16 PM
Good info, Peter.   

One thing I've thought of regarding the wheat germ is to find a way to reduce the particle size.  I don't have a mortar and pestle, but that might work.  I do have a manual ceramic burr grinder for coffee and/or spices.  I may, for fun, attempt to grind some germ to see how that goes.

And yep - I am aware (though not really until I started making PJ clone doughs!) that most Vegetable Oil is soybean oil.  Sadly I just ran out and haven't made it to the store yet. 

Well, I'll catch up tomorrow, I hope.
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: norma427 on September 18, 2011, 01:44:25 PM
A Mellow Mushroom dough was mixed this morning, for an attempt at a Mellow Mushroom pizza on Tuesday.  This was the formula I used, and how the dough ball looked.

Norma
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: Biz Markie on September 18, 2011, 02:28:26 PM
Cool, Norma!!  Glad to have a partner in crime!

I wanted to post some pics too.  The first are of my current 18.25oz (formula weight) dough ball following the formula at reply 67.  The flecks of germ are visible. The dough is 22 hours old.

The second pic is a before and after, showing the particle size following my attempt to grind the germ in a ceramic burr grinder.  I used the finest setting I could get it to.  It did make a difference as I think you can see, but at the end there were still some larger, darker flakes (which to me actually resemble Bran).

Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: norma427 on September 18, 2011, 04:23:59 PM
Cool, Norma!!  Glad to have a partner in crime!

I wanted to post some pics too.  The first are of my current 18.25oz (formula weight) dough ball following the formula at reply 67.  The flecks of germ are visible. The dough is 22 hours old.

The second pic is a before and after, showing the particle size following my attempt to grind the germ in a ceramic burr grinder.  I used the finest setting I could get it to.  It did make a difference as I think you can see, but at the end there were still some larger, darker flakes (which to me actually resemble Bran).



Biz,

Your 22 hr. old dough ball looks great!  :) Your attempt to grind the germ looks like it was quite successful too. 

I never tried a M&M pizza, so your opinion how the formula works out will be valuable because you have tasted a M&M pizza and you are going to try out more real M&M pizzas.

I like to test out different formulas to see how the pies turn out.  That is why I am also trying out the formula.  I wonít ever know if my pie or pies taste like a real M&M pizza.

I didnít take a close-up picture of my dough ball, but the toasted wheat germ can be seen in the dough.

Will be looking forward to how your attempt at a M&M clone turns out.

Norma
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: Biz Markie on September 18, 2011, 04:27:03 PM
Thanks for the compliments, Norma.  Shame you don't have an MM nearby, but at least your wallet will be better off . .it's pricey!
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: norma427 on September 18, 2011, 04:40:37 PM

Shame you don't have an MM nearby, but at least your wallet will be better off . .it's pricey!



Biz,

I also wish I had a M&Mís near me.  Their pizzas really look different from other pizzas I have tried.  The wheat germ and molasses are interesting to me in the formula.

On my other clone attempt thread, other members have also helped me by making pies, and reporting on how they tasted in different formulas we tried.  Many of those members never tried the real pizzas from pizza place I was attempting to clone.

Norma
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: Biz Markie on September 18, 2011, 10:56:46 PM
Wellllll. ... ...

The pizza didn't turn out very well.  Most of it was my fault, but I'm not sure of the reasons behind some of the issues.

Here's the exact formula I used.  I separated the wheat germ out as a separate ingredient, so the percentages look a little different.

Flour   100.00%   10.66oz   Organic HG Flour (not sure of the manufacturer - bought in bulk)
Water  56.66%  6.04oz   Crystal Springs, about 79oF
IDY   0.66%  0.07oz  SAF red
Salt   2.06%  0.22oz  Sea Salt
Oil   4.13%  0.44oz  La Tourangelle Grapeseed
Molasses  4.60%  0.49oz  Brer Rabbit Mild
Wheat Germ  3.10%  0.33oz  Hodgson Mill Untoasted
TOTAL   171.20%
I also added about 1/4 teaspoon Diastatic Barley Malt Powder (KA) because the Flour does not contain it.

I mixed the dough in my zojirushi about 14 minutes, added yeast after 3 mins of mixing.  This is pretty much my normal procedure though I've increased the mixing times a little bit lately.

Dough was actually in the fridge for about 26 hours, then room temp for about 2.5 hours.

The dough handled very well.  I was able to toss it with no problems and it opened pretty easily to 14''.  I used cornmeal for dusting rather than my usual semolina.  I did not roll up a rim as I often do.

Dressed it with a simple San Marzano sauce we made, plus some veggies and the Daiya mozzarella vegan cheese alternative.  Also some vegan pepperoni slices (quite yummy!).

I decided to try using my stone this time, so preheated it at 500 for 45 mins.  The pizza ended up in the oven for a total of 9 mins.  The final min was with the broiler to try to melt the Daiya better, etc. 

PROBLEMS:
1) I guess because I felt my last pie was underbaked, I went too far in the other direction and definitely overbaked this.  Parts of the very outer rim of the bottom of the crust were slightly blackened.  the whole rim was more crunchy than chewy.  I basically ruined the pizza, at least for comparison purposes.  The crust had no discernible flavor other than the garlic butter (melted Earth Balance sticks + garlic powder) I brushed on after baking.
2) Aside from my burning the pizza for all practical purposes, there was very little oven spring on the rim.  Except for in a few areas, the rim was quite flat.  I guess since I normally roll a little rim before baking, I am used to pretty large rims.  But even so, I was very disappointed in the lack of oven spring. Not sure what caused this.  I'd be grateful for any advice.  I feel like I'm cheating if I roll-up a rim, but after tonight I may embrace the practice!

OTHER OBSERVATIONS
The Daiya cheese was overpowering.  We used a whole bag which is 0.5 ounces more than recommended for a 14'' pizza on their website.  The flavor was good (though strong) but it has a texture that's very gooey.  I would be willing to try it again but with a much lower amount.  Another interesting fact about this stuff is that once it's been melted and it dries/cools, it's like SUPER GLUE!  It had to be scraped off my counter and the dishes were a bear to get clean.  Very odd.  Wonder what it's doing to my insides!   :-D

So needless to say I'm quite dejected after this total failure.  This happens with some frequency, so I'm used to it.  I'll bounce back.

I'll maybe post some pics tomorrow but even those didn't turn out too well! 
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: Pete-zza on September 19, 2011, 09:31:24 AM
Biz,

I'm sorry that you didn't get the results you had hoped for. Reverse engineering and cloning someone else's pizza is a challenging exercise, and failures frequently happen. I plan to compose a more complete reply but I would first like to see the photos to see if there is anything in them to offer up clues as to what went wrong. Also, in the meantime, can you answer the following questions:

1. What was the brand of the high-gluten organic flour you used?

2. Did you use the normal dough making cycle of your Zo or was it programmed to do only mixing and kneading?

3. Was there a reason why you did not form a distinct rim on the skin, given that that is a feature that is employed by MM?

4. What type and brand of oven are you using and on which oven rack position did you bake the pizza before moving it up to the broiler area?

5. Did you bake the pizza directly on the pizza stone?

6. Did you detect sweetness in the finished crust?

7. Do you plan to buy a dough ball on your planned visit to an MM store tomorrow?

As you can see from the ingredients list for the Daiya cheese at http://www.daiyafoods.com/products/mozza.asp, the Daiya mozzarella clone contains some unusual ingredients.

Last year, I prepared a list of factors that are commonly implicated in oven spring. You might want to look over the list to see if anything jumps out at you. The list is at Reply 515 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,9908.msg104559.html#msg104559.

Peter
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: Pete-zza on September 19, 2011, 01:29:46 PM
Yesterday, I spent a great deal of time researching wheat germ. In the course of that research, a company by the name Garuda International, Inc. kept coming up time and again. One of the products that that company specializes in is defatted wheat germ. And, judging from what I read about their products, including that companyís literature on their many forms and variations of wheat germ, they seem to be real experts on that product. So, I decided to call the company to discuss wheat germ.

I ended up speaking with a director. I told him about the Mellow Mushroom operation, including their use of a commissary to make their pizza dough, and their use of Vitamin-E enriched high-gluten flour with wheat germ to make their pizza dough. I mentioned that I had recently sampled an MM pizza made using such a dough during a recent trip to Florida and was intrigued by the dough that was used to make the pizza. I told him that I could not see any visible signs of wheat germ in the finished crust or crumb, like speckling, but that I had read in one of the Garuda documents at their website, at http://www.garudaint.com/product.php?id=20&prod_code=DWGERMRF&rb=wheatgerm, that wheat germ can come in a form that is flour-like in consistency.

I learned several interesting things about wheat germ from the Garuda rep. First, their products, being industrial products, are not like the wheat germs that are sold in supermarkets, like the Kretschmerís. The Garuda wheat germ products are also defatted. That alone gives their products a minimum of one-year shelf life. That means little fear of rancidity although there is still a small amount of the original fat in the germ that could pose rancidity problems if the product is not used within the recommended time. The defatting process also removes most of the natural Vitamin E. However, if desired, Vitamin E can be added back to the defatted wheat germ. The form of Vitamin E that is typically added is d-alpha tocopherol (acetate), which is a synthetic form of Vitamin E. Because it is a synthetic form, it is much less expensive than the natural form of Vitamin E.

As we discussed the flour-like form of defatted wheat germ, I asked if the wheat germ in that form would add color to the finished dough. He said that the raw flour-like wheat germ looks a lot like ordinary flour (it is described as ďlight tan in colorĒ) and it would not be likely to add much in the way of color to the dough. Nor would it be detectible visually in the dough. From a taste standpoint, the Garuda literature says that it is ďreminiscent of raw wheat germĒ. When I asked the Garuda rep how much of that form of wheat germ might be used in a pizza dough, he said that one would perhaps not use much, most likely less than 10%. He told me that I had already found the Garuda document that describes most closely what I am looking for. And it is a product that can be added to flour in a commissary setting just as any other ingredient. It can also be used in a pre-mix.

Garuda also makes a toasted defatted wheat germ product as described in another Garuda document, at http://www.garudaint.com/product.php?id=24&prod_code=DWGERMMTF. According to that document, the wheat germ ďis toasted to a medium brown color and is milled to a flour-like consistency. The flavor is toasty with a mild, lingering nut-like taste.Ē As between the raw and toasted wheat germ products, if MM is using a defatted wheat germ, I would think that the toasted version would be the one to use. It would also add a bit more color to the dough and more flavor yet not be detectible as speckling in the finished crust.

Peter
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: Pete-zza on September 19, 2011, 01:58:15 PM
I did find a portion controller in the 8-ounce size with a black handle but the description of the length of the controller was unclear. I have asked for clarification and will report back if my inquiry is answered.

As I mentioned earlier, I had found an 8-ounce portion controller from another company but that it was not clear as to the length of the product. The company is Thunder Group and the product is shown at at http://www.foodservicewarehouse.com/thunder-group/slld008a/p362311.aspx. It will be noted that the photo of the 8-ounce portion controller shows a blue handle but at http://www.instawares.com/thunder-group-portion-controller.thu-slld008a.0.7.htm?Ts=0 the device (with the same part number) is shown with what appears to be a black handle, or else it is a lousy photo. The length of the handle of the 8-ounce controllers is given as 14.63". I inquired as to whether that dimension was the length of the entire product or just the handle, and the answer came today that it is the entire length of the product. Thunder Group also offers a 6-ounce portion controller, at http://www.foodservicewarehouse.com/thunder-group/slld008a/p362311.aspx. The length of that portion controller product is 14.25".

Peter
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: briterian on September 19, 2011, 02:00:18 PM
I baked up a 5 day dough using Petes recipe and was also disappointed.  Dough was great to handle but was too dense and ended up drying out.  It had nice flavor but even in a 500 oven I had to bake it for about 12 min to get any crunch.   I was afraid to bake higher due to molasses .   I feel like there was not enough yeast and wonder if molasses and germ effect the yeast.  Next time I'll try the 24 hr dough and bake at 600+.   Pics coming soon.  I still have hope.   I used primo  bromated hg flour.
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: Pete-zza on September 19, 2011, 02:15:15 PM
Brian,

I think you can see how difficult it is to reverse engineer and clone someone else's pizza dough with just limited information. I normally wouldn't have recommended a five-day version because it is not what MM does, but did so in case Biz wanted to go that route pending his trip to a local MM store to try to get more information.

Were you able to detect sweetness in the finished crust? And was the color like the color of an MM crust?

Wheat germ will have an effect on the hydration. Molasses is actually good for the yeast since it contains simple sugars, which is what the yeast uses as food. I wouldn't think that the small amount of wheat germ would have much of an effect on the yeast. It may be that the hydration has to be increased. Hopefully, Norma's test will tell us more.

Peter
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: briterian on September 19, 2011, 02:49:02 PM
Link to pics:  http://albums.phanfare.com/isolated/cgPFrZFK/1/5281895 (http://albums.phanfare.com/isolated/cgPFrZFK/1/5281895).

Nice sweetness.   I think the flavor was pretty close.   I was at about 57-59% probably.  Issue was the lack of rise.  Hope to do the 24 hr soon.
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: Pete-zza on September 19, 2011, 03:10:14 PM
Brian,

Your pizza actually looks quite tasty but I can understand that you need more of a rise. Maybe increasing the hydration and the amount of yeast will help. As mentioned earlier, MM may be using a lot of yeast in their dough balls because freezing kills off some of the yeast. We are trying to come up with a fresh dough version. I have no idea as to how the MM stores that make the dough in the stores use the dough from a timing standpoint. That is, do they make a same day dough or a cold fermented dough? Are the MM stores near you in Ohio using fresh or frozen dough balls? I intentionally recited a small amount of yeast in the clone dough formulation you used because the fermentation period was expected to be much longer than usual. That is what I did with the 3-8 day PJ clone formulation I came up with. However, the dough had a much higher thickness factor and a lot of oil and sugar, both of which yield a softer crust.

Did you form a distinct rim on the skin you used to make the pizza?

Peter
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: norma427 on September 19, 2011, 06:26:22 PM
Peter,

I wanted to ask you a question how you decided on such a high oil amount for the M&M clone formulas?  The formulas contained almost as much oil as I used in the formula for the NJ Boardwalk thread.  Do you think the amount of oil with the lower hydration has anything to do with how much oven spring the pizza will have?  I wonder about oil amount when I mixed the dough.  The dough today is fermenting about the same as my last attempt at a Mackís pizza.  Did you decide on the oil amount from the Papa Johnís thread?

Norma
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: Biz Markie on September 19, 2011, 07:58:35 PM
Sorry for the hiatus.  .. . work got in the way today!

Peter, here are the responses to your questions:

1. What was the brand of the high-gluten organic flour you used?
   I had to call the store to find out. . . it's Heartland Mills.  Upon checking their website and calling them, I discovered that they now call this flour "Strong Bread" and it only has a 12.5% protein content.  So a big change from my first attempt using KASL.  I don't think I'll use this flour for pizza again, at least while I still have some KASL (which I don't know if I can continue to keep around).

2. Did you use the normal dough making cycle of your Zo or was it programmed to do only mixing and kneading?
   I did not use the normal dough course.  I used the "homemade" course which allows you to turn on and off each individual cycle. . .I have it set only to "KNEAD" for 15 minutes.  I've been using this method for months with all my pizza doughs with no problems.  My only thing is that I don't know how the Zo mixing times compare to standard stand mixer times.

3. Was there a reason why you did not form a distinct rim on the skin, given that that is a feature that is employed by MM?
   I actually didn't realize MM formed a rim on the skin.  For some reason I've always felt shame for doing so.  Not sure where I got the idea but I've always felt that this was a novice's shortcut.  So this time I thought I would not form a rim to see what kind of spring I could get on the rim just from the oven.  I much prefer the results when I do form a rim on the skin so maybe I'll keep doing that.

4. What type and brand of oven are you using and on which oven rack position did you bake the pizza before moving it up to the broiler area?
  I have a piece of junk electric Hotpoint oven which until very recently only had 1 oven rack! I heated the stone for 45 mins on the absolute lowest position then baked it on the second-to-lowest rack.  I don't think I actually moved it up to the broiler - I just turned the broiler on for about a minute.    

5. Did you bake the pizza directly on the pizza stone?
   Yes indeed!  Used cornmeal on the peel and slid the sucker right on there.  BTW, I'm using an Emile Henry "Flame" 14'' Pizza Stone.

6. Did you detect sweetness in the finished crust?
  No, but I think that's because the rim was so thin and overcooked to boot, so the crust basically tasted like a cracker.
 
7. Do you plan to buy a dough ball on your planned visit to an MM store tomorrow?
  I'm considering it but I don't know what I'd do with it.  Meaning, I don't know how long it would need to ferment if any, etc, etc.  But it would be quite interesting to observe the color and texture.  

Here are some pictures of the failed second attempt (the first being my own guesstimate formula which turned out much better, but more so because I formed a rim and baked it differently).
1. Skin with sauce
2. Skin with cheese
3. finished pie.  the flash makes it look darker than it really was
4. rim shot of one of the smaller-rimmed pieces.  Due to my novice skin-shaping skills, the rim is always thicker in some sections than others.
5. rim shot of the highest rimmed piece.
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: Pete-zza on September 19, 2011, 08:08:57 PM
I wanted to ask you a question how you decided on such a high oil amount for the M&M clone formulas?  The formulas contained almost as much oil as I used in the formula for the NJ Boardwalk thread.  Do you think the amount of oil with the lower hydration has anything to do with how much oven spring the pizza will have?  I wonder about oil amount when I mixed the dough.  The dough today is fermenting about the same as my last attempt at a Mackís pizza.  Did you decide on the oil amount from the Papa Johnís thread?

Norma,

What I was trying to do is to get some ďliftĒ into the MM clone dough so that it would have a decent oven spring despite what I concluded was a fairly low hydration value. I came to that conclusion from watching videos like the one at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P7-oxqmv7L8&feature=related and also from my examination of the crust of the MM pizza that I had during my recent visit to the MM store on Jacksonville Beach, FL that led me to conclude that the MM dough was on the dense side, not light, soft and billowy, despite the bulbous rim.

The amount of oil I set forth in the proposed MM clone dough formulation was an estimated guess, given that we have no information on the amounts of any of the ingredients used to make a real MM dough. If there were published Nutrition Facts for the MM pizzas, then that might have helped determine how much oil and sugar (molasses) to use. But, alas, that information does not exist. However, the reason and purpose for using the amount of oil I proposed in the MM dough clone formulation are as I discussed in Reply 1 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,7915.msg67933/topicseen.html#msg67933. I was also counting on the oil to get increased volume/height in the dough and finished crust, just as Tom Lehmann mentioned in one of his PMQ Think Tank posts at http://thinktank.pmq.com/viewtopic.php?p=50068#p50068.

Since molasses is used instead of sucrose (table sugar), I was also relying on the hygroscopic and rheological attributes and characteristics of the molasses to retain moisture in the dough while improving the extensibility of the dough despite the relatively low nominal hydration value. I was trying to keep the amount of molasses at a level to provide a noticeable sweetness in the finished crust and crumb while adequately feeding the yeast and providing a tan color to the dough and finished crust but not so much as to cause the bottom of the crust to prematurely turn brown or even burn when baked on the hot pizza stone. The net effect of using the combination of the oil and molasses is to produce a more tender and softer crumb, but not as much as a Papa Johnís clone pizza.

Until I have had a chance to assess Biz's response to my recent post on his recent results, I will not know whether the dough formulation I proposed has the right set of values for the different ingredients. Of course, your results should also be instructive. Your test will also be important given that you will be using your deck oven.

Peter
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: norma427 on September 19, 2011, 08:28:47 PM
Norma,

What I was trying to do is to get some ďliftĒ into the MM clone dough so that it would have a decent oven spring despite what I concluded was a fairly low hydration value. I came to that conclusion from watching videos like the one at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P7-oxqmv7L8&feature=related and also from my examination of the crust of the MM pizza that I had during my recent visit to the MM store on Jacksonville Beach, FL that led me to conclude that the MM dough was on the dense side, not light, soft and billowy, despite the bulbous rim.

The amount of oil I set forth in the proposed MM clone dough formulation was an estimated guess, given that we have no information on the amounts of any of the ingredients used to make a real MM dough. If there were published Nutrition Facts for the MM pizzas, then that might have helped determine how much oil and sugar (molasses) to use. But, alas, that information does not exist. However, the reason and purpose for using the amount of oil I proposed in the MM dough clone formulation are as I discussed in Reply 1 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,7915.msg67933/topicseen.html#msg67933. I was also counting on the oil to get increased volume/height in the dough and finished crust, just as Tom Lehmann mentioned in one of his PMQ Think Tank posts at http://thinktank.pmq.com/viewtopic.php?p=50068#p50068.

Since molasses is used instead of sucrose (table sugar), I was also relying on the hygroscopic and rheological attributes and characteristics of the molasses to retain moisture in the dough while improving the extensibility of the dough despite the relatively low nominal hydration value. I was trying to keep the amount of molasses at a level to provide a noticeable sweetness in the finished crust and crumb while adequately feeding the yeast and providing a tan color to the dough and finished crust but not so much as to cause the bottom of the crust to prematurely turn brown or even burn when baked on the hot pizza stone. The net effect of using the combination of the oil and molasses is to produce a more tender and softer crumb, but not as much as a Papa Johnís clone pizza.

Until Biz responds to my recent post on his recent results, I will not know whether the dough formulation I proposed has the right set of values for the different ingredients. Of course, your results should also be instructive. Your test will also be important given that you will be using your deck oven.

Peter


Peter,

Thanks for responding on why you decided to use so much oil in the formula you set-forth with a lower hydration.  My attempted dough today (when it was fermenting) felt just like my last attempted Mackís dough, but had a different color and smell.  I would think it might handle about the same way as my last Mackís attempt, but I wonít know until tomorrow.  When I was mixing the attempted dough it looked about the same as a Mackís dough too. 

I also wonder about the different comments I saw on Yelp, and other places on the web, that many people think a Mellow Mushroom pizza tastes something like a pretzel.  I wonder if you thought the same thing when you ate your real Mellow Mushroom pizza.  I think I read they use the same dough for their pizzas and pretzels.  I did experiment with different pretzel dough pizzas, so I wonder if the dough I made will taste anything like some of the pretzel dough pizzas I made.

Maybe Biz can comment on if he thinks a Mushroom Mellow pizza tastes anything like a pretzel.

Norma
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: Biz Markie on September 19, 2011, 08:31:52 PM

Maybe Biz can comment on if he thinks a Mushroom Mellow pizza tastes anything like a pretzel.

Norma

I will have an even more affirmative answer tomorrow, but no, I wouldn't say it tastes like a pretzel. 
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: norma427 on September 19, 2011, 08:34:48 PM
I will have an even more affirmative answer tomorrow, but no, I wouldn't say it tastes like a pretzel. 

Biz,

Thanks for posting you will have a more affirmative answer tomorrow, but you didn't think the Mellow Mushroom pizza tasted like a pretzel.

Norma
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: Pete-zza on September 19, 2011, 08:38:13 PM
Norma,

I read the same thing about the pretzel dough but I did not think that the MM pizza tasted like a pretzel. If it did, I think that comparison would have jumped out at me.

Peter
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: norma427 on September 19, 2011, 08:42:49 PM
Norma,

I read the same thing about the pretzel dough but I did not think that the MM pizza tasted like a pretzel. If it did, I think that comparison would have jumped out at me.

Peter

Peter,

Thanks for also letting me know you didn't think the pizza tasted anything like a pretzel.

Norma
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: Essen1 on September 19, 2011, 09:01:40 PM
This is funny regarding the pizza dough and pretzel-like taste...

Read the third review on the Avellino dough from Kristina T. on 9-15-2011

http://www.yelp.com/biz/pizzeria-avellino-san-francisco?rpp=40&sort_by=date_desc
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: norma427 on September 20, 2011, 06:34:16 AM

Here are some pictures of the failed second attempt (the first being my own guesstimate formula which turned out much better, but more so because I formed a rim and baked it differently).
1. Skin with sauce
2. Skin with cheese
3. finished pie.  the flash makes it look darker than it really was
4. rim shot of one of the smaller-rimmed pieces.  Due to my novice skin-shaping skills, the rim is always thicker in some sections than others.
5. rim shot of the highest rimmed piece.


Biz,

Even though you reported that your Mellow Mushroom pizza was a failed attempt, the pizza looks pretty darn good to me.  :)  It did look like it had a somewhat puffy rim.  Since you have eaten real Mellow Mushroom pizzas, you opinions are great though.  You should know when your pizzas taste like a real Mellow Mushroom pizza.

Norma
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: norma427 on September 20, 2011, 06:57:47 AM
I was thinking over about if the pizza crusts at Mellow Mushroom could taste anything like their pretzels since supposedly they are made out of the same dough. I looked on Yelp again for pictures of the Mellow Mushroom pizza and pretzels to compare what they look like.  From Stephanie B. there is a picture of the soft pretzels at Mellow Mushroom at: http://www.yelp.com/biz_photos/tm8sQkFL4Us9o3YcX8kdqQ?select=O0kgQPMcTkO8obkgZGH6NA and http://www.yelp.com/biz_photos/tm8sQkFL4Us9o3YcX8kdqQ?select=_X1EmBQCZSIlcJ7CyVkpsg
They sure donít look like soft pretzels to me, but in a blog at http://orangedragonflyblog.com/2011/02/mellow-mushroom-love-at-first-pie/  there are pictures of the soft pretzels and they do look more like real soft pretzels.  On searching Google images at http://images.google.com/search?tbm=isch&hl=en&source=hp&biw=1426&bih=909&q=Mellow+Mushroom+pretzels&gbv=2&oq=Mellow+Mushroom+pretzels&aq=f&aqi=g1&aql=&gs_sm=e&gs_upl=6359l19175l0l19681l28l28l2l14l13l0l286l1976l0.10.2l12l0
The soft pretzels look somewhat different in different pictures.  

I know when I made soft pretzels on the Pretzel dough thread with DNA Dan and also made pizza out of Auntie Anneís Soft Pretzel mix, under my Mystery Dough thread, the pizza crust and soft pretzels didnít taste anything like each other, except when using the Auntie Anneísí Soft Pretzel mix, the dough seemed kinda chewy and was way too sweet.  I didnít think DNA Danís pretzels and pizza looked like each other either.

Some of the blogs with pictures in the above link, the pizza crust and the pretzels look almost alike, at least to me.

I guess Mushroom Mellow also uses their pizza dough to make Wild Garlic Balls and other food products.  At the blog at http://orlandoveggie.wordpress.com/2010/08/31/mellow-mushroom-they-have-trivia-too/
It shows the Wild Garlic Balls and some pictures of the Mushroom Mellow pizzas.  I guess this post is about how many products can be made out of the same doughs, and how they are baked might give an altogether different product.

Maybe Biz might want to note today in his visit to Mushroom Mellow, if anyone that is ordering soft pretzels from Mushroom Mellow, and see what he thinks the soft pretzels look like if he sees any.

Norma
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: Pete-zza on September 20, 2011, 01:49:34 PM
Peter, here are the responses to your questions:
    I had to call the store to find out. . . it's Heartland Mills.  Upon checking their website and calling them, I discovered that they now call this flour "Strong Bread" and it only has a 12.5% protein content.  So a big change from my first attempt using KASL.  I don't think I'll use this flour for pizza again, at least while I still have some KASL (which I don't know if I can continue to keep around).
    I did not use the normal dough course.  I used the "homemade" course which allows you to turn on and off each individual cycle. . .I have it set only to "KNEAD" for 15 minutes.  I've been using this method for months with all my pizza doughs with no problems.  My only thing is that I don't know how the Zo mixing times compare to standard stand mixer times.
    I actually didn't realize MM formed a rim on the skin.  For some reason I've always felt shame for doing so.  Not sure where I got the idea but I've always felt that this was a novice's shortcut.  So this time I thought I would not form a rim to see what kind of spring I could get on the rim just from the oven.  I much prefer the results when I do form a rim on the skin so maybe I'll keep doing that.
   I have a piece of junk electric Hotpoint oven which until very recently only had 1 oven rack! I heated the stone for 45 mins on the absolute lowest position then baked it on the second-to-lowest rack.  I don't think I actually moved it up to the broiler - I just turned the broiler on for about a minute.    
    Yes indeed!  Used cornmeal on the peel and slid the sucker right on there.  BTW, I'm using an Emile Henry "Flame" 14'' Pizza Stone.
   No, but I think that's because the rim was so thin and overcooked to boot, so the crust basically tasted like a cracker.
    I'm considering it but I don't know what I'd do with it.  Meaning, I don't know how long it would need to ferment if any, etc, etc.  But it would be quite interesting to observe the color and texture.  

Biz,

I will respond to your questions using the same numbering scheme I originally used.

1. The Flour: I have read on a few occasions that MM uses ďorganicĒ flour. However, I never saw MM refer to its flour as being organic. If it were organic, then MM would use that feature in its advertising, especially given the ďhealthyĒ theme that MM has used since its beginning and the heightened interest on the part of the public in more healthful ingredients and foods. I would go back to the KASL for your future MM clone experiments. FYI, King Arthur does offer an organic high-gluten flour but it is very expensive. I see no need to go that route.

2. The Zo: I think that the Zojirushi bread maker does a better job of mixing and kneading than a basic KitchenAid stand mixer, especially one with a C-hook, with or without using the paddle attachment. Consequently, I believe that 15 minutes of kneading in the Zo is too much, especially given that the dough ball is only about 18 ounces. I would go with about 7 minutes. Too much kneading can toughen the dough and yield a crust that is too dense and maybe even on the flat side. The Papa Johnís experience is useful but I wouldnít rely on it too much. The PJ clone dough formulations and the MM clone dough formulation are not exactly alike.

3. The Rim: I definitely think that you should shoot for a distinct rim. It is a signature feature of the MM pizza. Some doughs, especially those with a high hydration and enough bottom heat will almost automatically form a rim even if you jump up and down on the outer edge or go over it with a steam roller to prevent one. However, from what I have seen in photos and videos of the MM dough, I do not believe that the MM dough is amenable to forming a large, bulbous rim without intentionally forming one in the skin as it is being opened up and shaped.

4. The Oven: I suggest that you use the lowest oven rack position and, if necessary, move the pizza to a higher oven rack position if you need more top crust color or to finish cooking the various toppings used on the pizza. You want to get as much bottom heat as possible to increase the oven spring, especially if the dough is as lowly hydrated as I have come to believe.

5. The Stone: I would place your pizza stone on the lowest oven rack position and preheat it for at least an hour. Have you ever measured the temperature of your stone just prior to loading a pizza onto it? I am not personally familiar with the Emile Henry ďFlameĒ 14Ē Pizza Stone other than to note that one of our resident stone experts, scott123, was not impressed with it, as he so noted at Reply 3 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,12382.msg121903.html#msg121903. However, I do not want to knock your stone without knowing much about it. If it turns out that your next MM experiment using that stone also produces unacceptable results, then you might try using a combination of a pizza screen and a stone, as I described in the PJ clone thread, to see if we can rule out the stone you are using as a probable cause of the results you recently achieved.

6. Sweetness of the Crust: This is something that will have to await your next experiment. Sweetness is a personal thing, and can vary widely from one person to another. I use very little sugar in my diet and, as a result, I can pick up the smallest amount of sugar in just about any food. You will have to rely on your own palate. However, I donít think that the sugar (molasses) range will be wide even given the different tolerance to sugar levels.

7. Buying an MM Dough Ball: The reason I asked the question about buying an MM dough ball is because I think you can learn a lot from such a dough ball, at a fairly modest cost. For example, you can compare one of your doughs with such a dough ball, especially when it is defrosted, to see if the color is the same. And you can look to see if you detect fragments of wheat germ. You can also note the hydration of the defrosted MM dough ball in relation to one of yours. If youíd like, you can use only a part of the defrosted MM dough ball to make a pizza and save the rest for future comparisons. For example, if you use say, a half of the defrosted MM dough ball, which is  9 ounces, you can make a roughly 10Ē pizza with the same finished characteristics as a 14Ē MM pizza. The roughly 10Ē pizza wonít have the same finished characteristics (mainly in the thickness of the crust) as a real MM 10Ē pizza because the MM 10Ē pizza is based on a considerably higher thickness factor value.

For now, I will reserve suggesting changes to the MM clone dough formulation until I see how Norma makes out with her test dough.

Peter
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: Biz Markie on September 20, 2011, 05:10:27 PM
Thanks for the advice!  I will consider it all during my next attempt on Sunday.

At this point I think the formulae are pretty good. .. my issues I think are more the fault of my methods than anything.

I'm definitely heading to MM tonight so I'm eager to ask questions and report back.  I will probably buy a 10'' ball. 
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: norma427 on September 20, 2011, 09:56:33 PM
The attempt at the Mellow Mushroom pizza went well today, but I donít have any idea if the pizza Steve and I made tasted anything like a real Mellow Mushroom pizza.  The only problem I had was I forgot to use the cornmeal to coat the crust and used regular flour instead.  Steve and I had to make some more pies for customers, and I had the cornmeal on the shelf, so somehow I forgot to use it.

The dough ball didnít look like it had fermented very much until this morning, so I took it out of the pizza prep refrigerator and left it at room temperature beside the oven for about 3 Ĺ hrs. to ferment more. The dough ball was very easy to open and a rim was formed before the skin was stretched out, and after the skin was stretched out, while it was on the peel.

I used part-skim mozzarella as the cheese, 6 oz. of my regular tomato sauce, and pepperoni that was baked in the oven on a pan and with a parchment paper to get rid of some of the grease in the pepperoni.  The baking the pepperoni in the oven on a pan, which the pepperoni was put on parchment paper, seemed to work out well.  The pizza after it was baked was brushed with garlic powder in melted butter, and then was sprinkled with Parmesan cheese.

The crust had a little sweet taste to it, but it wasnít too sweet.  The rim was somewhat moist.  Steve, my taste testers and I enjoyed this different pizza.

Peterís formula seemed to work out well.  Now, I just need a seeing eye person to know if my pizza looks anything like a M&M pizza and someone to be able to help me understand what a real M&M pizza tastes like.

Norma
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: norma427 on September 20, 2011, 10:00:30 PM
Norma
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: norma427 on September 20, 2011, 10:02:11 PM
Norma
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: norma427 on September 20, 2011, 10:04:20 PM
Norma
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: norma427 on September 20, 2011, 10:05:47 PM
Norma
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: norma427 on September 20, 2011, 10:08:24 PM
Norma
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: norma427 on September 20, 2011, 10:09:13 PM
Norma
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: Essen1 on September 20, 2011, 10:20:23 PM
Norma,

Oustanding! The pies look awesome.

But how come the shreds of mozzarella look bigger, thicker and longer compared to what I get when I shred my cheese? It's your commercial Hobart grating attachment, isn't it?

It looks like it also melts much better. What type/brand of mozzarella are you using? Grande low-moisture?
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: norma427 on September 20, 2011, 11:00:23 PM
Norma,

Oustanding! The pies look awesome.

But how come the shreds of mozzarella look bigger, thicker and longer compared to what I get when I shred my cheese? It's your commercial Hobart grating attachment, isn't it?

It looks like it also melts much better. What type/brand of mozzarella are you using? Grande low-moisture?

Mike,

Thanks for your nice compliment, but I forgot the cornmeal to dip the dough ball in, and put the cornmeal on the peel.  I have no idea how a M&M real pizza tastes, but the attempt at a M&M pizza was good and the dough behaved well.

The part-skim mozzarella was grated with my Pelican head cheese grater yesterday.  The Pelican head grater attachments do come in different sizes to grate cheese.  The grater attachment was just one that came with the Pelican head.  The part-skin mozzarella I used was Foremost Farms part-skim mozzarella.  

Norma
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: Biz Markie on September 21, 2011, 12:02:35 AM
Norma, that looks great and very Mellow-ish, in my opinion!  I'm impressed by your rim. ..it doesn't look like you formed one on the skin, yet you got quite a bit of spring. .way more evidently than I did (and even than the real MM pie I had tonight. . more to come tomorrow).

I did make it to an MM tonight in order to refresh my memory of the experience and to see if I could obtain any information.  I will post tomorrow with my results.  I came away with some interesting info and thoughts, but nothing shocking from an engineering standpoint I think.
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: norma427 on September 21, 2011, 06:56:26 AM
Norma, that looks great and very Mellow-ish, in my opinion!  I'm impressed by your rim. ..it doesn't look like you formed one on the skin, yet you got quite a bit of spring. .way more evidently than I did (and even than the real MM pie I had tonight. . more to come tomorrow).

I did make it to an MM tonight in order to refresh my memory of the experience and to see if I could obtain any information.  I will post tomorrow with my results.  I came away with some interesting info and thoughts, but nothing shocking from an engineering standpoint I think.

Biz,

Thanks for your comment on you thought my attempt at a M&M pizza did look Mellow-ish!  :) Since I probably never will be able to taste a real M&M pizza, all I do is go along for the ride in trying attempts for a M&M pizza to help other members that might want to try Peterís formula and see how my results will turn out.  I am also always interested in trying pizzas and different formulas I never tried before.

I did form a rim on the skin before opening the dough ball, and formed another rim while it was on the peel.  The dough didnít look like it would have any rise in the oven on the rim, so I was surprised that it did rise.  I guess I could have made a bigger rim, but I didnít want to push my luck in the first attempt. 

Will be interested in hearing about your visit to M&Mís and what you learned.

Norma
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: Pete-zza on September 21, 2011, 09:58:40 AM
Norma,

I think you did a terrific job with your MM clone pizza. Since I have been working on this project, I have seen many photos of MM pizzas, and admittedly they can take on many different looks, possibly because most of the MM pizzas seem to be assembled by young people, but I would say that from a ďlook and feelĒ standpoint, your MM clone pizza ranks among the best. Maybe in due course we will learn how close you came to the real thing. But you obviously paid close attention to what was written and shown about the MM pizzas. The photo below reflects how I think that the real Biz Markie would have reacted upon seeing your MM clone pizza.

Your results prompt me to ask some questions:

1. How long, in days and/or hours, was the cold fermentation period?

2. Were you able to detect the presence of the wheat germ in the pizza itself, either in terms of speckling of the crumb and/or from a taste standpoint?

3. If you look at the video at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lvixfngmz-g&feature=related, you will see that a very distinct rim is made in the skin initially, and while it subsides some by the time it is on the peel, the rim is still pretty much intact without the pizza maker having to touch it again. Of course, we donít know whether the dough ball was worked while cool or warm, although I think it is safe to say that the dough ball was defrosted from a frozen dough ball (since the pizza in the video was made in a Florida MM location that gets frozen dough balls). The condition of the dough ball on the bench could have affected the size of the rim and how the dough ball was opened up and formed into a skin. The size of the baked rim might also been affected because of the lower oven temperature that could have produced a reduced oven spring. While on the matter of that video, when you look at the video, can you venture a guess based on your experience as to what you think the hydration of the dough might have been, including the effects of the oil and molasses on the wetness of the dough? My own view on the rim is that it still makes sense to move the gases in the dough to the outer edges to form a bigger rim.

4. Did you attempt to stretch, toss and spin the skin along the lines as shown in the abovementioned video, or did you just work the dough on your knuckles? If the latter, do you think that the hydration was too high to permit tossing and spinning?

5. How long was the MM clone pizza baked and at what temperature?

6. Do you think the dough could take on more molasses without adversely affecting the bake?

7. Do you have any other observations or suggestions that might be helpful to others wishing to try the MM clone dough formulation you used?

Peter
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: norma427 on September 21, 2011, 12:25:11 PM
Norma,

I think you did a terrific job with your MM clone pizza. Since I have been working on this project, I have seen many photos of MM pizzas, and admittedly they can take on many different looks, possibly because most of the MM pizzas seem to be assembled by young people, but I would say that from a ďlook and feelĒ standpoint, your MM clone pizza ranks among the best. Maybe in due course we will learn how close you came to the real thing. But you obviously paid close attention to what was written and shown about the MM pizzas. The photo below reflects how I think that the real Biz Markie would have reacted upon seeing your MM clone pizza.

Your results prompt me to ask some questions:

1. How long, in days and/or hours, was the cold fermentation period?

2. Were you able to detect the presence of the wheat germ in the pizza itself, either in terms of speckling of the crumb and/or from a taste standpoint?

3. If you look at the video at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lvixfngmz-g&feature=related, you will see that a very distinct rim is made in the skin initially, and while it subsides some by the time it is on the peel, the rim is still pretty much intact without the pizza maker having to touch it again. Of course, we donít know whether the dough ball was worked while cool or warm, although I think it is safe to say that the dough ball was defrosted from a frozen dough ball (since the pizza in the video was made in a Florida MM location that gets frozen dough balls). The condition of the dough ball on the bench could have affected the size of the rim and how the dough ball was opened up and formed into a skin. The size of the baked rim might also been affected because of the lower oven temperature that could have produced a reduced oven spring. While on the matter of that video, when you look at the video, can you venture a guess based on your experience as to what you think the hydration of the dough might have been, including the effects of the oil and molasses on the wetness of the dough? My own view on the rim is that it still makes sense to move the gases in the dough to the outer edges to form a bigger rim.

4. Did you attempt to stretch, toss and spin the skin along the lines as shown in the abovementioned video, or did you just work the dough on your knuckles? If the latter, do you think that the hydration was too high to permit tossing and spinning?

5. How long was the MM clone pizza baked and at what temperature?

6. Do you think the dough could take on more molasses without adversely affecting the bake?

7. Do you have any other observations or suggestions that might be helpful to others wishing to try the MM clone dough formulation you used?

Peter


Peter,

Thanks for commenting you thought I did a terrific job on my first attempt at a MM clone pizza.  I also have looked at many photos of real MM pizzas, and I saw how different many of them look.  I agree that the different looks can come from the young people that assembled the pizzas.  We will only know after time if my MM attempt was anywhere near the real thing, after members try your formula out.

Steve and I werenít able to taste the toasted wheat germ in the crust.  The crust just had a different taste than any others I have tried before.  I had tasted the toasted wheat germ plain, and it had a nice nutty taste, but I wasnít able to detect that nutty taste in the crust. I could see a few specks of the wheat germ in the dough, but after the pizza was bake, I couldnít see any of the toasted wheat germ.  I would guess they just baked somehow in with the dough.  I could use my Cuisunart spice and nut grinder to grind the toasted wheat germ more for next week.  Do you think that would help any?

 I did see the distinct rim in the video initially, but also saw the guy didnít touch the dough where it was on the peel.  That is a hard question to guess on the hydration of the dough from the video, but the dough formulation you set-forth seemed to look about the same as in the video. As I commented on my other post my dough ball was sluggish and didnít want to rise too much.  I guess that was from the amount of yeast I used in the dough formula.  My dough was soft after letting it ferment more, as can be especially seen in the upside down dough ball in the regular flour.  I had thought the MM dough ball would feel like a Mackís dough before, but it was a lot softer than a Mackís dough.  I would guess that came from the molasses, but donítí really know.  It could have also came from the oil. 

I didnít attempt to toss and spin the dough, although I think it could have been tossed and spun.  When I make my first attempts at doughs, I donít really want to mess up the dough, because I am not a good tosser or spinner.  I still spin the dough vertical.  I donít know if I ever will be able to learn to toss dough right.  Maybe next week I will try to toss the dough.

The MM clone attempt was baked around 525 degrees F for about 8 minutes.  I didnít really time the bake, but will next week. 

I donít know if the dough could have taken on more molasses and not have gotten a sweeter taste in the crust.  I used the Brer Rabbit mild flavored molasses in your formula.  That brand of molasses does have a good taste, at least to me. Why would you mention if more molasses might be able to be used in the formula?

The only suggestions or observations I have so far, is the your formula worked out well for me, even though I donít know what a real MM pizza tastes like.  I think someone would have to use the amount of yeast that would work for them in the timeframe of how long they want to ferment the dough.  When I mixed in my Kitchen Aid mixer I tried to keep a lower dough temperature, because I wanted to see what would happen.  I added the oil last to the mixer and it took quite a few minutes to mix in the vegetable oil.  I thought at first that this dough would be a dry dough, but guess the molasses took care of that.  I think you did an excellent job on setting forth a dough formula for the MM clone going only by your intuitions and what you know about dough, and from watching the videos and looking at the pictures.  :) Do you think you will try your formula at some point in time?  You would know if the taste of the final pizza would taste anything like a real MM pizza, since you ate a real MM pizza. 

For anyone that is interested, and didnít read all the other posts, I did use a deck oven, so my results could be different than others that might want to try this pizza in their home oven. 

BTW, do you or Biz know what a real MM crumb looks like?  I donít think I have really seen any pictures of just the crumb of their pizzas.  Are the crumbs moist?

I will try the same formula next week, but might up the amount of yeast a little and try not to forget the cornmeal.  Do you also know if fine cornmeal is used or is it coarse cornmeal.  I have both cornmeals at market.  I had wanted to add Red Cow Parmesan cheese to the rim, but was almost out of it, until my distributor delivered some later yesterday, so I just used Shurfine Parmesan cheese on the rim.

Lol, the picture you posted sure was funny!  :-D

Norma
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: Pete-zza on September 21, 2011, 02:50:00 PM
Norma,

On the matter of the wheat germ, I wondered how much flavor and color it might have imparted to the finished crust. Theoretically, if the wheat germ is finely ground, it should still taste pretty much the same (a toasty flavor "with a mild, lingering nut-like taste"). Maybe it is worth an experiment to use more toasted wheat germ. As I mentioned earlier, the expert at Garuda International put the range at up to 10%.

My question about the molasses was to see if you thought the crust was only mildly sweet, which would suggest that one might want to add more. When I had the MM pizza recently, I thought that the crust was noticeably sweet, even more so than the Papa John's crusts I have made, which contain around 4% sugar. However, sweetness is a personal thing that can be adjusted as desired.

You didn't say how long the cold fermentation period was but I assumed you selected the amount of yeast to get to about 2-3 days of cold fermentation. In one of the videos I referenced earlier in this thread, at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FyhkznN2qzc&feature=related, the owner/manager says (at 4:30 in the video) that the dough at his MM location (Germantown/Memphis, TN) takes 48 hours for the pizza dough to get ready to go to the oven. Since that location presumably uses frozen MM dough balls, I assumed that the first day was to let the dough balls defrost and for the second day the defrosted dough balls are held in the cooler until ready to use. It was on this basis that I decided on 0.60% IDY, to simulate a defrosted dough ball case. For any other application, I would select the amount of yeast to conform to the desired period of cold fermentation, just as you did. As noted previously, I do not have any idea as to the type and duration of fermentation for the MM stores that use fresh dough balls.

You indicated that you had some difficulty incorporating the oil into the dough. You used the "Lehmann method" (which was also the E.J. Pyler method going back several decades), which is to incorporate the oil after the initial mix. I found that that worked if the amount of oil was around 1% but when it got to around 4-5% or higher, I experienced difficulties incorporating the oil into the dough in my basic KitchenAid stand mixer with the C-hook. So, I decided to use the method that member November advocates and that is to add the oil to the water. His logic is that the oil is more uniformly incorporated into the dough that way.

As far as the rim of the MM pizza that I had is concerned, I would say that it was reasonably moist but it was on the dense side. That is one of the reasons why I decided to use less oil in the dough formulation. I didn't want the rim to be soft and tender and open and airy. In due course, I might reduce the amount of oil even further. Or possibly try an even lower hydration value.

At some point, I may decide to try an MM clone myself. To be honest, until you tried the MM clone dough formulation I proposed, I had some lingering doubts about whether the formulation was any good for MM cloning purposes. A lot of my pizza making was put on hold this year due to the brutal summer we had in Texas. I don't think I have used my oven since about last May. We broke all kinds of temperature records, and set a new one by having 70 100-degree days so far this year. We missed the record for consecutive 100-degree days by two days, when a temporary breeze came over Texas from Oklahoma and cooled things down enough so that the temperature only got to 97 degrees at the DFW airport where the temperatures are measured. The prediction is for warmer than normal weather for the rest of the year, along with continued drought. It has been around the 90s lately. That prompted me to get my sweaters out. I may also have to get the instructions for my oven out to refresh my memory on how to use it :-D.

I will be anxious to read Biz's report on his MM visit last night. That might help tighten up the MM clone dough formulation. Of course, your test and report were also very helpful, especially since you were able to use your commercial deck oven. It may turn out that in a home oven setting it might be worth using a combination of screen and stone to get comparable results. That was the approach I used to make the Papa John's clones as my best approximation to a commercial conveyor oven.

Peter
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: norma427 on September 21, 2011, 06:17:17 PM
Norma,

On the matter of the wheat germ, I wondered how much flavor and color it might have imparted to the finished crust. Theoretically, if the wheat germ is finely ground, it should still taste pretty much the same (a toasty flavor "with a mild, lingering nut-like taste"). Maybe it is worth an experiment to use more toasted wheat germ. As I mentioned earlier, the expert at Garuda International put the range at up to 10%.

My question about the molasses was to see if you thought the crust was only mildly sweet, which would suggest that one might want to add more. When I had the MM pizza recently, I thought that the crust was noticeably sweet, even more so than the Papa John's crusts I have made, which contain around 4% sugar. However, sweetness is a personal thing that can be adjusted as desired.

You didn't say how long the cold fermentation period was but I assumed you selected the amount of yeast to get to about 2-3 days of cold fermentation. In one of the videos I referenced earlier in this thread, at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FyhkznN2qzc&feature=related, the owner/manager says (at 4:30 in the video) that the dough at his MM location (Germantown/Memphis, TN) takes 48 hours for the pizza dough to get ready to go to the oven. Since that location presumably uses frozen MM dough balls, I assumed that the first day was to let the dough balls defrost and for the second day the defrosted dough balls are held in the cooler until ready to use. It was on this basis that I decided on 0.60% IDY, to simulate a defrosted dough ball case. For any other application, I would select the amount of yeast to conform to the desired period of cold fermentation, just as you did. As noted previously, I do not have any idea as to the type and duration of fermentation for the MM stores that use fresh dough balls.

You indicated that you had some difficulty incorporating the oil into the dough. You used the "Lehmann method" (which was also the E.J. Pyler method going back several decades), which is to incorporate the oil after the initial mix. I found that that worked if the amount of oil was around 1% but when it got to around 4-5% or higher, I experienced difficulties incorporating the oil into the dough in my basic KitchenAid stand mixer with the C-hook. So, I decided to use the method that member November advocates and that is to add the oil to the water. His logic is that the oil is more uniformly incorporated into the dough that way.

As far as the rim of the MM pizza that I had is concerned, I would say that it was reasonably moist but it was on the dense side. That is one of the reasons why I decided to use less oil in the dough formulation. I didn't want the rim to be soft and tender and open and airy. In due course, I might reduce the amount of oil even further. Or possibly try an even lower hydration value.

At some point, I may decide to try an MM clone myself. To be honest, until you tried the MM clone dough formulation I proposed, I had some lingering doubts about whether the formulation was any good for MM cloning purposes. A lot of my pizza making was put on hold this year due to the brutal summer we had in Texas. I don't think I have used my oven since about last May. We broke all kinds of temperature records, and set a new one by having 70 100-degree days so far this year. We missed the record for consecutive 100-degree days by two days, when a temporary breeze came over Texas from Oklahoma and cooled things down enough so that the temperature only got to 97 degrees at the DFW airport where the temperatures are measured. The prediction is for warmer than normal weather for the rest of the year, along with continued drought. It has been around the 90s lately. That prompted me to get my sweaters out. I may also have to get the instructions for my oven out to refresh my memory on how to use it :-D.

I will be anxious to read Biz's report on his MM visit last night. That might help tighten up the MM clone dough formulation. Of course, your test and report were also very helpful, especially since you were able to use your commercial deck oven. It may turn out that in a home oven setting it might be worth using a combination of screen and stone to get comparable results. That was the approach I used to make the Papa John's clones as my best approximation to a commercial conveyor oven.

Peter

Peter,

With the toasted wheat germ and dark molasses added to the dough, I also wondered what color the of crumb the pizza would have.  I took a picture of the toasted wheat germ I purchased at the Country Store.  I guess it would be from Dutch Valley Food, http://www.dutchvalleyfoods.com/products/flour-and-grains/grains/156056/wheat-germ-toasted-25lb  since the Country Store does carry Dutch Valley products.  Looking at the toasted wheat germ in the picture below and in person, some of the toasted wheat germ is ground finer and some is coarser.  I will await your decision to see if you decide to add more toasted wheat germ to the formula.  If you do decide to add more toasted wheat germs to the formula, would more water need to be added?

I donít think the Brer Rabbit molasses is really sweet, but then each person has their own ideas about sweetness.  I forget now, when I made the Papa Johnís pizza in my experiments how sweet I thought those crusts were.  That was when I was first on my adventure to make a longer fermented dough for market, so I really canít compare what I thought of the MM crust compared to what the Papaís Johnís sweetness was.  If you do decide to add more molasses to the formula I will try it and see if there seems to be too much sweetness in the crust.  My daughter just tried a reheated slice of the MM attempt from yesterday and she really liked the MM crust and whole slice.  She could detect a small amount of sweetness in the crust like Steve and I could.

I made the dough Sunday morning, and used 0.25% IDY and had a final dough temperature of 73.4 degrees F, and my MM dough was fermented for about 53 hrs.  I think I either could have added more IDY or could have achieved a higher final dough temperature for the dough to ferment better, but I donít think I would add a lot more yeast in the next attempt, if I follow about the same time in fermentation.

I never knew to use Novemberís method of adding the oil to the water before.  I can understand that is a good idea for mixing with more oil.  I will try that in my next attempt to get the oil incorporated better and faster.

I watch the weather channel and have seen what hot weather all of the Texas members have been having all summer.  I donít know how all of the members in Texas, including you have withstood that hot weather and drought.  I understand why you wouldnít want to turn on your oven.  Lol, getting your sweaters out at 90 degrees made me chuckle and also getting out your oven manuals.  :-D

I was also interested in the MM pizza businesses and their pizzas because I never have seen any pizzas businesses decorated like they decorate them. Cool!  8) Back in the late 50ís when I was a teenager, I almost became a beatnik (something like hippies in the 60ís)  I wore all black clothing and tried to write poetry. I wasnít even aware of what a beatnik really was, but older teenagers tried to be like them in my small town area, so I followed.  I almost ran away with a friend of mine to NY city to become a real beatnik.  Thankfully, my friend chickened out at the last minute.  I had great parents and they would have been horrified if I ran away to become a beatnik.  They let me wear all the black clothing, but were none the wiser of what I planned to do.  Thankfully, also that phase quickly went away.  The way MM decorates their pizza businesses remind me back in the days of my carefree youth and how some teenagers do stupid stuff, including me. :-D

I forgot to mention before, that I did add a screen near the very end of the bake.  I thought the crust would get too brown.  I guess it was the molasses added that made the crust seem to want to get too brown, something like all the sugar in a Papa Johnís pizza needs a screen.

I am also anxious to read Bizís report!   :)

Norma
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: Pete-zza on September 21, 2011, 08:26:17 PM
Norma,

If more wheat germ is used, that can affect the required hydration but we wouldn't be using enough to worry about, maybe 4-5%. Whether you decide to grind the toasted wheat germ you have on hand, that will also affect the required hydration. I would imagine that if the wheat germ is ground to a flour-like consistency it should hydrate better because of the finer particle size. Since you did not detect the wheat germ in the finished crumb, I don't think I would worry about grinding it down further. It would be interesting, however, to know if the wheat germ that MM uses in its commissry can be seen in the MM frozen dough balls. If not, that would suggest a wheat germ product with a flour-like consistency such as sold by Garruda International.

I forgot to mention earlier that as between the coarse cornmeal and the corn flour, I would go with the coarse cornmeal. My bag of cornmeal just says "cornmeal". It doesn't say coarse or fine. However, corn flour would not be a particularly good choice in a pizza operation because it can wreak havoc on the air conditioning system. I understand that is one of the reasons why Papa John's adds some oil to their semolina/flour Dustinator blend that is used on the bench. You can see a photo of cornmeal being used in the photo at http://www.flickr.com/photos/tikiloti/3298855934/in/photostream/. You might also note the related photo at http://www.flickr.com/photos/tikiloti/3298971932/in/photostream/ where you can see some bubbling in the skin as it is being formed.

I checked the molasses I have on hand and it is the Grandma's Original brand. Grandma's also has a Robust version that is darker in color and has a more pronounced flavor. MM most likely uses a commercial grade molasses such as sold by companies like Malt Products Corporation (http://www.maltproducts.com/products.molasses.html). Since you are a professional, you might call Malt Products and ask them to send you a 55-gallon drum of one of their liquid molasses products to experiment with :-D. I would think that it would make more sense for MM to use a dry molasses in its commissary operation or even in the stores that make their own dough. The dry molasses can even be part of a pre-mix.

BTW, it is not too late to become a hippy. You might dig out your black garb, get a few tattoos, and join Willie Nelson on his road tour. You would fit right in, especially when they see what you can do with a bag of flour. You can send in periodic reports to the forum from the road as Aimless Ryan has been doing.

Peter
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: norma427 on September 21, 2011, 09:25:45 PM
Norma,

If more wheat germ is used, that can affect the required hydration but we wouldn't be using enough to worry about, maybe 4-5%. Whether you decide to grind the toasted wheat germ you have on hand, that will also affect the required hydration. I would imagine that if the wheat germ is ground to a flour-like consistency it should hydrate better because of the finer particle size. Since you did not detect the wheat germ in the finished crumb, I don't think I would worry about grinding it down further. It would be interesting, however, to know if the wheat germ that MM uses in its commissry can be seen in the MM frozen dough balls. If not, that would suggest a wheat germ product with a flour-like consistency such as sold by Garruda International.

I forgot to mention earlier that as between the coarse cornmeal and the corn flour, I would go with the coarse cornmeal. My bag of cornmeal just says "cornmeal". It doesn't say coarse or fine. However, corn flour would not be a particularly good choice in a pizza operation because it can wreak havoc on the air conditioning system. I understand that is one of the reasons why Papa John's adds some oil to their semolina/flour Dustinator blend that is used on the bench. You can see a photo of cornmeal being used in the photo at http://www.flickr.com/photos/tikiloti/3298855934/in/photostream/. You might also note the related photo at http://www.flickr.com/photos/tikiloti/3298971932/in/photostream/ where you can see some bubbling in the skin as it is being formed.

I checked the molasses I have on hand and it is the Grandma's Original brand. Grandma's also has a Robust version that is darker in color and has a more pronounced flavor. MM most likely uses a commercial grade molasses such as sold by companies like Malt Products Corporation (http://www.maltproducts.com/products.molasses.html). Since you are a professional, you might call Malt Products and ask them to send you a 55-gallon drum of one of their liquid molasses products to experiment with :-D. I would think that it would make more sense for MM to use a dry molasses in its commissary operation or even in the stores that make their own dough. The dry molasses can even be part of a pre-mix.

BTW, it is not too late to become a hippy. You might dig out your black garb, get a few tattoos, and join Willie Nelson on his road tour. You would fit right in, especially when they see what you can do with a bag of flour. You can send in periodic reports to the forum from the road as Aimless Ryan has been doing.

Peter

Peter,

I will wait to see what Biz posts on his visit to MM to see what he reports on the flavor of the crust, if he purchased a dough ball, and his observations. If Biz or another member does purchase a dough ball, I also think it would be interesting to know if any wheat germ can be seen in MMís frozen dough balls. Then if you decide to change the formula at all in terms of molasses or wheat germ, I will try whatever you post.  I liked the crust just the way it was, but understand you want to get as close as you can to a MM formula. 

Thanks, for letting me know you would go with the coarse cornmeal.  I had tried the finer cornmeal before, when John (fazzari) had told me to try that on my peel for a Reinhart dough.  I donít think I ever tried corn flour in any formula or to dust my peel.  I can understand corn flour could cause havoc on an air-conditioning system. and that is why Papa Johnís does add some oil to its Dustinator blend that it uses on the bench.

Brer Rabbit also sells a stronger flavor of molasses, just like your Grandmaís molasses. I can understand MM probably would use a commercial grade of molasses.  Thanks for that link about the Malt Products Corporation.  I see they do sell a dry form of molasses that is spray dried that is ideal as a flavor and color enhancer.  Being as crazy as I am, if at some point you get this all figured out, I might try to get a sample of the sprayed dried molasses.  http://www.maltproducts.com/products.molasses.html
You never know what you can get until you try.  I just don't know where I would store the sprayed dried molasses if I could get a sample.

I am still adventurous, but after my last gig at market, and all that dragging stuff around, I think I will try to remain calm and try to just stick to regular market.  Hippy stuff is still interesting to me, but I donít think I am ready for a road tour with Willie Nelson or anyone else.  Aimless Ryan is a lot younger than I am, but find how he travels around interesting.  No cares and you get to travel.  Sounds good to me.  ;D

Norma
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: Biz Markie on September 21, 2011, 11:25:06 PM
Hola everyone!

Sorry to keep you in suspense for so long but things have been hectic around here lately.  I will have to go back and catch up on all the posts I've missed.

I wasn't able to obtain as much intelligence from my MM visit as I had hoped, but I did gain perhaps some insight.

Let's see how to start....

First I guess I'll point out that I hoped to chat with one or more of the employees behind the counter assembling the pies.  Unfortunately, I was not able to engage any of them.  Similar to what Peter noted in his Jacksonville report, the prep area at this location was not really approachable.  There was just enough distance between me and the kitchen that it was too far to really have a conversation.  I was able to see a decent bit, however, and I'll report on that:

1. Oven:  The MM that I visited was using a "Montague Hearth Bake" deck oven (or maybe it was 2 of them).  I couldn't see the temperature as there was no digital thermostat.  There was an upper deck and a lower deck, both quite wide, probably 6-8 feet.

2. Dough prep:  I was a little confused at first because before I saw the oven doors opened, I noticed lots of pizza screens around, and skins being carried about on screens.  Once I realized they were using a deck oven, I presumed that they must be pre-forming the skins on screens.  I'm not sure this is correct. . .I have extremely limited knowledge of kitchen operation.
I definitely saw employees forming skins by hand, mostly stretching them with their fists.  I did see some twirling and tossing, but mostly just stretching.  The dough was extremely "tolerant". .. that is, they were stretching the tar out of that dough!  I mean really working it over.  It struck me at the time that the dough must be rather dry for this to be possible.  The word "tough" kept coming to mind as I watched them pull the skins to the limits.
One of the more important things I noticed is that no one seemed to be forming rims on the skins.  Immediately after stretching/twirling, the skins were laid down and dressed.  I couldn't actually see the skins because of the counter, but I did not see any motions that resembled the forming of a rim.  I thought this was very interesting, but see my comments below on the finished product.

3. Sauce:  I noticed the sauce was kept in a heated pot thingy.  This may be standard practice but it struck me as a little peculiar.  I tried to look for "spoodle" usage but the only such implement that I saw was a regular ol' stainless steel ladle.  I saw one person dress a skin using this ladle in the standard method.

4. Dough color:  I was not able to get a very close look at the uncooked dough, but from what I could see, the color was very similar to my first 2 MM clone attempts.  Of course, if they were side-by-side they might appear more dissimilar.  I definitely was not close enough to look for germ flecks.

That's about all I could tell from loitering around the kitchen.  I looked pretty silly just standing there staring!  A couple folks asked if I needed anything.  So at least they had attentive employees!  On the other hand, the guys making the pizzas met my eyes a few times but just returned stony expressions - not particularly friendly fellows.

So we ordered 2 pies.  Two 10'' pizzas - one "mega veggie" with no cheese and one half cheese-half hawaiian.   
As we have already established, it's standard practice for them to butter and parm the crust, so in true vegan form we requested no butter or parm on our veggie pizza. 
I also requested a cup of the pizza sauce for dipping, and so that I could bring it home for possible cloning.

At least 15 minutes later (though I didn't time it) the pies came out.  Here are my observations of the pies:

1) Rim - I was very surprised that the rim was barely any more pronounced than my most recent MM attempt which I deemed a failure.   I was expecting a big rim but this was definitely not a big rim.  This is not what I remembered from my previous MM visits, but it has been a while.
I observed other customer's pizzas on their tables and none of them had what I consider to be a pronounced rim.  For example, nothing like Norma's pie in the previous posts.  I will say that the larger 14'' pies I saw seemed to almost inherently have a slightly bigger rim than our 10''s

2) Color - the crust and crumb was also not quite what I remembered.  It was not as yellowy-golden as I recall.  I did not see any germ in the crumb or otherwise.

3) Texture - I was also quite disappointed in the texture of the crust.  The rim crust was fairly "done" on the outside.  The crumb was pretty soft and somewhat squishy, but there was so little crumb to speak of that the overall texture of the rim crust was again not all that far off from my "overbaked and under-sprung" attempt from last week.  This pie was definitely not as overbaked as mine, but it was nowhere near as chewy as I remember from the past.
The bottom of the pie was pretty crispy too. .see next point.

4) Thickness - in the past we ALWAYS had to eat our MM pizzas with a fork because the crust was so thin.  One thing to note is that in the past we also ALWAYS got the House Special, but anyway - our Veggie pie last nightseemed to me to be pretty thick.  A fork was definitely not required to eat it.

5) Crust flavor - in general, again the flavor of the crust was not as striking and unique as I remembered.  Aside from that, definitely the most noticeable feature was the sweetness.  In fact, that's about all I could take from it.  I felt like I could sense the molasses (which also by the way seemed inherently linked to the outer crunch of the crust).  I'm not saying the germ did not contribute to the flavor profile, but I did not detect any particular "nuttiness" from the germ.  Again, the main characteristic was the sweetness.  Not to say that it was like eating a cinnamon roll, but definitely sweet.
As noted above, our veggie pizza was ordered without butter and parm.  But the kids' pizza was prepared with the normal butter and parm.  For the sake of science, I took one taste of the kids' crust. 
I did not actually detect any Garlic, though it's been postulated that it's garlic butter used.  The server just called it "butter" but not sure how much that's worth.  I did not taste any garlic, unless it was so minute that I missed it. 

6) Sauce - the first thing I tasted when the food came out was the sauce from the cup I requested.  Initially I seemed to sense a fennel type of taste which is odd because there was no fennel.  As I continued to taste the sauce, I came to hone in on just the simple, slightly tangy tomato-ness of it (as Peter had reported).  It was not overly sweet.  It had a fair amount of salt, I'd wager, but not "salty."  I think there's a good deal of black pepper and I also think some olive oil, due to the heavy mouthfeel.  I did seem to find a few specks of basil or oregano, but there was not a discernible herby flavor.  Pretty good sauce.

Well, that's about it as far as the pizza itself.  As you can probably tell, I was pretty disappointed.  Overall it was not nearly the awesome pizza I remember from many previous (though none very recent) visits.  I wonder if some of it was due to the 10'' size - maybe they don't make as many of these and we just got badly made pies.

ADDITIONAL INFO:
1) Based on Peter's wish that he could learn the oil used in the MM dough, I decided to ask the waitress, who was very attentive.  She gave me a very odd look but went to the kitchen to ask.  She came back and reported that. . . lo and behold. . .. it's "Soybean Oil."
2) I attempted to purchase a dough ball but when I asked the server, she said they didn't sell them.  I told her that I called the store a month or 2 ago (as recorded in an earlier post of mine in this thread) and was advised they DO sell the balls.  So she went to ask.  She came back and said they cannot sell them due to health code concerns.  I figured I'd worn out my welcome at this point.  We paid the bill and left.

UPON RETURNING HOME
We took one full piece of the veggie pie home, and it so happened that we also had a leftover piece from Sunday night's "failed" MM Clone attempt. 
So I compared.  Suprisingly the rims were very similar, as noted above.  The crumb structure was nearly identical.  The color of the crumb was also practically identical.  The flavor, however, was not quite the same, but I believe there are at least a couple reasons.  One is that my pie was definitely overbaked, no question.  It had that overbaked taste to it, whereas the MM pie did not.  Secondly, the MM slice was less than 24 hours old at the time of comparison, and my slice was about 72 hours old. 

SUMMARY - KEY POINTS
I was not impressed with the pizza on this particular visit.  They are using Soybean Oil, apparently.  This location did not seem to be forming rims on the skins and it showed in the finished product.  The predominant flavor characteristic of the crust is simply sweetness.  The butter used on the rim did not seem to be garlic butter.

I really think our formulas are very close.  In my case, I think if I can just improve my methods slightly, I will basically be there, with either my initial guesstimate formula or Peter's 24-hour formula.  I think the use of Soybean Oil (I did not have any on hand in my 2 tests) will help.  I'm eager to try my ground germ too.  I'm not sure if I'll form a rim on the skin or not in my next attempt, but if I can get the bake time right, I think I for one will be satisfied.

I am posting a pic of the actual MM crust profile and of the bottom of the pie.  The rim actually appears somewhat "high" in the picture but believe me, it wasn't.  Sorry I didn't get better pics.

Talk to you tomorrow!
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: norma427 on September 22, 2011, 08:00:35 AM
Hola everyone!

Sorry to keep you in suspense for so long but things have been hectic around here lately.  I will have to go back and catch up on all the posts I've missed.

I wasn't able to obtain as much intelligence from my MM visit as I had hoped, but I did gain perhaps some insight.

Let's see how to start....

First I guess I'll point out that I hoped to chat with one or more of the employees behind the counter assembling the pies.  Unfortunately, I was not able to engage any of them.  Similar to what Peter noted in his Jacksonville report, the prep area at this location was not really approachable.  There was just enough distance between me and the kitchen that it was too far to really have a conversation.  I was able to see a decent bit, however, and I'll report on that:

1. Oven:  The MM that I visited was using a "Montague Hearth Bake" deck oven (or maybe it was 2 of them).  I couldn't see the temperature as there was no digital thermostat.  There was an upper deck and a lower deck, both quite wide, probably 6-8 feet.

2. Dough prep:  I was a little confused at first because before I saw the oven doors opened, I noticed lots of pizza screens around, and skins being carried about on screens.  Once I realized they were using a deck oven, I presumed that they must be pre-forming the skins on screens.  I'm not sure this is correct. . .I have extremely limited knowledge of kitchen operation.
I definitely saw employees forming skins by hand, mostly stretching them with their fists.  I did see some twirling and tossing, but mostly just stretching.  The dough was extremely "tolerant". .. that is, they were stretching the tar out of that dough!  I mean really working it over.  It struck me at the time that the dough must be rather dry for this to be possible.  The word "tough" kept coming to mind as I watched them pull the skins to the limits.
One of the more important things I noticed is that no one seemed to be forming rims on the skins.  Immediately after stretching/twirling, the skins were laid down and dressed.  I couldn't actually see the skins because of the counter, but I did not see any motions that resembled the forming of a rim.  I thought this was very interesting, but see my comments below on the finished product.

3. Sauce:  I noticed the sauce was kept in a heated pot thingy.  This may be standard practice but it struck me as a little peculiar.  I tried to look for "spoodle" usage but the only such implement that I saw was a regular ol' stainless steel ladle.  I saw one person dress a skin using this ladle in the standard method.

4. Dough color:  I was not able to get a very close look at the uncooked dough, but from what I could see, the color was very similar to my first 2 MM clone attempts.  Of course, if they were side-by-side they might appear more dissimilar.  I definitely was not close enough to look for germ flecks.

That's about all I could tell from loitering around the kitchen.  I looked pretty silly just standing there staring!  A couple folks asked if I needed anything.  So at least they had attentive employees!  On the other hand, the guys making the pizzas met my eyes a few times but just returned stony expressions - not particularly friendly fellows.

So we ordered 2 pies.  Two 10'' pizzas - one "mega veggie" with no cheese and one half cheese-half hawaiian.  
As we have already established, it's standard practice for them to butter and parm the crust, so in true vegan form we requested no butter or parm on our veggie pizza.  
I also requested a cup of the pizza sauce for dipping, and so that I could bring it home for possible cloning.

At least 15 minutes later (though I didn't time it) the pies came out.  Here are my observations of the pies:

1) Rim - I was very surprised that the rim was barely any more pronounced than my most recent MM attempt which I deemed a failure.   I was expecting a big rim but this was definitely not a big rim.  This is not what I remembered from my previous MM visits, but it has been a while.
I observed other customer's pizzas on their tables and none of them had what I consider to be a pronounced rim.  For example, nothing like Norma's pie in the previous posts.  I will say that the larger 14'' pies I saw seemed to almost inherently have a slightly bigger rim than our 10''s

2) Color - the crust and crumb was also not quite what I remembered.  It was not as yellowy-golden as I recall.  I did not see any germ in the crumb or otherwise.

3) Texture - I was also quite disappointed in the texture of the crust.  The rim crust was fairly "done" on the outside.  The crumb was pretty soft and somewhat squishy, but there was so little crumb to speak of that the overall texture of the rim crust was again not all that far off from my "overbaked and under-sprung" attempt from last week.  This pie was definitely not as overbaked as mine, but it was nowhere near as chewy as I remember from the past.
The bottom of the pie was pretty crispy too. .see next point.

4) Thickness - in the past we ALWAYS had to eat our MM pizzas with a fork because the crust was so thin.  One thing to note is that in the past we also ALWAYS got the House Special, but anyway - our Veggie pie last nightseemed to me to be pretty thick.  A fork was definitely not required to eat it.

5) Crust flavor - in general, again the flavor of the crust was not as striking and unique as I remembered.  Aside from that, definitely the most noticeable feature was the sweetness.  In fact, that's about all I could take from it.  I felt like I could sense the molasses (which also by the way seemed inherently linked to the outer crunch of the crust).  I'm not saying the germ did not contribute to the flavor profile, but I did not detect any particular "nuttiness" from the germ.  Again, the main characteristic was the sweetness.  Not to say that it was like eating a cinnamon roll, but definitely sweet.
As noted above, our veggie pizza was ordered without butter and parm.  But the kids' pizza was prepared with the normal butter and parm.  For the sake of science, I took one taste of the kids' crust.  
I did not actually detect any Garlic, though it's been postulated that it's garlic butter used.  The server just called it "butter" but not sure how much that's worth.  I did not taste any garlic, unless it was so minute that I missed it.  

6) Sauce - the first thing I tasted when the food came out was the sauce from the cup I requested.  Initially I seemed to sense a fennel type of taste which is odd because there was no fennel.  As I continued to taste the sauce, I came to hone in on just the simple, slightly tangy tomato-ness of it (as Peter had reported).  It was not overly sweet.  It had a fair amount of salt, I'd wager, but not "salty."  I think there's a good deal of black pepper and I also think some olive oil, due to the heavy mouthfeel.  I did seem to find a few specks of basil or oregano, but there was not a discernible herby flavor.  Pretty good sauce.

Well, that's about it as far as the pizza itself.  As you can probably tell, I was pretty disappointed.  Overall it was not nearly the awesome pizza I remember from many previous (though none very recent) visits.  I wonder if some of it was due to the 10'' size - maybe they don't make as many of these and we just got badly made pies.

ADDITIONAL INFO:
1) Based on Peter's wish that he could learn the oil used in the MM dough, I decided to ask the waitress, who was very attentive.  She gave me a very odd look but went to the kitchen to ask.  She came back and reported that. . . lo and behold. . .. it's "Soybean Oil."
2) I attempted to purchase a dough ball but when I asked the server, she said they didn't sell them.  I told her that I called the store a month or 2 ago (as recorded in an earlier post of mine in this thread) and was advised they DO sell the balls.  So she went to ask.  She came back and said they cannot sell them due to health code concerns.  I figured I'd worn out my welcome at this point.  We paid the bill and left.

UPON RETURNING HOME
We took one full piece of the veggie pie home, and it so happened that we also had a leftover piece from Sunday night's "failed" MM Clone attempt.  
So I compared.  Suprisingly the rims were very similar, as noted above.  The crumb structure was nearly identical.  The color of the crumb was also practically identical.  The flavor, however, was not quite the same, but I believe there are at least a couple reasons.  One is that my pie was definitely overbaked, no question.  It had that overbaked taste to it, whereas the MM pie did not.  Secondly, the MM slice was less than 24 hours old at the time of comparison, and my slice was about 72 hours old.  

SUMMARY - KEY POINTS
I was not impressed with the pizza on this particular visit.  They are using Soybean Oil, apparently.  This location did not seem to be forming rims on the skins and it showed in the finished product.  The predominant flavor characteristic of the crust is simply sweetness.  The butter used on the rim did not seem to be garlic butter.

I really think our formulas are very close.  In my case, I think if I can just improve my methods slightly, I will basically be there, with either my initial guesstimate formula or Peter's 24-hour formula.  I think the use of Soybean Oil (I did not have any on hand in my 2 tests) will help.  I'm eager to try my ground germ too.  I'm not sure if I'll form a rim on the skin or not in my next attempt, but if I can get the bake time right, I think I for one will be satisfied.

I am posting a pic of the actual MM crust profile and of the bottom of the pie.  The rim actually appears somewhat "high" in the picture but believe me, it wasn't.  Sorry I didn't get better pics.

Talk to you tomorrow!

Biz,

Your report on your visit to MM was very interesting and you did gather a lot of information!   ;D

I find your comments about the pizza screens interesting.  I wonder what the purpose of those pizza screens were with the skins on. ďStretching the tarĒ out of dough seems to me almost like some doughs I have made with lower hydrations and a lot of oil.  I did watch pie men at Knoebels and at Mackís stretch doughs that looked very similar to what you watched. Your comment on no one seemed to be forming rims is interesting too.  Since that are so many photos of different MM pies on the internet, I would guess that Peterís earlier comment how the younger pizza makers forming the rim or not forming the rim might be different from store to store, in how the rims turn out in the final pizzas.

The sauce being in a heated container was good detective work.  I would think, but really donít know if that can change the flavor profile of the sauce.  I had kept my sauce in a heated kettle recently at a Artís and Craft festival, and although the sauce was still good, it did change the flavor profile some from heating.  I would imagine that MM does use their sauce fairly fast though, so the flavor profile might not pertain to their sauce.  The heated kettle could be just to keep the sauce safe for food inspectors.

The crust texture, flavor, and thickness you posted on were also very interesting.  Sorry to hear you were disappointed in the overall MM pizzas.

Your attempted MM clone crumb and the real MM crumb do sound very similar.  

Will be interested in your next experimental MMís clone pizza.  Best of luck!  :)

Thanks so much for taking the pictures and your great investigated report!  :)

Norma
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: Pete-zza on September 22, 2011, 09:32:38 AM
Biz,

Thank you very much for your trip report. What you learned should help us move the ball further down the field. Hopefully, with a few tweaks here and there in the MM dough clone formulation (even though Norma seems quite satisfied with the present one), we should get closer to the goal line.

I am somewhat surprised that your pizzas didnít turn out better. With a few exceptions (principally the MM stores that make their own dough), the MM business model is predicated on making an extremely robust dough that can be frozen and delivered to their stores and where all that is required of the workers is to defrost the dough balls on day 1 and use them on day 2 or maybe even day 3. The process is so simple that even kids who come and go and are really only interested in making a few bucks pocket cash to carry them over to the next paycheck can make the pizzas. Asking them to make rims on the skins should not be an issue, and may reflect either poor training or a management problem. Of course, it is not an absolute requirement that they form the rims or that they get large, somewhat bulbous rims in the baked crust. However, that feature appealed to me when I sampled the MM pizza in the Jacksonville Beach, FL location recently, and I thought the same thing when I saw pizzas that were delivered to other tables. I thought that the pronounced rim with a thinner center made for a unique, distinguishable and appealing looking and appetizing pizza.

Apparently, the reality is that pizza, although a core part of the typical MM menu, and maybe even the best selling item on the food menu (as the owner/manager of the Germantown/Memphis unit intimated in the video I referenced earlier), represents only a piece of the total MM formula. The other major components are art and unique architectural designs, a highly developed beer program, other food offerings (like calzones and hoagies), and entertainment (background music, TVs, bands, etc.). If you think that the pizzas are pricey, there is a good reason, and I can tell you that it is not because of the cost of the dough. To see why, check out the franchise costs given at http://www.mellowfranchise.com/get-the-details/financial-stuff. Norma, with her current set-up, and she were so inclined, could replicate the pizza part at fairly low cost. And, she has already shown that she can make a good clone, even if it doesnít exactly replicate a real MM pizza.

On the matter of the pizza screens you saw, and although I did not see any in any of the videos and photos I looked at or in any of my research, it is not uncommon for pizza operators to use them with their deck ovens. It may be an issue unique to the Montague deck ovens since I did not see any screens used with the Blodgett deck ovens at the Jacksonville Beach MM unit. Some operators have their workers make the skins right on the screens because it is easier to train them to use the screens than to use peels (hence, fewer mishaps). In MMís case, there should be little need to use this approach because the skins made from their dough balls shouldnít stick to the peels, especially when using cornmeal (and typically a fair amount of it) as a release agent. Other operators use the screens in order to reduce the risk of the bottoms of the crusts cooking too fast and possibly burning, especially given the fairly high sugar (molasses) content of the dough. The screens can be placed under dressed pizzas at the outset and removed once the pizzas start to set up and become firm, or they can be placed under the baking pizzas toward the end of the bake to lift the pizzas off of the deck and prevent or minimize burning. I think the latter method is the better one since the screens do not slow down the baking process. This usually means a better oven spring. This is also the method that Norma uses from time to time with her deck oven. I have used similar methods even in my standard electric home oven.

It also seems that your reaction to the molasses and its effect on the crust was the same as mine. The effect of the molasses on the ďcrunchĒ of the rim that you noted and mentioned may have been because of the caramelization of the molasses and its participation in the Maillard reactions (which requires simple sugars). I think at this point I would be inclined to increase the amount of molasses in the dough formulation that Norma used. I am also leaning toward lowering the hydration a bit and using a bit less oil (to stiffen up the dough a bit), and a bit more yeast (for a roughly two-day cold ferment). I am not entertaining major changes in the formulation at this point.

I canít say that I was surprised by the revelation of the type of oil used in the dough as being soybean oil. However, as I previously noted, I do not accept as truth everything that a store worker tells me about their dough, especially one that is prepared off-site and where the store workers are not told anything about what goes into the dough. That said, however, soybean oil would have been my first guess as the oil used in the MM dough. It is pervasive and it is cheap. Also, when you get above a few percent oil, better oils like olive oil, even the lighter ones, can have too strong a flavor impact. Also olive oils, even the cheaper pomace olive oils, cost more than the other oils. Something like corn oil just does not seem to be a good ďfitĒ for the type of pizza we are talking about. Canola oil, or a combination of canola oil and soybean oil, would be a fairly logical blend and fit the MM ďhealthyĒ dough model, but there are some people who do not like the taste of canola oil because of a perceived ďfishyĒ taste/smell. Soybean oil is a fairly neutral oil and can be safely used in large quantities. It is also the oil that Papa Johnís uses for its doughs.

Hopefully over the next day or so, after I have had a chance to absorb everything that has transpired on this thread over the past few days, and after you have had a chance to catch up, I will set forth the next iteration of the MM dough formulation. If I have forgotten or missed anything, please let me know.

Peter

EDIT (1/7/19): For a current link to the MM franchise information, see https://mellowmushroom.com/franchising/
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: norma427 on September 22, 2011, 02:48:28 PM
Peter,

Your link you referenced in your last post to Biz at http://www.mellowfranchise.com/get-the-details/financial-stuff was eye opening.  That is a lot of money to be able to open a MM pizza business.  :o

Norma
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: Pete-zza on September 22, 2011, 03:27:11 PM
Norma,

I thought you'd like that information.

You mentioned that you liked the MM clone dough formulation you used and that your daughter liked the pizza itself. Did you both treat the pizza as just a novelty or curiosity item or would you want to make it again, either for yourselves or at market?

Peter
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: norma427 on September 22, 2011, 04:40:56 PM
Norma,

I thought you'd like that information.

You mentioned that you liked the MM clone dough formulation you used and that your daughter liked the pizza itself. Did you both treat the pizza as just a novelty or curiosity item or would you want to make it again, either for yourselves or at market?

Peter

Peter,

Your were right. that I did like that information, but never would have thought a MM Franchise would cost that much money.  No wonder MM's pizzas are expensive, like Biz posted.

As you already know I have tried so many experimental doughs at market, and never know what I will attempt next.  I have been thinking over maybe trying to sell a pizza like the attempt I did Tuesday, but donít know what I will do yet.  I will wait until I try your next experimental dough formula you set-forth and go from there.  I guess my search is for something different customers would like. 

When you mentioned that I might be able to get a sample of regular molasses from Malt Products Corporation, I thought I would use the contact page at their website last night and write them about their spray dried molasses.  I got a phone call from John Johansen this afternoon about the spray dried molasses.  I asked John about using the spray dried molasses in a premix.  He said the spray dried molasses is like black strap molasses and wouldnít do well in a pre-mix of dried ingredients. John said the pizza dough would turn out too dark. He mentioned if I wanted to try something different in a pizza dough or premix he would send me some spray dried malt (Dry Malt DME-B), that canít be purchased in the retail market. I am going to see about getting the technical information of the spray dried malt.  John is sending me a sample to try.  I will continue that discussion on my Dough Enhancer thread, when I find out more information.  If MM is using a premix, at least we probably know that they wouldnít use Malt Products Corporation for their supplier for MMís commissaries.  :-D

Norma
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: Pete-zza on September 22, 2011, 04:54:37 PM
Norma,

Did John at Malt Products say that it was OK to use their dry molasses in a pizza dough but not in a pre-mix? BTW, I am starting to move away from the idea of MM using a pre-mix. If MM has a commissary, they shouldn't need a third party to make the pre-mix for them, especially if all of the ingredients (other than the spring water) are dry. Keeping the process in-house would give MM better control over the product, including proprietary information, and a greater ability to make adjustments.

Peter
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: norma427 on September 22, 2011, 05:17:40 PM
Norma,

Did John at Malt Products say that it was OK to use their dry molasses in a pizza dough but not in a pre-mix? BTW, I am starting to move away from the idea of MM using a pre-mix. If MM has a commissary, they shouldn't need a third party to make the pre-mix for them, especially if all of the ingredients (other than the spring water) are dry. Keeping the process in-house would give MM better control over the product, including proprietary information, and a greater ability to make adjustments.

Peter

Peter,

John said that the spray dried molasses (dried) wouldnít be good in a pizza dough or a pre-mix.  He said the taste of the dried molasses would be too strong in a pizza dough.  John said mostly the professionals that use the dried molasses would use it for something like pumpernickel bread.  Do you think MM commissaries are using dried or liquid molasses?

Norma
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: Pete-zza on September 22, 2011, 05:30:59 PM
Do you think MM commissaries are using dried or liquid molasses?

Norma,

I really don't know. It just seemed to me to be easier and more convenient to use a dry form of molasses than a wet form. It looks like I am going to have to do research on molasses :-D. I have to believe that there are many forms and versions of dried molasses.

BTW, I believe that MM has only one commissary, in the Atlanta area. That might change as the company moves out of the Southeast more and has a critical mass of new stores to support another commissary.

Peter
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: norma427 on September 22, 2011, 05:38:27 PM
Norma,

I really don't know. It just seemed to me to be easier and more convenient to use a dry form of molasses than a wet form. It looks like I am going to have to do research on molasses :-D. I have to believe that there are many forms and versions of dried molasses.

BTW, I believe that MM has only one commissary, in the Atlanta area. That might change as the company moves out of the Southeast more and has a critical mass of new stores to support another commissary.

Peter

Peter,

Doing research on molasses is hilarious!  :-D  You just never know where a reverse engineering project will take you.  Good luck, if you decide to do searches on dried molasses!  :) I too, would believe that using dried molasses would be easier in a commissary.

Norma
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: Pete-zza on September 22, 2011, 08:02:34 PM
Norma,

Here are some examples of what is out there in terms of dry molasses: http://www.adm.com/en-US/Milling/drysweeteners/Pages/Molasses.aspx (see, also, http://www.adm.com/en-US/products/food/sweeteners/Documents/ADM%20Dry%20Sweeteners%20Sales%20Sheet.pdf) and http://www.dominospecialtyingredients.com/?pageId=1090&rowId=11208. Both companies have been around for a long, long time. Domino is in Florida. ADM is global. The dry molasses products of both companies appear to be suitable for baking applications and functional in both liquid and dry formulations. What is not entirely clear and may require further research is if any sucrose is present in any of the product, which would be a no-no.

Peter
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: norma427 on September 22, 2011, 08:57:09 PM
Norma,

Here are some examples of what is out there in terms of dry molasses: http://www.adm.com/en-US/Milling/drysweeteners/Pages/Molasses.aspx (see, also, http://www.adm.com/en-US/products/food/sweeteners/Documents/ADM%20Dry%20Sweeteners%20Sales%20Sheet.pdf) and http://www.dominospecialtyingredients.com/?pageId=1090&rowId=11208. Both companies have been around for a long, long time. Domino is in Florida. ADM is global. The dry molasses products of both companies appear to be suitable for baking applications and functional in both liquid and dry formulations. What is not entirely clear and may require further research is if any sucrose is present in any of the product, which would be a no-no.

Peter

Peter,

Thanks for the links about dry molasses.  Before this thread, I didnít even know anything about dry molasses.  I donít understand why any sucrose present in dry molasses is a no-no.

Norma
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: Pete-zza on September 22, 2011, 09:08:04 PM
I donít understand why any sucrose present in dry molasses is a no-no.

Norma,

Sucrose is table sugar, which is a refined sugar, and MM has said that it doesn't use refined white sugar in either its dough or sauce: http://mellowmushroom.com/public/old_site1/aboutus.html (third page).

Peter
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: norma427 on September 22, 2011, 09:14:59 PM
Norma,

Sucrose is table sugar, which is a refined sugar, and MM has said that it doesn't use refined sugar in either its dough or sauce: http://mellowmushroom.com/public/old_site1/aboutus.html (third page).

Peter

Peter,

I didnít read the link you provide in you last post before.  I now understand why sucrose in molasses would be a no-no.

Norma
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: norma427 on September 23, 2011, 06:10:55 AM
Peter,

I was researching some about different types of retail molasses and if this article is correct, there might be different amounts of sweetness from what brand is used in a product.  http://www.davidwalbert.com/2010/08/20/whats-really-in-the-molasses/
I wonder if other members that might want to try the MM formula if they try one of the retail brands if they will get varying amounts of sweetness in the crust if a different brand of molasses is used.  It seems like there even a difference in flavor of baked products with Grandmaís Original and Brer Rabbit molasses, and that isnít including the other brands of molasses like the Crosbys, one brand of molasses I never heard of at: http://www.crosbys.com/cooking_molasses.asp  and a PDF. For one of their molasses
http://www.crosbys.com/assets/Specification_Light_Molasses_2011.pdf

BTW, I did contact Domino sugar to see if I can get a sample of their dried molasses.

Norma
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: Pete-zza on September 23, 2011, 09:11:13 AM
Norma,

Just as I learned recently that there are differences between commercial forms of wheat germ and what we can get in supermarkets, there no doubt are differences between commercial forms of dried molasses and what we can get for home use without having to buy 25-pound and 50-pound bags. For all practical purposes, and despite some minor inconvenience in using wet forms of molasses (even though molasses seems to blend easily with water), our members will perhaps do just fine using one of the retail level brands of molasses such as Grandmaís and Brer Rabbit (the Crosby brand appears to be a Canadian product and may not be sold in the U.S.).

As you noted, there can be flavor and sweetness differences between the different retail brands of molasses, but we are pretty much stuck with those brands and have to make the best of them. Also, different people have different sensitivities to sweetness levels that will dictate how much molasses to use. We might even discover at some point that the liquid form of molasses is better than the dry form. Where the dry form of molasses becomes preferential is when you have to use a lot of it and handling and storage issues and convenience and ease of use become important, as I imagine would be the case for Mellow Mushroom at its commissary.

I did not try to do an exhaustive search for dry molasses for home use, but I found these sources: http://www.bulkfoods.com/search_results.asp?txtsearchParamCat=1&txtsearchParamType=ALL&txtsearchParamMan=ALL&txtsearchParamVen=ALL&txtFromSearch=fromSearch&txtsearchParamTxt=4117 and http://www.preparedpantry.com/natural-molasses-crystals-economy-size.aspx.

The molasses powder from bulkfoods.com is a blackstrap molasses but if you click through to the page at http://www.bulkfoods.com/molasses.asp, you will see how that product can be substituted for the two versions of Grandmaís molasses. However, it may well turn out that to get the desired degree of sweetness in the finished crust, too much of the blackstrap molasses may have to be used and result in a crust flavor that is overwhelming.  

If the organic cane sugar that is part of the Prepared Pantry ďNatural Molasses CrystalsĒ is a natural product and not a refined sugar that is added to the ďcertified organic molassesĒ, then I suppose that that would pass muster from a MM perspective. I have also seen dry molasses that includes maltodextrine, which I assume is an added ingredient and might be considered a "refined sugar". I might add that that doesn't mean that MM isn't using such a product. Products change over time and, unless someone is tracking the changes, it is easy enough to just stick with the old boilerplate language that is used in advertising and promotional materials.

If you also research the different dry molasses products at the ADM website at http://www.adm.com/en-US/Milling/drysweeteners/Pages/Molasses.aspx, you will also see that dry molasses is not 100% molasses (solids). Knowing which particular product to use is something that one would have to research and get advice and opinions from the producer.

Peter
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: norma427 on September 23, 2011, 11:35:32 AM
Peter,

I agree with what you posted about probably any brand of regular molasses will work well in a MM formula, and different members do have difference sensitivities to sweetness levels.  All I wanted to point out was maybe someone that wants to try your formula might think it is too sweet or not sweet enough and then they would have to change the amount of molasses they use.  Since I never tried a real MM pizza and maybe other members that might want to try to make a MM pizza that havenĎt tried one wonĎt ever know if they achieved the right amount of sweetness as a MM pie has.  I know I wonít ever know if I achieved the right amount of sweetness in the crust. 

Thanks for the other links about the different kinds of molasses and how molasses powder can be made to mimic different other molasses products.

I never knew so much about molasses until this thread.  Thanks for your help in understanding molasses and its different forms.

Norma
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: Pete-zza on September 23, 2011, 12:39:01 PM
Norma,

To add to what I already reported, this morning I called ADM and asked to speak to someone about their dried molasses products as listed at http://www.adm.com/en-US/Milling/drysweeteners/Pages/Molasses.aspx. I was referred to an ADM sales rep. To put our discussion in context, I described the Mellow Mushroom dough with the molasses and wheat germ and their perceived effects on taste and color and asked if any ADM dry molasses product would make a good fit for such a dough. The sales rep said that he had heard of using honey (both dry and liquid) in pizza dough but not molasses (he had not heard of the MM chain either). However, he said that their dry molasses products are intended to be used in mixes and his best advice was to conduct tests using one or more of their products. As suggestions, he mentioned the SweetíníNeat 4000 dry molasses powder and the SweetíníNeat 65 spray-dried molasses powder. Both products can be used on a one-to-one basis as substitutes for liquid molasses.

Since the ADM dried molasses products are not 100% molasses (apparently there is no way to get 100% dried molasses), I asked the sales rep what ingredients are used to make up the balance. He said that the balance includes things likes wheat starch, maltodextrin (which is made from corn), and calcium stearate (which I believe is a preservative). The maltodextrin is not a natural product. It is a man-made form of sugar.

From my discussion with the ADM sales rep, a professional such as yourself should be able to get samples to test. I don't know the sample sizes used at ADM, but their dry molasses products come in containers with sealable plastic bags and weigh 50 pounds.

One of the things I wondered about is whether dry molasses products for food applications were available in 1974 when the original three MM founders started their company. I had heard of dry molasses products used for animal feeds and gardening applications back then, but not for food applications. The sales rep did not think that the food-grade dry molasses products were available in 1974. Of course, MM could have started with liquid molasses and switched over to dry forms over time, especially once they went to a commissary model. Clearly, a dry form of molasses gets around the need for pumping systems and other equipment for handling liquids, and is a neater, cleaner system.

Peter
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: Biz Markie on September 23, 2011, 05:12:44 PM
Just a couple things:

Regarding the screens I saw at the MM in Franklin - I didn't see any of them actually in use in the ovens at the time I was watching.
I did see several pies go into the oven, directly onto the deck as far as I could tell, and I didn't see anyone slide a screen under a pie that was in the oven already.  But that's not to say they don't do either.  The only places I saw the screens were folks carrying them with skins on them over to the prep area, and unused screens in a rack above the oven.

Peter - what would be your recommendation as far as baking method for my next attempt?  I'm starting to become skeptical of my Emile Henry stone. . I've maybe connected a few dots.  My last pizza had very little spring, and now that I think about it, some hearth breads I've attempted to make from BBA have also had very little spring.  Not to mention, there's the inconvenience (in my case due to my Sunday night schedule) of heating the thing for a hour and heating up the house.
In my first MM attempt (and in my former PJ Clone pies which I got down pretty well) I used a screen and had good results other than just under-baking the pie I believe.
While I do respect the desire to completely clone the MM pie and methods, I have to be honest that for me, taste is king. . as long as it tastes good and is pretty stinkin' close to the real thing, I'm happy.

That being said, I suppose for this weekend I will try your 24-hour formula.  I will be going back to the KASL and I also finally have soybean oil.  I also have the ground wheat germ I ground in my Hario coffee mill.  I plan to form a rim (I may try the method shown in the video at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lvixfngmz-g&feature=related which I've never tried - I normally just make the skin a little bigger than the screen/peel and "roll-up" a rim just prior to dressing.

Any suggestion for a bake time? 

Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: norma427 on September 23, 2011, 05:19:21 PM
Peter,

Your talks with the sales rep at ADM were interesting.  Since both products, (of the dry molasses) the sales rep suggested could be used on a one-to-on basis as substitutes for liquid molasses, (if they are tried) that would be a good thing.  There would be no need to guess what amount of molasses to add to a formula for experimental purposes.  I will use the sample request at ADM and see if I can obtain samples of the SweetíníNeat 4000 dry molasses powder and the SweetíníNeat 65 spray-dried molasses powder.  At least it would be a good experiment to see how dry molasses works in your formula.  Since you found out there is no such thing as 100% dried molasses and they add other ingredients to make up the balance, (like maltodextrin, which is made from sugar) I wonder how MM can states they use no sugar in their dough if they use dry molasses.  Maybe it has to do with that 2%  thing from the FDA.

I never thought about dry molasses not being available back in 1974 for the three original founders that started MM.  I can understand there probably wouldnít be any need for dry molasses back then.  As you commented before regular molasses is fairly easy to use, and dissolves in water. 

Thinking how they now make dry and spray-dried products, makes me think about when we used to make Caramel Popcorn.  That corn syrup was so sticky and got on everything.  It was not easily removed.  I see they now have dry corn syrup now.  It now makes me wonder if that would have been a good product to try.  I canít believe all the commercial products companies have come up with to use in food products.  I have never heard of most of them before.

Norma
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: Pete-zza on September 23, 2011, 06:22:31 PM
Just a couple things:

Regarding the screens I saw at the MM in Franklin - I didn't see any of them actually in use in the ovens at the time I was watching.
I did see several pies go into the oven, directly onto the deck as far as I could tell, and I didn't see anyone slide a screen under a pie that was in the oven already.  But that's not to say they don't do either.  The only places I saw the screens were folks carrying them with skins on them over to the prep area, and unused screens in a rack above the oven.

Peter - what would be your recommendation as far as baking method for my next attempt?  I'm starting to become skeptical of my Emile Henry stone. . I've maybe connected a few dots.  My last pizza had very little spring, and now that I think about it, some hearth breads I've attempted to make from BBA have also had very little spring.  Not to mention, there's the inconvenience (in my case due to my Sunday night schedule) of heating the thing for a hour and heating up the house.
In my first MM attempt (and in my former PJ Clone pies which I got down pretty well) I used a screen and had good results other than just under-baking the pie I believe.
While I do respect the desire to completely clone the MM pie and methods, I have to be honest that for me, taste is king. . as long as it tastes good and is pretty stinkin' close to the real thing, I'm happy.

That being said, I suppose for this weekend I will try your 24-hour formula.  I will be going back to the KASL and I also finally have soybean oil.  I also have the ground wheat germ I ground in my Hario coffee mill.  I plan to form a rim (I may try the method shown in the video at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lvixfngmz-g&feature=related which I've never tried - I normally just make the skin a little bigger than the screen/peel and "roll-up" a rim just prior to dressing.

Any suggestion for a bake time? 

Biz,

Your explanation on the screens actually seems to fit what I have seen in the videos and photos better than my attempted explanation. Usually pizzas are removed from the oven with a metal peel and carried to the area where the pizzas are sliced. Screens do have some limited capacity to lift the pizzas off of a work surface and thereby help keep the pizzas from becoming soggy (by keeping the moisture released from the hot pizza from being redirected back into the pizzas), although that is not something that I have seen done by pizza operators where deck ovens are used (it is done with conveyor ovens however). I suppose screens make sense if the pizzas have to be carried some distance to reach the cutting station or if several oven workers are all working in parallel getting pizzas to the cutting station(s). The screens can also be used for the purposes I mentioned, if necessary.

For a baking protocol, you might try using a pizza screen if you have doubts about your pizza stone. You can use just the pizza screen as I did with the Papa John's clones, or you might use a combination of screen and preheated stone. For the latter approach, you could preheat your stone on the lowest oven rack position at around 500-525 degrees F for about an hour, bake the pizza on the pizza screen at an upper rack position until the rim of the pizza starts to turn brown, and then shift the pizza off of the screen onto the preheated pizza stone to get better bottom crust browning. In my standard electric oven, I would usually expect the total bake time to be around 8 minutes but the actual time will also depend on how many things are put on the pizza. I might add that there were some members who baked their Papa John's clone pizzas entirely on pizza stones but they had to watch the bottom crust browning fairly closely because of the high sugar content that could lead to premature bottom crust browning and even burning. I should mention that if you use a pizza screen, that will somewhat limit how much cornmeal you use since you don't want the cornmeal dropping off of the skin and hitting the lower heating coil and flaring up.

As you have no doubt noticed, in my reverse engineering and cloning projects I try to come as close to the target pizzas as possible. For me, that is the fun and intellectually challenging part. It is also where I learn new things. However, I can appreciate that there is a point where you have to decide how far you want to take the process. I used to drive bosses crazy because I could always find reasons and ways to make my work product better and wouldn't turn it in until the eleventh hour.

I expect soon to post the next iteration of the MM dough formulation. It will be mainly tweaks to stiffen up the dough a bit more and will be for a two-day cold fermentation.

Peter
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: Pete-zza on September 23, 2011, 06:37:34 PM
Your talks with the sales rep at ADM were interesting.  Since both products, (of the dry molasses) the sales rep suggested could be used on a one-to-on basis as substitutes for liquid molasses, (if they are tried) that would be a good thing.  There would be no need to guess what amount of molasses to add to a formula for experimental purposes.  I will use the sample request at ADM and see if I can obtain samples of the SweetíníNeat 4000 dry molasses powder and the SweetíníNeat 65 spray-dried molasses powder.  At least it would be a good experiment to see how dry molasses works in your formula.  Since you found out there is no such thing as 100% dried molasses and they add other ingredients to make up the balance, (like maltodextrin, which is made from sugar) I wonder how MM can states they use no sugar in their dough if they use dry molasses.  Maybe it has to do with that 2%  thing from the FDA.

Norma,

If you go back to the list of ADM dried molasses products, and even click on the links for more information, you will see that not all of the products list maltodextrin as an ingredient. Of course, you may learn more once you get the samples and related specs if they are provided. But even if MM is using a dry molasses with maltodextrin, one can argue that it is not a "refined sugar". In fact, I have read that in nutrition labels maltodextrin is included under Total Carbohydrates, not under the "sugars" sub-part. I do not think that the 2% FDA rule applies. If it does, then ADM will have to list the maltodextrin under the 2% part of the ingredients list. As you might recall with the Caravan folks, they were not readily forthcoming with information about their products, for proprietary reasons, and I would expect ADM to behave the same way.

Peter
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: norma427 on September 23, 2011, 08:58:24 PM
Norma,

If you go back to the list of ADM dried molasses products, and even click on the links for more information, you will see that not all of the products list maltodextrin as an ingredient. Of course, you may learn more once you get the samples and related specs if they are provided. But even if MM is using a dry molasses with maltodextrin, one can argue that it is not a "refined sugar". In fact, I have read that in nutrition labels maltodextrin is included under Total Carbohydrates, not under the "sugars" sub-part. I do not think that the 2% FDA rule applies. If it does, then ADM will have to list the maltodextrin under the 2% part of the ingredients list. As you might recall with the Caravan folks, they were not readily forthcoming with information about their products, for proprietary reasons, and I would expect ADM to behave the same way.

Peter


Peter,

I didnít see before where to click on more information for the molasses products.  I see what you mean now, that not all the products list maltodextrin as an ingredient.  I also didnít know maltodextrin in the nutrition labels could be included under Total Carbohydrates. I probably will learn a lot I didnít know before in this thread. I recall Caravan wasnít forthcoming with technical data for their products for proprietary reasons.  I will see when I request samples if I can get any technical data.  Even Malt Products Corporation really didnít send me any real technical data either, unless I get some with the sample.

Looking forward to the new formula you set-forth to try.

Norma
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: Pete-zza on September 24, 2011, 12:32:44 PM
Using the expanded dough calculating tool at http://www.pizzamaking.com/expanded_calculator.html, I have come up with the next iteration (MM#2) of the MM clone dough formulation, as set forth below. I normally do not change more than one variable at a time, but I assume that many of our members who would like to make a credible MM clone pizza would like to do so while they are still young. So, I am breaking my own rule and making several changes simultaneously, but being prepared to retreat to my standard practice if my changes do not produce the desired end results.

First, I decided to increase the amount of molasses to 5%. I did this to see if we can get a more pronounced sweetness in the finished crust, and maybe a bit more color, but not end up with a bottom crust that is overly dark or burned (although the photos that Biz and Brian posted do show a rather dark bottom crust). If it becomes necessary to use a pizza screen to restrain the bottom crust browning or to lift the pizza to a higher oven rack position to avoid excessive bottom crust browning, or some other equivalent measure, I deem these to be acceptable measures.

Second, I wanted to stiffen up the dough a bit in order to get a more chewy, less soft rim. I decided to do this by a combination of using a lower hydration (now 54%), less oil (now 3%), and an increase in the amount of wheat germ (now 4% of the high-gluten flour/wheat germ blend). The increase in the amount of wheat germ may also add a bit more flavor and crust color. For test purposes, I do not think that it matters all that much whether the wheat germ is raw wheat germ or toasted wheat germ, or whether the wheat germ has added Vitamin E, but I think it may be useful to grind the wheat germ down to the smallest particle size that the grinding mechanism will allow without going to Herculean measures to do so. Even though the amount of wheat germ will still be small (about 12.5 grams), the reduced particle size will aid the hydration of the high-gluten flour/wheat germ blend.

I estimate that the above changes will produce a dough ball with a nominal hydration of around 55% when taking into account the water content (about 22%) of the molasses. This presumes the use of a liquid molasses, such as the Brer Rabbit and Grandmaís retail molasses products. When we take the 3% oil into account, and the rheological aspects of the oil and the liquid molasses, the ďeffectiveĒ hydration is about 58%. That seems to me to be an eminently good value for a dough that should be idiot-proof in the hands of young workers.

Finally, I lowered the amount of IDY to 0.375%. I did this to allow for a roughly two-day cold fermentation. Hopefully, the increase in the amount of IDY will cause the dough to ferment a bit faster and not require using an extended high-temperature temper period (like Norma used next to her deck oven) to get the dough to rise enough to work with and open up easily.

Here is MM#2:

MM Clone Dough Formulation MM#2
High-Gluten Flour/Wheat Germ Blend* (100%):
Water (54%):
IDY (0.375%):
Salt (2%):
Vegetable (Soybean) Oil (3%):
Liquid Molasses (5%):
Total (164.375%):
315.1 g  |  11.11 oz | 0.69 lbs
170.16 g  |  6 oz | 0.38 lbs
1.18 g | 0.04 oz | 0 lbs | 0.39 tsp | 0.13 tbsp
6.3 g | 0.22 oz | 0.01 lbs | 1.13 tsp | 0.38 tbsp
9.45 g | 0.33 oz | 0.02 lbs | 2.08 tsp | 0.69 tbsp
15.76 g | 0.56 oz | 0.03 lbs | 2.27 tsp | 0.76 tbsp
517.95 g | 18.27 oz | 1.14 lbs | TF = 0.118684
*The Unbleached High-Gluten Flour/Wheat Germ Blend comprises 302.5 grams (10.67 ounces) of high-gluten flour and 12.6 grams (0.45 ounces) of wheat germ (the ratio is 96% high-gluten flour and 4% wheat germ)
Note: The nominal thickness factor is 0.11693 and corresponds to a dough ball weight of 18 ounces, for a 14" pizza; the bowl residue compensation is 1.5%

Peter
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: norma427 on September 24, 2011, 02:05:34 PM
Peter,

Thanks for setting-forth the MM#2 formula, and the instructions to go with it.  I will give the formula a try.

Norma
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: Pete-zza on September 24, 2011, 02:20:42 PM
Thanks for setting-forth the MM#2 formula, and the instructions to go with it.  I will give the formula a try.

Norma,

I specifically had you in mind because I wanted you to be able to make a dough in time to use it at market next Tuesday. I am anxious to see if the modified MM dough clone formulation is an improvement, and I didn't want us to lose a week to find out.

Peter
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: norma427 on September 24, 2011, 03:00:07 PM
Norma,

I specifically had you in mind because I wanted you to be able to make a dough in time to use it at market next Tuesday. I am anxious to see if the modified MM dough clone formulation is an improvement, and I didn't want us to lose a week to find out.

Peter

Peter,

Thanks, for keeping me in mind to try out your MM#2 formula for Tuesday.  I also am anxious to try it out to especially see if there is more sweetness in the crust and if my taste testers and I like that amount of sweetness. Your increase in the amount of molasses wasn't that much, so maybe we won't be able to taste any noticeably amount of sweetness. I will take enough pictures so you might be able to see what happens in the process.  I think the only question that I want to ask you if I should try to shape the dough so the rim stays bigger on this next attempt?

Norma
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: Pete-zza on September 24, 2011, 03:29:17 PM
I think the only question that I want to ask you if I should try to shape the dough so the rim stays bigger on this next attempt?

Norma,

That is entirely up to you. As a company, I do not recall that Mellow Mushroom has ever made a point about the size of the rims of their pizzas. However, if you look at MM photos of their pizzas in a typical menu, for example, at http://www.mellowmushroom.com/menu#/menu/pizza, you will see that the pizzas have pretty well defined rims, with the insides looking somewhat sunken relative to the rims. It is as though the rims form a vehicle or vessel for containing all of the things that go onto the pizzas so that they are unlikely to fly off of the pizzas when they are shuffled into the ovens. For example, the House Special pizza contains 12 items (including the cheese) and the Mega Veggie pizza contains 13 items. From reviews I have read, I have gotten the impression that MM doesn't chintz on the amounts of toppings on their pizzas. If that is true, there may be a functional reason for high rims. As I reported earlier in this thread, at the MM Jacksonville Beach location I visited, the pizzas that I saw being served to diners had large rims and sunken insides.

Of course, we all know that photos prepared by food stylists and food photographers can be deceptive, and that what you will often find in the stores bears little resemblance to the company photos, but in the case of my recent visit the rims of the pizzas were pronounced.

Peter
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: norma427 on September 24, 2011, 03:57:13 PM
Norma,

That is entirely up to you. As a company, I do not recall that Mellow Mushroom has ever made a point about the size of the rims of their pizzas. However, if you look at MM photos of their pizzas in a typical menu, for example, at http://www.mellowmushroom.com/menu#/menu/pizza, you will see that the pizzas have pretty well defined rims, with the insides looking somewhat sunken relative to the rims. It is as though the rims form a vehicle or vessel for containing all of the things that go onto the pizzas so that they are unlikely to fly off of the pizzas when they are shuffled into the ovens. For example, the House Special pizza contains 12 items (including the cheese) and the Mega Veggie pizza contains 13 items. From reviews I have read, I have gotten the impression that MM doesn't chintz on the amounts of toppings on their pizzas. If that is true, there may be a functional reason for high rims. As I reported earlier in this thread, at the MM Jacksonville Beach location I visited, the pizzas that I saw being served to diners had large rims and sunken insides.

Of course, we all know that photos prepared by food stylists and food photographers can be deceptive, and that what you will often find in the stores bears little resemblance to the company photos, but in the case of my recent visit the rims of the pizzas were pronounced.

Peter

Peter,

I have seen some the pictures of MM pizzas with those bulbous rims. They look very impressive to me.  I could see how those big rims would keep all those toppings from sliding off.  Twelve or thirteen topping are a lot more than I ever tried on any pizza. Maybe MM when they started their business just wanted to have those bulbous rims to make their pizzas look different than other pizza businesses. I will try form a larger rim.

Norma
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: norma427 on September 25, 2011, 07:22:42 PM
I mixed the MM#2 formula Peter set-forth, to time it for about an 48 hr. cold fermentation.  I first ground the toasted wheat germ in my Cuisinart spice and nut grinder. The toasted wheat germ did become almost as fine as flour after it was ground.  I placed the molasses in the water, and mixed it until I thought it was mixed enough and then added the vegetable oil to the water and molasses mixture.  Since Peter mentioned in his post that is the way November said to mix the oil in with the water, if more than a little oil is added, that is the way I mixed this dough.  That seemed to work much better than mixing the vegetable oil in after a dough is partly mixed.  I mixed on speed one and two with my Kitchen Aid mixer, until I thought the dough looked ready.  The final dough temperature of the dough was 78.2 degrees F.  I formed a dough ball and lightly coated it with vegetable oil.  There can still be some toasted wheat germ seen in the dough ball, but not as much as my last attempt.

Norma
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: Biz Markie on September 25, 2011, 10:37:51 PM
Looks great, Norma!

Well I'm now able to report on my second attempt at Peter's First MM clone formula (reply #67).

I used KASL, Brer Rabbit Mild, and finally had some Soybean oil to use.  I had ground my raw wheat germ in my Hario coffee mill the other day, so I used that.

Since Norma has mentioned it above, I would point out that I followed my standard practice of dissolving the molasses and salt in the water, and also adding the oil to the water.  Per Peter's advice, I only mixed this dough in my Zojirushi bread machine for 9 minutes. 
It was still pretty tacky to handle.  I had to oil my hands a bit to be able to form a nice ball.  This was the same as I experienced in my previous 2 MM attempts.

The dough was in the fridge for 30 hours.  Due to my schedule on Saturday, I had to make the dough a little earlier than normal.
I pulled the dough out 2 hours before baking. .. .I transferred the dough to the counter which I'd pretty heavily dusted with cornmeal and I covered the dough with plastic.

I tried to follow the method of rim forming as seen in  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lvixfngmz-g&feature=related.  It actually worked very well .  After forming the rim, I just stretched the skin on the backs of my fists, no tossing/twirling.  The dough was quite extensible but held together great. 

Due to time constraints I had to use the screen tonight.  So I placed the skin on the screen but did not "roll" the rim as I have done in the past.  I felt I had enough dough mass around the perimeter.

The pie was baked at 500 on the second-lowest rack position for 8 minutes plus 15-20 seconds of broiler (but I did not move the pizza up).

The rim turned out exactly how I had hoped.  Pronounced but not massive, as my "rolled" rims can sometimes be.

Now on to the taste.  Unfortunately I think I had too much cornmeal on the bottom from the benching stage.  I'll have to correct that.

But the taste of the crust was not what I hoped.  With last week's visit to MM fresh in my mind, and armed with a 5-day old leftover piece of actual  MM crust, it was very clear that my crust was not sweet enough.  Not only that, but my crust had what seemed to me to be way too much of a wheat germ (nutty) taste.  It was a good pizza and had a neat flavor, but at this point based on my recent visit and the leftover (but admittedly un-fresh) MM crust, I would definitely make some changes.

I think at this point the Germ needs to be greatly reduced (possibly in half) and possibly the molasses increased back to 5% (which was my initial guesstimation and Peter's newest %).

As for the crumb structure and texture - I think my screen method has resulted perhaps in a too bready crust with not enough crunch on the outside.  Not that last week's real MM crust was crunchy, but you know what I mean.  I think to achieve this, 2 things are necessary (one for sure, the other I am just guessing):  I need to use a stone, and the oil may need to be reduced in order to decrease the softness.  Peter has already headed in this direction on the Oil, so I think we're on the right track.

I'm encouraged that tonight's pie turned out well, especially the rim formation.  Though I don't think the taste was right, I feel like we have some good info to move in the right direction.

Here are some pics from tonight.
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: norma427 on September 25, 2011, 11:00:32 PM
Biz,

Your MM clone looks great!  ;D The nice big rim you achieved looks so stunning.  :chef: I really like how you handled your dough to achieve such a nice rim.  

Sorry to hear the crust taste was not what you hoped for.  Since you did have MM fresh in your mind, you should know how the crust should taste.  I wonder why your curst would have too much of a wheat germ (nutty) taste.  I wonder if your raw wheat germ had anything to do with the wheat germ taste.  When I did my attempt last week using toasted wheat germ, my taste testers and I couldnít taste any nutty flavor in the crust and no taste of wheat germ, at least that we could notice.

Glad to hear you are encouraged with your pie tonight.  I think you gave some great information to move on, because you have eaten real pies at MMís.

Thanks for your great post.  :)

Norma
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: norma427 on September 26, 2011, 08:50:28 AM
I have not done an extensive research on raw wheat germ or toasted wheat germ, but this post on the Fresh Loaf, by Andy is interesting.  http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/10654/wheat-germrestored-wheat-flour-what-exactly-it#comment-117582
Andy said the raw wheat germ it still enzyme active, and if the wheat germ is toasted it will inactivate the enzymes.  I think Peter and Tom Lehmann also mention that to me on my wheat flour thread.

Norma
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: Biz Markie on September 26, 2011, 08:57:23 AM
Thanks for the encouragement, Norma!

It does get a little tough because we're dealing with the subjectivity of "flavor" as perceived by different individuals, but I feel pretty confident about my conclusions from last night.

Also as to the wheat germ taste - I had never eaten wheat germ in any form until I started this MM process.  I have eaten it straight out of the box, and I have also begun using it in my morning muesli.  Especially in the muesli (cold whole grain cereal with nuts, etc), just adding a bit of wheat germ really affects the flavor.  It gives it a savory, nutty edge.  This is all to say that I feel I could definitely taste the germ in the pizza last night.

Anyway - looking forward to my next iteration!  I'm not exactly sure what I'll do next, since I have a couple days off before I need to whip it up.
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: Pete-zza on September 26, 2011, 08:59:35 AM
Biz,

I think you did very well with your latest MM clone, especially in capturing the "look and feel" of an authentic MM pizza. I would rather get the crust right first and then deal with the flavor aspects. We may never be able to learn what kind of wheat germ and form of molasses MM uses in its commissary, but with some experimentation with the store bought brands of wheat germ and liquid molasses you should at some point achieve good results with those products. At this point, if I had to guess, I would say that MM is perhaps using a defatted wheat germ that is enriched with Vitamin E and that they may be using dry molasses. As I mentioned previously, the only wheat germ products that I could find with added Vitamin E were toasted wheat germ products. Unless defatted, there apparently is no need to add Vitamin E to a raw wheat germ since the Vitamin E is the natural Vitamin E that is inherently in the raw wheat germ. Maybe when Norma gets her samples of dry molasses products, we will get a better idea as to whether MM may be using a dry form of molasses.

In your case going forward, you can obviously increase the amount of liquid molasses to get more sweetness in the finished crust. This facet is likely to vary from one person to another (because of different sensitivities to ingredients) and from one brand of liquid molasses to another, so you will have to play around with the percent of liquid molasses to get the degree of sweetness you are after. Since it is quite possible that grinding the raw wheat germ added too much of a wheat germ flavor, you can either use the recited amount of wheat germ but do not grind it or grind it but use less. This is something you may have to experiment with a bit. You might also go with a toasted form of wheat germ, as Norma tried. Hopefully, tomorrow we will find out from Norma whether the last MM clone formulation I posted moves us in the right direction. But even if it does, that might still mean that each person attempting the formulation may have to make changes to the amounts of wheat germ and molasses to satisfy their particular palate using whatever wheat germ and molasses products they have on hand.

Peter
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: Pete-zza on September 26, 2011, 12:13:12 PM
The pie was baked at 500 on the second-lowest rack position for 8 minutes plus 15-20 seconds of broiler (but I did not move the pizza up).

Biz,

As you ponder what kind of baking medium (e.g., stone or metal plate) you would like to purchase as a replacement for the stone you are now using, you might consider trying the combination of screen and stone, as I mentioned earlier. Hopefully that would give you a good rise in the dough and rim (when baked high in the oven) and good bottom crust browning (when transferred onto the preheated stone).

Pete
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: norma427 on September 26, 2011, 05:19:21 PM
If anyone is interested, this is what the MM dough ball looked like this afternoon at market. The dough ball in the pictures was cold fermented for about 24 hrs. It seems like the MM dough ball is fermenting just about right.

Norma 
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: norma427 on September 27, 2011, 09:56:11 PM
The MM#2 experiment went well today, but I think the effective hydration was either to high with the molasses added, or either the way I mixed the dough (with the oil in the water) made the hydration seem higher, or maybe another possibility is the ground toasted wheat germ did help hydrate the flour better than last week.  This week the dough felt like it had a much higher hydration than last week.  I canít figure out why the hydration seemed higher than my attempt last week, but maybe Peter can figure that out.

Steve and I had to get ready to make the MM experiment today.  We figured we had to dress the part of a MM operation, and also try to make my small pizza stand look a little like a MM real pizza business.  I went to the variety store right near where my pizza stand is and bought some ďhippyĒ tattoos, and some decorations that looked ďhippyĒ to me.  All for the price of 2.50 we could make ourselves look somewhat like a ďhippyĒ and also decorated our stand to look something like a MM pizza business does.  That sure was a lot cheaper than it costs a real MM pizza operation to decorate.  :-D

The dough was dipped in coarse cornmeal today.  The dough seemed somewhat sticky, and the dough was almost too easy to open.  It reminded me somewhat like a Reinhart dough when opening it.  There wasnít any trouble opening the dough, but there was no way I could have tossed the dough. 

I did put the pepperoni in the oven to take the grease off again, and used part-skim mozzarella for the cheese.  We used 7.5 oz. of part-skim mozzarella, 6 ounces of sauce, and 22 pepperoni on the pizza for the dressings.

The pie baked well, and didnít need a screen.  The bottom crust did browned well.  The finished pizza rim was brushed with melted butter with added garlic powder, than sprinkled with Parmesan cheese.  The pizza did have a crunch when cut, but not a lot. As the pie started to cool, it developed a droop.  Steve, my taste testers, and I enjoyed this pizza very much.  It sure was a different pizza.  There was one slice left, and my granddaughter and great-granddaughter did come to market later,  and my granddaughter and great-granddaughter did have the last slice. The last slice was reheated. They also enjoyed this MM attempt. They also got into the ďhippyĒ mood and also applied tattoos to themselves.

I donít think this attempt must have tasted like a real MM pizza, because the crumb did seem to moist to me, (almost like a Reinhart much higher hydration dough) but we all did like the moist crumb.

The first two pictures are of the dough ball this morning top and bottom and the next two pictures of the dough ball or right before we opened it, which was about 48 total time fermentation.

Norma
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: norma427 on September 27, 2011, 09:58:09 PM
Norma
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: norma427 on September 27, 2011, 09:59:57 PM
Norma
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: norma427 on September 27, 2011, 10:01:57 PM
Norma
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: norma427 on September 27, 2011, 10:03:48 PM
Norma
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: norma427 on September 27, 2011, 10:06:11 PM
Norma
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: norma427 on September 27, 2011, 10:08:16 PM
Norma
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: norma427 on September 27, 2011, 10:10:11 PM
Norma
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: norma427 on September 27, 2011, 10:11:24 PM
Norma
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: Biz Markie on September 27, 2011, 10:37:35 PM
Norma, your pie looks great!  Nice rim and nice crumb.

I'm most impressed by your awesome hippy stuff!  What a really, really fun and clever thing to do!

Did the crust taste sweet or did it have a savory, nutty type taste?  How about the texture. . . was it soft?
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: norma427 on September 27, 2011, 10:57:57 PM
Norma, your pie looks great!  Nice rim and nice crumb.

I'm most impressed by your awesome hippy stuff!  What a really, really fun and clever thing to do!

Did the crust taste sweet or did it have a savory, nutty type taste?  How about the texture. . . was it soft?

Biz,

Thanks for saying the attempted MM pie looked great!  :) I am always trying to have fun.  That was the reason for the ďhippyĒ stuff. The crust didnít taste very sweet to my taste testers or me.  I didnít think it tasted any sweeter than last week, and my taste testers thought the same thing.  We all couldnít detect any ďnuttyĒ taste in the crust, it was just a different taste from any other pies I had made before.  The texture of the crumb was very soft.  I never tasted a real MM pie, but donít think my attempt was like a real MM pie.  I am at a real disadvantage because I have no idea what a real MM pizza tastes like.

I am wondering about the molasses and how that must have affected the hydration.  I know the dough did feel like it had a lot higher hydration.

Norma
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: Biz Markie on September 28, 2011, 12:00:11 PM
Thanks for the info!

I'm not sure why your dough would have behaved the way it did, in terms of feeling more hydrated than you expected.  Maybe Pete can help.

"Nutty" might not be the right word for the flavor I believe the wheat germ imparts. the fact that you didn't think it was particularly sweet yet had a unique taste may basically be the same conclusion I came to after my last MM attempt.

I am also glad in a way that you thought the crust was very soft, because I thought my last MM dough was too.  This may mean the formula could use a little tweaking.  The real MM pie I had a couple weeks ago was definitely not soft and bready like mine have been.  Not sure though if this is a formula issue or a baking-method issue.

Are you using Brer Rabbit Mild for your molasses? 

In a perfect world I'd try several other kinds of molasses, because there really is considerable variation on flavor - sweetness and bitterness.  I think the Brer Rabbit Mild is actually fairly potent (i.e. bitter/twangy).  It's also pretty dark. . . I've been thinking lately that to get the level of sweetness in the MM dough using only molasses, it might result in a darker color.  I admit I've wondered if honey might also be used in a small amount (but that's probably crazy talk).  Of course if MM is using dried molasses, that could also affect the color less than what I'm using while still delivering lots of sweetness.

Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: Pete-zza on September 28, 2011, 01:07:41 PM
Norma,

Perhaps you can now see why I donít like to change too many variables at a time, even if the changes arenít major. But, let us see if we can work through things to see if we can identify why your last dough seemed to be so extensible. For purposes of the analysis, I will assume that there were no weighing or other measurement errors.

First, it is hard to see how increasing the amount of molasses by about a quarter teaspoon would be responsible for the increase in extensibility. However, to get a better handle on things, I went back to the original MM clone dough formulation at Reply 67 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,3940.msg152958.html#msg152958, which I will refer to hereinafter as MM#1 for convenience, and to the MM#2 clone dough formulation at Reply 151 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,3940.msg154240.html#msg154240, and did a bunch of calculations. These calculations included calculating the ďadjustedĒ hydration that compensates for the water content of the molasses and the ďeffectiveĒ hydration that takes into account the ďwettingĒ effect of the oil (and the molasses as well). Here is a summary of the pertinent data for the two formulations.

MM#1
Flour Blend, 100%, 311.53 grams/10.99 ounces
Nominal hydration, 55%, 171.34 grams/6.04 ounces
Soybean oil, 4%
Molasses, 4.5%, 14.02 grams/0.49 ounces/2.02 teaspoons
Wheat germ, 3%, 9.35 grams/0.33 ounces
Adjusted hydration, 56%
Effective hydration, 60%

MM#2
Flour Blend, 315.1 grams/11.11 ounces
Nominal hydration, 54%, 170.16 grams/6 ounces
Soybean oil, 3%
Molasses, 5%, 15.76 grams/0.56 ounces/2.27 teaspoons
Wheat germ, 4%, 12.6 grams/0.45 ounces
Adjusted hydration, 55.1%
Effective hydration, 58.1%

As you can see from the above, the MM#2 dough should have been a bit stiffer than the MM#1 dough. Normally, that would translate into a less extensible dough, not a more extensible one.

Second, I do not see that increasing the amount of wheat germ by 3 ľ grams, and even with the MM#2 wheat germ being in ground form, should have had much of an effect on the hydration. It would have to have better absorption characteristics than the high-gluten flour itself for that to happen and to result in a more hydrated dough. I suppose that it is possible that adding the oil to the water up front may have had some effect on the hydration of the flour blend but usually adding the oil up front is deemed to interfere with the hydration of the flour. If the more uniform dispersion of the oil in the dough had some effect that resulted in the more extensible dough is something that would have to be tested.

Essentially the only other item left to consider is the yeast. I used 0.375% IDY as a middle of the road value. Maybe it is possible that that amount of yeast caused the dough to ferment too fast and that led to the increase in extensibility. If so, then the value could be lowered.

At this point, you have several options. You can repeat your previous experiment to see if you get the same results, especially in terms of achieving a dough with reduced extensibility. Or you can make changes to MM#2, as by lowering the nominal hydration and, if you wish, adding more molasses to get an increased level of sweetness in the finished crust that is obvious on the palate. Maybe you can think of some other option to try, perhaps one that would modify MM#1. I donít think that it is imperative that you achieve a ďnuttyĒ flavor in the finished crust from the use of the wheat germ. I donít recall that the flavor of wheat germ in the MM pizza I had jumped out at me. In your case, you used a ground up form of toasted wheat germ. In Bizís case, he used a ground up form of raw wheat germ. Apparently he could taste the wheat germ in the finished crust and now would like to reduce it in the next iteration of an MM clone dough formulation. It also looks like he would like to get a sweeter tasting crust too.

It is quite possible that with all of the types, forms and brands of molasses and wheat germ that are available both at the retail and foodservice levels, and with different taste sensitivities, we may never get an MM clone dough formulation that will work for everyone regardless of the types, forms and brands of molasses and wheat germ they use. Each person may have to do some testing and experimenting to achieve the desired end results.

BTW, I also got a big kick out of your fake tatoos, decals and the like.

Peter
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: norma427 on September 28, 2011, 01:37:42 PM
Thanks for the info!

I'm not sure why your dough would have behaved the way it did, in terms of feeling more hydrated than you expected.  Maybe Pete can help.

"Nutty" might not be the right word for the flavor I believe the wheat germ imparts. the fact that you didn't think it was particularly sweet yet had a unique taste may basically be the same conclusion I came to after my last MM attempt.

I am also glad in a way that you thought the crust was very soft, because I thought my last MM dough was too.  This may mean the formula could use a little tweaking.  The real MM pie I had a couple weeks ago was definitely not soft and bready like mine have been.  Not sure though if this is a formula issue or a baking-method issue.

Are you using Brer Rabbit Mild for your molasses? 

In a perfect world I'd try several other kinds of molasses, because there really is considerable variation on flavor - sweetness and bitterness.  I think the Brer Rabbit Mild is actually fairly potent (i.e. bitter/twangy).  It's also pretty dark. . . I've been thinking lately that to get the level of sweetness in the MM dough using only molasses, it might result in a darker color.  I admit I've wondered if honey might also be used in a small amount (but that's probably crazy talk).  Of course if MM is using dried molasses, that could also affect the color less than what I'm using while still delivering lots of sweetness.



Biz,

I know when I tasted the toasted wheat germ (plain) there is a definite ďnuttyĒ taste, but when I sprinkle a bunch on bran cereal in the morning to eat, the nutty taste just blends in with the bran cereal.  I donít know if that is my taste buds playing tricks on me, but I canít taste the ďnuttyĒ taste with the toasted wheat germ in the cereal with milk.  I donít know if the toasted wheat germ also just blends in with the other ingredients in the pizza dough to then not taste the ďnuttyĒ taste or not.  Makes me wonder about how that changes too.  Maybe your conclusion in your last attempt might have been what I had about the taste of the crust.  At least both of our crusts were very soft.  I was using Brer Rabbit mild flavored molasses, in this last attempt and my former attempt.  I agree the Brer Rabbit mild flavored molasses does have a certain twangy taste, but I donít think it is bitter at all.  I have no idea if using dry molasses would change the crust color or not.

Norma
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: norma427 on September 28, 2011, 02:07:45 PM
Norma,

Perhaps you can now see why I donít like to change too many variables at a time, even if the changes arenít major. But, let us see if we can work through things to see if we can identify why your last dough seemed to be so extensible. For purposes of the analysis, I will assume that there were no weighing or other measurement errors.

First, it is hard to see how increasing the amount of molasses by about a quarter teaspoon would be responsible for the increase in extensibility. However, to get a better handle on things, I went back to the original MM clone dough formulation at Reply 67 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,3940.msg152958.html#msg152958, which I will refer to hereinafter as MM#1 for convenience, and to the MM#2 clone dough formulation at Reply 151 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,3940.msg154240.html#msg154240, and did a bunch of calculations. These calculations included calculating the ďadjustedĒ hydration that compensates for the water content of the molasses and the ďeffectiveĒ hydration that takes into account the ďwettingĒ effect of the oil (and the molasses as well). Here is a summary of the pertinent data for the two formulations.

MM#1
Flour Blend, 100%, 311.53 grams/10.99 ounces
Nominal hydration, 55%, 171.34 grams/6.04 ounces
Soybean oil, 4%
Molasses, 4.5%, 14.02 grams/0.49 ounces/2.02 teaspoons
Wheat germ, 3%, 9.35 grams/0.33 ounces
Adjusted hydration, 56%
Effective hydration, 60%

MM#2
Flour Blend, 315.1 grams/11.11 ounces
Nominal hydration, 54%, 170.16 grams/6 ounces
Soybean oil, 3%
Molasses, 5%, 15.76 grams/0.56 ounces/2.27 teaspoons
Wheat germ, 4%, 12.6 grams/0.45 ounces
Adjusted hydration, 55.1%
Effective hydration, 58.1%

As you can see from the above, the MM#2 dough should have been a bit stiffer than the MM#1 dough. Normally, that would translate into a less extensible dough, not a more extensible one.

Second, I do not see that increasing the amount of wheat germ by 3 ľ grams, and even with the MM#2 wheat germ being in ground form, should have had much of an effect on the hydration. It would have to have better absorption characteristics than the high-gluten flour itself for that to happen and to result in a more hydrated dough. I suppose that it is possible that adding the oil to the water up front may have had some effect on the hydration of the flour blend but usually adding the oil up front is deemed to interfere with the hydration of the flour. If the more uniform dispersion of the oil in the dough had some effect that resulted in the more extensible dough is something that would have to be tested.

Essentially the only other item left to consider is the yeast. I used 0.375% IDY as a middle of the road value. Maybe it is possible that that amount of yeast caused the dough to ferment too fast and that led to the increase in extensibility. If so, then the value could be lowered.

At this point, you have several options. You can repeat your previous experiment to see if you get the same results, especially in terms of achieving a dough with reduced extensibility. Or you can make changes to MM#2, as by lowering the nominal hydration and, if you wish, adding more molasses to get an increased level of sweetness in the finished crust that is obvious on the palate. Maybe you can think of some other option to try, perhaps one that would modify MM#1. I donít think that it is imperative that you achieve a ďnuttyĒ flavor in the finished crust from the use of the wheat germ. I donít recall that the flavor of wheat germ in the MM pizza I had jumped out at me. In your case, you used a ground up form of toasted wheat germ. In Bizís case, he used a ground up form of raw wheat germ. Apparently he could taste the wheat germ in the finished crust and now would like to reduce it in the next iteration of an MM clone dough formulation. It also looks like he would like to get a sweeter tasting crust too.

It is quite possible that with all of the types, forms and brands of molasses and wheat germ that are available both at the retail and foodservice levels, and with different taste sensitivities, we may never get an MM clone dough formulation that will work for everyone regardless of the types, forms and brands of molasses and wheat germ they use. Each person may have to do some testing and experimenting to achieve the desired end results.

BTW, I also got a big kick out of your fake tatoos, decals and the like.

Peter


Peter,

I did, and do know why you donít like to change too many variables at once, even if the changes arenít major.  I donít think there were any weighing or other measurement errors, but have been thinking and looking at two containers I keep of KASL and KABF (Grande cheese plastic containers).  I have been wondering since my dough seemed to be different, if somehow I picked up the wrong plastic Grande container and thought I had the KASL container.  I donít think I did that, but with all the flours I have, it could have been a possibility.  

I didnít mention before either, that my dough fermented at room temperature longer than I wanted it to.  It sat out at market, for about 2 Ĺ hrs. at the ambient temperature of about 86 degrees F.  I had wanted to use the MM#2 dough to make a pizza before I did, but had other things that needed to be done.  

Thanks for posting the formula right together, so I could see the effective hydrations together.  

Since I really donít know how a real MM pizza tastes in terms of sweetness in the crust, I think I will just let the molasses where it is now.  I know each person may perceive sweetness in many different ways.  Do you think the best thing for me to try is do the experiment with the MA#2 formula over again, and maybe use a little less yeast?

Glad you got a kick out of the fake decals and tatoos.  Steve and I were both laughing when we applied them.  At least the decals could be washed and put right back on the sticker paper to use again.  Steve and I are both in the ďhippyĒ mood now.   8)

Peace to all, that might want to try these formulas and hope they have success!  :)

Norma
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: Pete-zza on September 28, 2011, 02:36:23 PM
Norma

It is quite possible that the excessive extensibility of the dough was due to the long temper at around 86 degrees F, and I am sure that I would have commented on that had you mentioned it in your earlier post. Technically, a dough can be used when its temperature is around 56 degrees F. When I first saw the video at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P7-oxqmv7L8&feature=related, I thought that perhaps the worker was working with a cold dough since I have seen workers at my local Papa John's do that. Note also that it took about ten slaps between the worker's hands, and they looked belabored, before he was able to toss and spin the skin. If the dough was not a cold dough, then that would suggest a dough with low hydration.

I am not so concerned at this point about the amount of molasses. Since both you and Biz commented on the low sweetness level, the amount of molasses can be increased. Molasses is said to be less sweet than table sugar, so some increase in the molasses should be tolerated but not so much as to cause the bottom of the crust to darken too quickly or even burn.

I am more concerned at this point about the fact that both you and Biz said the crusts were soft, even though to my eye the crumb looked like the crumb of the MM pizza I had. Softness in a crust is usually because of high sugar and oil levels. A high hydration value can also produce a similar effect if there is a solid oven spring. In your case, the overproofing of the dough may well have been a contributing factor because of all of the built up gases. I don't recall offhand how Biz prepped his dough before he made his pizza.

Once Biz has a chance to catch up with our posts and to comment, if appropriate, I will give some thought as to how I think we might best proceed with the project at this point.

Peter
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: norma427 on September 28, 2011, 03:38:19 PM
Norma

It is quite possible that the excessive extensibility of the dough was due to the long temper at around 86 degrees F, and I am sure that I would have commented on that had you mentioned it in your earlier post. Technically, a dough can be used when its temperature is around 56 degrees F. When I first saw the video at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P7-oxqmv7L8&feature=related, I thought that perhaps the worker was working with a cold dough since I have seen workers at my local Papa John's do that. Note also that it took about ten slaps between the worker's hands, and they looked belabored, before he was able to toss and spin the skin. If the dough was not a cold dough, then that would suggest a dough with low hydration.

I am not so concerned at this point about the amount of molasses. Since both you and Biz commented on the low sweetness level, the amount of molasses can be increased. Molasses is said to be less sweet than table sugar, so some increase in the molasses should be tolerated but not so much as to cause the bottom of the crust to darken too quickly or even burn.

I am more concerned at this point about the fact that both you and Biz said the crusts were soft, even though to my eye the crumb looked like the crumb of the MM pizza I had. Softness in a crust is usually because of high sugar and oil levels. A high hydration value can also produce a similar effect if there is a solid oven spring. In your case, the overproofing of the dough may well have been a contributing factor because of all of the built up gases. I don't recall offhand how Biz prepped his dough before he made his pizza.

Once Biz has a chance to catch up with our posts and to comment, if appropriate, I will give some thought as to how I think we might best proceed with the project at this point.

Peter

Peter,

I wasnít aware that technically a dough can be used when its temperature is about 56 degrees F.  I do know that in a pinch, I can take my preferment Lehmann dough balls right out of the pizza prep fridge and use them right away if I have to.  They are a little harder to open, but not much. I can toss and twirl those cool skins. If my preferment Lehmann dough balls sit out for more than a hour, they too, seem to be almost overfermented sometimes, even for that short while if the temperatures are higher.  The dough balls that sit out for an hour at higher temperatures I would never be able to toss the skins, or they would tear I think.

Interesting that from the video you referenced, that you picked-up if the dough ball wasnít a cold one, then it would mean the dough would be a lower hydration dough. 

It will be interesting to hear what Biz has to say about his MA#1  dough, and how he handled it.

Norma
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: Biz Markie on September 28, 2011, 05:59:21 PM
It will be interesting to hear what Biz has to say about his MA#1  dough, and how he handled it.

I still plan to formally catch up here but as for this question. . I have made 3 total MM doughs: One my own guesstimate and Two MM #1's.  All 3 I "dechilled" for about 2 hours at probably an average of 76 degrees or so.

In all cases, the doughs were just slightly on the extensible side. . . . I did not not toss or twirl them (I might have tossed the first one once or twice).  I probably could have, but it did seem slightly risky.  I know the last 2 doughs (MM#1) I just stretched on the back of my fists while turning the dough.
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: norma427 on September 28, 2011, 08:05:17 PM
I still plan to formally catch up here but as for this question. . I have made 3 total MM doughs: One my own guesstimate and Two MM #1's.  All 3 I "dechilled" for about 2 hours at probably an average of 76 degrees or so.

In all cases, the doughs were just slightly on the extensible side. . . . I did not not toss or twirl them (I might have tossed the first one once or twice).  I probably could have, but it did seem slightly risky.  I know the last 2 doughs (MM#1) I just stretched on the back of my fists while turning the dough.

Biz,

Thanks for answering the question about how you handled your 3 doughs!  If I remember correctly, you didn't do any 48 hr. cold ferments did you?

Norma
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: Pete-zza on September 29, 2011, 11:20:21 AM
Today, I found a promotional piece at http://www.theshorthorn.com/index.php/entertainment/fungames/27731-a-70s-themed-mellow-mushroom-has-sprouted-in-downtown-arlington, (http://www.theshorthorn.com/index.php/entertainment/fungames/27731-a-70s-themed-mellow-mushroom-has-sprouted-in-downtown-arlington,) in which the service manager (Ms. Alderson) of a new MM store that just opened recently in Arlington, TX described the MM dough as follows:

ďOur dough separates us from any other pizza place in the world,Ē Alderson said as she listed off unrefined flour, molasses, wheat germ, and fresh Georgia spring water as the ingredients.

A while back I called a sister MM unit in Ft. Worth owned by the same people and was told that they use fresh dough balls made in the store. Since the above ingredients are listed as discrete ingredients, then I would guess that the dough made at the new unit is prepared using those ingredients, or possibly the dough for both units is made at only one of the units. I am curious about the use of "Georgia" spring water. It wouldn't seem to make much sense to ship Georgia spring water from Georgia to Texas or to other outlying areas.

Peter

EDIT (9/13/14): For the archived Wayback Machine version of the shorthorn item referenced above, see http://web.archive.org/web/20120127014434/http://www.theshorthorn.com/index.php/entertainment/fungames/27731-a-70s-themed-mellow-mushroom-has-sprouted-in-downtown-arlington (http://web.archive.org/web/20120127014434/http://www.theshorthorn.com/index.php/entertainment/fungames/27731-a-70s-themed-mellow-mushroom-has-sprouted-in-downtown-arlington)
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: norma427 on September 29, 2011, 02:01:15 PM


ďOur dough separates us from any other pizza place in the world,Ē Alderson said as she listed off unrefined flour, molasses, wheat germ, and fresh Georgia spring water as the ingredients.


Peter

Peter,

I don't quite understand what unrefined flour means.  What kinds of flours are unrefined flours? 

Norma
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: Pete-zza on September 29, 2011, 02:17:40 PM
Norma,

Normally, "unrefined flour" means a flour like whole wheat flour that has not had the bran and wheat germ and other things milled out of it. I believe that Ms. Alderson meant to say that the flour is unbleached and unbromated.

I did a search earlier to see if the "unrefined flour" phrase was used in other places in relation to "Mellow Mushroom" and I could not find another such use. So, I believe that Ms. Alderson misspoke.

Peter
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: norma427 on September 29, 2011, 02:24:51 PM
Norma,

Normally, "unrefined flour" means a flour like whole wheat flour that has not had the bran and wheat germ and other things milled out of it. I believe that Ms. Alderson meant to say that the flour is unbleached and unbromated.

I did a search earlier to see if the "unrefined flour" phrase was used in other places in relation to "Mellow Mushroom" and I could not find another such use. So, I believe that Ms. Alderson misspoke.

Peter

Peter,

I also did a search on ďunrefined flourĒ and came up with what you did.  That is why I asked you about what unrefined flour might mean.  I think Ms. Alderson misspoke too. My searches also came up with what kind of flour they might be using for the gluten-free pizzas, I guess MM is rolling out, or did.  I didnít search more on that though, because we arenít trying to make anything gluten-free.

Norma
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: norma427 on September 29, 2011, 04:05:45 PM
I donít know if anyone has seen this video of two guys clowning around or not at MM, but the dough looks like is softer in the below video, (at least to me) than some others I have seen.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=clYDJp2OuWE

If anyone is interested in the characters in the MM website, this is what they are and how they came to be.
http://www.hrwiki.org/wiki/Mellow_Mushroom#Characters

If you click on the External link at the end of the above article, it has another link.

The SWEETíNĒNEAT 4000 sample arrived this afternoon with 3 papers. The one paper is only a material safety data sheet.  I didnít have any problems requesting a sample of the SWEETíNíNEAT 4000 dry molasses powder last week, but for some reason, the ADM website wouldnít let me request a sample of  SWEETíNíNEAT 65 spray-dried molasses powder.  I will try again to request a sample for the SWEETíNíNEAT 65 spray-dried molasses powder.

Norma
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: Pete-zza on September 29, 2011, 08:20:21 PM
Norma,

I did see that video some time ago but I am glad you cited it as another example of how MM pizzas are made. It looks like the dough balls were allowed to warm up before using to make the pizzas in the video. Yet it still took about 22 passes from hand to hand to fully open up the dough ball for the first pizza.

I also noticed the Spoodle-type portioner. It looks like the same portioner is used for all pizza sizes. For example, the first pizza is a 10" pizza judging from the marked circles on the peel. The amount of sauce is not to the top of the portioner. I think a 14" pizza would get 6 ounces of sauce and for a 16" pizza a full scoop + might be around 8 ounces.

I'll be most interested to see how the dry molasses powder works out, especially how the color of the finished crust is when compared with the syrup version. Likewise for the sweetness.

Peter
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: norma427 on September 29, 2011, 09:06:52 PM
Norma,

I did see that video some time ago but I am glad you cited it as another example of how MM pizzas are made. It looks like the dough balls were allowed to warm up before using to make the pizzas in the video. Yet it still took about 22 passes from hand to hand to fully open up the dough ball for the first pizza.

I also noticed the Spoodle-type portioner. It looks like the same portioner is used for all pizza sizes. For example, the first pizza is a 10" pizza judging from the marked circles on the peel. The amount of sauce is not to the top of the portioner. I think a 14" pizza would get 6 ounces of sauce and for a 16" pizza a full scoop + might be around 8 ounces.

I'll be most interested to see how the dry molasses powder works out, especially how the color of the finished crust is when compared with the syrup version. Likewise for the sweetness.

Peter

Peter,

It seems like even if the dough looks like it might be cooler or warmer when the skins are opened up, the dough is fairly easy to open, but still stays strong enough to toss and twirl. The amount of sauce I was using probably was the wrong amount.  When you have time to think all this over in your next iteration for a formula, I would appreciate if you could post how much sauce you think Biz and I should use, or for anyone that is interested in trying the formulas you set-forth. 

I tasted the dry molasses and it has more of a bitter flavor than the Brer Rabbit molasses, but it tastes somewhat the same.  Do you want me to try the dry molasses in my next attempt?  I tried on ADM website again today to request the spray-dried molasses sample, and for some reason it wonít let me request that.  I had called ADM yesterday, and the receptionist directed my call to Brian.  He didnít answer the phone, but I left a voice mail to see if I could request a sample from him. 

If you or anyone else is interested, I scanned the papers that came with the dry molasses. I will try to post them. 

Norma
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: norma427 on September 29, 2011, 09:07:17 PM
Norma
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: norma427 on September 29, 2011, 09:07:49 PM
Norma
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: norma427 on September 29, 2011, 09:08:18 PM
Norma
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: Pete-zza on September 29, 2011, 09:40:51 PM
Norma,

What I would like to see is a comparison between the dry molasses powder and the liquid molasses, with an emphasis on sweetness, taste and color (dough and crust). I think a good test of this would be to repeat MM#1 or MM#2, at your option, but use the dry molasses powder instead of the liquid molasses. Since I was told by the ADM sales rep that the dry molasses powder can be used as a direct replacement for the liquid molasses, I wondered how the hydration would be adjusted. I now see from the first ADM spec sheet you posted that water has to be added to the formulation. I also see that the recommended usage is 5-10% of the total formula weight. That is different than the total formula flour so I would like to study the numbers to see what the dry molasses powder represents as a percent of the total formula flour. If you decide on an MM clone dough formulation for your next try, I should be able to determine a new hydration value and the range of dry molasses to use.

I will revisit the sauce issue in preparation for the next MM dough clone formulation.

Peter
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: Biz Markie on September 29, 2011, 10:04:49 PM
Biz,
Thanks for answering the question about how you handled your 3 doughs!  If I remember correctly, you didn't do any 48 hr. cold ferments did you?
Norma

That's correct!  they were 24-hour doughs or just over that.
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: Biz Markie on September 29, 2011, 10:24:11 PM
Wow the dry molasses is pretty intriguing.  . will be interested to see how that turns out!

At the moment I am thinking about reducing the Germ and going back to the 5% molasses.  I would like to decrease the softness/breadiness so I might also reduce the oil.  I may try the 48-hour version as well.. . I generally like the idea of longer-fermented doughs.

Recently after reading some other threads here, I tried "super heating" my stone for baking some italian hearth bread.  I put the oven at 500 and the rack in the lowest position, but I kept tricking the oven into keeping the bake element on.  I did this for about an hour (boy did the house get hot!).  I think it really improved the spring on the bread.  I'm hoping perhaps that I can get that slight crunch on the outside and chewy inside on my next MM attempt.

I went back and looked at the posts I'd missed and I don't think there are any outstanding questions that I might answer.  But let me know if I missed anything.

However, if anyone has specific ideas on how to improve the texture, that'd be great.
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: norma427 on September 29, 2011, 10:53:55 PM
Norma,

What I would like to see is a comparison between the dry molasses powder and the liquid molasses, with an emphasis on sweetness, taste and color (dough and crust). I think a good test of this would be to repeat MM#1 or MM#2, at your option, but use the dry molasses powder instead of the liquid molasses. Since I was told by the ADM sales rep that the dry molasses powder can be used as a direct replacement for the liquid molasses, I wondered how the hydration would be adjusted. I now see from the first ADM spec sheet you posted that water has to be added to the formulation. I also see that the recommended usage is 5-10% of the total formula weight. That is different than the total formula flour so I would like to study the numbers to see what the dry molasses powder represents as a percent of the total formula flour. If you decide on an MM clone dough formulation for your next try, I should be able to determine a new hydration value and the range of dry molasses to use.

Peter

Peter,

I will start over with your MA#1 formula, but use the dry molasses for my next attempt, if you can figure out a new hydration value and range of molasses to use.  I donít understand how to do that. 

Norma
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: norma427 on September 29, 2011, 10:59:14 PM

Wow the dry molasses is pretty intriguing.

I think it really improved the spring on the bread.  I'm hoping perhaps that I can get that slight crunch on the outside and chewy inside on my next MM attempt.


Biz,

I also think the dry molasses is intriguing.  Hope your next attempt MM attempt goes well!  :)

Norma
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: norma427 on September 30, 2011, 11:09:46 AM
I decided to watch some videos that just donít show how MMís employees open the doughs for MM pizzas, but look at other videos that maybe owners or mangers have posted videos that show the whole layouts, and also hear what the owners or mangers have to say about the MM pizza operations.  I was also interested in seeing the different ways MMís pizza business are decorated.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lrUr8MlUZBU&NR=1 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lrUr8MlUZBU&NR=1)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IDHHaAnNMUc (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IDHHaAnNMUc)
In this video a owner of a Mellow Mushroom franchise, says even he doesnít know all what goes into the pizza dough but spring water and molasses, and if they do it right, the pizza turns out great.  It takes two days for the pizza to be able to be ready to go to the oven.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FyhkznN2qzc (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FyhkznN2qzc)

In this video the General Manger of a MM operation said most people donít know that their Montague Ovens have top and bottom baking stones and that helps the flavor of the pizzas, and also the seasoned stones bake better.  http://montaguecompany.com/Product.aspx?pid=256 (http://montaguecompany.com/Product.aspx?pid=256)
That makes me wonder if somehow that helps to bake MMís pizzas better, or also make them taste better from maybe fire bricked line sides, or top hearth stones.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dpuMBxj6PvY (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dpuMBxj6PvY)

After watching some more videos of MM pies coming out of the oven, some of the pies donít look like they would be real crispy on the bottom.  I wonder about how crispy a real MM pie is after it is just taken out of the oven and sliced. 

I really donít know if I will be able to visit a MM operation, but my daughter said she might take me the Charlottesville, Va. sometime so I can taste their pies.  At least it would be an interesting road trip and then I might know more if my attempts are anything like the real MMís pizzas.  I think the Charlottesville, Va. MM location is the closest one to my area.

Norma
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: Pete-zza on September 30, 2011, 11:52:31 AM
Norma,

When I was researching the different MM stores, I came across the same videos. One of them, at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FyhkznN2qzc, I discussed recently at Reply 124 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,3940.msg153973/topicseen.html#msg153973, and I referenced the Montague ovens at Reply 77 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,3940.msg153408/topicseen.html#msg153408. In the various videos, I saw a mix of the Montague ovens and the Blodgett ovens. The Montague pizza ovens also come in a steel deck option although I believe that the MM stores use the standard stone versions. If someone wants to emulate a Montague two-stone oven in a home setting, they might use two stones but preheat them long enough so that they are both at about the same temperature.

Peter
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: Pete-zza on September 30, 2011, 01:26:19 PM
Norma,

I didnít want to slow you down, so I went back to the original MM#1 dough formulation as given at Reply 67 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,3940.msg152958.html#msg152958 and modified it to use the ADM SWEET'NíNEAT 4000 dry molasses powder (ADM 4000 DMP). I am calling the modified dough formulation ďMM#1 DMPĒ. BTW, the ADM 4000 DMP product does not include the maltodextrin and, hence, would meet the MM requirement that the dough contain no refined sugars (although arguably maltodextrin is not a ďsugarĒ from a nutrition labeling standpoint). I elected not to follow the recommended range of use of the ADM 4000 DMP because doing so would have resulted in a bakerís percent of about 8.5-17% when based on the weight of the formula flour (the blend of high-gluten flour and wheat germ), which would be excessive. Clearly, the ADM 4000 DMP was not intended for the type of application we have been exploring in this thread.

I donít know how the ADM 4000 DMP will affect the dough and crust coloration but if it behaves like its liquid counterpart, I think that the dough and finished crust could take on too dark a color if too much of it is used (see more on this below). If you would like to have a color benchmark against which to compare your ADM 4000 DMP dough against a real MM dough, you might take a look again at the video that you recently referenced at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=clYDJp2OuWE. I think that video more closely shows the color of the MM dough than the other videos I looked at, especially when contrasted against the white countertop and the wooden peel. I realize that it is difficult to accurately judge color from a video and from a monitor, but if I were to look for the desired dough color, I would use a brown coffee filter to match the color of your ADM 4000 DMP dough against a real MM dough. If I had to guess, I would say that when using the liquid form of molasses, and with wheat germ at around 2-4%, the color of the dough perhaps starts to darken too much when the level of usage of the liquid molasses exceeds about 5%, or maybe a bit more. I donít know if that would also hold true for the dry molasses. Since you would be using 4.5% dry molasses, you might well not cross over the color threshold. It shouldnít be fatal if you end up with a darker dough, however. What ultimately matters is the sweetness and flavor of the finished crust and whether it is pleasurable to eat.

For a color photo showing the MM dough, see http://www.independentmail.com/photos/2011/apr/18/89471/. As you can see there, the dough does not appear to be particularly dark in color.

You will also note froom the MM#1 DMP dough formulation, I left the IDY at 0.60%. You should feel free to change that depending on how you plan to use the dough from a fermentation period standpoint and whether you will temper the dough next to your oven as you did before, etc. Changing the amount of IDY to suit your particular purposes should not materially affect the values for the other ingredients.

Plugging all of the numbers into the expanded dough calculating tool at http://www.pizzamaking.com/expanded_calculator.html, I came up with the MM#1 DMP clone dough formulation as set forth below. You will note that in the dough formulation I deleted the volume measurements for the dry molasses powder. Perhaps at some point you can do some weighings of the ADM 4000 DMP to be able to convert from weight to volume. Also, for purposes of the MM#1 DMP formulation, I increased the amount of water by about half of the weight of the ADM 4000 DMP used, rather than by a hundred percent (an option that is noted in the ADM spec sheet). There may be some other differences in the original and the present dough formulation because of the way the original formulation was modified to permit the substitution of the ADM 4000 DMP, but those differences should be fairly minor.

MM#1 DMP Clone Dough Formulation
Unbleached High-Gluten Flour/Wheat Germ Blend* (100%):
Spring Water (57.25%):
IDY (0.60%):
Salt (2%):
Vegetable (Soybean) Oil (4%):
ADM 4000 DMP (4.5%):
Total (168.35%):
307.66 g  |  10.85 oz | 0.68 lbs
176.14 g  |  6.21 oz | 0.39 lbs
1.85 g | 0.07 oz | 0 lbs | 0.61 tsp | 0.2 tbsp
6.15 g | 0.22 oz | 0.01 lbs | 1.1 tsp | 0.37 tbsp
12.31 g | 0.43 oz | 0.03 lbs | 2.71 tsp | 0.9 tbsp
13.84 g | 0.49 oz | 0.03 lbs
517.95 g | 18.27 oz | 1.14 lbs | TF = 0.118684
* The Unbleached High-Gluten Flour/Wheat Germ Blend comprises 298.4 grams (10.53 ounces) of unbleached (unbromated) high-gluten flour and 9.23 grams (0.33 ounces) of wheat germ, based on a ratio of 97% high-gluten flour and 3% wheat germ.
Note: The nominal thickness factor = 0.11693 and corresponds to a dough ball weight of 18 ounces, for a single 14Ē pizza; the bowl residue compensation = 1.5%.

Peter
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: Pete-zza on September 30, 2011, 02:02:48 PM
The amount of sauce I was using probably was the wrong amount.  When you have time to think all this over in your next iteration for a formula, I would appreciate if you could post how much sauce you think Biz and I should use, or for anyone that is interested in trying the formulas you set-forth.  

Norma,

Based on what I have seen in the videos where Spoodle-like portioners are used, I believe that the portioners have a 6-ounce capacity and that only a single portioner is used for all MM pizzas, irrespective of size. For example, where portioners were shown in the videos, I did not see several of them with different bowl capacities.

To come up with some recommended values of pizza sauce for the different pizza sizes, I relied on the article that I previously found at http://www.nbcdfw.com/the-scene/food-drink/Mellow-Mushrooms-House-Special-Recipe.html (see Reply 21 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,3940.msg149709.html#msg149709). In that article, instructions are given to make a 10" pizza using 12 ounces of dough, which is the correct amount of dough for a 10" pizza, 3 ounces of pizza sauce, and 4 ounces of shredded mozzarella cheese. The 3 ounces of sauce would seem to fit what is shown in the earlier referenced video at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=clYDJp2OuWE where about a half of the capacity of the portioner is used to make a 10" pizza. If the 3 ounces of pizza sauce is correct for the 10" size pizza, then the amounts of sauce that would be needed for a 14" pizza and a 16" pizza are as follows (if we assume that the amounts of sauce are intended to be proportional based on the surface areas of the pizzas):

14": 3 x 49/25 = 5.88 ounces, or rounded out to 6 ounces (by volume)
16": 3 x 64/25 = 7.68 ounces, or rounded out to 8 ounces (by volume)

I believe that in pizzerias the amount of sauce is held constant on a given pizza irrespective of what else goes onto the pizza. If I am wrong here, then the above values would change. But I believe that they would hold for a basic cheese pizza.

The same calculations can be done for the shredded mozzarella cheese. If 4 ounces of shredde mozzarella cheese is correct for a 10" pizza, then the corresponding amounts for 14" and 16" pizzas, with all else being equal, would be:

14": 4 x 49/25 = 7.84 ounces, or rounded out to 8 ounces (presumably by weight)
16": 4 x 64/25 = 10.24 ounces, or rounded out to 10 ounces (presumably by weight)

I don't know what the rules are for amounts of cheese based on what else is on the pizza. However, for the 10" pepperoni pizza I tried in Florida, it seemed that there wasn't a great deal of cheese on the pizza. So, the above numbers may be on the high side. The MM pizzas that I have seen in videos also seem to be light on the cheese.

For number of pepperoni slices, I would suggest the following number of slices be used for the different pizza sizes:

10": 11 pepperoni slices
14": 11 x 49/25 = 21.56 slices, or rounded out to 22 pepperoni slices
16": 11 x 64/25 = 40.96 slices, or rounded out to 41 pepperoni slices

I don't know what brand of pepperoni slices MM uses, but I read an item recently that said that a particular MM store was going with Boars Head meats. A Boars Head pepperoni would be a good choice from what I have read.

I can't vouch for the accuracy of the above numbers. They are my best estimates based on what I have read and seen in the videos. One might be able to get actual values, or information to calculate better values, by buying basic baked MM pizzas, like a plain pizza or a pepperoni pizza, and weighing them.

Peter
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: norma427 on September 30, 2011, 06:41:22 PM
Peter,

Thanks for going to all the work of figuring out how to use the ADM 4000 DMP, in the MA#1 DMP formula.  I can understand why you didnít elect to follow the recommended range of use of the ADM 4000 DMP because the bakerís percent would have been too high, when based on the weight of the formula flour blend. 

I probably will try a two day ferment again with the MA#1 DMP formula, so I will decrease the yeast some.  I like the color of the dough in my last two attempts, but donít know what the ADM 4000 DMP will do to the dough color.  The one thing that has me concerned is the ADM 4000 DMP does have a more bitter taste than the Brer Rabbit mild molasses. I wonder how that will affect the sweetness in the final pizza crust. 

I trust you instincts on how much water to add, since the ADM 4000 DMP is being used in the MA# DMP formula. 

Thanks for posting how much sauce, mozzarella, and pepperoni you recommend for different size pizzas, if anyone wants to try an attempt at an MM pizza. I would like to try more toppings on my next attempt, but will probably either only go with cheese, or maybe pepperoni as I did in my last two attempts.

Norma
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: Biz Markie on September 30, 2011, 08:26:10 PM
I mixed up a dough this evening for use on Sunday night.

I started with the MM#2 formula as a starting point.  After my last attempt using MM#1, I wanted to make some fairly aggressive changes in order to address the lack of sweetness/heavy wheat germ flavor and the soft, bready crumb texture.

MM#2 already had some modifications to address the softness, so I left those mostly unchanged.

The biggest change I made was dropping the Wheat Germ to 2% of the flour weight (for some reason I prefer to breakout the germ as a separate item so that I can see it better for comparison).  By comparison using this calculation, the Textbook MM#2 has the Germ at 4.22% (if I did the math right).

Here's what I came up with, expressed in the format Peter has been using:

Biz's Modded MM#2 Formula - Pete-zza format
High Gluten Flour/Germ Blend = 100%
Spring Water = 52.94%
IDY = 0.37%
Salt = 1.96%
Soybean Oil = 2.94%
Liquid Molasses = 4.90%
TOTAL = 163.113%
** The Flour amount used was 11.57 ounces, and untoasted wheat germ 0.2314oz or 1.96% of the total weight of the blend.

Biz's Modded MM#2 Formula - Full Baker's Percent
High Gluten Flour = 100%
Wheat Germ = 2.0%
Spring Water = 54.0%
IDY = 0.37%
Salt = 2.0%
Soybean Oil = 3.0%
Liquid Molasses = 5.0%
TOTAL = 166.37%

I went with a 19.25oz ball for this attempt, which is more than a normal 14'' pizza but I like a little extra crust. . it's my favorite part!

I mixed the water, molasses, salt, and oil together before adding the flour and germ.  Usually I reserve the IDY until the third minute of mixing (a method mentioned in the PJ Clone thread, I believe), but this time I stirred it into the flour and germ before adding to the wet ingredients in the Zojirushi.
I mixed it in the Zo for 8 minutes.

The ball was noticeably firmer than all my previous MM clone attempts, which was a good sign.  Not to say the dough was firm, just drier and less sticky than the previous runs.

I'll keep you posted on how it turns out.  Feel free to critique anything above.  Thanks!
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: Pete-zza on September 30, 2011, 08:39:18 PM
The one thing that has me concerned is the ADM 4000 DMP does have a more bitter taste than the Brer Rabbit mild molasses. I wonder how that will affect the sweetness in the final pizza crust. 

Norma,

Since the liquid component of the molasses has been removed when dried, you might take an amount of the ADM 4000 DMP and add water in an amount that is half the weight of the ADM 4000 DMP and taste it for sweetness and to see if it tastes like liquid molasses. You can repeat the test with an equal weight of water. These two tests would cover the full range of rehydration mentioned in the ADM specs.

Peter
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: Pete-zza on September 30, 2011, 09:02:20 PM
Biz,

I was thinking along the same lines as you except I was thinking of reducing the amount of oil even further. I do not believe that there is a lot of wheat germ in the MM flour blend but what wheat germ there is has most likely been ground into a flour-like consistency so as not to be visible in the dough or finished crust and may be Vitamin-E enriched (which suggests a toasted wheat germ product). I also believe that the molasses is mainly to color the dough and crust so that the crust appears to be a more healthy and wholesome food item (like a whole-wheat crust), and using a low hydration creates the effect of a more robust dough and a crust with substance. I think the heart of the dough is plain old white high-gluten flour that can be used with a relatively low hydration so as to produce an idiot-proof dough with great handling characteristics that anyone can work with. What I am most concerned about at the moment is that you and Norma have not detected a pronounced sweetness in the crust, even with molasses levels at around 5%. I have some theories on this but I will reserve comment until I see your results and Norma's results using the dry molasses powder.

Peter
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: Biz Markie on September 30, 2011, 09:45:55 PM
Thanks for the info, Peter!

As somewhat of a beginner, I wasn't sure what to do with the Oil % so I didn't do much to it. 

I am very perturbed by the sweetness issue.  The first "guesstimation" formula I made did taste quite sweet - in fact, at the time we thought too sweet (but we had not tasted a real MM crust in quite a while at that point in time).  But last week's MM#1 attempt was not noticeably sweet.  The only difference was that my initial guesstimate used only 1.75% wheat germ (to flour weight) and just a hint more molasses.
So my thinking was that the increased germ in the MM#1, as compared to my guesstimate formula, masked the sweetness.  That may not be accurate, but that's what led me to reduce the germ in my most recent attempt.

P.S. In my last attempt and the current dough I used germ that I ground in my coffee grinder, but I'm sure it's not to the fineness of a commercial product.
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: norma427 on September 30, 2011, 09:48:36 PM
Norma,

Since the liquid component of the molasses has been removed when dried, you might take an amount of the ADM 4000 DMP and add water in an amount that is half the weight of the ADM 4000 DMP and taste it for sweetness and to see if it tastes like liquid molasses. You can repeat the test with an equal weight of water. These two tests would cover the full range of rehydration mentioned in the ADM specs.

Peter

Peter,

I just did take 2 grams of ADM 4000 DMP and added one gram of water.  It was like paste and still tasted bitter.  I then took 2 grams of ADM 4000 DMP and added 2 grams of water.  It was still wasnít liquid and still was bitter.  I tasted the Brer Rabbit molasses in between each test and the Brer Rabbit tastes great compared to the tests samples.  I think the test samples taste more like full flavored Brer Rabbit molasses.  I have never tasted Brer Rabbit blackstrap molasses plain in a taste test, (only in recipes) so I donít know how my test samples compare to the blackstrap Brer Rabbit molasses.   I had replied to Bizís one post where he said he thought his molasses tasted twangy/bitter, and I had posted I thought the Brer Rabbit molasses was twangy, but not bitter.  I donít know if I am headed in the right direction if I use the ADM 4000 DMP in getting a crust that did taste somewhat like my last two attempts.  

Norma

Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: Pete-zza on September 30, 2011, 10:50:56 PM
Norma,

How can a product called SWEET'N'NEAT not be sweet? Also, if you look at the nutrition profile for liquid blackstrap molasses at http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=nutrientprofile&dbid=85, you will see that the two major components are sugars and water.

Peter
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: norma427 on September 30, 2011, 11:16:17 PM
Norma,

How can a product called SWEET'N'NEAT not be sweet? Also, if you look at the nutrition profile for liquid blackstrap molasses at http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=nutrientprofile&dbid=85, you will see that the two major components are sugars and water.

Peter

Peter,

Donít even ask me how a product called SWEETíNíNEAT canít be sweet.  I know my taste buds are probably different than yours or other members, but the SWEETíNíNEAT product sure isnít sweet.  I wonder if the sales rep you talked to might have not know what kind of flavor profile you wanted to achieve.  If you look at the products ADM sells in dry molasses at http://www.adm.com/en-US/Milling/drysweeteners/Pages/Molasses.aspx  some of the other dry molasses powders provide a milder flavor.  It also says at the ADM website that the SWEETíNíNEAT does provide maximum flavor.  I sure donít know if that means bitter or something else.  I know when I talked to John at http://www.maltproducts.com/products.molasses.html He told me that their dry molasses would be bitter tasting, because it was made to taste like blackstrap molasses.  Did you ever taste blackstrap molasses?  Even in recipes I have tried with blackstrap molasses I had to add sugar, or I would think the flavor would have been bitter in the finished baked product.  Isnít each kind of molasses boiled down more to then produce a stronger flavor?

Norma
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: norma427 on October 01, 2011, 08:10:58 AM
To follow up on my last post in this pdf.sheet http://www.adm.com/en-US/products/food/sweeteners/Documents/ADM%20Dry%20Sweeteners%20Sales%20Sheet.pdf if looked at it says that Dri-Mol 604 dry molasses powder is made from a light-colored molasses to provide a milder flavor.  The Dri-Mol molasses dry powder is made from pure blackstrap molasses to impart a rich, darker color. The sheet also says SWEETíNíNEAT provides maximum flavor and color. 

I have been trying to understand how molasses is made, and what are the different kinds of molasses, since some kind of molasses is being used in the MMĎs dough.. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Molasses
Some history of molasses.  http://www.madehow.com/Volume-5/Molasses.html

If I had thought about it yesterday, I would have brought my pH meter home from market to test the differences in the acidic content of the mild flavored Brer Rabbit molasses to the acidic content of the ADM 4000 DMP, when mixed with water.  I donít have any idea if that would have shown different acidic contents are not, but would find that information interesting.

I have read a few things on the web that tells that molasses is also a fermenting medium, when used with yeast.  On the Home Distiller Forum GingerBreadMan documented his ferment with blackstrap molasses and fancy molasses. http://www.homedistiller.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=11&t=6975  There are also videos on YouTube like this one,  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0VHCRZzWd0k
showing two kinds of molasses fermenting, one being fancy molasses and one being blackstrap molasses.  Since reading some about how molasses helps to ferment, that makes me wonder if somehow the molasses added to dough does also change  pizza dough somehow.

I did a little experiment this morning, to see what the ADM 4000 DMP looks and tastes like when 1 gram of ADM 4000 DMP was mixed with 5 grams of water.  This is what the ADM 4000 DMP looks like, after being mixed. The ADM 4000 DMP isnít easily mixed with water.  I also poured 6 grams of Brer Rabbit mild flavored molasses into the same measuring container.  I tasted both and although they both have a molasses taste, there is a difference in how bitter the ADM 4000 DMP mixed with water tastes, and even looks, compared to the Brer Rabbit mild flavored molasses. 

Norma
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: Pete-zza on October 01, 2011, 09:41:41 AM
Norma,

Another simple test that you could conduct--which would be strictly a color test--is to take the baker's percents I gave you in Reply 201 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,3940.msg154992.html#msg154992 and make a mini-dough ball but leave out the yeast and salt. I would retain the oil for any color contribution it may have. You will have to replace 3% of the high-gluten flour with your toasted pulverized wheat germ. The wheat germ would be retained solely for its color contribution. If the amount of dough is too small to make by machine, you can use hand kneading.

If you end up with a dough ball that has a color much darker than a brown coffee filter, or a brown supermarket paper bag if you don't have a brown coffee filter, I think it would be safe to say that MM may not be using a dry molasses powder, or at least not one like the one you have or in a quantity as high as 4.5%. If the dry molasses powder passes the color test but you are still concerned that it might not contribute enough sweetness, then you could just add about 4% honey to the dough you were planning to make for your next test. I would just add the honey and not worry about the baker's percents. That can be patched up later if the experiment works. I would think that with 4.5% dry molasses powder and 4% honey, you should be able to detect notieceable sweetness in the finished crust. I mentioned honey intentionally because I wonder whether MM is using a natural sweetener in its dough besides the molasses to give more sweetness than the molasses can deliver all by itself. Like Biz, in my research on MM I found references to honey but it was by diners or by authors of articles on MM who perhaps thought that the sweetness they detected was honey, not molasses. I have never found any reference attributable to MM itself that honey, or possibly some other natural sweetener, is used in its dough. Quite often, that kind of information is leaked out over time by workers or former workers.

Peter
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: norma427 on October 01, 2011, 10:08:48 AM
Norma,

Another simple test that you could conduct--which would be strictly a color test--is to take the baker's percents I gave you in Reply 201 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,3940.msg154992.html#msg154992 and make a mini-dough ball but leave out the yeast and salt. I would retain the oil for any color contribution it may have. You will have to replace 3% of the high-gluten flour with your toasted pulverized wheat germ. The wheat germ would be retained solely for its color contribution. If the amount of dough is too small to make by machine, you can use hand kneading.

If you end up with a dough ball that has a color much darker than a brown coffee filter, or a brown supermarket paper bag if you don't have a brown coffee filter, I think it would be safe to say that MM may not be using a dry molasses powder, or at least not one like the one you have or in a quantity as high as 4.5%. If the dry molasses powder passes the color test but you are still concerned that it might not contribute enough sweetness, then you could just add about 4% honey to the dough you were planning to make for your next test. I would just add the honey and not worry about the baker's percents. That can be patched up later if the experiment works. I would think that with 4.5% dry molasses powder and 4% honey, you should be able to detect notieceable sweetness in the finished crust. I mentioned honey intentionally because I wonder whether MM is using a natural sweetener in its dough besides the molasses to give more sweetness than the molasses can deliver all by itself. Like Biz, in my research on MM I found references to honey but it was by diners or by authors of articles on MM who perhaps thought that the sweetness they detected was honey, not molasses. I have never found any reference attributable to MM itself that honey, or possibly some other natural sweetener, is used in its dough. Quite often, that kind of information is leaked out over time by workers or former workers.

Peter

Peter,

I donít have time today to do the simple test you posted about, but will do the test tomorrow morning.  I might even add the yeast and salt, but up the yeast amount to an emergency dough, so the dough could be baked in a few hrs.  What yeast amount would you recommend if I wanted to make the dough and then bake the pizza in a few hrs.?  I probably only will make a 6Ē pizza.  If the pizza then wouldnít match the sweetness test, I could then make a dough for Tuesday with the added honey amount you posted.  I find it interesting that you now mentioned that honey might be used in combination with molasses in a MM dough.  I know Biz had wondered about that, and I also had thought about why all the molasses added didnít give any sweeter taste in the crust. At least if I do the test in baking a pizza, I should be able to note the final color and sweetness.

Norma
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: Pete-zza on October 01, 2011, 01:17:38 PM
I might even add the yeast and salt, but up the yeast amount to an emergency dough, so the dough could be baked in a few hrs.  What yeast amount would you recommend if I wanted to make the dough and then bake the pizza in a few hrs.?

Norma,

At one point I thought to suggest an emergency dough, but it was mainly to see if the sugar levels in the dough would be more pronounced inasmuch as the frozen MM dough balls get very little fermentation time, specifically, as they slack off in the cooler and then during the temper time. I would suggest around 0.90% IDY, to be sure that the rather stiff dough can get a faster rise.

Peter
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: norma427 on October 01, 2011, 02:11:34 PM
Norma,

At one point I thought to suggest an emergency dough, but it was mainly to see if the sugar levels in the dough would be more pronounced inasmuch as the frozen MM dough balls get very little fermentation time, specifically, as they slack off in the cooler and then during the temper time. I would suggest around 0.90% IDY, to be sure that the rather stiff dough can get a faster rise.

Peter

Peter,

Thanks for your suggestion to use around 0.90% IDY for the emergency MM dough for tomorrow.  I thought once we get the sweetness okay in the crust, and got the dough to stretch out something like MM's, then I would try to make two doughs balls and freeze one to see what would happen, something like MM does in their commissary's.

Norma
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: Pete-zza on October 02, 2011, 10:25:57 AM
I find it interesting that you now mentioned that honey might be used in combination with molasses in a MM dough.  I know Biz had wondered about that, and I also had thought about why all the molasses added didnít give any sweeter taste in the crust.

Norma,

As I mentioned before, I did not find any credible evidence to suggest that MM is using honey it its dough, so I am not prepared at this time to make that leap. You might find it interesting that when I did a search related to the sweetness of the MM pizza crusts, I found expressions like "sweet", "slightly sweet" and "almost sweet". Of course, that could reflect different sensitivities to sweetness. I would have described the MM crust I ate as "sweet". 

As I see it, MM is perhaps not using a great deal of molasses, just enough to give the dough the desired color (not too light and not too dark) and to keep the bottom of the finished crust from getting too dark. The amount of molasses should also be enough to give sweetness to the finished crust. In my past experiments, I found that it took around 4-5% sugar in the dough to get the sensation of sweetness in the finished crust. Tom Lehmann once pegged that value at 3-5% or more, as you will note from his PMQ Think Tank post at http://thinktank.pmq.com/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=9093&p=62165&hilit=#p62165. To equate molasses to sugar on that basis, it might take a bit more molasses (liquid) because it is said to be less sweet than ordinary table sugar. But one of the things that I found interesting is that I could more readily detect sweetness in the finished crust when the dough was not allowed to ferment for too long, with an emergency dough being one such example. I discussed this aspect a few times on the forum, for example, at Reply 4 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,5491.msg46448/topicseen.html#msg46448, at Reply 24 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,691.msg27493/topicseen.html#msg27493 and at Reply 18 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,3146.msg26843/topicseen.html#msg26843.

It is for the reasons noted in the above posts that I am interested in seeing the results for your emergency dough. If you think about it, if a frozen MM dough ball is allowed to defrost for only one day before using, the finished crust might be sweeter because of the minimal fermentation as the dough ball defrosts than if the dough is given a second day in the cooler or refrigerator. In the video that we both found earlier, at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FyhkznN2qzc, the owner/manager of the MM store says that there is a "touch of molasses" and a "hint" of sweetness in the crust, and that the process is a two-day process. Maybe the two days of refrigeration reduces the amount of residual sugar in the dough such that the finished crust has diminished sweetness. In your prior experiments using two days of cold fermentation, your doughs would get multiples of the fermentation of a defrosting/defrosted dough ball held in the cooler for one or two days.

Peter
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: norma427 on October 02, 2011, 12:13:14 PM
Norma,

As I mentioned before, I did not find any credible evidence to suggest that MM is using honey it its dough, so I am not prepared at this time to make that leap. You might find it interesting that when I did a search related to the sweetness of the MM pizza crusts, I found expressions like "sweet", "slightly sweet" and "almost sweet". Of course, that could reflect different sensitivities to sweetness. I would have described the MM crust I ate as "sweet".  

As I see it, MM is perhaps not using a great deal of molasses, just enough to give the dough the desired color (not too light and not too dark) and to keep the bottom of the finished crust from getting too dark. The amount of molasses should also be enough to give sweetness to the finished crust. In my past experiments, I found that it took around 4-5% sugar in the dough to get the sensation of sweetness in the finished crust. Tom Lehmann once pegged that value at 3-5% or more, as you will note from his PMQ Think Tank post at http://thinktank.pmq.com/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=9093&p=62165&hilit=#p62165. To equate molasses to sugar on that basis, it might take a bit more molasses (liquid) because it is said to be less sweet than ordinary table sugar. But one of the things that I found interesting is that I could more readily detect sweetness in the finished crust when the dough was not allowed to ferment for too long, with an emergency dough being one such example. I discussed this aspect a few times on the forum, for example, at Reply 4 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,5491.msg46448/topicseen.html#msg46448, at Reply 24 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,691.msg27493/topicseen.html#msg27493 and at Reply 18 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,3146.msg26843/topicseen.html#msg26843.

It is for the reasons noted in the above posts that I am interested in seeing the results for your emergency dough. If you think about it, if a frozen MM dough ball is allowed to defrost for only one day before using, the finished crust might be sweeter because of the minimal fermentation as the dough ball defrosts than if the dough is given a second day in the cooler or refrigerator. In the video that we both found earlier, at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FyhkznN2qzc, the owner/manager of the MM store says that there is a "touch of molasses" and a "hint" of sweetness in the crust, and that the process is a two-day process. Maybe the two days of refrigeration reduces the amount of residual sugar in the dough such that the finished crust has diminished sweetness. In your prior experiments using two days of cold fermentation, your doughs would get multiples of the fermentation of a defrosting/defrosted dough ball held in the cooler for one or two days.

Peter

Peter,

I also saw how different people describe MMís pizza crust in different sweetness levels.  I know you are sensitive to sweetness levels, so your information about how you perceived sweetness in their crust as "sweet" is interesting.  I would have thought that MMís curst would have been too "sweet" for you.  Maybe it was the other toppings, or the garlic butter and Parmesan cheese that made the difference.  To Steve, me and the taste testers, in my attempts the sweetness was just right in our opinions, but then none of us have ever tried a real MMís pizza.  I would have liked to have a little less softer crust though.

Thanks for the references to your link about how sugar in a short time fermentation can give the crust more sweetness.  I know I did read some of your posts before about that, but never really thought about those posts I read.  

I also did see your post to Tom Lehmann about blast freezing a dough and static freezing and what the results would be.  I would guess that was for this thread, but donít know.

You are right again, if I think about it, the one day dough ball used for a pizza might be sweeter in taste because of the minimal fermentation as the dough ball defrosts. I can understand why you want to see how my emergency dough ball tastes in terms of sweetness in the crust, when it is baked.

The dough was the 6Ē pizza was mixed by hand with the ADM 4000 DMP.  The dough ball looks darker than my previous dough balls.  These pictures really donít show the color of the dough ball, but on one picture I put the dough ball on a paper bag.  It is a little darker than a paper bag.  I wonder if I can just bake the dough today to see if it tastes sweet at all without adding dressings. Do you think I should add dressings?

I know you found no reference for honey in MMís doughs, but just thought I would throw this into the mix.

I wonder since MM does have the option of  cinnamon and honey on their pretzels http://www.mellowmushroom.com/augusta/menu/munchies  if that also might mean that do use honey in their dough.  I also wonder what mountain honey is. http://www.realdealsnow.com/biz/pics/menus/mellowmushroom.html  Maybe it is esparanza honey (but I never heard of esparanza honey), listed under the pretzels.  http://m.allmenus.com/fl/gainesville/49674-mellow-mushroom/menu/
Lists of ingreidents for menu items at MMĎs. http://quizlet.com/3893024/mellow-mushroom-menu-flash-cards/

The above probably doesnít apply.

MM's new Home Grown Harvest Pie also sounds good on Facebook.

Norma
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: norma427 on October 02, 2011, 01:08:09 PM
Peter,

I had one quick question to ask you about.  I just looked though my ďhoardersĒ flour cupboards, and though all my flours, and I donít have any corn meal here at home.  Do you think I should just go with making the small attempted MMís pizza without any flour, or use Bobís Red Mill semolina flour to coat the dough ball?  All my cornmeal is at market.  I am soon ready to make the pizza with topping.

Norma
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: Pete-zza on October 02, 2011, 01:18:11 PM
Norma,

In the questions I posed to Tom Lehmann in the thread at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,15785.0.html, I had Mellow Mushroom in mind but wanted to pose the questions generically. My thinking was that if the front end of the dough making process could be the normal one, and the dough balls would be used fairly soon after making, perhaps there would not be as great a need to use more yeast in the dough. That led me to wonder if static freezing could be used in lieu of flash freezing. From what Tom said, maybe MM has enough stores to justify flash freezing equipment. Flash freezing freezes the dough balls faster and that is perhaps an effective way to prevent the dough balls from starting to ferment. Maybe it even helps retain the molasses a little bit better to contribute to the sweetness of the finished crust.

As far as your 6" test pizza is concerned, I think I would treat it like any other pizza in terms of toppings. That way you can see if something else might add sweetness to the slices. You don't have to do anything fancy, maybe a little sauce, cheese and a single topping. If you try to bake the pizza without anything on it, it might balloon up like a pita.

When I was doing my searching on the possible use of honey at MM, I got several hits on the use of honey on the pretzels. However, just because honey is used at the store level on pretzels does not suggest that they are also using honey back at the commissary where the dough is made. They are two different uses for honey.

Peter
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: Pete-zza on October 02, 2011, 01:20:16 PM
I had one quick question to ask you about.  I just looked though my ďhoardersĒ flour cupboards, and though all my flours, and I donít have any corn meal here at home.  Do you think I should just go with making the small attempted MMís pizza without any flour, or use Bobís Red Mill semolina flour to coat the dough ball?  All my cornmeal is at market.  I am soon ready to make the pizza with topping.

Norma,

I think I would go with the semolina. It is not the same as cornmeal, of course, but the color is about the same and it might have an effect on the color of the bottom of the crust that is similar to what cornmeal might do.

Peter
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: norma427 on October 02, 2011, 02:44:46 PM
Norma,

I think I would go with the semolina. It is not the same as cornmeal, of course, but the color is about the same and it might have an effect on the color of the bottom of the crust that is similar to what cornmeal might do.

Peter

Peter,

I didnít see you post because I already started making the pizza, so I just went ahead and use semolina flour to coat the dough ball and peel.  The small dough ball seemed okay to open and didnít seem nearly as wet as my dough ball did on Tuesday.  The MM# 1 DMP attempt was dressed with Lesís sauce, Grande mozzarella, fresh tomatoes and peppers that I went outside and picked for this pie.  After the bake, the rim was brushed with melted butter with garlic powder, then Red Cowís Parmesan cheese was sprinkled on the rim.

I took some pictures outside so it can be seen better how dark the dough ball was, and also how dark the crust was. 

The crust and rim were crisper on this attempt than my other attempts were.  The pie took about a little over 5 minutes to bake at a little over 500 degrees F on my pizza stone, placed on the bottom rack of my home oven. The crust wasnít as sweet as my last two attempts at market, but did have a great taste.  Overall I liked this attempted MM pie much better than my other attempts.  The rim inside was moist.

Now I wonder just how close this pie was to a real MM pie, because there was less sweetness in the crust.  It could have been from using the ADM 4000 DMP in the formula, since the ADM 4000 DMP didnít taste as sweet to me in the first place.  There was no bitterness in the crust.

I now wonder if I should just go with one of the formulas posted before and make the dough, then ball, and then freeze the dough ball for one day in my static freezer.  Then I could take it to market tomorrow, and let it defrost until Tuesday to see if there might be any more sweetness in the crust from making the dough the same day, then freezing it.  I am stumped as where to go from this experiment forward.

I know this thread is about trying to make a clone MM pizza, but I think Peterís last formula for the MM#1 with the ADM 4000 DMP created a whole new kind of pizza, that most people would enjoy.  :-D At least it looked and tasted healthy to me.  ;D

Norma
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: norma427 on October 02, 2011, 02:46:21 PM
Norma
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: norma427 on October 02, 2011, 02:47:43 PM
Norma
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: Pete-zza on October 02, 2011, 03:27:12 PM
Norma,

LOL. At least the crust wasn't bitter and you liked the pizza. Unfortunately, our members may not have access to the ADM 4000 DMP to be able to make a pizza like yours.

Of the ADM DMP products, the ADM 4000 DMP has the greatest amount of molasses solids (75%) so that might account for the darker dough and crust color. The ADM 65 DMP, which you have not yet received as a sample, has less molasses solids (65%) and is tan colored (http://www.adm.com/en-us/Products/_layouts/ProductDetails.aspx?productId=716). That product might allow you to use the same amount as the ADM 4000 DMP yet conceivably end up with a lighter color. That product also has the maltodextrin but it is not clear whether that will add much more in the way of sweetness.

Was the crust breadlike like the last one you made? And was the rim a bit on the dense side and chewy? Some of those qualities might have resulted from the relatively long bake time for such a small pizza.

I am not sure where you go next with the MM experiments. I have been waiting to see what results Biz gets to see what might be the logical next step. I suppose you could repeat your last dough but for a larger size pizza. Freezing the dough ball might be a worthwhile experiment but if you didn't detect much sweetness with your latest pizza I am not sure that the defrosted dough will do much better.

Peter
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: Biz Markie on October 02, 2011, 04:54:03 PM
Interesting results, Norma.  Looks tasty - especially with all those veggies!!

I had a couple questions if anyone has time to respond before I go to prepare my pie tonight:

1)  Temper time - there's been some discussion here about tempering, namely overtempering, as we suspect might have happened in Norma's dough that became extremely extensible.  This made me realize that I don't really know how to determine temper time.  Does anyone have any suggestions?  Due to my schedule on Sunday nights, I normally don't have too much of a choice - I have to pull it out of the fridge about 2 hours (if I use the screen) or even 3-3.5 hours ahead if I use the stone (to allow it to heat).
Ambient temps in my antebellum house can vary wildly.  We've had a cold snap down here, so the ambient today is 69.  In my previous attempts it was around 76 or so.

2) "superheating" my stone? - I read here http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,440.msg3827.html#msg3827 about tricking an electric oven to keep the baking element on so that the stone would get even hotter than the oven setting due to the constant direct heat.  
I used this method recently with some hearth breads and I was very pleased.  
Would this be beneficial to an MM pie?  I usually think "hotter is better" but then I pause a bit because we've seen sub-500 degree bake temps in some MM stores.  Thoughts?

On a separate topic - and this is really just craziness - I have been daydreaming about possible other sweeteners that MM may be using.  One train of thought I've had revolves around the molasses itself.
Being a chain started in the South, it has occurred to me that many, many Southerners (including myself until very recently) actually use the term "molasses" incorrectly.  When they say Molasses, they're actually referring to Sorghum Syrup.  I grew up calling Sorghum Syrup "molasses" and so do most Southerners.  Sorghum and Molasses are not at all the same - I believe they're not even made from the same plant.  Sorghum is usually much lighter in color and sweeter - both characteristics that I think need to be increased in the MM doughs we've been trying, perhaps.  At the same time, it seems a little unlikely that anyone uses Sorghum in a commercial application.  Just throwing it out there for some fun discussion  ;D  

Hope to hear from y'all soon.   I will report back later regarding tonight's results.
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: Pete-zza on October 02, 2011, 05:24:09 PM
Biz,

On the matter of the temper time, I usually go with the season. For example, in the summer when my kitchen is warm, the temper time might be a little as an hour. In the winter when my kitchen is on the cool or cold side, it might be 2 or more hours. On average, I would say about an hour and a half. I will often check the temperature of the dough and if it is around 70 degrees F, that will usually work out well for me.

I don't think that I would mess with the oven itself at this point. If we manage to get a decent MM clone and it looks like there is an oven problem, then you might consider a modification of the use of your oven.

I actually did think about sorghum. However, I did not know that sorghum is called molasses in the South. Maybe I can do a little research on whether sorghum would make a good sweetener.

Peter
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: Biz Markie on October 02, 2011, 06:01:52 PM
Thanks, Peter!

RE: Sorghum....it's pretty funny - in fact, a lot of people down here use the term "Sorghum Molasses" which is a complete and utter oxymoron!!
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: norma427 on October 02, 2011, 07:03:01 PM
Norma,

LOL. At least the crust wasn't bitter and you liked the pizza. Unfortunately, our members may not have access to the ADM 4000 DMP to be able to make a pizza like yours.

Of the ADM DMP products, the ADM 4000 DMP has the greatest amount of molasses solids (75%) so that might account for the darker dough and crust color. The ADM 65 DMP, which you have not yet received as a sample, has less molasses solids (65%) and is tan colored (http://www.adm.com/en-us/Products/_layouts/ProductDetails.aspx?productId=716). That product might allow you to use the same amount as the ADM 4000 DMP yet conceivably end up with a lighter color. That product also has the maltodextrin but it is not clear whether that will add much more in the way of sweetness.

Was the crust breadlike like the last one you made? And was the rim a bit on the dense side and chewy? Some of those qualities might have resulted from the relatively long bake time for such a small pizza.

I am not sure where you go next with the MM experiments. I have been waiting to see what results Biz gets to see what might be the logical next step. I suppose you could repeat your last dough but for a larger size pizza. Freezing the dough ball might be a worthwhile experiment but if you didn't detect much sweetness with your latest pizza I am not sure that the defrosted dough will do much better.

Peter

Peter,

I still havenít been able to request the sample of ADM 65 DMP. I donít know what it up with that.  I will try to request a sample again tonight. I might have to call ADM again and see why my sample requests arenít being accepted.  I know other members probably wonít have access to the ADM 4000 DMP, to be able to make a pizza like the one I did this afternoon.

The crust looked breadlike, but was very tender and moist.  I donít know how that happened either.  The dough did feel much drier, but there was no way I could have tossed the small dough skin.  The crumb wasnít chewy.  

I didnít really mean I wanted to do an experiment on the dough I made today.  What I meant is I wanted to do an experiment on the MA#2 dough formula you set-forth to see if some how my excessive extensibility issues were from how long I let the dough ball sit out last Tuesday. I also wanted to know if you thought if using the MA# formula and it is mixed tonight, then froze the dough ball until tomorrow  or until Tuesday morning and then used on Tuesday, if somehow that would show if the sugar level sweetness is increased, from a short time dough frozen and then unfrozen. I guess I explained it right, but if I didnít let me know. Do you think that would be a good experiment or not?

I will be anxious to hear about Bizís new experiment.  

Norma
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: Pete-zza on October 02, 2011, 07:07:06 PM
Norma,

The experiment you described based on MM#2 merits trying.

Peter
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: norma427 on October 02, 2011, 07:13:12 PM
Interesting results, Norma.  Looks tasty - especially with all those veggies!!

I had a couple questions if anyone has time to respond before I go to prepare my pie tonight:

1)  Temper time - there's been some discussion here about tempering, namely overtempering, as we suspect might have happened in Norma's dough that became extremely extensible.  This made me realize that I don't really know how to determine temper time.  Does anyone have any suggestions?  Due to my schedule on Sunday nights, I normally don't have too much of a choice - I have to pull it out of the fridge about 2 hours (if I use the screen) or even 3-3.5 hours ahead if I use the stone (to allow it to heat).
Ambient temps in my antebellum house can vary wildly.  We've had a cold snap down here, so the ambient today is 69.  In my previous attempts it was around 76 or so.

2) "superheating" my stone? - I read here http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,440.msg3827.html#msg3827 about tricking an electric oven to keep the baking element on so that the stone would get even hotter than the oven setting due to the constant direct heat.  
I used this method recently with some hearth breads and I was very pleased.  
Would this be beneficial to an MM pie?  I usually think "hotter is better" but then I pause a bit because we've seen sub-500 degree bake temps in some MM stores.  Thoughts?

On a separate topic - and this is really just craziness - I have been daydreaming about possible other sweeteners that MM may be using.  One train of thought I've had revolves around the molasses itself.
Being a chain started in the South, it has occurred to me that many, many Southerners (including myself until very recently) actually use the term "molasses" incorrectly.  When they say Molasses, they're actually referring to Sorghum Syrup.  I grew up calling Sorghum Syrup "molasses" and so do most Southerners.  Sorghum and Molasses are not at all the same - I believe they're not even made from the same plant.  Sorghum is usually much lighter in color and sweeter - both characteristics that I think need to be increased in the MM doughs we've been trying, perhaps.  At the same time, it seems a little unlikely that anyone uses Sorghum in a commercial application.  Just throwing it out there for some fun discussion  ;D  

Hope to hear from y'all soon.   I will report back later regarding tonight's results.

Biz,

Thanks for saying my results were interesting especially with the veggies.

I also have the problem of over tempering and not knowing when to use these doughs in this thread.  I think my problem was from letting my dough ball sit out at higher temperatures for too long, but I am not sure.  Our temperatures in our area are really getting cooler now too.  I didnít even know when to use my emergency dough today, but somehow that did work out okay. 

Best of luck with your MM attempt tonight!  :) Your thoughts on Sorghum are very interesting.  I heard of Sorghum before, but I thought it was just another name for molasses.  You gave me another thing to think about too.  This thread has been crazy so far, and I have learned a lot from you and Peter.

Norma
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: norma427 on October 02, 2011, 07:18:52 PM
Norma,

The experiment you described based on MM#2 merits trying.

Peter

Peter,

Just one more question.  Since it is so late today, do you think I should freeze the dough ball until later tomorrow, (about the same time tomorrow night), then put the dough in the fridge and make it later in the day Tuesday, or just freeze tonight and let it thaw out starting tomorrow when I go to market.  I know my timeframe is off now.

Norma
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: Pete-zza on October 02, 2011, 07:38:18 PM
Just one more question.  Since it is so late today, do you think I should freeze the dough ball until later tomorrow, (about the same time tomorrow night), then put the dough in the fridge and make it later in the day Tuesday, or just freeze tonight and let it thaw out starting tomorrow when I go to market.  I know my timeframe is off now.

Norma,

I think I would go with the latter.

Peter
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: norma427 on October 02, 2011, 07:54:24 PM
Norma,

I think I would go with the latter.

Peter

Thanks for your thoughts on what to do.

Norma
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: norma427 on October 03, 2011, 07:52:51 AM
I did a limited search on sorghum for Mellow Mushroom since Biz mentioned what sorghum is.  About the only thing I found was this article that mentioned sorghum malt beers, in an article about Gluten-Free pizza at Mellow Mushroom.  http://eatjax.com/?p=4672
I know sorghum probably isnít used in MM doughs, but malted sorghum can be used in dough.  I also wonder about dried barley malt syrup, because it tastes a bit like molasses, and its not as sweet as sugar or honey.  It is used mostly to make beer, but itís also used to make breads and other baked goods.  This is a link to syrups and their descriptions.  http://www.foodsubs.com/Syrups.html  At least dry malt syrup or malted sorghum would have been available when MM started their operations in 1974.

This is what my MM #2  dough looked like last evening before it was frozen.  I copied a few pictures from MM Facebook in different locations, if anyone wants some inspiration to try one of the formulas set-forth so far.  I think I am going to print out a few different pictures to go with my experiment for tomorrow.

Norma
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: norma427 on October 03, 2011, 07:56:30 AM
Norma
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: norma427 on October 03, 2011, 08:04:10 AM
A Mellow Mushroom Dough used to make something else.  :-D

Norma
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: Biz Markie on October 03, 2011, 09:43:11 AM
Here are my results from the modified MM#2 attempt last night.

To recap, here is the formula I used, with the Germ shown as a separate ingredient:
High Gluten Flour = 100%
Wheat Germ = 2.0%
Spring Water = 54.0%
IDY = 0.37%
Salt = 2.0%
Soybean Oil = 3.0%
Liquid Molasses = 5.0%
TOTAL = 166.37%

1) Temper - the dough was tempered at about 69 degrees for 1.5 hours.  I left it in the container this time.  Sometimes I'll remove it from the container completely and cover with plastic wrap, but not this time. The dough didn't seem to have risen as much before the temper as perhaps other doughs, and after the temper it didn't seem to have grown much.  I didn't measure the temp of the dough, but it was cool-ish to the touch.

2) Skin prep - The dough I think was close to the perfect amount of extensibility.  It was not as loose or gassy as previous doughs.  After dusting with cornmeal, I formed a rim as I did in my last attempt and stretched it out to about 8-10'' on the counter using my hands.  It was fairly cooperative.  I then picked it up and slapped it a couple times, then twirled it a bit, then moved on to a few full tosses.  The tosses weren't proving to be super useful, so I then stretched it over my fists for a bit.  This dough was probably the most tolerant dough I've handled. ..I had no fears about it tearing or anything.  It was really fun to work with.  I don't know how much was due to the cooler temperature of the dough versus the lower hydration.  Some of both, I suppose.

3) Baking - I had been able to preheat my stone on the lowest rack position for about 1.5 hours this time.  No "superheating" tricks.  I moved the stone to the second-highest rack position in order to get a better convergence of crust and topping doneness.  I think this was a good move.  I baked it for 8 minutes.  The oven spring was excellent this time (I was afraid a bit because the rim I formed on the skin didn't seem particularly big).  It probably could have been pulled at 7 minutes, but I would not call the pie overbaked.  I brushed with melted Earth Balance spread plus a little garlic powder.  No Parm.

4) Observations - The rim puffed-up quite nicely and the crumb structure was good.  Fairly open and bubbly but nothing too crazy.  I'm having a hard time judging the crumb structure and texture to the real MM because those qualities don't stick in one's mind as much as flavor or aroma.

5) Taste - The good news is that I think the reduced Germ was a good move - I did not taste the pronounced savory/nutty flavor as I did last week.  The bad news is that the crust was not noticeably sweet.  Honestly it was a pretty blah-tasting crust.  It performed great, but the taste was not MM-like.  I could taste a hint of the molasses in the crunchier parts of the outer crust, but that was about it.  I'm thinking at this point that my tastebuds were simply not calibrated when I said my first MM attempt was sweet, because this formula was almost identical and I did not detect sweetness anywhere near the degree of the real MM.  

I think at this point if you increased the Molasses, it would change the color too much to the point of not resembling an MM dough at all.  Therefore, I think they must be using some additional sweetener or a different sweetener altogether.  My gut is probably leaning towards honey (based partially on some flatbread I made recently from BBA that included honey).  The Southerner in me wants to think it's sorghum, but not sure.  I may try that one day just for kicks, because I love sorghum (and molasses).
I noticed Norma mentioned barley malt.  I have both diastatic barley malt powder and a jar of barley malt syrup.  I also thought about the latter for use in an MM dough.  It would, I think, give the dough a more golden color which I tend to associate with MM.  I think you could use more of it without making the dough too brown.  Also, Barley Malt Syrup is considered a "healthy" sweetener by vegans and such because it is more of a "whole food" and less refined.  However, all of this speculation makes you wonder why so many sources talk about "molasses" in the dough. 

I may post some pics from last night, but they're nothing really new.
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: Pete-zza on October 03, 2011, 12:19:20 PM
Biz,

Thank you for your nice report. I was thinking about the entire MM matter quite a bit yesterday (more on this below) so I was anxiously awaiting your report. However, to be honest, based mainly on Normaís recent MM experiments, I wasnít really expecting you to report that you had solved the sweetness problem. But because you had reported earlier that you had made a sweet MM crust, which you have now recanted, I wanted to await your results before commenting further. Also, I would like to see what results Norma gets when she makes a pizza out of the frozen dough ball she made specifically to see if using the dough ball sooner retains more of the sweetness of the molasses. Like you and Norma, I am increasingly having doubts about the effectiveness of molasses alone to provide detectible levels of sweetness in a pizza crust. Maybe MM is using a special form or type of molasses that has a high sweetness factor that we cannot replicate with retail level products. In this vein, I thought that perhaps MM was using a molasses product with maltodextrin but after researching that possibility, I discovered that maltodextrin, which is technically a carbohydrate and not a sugar, has a low sweetness factor. So, it is unlikely to provide a sweetness boost.

Yesterday, in parallel with Normaís efforts, I conducted a simple test to see how much molasses a dough can take while not becoming too dark. I donít have any high-gluten flour on hand so I decided to take some King Arthur bread flour (KABF) and to increase its protein content to 14.2% by using the Hodgson Mill brand of vital wheat gluten (I used the Mixed Mass Percentage Calculator at http://foodsim.toastguard.com/ to do this). I then replaced 3% of that blend with the Bobís Red Mill brand of wheat germ. Before adding the wheat germ to the KABF, I toasted it and then ground it into a flour-like powder. Both the vital wheat gluten and the toasted wheat germ added some color to the KABF. But it was not pronounced.

For the molasses, I used the Brer Rabbit brand of liquid molasses. It was the Full Flavor version, the only version that I could find the other day in my local supermarket. I decided to use 5% for my simple color test. I used an amount of water to yield a nominal hydration of 55%. That made the ďadjustedĒ hydration 56.1% (after accounting for the water content of the molasses) and the ďeffectiveĒ hydration after accounting for the soybean oil, which was at 2%, was 58.1%. That value seemed to me to be an idiot-proof value that would yield a dough that just about anyone could handle and the dough would be nicely extensible but highly unlikely to stick to anything when opened up to make a skin. Because the amount of dough was on the small side, at 12 ounces, I used my 14-cup capacity Cuisinart food processor with the metal blade to prepare the dough. That worked out very well. The finished dough ball was a bit tacky but had a nice smooth feel. But, most importantly, the color of the dough ball was almost exactly the color of the brown coffee filter that I have been using as a benchmark for the color of MMís dough. So, for my particular set of ingredients, 5% liquid molasses seems to be a good value or at least a good starting point if we are ever able to get a real MM dough ball to compare the colors of the two doughs.

Rather than throw the dough ball away, I decided to freeze it for a few days, defrost it for about a day, and then bake it to see if there is any significant contribution to sweetness. By that time, Norma will have perhaps answered that question with her own frozen dough ball.

I also did some research on sorghum, or ďsorghum molassesĒ. I did not do an exhaustive search because I tend not to think that MM is using sorghum. I found some sources of sorghum syrup, including one in Georgia, but the sources I found were small mom-and-pop suppliers. I did not find a commercial supplier, which is the kind of supplier someone like MM would want and need to feed a growing franchise business that is moving across the country.

To this point, Norma and I have collectively spoken to or had other exchanges with three different flour millers (Pendleton, Montana Milling and General Mills), one wheat germ expert (Garuda International) and one or two ADM molasses specialists. Yet, surprisingly, these sources seemed to be oblivious to what MM is doing with its dough. If I had to guess, I would say that MM is most likely making its own flour blend using an unbleached, unbromated high-gluten flour, a defatted finely ground wheat germ with added Vitamin E, and that it is using a modest amount of molasses that is just enough to add color (but not too much) and some flavor and sweetness. At this juncture, it is not clear whether the molasses is a liquid molasses or a dry molasses powder, but I would lean more to the dry molasses powder because of convenience of use, handling and storage. If that is a correct guess, and if MM is using another sweetener, that added sweetener could include honey or barley malt, most likely also in a dry form. Honey comes in many different colors as does the barley malt but they both can be used with molasses. There are other possible sweeteners but they would have to be unrefined. MM has lived with the molasses story for so long and is part of their dough's DNA and accepted by everyone as a unique and distinguishing feature that there would be little point in changing that story at this time.

Peter
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: norma427 on October 03, 2011, 12:21:21 PM
Here are my results from the modified MM#2 attempt last night.

To recap, here is the formula I used, with the Germ shown as a separate ingredient:
High Gluten Flour = 100%
Wheat Germ = 2.0%
Spring Water = 54.0%
IDY = 0.37%
Salt = 2.0%
Soybean Oil = 3.0%
Liquid Molasses = 5.0%
TOTAL = 166.37%

1) Temper - the dough was tempered at about 69 degrees for 1.5 hours.  I left it in the container this time.  Sometimes I'll remove it from the container completely and cover with plastic wrap, but not this time. The dough didn't seem to have risen as much before the temper as perhaps other doughs, and after the temper it didn't seem to have grown much.  I didn't measure the temp of the dough, but it was cool-ish to the touch.

2) Skin prep - The dough I think was close to the perfect amount of extensibility.  It was not as loose or gassy as previous doughs.  After dusting with cornmeal, I formed a rim as I did in my last attempt and stretched it out to about 8-10'' on the counter using my hands.  It was fairly cooperative.  I then picked it up and slapped it a couple times, then twirled it a bit, then moved on to a few full tosses.  The tosses weren't proving to be super useful, so I then stretched it over my fists for a bit.  This dough was probably the most tolerant dough I've handled. ..I had no fears about it tearing or anything.  It was really fun to work with.  I don't know how much was due to the cooler temperature of the dough versus the lower hydration.  Some of both, I suppose.

3) Baking - I had been able to preheat my stone on the lowest rack position for about 1.5 hours this time.  No "superheating" tricks.  I moved the stone to the second-highest rack position in order to get a better convergence of crust and topping doneness.  I think this was a good move.  I baked it for 8 minutes.  The oven spring was excellent this time (I was afraid a bit because the rim I formed on the skin didn't seem particularly big).  It probably could have been pulled at 7 minutes, but I would not call the pie overbaked.  I brushed with melted Earth Balance spread plus a little garlic powder.  No Parm.

4) Observations - The rim puffed-up quite nicely and the crumb structure was good.  Fairly open and bubbly but nothing too crazy.  I'm having a hard time judging the crumb structure and texture to the real MM because those qualities don't stick in one's mind as much as flavor or aroma.

5) Taste - The good news is that I think the reduced Germ was a good move - I did not taste the pronounced savory/nutty flavor as I did last week.  The bad news is that the crust was not noticeably sweet.  Honestly it was a pretty blah-tasting crust.  It performed great, but the taste was not MM-like.  I could taste a hint of the molasses in the crunchier parts of the outer crust, but that was about it.  I'm thinking at this point that my tastebuds were simply not calibrated when I said my first MM attempt was sweet, because this formula was almost identical and I did not detect sweetness anywhere near the degree of the real MM.  

I think at this point if you increased the Molasses, it would change the color too much to the point of not resembling an MM dough at all.  Therefore, I think they must be using some additional sweetener or a different sweetener altogether.  My gut is probably leaning towards honey (based partially on some flatbread I made recently from BBA that included honey).  The Southerner in me wants to think it's sorghum, but not sure.  I may try that one day just for kicks, because I love sorghum (and molasses).
I noticed Norma mentioned barley malt.  I have both diastatic barley malt powder and a jar of barley malt syrup.  I also thought about the latter for use in an MM dough.  It would, I think, give the dough a more golden color which I tend to associate with MM.  I think you could use more of it without making the dough too brown.  Also, Barley Malt Syrup is considered a "healthy" sweetener by vegans and such because it is more of a "whole food" and less refined.  However, all of this speculation makes you wonder why so many sources talk about "molasses" in the dough. 

I may post some pics from last night, but they're nothing really new.

Biz,

Sounds like your MM dough went extremely well, and it could be opened well.  :) Your formula is almost like the one I am trying for tomorrow, except for the wheat germ amount.  I still also wonder about how to get the sweetness level right, even though I donít know what it supposed to be. Great to hear your rim puffed-up nicely.  I would like to see your photos if you are able to post them. I think based on your results I wonít let my dough temper too long.

BTW, if anyone is interested I finally was able to request some ADM 65 Spray-Dried Molasses, but had to find another place to send my request for a sample, because the other place at http://www.adm.com/en-us/Products/_layouts/ProductDetails.aspx?productId=716  still wouldnít let me request the ADM 65 DMP. 
This is where I filled out the form for the sample.  http://www.adm.com/en-US/Milling/drysweeteners/Pages/Molasses.aspx after I clicked on contacts under the dry sweeteners on the right side.  At least I received a confirmation email right after I filled out the form and typed the characters in, so I will wait and see if I get the sample.

Norma
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: Biz Markie on October 03, 2011, 01:34:17 PM
Thanks Peter and Norma!

Yeah, I hate having to recant an earlier statement, but having tasted real MM more recently, I think the 5% range molasses is not enough to get the level of sweetness I tasted at the restaurant.

So for my part at this point, I think we have the color close.  If you recall on my previous attempt I had some leftover MM crust and compared the color - it was basically identical.  Having an MM dough ball would be preferable, but based on what I saw in the restaurant I think our dough color is pretty close too.  This is much harder to affirm, though, since visual memory isn't all that reliable.

At any rate, again I think we have the color pretty well, it's just the sweetness that is lacking.  Increasing the molasses would push the needle on the color too far, so it seems there's got to be another sweetener (or I suppose a difference in dough prep that would retain more of the molasses's sweetness).
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: Pete-zza on October 03, 2011, 02:04:32 PM
Biz,

Based on what we have learned to date, and ignoring the matter of dough color, and pending Norma's results using a defrosted dough ball, I would venture to say that if you use more molasses, say 7-8%, you would still perhaps not achieve the degree of sweetness we both detected with a real MM crust. You would get more molasses flavor, and your end pizza might still be a terrific one, but the crust might not be as sweet as an MM crust. But, before we become too aggressive on this point, let's wait for Norma's results to be on the safe side. Remember, the owner/manager of one of the MM units said that there was just a "touch" of molasses and a "hint" of sweetness. That was for a dough that takes two days to be ready to be use. Maybe he has experienced the same chemistry as you and Norma have with your MM clones. Usually, high levels of sugar (sucrose) in a dough do not disappear quickly but maybe the case is different using molasses.

Peter
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: Pete-zza on October 03, 2011, 04:33:29 PM
After my last post, I wondered how a fixed weight of table sugar (sucrose) and a fixed weight of molasses would break down into the different forms of sugars. As it turns out, sucrose (granulated table sugar) is 100% sucrose (see http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/sweets/5592/2). By contrast, liquid molasses contains three different sugarsósucrose, glucose and fructose. The glucose and fructose are reducing sugars so they are immediately available to yeast in a dough as food. The sucrose, which is a complex sugar (that is, it is a disaccharide and not a reducing sugar), has to be hydrolyzed (by enzymatic action) to the reducing sugars glucose and fructose before they can be used by the yeast as food. These actions are all described in detail at the theartisan.net website at http://www.theartisan.net/The_Artisan_Yeast_Treatise_Section_One.htm.

From what I learned at the nutritiondata.self.com website at http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/sweets/5573/2, molasses is about 55.5% sugars (sucrose, glucose and fructose). The rest is water, ash (which gives the molasses it's color) and small amounts of other elements. I was not able to quickly find the percents of the three sugars in molasses but I did read that there is more sucrose than the two other sugars and I found one old report that broke down molasses into about 32% sucrose, 14% glucose and 16% fructose.

Applying the above numbers to a 10-gram sample of ordinary table sugar (sucrose) and to a 10-gram sample of molasses, and assuming my numbers and calculations are correct, the full 10 grams of table sugar is 10 grams sucrose, and for the 10-gram molasses sample it would be 1.78 grams sucrose, 0.77 grams glucose and 0.89 grams fructose (for a total of 5.50 grams). We already know that molasses is less sweet than sucrose (member November also tells us this at Reply 8 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,4159.msg34741/topicseen.html#msg34741), but the above numbers would seem to suggest that it would take a lot more molasses to equal sucrose as a sweetener. Now, if one were to flash freeze a dough ball with molasses right after the dough ball has been made so that there is no fermentation, and then defrosts the dough ball for the minimum recommended time (maybe a day at best), with gradual fermentation during the defrosting step (note that November tells us in the abovereferenced post that molasses ferments at a slower rate than sucrose), then maybe more of the sugars in the molasses will be available at the time of use to provide the optimum amount of sweetness that molasses can deliver in a pizza dough application. This is essentially the test that I believe Norma will be conducting.

Peter

EDIT (10/5/2011): According to member November's post at Reply 4 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,1272.msg31890.html#msg31890, molasses comprises 29% sucrose, 13% fructose, 12% glucose, 22% water, 24% other. That changes the above quantities of sucrose, glucose and fructose in a 10-gram sample of molasses to 1.6 grams sucrose, 0.66 grams glucose, and 0.72 grams fructose.
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: norma427 on October 03, 2011, 06:45:47 PM
After my last post, I wondered how a fixed weight of table sugar (sucrose) and a fixed weight of molasses would break down into the different forms of sugars. As it turns out, sucrose (granulated table sugar) is 100% sucrose (see http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/sweets/5592/2). By contrast, liquid molasses contains three different sugarsósucrose, glucose and fructose. The glucose and fructose are reducing sugars so they are immediately available to yeast in a dough as food. The sucrose, which is a complex sugar (that is, it is a disaccharide and not a reducing sugar), has to be hydrolyzed (by enzymatic action) to the reducing sugars glucose and fructose before they can be used by the yeast as food. These actions are all described in detail at the theartisan.net website at http://www.theartisan.net/The_Artisan_Yeast_Treatise_Section_One.htm.

From what I learned at the nutritiondata.self.com website at http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/sweets/5573/2, molasses is about 55.5% sugars (sucrose, glucose and fructose). The rest is water, ash, and small amounts of other elements. I was not able to quickly find the percents of the three sugars in molasses but I did read that there is more sucrose than the two other sugars and I found one old report that broke down molasses into about 32% sucrose, 14% glucose and 16% fructose.

Applying the above numbers to a 10-gram sample of ordinary table sugar (sucrose) and to a 10-gram sample of molasses, and assuming my numbers and calculations are correct, the full 10 grams of table sugar is 10 grams sucrose, and for the 10-gram molasses sample it would be 1.78 grams sucrose, 0.77 grams glucose and 0.89 grams fructose (for a total of 5.50 grams). We already know that molasses is less sweet than sucrose (member November also tells us this at Reply 8 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,4159.msg34741/topicseen.html#msg34741), but the above numbers would seem to suggest that it would take a lot more molasses to equal sucrose as a sweetener. Now, if one were to flash freeze a dough ball with molasses right after the dough ball has been made so that there is no fermentation, and then defrosts the dough ball for the minimum recommended time (maybe a day at best), with gradual fermentation during the defrosting step (note that November tells us in the abovereferenced post that molasses ferments at a slower rate than sucrose), then maybe more of the sugars in the molasses will be available at the time of use to provide the optimum amount of sweetness that molasses can deliver in a pizza dough application. This is essentially the test that I believe Norma will be conducting.

Peter


Peter,

Thanks for the all the information about how different regular table sugar is from molasses and also Novemberís posts on sugar and molasses.  It does seem from your numbers that it would take a lot more molasses to equal sucrose as a sweetener.  You did great detective work today.

I will see how my experiment works out tomorrow.  The dough ball was frozen rather quickly in my static freezer.  I know that isnít like blast freezing, but might work to see if there are more available sugars left in the dough so there might be more sweetness in the crust.  The MM# 2 dough ball is in my pizza prep fridge and that is now kept at about 37 degrees F, so the dough ball should slowly defrost. 

I took a picture of the dough ball today when I arrived at market.  This is the picture of the frozen MM# 2 dough ball.  I will try to make the pizza about 24 hrs. after the dough ball was placed in the pizza prep fridge. 

Norma
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: norma427 on October 04, 2011, 06:53:36 AM
I know this probably isnít what Mellow Mushroom uses for their dough to give it a sweet taste in the crust, but wouldnít milk sugar (lactose dry) or maybe sweet whey powder, give the crust a sweeter flavor in combination with molasses?  The only reason I am mentioning this is after looking at this article.  http://www.alabev.com/mellow_mushroom_southside.htm
and seeing the Milk Stout has milk sugar in the beer, to impart a sweeter taste. I then only did a brief search and saw patents for yeast leavened dough that did include milk sugar to impart sweetness in the crust.  http://www.faqs.org/patents/app/20100143534 One part of the patent that interested me was at [0040], or this patent with lactose. http://www.freepatentsonline.com/y2010/0143534.html
I know these patents arenít what MM is using, but wondered if there is any possibility that dry lactose could be used in a dry MM premix?  This is probably a far-out idea, but I just thought I would ask.

Norma
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: Pete-zza on October 04, 2011, 08:31:09 AM
I know this probably isnít what Mellow Mushroom uses for their dough to give it a sweet taste in the crust, but wouldnít milk sugar (lactose dry) or maybe sweet whey powder, give the crust a sweeter flavor in combination with molasses?

Norma,

That is good thinking but remember that MM's dough is vegan (see capersmama's MM post at http://www.vegfamily.com/forums/showthread.php?t=503&page=2), and lactose (natural) and whey (which is about 70% lactose) are animal-based. The MM dough has to be vegan since it wouldn't make sense to offer vegan options like Daiya cheese if the dough itself isn't vegan. Also, of all of the simple sugars, lactose has the lowest sweetness factor. As you may recall from some of your preferment Lehmann dough experiments, lactose and whey are often used to get better crust browning without adding much in the way of sweetness to the finished crust. There are far better choices to get increased sweetness, like fructose, which has 1.3 times the sweetness factor of sucrose (granulated table sugar).

Peter
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: Pete-zza on October 04, 2011, 01:31:37 PM
Norma and Biz,

For a broad overview of liquid sweeteners, you might find this article from BakingBusiness.com of interest: http://www.bakingbusiness.com/News/News%20Home/Trends/2009/12/When%20Sugar%20Flows.aspx?p=1.

For some additional information on the use of honey, molasses and sorghum syrup, see the article at http://www.bakingbusiness.com/Features/Formulating%20and%20R%20and%20D/2010/9/Ingr%20R-and-D%20Sweeteners.aspx?racategory=Sweetener%20Substitutes. Note, in particular, the discussion on molasses. See, also, the article at http://www.bakingbusiness.com/News/News%20Home/Trends/2009/12/Honeyed%20Choices.aspx?p=1. 

I also found a commercial source for sorghum syrup, Briess Malt & Ingredients Co,  whose product is briefly described at http://www.bakingbusiness.com/Resources/Innovation%20Center/2010/11/Briess%20gluten-free%20sorghum%20syrup.aspx. You will want to note that the sorghum syrup is considered as a substitute for liquid malt products. It is not mentioned as a sugar replacement. More information on the Briess sorghum syrup is provided at the Briess website at http://www.briess.com/food/Products/nswss.php.

Peter
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: norma427 on October 04, 2011, 09:51:07 PM
The experimental MM# 2 dough went well today, in terms of the dough not being extensible, and the pie being tasty.  I let the dough ball warm up for 1 Ĺ hrs, until the dough ball reached 56.8 degrees F.  It was cooler at market this week.  

Steve and I had to get ready again for this experimental pie.  The stickers were placed on the cutting board, I applied one tattoo and we got the signs ready.  Steve and I put the pictures I had printed out on the Plexiglas.  Steve brought a bottle of home brewed beer, so we would be like MM and have beer.  He brought some kind of Belgian Strong Ale called something like Dieu Du Ciel, meaning ďsample of heavenĒ, but I canít get the first name of the beer spelled right, because I am not familiar with home brewed beers.  There were two supermen on the pictures, one being Peter, and the other superman was the shroom.  They both were watching what we were doing.  

The dough ball did stretch out very nicely, and could be tossed and twirled.  I did tossed and twirl the skin, but I am still throwing vertical.  Steve did take a video of me tossing and twirling the skin, and I uploaded it, but YouTube is now performing site maintenance.  As soon as I can post the video I will.

The MM# 2 skin was dressed with my regular tomato sauce, spinach, apple sausage, salami (I had baked in the oven) and part skim milk mozzarella.  The pie was baked in 5 Ĺ minutes at about 525 degrees F.  Then melted butter with garlic powder and parmesan cheese was applied, after the pie came out of the oven.

The only part of this experiment that didnít go well, was there was no more sweetness in the crust than my last attempts.  The pizza and the beer did go well together though.

Peter, thanks for he references about the information of liquid sweeteners.  I will have to read that more in detail tomorrow.  The Briess Sorghum syrup seems interesting.  I would like to see how your experiment works out and see if you can detect enough sweetness in the dough you made.

Norma
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: norma427 on October 04, 2011, 09:55:27 PM
Norma
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: norma427 on October 04, 2011, 09:57:10 PM
Norma
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: norma427 on October 04, 2011, 09:58:55 PM
Norma
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: norma427 on October 04, 2011, 10:00:40 PM
Norma
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: norma427 on October 04, 2011, 10:02:27 PM
Norma
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: norma427 on October 05, 2011, 08:21:39 AM
On my Youtube account, I can now edit my videos, so I edited the video of tossing and twirling the MM# 2 dough that Steve took, to look somewhat like psychedelic ďhippy lookĒ to keep in the theme of MM pizza businesses.  I canít toss and twirl dough, but at least this video will show how strong the dough was.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=beBtRT_7Cew

I receive an email this morning from Aaron Weldy about the sample request of SWEETNNEAT 65 dry molasses.  I was approved for the sample request and got a tracking number.  It said in the email I will get the MSDS, technical papers, and COA.

Norma
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: Pete-zza on October 05, 2011, 09:00:30 AM
Norma,

Thank you for conducting the latest experiment with the frozen MM clone dough ball and for your clever use of production values in keeping with the MM hippy/psychedelic theme. It was especially good to see from the video you posted that the dough handled beautifully and also that you were able to open up the defrosted dough ball at a temperature of about 57 degrees F. That suggests that maybe we have a robust MM clone dough with a workable effective hydration that permits use whether the dough is warm or cool, much as we have speculated from the MM videos we have seen.

I had been hoping against hope that you would get the desired degree of sweetness in the finished crust, but in anticipation that you wouldn't I had already started to think ahead to the next step. And that is the use of the ADM SWEET'N'NEAT 65 dry molasses powder. That product is supposed to be a tan-colored molasses. If so, it may be possible to use a lot more molasses to overcome its limited inherent capacity to produce sweetness while at the same time not producing an overly dark dough, as we have experienced when using standard supermarket brands of liquid molasses. Once we see what the SWEET'N'NEAT 65 dry molasses product looks like, and you have a chance to taste it, we can attempt a modified MM clone dough formulation using that product.

Would you mind describing the characteristics of the crust from the latest experiment and whether you liked the pizza and, if not, why not?

Peter
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: norma427 on October 05, 2011, 10:02:16 AM
Norma,

Thank you for conducting the latest experiment with the frozen MM clone dough ball and for your clever use of production values in keeping with the MM hippy/psychedelic theme. It was especially good to see from the video you posted that the dough handled beautifully and also that you were able to open up the defrosted dough ball at a temperature of about 57 degrees F. That suggests that maybe we have a robust MM clone dough with a workable effective hydration that permits use whether the dough is warm or cool, much as we have speculated from the MM videos we have seen.

I had been hoping against hope that you would get the desired degree of sweetness in the finished crust, but in anticipation that you wouldn't I had already started to think ahead to the next step. And that is the use of the ADM SWEET'N'NEAT 65 dry molasses powder. That product is supposed to be a tan-colored molasses. If so, it may be possible to use a lot more molasses to overcome its limited inherent capacity to produce sweetness while at the same time not producing an overly dark dough, as we have experienced when using standard supermarket brands of liquid molasses. Once we see what the SWEET'N'NEAT 65 dry molasses product looks like, and you have a chance to taste it, we can attempt a modified MM clone dough formulation using that product.

Would you mind describing the characteristics of the crust from the latest experiment and whether you liked the pizza and, if not, why not?

Peter

Peter,

I was glad the dough handled so well yesterday, even though I canít toss or twirl the dough right.  Biz reported the same thing in his last attempt.  I do think your formula you set-forth does give a robust MM clone dough, and I think it would be okay to use when it was warmer than when I used the dough.

I was also hoping from the experiment, that the crust would get sweeter from using those methods too, but that was not meant to be, at least in my experiment. I will be interested when you make your pizza from your frozen dough ball what you perceive the sweetness level to be.  I know all of our tastes in sweetness are different, but so far Biz and I donít think the sweetness was enough.  I know I havenít ever tried a real MM pizza though.

I didnít know you had been thinking ahead to using the SWEETNNEAT 65 DMP for the next formulation attempt, if my experiment didnít work out.  What are you going to suggest for Biz to use in his next attempt?  Last evening I used the contact feature and requested a sample of the Briess sorghum syrup.  I donít know if I will be able to get a sample of their sorghum syrup.  

What do you really think MMís operations were using for sweetness in their dough, when they first opened? Do you really have any ideas about that?  I donít think many of the commercials products that are out now were available back then.

The crust characteristics were the crust was soft, on the outside of the rim.  I could poke the crust and it would spring back.  I am not sure if that is how a real MM crust is or not.  The bottom crust had a little crunch, but not too much. The bottom crust was a little crunchy when cut, but did become softer as it sat. Even when eating one slice of the experiment, it seemed to make Steve and me feel full, even though we hadnít eaten any other experiments before that.  I donít understand that either.  Steve, the taste testers, and I did like the pizza, but I am not sure if that is because it is really different, or because we really liked it.  The taste of the rim with the melted butter with garlic powder and Parmesan cheese really adds to the taste of the whole pizza  We liked the amount of sweetness in the crust, but know that must not be how a real MM crust tastes.  Steve and I am not sure if we would like a sweeter crust.  There wasnít anything about the crust we didnít like.  There really wasnít any chew in the crust and the rim was somewhat moist.

I brought home a few slices to reheat, so I will see if I can detect any more sweetness in the reheat.

Norma
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: Tampa on October 05, 2011, 12:00:39 PM
Norma, I like the looks of that pie ... but I love that video even more.  You're a gem.
Dave
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: Pete-zza on October 05, 2011, 12:51:39 PM
Norma,

I thought that it was important to conduct the experiment you conducted if only to rule out the possibility that the sweetness deteriorates with the age of the dough. But using the "process of elimination" approach is a perfectly viable problem-solving method. So, for now, it looks like we can rule out the aging of the dough as a proximate cause of the reduction in sweetness of the finished crust.

I am not sure what I will suggest to Biz next time inasmuch as we are limited to the ingredients that are available to us on the supermarket shelves. If it turns out that the SWEET'N'NEAT 65 product (which I will now call ADM 65 DMP) works out and gives the desired degree of sweetness, our members won't be able to benefit because of lack of access to that product. However, that might open up other solutions, like using both molasses and honey as I mentioned to you earlier when you were concerned because the ADM 4000 DMP product did not taste sweet. If push comes to shove, we can always add sugar. I have never really bought into the idea that refined sugar, especially when used in moderation, is some kind of imperfect or unhealthy or evil form of sugar as to be scrupulously avoided.

I, too, wondered what kinds of ingredients MM used way back in 1974. I cannot imagine that there haven't been many changes in the MM dough formulation over the ensuing 37 years, many of which no doubt came into being when they had enough stores to justify the investment in the commissary. MM has stuck with its "molasses" story throughout its existence and has publicly touted the molasses in its marketing and in its stores as a signature and differentiating feature of its dough and pizza crust. However, that doesn't preclude using other forms of sugar (unrefined) in the MM dough. That is where your experiment with the ADM 65 DMP might be instructive. For example, if you are able to dramatically increase the amount of ADM 65 DMP without overly darkening the dough (because of its tan color) and you still don't get the desired degree of sweetness in the finished crust, then that should tell us that either MM uses a materially sweeter molasses than we have been able to find or they are using another sweetener in the dough besides the molasses. It could even be raw cane sugar (unrefined/unprocessed), which I believe would be cheaper to use than molasses or sorghum syrup or barley malt syrup or any other form of "natural" sweetener, liquid or dry, yet would retain some of the molasses flavor and its color contribution.

BTW, yesterday I came upon the following informative thread on molasses at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,1272.msg11417.html#msg11417. Note, in particular member November's posts at Replies 4 and 6. I completely forgot about the above thread. I edited Reply 42 in this thread at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,3940.msg155447.html#msg155447 to reflect the new information.

Peter
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: Pete-zza on October 05, 2011, 01:13:39 PM
The pie was baked in 5 Ĺ minutes at about 525 degrees F.

Norma,

In my experience working with high sugar doughs, like the Papa John's clone doughs, I found that it is best not to bake the pizzas at too high a temperature and/or for too short a period of time. Otherwise, the rim of the crust can be too soft and a bit shy in the color department even though the bottom crust can be quite dark (because of the high oven temperature). When I found that the bottoms of the high-sugar crusts darkened too quickly, I would lift the pizzas up to a higher oven rack position to keep the bottom crust from burning and to get more top crust color development. This was in my home oven, of course, but with your deck oven at market you would perhaps just use a lower bake temperature and a correspondingly longer bake time. In this context, you might recall that Justin in the video at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lvixfngmz-g&feature=related says that the pizza in the video is baked at 475 degrees F for 20 minutes, in what appears to be a Montague oven. That seems like a long bake time, even for a 16" pizza with all of the toppings, so in your case you may have to experiment with the best combination of bake temperature and bake time in your Bakers Pride deck oven at market.

Peter
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: norma427 on October 05, 2011, 03:46:42 PM
Norma, I like the looks of that pie ... but I love that video even more.  You're a gem.
Dave

Dave,

Thanks for saying you loved the video!  :)  I really don't like to show how bad I am at tossing or twirling the dough, but did want to show how well the dough handled.  Since this MM pizza cloning project was about MM's operations, I knew my videos could be changed, but never tried that before.  I went with the "hippy"  look in the video.   :-D  My one taste tester was watching me try to twirl the dough, and he had to look away because he and I knew, he would have me laughing in the video.

Norma
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: norma427 on October 05, 2011, 04:29:31 PM
Peter,

I will test the ADM 65 DMP product as soon as I receive it. and see how sweet it is when water is added.  I also will take a picture of it and post what it looks like, along with the technical sheets.

I can understand if other members donít have access to the ADM 65 DMP product, they can try molasses with honey or maybe even sugar in a attempted MM pizza.  I donít think refined sugar is that bad for anyone either, if used in small amounts.  

I also wondered if there is a different sweeter molasses than we were able to find for MMís years ago.  Whatever they used all those years ago, they are ďsticking to their storyĒ of molasses being the one ingredients that makes their pizza unique.  I never even gave raw sugar a thought either.

I never saw those posts by November either, but then I never tried any molasses in any of my doughs, and didnĎt do a forum search on molasses.  I only wish I could have a small percentage of the brains Novembers has.  He has really given a lot of helpful information and data on this forum.

I do recall what Justin said in the video about the bake time and temperature.  I might have to do a little experimenting with my deck oven and maybe lower the temperature for one or more bakes and see what happens.  Also, since a lot of MMís pizza businesses are using Montague ovenís, (which are probably brick lined,) they probably wonít bake like my deck oven without the added top stone or added bricks.

Norma
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: norma427 on October 05, 2011, 05:19:44 PM
Going from Novemberís one post at Reply 6 http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,1272.msg31906.html#msg31906
To the website at http://www.ams.usda.gov/AMSv1.0/standards

There are a lot of articles about molasses, if you put molasses in the search box at http://www.ams.usda.gov/AMSv1.0/standards

I guess if someone would search though all this articles about molasses they could get a pretty good idea about all the kinds of molasses that were available back when MMís started their pizza business.  Just for one article I looked at  effective November 16, 1959, there seems to be many different characteristics of molasses.  http://www.ams.usda.gov/AMSv1.0/getfile?dDocName=STELDEV3011896  That was only the first article when I did the search on molasses. If a search on grading, certification and verification is searched there is more information. There is even an advance search feature. Who would have ever thought that there was so much information about molasses, except November.

Norma
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: Pete-zza on October 05, 2011, 05:21:51 PM
Norma,

When I was researching molasses, I read that the lighter molasses has the most sugar. I believe that the lighter molasses remains after the first boiling, and that the supermarket brands that we have been using remain after the second boiling. Blackstrap molasses is what remains after the third boiling. Maybe we could use more of the supermarket brands of liquid molasses but then the color would be darker and the flavor of molasses would be more intense. Hopefully the ADM 65 DMP will be what we are looking for.

I also saw that from patents that drying of molasses was quite common in the 1970s and even sooner. Typically starches were used as part of the drying process. To this day, starches are used. Many, if not most, of ADM's dry molasses products use starch. In ADM's case, it is wheat starch.

Peter
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: norma427 on October 05, 2011, 06:44:17 PM
Norma,

When I was researching molasses, I read that the lighter molasses has the most sugar. I believe that the lighter molasses remains after the first boiling, and that the supermarket brands that we have been using remain after the second boiling. Blackstrap molasses is what remains after the third boiling. Maybe we could use more of the supermarket brands of liquid molasses but then the color would be darker and the flavor of molasses would be more intense. Hopefully the ADM 65 DMP will be what we are looking for.

I also saw that from patents that drying of molasses was quite common in the 1970s and even sooner. Typically starches were used as part of the drying process. To this day, starches are used. Many, if not most, of ADM's dry molasses products use starch. In ADM's case, it is wheat starch.

Peter

Peter,

I thought that the lighter molasses had the most sugar, just by tasting them different times for recipes.  I also read in my limited research that the lighter molasses remains after the first boiling.  I understand that trying to use more supermarket molasses might make the crust color too dark, just as Biz and you posted before. 

I didnít know that you searched patents for when they first started drying molasses.  I wasnít aware about starches used in the drying process and didnít know ADM uses wheat starch in the drying process.  You researches are very informative.

Norma
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: Pete-zza on October 06, 2011, 03:35:30 PM
Norma and Biz,

I decided yesterday to defrost the MM test dough ball and to make a pizza out of it. I defrosted the dough ball in the refrigerator for about 24 hours. From that point forward, I used the dough ball to have fun. I started playing around with the dough ball while it was quite cold, in order to see how it would handle while on the cool side (around 55 degrees F). I tried to form a highly distinct rim as shown in some of the MM videos, and then stretched the skin to form the desired size (10") and I tossed and spun the skin with reckless abandon. The dough was very robust, even with the KABF, and it didn't stick to anything. It is essentially idiot-proof. In retrospect, I think it would have been wise to let the dough warm up some more before using since the cool dough ball was quite elastic with memory (springback). But even with the KABF, the gluten of the dough was highly developed and resistant to tearing or ripping. I know that there are some people who frown on commissary-produced frozen dough balls, but I can now see the logic and merit of that business model for a company with many units and using inexperienced and transient young people to make the pizzas.

After dressing the pizza (a basic pepperoni pizza), I baked it on a pizza stone that had been placed on the lowest oven rack position of my electric oven and preheated for about an hour at around 525 degrees F. After about five minutes, I checked the bottom crust and saw that it was quite dark, but not burnt by any means, so I moved the pizza to the upper rack position in my oven for about an additional two minutes. That gave more top crust browning. Overall, the pizza almost perfectly captured the look and feel of the MM pizza I had at the MM store in Florida, and as I have seen from some of the official MM photos. The rim was bulbous and it was chewy. In general, the texture of the crumb was like that of the MM pizza I had in Florida.

There were two areas where the pizza fell short, however. First, the crust was not particularly sweet. However, I expected that given Norma's recent results with her frozen MM clone dough ball. Second, the texture of the crumb was not quite there. It was chewy but still a bit on the soft side. I think that may have been because I was using KABF and even with the vital wheat gluten it was not enough to give the denser crumb that I was looking for. I think also that I may have to come up with a better way of baking the pizza in order to get the desired crust and crumb texture. It might be using two pizza stones or even a pizza screen and a different oven rack position and different bake temperatures and times. Even when you think you have the right dough formulation, there is always the task and challege of adapting it to a home oven.

Norma, my focus now is back to your next experiment once you get the ADM 65 DMP. Of course, I will do everything I can to help Biz inasmuch as he has been a valuable contributor despite his denials that he is not up on the technical aspects of the project. He is also highly motivated. And he hasn't abandoned us.

As for me at this point, I bought some Kretschmer's toasted wheat germ with added Vitamin E recently and plan to try using that along with the Brer Rabbit molasses, plus a few other things, to see if I can come closer to an authentic MM crust with those ingredients. I will engage in that effort on the side. As is my practice, I do not plan to detail my results as I work my way through the process. However, there is a lot of information in this thread to let those who are on the sidelines watching the action to do their own experiments and to report back on their results.

Peter
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: norma427 on October 06, 2011, 04:25:06 PM
Peter,

Lol, I had to laugh when you said you used the defrosted MM dough ball for fun, and tossed and spun the skin without hesitation or other cautionary measures.  It is good you got the same results that Biz and I did in being the dough was so robust.  I can understand the formula you set-forth does make an idiot-proof dough.  

I guess I had about the same results as you did in the crust characteristics, being the rim was too soft.  I even used a deck oven and think I must have had the same results as you did.

Will be interested in what steps you might take to get a sweeter taste in the crust.  

This is my report.

I received the sample of ADM 65 DMP this afternoon.  To me it doesnít look much lighter than the ADM 4000 DMP and sure isnít much sweeter than the ADM 4000 DMP either, if any.  I took a picture of both of the products side by side, so there can been seen what the colors are of both of the products.  I also mixed 1 gram of ADM 65 DMP with 5 grams of water again and then took the picture outside.  To me the ADM 65 DMP doesnít look much lighter than the ADM 4000 DMP.

I scanned two of the technical data sheets.  If the others are needed, I can scan them.

I now am wondering if the ADM 65 DMP is the right product to try in an MM dough attempt.  See what you think Peter.  

Norma
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: norma427 on October 06, 2011, 04:27:22 PM
Norma
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: norma427 on October 06, 2011, 04:28:38 PM
Norma
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: Pete-zza on October 06, 2011, 04:59:18 PM
Norma,

The original description of the ADM 65 DMP product says that it is tan-colored whereas the material you just posted says that the product imparts a dark color. Sometimes a material in bulk can look much darker than a thin layer of the same material. Would you mind putting a thin layers of the two ADM DMP products on a sheet of white paper and tell us if the ADM 65 DMP product is lighter in color than the ADM 4000 DMP product?

Peter
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: Biz Markie on October 06, 2011, 06:13:55 PM
Hey y'all!

Sorry I've been absent for a few days. . I was on the road, but as luck would have it, I was able to stop by a MM store in Farragut TN (I believe that'd be the mailing address).

I took some pics of the crust of my 10'' Mega Veggie, made without cheese or butter or parm on the crust.  I think you will see that the color is about the same as Norma's pics, and to my own eyes it's basically identical to what I've been producing.

But this whole little adventure has taught me one thing - taste buds are odd little things!  This MM pizza did not seem to be as sweet as the one I had in Franklin a few weeks ago.  But is that real or imagined??  Who knows! 

One possible difference is that the waiter at the Farragut store affirmed 100% that their dough arrives frozen on trucks.  When I asked in Franklin if it was made onsite or shipped in frozen, they said "a little of both."  Not sure what that means. 

But this most recent real MM pie crust actually tasted pretty similar to my last attempt if my taste bud memory is accurate. The crumb texture and structure also seemed to me to be very close to my last attempt.

Another thing I noticed was that this pie had a lot of cornmeal, and it seemed to be of a different variety than I have at home.  The MM cornmeal seemed to be more of a yellow cornmeal that was coarser.  The stuff I have is mostly white-looking and powdery.  It seemed to me that the cornmeal on the MM pie actually gave it a slightly sweet "corny" flavor (which I enjoyed).  I think I have seen other types of cornmeal at retail and may try something different.

I also tasted the kids's pizza that they ordered, which had the standard butter and parm on the rim.  First, the butter was definitely garlic in this case (at my last visit I didn't taste much garlic if any).  Secondly, it occurred to me that of course butter does have a slightly sweet taste to it.  I am not getting that flavor at home because I am using salty butter substitutes.

But the bottom line at this point is that I'm just really perplexed at the sweetness issue.  I'm not sure if it's my taste buds that can't be trusted or if  the doughs at the 2 different MM stores were truly different.

I did also scan the posts since my last post, and I saw something that made me think a bit. . ..It is true in my experience that the lighter molasses is sweeter than the darker varieties.  Blackstrap molasses, for example, has very little sweetness in my opinion. 
So one possible way to make it sweeter without changing the color is to just use more of a lighter molasses variety.

I have had daydreams of staking-out the nashville commissary to try to see if I can determine what kinds of ingredients are being used, but that might be hazardous to my health!
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: Pete-zza on October 06, 2011, 07:19:02 PM
Biz,

I can envision several possible scenarios where MM crusts at different MM stores can have different tastes, including sweetness. For example, a defrosted dough ball might be used after one day, or two days, or possibly stretched out to three days, and someone might refreeze an unused defrosted dough ball and defrost it again. Also, the facilities used to store and defrost frozen dough balls can vary from one MM unit to another.

It would be helpful to know if molasses is the only sweetener used in the MM dough or whether there is another sweetener also used in the dough besides molasses. It might be noted in this regard that the information that Norma posted on the ADM 65 DMP product mentions that that product should be used as a partial sugar substitute. If it is only molasses that is used, it most likely would have to be a first boil
molasses and a lot of it might be needed to yield enough sugar to be clearly detectible in the finished crust.

Peter


Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: norma427 on October 06, 2011, 07:32:47 PM
Norma,

The original description of the ADM 65 DMP product says that it is tan-colored whereas the material you just posted says that the product imparts a dark color. Sometimes a material in bulk can look much darker than a thin layer of the same material. Would you mind putting a thin layers of the two ADM DMP products on a sheet of white paper and tell us if the ADM 65 DMP product is lighter in color than the ADM 4000 DMP product?

Peter

Peter,

I donít mind taking any pictures.  This is a picture of the ADM 65 DMP with the ADM 4000 DMP.  As can be seen on the picture the ADM 65 DMP is only a slightly lighter brown color.  

I see on the ADM website at http://www.adm.com/en-US/Milling/drysweeteners/Pages/Molasses.aspx  it says the color should be tan, but the color looks brown to me, unless my eyes are deceiving me.  It is darker outside, so I couldnít take both samples outside in the sunlight to take the picture.

It makes me wonder if one of the ADM products like Dri-Mol 604 molasses powder or the Dri-Mol 60 dry molasses powder, which are both lighter in color and flavor, might be a better choice for an MM attempt.   I sure wouldnít know which product to try, or if either of them would be okay.  If the pdf. sheet http://www.adm.com/en-US/products/food/sweeteners/Documents/Dry%20Sweetener%20Food%20Applications%20Formula.pdf  on page 55 if looked at, Dri-Mol 604 has 55% molasses & other sweetener solids.  The Dri-Mol powder has 55% molasses and you can see what the rest of the dry molasses products have listed as ingredients.  On page 52 of the document sheets it says Golden Molasses Drop Cookies have Dri-Mol 604 molasses in the cookie mix.  I have made many different recipes of molasses cookies and all the ones I made are a darker brown in color.  I donít know what color the Dri-Mol 604 molasses would make the cookies or the MM crust.  Even the recipe for Mrs. Johnsonís Molasses Cookies used the Dri-Mol dry molasses on page 50.  The soft Molasses Drop Cookies on page 49 used the ADM 4000 DMP.  


Norma
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: norma427 on October 06, 2011, 07:53:30 PM
Hey y'all!

Sorry I've been absent for a few days. . I was on the road, but as luck would have it, I was able to stop by a MM store in Farragut TN (I believe that'd be the mailing address).

I took some pics of the crust of my 10'' Mega Veggie, made without cheese or butter or parm on the crust.  I think you will see that the color is about the same as Norma's pics, and to my own eyes it's basically identical to what I've been producing.

But this whole little adventure has taught me one thing - taste buds are odd little things!  This MM pizza did not seem to be as sweet as the one I had in Franklin a few weeks ago.  But is that real or imagined??  Who knows!  

One possible difference is that the waiter at the Farragut store affirmed 100% that their dough arrives frozen on trucks.  When I asked in Franklin if it was made onsite or shipped in frozen, they said "a little of both."  Not sure what that means.  

But this most recent real MM pie crust actually tasted pretty similar to my last attempt if my taste bud memory is accurate. The crumb texture and structure also seemed to me to be very close to my last attempt.

Another thing I noticed was that this pie had a lot of cornmeal, and it seemed to be of a different variety than I have at home.  The MM cornmeal seemed to be more of a yellow cornmeal that was coarser.  The stuff I have is mostly white-looking and powdery.  It seemed to me that the cornmeal on the MM pie actually gave it a slightly sweet "corny" flavor (which I enjoyed).  I think I have seen other types of cornmeal at retail and may try something different.

I also tasted the kids's pizza that they ordered, which had the standard butter and parm on the rim.  First, the butter was definitely garlic in this case (at my last visit I didn't taste much garlic if any).  Secondly, it occurred to me that of course butter does have a slightly sweet taste to it.  I am not getting that flavor at home because I am using salty butter substitutes.

But the bottom line at this point is that I'm just really perplexed at the sweetness issue.  I'm not sure if it's my taste buds that can't be trusted or if  the doughs at the 2 different MM stores were truly different.

I did also scan the posts since my last post, and I saw something that made me think a bit. . ..It is true in my experience that the lighter molasses is sweeter than the darker varieties.  Blackstrap molasses, for example, has very little sweetness in my opinion.  
So one possible way to make it sweeter without changing the color is to just use more of a lighter molasses variety.

I have had daydreams of staking-out the nashville commissary to try to see if I can determine what kinds of ingredients are being used, but that might be hazardous to my health!


Biz,

Lol, you posting about having daydreams of staking-out the Nashville commissary to see if you can determine what kinds of ingredients are being used.  :-D I have done something similar to that in another thread.  

Being serious, you recent report does shed more light on why different customers report different sweetness levels in the crust when they are tried at different times, or different MM pizza businesses at different locations.  Good to hear your last attempt was pretty similar to your recent real MM taste.  :) I think Peter is right on how the pies at two different MMís locations had different sweetness levels in the taste.  My attempt on Tuesday didnít have the exact sweetness that my attempt had when I left the dough cold ferment longer, and then left it sit out for longer.  I first attributed that the taste wasnít as sweet from the dough ball being frozen right after the dough was balled, but can see how different MMís locations donít always manage the dough balls the same.  I would think after the frozen dough balls are at the MMís locations the dough wouldnít be kept as cold (frozen) as when they were blast frozen.  

I am using the coarser toasted darker cornmeal in my attempts.

Thanks so much for your recent report.  It does shed more light on how different two MMís locations can be in how the pizzas taste in the sweetness levels.

I think this thread is going to drive all of us crazy.

Norma
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: Pete-zza on October 06, 2011, 08:18:12 PM
Norma,

You raise some good points about the ADM Dri-mol products. When I first found the ADM website on their sweeteners, I was first attracted to the Dri-mol products. It was only after talking with the ADM sales rep and explaining the pizza dough application that he suggested going with the two dry molasses powders that you now have. If the ADM 65 DMP doesn't do the trick, then you might want to try the Dri-mol products you referenced if you are up to it.

I also noticed that just about all of the recipes for baked goods at the ADM website that call for one of their dried molasses powders also call for another form of sugar. This begs the question as to whether dry molasses powder alone is enough.

If you'd like to proceed with the ADM 65 DMP product and need a dough formulation, let me know. I think I would be aggressive with the amount of that molasses powder, if only to see if it is possible to get sufficient sweetness with only the dry molasses powder.

Peter
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: norma427 on October 06, 2011, 08:44:48 PM
Norma,

You raise some good points about the ADM Dri-mol products. When I first found the ADM website on their sweeteners, I was first attracted to the Dri-mol products. It was only after talking with the ADM sales rep and explaining the pizza dough application that he suggested going with the two dry molasses powders that you now have. If the ADM 65 DMP doesn't do the trick, then you might want to try the Dri-mol products you referenced if you are up to it.

I also noticed that just about all of the recipes for baked goods at the ADM website that call for one of their dried molasses powders also call for another form of sugar. This begs the question as to whether dry molasses powder alone is enough.

If you'd like to proceed with the ADM 65 DMP product and need a dough formulation, let me know. I think I would be aggressive with the amount of that molasses powder, if only to see if it is possible to get sufficient sweetness with only the dry molasses powder.

Peter

Peter,

I think your instincts on being attracted to the Dri-mol products were right.  I think the ADM sales rep probably really didnít know what color you wanted the dough and how much sweetness you wanted in the crust, since he never heard of an MMís pizza business. 

I really donít think the any of the dry molasses powders will be enough, without some kind of sweetener added,  just like ADM add sweeteners to their other food products.  I tasted the ADM 65 DMP dry and with the water added.  It almost tastes exactly like the ADM 4000 DMP.  The ADM 65 DMP is only a tiny bit less bitter.  As I noted in my attempt with the ADM 4000 DMP, there was really no sweetness in that crust.  The pie was good, but I think we are looking for some kind of sweetness in the crust.

I donít know what you really want me to do, but I donít think my results will turn out anything like a MMís pizza in terms of sweetness, no matter how much of the ADM product I used in the formula.  The ADM 65 DMP is just too bitter in taste.

I can try to request samples of ADM Dri-mol products, if you want me to give those products a shot.

If you want me to, I can just try the MM #2 formula again this week, with maybe added honey or raw sugar.  I have both the raw sugar and honey at home.  If you want me to give the ADM 65 DMP a shot I will.  Let me know what you want me to try out.

Norma
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: norma427 on October 07, 2011, 08:11:30 AM
Peter,

I wanted to ask you a question about raw or unrefined sugar, and if that would fit the profile of MMís operations not using refined sugar in their dough, as they mentioned at http://mellowmushroom.com/public/old_site1/aboutus.html  Raw or unrefined sugar still has some molasses in it as I understand.

Norma
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: Pete-zza on October 07, 2011, 09:52:10 AM
I wanted to ask you a question about raw or unrefined sugar, and if that would fit the profile of MMís operations not using refined sugar in their dough, as they mentioned at http://mellowmushroom.com/public/old_site1/aboutus.html  Raw or unrefined sugar still has some molasses in it as I understand.

Norma,

That is a good question. In fact, before I mentioned raw cane sugar to you in an earlier post I did some research on the subject. As you know, raw cane sugar is made by crystallizing the initial pressing of 100% pure sugar cane and, indeed, it does contain a small amount of molasses. The impression I got is that it takes a fair amount of additional processing beyond the first pressing to arrive at what we commonly call "refined" table sugar. It also appears that raw cane sugar is sold under the name "turbinado" sugar. I have a bag of Imperial Sugar Gold'N Natural turbinado sugar and the package uses expressions like "made from natural cane" to emphasize the natural and purportedly "healthier" and more "wholesome" form of that sugar. The leading brand of turbinado sugar is Sugar in the Raw. You might also be interested in knowing that the Sugar in the Raw brand of turbinado sugar was first introduced in 1974, the year that MM was formed: http://www.jlwfoodsales.com/principal_profile.cfm?id=167. So, raw cane sugar has been around for a very long time.

I even wondered whether MM might be using only raw cane sugar in its doughs. However, even though the turbinado sugar is tan colored, I think it would take too much of that sugar to get the desired degree of coloration of MM's dough balls. Also, I think it would be too thin a reed on which to base a claim that the dough contains molasses, with the implication that it is more than just a hint of it.

Of all of the "unrefined" "natural" forms of sweeteners, I would say that raw cane sugar may be the least expensive and with more stable pricing over time (unlike honey whose pricing and supply has been wildly erratic). So, if one were to use another form of natural sugar to complement molasses in a pizza dough in a commercial commissary setting, raw cane sugar would be my first choice. All marketing hype aside, I think that one can make out a case that raw cane sugar is not a "refined" sugar. At least I think that such a position is defensible enough to support a claim that MM is not using refined sugar in the dough and would be in line with the claims and language used by the producers of raw cane sugar in their promotion of raw cane sugar.

As far as the ADM 65 DMP product is concerned, I think I would give it a test drive since you already have it. I would perhaps try a combination of that product and raw cane sugar. If you would like me to come up with an MM test dough formulation to play around with, let me know.

Peter
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: norma427 on October 07, 2011, 10:34:29 AM
Norma,

That is a good question. In fact, before I mentioned raw cane sugar to you in an earlier post I did some research on the subject. As you know, raw cane sugar is made by crystallizing the initial pressing of 100% pure sugar cane and, indeed, it does contain a small amount of molasses. The impression I got is that it takes a fair amount of additional processing beyond the first pressing to arrive at what we commonly call "refined" table sugar. It also appears that raw cane sugar is sold under the name "turbinado" sugar. I have a bag of Imperial Sugar Gold'N Natural turbinado sugar and the package uses expressions like "made from natural cane" to emphasize the natural and purportedly "healthier" and more "wholesome" form of that sugar. The leading brand of turbinado sugar is Sugar in the Raw. You might also be interested in knowing that the Sugar in the Raw brand of turbinado sugar was first introduced in 1974, the year that MM was formed: http://www.jlwfoodsales.com/principal_profile.cfm?id=167. So, raw cane sugar has been around for a very long time.

I even wondered whether MM might be using only raw cane sugar in its doughs. However, even though the turbinado sugar is tan colored, I think it would take too much of that sugar to get the desired degree of coloration of MM's dough balls. Also, I think it would be too thin a reed on which to base a claim that the dough contains molasses, with the implication that it is more than just a hint of it.

Of all of the "unrefined" "natural" forms of sweeteners, I would say that raw cane sugar may be the least expensive and with more stable pricing over time (unlike honey whose pricing and supply has been wildly erratic). So, if one were to use another form of natural sugar to complement molasses in a pizza dough in a commercial commissary setting, raw cane sugar would be my first choice. All marketing hype aside, I think that one can make out a case that raw cane sugar is not a "refined" sugar. At least I think that such a position is defensible enough to support a claim that MM is not using refined sugar in the dough and would be in line with the claims and language used by the producers of raw cane sugar in their promotion of raw cane sugar.

As far as the ADM 65 DMP product is concerned, I think I would give it a test drive since you already have it. I would perhaps try a combination of that product and raw cane sugar. If you would like me to come up with an MM test dough formulation to play around with, let me know.

Peter

Peter,

I did remember you mentioned raw sugar to me in one of your posts before.  That is why I looked at my raw sugar (brownish in color, larger in crystals, and from the Country Store, so I donít know what brand it is).  I know the raw sugar does taste very sweet in flavor.  

I didnít know that turbinado sugar is Sugar in the Raw. I didnít even know they had small packets of Sugar in the Raw. My thinking on Sugar in the Raw has been limited to Stevia in the Raw. I did know that raw sugar is supposed to be healthier and a more wholesome form of sugar, but I really am not sure of that.  It is still sugar to me.  

I could envision MMís using raw sugar in combination with molasses, because they could say it isnít refined sugar, although we really donít know if MMís is using raw sugar.

I would appreciate if you would  come up with a test formulation for the ADM 65 DMP in combination with the raw sugar, for me to give a test-drive. I sure donít have any idea of how to formulate that. Remember though, my last attempt with the ADM 4000 DMP and my crust getting too dark.  I think the ADM 65 DMP will produce a darker crust too, if too much is used.  Do you still want me to try and request the ADM Dri-mol molasses samples?

These are a few pictures I copied from Google images from the Nashville commissary, and tried to enlarge them to see if the flour brand could be view or any other things can be seen.  My editing software is only paint, so I couldnít see the brand of flour MMís uses or anything different on the pictures.  Maybe if someone has better editing software, they could be able to spot something from the pictures.

I enjoyed Bizís pictures of the real MMís crust pictures.  :)  At least I have those in my mind to try and duplicate.

Norma
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: norma427 on October 07, 2011, 10:35:09 AM
Norma
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: norma427 on October 07, 2011, 10:35:43 AM
Norma
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: Pete-zza on October 07, 2011, 11:00:21 AM
Norma,

I would hold the decision on the ADM Dri-mol products in abeyance, pending the results you get with the ADM 65 DMP product.

I also tried to magnify the photos you enlarged but could not make out the wording on the bags of flour.

I will kick around some ideas for the next MM clone dough formulation for you to test out using the ADM 65 DMP product.

I noticed that Biz made mention of an MM commissary somewhere around Nashville. I thought that MM has only one commissary, somewhere in the Atlanta area. If there were one near the last MM store Biz visited, I think they would have had fresh dough balls, not frozen ones.

Peter
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: DNA Dan on October 07, 2011, 12:49:49 PM
Not to take away from the conversation, but I find if I add Non-Diastatic Malt powder to my doughs it imparts more sweetness than it does malt flavor. This is using the KA variety.
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: norma427 on October 07, 2011, 01:00:59 PM
Norma,

I will kick around some ideas for the next MM clone dough formulation for you to test out using the ADM 65 DMP product.

I noticed that Biz made mention of an MM commissary somewhere around Nashville. I thought that MM has only one commissary, somewhere in the Atlanta area. If there were one near the last MM store Biz visited, I think they would have had fresh dough balls, not frozen ones.

Peter

Peter,

Thanks for saying you will kick around some ideas for the next MM clone dough formulation for me to test out using the ADM 65 DMP products.

I havenít read a lot about how many commissaries MMís has or doenít have.  I have wondered about that myself.  The only thing I did read about was that I guess MMís does have a training store in Douglasville, Ga.  With all the new pizza businesses MMís is opening, there has to be MMís locations that either make their own dough,  or has somewhere near them make the dough for them. It would be interesting to hear if Biz knows more about a Nashville commissary.

Norma
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: Pete-zza on October 07, 2011, 01:54:30 PM
Norma,

I have set forth below for your consideration a proposed MM dough clone formulation using the ADM 65 DMP product. To avoid confusion with the other MM clone dough formulations, I will refer to it as the MM#3 ADM 65 DMP Dough Clone Formulation. Even though the spec sheets for the ADM 65 DMP product do not say to use a half to 100% of the weight of the ADM 65 DMP product as added water, as did the spec sheets for the ADM 4000 DMP product, I decided that I would do as I did before and use more water with the ADM 65 DMP product (50%) on the basis that both products are dry. You will also note that I specify 0.60% IDY in the dough formulation. That increase is to compensate for any potential effects on yeast performance due the large amount of total sugars (4% of the ADM 65 DMP product and 4% raw cane sugar) and also to compensate for some expected loss of IDY yeast cells due to freezing. The higher IDY value might also give the dough more rise during baking. Of course, the oven spring will also be highly dependent on the oven temperature and how the skin is shaped to create a large rim.

Since the ADM 65 DMP product is being used for the first time, and although it looks to be a bit lighter in color than the ADM 4000 DMP product, you might want to monitor the color of the finished dough so that it approximates the color of a brown coffee filter (it should be somewhat lighter than a brown paper bag).

In the new dough formulation presented below, I calculate an ďeffectiveĒ hydration of around 56.8%. That takes into account the effects of the addition of the raw cane sugar and the oil. I think that that value of effective hydration should yield a workable dough but you should use your best judgment when using your KitchenAid stand mixer and make any hydration adjustments that you deem necessary. This would be in addition to trying to achieve the desired degree of coloration of the dough.

In preparing the dough, you will want to pulverize the toasted wheat germ. I believe that you can use the volume measurements for the raw cane sugar, but because the raw cane sugar has a larger particle size than ordinary table sugar, you might want to weigh out the raw cane sugar. I deleted the volume measurements in the dough formulation for the molasses, as I did the last time.

Once the dough has been made, you will want to freeze it as soon as you can and use it as you did your last frozen dough ball. Hopefully this time you will be able to get a sweeter crust.

MM#3 ADM 65 DMP Dough Clone Formulation
Unbleached High-Gluten Flour/Wheat Germ Blend* (100%):
Spring Water (57%):
IDY (0.60%):
Salt (2%):
Vegetable (Soybean) Oil (2%):
Raw Cane Sugar (4%):
ADM 65 DMP (4%):
Total (169.6%):
305.4 g  |  10.77 oz | 0.67 lbs
174.08 g  |  6.14 oz | 0.38 lbs
1.83 g | 0.06 oz | 0 lbs | 0.61 tsp | 0.2 tbsp
6.11 g | 0.22 oz | 0.01 lbs | 1.09 tsp | 0.36 tbsp
6.11 g | 0.22 oz | 0.01 lbs | 1.34 tsp | 0.45 tbsp
12.22 g | 0.43 oz | 0.03 lbs | 3.06 tsp | 1.02 tbsp
12.22 g | 0.43 oz | 0.03 lbs
517.95 g | 18.27 oz | 1.14 lbs | TF = 0.118684

*The Unbleached High-Gluten/Wheat Germ Blend comprises 296.2 grams (10.45 ounces) of unbleached (unbromated) high-gluten flour and 9.16 grams (0.32 ounces) of pulverized toasted wheat germ, based on a ratio of 97% high-gluten flour and 3% wheat germ.
Note: The nominal thickness factor = 0.11693 and corresponds to a dough ball weight of 18 ounces, for a single 14Ē pizza; the amount of water added due to use of the dry ADM 65 DMP product is 50% of the weight of that product; the bowl residue compensation = 1.5%.

Peter
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: norma427 on October 07, 2011, 05:50:26 PM
Peter,

Thanks for setting-forth the MM#3 ADM 65 DMP Dough Clone Formulation.  That was fast!  I can understand why you specified to use 0.60% IDY to compensate for any potential effects on yeast performance due to the large amount of total sugars and also to compensate for some expected loss of IDY yeast cells due to freezing.  I never would have thought of all of that in trying to formulate the dough with the added sugars. 

I will try to monitor the color and hydration of the MM#3 ADM 65 DMP Dough Clone Formulation, when mixing the dough.  I already have some pulverized toasted wheat germ from my last attempt.  It is good you told me to weight out the raw sugar because of the larger particles size.  I might not of thought of that.  I think, but donít know, that your formula will give the crust a sweeter flavor.  At least at 4% it should give the crust a sweeter flavor.  I will freeze the dough ball right after it is mixed, and formed into a dough ball.

On another note, I had to stop at our local Country Store today to pick up a few things.  I know the Country Store does carry many food products that my local supermarket doesnít.  I came across Natural Sucanat today while I was there.  http://www.wholesomesweeteners.com/brands/Wholesome_Sweeteners/Fair_Trade_Certified_Organic_Sucanat.html

Did you ever try Sucanat, or do you think there could be a possibility that MMís is using the Sucanat in their dough.  It says on the package of Sucanat that it is cane sugar and molasses.  In this article http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/354976/sugar_cane_natural_sucanat.html?cat=51  it says that Sucanat has a natural molasses flavor and can be used as a one-to one replacement for sugar.  Turbinado vs. Sucanat http://www.ehow.com/about_5374032_turbinado-vs-sucanat.html

Norma
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: Biz Markie on October 07, 2011, 06:27:33 PM
Norma,

As for a Nashville commissary, I am just basing that on info Peter shared from the MM website, where in their picture gallery for Nashville, they seem to be showing a commissary.  Not 100% sure there is one, but it seems to imply it.  Peter may have more info.

I also wanted to get my thoughts out "on paper" about my current situation.  I thought it would be good for me, and possibly others, to put forth a sort of timeline of events as I've gone thru this process:

A.  First MM clone attempt based on guesstimate formula.  5% Molasses, 6.75% Oil, 1.75% Germ. 24-hour dough.  Reaction at the time was that it was very sweet and soft.
B. Second attempt, using Peter's MM#1 formula.  4.6% Molasses, 4.13% Oil, 3.1% Germ.  24-hour dough.  Basically a waste because I burned the pizza.
C. Visited Franklin MM store.  Reaction was that the crust was noticeably sweet, with few if any other flavor notes. 
D. Third attempt, again using Peter's MM#1 formula.  24-hour dough.  Reaction was that crust was not sweet at all, but rather very heavy on the wheat germ.
E. Fourth attempt, using a modified version of MM#2.  5% molasses, 2% Germ, 3% Oil.  48-hour dough.  Reaction was a very "blah" flavor, neither sweet nor particularly wheat germy. 
F. Visit to Farragut MM store.  Reaction was that the crust was not as sweet as the Franklin MM visit.  Color seemed to be very similar to clone attempts.

Based on this timeline, I am trying to decide what to try for this Sunday's pizza.  Since I've eaten 2 real MM pies since my very first attempt which I thought at the time was "sweet", I am heavily leaning towards trying that same initial "guesstimation" formula again.  If not that exact formula, then the modified MM#2 with increased yeast to make it a 24-hour dough.  I'm wondering if the 24-hour window has anything to do with the sweetness since my first attempt and fourth attempts were very close in molasses and germ content, but produced very different sweetness results (as far as taste buds can be trusted.)
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: Pete-zza on October 07, 2011, 06:56:35 PM
On another note, I had to stop at our local Country Store today to pick up a few things.  I know the Country Store does carry many food products that my local supermarket doesnít.  I came across Natural Sucanat today while I was there.  http://www.wholesomesweeteners.com/brands/Wholesome_Sweeteners/Fair_Trade_Certified_Organic_Sucanat.html

Did you ever try Sucanat, or do you think there could be a possibility that MMís is using the Sucanat in their dough.  It says on the package of Sucanat that it is cane sugar and molasses.  In this article http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/354976/sugar_cane_natural_sucanat.html?cat=51  it says that Sucanat has a natural molasses flavor and can be used as a one-to one replacement for sugar.  Turbinado vs. Sucanat http://www.ehow.com/about_5374032_turbinado-vs-sucanat.html

Norma,

I have heard about Sucanat but I have never tried it. I am not a big sugar user. A 4-lb bag of sugar typically lasts about 9 months in my home, and most of it is for my morning coffee. I must be slipping because a 4-lb bag of sugar used to last me about a year :-D.

I think it is because my brain is not addled by sugar that allows me to produce dough formulations so fast. This aside, I seriously doubt that MM is using Sucanat. I think it would be too costly to use when there are much cheaper alternatives if the objective is to add sweetness to a dough beyond what molasses itself might provide.

Since one of the articles you referenced mentioned turbinado sugar, I went to the Imperial website to see what is stated there as to the nature of its turbinado sugar. This is what I found, under the section about how sugar is processed:

All-natural Imperial Pure Cane Sugar and Dixie Crystals Pure Cane Sugar starts as sugar cane grown in Louisiana and Florida. The cane is harvested and transported to Imperial Sugar refining facilities. There, the cane is shredded, mixed with water and crushed. The resulting juice is mixed with naturally occurring minerals, then allowed to dry and form crystals. At this point, the crystals are called raw sugar or turbinado. The crystals are larger than the crystals you are used to on your table and have a slight brownish color. The raw sugar is then combined with more minerals to strip away impurities. The resulting white crystal is added to water and filtered through carbon to remove final impurities. The mixture is allowed to dry to form the all-natural, Imperial and Dixie Crystals Pure Cane Sugar you rely on for your recipes and beverages.

If I had to guess, I would say that perhaps the Sucanat sugar is a better form of turbinado sugar with more of the molasses.

Peter
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: norma427 on October 07, 2011, 07:02:10 PM
Biz,

I think that was a great idea to put forth a time line on what formulas you have used so far, and how you thought they tasted.   :) Your input on how real MMís pie tasted, and your pictures are also very helpful.

I donít know what Peter might suggest you try, but when I used the MM#2 attempt this week, with freezing and thawing the dough ball, it was basically a 24 hrs. cold fermented dough ball.  I didnít notice any sweeter taste in the crust in that attempt from the experiment I did before this week, not including the experiment I did with the ADM 4000 DMP product.

Norma
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: norma427 on October 07, 2011, 07:19:28 PM
Norma,

I have heard about Sucanat but I have never tried it. I am not a big sugar user. A 4-lb bag of sugar typically lasts about 9 months in my home, and most of it is for my morning coffee. I must be slipping because a 4-lb bag of sugar used to last me about a year :-D.

I think it is because my brain is not addled by sugar that allows me to produce dough formulations so fast. This aside, I seriously doubt that MM is using Sucanat. I think it would be too costly to use when there are much cheaper alternatives if the objective is to add sweetness to a dough beyond what molasses itself might provide.

Since one of the articles you referenced mentioned turbinado sugar, I went to the Imperial website to see what is stated there as to the nature of its turbinado sugar. This is what I found, under the section about how sugar is processed:

All-natural Imperial Pure Cane Sugar and Dixie Crystals Pure Cane Sugar starts as sugar cane grown in Louisiana and Florida. The cane is harvested and transported to Imperial Sugar refining facilities. There, the cane is shredded, mixed with water and crushed. The resulting juice is mixed with naturally occurring minerals, then allowed to dry and form crystals. At this point, the crystals are called raw sugar or turbinado. The crystals are larger than the crystals you are used to on your table and have a slight brownish color. The raw sugar is then combined with more minerals to strip away impurities. The resulting white crystal is added to water and filtered through carbon to remove final impurities. The mixture is allowed to dry to form the all-natural, Imperial and Dixie Crystals Pure Cane Sugar you rely on for your recipes and beverages.

If I had to guess, I would say that perhaps the Sucanat sugar is a better form of turbinado sugar with more of the molasses.

Peter


Peter,

I can see you arenít a big sugar user if you are only using a 4-lb. bag in 9 months.  At least I drink my coffee only with milk, so I can use more sugar or alternatives in other foods.  At least that is my reasoning whether it is right or wrong.  Lol, your brain not being addled by sugar allowing you to produce dough formulations so fast.  :-D It is just your brain that is fast, with or without the sugar.  Some people are just born with more smarts from the beginning.

If you also want me to try another formulation this week, with regular molasses and raw sugar, or with the Sucanat with or without added molasses, I can do that.  I didnít have any more experiments really planned for this week.  I would also try the formulation you set-forth for the MM#3 ADM 65 DMP Dough Clone formulation.  Let me know if you also want me to try another formula for a MM clone attempt.  I could make the dough and then just freeze it.  There would be no watching how the dough ferments, so that would make everything easier.

Interesting what you found out about turbinado sugar at the Imperial website.

Norma
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: Pete-zza on October 07, 2011, 08:15:11 PM
As for a Nashville commissary, I am just basing that on info Peter shared from the MM website, where in their picture gallery for Nashville, they seem to be showing a commissary.  Not 100% sure there is one, but it seems to imply it.  Peter may have more info.

Biz,

According to the MM website, at http://www.mellowmushroom.com/#/contactus, the MM corporate headquarters are in Atlanta, GA. If you look at the MM Nashville website, at http://www.mellowmushroom.com/nashville#/store/gallery/nashville/album/108776658450/show/photos, you will see a set of 58 photos under the heading MELLOW MUSHROOM HEADQUARTERS. I take this to mean Atlanta. A few of those photos are of the commissary. There is also an article at http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m3190/is_41_40/ai_n26707254/ that seems to imply that the headquarters and commissary may be in close proximity to each other, maybe even co-located, possibly like this: http://maps.google.com/maps?ll=33.746628,-84.563089&spn=0.010545,0.022466&t=h&z=16&vpsrc=6&iwloc=lyrftr:h,3073478584714039167,33.747323,-84.561231&lci=com.panoramio.all&err=1 (you should use the zoom feature).

Usually you have to have a lot of stores to justify several commissaries. I suspect that MM has only one and that the outlying stores beyond the economic reach of Atlanta make their dough at the store level.

Peter
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: Biz Markie on October 07, 2011, 11:00:39 PM
Thanks for clearing-up the commissary issue, Peter!
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: Pete-zza on October 08, 2011, 10:07:48 AM
If you also want me to try another formulation this week, with regular molasses and raw sugar, or with the Sucanat with or without added molasses, I can do that.  I didnít have any more experiments really planned for this week.  I would also try the formulation you set-forth for the MM#3 ADM 65 DMP Dough Clone formulation.  Let me know if you also want me to try another formula for a MM clone attempt.  I could make the dough and then just freeze it.  There would be no watching how the dough ferments, so that would make everything easier.

Norma,

For now, I would like to see how the combination of the ADM 65 DMP and the raw cane sugar works out in terms of crust sweetness, since that has been a particularly vexing problem. However, I was wondering what would happen if one used say, 8-10%, pulverized toasted wheat germ and what that would do to the dough/crust in terms of color, taste and texture. That type of experiment could be done with any MM dough clone formulation since it simply means changing the ratio of the high-gluten flour and the wheat germ (e.g., from 97/3 to 90/10). All the other numbers would remain the same. There is no urgency for that that experiment. It can await the outcome of your latest test. Obviously, different people with different tastebuds will detect something like wheat germ at much lower levels than others whatever the type and form of the wheat germ, as Biz apparently has. But if the flavor of wheat germ jumps out at someone as being excessive or offensive and clearly not something that one would get with a real MM crust (for those who have actually tasted an MM crust), that can help define future experiments using lower levels.

Another possible test would be to use molasses (wet or dry) with something like honey. However, that is another experiment that can be deferred to a later date depending on the results of the tests in progress.

Peter
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: norma427 on October 08, 2011, 11:07:50 AM
Norma,

For now, I would like to see how the combination of the ADM 65 DMP and the raw cane sugar works out in terms of crust sweetness, since that has been a particularly vexing problem. However, I was wondering what would happen if one used say, 8-10%, pulverized toasted wheat germ and what that would do to the dough/crust in terms of color, taste and texture. That type of experiment could be done with any MM dough clone formulation since it simply means changing the ratio of the high-gluten flour and the wheat germ (e.g., from 97/3 to 90/10). All the other numbers would remain the same. There is no urgency for that that experiment. It can await the outcome of your latest test. Obviously, different people with different tastebuds will detect something like wheat germ at much lower levels than others whatever the type and form of the wheat germ, as Biz apparently has. But if the flavor of wheat germ jumps out at someone as being excessive or offensive and clearly not something that one would get with a real MM crust (for those who have actually tasted an MM crust), that can help define future experiments using lower levels.

Another possible test would be to use molasses (wet or dry) with something like honey. However, that is another experiment that can be deferred to a later date depending on the results of the tests in progress.

Peter

Peter,

I also want to see how the combination of ADM 65 DMP and the raw sugar works out in the terms of crust sweetness, since I havenít achieved really much of any crust sweetness in my attempts.  I am really not even sure if Steve, my taste testers, or I will like more crust sweetness, but that is what we all are trying to achieve to be more like a real MMís pizza crust.

Your idea of adding more (8-10%), pulverized toasted wheat germ sounds like an interesting experiment. Do you also think you might try that experiment at some point?  You are right that different people might detect something different with more toasted wheat germ. I wonder if Biz is still using his raw wheat germ, without toasting it. I looked at the raw wheat germ at the Country Store yesterday, and it does look much lighter in color.  I have never tasted raw wheat germ.  I have only bought toasted wheat germ in the past, so I donít even have any idea how raw wheat germ tastes. I will try the added toasted wheat germ experiment at a later date.  Right now I am more interested in trying to get some more sweetness in the crust.  

I would be interested in trying honey with Brer Rabbit mild flavored liquid molasses for this coming Tuesday.  How would I determine how much honey to add to the MM#2 formula?  I know how the MM#2 formula tastes in a finished pizza, so adding honey would just change one variable.  Do you have any specific percent of honey in mind to try in a MA#2 formula?  Another thing I meant to do last week was coat the dough ball in toasted coarse corn meal, but my toasted coarse corn meal was at market.  I bought another bag of the toasted coarse corn meal yesterday at the Country Store, so I could coat the dough ball (MM#3 ADM 65 DMP formula) with the corn meal before freezing, something like the real MMís does.  Right now at home I only have Wildflower honey, that a man at market produces.

Norma
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: Pete-zza on October 08, 2011, 02:56:30 PM
Norma,

To keep things simple, you might try the MM clone dough formulation as set forth below, which I created using the expanded dough calculating tool at http://www.pizzamaking.com/expanded_calculator.html. This version is similar to the last one I gave you but will use a combination of Brer Rabbit liquid molasses and liquid honey. I will call this formulation the MM#4 Brer Rabbit/Wildflower Honey Dough Clone Formulation. As you may know, there are more than 300 unique kinds of honey in the U.S. In due course, you may want to obtain samples of all of the known kinds of honey in the U.S. to store in the addition you are building to your home to house all of the samples of ingredients you have managed to convince suppliers to send to you.

Although I would be surprised to learn that MM uses honey in its dough, honey does have a lot of positive attributes in addition to sweetness, color and flavor. For example, in a frozen dough honey improves the rheological properties of the dough and protects the gluten from damage during freezing. It also significantly improves dough strength. If the wildflower honey that you have available to you is unprocessed, it will also have many enzymes that should be beneficial. If you are interested in reading more on this topic, you might take a look at the series of posts at the PMQ Think Tank starting at http://thinktank.pmq.com/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=4669&p=26951&hilit=#p26884.

In the dough formulation presented below, I made adjustments to the nominal hydration to compensate for the fact that liquid molasses includes 22% water and that honey includes 17% water. I calculate that the ďadjustedĒ hydration (that takes the water in the molasses and honey into account) is about 56% and that the ďeffectiveĒ hydration (that also takes the oil into account) is about 58%. I believe that that value of effective hydration should keep the dough manageable.

You should prepare and freeze the finished dough ball as you have been doing with your recent experiments. As before, you may want to monitor the hydration of the finished dough and make any hydration adjustments that you deem necessary. Also, you may want to monitor the final color of the dough although I wouldnít be too preoccupied with the final color inasmuch as the color of your wildflower honey will also have an effect on the final color of the dough.

In due course, I plan to make a test dough with a fair amount of toasted wheat germ (I will use the Kretschmerís supermarket brand).

MM#4 Brer Rabbit/Wildflower Honey Dough Clone Formulation
Unbleached High-Gluten Flour/Wheat Germ Blend* (100%):
Spring Water (54.5%):
IDY (0.60%):
Salt (2%):
Vegetable (Soybean) Oil (2%):
The Man at Marketís Wildflower Honey (4%):
Brer Rabbit Liquid Molasses (4%):
Total (167.1%):
309.97 g  |  10.93 oz | 0.68 lbs
168.93 g  |  5.96 oz | 0.37 lbs
1.86 g | 0.07 oz | 0 lbs | 0.62 tsp | 0.21 tbsp
6.2 g | 0.22 oz | 0.01 lbs | 1.11 tsp | 0.37 tbsp
6.2 g | 0.22 oz | 0.01 lbs | 1.36 tsp | 0.45 tbsp
12.4 g | 0.44 oz | 0.03 lbs | 1.77 tsp | 0.59 tbsp
12.4 g | 0.44 oz | 0.03 lbs | 1.79 tsp | 0.6 tbsp
517.95 g | 18.27 oz | 1.14 lbs | TF = 0.118684
*The Unbleached High-Gluten/Wheat Germ Blend comprises 300.67 grams (10.61 ounces) of unbleached (unbromated) high-gluten flour and 9.30 grams (0.33 ounces) of pulverized toasted wheat germ, based on a ratio of 97% high-gluten flour and 3% pulverized toasted wheat germ.
Note: The nominal thickness factor = 0.11693 and corresponds to a dough ball weight of 18 ounces, for a single 14Ē pizza; the bowl residue compensation = 1.5%.

Peter
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: norma427 on October 08, 2011, 06:53:59 PM
Norma,

To keep things simple, you might try the MM clone dough formulation as set forth below, which I created using the expanded dough calculating tool at http://www.pizzamaking.com/expanded_calculator.html. This version is similar to the last one I gave you but will use a combination of Brer Rabbit liquid molasses and liquid honey. I will call this formulation the MM#4 Brer Rabbit/Wildflower Honey Dough Clone Formulation. As you may know, there are more than 300 unique kinds of honey in the U.S. In due course, you may want to obtain samples of all of the known kinds of honey in the U.S. to store in the addition you are building to your home to house all of the samples of ingredients you have managed to convince suppliers to send to you.

Although I would be surprised to learn that MM uses honey in its dough, honey does have a lot of positive attributes in addition to sweetness, color and flavor. For example, in a frozen dough honey improves the rheological properties of the dough and protects the gluten from damage during freezing. It also significantly improves dough strength. If the wildflower honey that you have available to you is unprocessed, it will also have many enzymes that should be beneficial. If you are interested in reading more on this topic, you might take a look at the series of posts at the PMQ Think Tank starting at http://thinktank.pmq.com/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=4669&p=26951&hilit=#p26884.

In the dough formulation presented below, I made adjustments to the nominal hydration to compensate for the fact that liquid molasses includes 22% water and that honey includes 17% water. I calculate that the ďadjustedĒ hydration (that takes the water in the molasses and honey into account) is about 56% and that the ďeffectiveĒ hydration (that also takes the oil into account) is about 58%. I believe that that value of effective hydration should keep the dough manageable.

You should prepare and freeze the finished dough ball as you have been doing with your recent experiments. As before, you may want to monitor the hydration of the finished dough and make any hydration adjustments that you deem necessary. Also, you may want to monitor the final color of the dough although I wouldnít be too preoccupied with the final color inasmuch as the color of your wildflower honey will also have an effect on the final color of the dough.

In due course, I plan to make a test dough with a fair amount of toasted wheat germ (I will use the Kretschmerís supermarket brand).

MM#4 Brer Rabbit/Wildflower Dough Clone Formulation
Unbleached High-Gluten Flour/Wheat Germ Blend* (100%):
Spring Water (54.5%):
IDY (0.60%):
Salt (2%):
Vegetable (Soybean) Oil (2%):
The Man at Marketís Wildflower Honey (4%):
Brer Rabbit Liquid Molasses (4%):
Total (167.1%):
309.97 g  |  10.93 oz | 0.68 lbs
168.93 g  |  5.96 oz | 0.37 lbs
1.86 g | 0.07 oz | 0 lbs | 0.62 tsp | 0.21 tbsp
6.2 g | 0.22 oz | 0.01 lbs | 1.11 tsp | 0.37 tbsp
6.2 g | 0.22 oz | 0.01 lbs | 1.36 tsp | 0.45 tbsp
12.4 g | 0.44 oz | 0.03 lbs | 1.77 tsp | 0.59 tbsp
12.4 g | 0.44 oz | 0.03 lbs | 1.79 tsp | 0.6 tbsp
517.95 g | 18.27 oz | 1.14 lbs | TF = 0.118684
*The Unbleached High-Gluten/Wheat Germ Blend comprises 300.67 grams (10.61 ounces) of unbleached (unbromated) high-gluten flour and 9.30 grams (0.33 ounces) of pulverized toasted wheat germ, based on a ratio of 97% high-gluten flour and 3% pulverized toasted wheat germ.
Note: The nominal thickness factor = 0.11693 and corresponds to a dough ball weight of 18 ounces, for a single 14Ē pizza; the bowl residue compensation = 1.5%.

Peter


Peter,

Thank you for keeping things simple for me in figuring out the MM#4 Brer Rabbit/Wildflower Honey Dough Clone Formulation for me to try.  I never would have been able to figure out a nominal hydration using honey and molasses.  I appreciate you have the brains to be able to do that.  I will follow your instructions to prepare and freeze the finished dough ball.  I probably will make both doughs tomorrow morning, and freeze them until Monday when I go to market.  

I am not sure if my Wildflower honey is unprocessed.  It is light colored honey. I do have unprocessed honey at market, and also the man at market that has the hives makes many kinds of honey. He even sends his hives to Florida to vacation in the winter. He gave me the two jars of honey.  I didnít know frozen honey dough improves the rheological properties of the dough and protects the gluten from damage during freezing and also improves the dough strength.  I read the link you referenced on Re: suger in dough at PMQTT so many times and still donít remember what all was in that thread.  Thanks for refreshing my memory.  I didnít know there are 300 unique kinds of honey in the U.S.  About getting more samples of honey, I think that isnít going to happen.  I sure donít know what to do with all the with all the samples I have managed to convince suppliers to send me, let alone get more.  I would have thought by now, I would have come across some kind of ďsuper doughĒ for a pizza, but that wasnít meant to be.   :-D

I donít remember these two videos posted on this thread, but if they were, just ignore them.

The first video is of Chris Hastings, tossing the dough
http://videos.al.com/huntsville-times/2011/08/mellow_mushroom_pizza_maker_08.html

Video of Brad  throwing the dough at Mellow Mushroom  Brad made the US Pizza Team.

http://www.newschannel9.com/video/?videoId=905915575001&lineupId=1155139243&play=now

I think after watching all the piemen from all the videos from Mellow Mushroom, I might need to get my training video out for Throw Dough.  http://www.throwdough.com/
I am nothing in comparison to those piemen at MMís in tossing and twirling the dough.  I never really practiced with my Throw Dough, but since it doesnít feel like real dough, I guess I just never bothered.  Maybe I will get it out this weekend and see if I can get better at tossing and twirling.

Thanks for telling me in due course you are going to try a larger amount of toasted wheat germ in a MM formula.  I guess my toasted wheat germ is from Dutch Valley.  http://www.dutchvalleyfoods.com/products/flour-and-grains/grains/156056/wheat-germ-toasted-25lb   I donít know if different brands of toasted wheat germ will make any difference in a MMís formulation or not.

Norma
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: Pete-zza on October 08, 2011, 07:52:48 PM
Norma,

The math for the dough formulations isn't really all that difficult, and it certainly helps to have the expanded dough calculating tool to set up all of the numbers. Without that tool, it would be almost impossible to conduct the kinds of experiments we have been conducting and to change them at will and as quickly as we have been doing. But the key number in all of the formulations is the hydration, specifically, what I have been calling the "effective" hydration. No matter what goes into the dough, the effective hydration has to be around 57-58%.

It will be an interesting contest between the MM#3 ADM 65 DMP formulation and the MM#4 Brer Rabbit/Wildflower Honey formulation, with the combination of dry molasses and raw sugar cane (a commercial version) being matched against the combination of liquid molasses and honey (a home version). All the other baker's percents for the remaining dough ingredients are the same. We might discover that the finished crust is too sweet or it may be too tender because of a total of 8% sugars. For sweetness, I am relying on the raw cane sugar and honey to pull the molasses through to the finish line. If needed, we can always adjust the sweetness and/or hydration. I perhaps should have mentioned it earlier, but because of the high sugar content you may want to watch the bottoms of the crusts so that they don't darken too fast. I'm sure you already know this and will have a pizza screen or two on hand to lift the pizzas off of the stone if the crusts start to darken too quickly. In a home oven, I would just lift the pizza off of the stone to a higher oven rack position. And I wouldn't necessarily start with the highest oven temperature.

Peter
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: Pete-zza on October 08, 2011, 08:15:37 PM
I guess my toasted wheat germ is from Dutch Valley.  http://www.dutchvalleyfoods.com/products/flour-and-grains/grains/156056/wheat-germ-toasted-25lb   I donít know if different brands of toasted wheat germ will make any difference in a MMís formulation or not.

Norma,

Unfortunately, we may never know. At the home level, we are stuck with whatever brands of wheat germ we can get. It might be Kretschmer's, Mother's, Bob's Red Mill, or a Barry Farms repackaged wheat germ product. MM would be using large bags of wheat germ, no doubt from a commercial source. We are similarly handicapped at the home level with our choices of molasses. It is likely to be Grandma's or Brer Rabbit or some other like product that individuals can purchase in small quantities. Even if we knew the exact brands of high-gluten flour, wheat germ and molasses that MM uses, they might not be readily available to individuals and the quantities are likely to be impractical for the home pizza maker. And MM wil always have a cost advantage. An MM dough clone made at home is not a cheap dough.

Peter
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: norma427 on October 08, 2011, 09:20:06 PM
Peter,

I know the expanded dough calculating tool does certainly help set up all the numbers.  I know from doing different experiments before, and putting a certain hydration percent in the dough calculating tool, and then just putting the percent of the rest of the ingredients wanted. The tool does do miracles, and I can understand we wouldnít able to conduct the kinds of experiments we have been doing, unless someone would really be good at math.  I probably could have figured out a formulation to try, but wasnít sure how to figure out how honey and molasses to try in the formula.  That is one place I get stumped on knowing how much of each ingredient to add to be able to determine what the final result might be.

I also think it will be an interesting contest between the MM# ADM 65 DMP formulation, and the MM# 4 Brer Rabbit/Wildflower Home formulation.  I wonder since the MM# ADM 65 clone dough formulation does have the commercial raw sugar and the ADM 65 DMP, how that will fair out against the MM#4 Brer Rabbit/Wildflower Honey formulation, which has home version ingredients.  It also makes me wonder if MMís is using a premix to send to the stores that donít have commissaryís near them, if they would use commercial dry vegetable oil.  I wouldnít think the ingredients would come separately to MMís businesses that donít have access to the main commissary, but I guess they could add regular vegetable oil when they mix the other ingredients for the dough.  I think MMís is pretty secretive about what goes into their pizza dough mix, since even most managers or workers donít seem to know what is in the whole mix. 

I had thought about the high sugar content, and also thought back to when I made Papa Johnís pizzas and needed to use screens, from all the sugar in the Papa Johnís dough.  I also wanted to get a longer bake time than my last attempt, so I was thinking along the lines of waiting until the bottom crust starts to brown, then transfer the pizza onto maybe multiple screens, so the bake time is longer.  I would have a hard time lowering the temperature of my oven at market, and switching to making my regular pizzas. 

I have no idea what kind of wheat germ, molasses or high-gluten flour MMís uses.  I guess my toasted wheat germ is a commercial brand since it probably came from Dutch Valley.  I have been lucky, that most of my ingredients have been given to me, or either have been able to be bought at the Country Store, where ingredients are cheaper than online or elsewhere.  Even my KASL is relatively cheap, compared to what other members might have to pay for high-gluten flour.  I never thought how much the MMís dough might cost for a member to try a dough.  I guess you already did the calculations for how much one dough ball costs. 

Norma
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: Pete-zza on October 08, 2011, 11:00:26 PM
I never thought how much the MMís dough might cost for a member to try a dough.  I guess you already did the calculations for how much one dough ball costs. 

Norma,

I don't have any KASL but at King Arthur's price (excluding shipping charges) and using my costs for the rest of the ingredients (Kretschmer's toasted wheat germ, spring water, SAF IDY, Brer Rabbit molasses, honey, salt and soybean oil), it would cost me $1.97 for the dough using the Brer Rabbit/wildflower honey dough formulation I gave you. That is for a roughly 18-ounce dough ball. Using KABF and vital wheat gluten would lower that cost by quite a bit.

Peter
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: norma427 on October 08, 2011, 11:21:34 PM
Norma,

I don't have any KASL but at King Arthur's price (excluding shipping charges) and using my costs for the rest of the ingredients (Kretschmer's toasted wheat germ, spring water, SAF IDY, Brer Rabbit molasses, honey, salt and soybean oil), it would cost me $1.97 for the dough using the Brer Rabbit/wildflower honey dough formulation I gave you. That is for a roughly 18-ounce dough ball. Using KABF and vital wheat gluten would lower that cost by quite a bit.

Peter

Peter,

I knew if you didnít already do the calculations for the price of you making a dough ball with the ingredients given for the formula I am using, you would figured it out quickly.  I guess that is how no sugar on the brain helps you.   From your calculations, I really donít think that is a lot for a dough ball, given what MMís charges for a pie.  I am sure MMís would have a cost advantage for their dough balls.  Hopefully, in this thread we all will be able to figure out how to make a credible MMís clone dough and pizza.

Norma
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: Pete-zza on October 08, 2011, 11:33:06 PM
Norma,

The last cost number I saw for pizza dough at the PMQ Think Tank, earlier this year, was $0.02/ounce. Back in 2007, it was around $0.01-0.0125/ounce. Those numbers are for a pretty standard pizza dough.

Peter
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: norma427 on October 08, 2011, 11:47:29 PM
Norma,

The last cost number I saw for pizza dough at the PMQ Think Tank, earlier this year, was $0.02/ounce. Back in 2007, it was around $0.01-0.125/ounce. Those numbers are for a pretty standard pizza dough.

Peter

Peter,

Thanks for letting me know the numbers you gave were pretty standard for a pizza dough.  I know the price of flour has risen a lot since I started to make pizzas (2009), and I even get the flour for my preferment Lehmann dough (KASL) at distributors cost. 

Norma
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: norma427 on October 09, 2011, 11:52:06 AM
I mixed the dough for the two dough balls using the MM#3 ADM 65 DMP Dough Clone Formulation and the MM#4 Brer Rabbit/Wildflower Dough Clone Formulation Peter set-forth, this morning.

I mixed the MM#3 ADM 65 DMP Dough Clone Formulation first because I wanted to see what color the dough would get with using the ADM 65 DMP product.  I mixed the ADM 65 DMP in with the formula water and also mixed the raw sugar in with the formula water.  I knew when I mixed them together the color was darker than when using the Brer Rabbit in the formula water.  I decided to continue, just to see what color the dough ball would turn out to be.  The dough did turn out darker than when I just used the Brer Rabbit molasses, but it looked okay.  It can be seen on the pictures below, what color the mixture (water, sugar or honey, and molasses) were in both formulas.

Both formulas did mix well, and both doughs felt about the same when finished mixing them.  For the MM#3 ADM 65 DMP Dough Clone Formulation the final dough temperature was 78.3 degrees F, and for the MM#4 Brer Rabbit/Wildflower Dough Clone Formulation the final dough temperature was 78.6 degrees F.

The dough for both formulas were formed into a ball and then coated with toasted corn meal, then taken to my freezer to be frozen. 

This is also a picture of the raw sugar I used.  The raw sugar probably came from Dutch Valley.  I also practiced a little this morning with my Throw Dough.  I became a little better at throwing the fake skin, but not much better.  :-\ Might have to practice more later.

Norma
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: norma427 on October 09, 2011, 11:53:12 AM
Norma
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: Pete-zza on October 09, 2011, 02:11:25 PM
Norma,

I made and froze another MM clone dough ball today that was the same as the last one I made but for the fact that I increased the amount of toasted wheat germ (Kretschmerís brand) from 3% of the total flour blend to 10%. The wheat germ was first ground to a flour-like consistency before adding it to the flour blend. The rest of the flour blend was KABF and Hodgson Mill vital wheat gluten, and the rest of the ingredients were spring water, Brer Rabbit liquid molasses, Imperial turbinado (raw sugar cane), salt, IDY, and soybean oil. The only difference between the two dough formulations was the amount of wheat germ. Both dough balls weighed the same and had the same finished dough temperature.

As I was making the flour blend, I compared it against a sample of only the KABF and VWG and could not detect a noticeable difference in color. I also compared the flour blend with KABF alone and, again, I could not detect a noticeable difference. After making the dough in my Cuisinart food processor, I compared it against a brown coffee filter and, again, I did not detect a difference in color. I also compared the finished dough ball against the last one I made with the smaller amount of wheat germ and they both looked alike to me. I did not detect the presence of the ground wheat germ in the finished dough. The increased amount of wheat germ did not seem to affect the hydration of the flour blend. All of these comparison tests seem to suggest that the main contributor to dough and crust color is the molasses and possibly the turbinado sugar.

In a way, I was kind of hoping for a dramatic difference in color of the latest dough since that would have helped better define the amount of wheat germ that might be used in a real MM dough. Maybe the ultimate taste test will be instructive on this point. I am hoping that I will be disgusted with the taste of the pizza crust made from that dough. That would make life easier for all of us.

Looking at Bizís recent photos at Reply 269 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,3940.msg155842.html#msg155842 of the crumb of the MM pizza he had at the Farragut, TN MM unit, I am now inclined to believe that the MM dough is a tad lighter than what we have been making. Of course, the way the pizza is baked can have an effect on the crust coloration because of the caramelization of the sugars and the Maillard reactions but usually those effects will be in the outer crust.

Peter
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: Biz Markie on October 09, 2011, 02:21:19 PM
Looking at Bizís recent photos at Reply 269 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,3940.msg155842.html#msg155842 of the crumb of the MM pizza he had at the Farragut, TN MM unit, I am now inclined to believe that the MM dough is a tad lighter than what we have been making. Of course, the way the pizza is baked can have an effect on the crust coloration because of the caramelization of the sugars and the Maillard reactions but usually those effects will be in the outer crust.

Peter

I think you're right, Peter.  That is, I tend to think the coffee filter color is darker than what MM is using.  Actually I was struck at the Farragut store that the skins I watched them prepare appeared quite light.  Even our crust when it came out looked very pale on the outside, but inside it was darker (as in the pictures I posted).

I have a 24-hour ball in the fridge for tonight that is using 5% molasses, 1.75% salt, 2% Germ, and 3% oil.  Wanting to see if I can recreate that first attempt's sweetness.  I still have a chunk of the actual MM crust from my Farragut visit, but it's a few days old now and probably not worth anything other than color comparison.  I will take pics for sure.
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: norma427 on October 09, 2011, 03:31:03 PM
Norma,

I made and froze another MM clone dough ball today that was the same as the last one I made but for the fact that I increased the amount of toasted wheat germ (Kretschmerís brand) from 3% of the total flour blend to 10%. The wheat germ was first ground to a flour-like consistency before adding it to the flour blend. The rest of the flour blend was KABF and Hodgson Mill vital wheat gluten, and the rest of the ingredients were spring water, Brer Rabbit liquid molasses, Imperial turbinado (raw sugar cane), salt, IDY, and soybean oil. The only difference between the two dough formulations was the amount of wheat germ. Both dough balls weighed the same and had the same finished dough temperature.

As I was making the flour blend, I compared it against a sample of only the KABF and VWG and could not detect a noticeable difference in color. I also compared the flour blend with KABF alone and, again, I could not detect a noticeable difference. After making the dough in my Cuisinart food processor, I compared it against a brown coffee filter and, again, I did not detect a difference in color. I also compared the finished dough ball against the last one I made with the smaller amount of wheat germ and they both looked alike to me. I did not detect the presence of the ground wheat germ in the finished dough. The increased amount of wheat germ did not seem to affect the hydration of the flour blend. All of these comparison tests seem to suggest that the main contributor to dough and crust color is the molasses and possibly the turbinado sugar.

In a way, I was kind of hoping for a dramatic difference in color of the latest dough since that would have helped better define the amount of wheat germ that might be used in a real MM dough. Maybe the ultimate taste test will be instructive on this point. I am hoping that I will be disgusted with the taste of the pizza crust made from that dough. That would make life easier for all of us.

Looking at Bizís recent photos at Reply 269 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,3940.msg155842.html#msg155842 of the crumb of the MM pizza he had at the Farragut, TN MM unit, I am now inclined to believe that the MM dough is a tad lighter than what we have been making. Of course, the way the pizza is baked can have an effect on the crust coloration because of the caramelization of the sugars and the Maillard reactions but usually those effects will be in the outer crust.

Peter


Peter,

Your new experiment with the increased amounts of toasted wheat germ, and now added Imperial turbinado  (raw sugar) were interesting that you found that the added toasted wheat germ didnít affect the hydration, and the color of the dough stayed the same.  It will be interesting when you bake your MM clone attempt to see if you notice any difference in the crust taste or color.  At least there should be some sweetness in the crust from the added turbinado (raw sugar).  It makes me wonder just how much, or what kind of molasses, is needed to get the right crust color.  I did do a little test where I just dissolved my raw sugar in water to see what color the water would be, since the raw sugar is darker than white refined sugar.  Even with the small amount of raw sugar I added to water, the mixture became light tan.  It also makes me wonder after looking at Bizís picture of the crumb if my doughs are light enough.  I know the dough I made today with the ADM 65 DMP will be way too dark.

Norma
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: norma427 on October 09, 2011, 03:34:32 PM

I have a 24-hour ball in the fridge for tonight that is using 5% molasses, 1.75% salt, 2% Germ, and 3% oil.  Wanting to see if I can recreate that first attempt's sweetness.  I still have a chunk of the actual MM crust from my Farragut visit, but it's a few days old now and probably not worth anything other than color comparison.  I will take pics for sure.

Biz,

Will be interested in seeing if your attempt tonight will recreate more sweetness in the crust. 

Best of luck!

Norma
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: Biz Markie on October 09, 2011, 10:51:46 PM
The pie turned out excellent tonight.  The dough handled about the same as last week, maybe a little more extensible. 

The flavor was great.  My best MM attempt to date.  Still not quite as sweet as my memory of the Franklin MM pie, but pretty close. 

I will wait til tomorrow to compare the crumb coloration to that of the Farragut MM crust remnant.  The lighting here at night is just not good for pictures.
At first glance my crust actually seemed perhaps a bit lighter and more yellowish than the MM, but I definitely will reserve judgment until tomorrow.

If my crust is indeed lighter, that's actually a good thing because I could theoretically add a bit more molasses.
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: norma427 on October 10, 2011, 09:56:26 AM

I am trying to search about MMís operations past and present to see if I can learn more information about MMís different stores, finding the brand of cheese they use, or other facts about them. These are a few things I found out so far.

2001 Marc Weinstein about tofu at Mellow Mushroom
http://www.bizjournals.com/atlanta/stories/2001/01/15/focus1.html?page=6
Weinstein cited the restaurantís healthy ingredients including part-skim mozzarella and whole wheat dough, as he reason for Readersí Choice Award.
http://www.bizjournals.com/atlanta/stories/2001/01/15/focus1.html?page=7

2008 MM returns to Spring St. roots.
http://www.reuters.com/article/2008/02/21/idUS179249+21-Feb-2008+BW20080221
http://www.ajc.com/services/content/business/stories/2008/09/18/atlanta_mellow_mushroom.html

2007
Mellow Mushroom fails to get slice of market, bails out.
http://www.bizjournals.com/charlotte/stories/2007/06/04/tidbits1.html?b=1180929600%25255E1470503    From five stores to three stores to none--Mellow Mushroom exited the Charlotte market.  Tom Lockhart and his wife, Dawn, will now run three pizza restaurants they planned to rename Moon Dog Pizza.

2009
Prior to joining Stevi Bís, Matthew Loney served as vice president and general counsel for Mellow Mushroom. Loney was also an attorney serving clients operating in the franchise industry.
http://www.pizzamarketplace.com/article/98385/Q-A-with-Stevi-B-s-president-Matthew-Loney
http://www.ajc.com/business/stevi-bs-tries-to-134422.html
http://www.24-7pressrelease.com/press-release/stevi-bs-names-matt-loney-president-85698.php

Joseph Allen White, did creative projects for MM Pizza Bakers Corp.
http://www.josephallenwhite.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=53&Itemid=58

2009
70ís Child Mellow Mushroom Grows Up, But still Hip.
http://telecommunications.tmcnet.com/news/2009/07/06/4258648.htm

It seems like Mellow Mushroom heard some moaning and groaning from some of their franchisees to go to a cheaper mozzarella in 2001.  Brasch said they use a higher grade of cheese.

http://www.bizjournals.com/atlanta/stories/2001/08/06/story2.html?page=2

In the same article it says that Papa Johnís formed a subsidiary to buy cheese at the source for its 2,700 restaurants.

http://www.bizjournals.com/atlanta/stories/2001/08/06/story2.html

I donít think these searches will help to learn more about MMís dough process, but will see where it takes me.  :-\

Norma
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: Pete-zza on October 10, 2011, 11:28:07 AM
Norma,

I found the statement by Marc Weinstein of MM on the use of "whole wheat dough" of interest. I believe that that is the first time that I have seen reference by someone who works/worked for MM that the dough was a "whole wheat dough". It could have been a simple, casual misstatement or misunderstanding of the actual facts, which does sometimes happen even with insiders who perhaps should be more careful. It is pretty clear that whole wheat flour made from hard red spring wheat would not have been used at MM to make its pizza dough, as anyone who has ever worked with regular whole wheat flour and has seen the MM videos would tell you. It is also not a type of flour that would attract or appeal to most people and certainly not most kids I know and, hence, would be too difficult to promote and market.

However, back in 2001, and apparently even before, a new form of whole wheat called "white" whole wheat did exist. See, for example, the article at http://www.wholegrainscouncil.org/whole-grains-101/whole-white-wheat-faq. It has been so long ago that I last tried the white whole wheat flour that I don't recall much about that flour to be able to say whether that flour is one that MM might have used. It seems to me that the white whole wheat flour started to gain traction in the past several years, at least at the retail level. It should also be noted that the white whole wheat flour seems to have a protein content that is lower than what one might normally characterize as a high-gluten flour. For example, the King Arthur brand has a protein content of 13% (although a range of 12.5-14% is given at http://www.kingarthurflour.com/professional/specifications-conventional-bakery-flour.html). General Mills has a version that is 12.5% protein. You will also note that the King Arthur brand of white whole wheat flour has a rated absorption value of around 70%.

On the matter of the mozzarella cheese, the only reference I could find as to a possible brand (Saputo) was discussed earlier in this thread at Reply 3 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,3940.msg151292.html#msg151292. However, since the MM stores seem to be given a lot of flexibility in running their businesses, it is possible that the different MM stores procure their cheese from several possible sources, subject to approval of MM corporate offices of course. As a commodity that is subject to wide swings in price, you would want to give the franchisees some flexibility in sourcing their mozzarella cheeses at the store level.

Peter
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: norma427 on October 10, 2011, 05:40:18 PM
Peter,

I wondered when Marc Winstein of MM mentioned ďwhole wheat doughĒ what he really meant by that, or if that was a misstatement.  I know regular whole wheat flour for pizza wouldnít be appealing for many customers.  Thanks for referencing the article about whole white wheat flours.  I really never knew about whole white wheat flours, but did see the ultragrain (Conagra Mills flour) that I had purchased, but never used.  I had mentioned trying that flour in a post before in this thread.  I see Sunnyland Mills did sell white-wheat bulgur in the U.S. since 1935.  King Arthur brand of white whole wheat flour absorption value of around 70% is a lot.  I donít know how we are ever going to know if MMís uses regular high gluten flour or might use whole white wheat flours.

This is how the dough balls looked like when they were taken to market today frozen.  As can be seen on the pictures, the one container did have condensation, and the condensation dripped on the dough ball.  That is the darker of my two dough balls.

Norma
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: norma427 on October 11, 2011, 10:06:41 PM
Both pizzas today turned out well today.  The pizza made with the MM#4 Brer Rabbit/Wildflower Honey Dough Clone Formulation was made first.  The dough handled well, but wasnít as strong as last weeks dough.  I could toss it and twirl it though.  This pizza I needed to add some screens, so the bottom of the crust wouldnít burn.  What Steve, my taste testers and I thought was really odd, was there wasnít any more sweetness in the crust than any of the other MMís attempted pies, even when honey was added.  I donít know if this is something like some of the Reinhart doughs, that even if honey is added there isnít any noticeable sweetness in the crust.

The second pizza made was the MM#3 ADM 65 DMP Dough Clone formulation with raw sugar really turned out well.  The crust was so moist and we all thought the pizza was great.  There even was a nice crunch to the rim of the crust.  This pizza did have a little more sweetness in the crust, but it was enjoyable.  I am glad I didnít disregard the ADM DMP and not try it.  This was an excellent formula for a very different pizza.  Steve, my taste testers and I all thought this was one of my better pies, and I have tried a lot of formulas.

I still canít toss the dough too well, but Steve did take videos of my trying to toss and twirl both doughs.  The last two pictures are of the slices side by side from both formulas.  I did edit both videos, so I donít know how long it takes for them to change.  Customers kept thinking these pizzas were whole wheat flour pizzas and they were very interested in them.  The one customer we gave a sample to came back and want to purchase more, but we told her we wanted to save at least two slices for Steve and me to take home.  I was very excited about this different pizza!  ;D

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1KTrbetUE3s

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nG__DDvjk80

Norma
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: norma427 on October 11, 2011, 10:09:44 PM
Norma
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: norma427 on October 11, 2011, 10:11:53 PM
Norma
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: norma427 on October 11, 2011, 10:14:39 PM
Norma
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: norma427 on October 11, 2011, 10:16:18 PM
Norma
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: norma427 on October 11, 2011, 10:20:30 PM
These are pictures of the MM#3 ADM 65 DMP Dough Clone Formulation with raw sugar.

Norma
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: norma427 on October 11, 2011, 10:24:50 PM
Norma
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: norma427 on October 11, 2011, 10:26:16 PM
Norma
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: norma427 on October 11, 2011, 10:28:06 PM
Norma
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: norma427 on October 11, 2011, 10:29:41 PM
Norma
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: norma427 on October 11, 2011, 10:31:06 PM
Norma
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: Biz Markie on October 11, 2011, 10:51:36 PM
Wow, those pies look great!

As far as crumb color, it looks like the second pie was closer to the real MM color.  

Speaking of which, I have been meaning to post the color comparison I made between my last attempt and the actual MM crust remnant from the Farragut store.

See below for pics.  The big crust chunk on the left/top is my pie.  all other crust chunks are the real MM crust.  I propped-up my piece with a carrot, so if you see orange, that's why.

The coffee filter is a Melita #1.  I think mention has been made of the coffee filter color more in terms of raw dough, but thought I'd put it in there just in case.

In my estimation, the color of the crumb in my pie was basically identical to the real MM crumb.  The outer crust was a little different in coloration perhaps, but the crumb was the same.

I wonder how much I could increase the molasses before it would become noticeably darker to the naked eye.  I still think my last attempt wasn't quite sweet enough, but it was much better than my previous attempts.

I am starting to brainstorm too about the affects of longer or shorter fermentation periods and/or the affects of yeast amounts on the sweetness in the finished product.  I don't know much about such things, but part of me is thinking that if the yeast has less time to metabolize the sugars in the molasses, then they'll be present to the taster.  Or if very little yeast is used and a longer cold fermentation is employed, maybe the same thing would be true.  But this is all based on my very limited knowledge of baking chemistry.
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: norma427 on October 11, 2011, 11:08:25 PM
Biz,

Thanks for saying my pies looked great.  By the pictures you posted your crumb color does look identical to a real MM crumb.  I think my attempts have all been darker. 

Norma
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: norma427 on October 12, 2011, 07:36:31 AM
I donít know how accurate these recipes are, and if Mellow Mushroom really gave their recipe out for Raisin Oatmeal Walnut Chewies, but in these articles it says Mellow Mushroom did give this recipe. I know these Raisin Oatmeal Walnut Chewies arenít anything about how MMís made their pizza dough, but I am just posting this to show how MM does use some ingredients that are more healthy in their recipes.  This recipe does sound good to me, because I like raisins, oatmeal, and walnuts.  The soy flour is interesting to me.
http://www.grouprecipes.com/88500/raisin-oatmeal-walnut-chewies.html
http://www.food.com/recipe/mellow-raisin-oatmeal-walnut-chew-cookies-from-mellow-mushroom-400521
http://www.ajc.com/living/content/printedition/2009/02/05/rest0205fd.html?cxntlid=inform_artr
In this article the oatmeal raisin cookie is mentioned.
http://www.citybeat.com/cincinnati/print-article-22906-print.html
http://www.mellowmushroom.com/public/files/menu/blowingrock.pdf

Sorry, if this post is off-topic.

Norma
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: Ev on October 12, 2011, 08:46:30 AM
Norma,
I haven't reheated my slices yet, so I don't have anything to report. However, I noticed the corn meal seems a little different on the first pie. What's up with that? >:D :-D
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: Pete-zza on October 12, 2011, 08:48:55 AM
Norma,

I was anxiously awaiting the results of your latest MM clones inasmuch as I, too, made a clone MM pizza yesterday. In my case, I used 4% Brer Rabbit liquid molasses and 4% turbinado (raw cane) sugar (and 3% toasted Kretschmer's wheat germ). I detected a small increase in the sweetness of the finished crust but it was not like the degree of sweetness I detected in the sample MM pizza I had in Florida. I am beginning to wonder whether MM is using some kind of super sweet molasses or else it is loading up the dough with a lot of another sweetener that is much sweeter than molasses (see more on this below in my post directed to Biz). Maybe one of the other ADM dried molasses products, such as one of the ADM Dri-Mol dried molasses products, is sweeter on the palate than the other ADM dried molasses products you tried.

I still have one frozen MM clone dough ball left, the one I mentioned earlier with the 10% Kretschmer's toasted wheat germ. I will perhaps make a pizza out of that dough ball tomorrow (I am still working on leftovers). I will, of course, be interested in the effects of the larger amount of wheat germ, which was basically the sole purpose of the test, but I am not expecting a material increase in the sweetness of the finished crust.

I agree with Biz that your second pizza, the one made using the ADM 65 DMP, looks to be closer from the standpoint of crumb coloration to the MM pizza crust I had in Florida. I'm happy to hear that the dough formulation for that pizza worked out so well for you.

I also enjoyed the videos showing your efforts to toss and spin the skins. I think we are in the right spot from the standpoint of hydration of the various MM clone dough formulations. I have not had any problems with overextensibility of the skins I have made. I could toss and spin them as long as I wanted.

Peter
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: norma427 on October 12, 2011, 09:12:52 AM
Norma,
I haven't reheated my slices yet, so I don't have anything to report. However, I noticed the corn meal seems a little different on the first pie. What's up with that? >:D :-D

Steve,

Lol, I forgot to post about the corn meal  :-D.  To explain, (you already know >:D) I had grabbed a bag of what I thought (they both look about the same, in color and texture) was corn meal off the shelf at market for the first pie ).  A little later, I noticed the bag I had used was graham cracker crumbs that I used for smores pizzas.  At least I couldn't taste the dough ball was coated in graham cracker crumbs and also the graham cracker crumbs were used on the peel for the dusting flour.  No one could have guessed that the dough ball was coated in graham cracker crumbs if I didn't see the mistake I made.    :o  Let me know if you reheat your slice if you can taste graham cracker crumbs in the crust, and also how the crust tastes in sweetness.  Some crusts do seem to have more sweetness after reheated.

Norma
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: Pete-zza on October 12, 2011, 09:37:51 AM
I wonder how much I could increase the molasses before it would become noticeably darker to the naked eye.  I still think my last attempt wasn't quite sweet enough, but it was much better than my previous attempts.

I am starting to brainstorm too about the affects of longer or shorter fermentation periods and/or the affects of yeast amounts on the sweetness in the finished product.  I don't know much about such things, but part of me is thinking that if the yeast has less time to metabolize the sugars in the molasses, then they'll be present to the taster.  Or if very little yeast is used and a longer cold fermentation is employed, maybe the same thing would be true.  But this is all based on my very limited knowledge of baking chemistry.

Biz,

One of my earliest tests was to see how much molasses might be used to clearly manifest itself as sweetness in the finished crust. I used 7% Grandma's liquid molasses, which at the time was the only brand of liquid molasses I had on hand. At 7% molasses, the dough was considerably darker than the dough that MM is using. For that test, I had used a small amount of yeast and I let the dough cold ferment for three days before using, on the premise that such a protocol, or one similar to it (but with a shorter fermentation), might be used in the MM stores that do not use frozen dough balls. Interestingly, the finished crust did not taste overly sweet, and it was not as sweet as the MM crust I had in Florida. The distinct flavor of the molasses came through loud and clear, however. It was the result of this simple test that started me thinking about how much sweetness molasses can actually deliver to a finshed crust. That was the main reason why I started looking at honey and raw cane sugar to supplement the molasses and as the probable source of the sweetness in the MM finished crusts. To date, I have not seen anything to suggest that MM is using only molasses as the sweetener. As I noted in my last post to Norma, there would have to be a super sweet molasses out there somewhere to be able to do this. 

With respect to the amount of liquid molasses that can be used before the dough becomes too dark, my tests seem to suggest that the main source of the color in the dough (and pizza) is the molasses. I have been using KABF and vital wheat gluten as an alternative to the KASL but I did not detect much contribution to final dough color by the wheat germ, whether raw (Bob's Red Mill brand) or toasted (the Kretschmer's wheat germ), and even at a level of 10% in my most recent experiment. For my doughs, I found that using 4% molasses was enough to increase the darkness of the dough beyond the brown coffee filter I was using as a color benchmark. It's possible that using 3.5% molasses might be closer to that benchmark color. At this point, color of the dough is less important to me personally than getting the sweetness problem resolved. I actually like the flavor of molasses and if everything else was in order as far as replicating a real MM dough and pizza, it wouldn't bother me that the color of my crusts is darker than an MM crust. I will most likely always be limited to the ingredients that I can find at my local supermarket anyway.

Both of your comments and your instincts on the use of yeast and the related fermentation periods are well placed. Norma and I have been working with frozen MM clone dough balls simply to replicate what MM does for most of its units. We were also intentionally trying to minimize the fermentation of the doughs (limited to the defrost and temper periods) so that the sugars would not be prematurely depleted, and the yeast levels were kept higher than normal in order to compensate for the fact that freezing damages the yeast cells and reduces the fermentation capacity of the yeast. We also wanted to be sure that there would be enough yeast to raise the doughs given their fairly low hydration values. Using less yeast as you postulate would be an option for a room temperature fermented dough or one cold fermented for up to several days but it might not be enough for a frozen dough. However, because my frozen dough balls at 0.60% IDY seemed to perform well it did occur to me to consider lowering the amount of yeast in a future test. It is this kind of tinkering that one has to do to in projects like this where we have so little information to go on--such as an official ingredients list, nutrition facts or sources and brands of ingredients.

Peter
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: norma427 on October 12, 2011, 09:54:45 AM
Norma,

I was anxiously awaiting the results of your latest MM clones inasmuch as I, too, made a clone MM pizza yesterday. In my case, I used 4% Brer Rabbit liquid molasses and 4% turbinado (raw cane) sugar (and 3% toasted Kretschmer's wheat germ). I detected a small increase in the sweetness of the finished crust but it was not like the degree of sweetness I detected in the sample MM pizza I had in Florida. I am beginning to wonder whether MM is using some kind of super sweet molasses or else it is loading up the dough with a lot of another sweetener that is much sweeter than molasses (see more on this below in my post directed to Biz). Maybe one of the other ADM dried molasses products, such as one of the ADM Dri-Mol dried molasses products, is sweeter on the palate than the other ADM dried molasses products you tried.

I still have one frozen MM clone dough ball left, the one I mentioned earlier with the 10% Kretschmer's toasted wheat germ. I will perhaps make a pizza out of that dough ball tomorrow (I am still working on leftovers). I will, of course, be interested in the effects of the larger amount of wheat germ, which was basically the sole purpose of the test, but I am not expecting a material increase in the sweetness of the finished crust.

I agree with Biz that your second pizza, the one made using the ADM 65 DMP, looks to be closer from the standpoint of crumb coloration to the MM pizza crust I had in Florida. I'm happy to hear that the dough formulation for that pizza worked out so well for you.

I also enjoyed the videos showing your efforts to toss and spin the skins. I think we are in the right spot from the standpoint of hydration of the various MM clone dough formulations. I have not had any problems with overextensibility of the skins I have made. I could toss and spin them as long as I wanted.

Peter

Peter,

I found your report very interesting that your sweetness in the finished crust of your pizza yesterday didnít give you the desired amount of sweetness as when you tasted the real MMís pizza in Florida.  To Steve, my taste testers and me, we all liked the amount of sweetness in the MM# 3 ADM 65 DMP Dough Clone Formulation.  I also wonder whether MM is using some kind of super sweet molasses, or else is using lot of another sweetener.  I know some molasses are sweeter than others.  Do you want me to try and request some of the ADM Dri-Mol samples?  

I also will be interested in your test frozen MM clone dough ball, with the 10% Kretschmerís toasted wheat germ added to see how that turns out.

I thought my second pizza (ADM 65 DMP) that you and Biz thought had better coloration was too dark.  I think the dough formulation you set-forth for the MM#3 ADM 65 DMP made an excellent pizza.  The rim was so moist, as can be seen in the pictures.  I never achieved that before with a lower hydration dough formula in my deck oven. Then to think it was mixed, balled, then frozen, just left to thaw, (which sure wasnít hard in trying to make a pizza).  I also never would have thought a crumb would have that great of flavor from the methods used. A woman that is a great baker, owns a regular bakery, and bakery market stand (makes bread, cookies, cakes, and other baked products), also tasted the one pizza attempt yesterday, and she really was impressed.

Norma
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: Pete-zza on October 12, 2011, 10:24:32 AM
Norma,

It's entirely up to you as to whether you should request some Dri-Mol dry molasses products from ADM. However, it is always interesting and useful to try out different products in order to learn what they can do and their limitations. The Dri-Mol products are supposed to be lighter in color and, hence, may have more sugar, but you won't know for sure until you actually try them.

Maybe you and Steve can combine your pizza making skills and Steve's beer-making prowess, get some real tattoos ala Guy Fieri-style, and open up your own pizza emporium featuring your clones of the MM pizzas :-D. Your overhead would be considerably less than at MM so your pizza prices would be much lower than what I have seen on MM's menus. Maybe I can even improve upon MM doughs through some further testing. If so, I will disclose the results only to you (and to Biz for being such a good sport and help on this project) so that someone else doesn't run with the idea after seeing it on the forum. Or maybe you can sell the recipe to MM itself, if only to keep it out of circulation ;D. You will note that the page views for this thread have jumped recently, so that would seem to suggest that there is interest on what we have been doing.

Peter
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: norma427 on October 12, 2011, 02:50:18 PM
Norma,

It's entirely up to you as to whether you should request some Dri-Mol dry molasses products from ADM. However, it is always interesting and useful to try out different products in order to learn what they can do and their limitations. The Dri-Mol products are supposed to be lighter in color and, hence, may have more sugar, but you won't know for sure until you actually try them.

Maybe you and Steve can combine your pizza making skills and Steve's beer-making prowess, get some real tattoos ala Guy Fieri-style, and open up your own pizza emporium featuring your clones of the MM pizzas :-D. Your overhead would be considerably less than at MM so your pizza prices would be much lower than what I have seen on MM's menus. Maybe I can even improve upon MM doughs through some further testing. If so, I will disclose the results only to you (and to Biz for being such a good sport and help on this project) so that someone else doesn't run with the idea after seeing it on the forum. Or maybe you can sell the recipe to MM itself, if only to keep it out of circulation ;D. You will note that the page views for this thread have jumped recently, so that would seem to suggest that there is interest on what we have been doing.

Peter

Peter,

I will sent a request to ADM to see if I might be able to obtain one or more of the Dri-Mol products. 

Steve just starting brewing more beer last week.  He is a great home brewer.  ;D I never even tasted home brewed beer, until I met Steve. Tasting home brewed beer was something like learning to make pizza.  Both opened up a whole new world to me.  Steve also has brewed wine before, but doesnít do that regularly. Steve and his home brew friends brew all kinds of great beer.  I am getting too old to start a new business, but I think Steve has some kind of plans to start a new venture.  He is always coming up with great ideas, and is very handy with everything.  :) If I was younger, I think I would try to start some kind of regular pizza business.  At least I have tried enough formulas to see which ones work, or which ones donít.  Maybe if Steve needs any help in his new venture I will be able to help him like he has helped me.  Steve doesnít want any more of those fake tattoos though, because he said the first one was too hard to remove and he doesnít even like tattoos.   :-D

I could understand anyone that might want to open a business trying something like a MMís pizza, after reading this thread, wouldnít have any problems with starting a formula.  At least so far, you, Biz, and I have had some successful attempts.  Just learning from these MMís clone attempts, I havenít tasted any pizzas anywhere that can compare with the attempts.  Using the ingredients you posted, and having you as the lead formulation ďspecialistĒ has really helped.  ;D I have so many sample ingredients, that I might just try some of them to make an attempt on a Mystery pizza for my Mystery thread for a MMís attempt.  At least it couldnít hurt to try.  You never know what you can come up with if you donít try.   I donít know if MMís would be interested in our attempts because they are already successful.  I have ideas to offer this pizza at market at some point though.  Different customers stopped and asked what kind of pizzas we were making in our attempted MMís pizzas.  I think, but donít know, that customers might be interested in this different kind of pizza.  The customers all thought the pizzas were made from whole wheat flour, which would be a much healthier pizza.  Little did they know, that the pizzas were made with my regular KASL.   I hadnít noticed that this thread had more page views lately.  It is a wonder no one else is posting on this thread, unless they are guests.  I know Tampa (Dave) was trying to make a MMís pizza for awhile.  I wonder if he is going to try one of the formulas.  ::)

If you have any ideas of a different formula for me to try for next week, let me know.  I am always in for trying new formulas.

Norma
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: Pete-zza on October 12, 2011, 03:35:42 PM
Norma,

I can see how an MM dough clone formulation could be of value to you in your business because it is so easy to make and freeze the dough balls until you are ready to use them. And they are so easy to work with in my opinion.

MM's dough formulation is a valuable one and MM takes great pains to protect that formulation. It is hard to ascribe a dollar value to that formulation but it has to be large. However, the formulation is only a piece of the total puzzle, albeit a necessary one. It is the artwork and music and beer and entertainment and all of the other things that take up most of the investment dollars. But, that said, the licensees have to be protected so that someone doesn't gain access to the dough formulation and use it in a way that is antithetical to MM's efforts to grow the chain (MM is in now in 15 states and the District of Columbia) and against the economic interests of its licensees (MM has essentially become a full-time licensing company). One member sent me an email recently telling me that he took a look at the MM facilities in Atlanta using Google Earth and said that it looked like the facility was as tight as Fort Knox. I had already viewed the facility from an aerial perspective (and posted the link in an earlier post) but I used Google Earth to take a look for myself and I think that he is right. It is not a place for dumpster diving.

A few more experiments and I hope to capture what MM is doing, or to move a step or two closer. However, I will be discreet and judicious in disclosing what I learn and exercise greater control over what I conclude and reveal, although you Steve and Biz will always be privy to what I learn. I am not saying that I have or will crack the MM dough recipe. I would rather improve it. There is already plenty of information in this thread to allow others to work on their own MM clones. After all the time and effort that has been devoted to research and trying to find all of the answers, I am not anxious to lay out dough formulations for those who come to the forum solely for dough recipes for their favorite pizzas.

Peter
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: norma427 on October 12, 2011, 04:21:43 PM
Norma,

I can see how an MM dough clone formulation could be of value to you in your business because it is so easy to make and freeze the dough balls until you are ready to use them. And they are so easy to work with in my opinion.

MM's dough formulation is a valuable one and MM takes great pains to protect that formulation. It is hard to ascribe a dollar value to that formulation but it has to be large. However, the formulation is only a piece of the total puzzle, albeit a necessary one. It is the artwork and music and beer and entertainment and all of the other things that take up most of the investment dollars. But, that said, the licensees have to be protected so that someone doesn't gain access to the dough formulation and use it in a way that is antithetical to MM's efforts to grow the chain (MM is in now in 15 states and the District of Columbia) and against the economic interests of its licensees (MM has essentially become a full-time licensing company). One member sent me an email recently telling me that he took a look at the MM facilities in Atlanta using Google Earth and said that it looked like the facility was as tight as Fort Knox. I had already viewed the facility from an aerial perspective (and posted the link in an earlier post) but I used Google Earth to take a look for myself and I think that he is right. It is not a place for dumpster diving.

A few more experiments and I hope to capture what MM is doing, or to move a step or two closer. However, I will be discreet and judicious in disclosing what I learn and exercise greater control over what I conclude and reveal, although you Steve and Biz will always be privy to what I learn. I am not saying that I have or will crack the MM dough recipe. I would rather improve it. There is already plenty of information in this thread to allow others to work on their own MM clones. After all the time and effort that has been devoted to research and trying to find all of the answers, I am not anxious to lay out dough formulations for those who come to the forum solely for dough recipes for their favorite pizzas.

Peter

Peter,

You must have read my mind when you posted the MM dough clone formulation would be of value to me.  I already know that I could make the dough on a Friday, then freeze it, and have successful pizzas for Tuesday.  I think customers would really be interested in the clone MMís pizzas, but wouldnít know until I try.  I also agree that the whole formulations and doughs are easy to work with.  I never thought any dough would give such a great taste in the crust with such easy methods.

I know from searching that MM does take great pain in trying to protect their dough formulation.  I also know the artwork, music, and beers also contribute to MMís successful operations.  Their pizza businesses are one of a kind.  I can understand why the MMís facilities in Atlanta are as tight as Fort Knox. 

I also agree on trying to improve on MMís dough formulation.  I can understand that this forum isnít for coming here and finding their favorite recipes right away.  It is always about ďworking for your supperĒ.  ;D

Norma
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: Biz Markie on October 12, 2011, 10:22:07 PM
It was the result of this simple test that started me thinking about how much sweetness molasses can actually deliver to a finshed crust. That was the main reason why I started looking at honey and raw cane sugar to supplement the molasses and as the probable source of the sweetness in the MM finished crusts. To date, I have not seen anything to suggest that MM is using only molasses as the sweetener. As I noted in my last post to Norma, there would have to be a super sweet molasses out there somewhere to be able to do this.

I agree with what you're saying here.  Just because molasses is seemingly always touted as an ingredient doesn't mean it's the only sweetener being used.
Just based on sort of gut instinct, I am thinking they may be using honey or some kind of raw/organic/natural sugar/evaporated cane juice.  The other total wildcard idea would be the Sorghum Theory.  Since I still feel that a lot of people think molasses=sorghum and vice versa, it's not outside the realm of possibility that the original ingredient used was sorghum but it was corrupted at some point to "molasses" based on the Southern vernacular.  Perhaps a stretch, but I am leaning more and more towards at least attempting a dough with only sorghum as the sweetener.  Depending on that outcome, I think the next thing I may try is honey with the 5% molasses.  Then if those paths lead to dead ends, I may try to tinker with the yeast and fermentation periods, but I'm not sure if those alone can result in enhanced sweetness over what we've already seen.

So probably for this Sunday I will try a sorghum or molasses+honey recipe and keep you posted. 
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: norma427 on October 12, 2011, 11:31:35 PM
I was looking at ADMís website to see if there are other sugars that maybe MMís might use in their dough.  There are many different products for sweeteners that ADM sells for professional use. http://www.adm.com/en-US/products/food/sweeteners/Pages/default.aspx
One of the interesting sweeteners, among others, is Crystalline Fructose. http://www.adm.com/_layouts/ProductDetails.aspx?productId=12  The technical data sheet can be downloaded.  This product is considered a ďfruit sugarĒ because of its natural occurrence in many fruits, and is the sweetest of natural sugars. More can be read if you download the Technical data sheet.  This is also another pdf. on crystalline fructose http://www.adm.com/en-US/products/Documents/ADM-CornSweet-Crystalline-Fructose.pdf

Edit: I was thinking about Fructose ďfruit sugarď, after I posted about ADM product Crystalline Fructose. I found they do sell ďfruit sugarĒ fructose at different places, and Bobís Red Mill also sells fructose.  After looking at Bobís Red Mill Fructose http://www.amazon.com/Bobs-Red-Mill-Fructose-32-Ounce/dp/B000KELHR6/ref=sr_1_3?s=grocery&ie=UTF8&qid=1318503792&sr=1-3
and then looking at the nutritional data at http://www.amazon.com/Bobs-Red-Mill-Fructose-32-Ounce/dp/B000KELHR6/ref=sr_1_3?s=grocery&ie=UTF8&qid=1318503792&sr=1-3#nutrition-facts it says this product is best if used in applications other than cooking and baking, so I guess MMís wouldnít use this product in their dough.  Then in another PDF. Article http://www.fructose.org/pdf/ADAFructosefactsheetfinal.pdf
it says that crystalline fructose does boost sweetness and cake height (in baked goodsĒ).  I am not sure if I am understanding what the differences are in fructose.

Norma
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: Pete-zza on October 13, 2011, 08:30:10 AM
If you have any ideas of a different formula for me to try for next week, let me know.  I am always in for trying new formulas.

Norma,

Since you had such good luck and results using the ADM 65 DMP and the raw cane sugar, you might want to continue to play around with that combination while Biz and I play around with the ingredients that home pizza makers might have available to them. If you want to try to get less crust color, you could lower the amount of ADM 65 DMP to around 3.5% and increase the amount of raw cane sugar to around 7% to see if that gives a jolt in sweetness. I think you should be OK with the hydration but I am sure that you can tweak the hydration if you find it necessary to do so. If you need any help with the formulation, let me know.

From what I can tell, the sweetest molasses product is going to come from the first boil and be the lightest in color. So, unless there is a super sweet molasses product out there that MM is using and we have not yet identified, and you plan to approach ADM for further samples like the Dri-Mol products, you will perhaps want to look for a first boil product if it exists at ADM.

Peter
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: Pete-zza on October 13, 2011, 08:53:51 AM
Just because molasses is seemingly always touted as an ingredient doesn't mean it's the only sweetener being used.
Just based on sort of gut instinct, I am thinking they may be using honey or some kind of raw/organic/natural sugar/evaporated cane juice.  The other total wildcard idea would be the Sorghum Theory.  Since I still feel that a lot of people think molasses=sorghum and vice versa, it's not outside the realm of possibility that the original ingredient used was sorghum but it was corrupted at some point to "molasses" based on the Southern vernacular.  Perhaps a stretch, but I am leaning more and more towards at least attempting a dough with only sorghum as the sweetener.  Depending on that outcome, I think the next thing I may try is honey with the 5% molasses.  Then if those paths lead to dead ends, I may try to tinker with the yeast and fermentation periods, but I'm not sure if those alone can result in enhanced sweetness over what we've already seen.

So probably for this Sunday I will try a sorghum or molasses+honey recipe and keep you posted. 

Biz,

If you look at the ingredients lists for many of the high-end whole-grain and multi-grain breads sold in supermarkets, you will find all kinds of natural sweeteners used in those products. Molasses is one of the most common ones but you will see also see honey, cane juice, molasses, concentrated raisin juice and sorghum. Sometimes there are multiple sugars used in the same product. I don't think that I have ever seen molasses being used alone without any other sweetener. That would seem to buttress an argument that MM is not using only molasses either.

With respect to the sorghum, it is mostly sucrose, with a small amount of glucose and fructose, which are reducing sugars that yeast can metabolize (although the yeast prefers sucrose over the reducing sugars in sorghum). You are correct that sorghum is sometimes incorrectly called molasses. From what I can tell, there is "sorghum syrup", which is a pure standalone sorghum product, and "sorghum-molasses", which is a combination of pure sorghum syrup and cane molasses. I don't see any reason why you might not try sorghum syrup or sorghum-molasses, if only to rule out those products as being likely used by MM. Honey is mostly fructose, which is one of the sweetest natural sugars, and glucose, with the rest being maltose, sucrose and higher saccharides. Fructose is not a favorite of yeast so you might keep the sorghum/sorghum-molasses or molasses component on the high side to give the yeast its favorite sweeteners.

Peter
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: norma427 on October 13, 2011, 09:07:47 AM
Norma,

Since you had such good luck and results using the ADM 65 DMP and the raw cane sugar, you might want to continue to play around with that combination while Biz and I play around with the ingredients that home pizza makers might have available to them. If you want to try to get less crust color, you could lower the amount of ADM 65 DMP to around 3.5% and increase the amount of raw cane sugar to around 7% to see if that gives a jolt in sweetness. I think you should be OK with the hydration but I am sure that you can tweak the hydration if you find it necessary to do so. If you need any help with the formulation, let me know.

From what I can tell, the sweetest molasses product is going to come from the first boil and be the lightest in color. So, unless there is a super sweet molasses product out there that MM is using and we have not yet identified, and you plan to approach ADM for further samples like the Dri-Mol products, you will perhaps want to look for a first boil product if it exists at ADM.

Peter


Peter,

I will continue to play around with the ADM 65 DMP product and the raw cane sugar.  I did really like the results of that pizza.  Thanks for telling me what to try to get less coloration and more sweetness in the crust.  I will do that experiment for this coming week.  I might also try the Brer Rabbit mild flavored molasses in combination with the raw sugar to see how that turns out, since the Brer Rabbit mild flavored molasses doesnít taste as bitter as the ADM 65 product.

I did request two samples of the Dri-Mol products last evening and received a return email that I have requested the Dri-Mol products.  I will wait and see if I am going to be able to receive those samples.

Norma
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: Pete-zza on October 13, 2011, 09:27:35 AM
After looking at Bobís Red Mill Fructose http://www.amazon.com/Bobs-Red-Mill-Fructose-32-Ounce/dp/B000KELHR6/ref=sr_1_3?s=grocery&ie=UTF8&qid=1318503792&sr=1-3
and then looking at the nutritional data at http://www.amazon.com/Bobs-Red-Mill-Fructose-32-Ounce/dp/B000KELHR6/ref=sr_1_3?s=grocery&ie=UTF8&qid=1318503792&sr=1-3#nutrition-facts it says this product is best if used in applications other than cooking and baking, so I guess MMís wouldnít use this product in their dough.  Then in another PDF. Article http://www.fructose.org/pdf/ADAFructosefactsheetfinal.pdf
it says that crystalline fructose does boost sweetness and cake height (in baked goodsĒ).  I am not sure if I am understanding what the differences are in fructose.

Norma,

Fructose can and has been used in pizza dough before. Pizza Hut once used it as a dough ingredient for a pan pizza dough. See, for example, page 4 of the pdf document at http://www.espanol.pizzahut.com/menu/nutritioninfo/documents/ph_ingredients.pdf. I believe that formulation was before PH went to frozen dough for its stores. The good news about fructose is that it is considerably sweeter than sucrose, by about 1.2-1.6 times. The not so good news is that it is not the yeast's favorite sugar and is metabolized more slowly than other reducing sugars and translates into a longer fermentation. Remember the little experiment that November referenced at http://www.uni-regensburg.de/Fakultaeten/nat_Fak_IV/Organische_Chemie/Didaktik/Keusch/D-fermentation_sugar-e.htm? However, if you use other sugars along with the fructose, I would think that you should be OK to use the fructose in the dough. In a frozen dough context, or in a short fermentation context, it might even be a good idea if the yeast doesn't use the fructose too quickly since that might lead to more residual sugar at the time of baking to contribute to both sweetness and crust coloration.

Combining different types of sugars to achieve a desired degree of sweetness in a finished crust while operating within a desired window of fermentation can be a somewhat treacherous exercise--one that can only be resolved accurately by resorting to some pretty complex math or conducting a lot of experimentation. November alluded to this problem in the next to last paragraph of his post at Reply 4 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,4159.msg34710/topicseen.html#msg34710.

Peter
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: norma427 on October 13, 2011, 10:36:52 AM
Norma,

Fructose can and has been used in pizza dough before. Pizza Hut once used it as a dough ingredient for a pan pizza dough. See, for example, page 4 of the pdf document at http://www.espanol.pizzahut.com/menu/nutritioninfo/documents/ph_ingredients.pdf. I believe that formulation was before PH went to frozen dough for its stores. The good news about fructose is that it is considerably sweeter than sucrose, by about 1.2-1.6 times. The not so good news is that it is not the yeast's favorite sugar and is metabolized more slowly than other reducing sugars and translates into a longer fermentation. Remember the little experiment that November referenced at http://www.uni-regensburg.de/Fakultaeten/nat_Fak_IV/Organische_Chemie/Didaktik/Keusch/D-fermentation_sugar-e.htm? However, if you use other sugars along with the fructose, I would think that you should be OK to use the fructose in the dough. In a frozen dough context, or in a short fermentation context, it might even be a good idea if the yeast doesn't use the fructose too quickly since that might lead to more residual sugar at the time of baking to contribute to both sweetness and crust coloration.

Combining different types of sugars to achieve a desired degree of sweetness in a finished crust while operating within a desired window of fermentation can be a somewhat treacherous exercise--one that can only be resolved accurately by resorting to some pretty complex math or conducting a lot of experimentation. November alluded to this problem in the next to last paragraph of his post at Reply 4 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,4159.msg34710/topicseen.html#msg34710.

Peter


Peter,

I didnít know fructose could be used in pizza dough.  Thanks for the pdf document on Pizza Huts pan pizza dough with fructose added.  I read that fructose is considerably sweeter than sucrose.  I also didnít remember the little experiment that November referenced.  Thanks for refreshing my memory on that too.  I sure donít know, but would think in a frozen dough context, or in a short fermentation context, that fructose might be a good idea to try in pizza dough. 

I know I am not good at math, and know that combining sugars would be a treacherous exercise.   I can understand from Novemberís posts what a treacherous exercise trying to combine molasses and fructose would be.  I will have to think over about trying an experiment something like that for a MMís dough.  I think though fructose would be better for glycemic levels, but I am not sure.

Maybe I am doing too much thinking on this, because MMís probably doesnít add any fructose to their dough.

Norma
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: GlennC. on October 13, 2011, 12:37:44 PM
Turns out I know the wife of the guy that owns our local Mellow Mushroom store in Decatur, Ga.

I will probably see her in sometime in the next couple weeks.  Post a list of questions and I will see what I can find out.
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: Pete-zza on October 13, 2011, 02:44:20 PM
Today I used the MM clone dough ball with the 10% Kretschmer's toasted wheat germ (with Vitamin E enrichment) to make a pizza. But for the amount of wheat germ, the dough formulation was the same as the previous one I used with 4% molasses, 4% sugar and 3% Kretschmer's toasted wheat germ. The dough handled beautifully. It also seemed that I was able to form a rim that held up better than the previous skins I had made in the course of this project. I also concluded that it is perhaps a good idea to let the dough temper for about an hour and a half at room temperature before using. Previously, I used the dough after only a brief temper period. I did that in order to see how well the dough would handle shortly after it came out of the refrigerator.

The pizza itself was quite tasty but the flavor of the wheat germ was too pronounced, even though it perhaps resulted in a healthier pizza because of all of the wheat germ. There was some sweetness in the crust but not to the degree I experienced when I had the MM pizza in Florida. This I expected based on the results that were previously documented in this thread.

I tend to think that about 3% toasted wheat germ is about right. It might be a bit lower or a bit higher depending on one's personal taste preferences and objectives. Remember, also, that the normal level of wheat germ in flour is around 2-2.5%. That doesn't mean the MM doesn't use more so one should use this range as a benchmark for the time being.

Peter
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: norma427 on October 13, 2011, 03:01:12 PM
Peter,

Is was interesting to hear that your recent dough formulation, with the extra (10%) Kretschmerís toasted wheat germ, did let you form a rim that held up better than your previous skins. 

Norma
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: Biz Markie on October 13, 2011, 06:41:32 PM
Turns out I know the wife of the guy that owns our local Mellow Mushroom store in Decatur, Ga.

I will probably see her in sometime in the next couple weeks.  Post a list of questions and I will see what I can find out.

Sweet! 

I'm sure Peter has some great questions you could ask, but off the top of my head at this point, I'd be most interested to know all the sweeteners they use in the crust.  Molasses seems a given, but wondering what in addition is being used (if anything).
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: norma427 on October 13, 2011, 07:12:42 PM
I had put in a request for samples of the ADM Dri-Mol 60 Dry molasses and the Dri-Mol 604 Dry Molasses last evening.  Today, I received an email from the Regional Sales Manager saying he put in a sample request for me for both products. (a couple of pounds each)  He attached the spec sheets for these items.

These are the spec sheets for the Dri-Mol 60 Dry Molasses and the Dri-Mol 604 Dry Molasses.

Norma
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: norma427 on October 13, 2011, 07:13:13 PM
Norma
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: Pete-zza on October 13, 2011, 09:06:47 PM
I have been using the Brer Rabbit Full Flavor molasses in my experiments. That is the only Brer Rabbit molasses that is stocked by my local supermarket. I wondered which press (or boil) was used to make that product. Today I found the answer at the website of the company that makes the Brer Rabbit molasses products, at http://www.bgfoods.com/int_faq.asp. As noted there, the Brer Rabbit Full Flavor molasses is a second press (or boil). That means it will have less sweetness but more flavor than a first press molasses.

Apparently the same company makes the Grandma's brand of molasses. Note, in particular, that the Grandma Original molasses is a first press molasses. As such, it has the most sweetness of all the molasses products but is not as flavorful as the other molasses products. It seems to me that, as between the Brer Rabbit and Grandma's brands of molasses the that are sold at the retail level, the best one for our purposes may be the Grandma's Original molasses. At the commercial level, there may well be even better choices, especially light colored versions.

Peter
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: Pete-zza on October 13, 2011, 09:33:14 PM
To add to my last post, there is another first press (first boil) molasses that is sold by Plantation and called Barbados, at http://www.alliedoldenglish.com/plantation.php?flavor=barbados.

Peter
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: norma427 on October 13, 2011, 10:40:53 PM
I will continue to use my Brer Rabbit mild flavored molasses until it is all gone, before I switch to Grandmaís Original molasses.   

I also saw one more business that sells dry sweeteners, in the form of dry molasses.
http://www.sunopta.com/uploadedFiles/ingredients/SIG%20-%20SunOpta%20Dry%20Sweeteners.pdf
There are probably many more.

Norma
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: Biz Markie on October 13, 2011, 11:23:08 PM
I've been using Brer Rabbit "Mild" of which the company's website says:

"Brer Rabbit Mild Ė is the first boiling Ė It is light colored, mild and sweet."

I personally wouldn't call it "light-colored" at all. .it's quite dark in the bottle. It's all relative, I suppose.

Sorghum Syrup is even lighter and often more orange-colored.  It's usually sweeter too, from my experience.  In fact I mostly gave up eating Sorghum (with biscuits for example) because it was so sweet.  As mentioned, I'd like to try it in a dough just for kicks.  I'm not sure if I'll go get some real homemade stuff from the local Amish or something a little more commercialized.
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: Pete-zza on October 14, 2011, 01:24:34 PM
Norma and Biz,

When I was researching the different categories of molasses, I discovered that there is an even sweeter molasses called Fancy. It is about 40% sweeter than the first boil molasses. See, for example, http://whatscookingamerica.net/Q-A/Molassas.htm. I understand that the Fancy molasses is also sometimes called "Gold Star" but I believe that that may be a trademark of the Crosby molasses company which, as previously noted, is a Canadian company whose products may not available in the U.S. (at one time it looks like Amazon carried the Crosby Gold Star molasses but that no longer seems to be the case). I would think that someone like Malt Products Corporation (http://www.maltproducts.com/products.molasses.html) or Domino Sugar (http://www.dominospecialtyingredients.com/?pageId=1090&rowId=11207) might have a light colored Fancy wet molasses. However, one would have to be a professional to obtain samples from those companies.

Peter
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: norma427 on October 14, 2011, 05:38:52 PM
Norma and Biz,

When I was researching the different categories of molasses, I discovered that there is an even sweeter molasses called Fancy. It is about 40% sweeter than the first boil molasses. See, for example, http://whatscookingamerica.net/Q-A/Molassas.htm. I understand that the Fancy molasses is also sometimes called "Gold Star" but I believe that that may be a trademark of the Crosby molasses company which, as previously noted, is a Canadian company whose products may not available in the U.S. (at one time it looks like Amazon carried the Crosby Gold Star molasses but that no longer seems to be the case). I would think that someone like Malt Products Corporation (http://www.maltproducts.com/products.molasses.html) or Domino Sugar (http://www.dominospecialtyingredients.com/?pageId=1090&rowId=11207) might have a light colored Fancy wet molasses. However, one would have to be a professional to obtain samples from those companies.

Peter

Peter,

I never heard of Fancy molasses before.  I see Malt Products Corporation does carry dry (spray dried) molasses products.  Do you think I should try to request a sample of the #175 molasses product.  I had recently received a sample of malt from the same company.  The Dominoís molasses liquids all look so different.  If you had to pick one or more of them for me to request samples of which would you pick?  Would you suggest the Fancy wet molasses?

I never knew there were so many kinds of molasses products before.

Norma
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: Pete-zza on October 14, 2011, 07:12:40 PM
Norma,

I would like to go back to the liquid molasses for a while, so at Malt Products I would ask for a sample of the liquid molasses, Code #732, and at Domino Sugar I would ask for a sample of either the Homemaid Molasses or a light BSM Molasses. To avoid having to go back for more samples, I think I would call Malt Products and Domino Sugar first and ask them which of their products is of the Fancy variety, or closest to the Fancy variety.

Peter
     
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: norma427 on October 14, 2011, 08:21:59 PM
Norma,

I would like to go back to the liquid molasses for a while, so at Malt Products I would ask for a sample of the liquid molasses, Code #732, and at Domino Sugar I would ask for a sample of either the Homemaid Molasses or a light BSM Molasses. To avoid having to go back for more samples, I think I would call Malt Products and Domino Sugar first and ask them which of their products is of the Fancy variety, or closest to the Fancy variety.

Peter
     

Peter,

Thanks for your advise.  I will call Malt Products and Domino Sugar next week and ask them which of their products is the Fancy variety, or closest to the Fancy variety.

Norma
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: norma427 on October 14, 2011, 08:23:38 PM
If anyone is interested, I used all dry sample ingredients, with salt, and flour to make an attempt at a MMís clone tonight.  I posted the pictures and what I did at Reply 344 http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,13686.msg156818.html#msg156818

Norma
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: Jet_deck on October 14, 2011, 11:52:27 PM
Norma,

I would like to go back to the liquid molasses for a while.     

Miss Jet_junior is making whole wheat bread tonight.  I noticed that the Grandma's Molasses that they were using is unsulphured.  I wonder if the sulphured (I am spelling this as it is on the label) version is available also.  Does sulpher make the yeast not eat all of the sugar as to retain more sweetness?

Just my $.02 that I owe Peter for buying $.25 worth a while back. :D
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: Pete-zza on October 15, 2011, 09:33:19 AM
I noticed that the Grandma's Molasses that they were using is unsulphured.  I wonder if the sulphured (I am spelling this as it is on the label) version is available also.  Does sulpher make the yeast not eat all of the sugar as to retain more sweetness?

Gene,

That is an interesting question. Since all of the molasses products that we have been discussing on this thread are unsulphured, I hadn't given any thought about sulphured molasses products. However, from what I can tell from the literature, the main reasons for using sulphur (sulphur dioxide) are for preservative purposes, to lighten the color of the molasses (or sugar) and to aid in processing unripe (immature) sugar cane. Typical of the articles is the one at http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=dailytip&dbid=88. Also, according to the article at http://www.cooksinfo.com/edible.nsf/pages/molasses, one should use unsulphured molasses in recipes calling for yeast because the sulphured variety will kill the yeast. This possible effect on yeast seems to be supported by the article at http://www.joepastry.com/2007/what_is_sulphured_molasses_1/.  But even if that effect is not true, a sulphured molasses seems to be more bitter and with a chemical aftertaste, making it less desirable for consumption purposes. It may well be that the sulphured molasses products are better suited for agricultural purposes or possibly for animal feeds.

When I looked for a source of sulphured molasses for home/human consumption, I saw that the Grandma's molasses with the green label is identified at Amazon as "sulphered", at http://www.amazon.com/Grandmas-Sulphured-Green-Baking-Molasses/dp/tech-data/B005Q0BNQY. Likewise at the foodservicedirect.coom website at http://www.foodservicedirect.com/product.cfm/p/8125/Grandma-Sulphured-Green-Label-Baking-Molasses.htm. However, that characterization is incorrect. The Grandma's molasses with the green label (called Robust) is unsulphured (http://www.bgfoods.com/grandmas/grandmas_products.asp). I was not able to locate a sulphured molasses product intended for home use.

From its founding, a goal of Mellow Mushroom has been to "serve the finest product possible in terms of health and taste" (http://mellowmushroom.com/public/old_site1/aboutus.html). So, it is unlikely that MM would be using a sulphured molasses product.

Peter
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: Biz Markie on October 15, 2011, 03:37:06 PM
Hola Amigos,

Well, today is dough-making day so I had to come to a decision about what to do.  

As mentioned earlier, I was toying with either adding honey along with molasses to kick up the sweetness level, or trying 100% Sorghum instead of molasses with no additional sweeteners.

Due to my aforementioned love of Sorghum, I decided to go that route today. I biked down to the local Piggly Wiggly and grabbed some 100% Pure Sorghum, pictured below.

I used the same formula as I did last week, which was a very successful dough save for the slight paucity of sweetness.  The only other change was that I used un-ground wheat germ.  I just used it straight out of the bag.

The Sorghum . ....well, I just love it.  It's sweeter than the Brer Rabbit mild.  The remark I made to my wife is that it tastes like a blend of honey and molasses.  Coincidence??  We shall see!  But I might liken it to the taste of Candy Corn with just a hint of bitterness.

Also, as you can see in the second picture below, the Sorghum is vastly lighter in color than the Brer Rabbit Mild.  So, as postulated earlier, one should be able to use a lot more sorghum in an MM clone dough and end up with the same crumb color as a lower-percentage molasses-only dough.

The final picture is of the finished dough ball.  It's quite a bit lighter, as was expected.  It's still not as light as a sugar-only or honey-only dough would be, however.  

I'm very excited about this dough. . i'll keep you posted tomorrow.  Fortunately I saved the Farragut crust remnant for color comparison purposes - it's quite old at this point. . I hope it hasn't molded.
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: Pete-zza on October 15, 2011, 04:47:12 PM
Yesterday, while at my local supermarket, I picked up a bottle of Grandma's Original molasses. As noted earlier in this thread, the Grandma's Original molasses is a product of a first boil and, as such, is supposed to be lighter in color. The next step up would be the Fancy grade, which should be even lighter and with more sugar, about 40% more (more on this below).

The first thing I did when I got home was to compare the color of the Grandma's Original molasses against the colors of the other molasses products I have on hand. These include an old bottle of the Grandma's Mild Flavor molasses and the recently purchased Brer Rabbit Full Flavor molasses, both of which I believe are products of the second boil. As it turns out, I also found an old bottle of a sorghum molasses syrup in my pantry. Part of the label was obliterated but the ingredients include sorghum, molasses and some kind of syrup (I could not make out the type of syrup). I put thin films of all four products on a sheet of white paper and let them dry. Once dried, I could clearly see that the Grandma's Original molasses and sorghum molasses were essentially identical in color, to the point where one would be hard pressed to tell the difference. They were both lighter in color than the Grandma's Mild Flavor molasses and the Brer Rabbit Full Flavor molasses, much as shown in Biz's photos. The bottle of the sorghum molasses was quite old so it might not have been a good sample to compare flavor-wise with the molasses products. But I did not think that it had a decidedly molasses flavor.

I decided to make and freeze a dough ball using the Grandma's Original molasses. However, rather than using that molasses alone, I decided to elevate its sugar content to approach the Fancy grade. One tablespoon of the Grandma's Original molasses weighs about 20-21 grams. Of that, 14 grams are "sugars" as that term is defined under FDA regulations. By contrast, a tablespoon of the Grandma's Mild Flavor molasses and the Brer Rabbit Full Flavor contains 12 grams of sugars. A Fancy grade molasses supposedly contains about 40% more sugar than a first boil molasses (like the Grandma's Original molasses). However, it is not clear whether the term "sugar" means table sugar, or sucrose, or "sugars", which would include sucrose, glucose and fructose. Rather than try to resolve the ambiguity, I simply decided to add some raw cane sugar (turbinado) to the dough. The two sweeteners were 9% Grandma's Original molasses and 4% raw cane sugar. I also decided to forego the wheat germ this time.

The final dough as it came out of my food processor was quite close to the color of the benchmark tan coffee filter. Actually, it was more of a golden-tan color. Using any of the other molasses products I mentioned would have resulted in a much darker dough color.

In due course, I will make a pizza out of the dough and report on the results of the latest test. However, as Biz speculated, I would say that using a lighter color molasses, or even pure sorghum or sorghum molasses, one should be able to use more of it without getting an overly dark dough. I was hoping to be able to calculate how much total sucrose is in my combination. However, I do not have the numbers for the percents of sucrose, glucose and fructose in a first boil molasses. The data on molasses at the Nutritiondata.self.com website at http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/sweets/5573/2 seems to be most like the data for a second boil molasses. However, if I had to make an educated guess, I would say that the total sucrose content is about 6.5% on a flour weight basis. To that, one should add the sweetness contributed by the fructose and glucose in the Grandma's Original molasses. Fructose can be as much as 1.6 times sweeter than sucrose. Glucose is about 74% as sweet as sucrose. So the total sucrose-equivalency number could be a few percent higher on a flour weight basis. However, we will have to see if the total sweetness will be enough to come through in the finished crust. At best, it will. At worst, we might have a range of sugars to play around with for future modification purposes.

Peter

Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: norma427 on October 15, 2011, 06:09:02 PM
Biz and Peter,

I wish both of you luck in your experiments.  Both of them sound interesting, and I am anxious to see both of your results.

I might also change my next experiment based on my dry mix pizza I made yesterday.  For one thing I left out the wheat germ in that formula and liked the results.  The other thing is I tried fructose and also liked that, so I might be leaning towards getting some Grandmaís original molasses and also trying that.  Since Grandma molasses is sweeter than the ADM SWEETNNEAT products, I am not sure how much fructose to add to the formula.

I also was reading about molasses in this article, http://www.everything2.com/title/molasses
and continued from the article to this article on Alternative Sugars on the beer forum.  http://everything2.com/title/Homebrewing+204%253A+Alternative+Sugars

I have no idea how dough and beer making are related, or if different sugars in dough formulas or beer formulas might act the same or not.

Norma
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: norma427 on October 16, 2011, 02:46:16 PM
I was at the supermarket this morning to get some groceries, and I also picked up some Grandmaís Original molasses to try in my next MMís dough.  I looked at all the molasses products my local family owned supermarket carried.  One kind of product caught my eye, because it was a product I never noticed before.  My family when I was smaller always used King Syrup on pancakes and waffles, and I noticed the supermarket carried a King product I had never looked at before.  It was called King Po-Ti-Rik.  http://www.carriagehousebrands.com/kingsyrup.html  I looked on the ingredients label and it said it was made from molasses and corn syrup.  http://chilifiestagourmet.com/King-PoTRik-Syrup-Americas-Finest-Table/M/B001VXQ8AQ.htm  The King Po-Ti-Rik did look thick and about the same color as Grandmaís Original Molasses.
I also saw under The Carriage House website and saw they carry Bob White Golden syrup which is mostly used for baking.  http://www.carriagehousebrands.com/bobwhite.html  I couldnít find any information about the ingredients in the Bob White Golden syrup.

I sure donít know anything about golden syrups, but this article explains about golden syrups. http://www.sugarindia.com/golden.htm

I really donít think MMís uses any of these products in their dough, but was interested in seeing the King Po-Ti-Rik had both molasses and sweetener together.

Norma
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: Pete-zza on October 16, 2011, 03:54:36 PM
Norma,

I recently conducted a couple of interesting Google searches relating to the claim that MM uses no refined white sugars in its dough or pizza sauce. In the first search, I used the keyword string of ďMellow MushroomĒ and ďrefined white sugarĒ (in quotes as given). I got a total of 44 hits. Of those hits, only one was attributable to MM itself. It is the now well-known MM webpage that you and I have cited at http://mellowmushroom.com/public/old_site1/aboutus.html.

For the second search, I used the keyword string of ďMellow MushroomĒ and ďrefined sugarĒ. As can be seen, the only difference is that I left the word ďwhiteĒ out of the search. This time, I got a total of 739 hits. Interestingly, none of those items was attributable to MM as a corporate entity. The items were references to refined sugars by licensees and writers of articles and other sources, but not by MM corporate. There is no way of knowing whether MM corporate has acquiesced in the use by others of the broader expression ďrefined sugarĒ (or the plural version ďrefined sugarsĒ). There is a big difference between ďrefined white sugarsĒ and ďrefined sugarsĒ.

I personally believe that the term ďrefinedĒ is a slippery one. While I was in the supermarket, I couldnít help but notice how many sugar products were touted as ďpureĒ and ďnaturalĒ, including products like light and brown sugar with molasses. Are light and brown sugar refined? It seems to me that just about all sugar products are subjected to some refinement, arguably including molasses, and perhaps even more so with the dry molasses products. You might also recall from what was posted earlier in this thread at Reply 18 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,3940.msg149648.html#msg149648, the only sweetener mentioned by MM as being used in the MM dough is molasses. There is no reference to ďrefined white sugar(s)Ē or ďrefined sugar(s)Ē, and no reference to any other form of sugar being used other than molasses. If molasses is really sorghum or sorghum-molasses, then that possibility might be explored. That is why I am interested in the results that Biz achieves using the sorghum he recently purchased.

Peter
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: norma427 on October 16, 2011, 05:36:26 PM
Norma,

I recently conducted a couple of interesting Google searches relating to the claim that MM uses no refined white sugars in its dough or pizza sauce. In the first search, I used the keyword string of ďMellow MushroomĒ and ďrefined white sugarĒ (in quotes as given). I got a total of 44 hits. Of those hits, only one was attributable to MM itself. It is the now well-known MM webpage that you and I have cited at http://mellowmushroom.com/public/old_site1/aboutus.html.

For the second search, I used the keyword string of ďMellow MushroomĒ and ďrefined sugarĒ. As can be seen, the only difference is that I left the word ďwhiteĒ out of the search. This time, I got a total of 739 hits. Interestingly, none of those items was attributable to MM as a corporate entity. The items were references to refined sugars by licensees and writers of articles and other sources, but not by MM corporate. There is no way of knowing whether MM corporate has acquiesced in the use by others of the broader expression ďrefined sugarĒ (or the plural version ďrefined sugarsĒ). There is a big difference between ďrefined white sugarsĒ and ďrefined sugarsĒ.

I personally believe that the term ďrefinedĒ is a slippery one. While I was in the supermarket, I couldnít help but notice how many sugar products were touted as ďpureĒ and ďnaturalĒ, including products like light and brown sugar with molasses. Are light and brown sugar refined? It seems to me that just about all sugar products are subjected to some refinement, arguably including molasses, and perhaps even more so with the dry molasses products. You might also recall from what was posted earlier in this thread at Reply 18 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,3940.msg149648.html#msg149648, the only sweetener mentioned by MM as being used in the MM dough is molasses. There is no reference to ďrefined white sugar(s)Ē or ďrefined sugar(s)Ē, and no reference to any other form of sugar being used other than molasses. If molasses is really sorghum or sorghum-molasses, then that possibility might be explored. That is why I am interested in the results that Biz achieves using the sorghum he recently purchased.

Peter


Peter,

I can understand there is a difference between ďrefined white sugarsĒ and ďrefined sugarsĒ, and after that it does get to be a slippery slope. 

I took a picture to compare the Brer Rabbit Mild Flavored Molasses with the Grandmaís Original Molasses I purchased today.  As can be seen on the photo, both molasses product look about the same.  I tasted both molasses products a couple of times, and the Grandmaís Original Molasses is only a tiny bit sweeter, than the Brer Rabbit Mild Flavored Molasses (which has a little bit more tang).  If any other members also does a taste test between these two molasses products, I would be interested in knowing how they thought both products tasted, since I know all of our taste buds arenít the same.  I know we used to get brown sugar from Dominoís, and  know that brown sugar had molasses added to make it brown sugar. Each batch we bought was never the same, even though we bought them in 50 lb. or 100 lb. bags, from the same distributor.  One time the brown sugar was so nice and soft with molasses and the next time the brown sugar seemed sandy. (I guess from not enough molasses added.)  The brown sugar doesnít have anything to do with what MMís is using in their dough, but I donít even know if the brown sugar we bought with molasses was refined the same way.  I always wondered about that.  I am even wondering if MMís uses some type of molasses in combination with some kind of ďrefined sugarĒ, if they would even need to mention ďrefined sugarĒ in their dough.  I am also anxious to hear about Bizís experiment with the Sorghum, to see if that takes his MMís attempt to the desired sweetness level.

Norma
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: norma427 on October 16, 2011, 07:16:08 PM
I was a little late getting my next iteration for an MM clone mixed today, but I guess it doesnít matter because it is frozen now anyway.  I added 8% Grandmaís Original Molasses, and 3% fructose to my formula to see if I might be able to achieve the right color and sweetness in the crust.  The color of the finished dough ball does look about the same as a light tan coffee filter.

The one picture was taken before the dough ball was rolled in cornmeal, and the other picture was taken after the dough ball was coated with cornmeal.

Norma
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: norma427 on October 16, 2011, 07:31:46 PM
Peter,

I donít know if your searches turned up this article, but in this article it says MMís dough is made with unrefined flour, molasses, wheat germ, and fresh Georgia spring water as the ingredients.  http://www.theshorthorn.com/index.php/entertainment/fungames/27731-a-70s-themed-mellow-mushroom-has-sprouted-in-downtown-arlington%20ForceRecrawl:%200

Now I donít know if I did the right thing in not adding wheat germ to my dough.

Norma
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: Pete-zza on October 16, 2011, 07:47:14 PM
Norma,

See Reply 184 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,3940.msg154844.html#msg154844.

Since what you quoted came from a franchisee rather than from MM corporate, I wouldn't want to put too much stock in it.

Peter
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: norma427 on October 17, 2011, 10:41:05 AM
In this article http://corporateekg.com/2007/11/26/mellow-dream-became-nightmare/
It says that Richard Brasch (chief executive of Home-Grown Industries) said Lockhart was making pizzas with generic cheese instead of the more expensive Grande brand cheese Mellow Mushrooms are supposed to use.

I know other cheeses might be used in different MMís locations.

Norma
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: Pete-zza on October 17, 2011, 12:44:57 PM
Norma,

I did read about the problems in Charlotte but I did not see anything about the requirement that MM franchisees use Grande mozzarella cheese. I would imagine that it is the low-moisture part-skim mozzarella cheese described at http://www.grandecheese.com/products/Pages/Product_Spec.aspx?ProductMasterID=16 (loaf) or http://www.grandecheese.com/products/Pages/Product_Spec.aspx?ProductMasterID=18 (shred). I don't know if MM has changed its franchisee requirements with respect to the cheese since around 2005 when the Charlotte problems occurred but I read not long ago that at least one of the Arizona MM locations is using a Saputo Premium mozzarella cheese (Reply 40 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,3940.msg151292.html#msg151292).

Peter
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: norma427 on October 17, 2011, 04:54:12 PM
Peter,

I donít know if MMís changed their brand of cheese for all franchises to Saputo Premium mozzarella cheese, or might be using Grande low-moisture part-skim mozzarella cheese at some locations, but they both seem to be good part-skim mozzarella cheeses.

This is what my frozen dough ball looked like when I took it to market today.

Norma
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: norma427 on October 17, 2011, 05:40:22 PM
I received both samples of ADM Dri-Mol dry molasses a little while ago.  Both products are lighter than the other ADM dry molasses products I received before.  I donít know where I am going to put all these samples.  :-D

Norma
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: Biz Markie on October 17, 2011, 08:35:30 PM
Sorry for the delay in posting the results of my Sorghum experiment.

The pizza turned out very well last night.  It had a longer temper period, about 2.5 hours at a temp between 70-75 I would guess.  Due to this, the dough was a bit more extensible than previous iterations.  Not unmanageable, but I was pretty easily able to get it to 14 inches without tossing, just hand stretching.  
I discovered that if I turn the oven dial between 500 and Broil, the bottom baking element stays on.  Not sure if this is a fluke or the self-cleaning mode.  But I left it on this setting with the stone on the lowest rack for about 30-45 mins, then just switched it to 500.
I baked the pie for 6 mins on the second-highest rack position (one higher than previous attempts) but noticed the top wasn't quite baking enough, so I flipped on the broiler for about 45 seconds.

I have not done a photo color comparison of the crust crumb to the Farragut remnant, but there's no doubt my crumb was lighter.  This was to be expected, of course.

As for the taste - the most important thing I gathered from this is that the "molasses taste" was definitely missed.  The crust had a really nice flavor, but the signature molasses flavor was not there.  This isn't to say that the molasses flavor is significant in the MM pies I've recently had, but I do think it's there. On a positive note, the crust was sweeter (again, mostly expected) but not quite to the level of the Franklin crust.  

It was an excellent crust, especially the texture, but the only thing we maybe moved the needle on was sweetness.  I don't think we can get away from some degree of molasses, in my personal opinion.  Although I suppose if you increased the Sorghum in order to both increase the sweetness and color, some of the twang of the sorghum may start to come through.

Regardless, I think it's safe to say MM is not using Sorghum instead of molasses.

I'm not sure what I'll do next.  

Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: norma427 on October 17, 2011, 10:25:26 PM
Biz,

Thanks for your report on your MMís attempt with the sorghum.  I keep wondering what kind of molasses they used when the first started their business, and if they do add any other kind of refined sugar to their dough.  I wouldnít think even a large amount of molasses only would give enough sweetness to the final crust, unless there is a kind of molasses we havenít tried.  Will be interesting in what you will decide to do next. 

Norma
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: Pete-zza on October 18, 2011, 08:15:36 AM
Yesterday, I made a pizza out of the last dough ball (frozen and defrosted) that I made. The dough for this pizza included 9% Grandma's Original molasses and 4% raw cane sugar. This time, I did not use any wheat germ. The pizza was very tasty although I think that the sweetness of the crust, while improved, may still be less than what I recalled from the MM pizza I had in Florida. I also think that the dough has to be a bit lighter in color but not by much. The only way I can think to do this with the Grandma's Original molasses in a home setting is to use less of the molasses and more raw cane sugar, or else use just ordinary table sugar that has no color. If MM is using only molasses as a sweetener in its dough, then it must have a special molasses product that we cannot get at the retail level. It would perhaps have to be a commercial Fancy grade molasses. I will continue to tweak some of the ingredients. Since we are stuck with whatever brands of molasses are available to us at the retail level, at this point I am more interested in the sweetness factor.

Peter
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: norma427 on October 18, 2011, 09:40:21 PM
The attempt at the MMís pizza with the higher percent of molasses and Fructose (as the sugar) went well today.  The dough was very easy to open, and baked well.  The crust did have a sweeter taste in the crust then my last attempts, but the sweetness wasnít too much.  My taste testers. Steve, and I all liked this MMís attempt.  Although I probably wonít know how this compares with a real MMís pizza, if a member decides to try out the same formula I did, maybe I will know how close this attempt was.  There was a chew in the crust today.  This curst seemed lighter in color, but I am not sure it is the right color in comparison to a MMís.

I recently changed cameras, and now my pictures wonít resize right.  I will have to try and figure out how I can post more pictures on one post in the future.

This was a video Steve took of me trying to toss the dough.  The dough could be tossed well.  I bought a little glass holder thingy for my glasses that was tie dyed, but it canít be seen what it looked like in the video.  At least it was only .50 cents.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1HwQbAxggu4

Norma
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: norma427 on October 18, 2011, 09:45:04 PM
Norma
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: norma427 on October 18, 2011, 09:45:48 PM
Norma
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: norma427 on October 18, 2011, 09:46:33 PM
Norma
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: norma427 on October 18, 2011, 09:47:51 PM
Norma
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: norma427 on October 18, 2011, 09:48:28 PM
Norma
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: norma427 on October 18, 2011, 09:49:12 PM
Norma
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: norma427 on October 18, 2011, 09:51:48 PM
Norma
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: norma427 on October 18, 2011, 09:52:30 PM
Norma
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: norma427 on October 18, 2011, 09:53:16 PM
Norma
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: dwighttsharpe on October 19, 2011, 10:14:17 AM
Norma

Norma, what's the recipe(formula) for this last pizza you made, shown in posts #375 - #384?

Looks delicious. Thanks.
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: norma427 on October 19, 2011, 12:35:36 PM
Norma, what's the recipe(formula) for this last pizza you made, shown in posts #375 - #384?

Looks delicious. Thanks.

dwighttsharpe,

Thanks for saying the MM's attempt looked delicious!  :)  This is the formula I used.  If you try it, let us know how it turns out for you.

Norma
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: Pete-zza on October 19, 2011, 12:58:45 PM
Norma,

In the dough formulation you posted, did you weigh the fructose or did you use the volume measurement shown in the dough formulation?

Peter
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: norma427 on October 19, 2011, 01:20:43 PM
Norma,

In the dough formulation you posted, did you weigh the fructose or did you use the volume measurement shown in the dough formulation?

Peter

Peter,

I weighed the fructose using my scale.

Norma
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: Cyberider on October 19, 2011, 03:30:59 PM
Like all the replication threads, this is very interesting.  I was very surprised yesterday when I saw a Mellow Mushroom Pizza store in downtown Tempe, AZ.  Had no idea there was one in this area and had never heard of it until I read this thread.  Will continue to follow with interest and maybe even try my own hand at replication though I don't have the tools many have here at my disposal.
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: norma427 on October 19, 2011, 08:23:00 PM
Peter,

Did you see anything about this in your searches for MMís?  It seems like Rocky Reeves and Biff Farmer opened a pizza business called Rock Back Pizza Cafe and the Morning Glory Pizza. http://blogs.ajc.com/food-and-more/2011/01/14/in-the-news-noon-midtown-closes-mellow-mushroom-founder-opens-new-pizza-restaurant/?cxntfid=blogs_food_and_more&utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter
http://www.urbanspoon.com/r/9/1575975/restaurant/Atlanta/Rock-Back-Pizza-The-Morning-Glory-Pizza-Cafe-Newnan

http://www.rockbackpizza.com/menu.php
http://www.rockbackpizza.com/story.php  In the pictures of the men making the pizzas (if scrolled down), the one cartoon man has Excelsior Mill on the back of his shirt.  I wonder what if that might mean this. http://www.absoluteastronomy.com/topics/DuPre_Excelsior_Mill
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DuPre_Excelsior_Mill


More on the pizzeria.
http://www.trademarkia.com/morning-glory-pizza-cafe-77826975.html

I wonder since it says they make their dough fresh, if anymore information can be found on their dough and pizzas to see if they are the same as MMís.  It also makes me wonder if this might be a jump to start another themed kind of pizza business.  I also wonder if you call Rock Back Pizza Cafe and the Morning Glory Pizza if you could find any information about their dough.

http://www.rockbackpizza.com/RockBackMenu_Print.pdf

Norma
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: norma427 on October 19, 2011, 08:45:18 PM
To add to my last post, this is the picture (the second on down) of the pizza man with The Excelsior Mill printed on his shirt.

Norma
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: Pete-zza on October 19, 2011, 09:58:41 PM
Norma,

No, I did not see the items you referenced. However, while I was at the new pizzeria's website, even before I read all of your post, I did send an email to the new place inquiring as to possible similarities between the pizzeria's dough and the MM dough (I mentioned the high-gluten flour and wheat germ and Vitamin E). I don't know what kind of response I will get, if any, but nothing ventured, nothing gained.

Apparently, Earl "Rocky" Reeves left MM in 2007. Maybe his non-compete time period ran out.

Peter
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: norma427 on October 19, 2011, 10:45:33 PM
Norma,

No, I did not see the items you referenced. However, while I was at the new pizzeria's website, even before I read all of your post, I did send an email to the new place inquiring as to possible similarities between the pizzeria's dough and the MM dough (I mentioned the high-gluten flour and wheat germ and Vitamin E). I don't know what kind of response I will get, if any, but nothing ventured, nothing gained.

Apparently, Earl "Rocky" Reeves left MM in 2007. Maybe his non-compete time period ran out.

Peter

Peter,

I had thought of calling or sending an email to Rocky Reeves and Biff Farmers pizzeria, but I thought if you wanted, you would be a much better person to ask questions.  The menu does look very similar to MMís menu.  I also believe in nothing ventured, nothing gained.

I am sure Rocky Reeves would know everything about MMís operations.  I didnít know when Rocky left MMís.

Norma
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: Biz Markie on October 19, 2011, 11:11:06 PM
Sounds interesting, guys!

Quick update - since realizing the Sorghum route wasn't really going to take me in the right direction, I went back to the drawing board somewhat.
I decided to go back to the molasses but rather than introduce another sweetener or simply increase the molasses, I thought I'd tinker with a longer cold ferment.

So I went with the same formula as my previous molasses dough but used 0.16% IDY.  I just mixed it tonight at about 9pm central, and it'll be baked at about 830pm Sunday night.

I'm hoping the longer fermentation will unlock more of the sugars in the wheat.  I guess the downside is this appears to not be what MM is actually doing in their operations.  But when you start getting into freezing dough, etc, my ability to understand the chemistry comes to a screeching halt :)
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: norma427 on October 19, 2011, 11:26:52 PM
Biz,

Good luck with your next experiment!   :)

I do freeze pizza dough all the time, and what I have found out so far is it really doesnít affect the taste of the final pizza. The increased amount of IDY (Peter and I have been trying for freezing the dough) is to compensate for the freezing of the dough and it being ready shortly after the defrost. 

Norma
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: norma427 on October 20, 2011, 12:01:21 AM
A few more articles about Rock Back Pizza Cafť.

Yelp
http://www.yelp.com/biz/rock-back-pizza-newnan

Facebook page.
http://www.facebook.com/pages/RockBack-Pizza/146955868678691?sk=app_2373072738

On the Facebook page, copied for anyone that doesnít have Facebook.

Welcome to the nommage!

*In Newnan, Biff Farmer and "Rocky" Reeves have just broken ground on a brand-new restaurant, Rock Back Pizza, at a site on the Newnan Bypass...
Farmer and Reeves may be starting a new business from scratch, but they're certainly not neophytes.

Reeves is one of the original founders of Mellow Mushroom Pizza.

Farmer worked for him for 15 years, running the marketing department.

Reeves left the company in 2007. But it wasn't long afterwards that "he called me and said, 'Biff, let's get into this, let's do a whole new thing,'" Farmer said. "We're going to do the same thing we did at Mellow Mushroom, just kind of take it to the next level." *
~Sarah Fay Campbell

RockBack pizza is a new restaurant combining the styles of rockabilly, bohemia and a dash of that laid-back southern flavor. Sound like a crazy combo? Getting curious? Good!
RockBack will be serving delicious (and HEALTHY) pizzas, sandwiches and other dishes made with high-quality ingredients as well as many tasty microbrews!

In this article Farmer says this will be the first of  what they hope will be hundreds of stores.

http://www.times-herald.com/Local/Commercial-construction-alive-but-its-leaner-1272001

and
http://m.clatl.com/omnivore/archives/2010/12/23/gravy-train-mjq-team-to-open-eav-gastropub-pizza-wars-sister-louias-opens

Norma

Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: norma427 on October 20, 2011, 09:59:52 AM
I did call Malt products and Domino Specialty ingredients yesterday to see if I could talk to a sales rep about obtaining samples of some kind of molasses that might be like a ďfancy molassesĒ.   Both places they said the sales reps were busy and would call me back, but havenít so far.  I will post if they call me back.  I also went on both of their contact pages and requested the Homemaid molasses and BSM molasses from Dominoís and the liquid 732  molasses from Malt products.  I told them in the message I left on the contact page that I would appreciate if they would call me to talk about what I had planned on trying to do with pizza dough, and if they have better suggestions on what molasses products I should try.

On another note, what product (dried molasses) from ADM flour does someone think I should try in an experiment for this coming week for a MMís clone?  I am not sure from the spec sheets which one to try and also how much refined sugar (raw sugar or fructose) to add to either of the dried molasses products.

Norma
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: Pete-zza on October 20, 2011, 10:42:07 AM
On another note, what product (dried molasses) from ADM flour does someone think I should try in an experiment for this coming week for a MMís clone?  I am not sure from the spec sheets which one to try and also how much refined sugar (raw sugar or fructose) to add to either of the dried molasses products.

Norma,

Looking at the brief descriptions of the two ADM dried molasses products at http://www.adm.com/en-US/Milling/drysweeteners/Pages/Molasses.aspx, I get the impression that both products are light colored but that the Dri-Mol 60 product is lighter in color than the Dri-Mol 604 product. If so, I would be inclined to start with the Dri-Mol 60 product. It's hard to know how much of that product and the fructose you should use since the spec sheets seem to be silent as to the types and quantities of sugars that are in the Dri-Mol product. I think I would aim high on both the molasses product and the fructose, with the greater emphasis on the fructose and sweetness at this point more so than the color of the dough and crust. If you can get obvious sweetness in the finished crust, you can always adjust the molasses piece up or down depending on the color of the dough that yielded that sweetness in the crust. As you can see, you have to do tests. It's a juggling act that changes with each set of ingredients. In my latest test dough, I am using 7.5% Grandma's Original molasses and 7% raw cane sugar. I am also using 2.5% Kretschmer's toasted, ground wheat germ, mainly for texture and flavor. That percent is about the percent that is in the flour before it is stripped out during milling to make white flour.

Peter
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: norma427 on October 20, 2011, 11:12:22 AM
Norma,

Looking at the brief descriptions of the two ADM dried molasses products at http://www.adm.com/en-US/Milling/drysweeteners/Pages/Molasses.aspx, I get the impression that both products are light colored but that the Dri-Mol 60 product is lighter in color than the Dri-Mol 604 product. If so, I would be inclined to start with the Dri-Mol 60 product. It's hard to know how much of that product and the fructose you should use since the spec sheets seem to be silent as to the types and quantities of sugars that are in the Dri-Mol product. I think I would aim high on both the molasses product and the fructose, with the greater emphasis on the fructose and sweetness at this point more so than the color of the dough and crust. If you can get obvious sweetness in the finished crust, you can always adjust the molasses piece up or down depending on the color of the dough that yielded that sweetness in the crust. As you can see, you have to do tests. It's a juggling act that changes with each set of ingredients. In my latest test dough, I am using 7.5% Grandma's Original molasses and 7% raw cane sugar. I am also using 2.5% Kretschmer's toasted, ground wheat germ, mainly for texture and flavor. That percent is about the percent that is in the flour before it is stripped out during milling to make white flour.

Peter

Peter,

Thanks for your help.  I was having trouble deciding which ADM Dri-Mol to use, because the Dri-Mol 604 molasses is lighter in color and is 55% molasses and I guess the rest of the ingredients is sweetener solids as explained in this pdf. on page 6.   http://www.adm.com/en-US/products/food/sweeteners/Documents/Dry%20Sweetener%20Food%20Applications%20Formula.pdf  The ADM Dri-Mol 60 is also 55% or 70% molasses, but I donít know what the other ingredients are.  I tasted both ADM Dri-Mol products and the Dri-Mol 604 is much sweeter in taste.  I know this is going to be a juggling act to know what to do, but I will think it over and try to come up with a formula.

Since you told me you are using 2.5% of toasted wheat germ in your formula, I might add wheat germ back in this time.  I guess I forgot how much wheat germ gets stripped out during milling to make white flour.

Norma
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: Pete-zza on October 20, 2011, 12:59:26 PM
Norma,

I see what you are saying. I would go with the sweeter Dri-Mol product for now and monitor how the color shakes out.

Peter
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: norma427 on October 20, 2011, 02:50:09 PM
Peter, Biz, or for anyone that is interested,

A lady specialist called me from Dominoís Specialty Ingredients.  She explained all about molasses to me, and how you canít really get a sweeter taste with using a lot of molasses in a product.  She said there is a thing such as ďFancy MolassesĒ, but that is only sold to a Canadian business, and is made special for them.  She said it isnít really much sweeter than the Homemaid product.  She said the ďFancy MolassesĒ is only 65-75% sucrose.  The Homemaid molasses is about 70% sucrose.   She told me the difference in how sweet molasses tastes is by the ash content in molasses.  The more ash in molasses the sweeter the product is.  More ash improves the flavor of molasses.  She told me basically Grandmaís Original molasses is almost exactly like Homemaid molasses.  She said the Homemaid molasses has the highest sucrose level of Dominoís molasses products sold in the US.  The ash in the Homemaid product is about 3 Ĺ %.  She told me the other percent in molasses is water.  She also said the lighter the molasses is the sweeter it will taste.  She said more impurities equal more flavor in molasses.

I told the specialist what we were trying to achieve and what kind of pizza we were trying to clone.  She had never heard about MMís, but was interested.  I told her what we had tried so far, and how we had trouble with getting the crust to taste sweeter.  She said the only thing to do was to add some kind of sweetener to the molasses.  She said even if we used a really high percent of molasses in the dough, the crust wouldnít get that much sweeter.  I told the specialist that MMís claims to use no regular refined sugar in their dough, but doesnít claim not to use refined sugars.  She said I could try Evaporated Cane Juice (ECJ) in either liquid or crystallized form.  http://www.dominospecialtyingredients.com/?pageId=1090&rowId=11197
She said the crystallized form is the best to use.  I asked her if I also could get samples of the ECJ.  She said yes, and all I had to do was send her an email with my request, my name, business name, address, phone number and email.  She gave me her email to send the request.  She said she would send me the technical information.

At the end of our talking she wanted to know where MMís had operations, and I told her there was one in Washington, D.C. that just opened.  She said she is going to be in Washington, D.C. this weekend and is going to go there and try their pizzas.  I did give her the MMís website for her to look at in the email.

In the end, I now wonder just how healthy a MMís pizza is if that much sucrose is in their pizza dough.

Norma
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: Jet_deck on October 20, 2011, 03:40:30 PM

I recently conducted a couple of interesting Google searches relating to the claim that MM uses no refined white sugars in its dough or pizza sauce.....
.... There is no way of knowing whether MM corporate has acquiesced in the use by others of the broader expression ďrefined sugarĒ (or the plural version ďrefined sugarsĒ). There is a big difference between ďrefined white sugarsĒ and ďrefined sugarsĒ.

Peter


Is there any way that plain old corn syrup could fly under "using no refined white sugars" , in conjunction with the molasses ?

From Karo corn syrup:  (http://www.karosyrup.com/faq.html (http://www.karosyrup.com/faq.html))






Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: Pete-zza on October 20, 2011, 04:22:24 PM
Norma,

That was an interesting report from the lady at Domino's Specialty Ingredients. It seems to confirm what we have been experiencing. The very first MM test clone dough I made used 10% liquid molasses. It was the Grandma's Mild Flavor molasses since that was the only brand of molasses I had on hand at the time. I thought that the finished crust had a very nice flavor but it was not overly sweet. It was later, after using an amount of molasses to get a dough with a color like an MM dough, that I found that I had to add something else as a sweetener. I thought that perhaps a Fancy molasses would cure that problem. If the specialist from Domino's says that molasses itself will not produce enough sweetness, that means that something else has to be added as a sweetener. I chose to use turbinado sugar (raw cane sugar) because it was not a "refined white sugar" and its color was light brown and not white. What the Domino's lady will send to you as a sample seems to be like a raw cane sugar. It will be interesting to see what its color is.

Peter
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: scott123 on October 20, 2011, 04:27:44 PM
For what it's worth, if anyone wants to add sweetness to the crust without impacting yeast activity, browning or crumb texture like most sweeteners do, there's always artificial sweeteners.  I've been known when I want a little more sweetness, to add splenda. The advantage to artificial sweeteners is that I don't think yeast eat them, so, regardless of the fermentation time/quantity of yeast/residual sugars, you'll still get a sweet crust.

I know that artificial sweeteners are up there with bromate in popularity, but I just wanted to throw this out there as an option.
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: Pete-zza on October 20, 2011, 04:38:31 PM
Is there any way that plain old corn syrup could fly under "using no refined white sugars" , in conjunction with the molasses ?

Gene,

We have always been operating on the premise that MM uses "a Vitamin-E enriched high-gluten flour with wheat germ" and no "refined white sugar" in the dough or sauce. It still isn't clear what the quoted language really means (for example, white flours are not enriched with Vitamin E although wheat germ contains Vitamin E), but the "refined white sugar" would seem to apply to white table sugar. That leaves room to drive a truck through, with all kinds of sweeteners that are not "refined white sugar(s)". I suppose it could even include corn syrup. I should add that the expression "refined white sugar(s)" was transformed to "refined sugar(s)" by some franchisees and article writers and other sources but I could not find that language attributable to MM at the corporate level itself. It's possible that the management people at MM headquarters responsible for these matters have been asleep at the wheel all the while and have not paid any attention to the way that others quote them in their writings. The people who interface with the public on what is in their products may not even know what goes into the MM dough and how the dough is made.

Peter
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: Jet_deck on October 20, 2011, 04:53:04 PM
Gene,

.....I suppose it could even include corn syrup.....

Peter

Thanks Peter, I just saw that "Dark corn syrup is made with refiners' syrup, a type of molasses. With its more robust flavor and color, it is ideal for many baked goods."  I thought possibly you could kill the sweetness and color bird with one stone.
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: norma427 on October 20, 2011, 05:51:03 PM
I forgot to mention in my other post that the specialist from Dominoís said another ingredient MMís could be using is Natural Sucanat, which I mentioned before at Reply 284 http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,3940.msg155971.html#msg155971
She said it is sweet (with organic sugar cane) and has the molasses flavor.  I wouldnít think MMís would be using Sucanat though.  The lady from Dominioís wondered really how the crust tasted.  I told her I did experiments and thought the pizzas turn out well,  but didnít really know.  She did say she was going to send me a sample of Homemaid molasses to try, in addition to the (ECJ) products.

Norma
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: norma427 on October 20, 2011, 07:14:12 PM
I guess this is the newest MMís operation that opened in Washington, DCís Adams Morgan neighborhood on Monday October 17, 2011.

http://www.washingtoncitypaper.com/blogs/youngandhungry/2011/10/17/move-over-jumbo-slice-mellow-mushroom-pizza-opens-today-in-adams-morgan/

junkfoodguy looks inside before the opening.  http://junkfoodguy.com/2011/10/16/photo-first-take-mellow-mushroom-dc/

Norma
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: norma427 on October 21, 2011, 08:15:31 AM
If anyone is interested, under Mellow Mushroom, ďOur StoryĒ, it shows pictures of the first pizza business they started in 1974, along with a menu of their pizzas and  prices of when they began. http://mellowfranchise.com/our-story#thumb   MMís first pizza business sure looked a lot different than their pizza businesses do today.

In this article, Brasch said stores in the chainís Atlanta market receive local refrigerated dough deliveries, while those outside of Georgia get frozen shipments.
http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m3190/is_41_40/ai_n26707254/


I decided to call the new MMís operation in Washington, DC yesterday to see if they sell dough balls.  The younger lady that answered the phone hesitated when I asked her about selling dough balls, and said right now since they just opened Monday, she doesnít think they sell dough balls, and since they had just opened Monday they arenít up with what all the other franchises do, but maybe in the future they might sell dough balls. 

Norma
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: Pete-zza on October 21, 2011, 08:36:32 AM
Norma,

The Brasch article is the same one cited in Reply 35 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,3940.msg149976.html#msg149976 before you became active in this thread. However, it still isn't entirely clear which stores make their own dough balls fresh. For example, I was recently told by a customer service person at MM that the dough balls used by two Texas franchisees are frozen, whereas I was told by an employee of one of those stores that the dough balls are fresh.

Peter
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: norma427 on October 21, 2011, 08:47:15 AM
Peter,

I forgot you posted the article I referenced before.  It makes me wonder if different MMís locations are making their own dough.  If I am ever able to visit the MM's Washington, D.C. location, I will ask them if they make their own dough.

Norma
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: norma427 on October 21, 2011, 10:00:20 PM
My daughter and I went to MMís today in Washington, DC.  ;D We both enjoyed everything we ate there.  I really like MMís pizza crust, and enjoyed watching the workers work with the dough balls.  Our server was very attentive, answered questions, and so did the pie makers and kitchen  manager.

These are the pictures and videos I took.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zLv1_ttaZFw
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mqR6EG9FeIE
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qaYQBaOypfw
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DC58EHcD3TA

Norma
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: norma427 on October 21, 2011, 10:01:24 PM
Norma
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: norma427 on October 21, 2011, 10:02:37 PM
Norma
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: norma427 on October 21, 2011, 10:03:27 PM
Norma
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: norma427 on October 21, 2011, 10:04:25 PM
Norma
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: norma427 on October 21, 2011, 10:05:34 PM
Norma
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: norma427 on October 21, 2011, 10:06:42 PM
Norma
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: norma427 on October 21, 2011, 10:07:40 PM
Norma
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: norma427 on October 21, 2011, 10:08:35 PM
Norma
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: norma427 on October 21, 2011, 10:09:49 PM
Norma
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: norma427 on October 21, 2011, 10:10:54 PM
Norma
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: norma427 on October 21, 2011, 10:12:45 PM
Norma
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: norma427 on October 21, 2011, 10:13:43 PM
Norma
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: norma427 on October 21, 2011, 10:14:55 PM
Norma
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: norma427 on October 21, 2011, 10:15:55 PM
Norma
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: norma427 on October 21, 2011, 10:17:42 PM
Norma
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: norma427 on October 21, 2011, 10:18:40 PM
Norma
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: norma427 on October 21, 2011, 10:20:11 PM
Norma
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: norma427 on October 21, 2011, 10:21:30 PM
Norma
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: scott123 on October 21, 2011, 10:21:55 PM
Ms. Pacman, that's great  ;D

Norma, you mentioned enjoying the crust, but how did you like the toppings? I would think that, compared to the caliber of pizzas you're using to making, that cheese would almost be inedible.

Also, for anyone that frequents MM... is it typical for pie makers to open the dough so awkwardly?  I'm not expecting Tony Gemignani skills, but if it's your job and you're doing it all the time, you really should have a little more panache than that. Unless they were nervous in front of the camera.

Edit: That pretzel looks gooooood.
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: norma427 on October 21, 2011, 10:22:55 PM
Norma
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: norma427 on October 21, 2011, 10:28:28 PM
Ms. Pacman, that's great  ;D

Norma, you mentioned enjoying the crust, but how did you like the toppings? I would think that, compared to the caliber of pizzas you're using to making, that cheese would almost be inedible.

Also, for anyone that frequents MM... is it typical for pie makers to open the dough so awkwardly?  I'm not expecting Tony Gemignani skills, but if it's your job and you're doing it all the time, you really should have a little more panache than that. Unless they were nervous in front of the camera.

Edit: That pretzel looks gooooood.

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
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: norma427 on October 21, 2011, 10:32:04 PM
Norma
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: norma427 on October 21, 2011, 10:33:25 PM
Norma
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: JConk007 on October 21, 2011, 10:33:41 PM
Norma.
Thanks for posting. I as well  just visited the MM here at their new location here in Hilton Head Island SC while on vacation (back to jersey tomorrow :'() Same mall new buidlding and much nicer /bigger space. I had never been to a MM but got the thumbs up from locals i spoke to. Also just opened a Gusepies?chain?  coals fired pizza (will have to wait til next visit) I also  grabbed a few pics as well I checked kitchen carefully as allways, there was a different 5 lbs bag of cheese not grande, but noticed it was low moisture Low fat Mozz. going on, red and green label ending on mo? could not make it out  all else looks similar. Topping, I had Pepperoni ans sausage , and a side of meatballs all were very good.  I was happy with the taste of crust and will post pics when I get home. Over all as mentioned a cut above the rest of the chains Heavy on the cornmeal !bowls full everywhere used for added crunch and release. but pie was edible for sure.
John
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: norma427 on October 21, 2011, 10:40:51 PM
Norma.
Thanks for posting. I as well  just visited the MM here at their new location here in Hilton Head Island SC while on vacation (back to jersey tomorrow :'() Same mall new buidlding and much nicer /bigger space. I had never been to a MM but got the thumbs up from locals i spoke to. Also just opened a Gusepies?chain?  coals fired pizza (will have to wait til next visit) I also  grabbed a few pics as well I checked kitchen carefully as allways, there was a different 5 lbs bag of cheese not grande, but noticed it was low moisture Low fat Mozz. going on, red and green label ending on mo? could not make it out  all else looks similar. Topping, I had Pepperoni ans sausage , and a side of meatballs all were very good.  I was happy with the taste of crust and will post pics when I get home. Over all as mentioned a cut above the rest of the chains Heavy on the cornmeal !bowls full everywhere used for added crunch and release. but pie was edible for sure.
John

John,

I was really surprised how much I liked MMís pizzas.  I will be anxious to hear you report of the MMís you visited.  :)  The MMís I went to in Washington was very clean, and the cheese was Grande as I mentioned to Scott 123.  I was also surprised the cornmeal was fine ground cornmeal, and it was everywhere too! 

Norma
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: norma427 on October 21, 2011, 10:41:37 PM
Norma
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: JConk007 on October 21, 2011, 10:45:49 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
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: norma427 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

Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: norma427 on October 21, 2011, 10:53:14 PM
Norma
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: norma427 on October 21, 2011, 10:54:26 PM
Norma
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: norma427 on October 21, 2011, 10:56:20 PM
Norma
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: norma427 on October 21, 2011, 10:58:24 PM
The last few pictures and these pictures are of a pie we brought home.
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: scott123 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.
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: norma427 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
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: mailliw 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.
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: Pete-zza 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 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lvixfngmz-g&feature=related, 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
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: norma427 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
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: Pete-zza 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
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: norma427 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
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: norma427 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
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: scott123 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).
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: norma427 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
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: norma427 on October 22, 2011, 12:41:01 PM
Norma
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: norma427 on October 22, 2011, 12:42:11 PM
Norma
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: norma427 on October 22, 2011, 12:43:05 PM
Norma
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: Pete-zza 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 (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 rather 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, (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

Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: Pete-zza 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
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: Pete-zza on October 22, 2011, 03:50:06 PM
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,

I will have to give some thought as to where we go next with this project, especially in light of the fact that you did not really detect a lot of sweetness in the crust of the pizzas you had at the DC MM location. I wouldn't really worry about the Vitamin E. I have always viewed that as a marketing ploy to lead people to believe that there is something different or better about the MM dough. I also wouldn't feel compelled to research the Dough Boy Enterprises LLC sign that you saw on the door of the MM DC location. That is perhaps a name that the franchisee had to pick for legal and tax reasons and maybe to immunize MM from any legal claims brought against the franchisee.

As for the pizza that you brought home, you might want to save a slice to use as reference points for crust color when you make future MM clones. However, if you freeze it, you may have to defrost it for comparison purposes since freezing can change the color of the slice. You might be able to hold the slice in the refrigerator for a few days but after that it is likely to dry up and shrink to the point where it is no longer usable for reference purposes. At that point, you might give it to Steve to eat :-D.

Peter
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: norma427 on October 22, 2011, 04:49:00 PM
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. 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

Peter,

Thanks for your suggestion ďcomedy styleĒ for me preserving a slice for Steve to taste.  Maybe in addition to being the person that helps everyone on this forum on ideas, facts, and formulas, you should also be a ďstand up comicĒ!  :-D It seems you are good at that too.  I would like Steve to taste a slice so he also can know what a real slice of a MMís pie tastes like in terms of sweetness.

Even Biz has noted differences in the MMís slices he had at MMís locations in terms of sweetness.  I had thought when I went to MMís yesterday the crust would have been sweeter.  That was not the case.  Even my daughter that had tasted most of my MMís attempts also commented that she thought the MMís pie we had yesterday wasnít really that sweet at all.  There was a sweetness in the crust, but not what I would have expected. Even the soft pretzel (which is made out of the same dough, and didnít have the sauce and cheese on them) really werenít that sweet in taste.  We bought the soft pretzels just to see if there would be a difference in how sweet they tasted since there are no other ingredients added. The plain soft pretzel just tasted like malt with no molasses.  Donít even ask about that, because I canít explain that, even though I have tasted plenty of soft pretzels in our area. I know all our taste buds are different in tasting sugar, and yours is more sensitive.  You can see on the pictures I posted of the soft pretzels they donít have that shiny glossy crust either.  That also still makes me wonder what they do after the bake to their regular pies to give it that darker glossy shine.

Thanks for referencing Novemberís post.  You are right that we may have been looking for love or sweetness in all the wrong place.   Who knows where all these experiments will led us.

I am not sure what experiment I will try for Tuesday, or if I will try any.  I am now more confused on what to try.  I know the next time I do decide to do any experimental MMís pie, I am going to use my fine cornmeal.  That is what the pie makers used at MMís yesterday. They said it is really hard to clean-up all that fine cornmeal and it gets all over the place.  My light cornmeal I have at market does look like the cornmeal MMís uses.  One other thing I forgot to mention, was I saw two pie makers use the fine corn meal on the skin before adding the sauce, or other dressings.  I donít know if that is something they do all the time, or if it was something they do for a special kinds of toppings.  I guess I didnít pay enough attention to each pie they made while I was there.

Norma
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: Pete-zza on October 22, 2011, 05:53:13 PM
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,

I recall seeing a couple of MM videos where there was a fellow next to the oven who applied the garlic butter to the crust and dusted it with grated cheese. I seem to recall in one of the videos that the garlic butter was in a clear container. I tried to find that particular video but there are so many MM-related videos that I couldn't find it even though I thought it was referenced in this thread. However, I did find this video, at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=albTZa4xlJw&feature=related, that also shows a fellow next to the oven putting something on the pizza with a brush, with a cheese shaker in the same general work area. I couldn't make out what he was dabbing on the pizza. After we struggled trying to find out why the crusts were not sweet, I even wondered whether the MM workers who made the MM pizza I had put something like honey on the rim so that the grated cheese would stick better and not get absorbed into the garlic butter yet make the crust taste sweet. To test out this theory, I put some honey on the rim of the crust of one of my test pizzas. The rim was sweeter but it was not the same kind of sweetness I remembered. Maybe they are putting something like regular sugar or a sugar syrup in the garlic butter or in another container. That might give the rim the glossiness you mentioned.

The use of cornmeal on the top of the skin is shown in the video with Dustin at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lvixfngmz-g&feature=related.

Peter
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: norma427 on October 22, 2011, 06:11:59 PM
Norma,

I recall seeing a couple of MM videos where there was a fellow next to the oven who applied the garlic butter to the crust and dusted it with grated cheese. I seem to recall in one of the videos that the garlic butter was in a clear container. I tried to find that particular video but there are so many MM-related videos that I couldn't find it even though I thought it was referenced in this thread. However, I did find this video, at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=albTZa4xlJw&feature=related, that also shows a fellow next to the oven putting something on the pizza with a brush, with a cheese shaker in the same general work area. I couldn't make out what he was dabbing on the pizza. After we struggled trying to find out why the crusts were not sweet, I even wondered whether the MM workers who made the MM pizza I had put something like honey on the rim so that the grated cheese would stick better and not get absorbed into the garlic butter yet make the crust taste sweet. To test out this theory, I put some honey on the rim of the crust of one of my test pizzas. The rim was sweeter but it was not the same kind of sweetness I remembered. Maybe they are putting something like regular sugar or a sugar syrup in the garlic butter or in another container. That might give the rim the glossiness you mentioned.

The use of cornmeal on the top of the skin is shown in the video with Dustin at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lvixfngmz-g&feature=related.

Peter

Peter,

Thanks for referencing the video.  I also have watched so many videos, I forget which is which.  Thanks also for doing the test of putting honey on the crust.  I see where you referenced the corn meal put on the skin.  I also forgot about that.  I think my brain is going numb with all the information on this thread.

This is going to be my last post about the pizzas I bought at MMís yesterday.  I wanted to reheat a slice to eat today, so I did.  I reheated two slices, one for my daughter and one for me.  The reheated slices tasted almost exactly the same as when we ate a fresh pie yesterday, with a little bit of a sweeter taste in the crust.  I wanted to mention another thing I noticed yesterday and today.  The pizza yesterday was on a pizza pan, and my daughter and I both noticed the pizza pan was greasy after we ate the pizza.  I donít know if that means anything or not.  Today I noticed the lining of the pizza box was also greasy.  After the reheat, the bottom on the pizzas was greasy too.  I took a video to show the crumb and how the rim springs back even after reheating. It can also be seen on the video that my fingers got greasy from touching the bottom crust. The bottom of this pizza looked darker than the one we ate at MMís, but it didnít taste burnt in any way.  There was chew in the pizza just like yesterday and it could still be folded easily.

I froze a little bit of the crust to be able to see if any of my experimental MMís pies look anything like the real MMís crust.

Pictures of non reheated and reheated slice and video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mSIG4GpRkvk The first picture is of the reheated piece of pretzel last evening.


I am going to go away this evening. Maybe I will come back with a refreshed mind.  Hopefully!  ::)

Norma
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: norma427 on October 22, 2011, 06:13:12 PM
Norma
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: norma427 on October 22, 2011, 06:14:04 PM
Norma
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: norma427 on October 22, 2011, 06:15:18 PM
Norma
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: JConk007 on October 22, 2011, 07:04:11 PM
I am back here are the few pics I got from the new Mellow Mushroom location in Hilton Head Island SC
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: JConk007 on October 22, 2011, 07:06:04 PM
thought I took more ,sorry. but heres my Pep and sausage and yes the Icon lighthouse  of Hilton Head Island Great week!
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: mailliw on October 22, 2011, 09:10:15 PM
There is a difference in liquid molasses sweetness.  The sweetest would be pure cane syrup such as Grandmas Gold molasses.  Then there is a "first boil".  It is less sweet but more robust.  This would be Grandmas molasses in the green jar.  Molasses gets less sweet through each "boil" till you get to blackstrap molasses, lot less sugar but higher in nutrition.
Try using unbleached  high gluten flour and Grandmas Gold molasses.  Just an idea.
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: norma427 on October 23, 2011, 08:23:40 AM
I am back here are the few pics I got from the new Mellow Mushroom location in Hilton Head Island SC

John,

Thanks for posting your pictures of you visit to MMís.  :) I enjoyed the pictures.  Since you have made many kinds of pizzas, how did you think the MMís pepperoni and sausage pie tasted in reference to other pies you have made.  Was there sweetness in the crust of the pie you had and also how was the texture of the crumb?  Was your crumb rim the same texture as the pizzas I had from MMís?  Also how would you rate the MMís pie you had in terms of other pies you have eaten before.  Is there anything that stands out in you mind about a MMís pie?

Glad to hear you had a nice vacation.

Norma
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: Pete-zza on October 23, 2011, 01:10:18 PM
Norma,

Sometimes it makes sense to take a break from the action. But if you are interested in trying out another MM clone, I am willing to assist. I would just need to know what ingredients you want to use. I have been assuming that you have been using an unbleached high-gluten flour but I couldn't recall whether you had used the Grandma's Original molasses yet.

Peter
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: JConk007 on October 23, 2011, 01:51:04 PM
Yes Norma I detected a sweetness in the crust that I had a hard time to put my finger on the taste. Cake Yes My crumb and texutre was very similar to yours quite tight, small,  Cake like ? not High gluten chewy from what I remember. I am thinking they do not do a long fermentation which does not give it time to develope much flavor. Maybe that is why they put the cheese on the rim  and stuff other flavors in there? I think the sauce had a different flavor as well. I tried to get a suace only bite to see if I could get the tomatoe but there were alot of flavors spices going on in the sauce as well. I do prefer a good NY style bit thinner, or cracker but i dont know many chains that are making anything I could eat on a regular basis . I only tried this because the locals said go and I wanted to see the buzz about this thread.  I liked the overall taste and as far as chains go I feel it is very good. They put out alot of pies I counted 10 people in the kutchen 4-5 on the full length pizza table.
I am home now and guess what I am making   :chef:  100% caputo last night
Pizza Napolitano :pizza:  tonight
miss it after 2 weeks and its beautiful outside !
good luck with the cloning I will be watching now for sure
John
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: norma427 on October 23, 2011, 02:13:00 PM
Norma,

Sometimes it makes sense to take a break from the action. But if you are interested in trying out another MM clone, I am willing to assist. I would just need to know what ingredients you want to use. I have been assuming that you have been using an unbleached high-gluten flour but I couldn't recall whether you had used the Grandma's Original molasses yet.

Peter

Peter,

I really donít need to take a break in the action, but wasnít sure what to try next.  That was why I said I am not sure if I am going to do another experiment this week.  Since you are willing to assist, see if you think trying brown sugar in addition to molasses makes any sense.  I did use Grandmaís Original Molasses last week, in combination with fructose.  I thought that pie turned out good, but since I have tasted a real MMís pie, the sweetness level was too sweet.  My MMís attempted dough when stretching and trying to toss it didnít look like MMís dough did either.  If MMís is pulling the dough right out of their refrigeration (which I saw), I donít understand how the dough doesnít develop bubbles in the middle of the pie either.  The other thing that makes me wonder is how those dough balls that were opened, and then put into the plastic container can survive, and then make the same pizzas.  I would think the stretched skins would ferment more at room temperature.  I donít know, maybe they did put the stretched skins into some kind of refrigeration until they were ready to use them.  Those skins looked really dry too, and I was right next to them looking at the skins.  That picture was only taken about a foot away.  Since brown sugar does have molasses in it, I wasnít sure what percent of brown sugar to use with Grandmaís Original Molasses.  Since I have been at MMís more questions keep going over in my mind.  Even how easily their dough stretched out when it was cold, just wonders me.  I know none of the MMís doughs I have made would never open that easily when pulled right out of refrigeration, unless they were another kind of dough that would have been high hydration doughs. 

If you think some other kind of combination of ingredients would be better for me to try, let me know.  I have enough ingredients here at home to try.  I am still using KASL in all of my MMís attempts.  If I try another experiment this week, I think I am also going to make a 10Ē extra dough ball to try for pretzels to see if they taste anything like MMís pretzels.  I donít know where that would get me, but is something I want to try. 

Thanks, for saying you would assist me.

Norma
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: norma427 on October 23, 2011, 02:33:41 PM
Yes Norma I detected a sweetness in the crust that I had a hard time to put my finger on the taste. Cake Yes My crumb and texutre was very similar to yours quite tight, small,  Cake like ? not High gluten chewy from what I remember. I am thinking they do not do a long fermentation which does not give it time to develope much flavor. Maybe that is why they put the cheese on the rim  and stuff other flavors in there? I think the sauce had a different flavor as well. I tried to get a suace only bite to see if I could get the tomatoe but there were alot of flavors spices going on in the sauce as well. I do prefer a good NY style bit thinner, or cracker but i dont know many chains that are making anything I could eat on a regular basis . I only tried this because the locals said go and I wanted to see the buzz about this thread.  I liked the overall taste and as far as chains go I feel it is very good. They put out alot of pies I counted 10 people in the kutchen 4-5 on the full length pizza table.
I am home now and guess what I am making   :chef:  100% caputo last night
Pizza Napolitano :pizza:  tonight
miss it after 2 weeks and its beautiful outside !
good luck with the cloning I will be watching now for sure
John

John,

Thanks so much for giving your report about what you thought about a MMís pizza, and how the crumb and texture were.  I really didnít think my pies I ate had a cake like crumb.  I just wonder how consistent each MMís is in how they handle their dough and make their pies.  I have seen on the road food forum that when back when MMís first started how consistent and great their pies were.  People that remembered them, thought the pies were great. This is a link to that conversation.  http://www.roadfood.com/Forums/tm.aspx?m=607388&high=mellow+mushroom
If you look what whatnameisnottaken said, he remembers the very first MMís.  He said MMís even after opening a few stores locally it stayed good.  In this thread on the roadfood forum, other members also note the same thing.  http://www.roadfood.com/Forums/tm.aspx?m=375524&high=mellow+mushroom
I wish I could talk to some of those people to see why the MMís pizza has changed and what they did think changed.

I tried yesterday to just taste the sauce on the reheated slice of MMís pizza, but couldnít put my finger on what flavor there was in the sauce because of all the other toppings.

Great to hear you are making Neapolitan Pies for this weekend!  ;D I will be watching for you to post about them.

Norma
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: Pete-zza on October 23, 2011, 03:08:23 PM
Norma,

I think it makes sense to try using a combination of Grandma's Original molasses and brown sugar. That thought crossed my mind when I was at the supermarket recently, as I reported, and saw the light and brown sugars and wondered whether they were refined sugars. It was the "refined white sugar(s)" versus "refined sugar(s)" issue that led me to call MM.

Where we are missing useful information is in relation to the protocol for the frozen dough balls. I saw a video yesterday where the MM pizza maker mentioned placing the frozen dough balls into the cooler to let them defrost. However, he didn't say whether it was one day, two days, or maybe even three days--or maybe something different. From a fermentation standpoint, it makes a big difference whether you are using one, two or three days of defrost/fermentation. For example, if the fermentation time in the cooler is long, say, three days, the protease enzymes can attack the gluten structure and cause release of the water from its chemical bond. That could make the dough more extensible even though it might look like it is quite dense, and the dough might open up more easily even if it is cold. I'm guessing here. Also, knowing the defrost/fermentation protocol could also tell us more about the amount of yeast, and maybe other ingredients, one might start out with to fit the fermentation period. As we speculated before, maybe the defrost/fermentation period determines how sweet the finished crust is. Before I forget, I am going to pose some questions to GlennC. for when he visits the Decatur, GA MM store soon.

In your case, you might try using a fair amount of Grandma Original molasses with either light or brown sugar, with the goal being to end up with a final dough color that is close to the color of an MM dough. There is no easy mathematical way of determining how much of the two ingredients to use to achieve that objective. So, some experimentation will be required. Maybe something like 7% Grandma's Original molasses and about 4% brown sugar will work. You can also lower the nominal hydration by a percent if you think that is called for based on your recent observations at the DD MM location. You might skip the wheat germ this time also. I am thinking of making an MM clone dough ball and just watch it go over a cycle of two or three days after moving it from the freezer to my refrigerator compartment to see how it changes over the entire period.

Peter
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: Pete-zza on October 23, 2011, 03:21:42 PM
Turns out I know the wife of the guy that owns our local Mellow Mushroom store in Decatur, Ga.

I will probably see her in sometime in the next couple weeks.  Post a list of questions and I will see what I can find out.

Glenn,

I was waiting and hoping to get more information on the MM dough that did not materialize, so if your offer is still in effect I do have a few questions.

1. Are the dough balls fresh dough balls or are they frozen?

2. If the dough balls are fresh, what is the fermentation method (in the cooler or at room temperature) and what is the duration of the fermentation? If the dough balls are cold fermented, how much temper (warm-up) time is needed, if any, before opening up the dough balls to form skins?

3. If the dough balls are frozen, what is the dough management of the dough balls, including the duration of the dough balls in the cooler (to defrost and undergo fermentation) before using? Also, what is the temper (warm-up) period, if any, before the dough balls are opened up to form skins?

4. Also with respect to defrosted dough balls, are they ever refrozen and defrosted again before using?

If the dough balls are fresh, it would be nice to know what the dough ingredients are but most workers in MM franchisee stores are usually not given that information.

Thank you.

Peter
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: norma427 on October 23, 2011, 06:32:57 PM
Norma,

I think it makes sense to try using a combination of Grandma's Original molasses and brown sugar. That thought crossed my mind when I was at the supermarket recently, as I reported, and saw the light and brown sugars and wondered whether they were refined sugars. It was the "refined white sugar(s)" versus "refined sugar(s)" issue that led me to call MM.

Where we are missing useful information is in relation to the protocol for the frozen dough balls. I saw a video yesterday where the MM pizza maker mentioned placing the frozen dough balls into the cooler to let them defrost. However, he didn't say whether it was one day, two days, or maybe even three days--or maybe something different. From a fermentation standpoint, it makes a big difference whether you are using one, two or three days of defrost/fermentation. For example, if the fermentation time in the cooler is long, say, three days, the protease enzymes can attack the gluten structure and cause release of the water from its chemical bond. That could make the dough more extensible even though it might look like it is quite dense, and the dough might open up more easily even if it is cold. I'm guessing here. Also, knowing the defrost/fermentation protocol could also tell us more about the amount of yeast, and maybe other ingredients, one might start out with to fit the fermentation period. As we speculated before, maybe the defrost/fermentation period determines how sweet the finished crust is. Before I forget, I am going to pose some questions to GlennC. for when he visits the Decatur, GA MM store soon.

In your case, you might try using a fair amount of Grandma Original molasses with either light or brown sugar, with the goal being to end up with a final dough color that is close to the color of an MM dough. There is no easy mathematical way of determining how much of the two ingredients to use to achieve that objective. So, some experimentation will be required. Maybe something like 7% Grandma's Original molasses and about 4% brown sugar will work. You can also lower the nominal hydration by a percent if you think that is called for based on your recent observations at the DD MM location. You might skip the wheat germ this time also. I am thinking of making an MM clone dough ball and just watch it go over a cycle of two or three days after moving it from the freezer to my refrigerator compartment to see how it changes over the entire period.

Peter

Peter,

While I was at MMís I would have liked to ask a lot more questions, but thought that the one guy standing beside me most of the time, (that went to talk to the kitchen manager, when I was eating) might become suspicious of all my questions.  They did say I could take pictures, but thought if I asked too many questions about what they might be doing with either defrosting the dough balls, or something else, they might wonder why would I be asking those questions. Why in the world would any common person want to know those answers.  :-D I was more or less a person that just wanted to try their pizzas since they recently came to an area closer to me.  If you look at the picture I posted at Reply 435 (the bottom one) http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,3940.msg157619.html#msg157619
I wondered what 10-17 meant and also the letters in the item and what the name meant.  I did ask if dough balls were in that plastic container, and the one pie man said yes.  I thought they might be sitting there to warm up.  When the one pie maker opened the lid of the box, and it only had already cut pretzels from dough balls.  Since the MMís location only opened on the 17th of October, I now how no idea what that meant.  Maybe Glenn can get some helpful information for us.

I know we donít have any information about how long the dough balls are left to defrost and do know that can make a difference in the final pizza. I just wonder though if a MMís location is really busy, how they determine how many dough balls to defrost and maybe if the dough balls are made to be defrosted and then left to ferment at cold temperature for a couple of days.  At least that could explain how Biz, John, you, and I all might have experienced different sugar levels in the crust or even a different texture in the crust, even if all our taste buds arenít the same.  I wanted to ask you a question about when you ate your pie at the MMís location you visited.  Was your crumb cake like and dense as John said his was, or was your crumb like the pictures I posted?

I was just at the supermarket and looked at all the sugars and molasses again.  I now saw what is called brownulated sugar, from Dominoís. http://www.dominosugar.com/sugar/brownulated-sugar
That is also a new sugar to me, that I never noticed before.  It also has a molasses flavor.  I didnít buy any for a replacement for light brown sugar, but found it interesting.

My color of my dough ball last week was about the color of the MMís dough, but maybe a little lighter.  Last week I tried 8% Grandmaís Original molasses and 3% fructose.  Since you have now helped me with more numbers to try, I might try 2% light brown sugar and 7% molasses and dropped the hydration by about 1%.  I have no idea how that will work, but would think the light brown sugar would add some color.

Thanks for your help!

Norma
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: Pete-zza on October 23, 2011, 07:11:37 PM
Norma,

Today I made a clone MM dough ball with a hydration of 54%, soybean oil at 3%, light brown sugar at 4% and Grandma's Original molasses at 7%. Light brown sugar has around 3.6% molasses, so the 7% molasses inches up a little bit. It is hard to know from photos and videos when you have matched the dough color of an MM dough. You would have to place one of your clone dough balls right next to a real MM dough ball. However, I believe that around 7% Grandma's Original molasses comes quite close. I was looking for a more golden-tan color than a pure tan color and I believe that I achieved it. Now I'd like to see what effect the non-molasses part of the light brown sugar has on final crust sweetness. If it is too sweet, I can raise the amount of Grandma's Original molasses and lower the light brown sugar, or visa versa if the crust is not sweet enough. But sweetness alone is not enough. I want the complexity of sweetness that molasses brings.

It is often tricky to extract information out of people without sounding knowledgeable and tipping your hand. You almost have to conduct yourself like Lieutenant Columbo, the TV detective that Peter Falk made famous. You want them to think that you are somewhat of a harmless, bumbling klutz. But behind the klutz facade is a scheme that gets the information.

Peter
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: norma427 on October 23, 2011, 09:03:46 PM
Norma,

Today I made a clone MM dough ball with a hydration of 54%, soybean oil at 3%, light brown sugar at 4% and Grandma's Original molasses at 7%. Light brown sugar has around 3.6% molasses, so the 7% molasses inches up a little bit. It is hard to know from photos and videos when you have matched the dough color of an MM dough. You would have to place one of your clone dough balls right next to a real MM dough ball. However, I believe that around 7% Grandma's Original molasses comes quite close. I was looking for a more golden-tan color than a pure tan color and I believe that I achieved it. Now I'd like to see what effect the non-molasses part of the light brown sugar has on final crust sweetness. If it is too sweet, I can raise the amount of Grandma's Original molasses and lower the light brown sugar, or visa versa if the crust is not sweet enough. But sweetness alone is not enough. I want the complexity of sweetness that molasses brings.

It is often tricky to extract information out of people without sounding knowledgeable and tipping your hand. You almost have to conduct yourself like Lieutenant Columbo, the TV detective that Peter Falk made famous. You want them to think that you are somewhat of a harmless, bumbling klutz. But behind the klutz facade is a scheme that gets the information.

Peter

Peter,

Good to hear about your next experimental dough. Good luck!

My next experimental dough is made, (with Grandmaís Original Molasses and brown sugar), and it looks a little to light to me.  I know it is tenacity and sleuthing that helps these clone threads.  I think I will call myself Inspector G. Lestrade.  Maybe you want to be Sherlock Holmes. I wonder what the other members might want to be called that are helping in cloning MMís pizza.  I just hope this thread doesnít take as long as the Mackís thread.  :-D  I sure don't know which thread took the longest in trying to clone someones dough, but this one does seem tricky.

Norma
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: mailliw on October 24, 2011, 12:39:04 AM
This is just an off the wall idea.  What if the dough was actually two separate dougs.  For example make a dough with all purpose flour and another with high gluten flour.  make the first tight dough ball made with all purpose or bread flour then suround, wrap the dough ball in high gluten flour mix.
Wonder if you would have the bread "cake" texture inside with the crisp high gluten flour shell?
Just thinking out loud- or " ouside the box".
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: Pete-zza on October 24, 2011, 09:01:59 AM
I wanted to ask you a question about when you ate your pie at the MMís location you visited.  Was your crumb cake like and dense as John said his was, or was your crumb like the pictures I posted?

Norma,

I forgot to answer your question regarding the texture of the crumb of the MM pizza I had in Florida. No, it was not cake-like. It was like you showed in your photos. In retrospect, I can see how the crumb had an alveole web-like appearance as you might see in a cake, and there was sweetness like a cake might have, but the words cake or cake-like did not cross my mind. Also, the rim was fairly dense but got lighter as one moved from the rim to the center of the pizza.

With regard to volumes, pizza operators like MM have sophisticated POS systems that track just about everything imaginable, including sales and sales by period. Since the DC MM operation is so new, it may take a while to populate the POS database but I would imagine that the folks who handle franchising for MM can give the new MM managers a pretty good idea as to what to expect.

Peter
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: norma427 on October 24, 2011, 09:16:50 AM
Norma,

I forgot to answer your question regarding the texture of the crumb of the MM pizza I had in Florida. No, it was not cake-like. It was like you showed in your photos. In retrospect, I can see how the crumb had an alveole web-like appearance as you might see in a cake, and there was sweetness like a cake might have, but the words cake or cake-like did not cross my mind. Also, the rim was fairly dense but got lighter as one moved from the rim to the center of the pizza.

With regard to volumes, pizza operators like MM have sophisticated POS systems that track just about everything imaginable, including sales and sales by period. Since the DC MM operation is so new, it may take a while to populate the POS database but I would imagine that the folks who handle franchising for MM can give the new MM managers a pretty good idea as to what to expect.

Peter

Peter,

Thanks for answering my question about the texture of the MMís pizza you ate. 

I know pizza operators like MMís do have sophisticated POS systems.  I would believe that the new owners or managers would have extensive training before opening a new MMís business and also could know about what to expect in sales.

Norma
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: Pete-zza on October 24, 2011, 09:50:07 AM
This is just an off the wall idea.  What if the dough was actually two separate dougs.  For example make a dough with all purpose flour and another with high gluten flour.  make the first tight dough ball made with all purpose or bread flour then suround, wrap the dough ball in high gluten flour mix.
Wonder if you would have the bread "cake" texture inside with the crisp high gluten flour shell?
Just thinking out loud- or " ouside the box".

mailliw,

Thank you for the idea. However, as you can see from the photos that Norma posted in Replies 277-279 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,3940.msg155911.html#msg155911, MM uses a commissary (I believe that it was opened in 2006) to make its dough balls. I would imagine that it would be impractical and difficult to automate the process you described. Also, before the commissary was opened, dough balls had to be formed by hand in individual stores or else frozen dough balls had to be procured from third parties. In either case, using the method you described would have been problematic.

It usually turns out that the answers are quite simple and straightforward and it often happens that you look for answers and solutions in the wrong places and even go overboard trying to piece everything together. What makes a project like this so difficult is that there is not enough information. All we have is what he have been able to find on the Internet or from people at MM. In some cases, the information is wrong, even from MM, and questionable in other cases. Also, we don't have any Nutrition Facts to analyze and even Nutrition Facts can have problems because Nutrition Facts are prepared by software (in-house or using third parties) and there are rounding factors and other quirks that make analyzing the Nutrition Facts difficult. And we don't know any brands or suppliers of the ingredients to MM or the amounts used. Finally, there is the problem of matching the dough formulation to a home oven environment using standard home ovens. I have read of many cases where people have made pizzas in home ovens with dough procured from pizza operators and got completely different results. And the reverse has also been true.

Peter
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: norma427 on October 24, 2011, 10:49:35 AM
If anyone is interested, I did join the roadfood forum and did post a question under pizza, about MMís. http://www.roadfood.com/Forums/Has-anyone-worked-at-Mellow-Mushroom-years-ago-to-know-what-is-in-their-pizza-dough-m672621.aspx I have no idea if I will be able to get any information, but thought nothing ventured, nothing gained.

Norma
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: JConk007 on October 24, 2011, 03:06:06 PM
The crumb was tight like cake but that was sizing reference only not texture was firm to the mouth
They had dough all over the place partly opened skins by a few makers and some others stacked by other makers it would only take then a few pulls stretches to  get to the 16" large I did not see any dough coming put of the fridge ? But did see a few pies with large Bubbles on the rim  here and there. I also noticed the patch guy ! Yes if someone ripped thru a dough when opening it was send down to this guy to make the repair some holes were significant but he patched em up with a dough patch and into the oven they went then on to the unsuspecting customer who had not a clew, keeping the waste down they can keep quality up. I checked mine for defects none found :)
Can't wait to see the next experiment
John
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: Biz Markie on October 24, 2011, 03:10:41 PM
Hey guys,

Man this thread has really continued to expand, which is great, but I've had a hard time keeping up!  Things have been really busy around here.

I'm not sure I have a whole lot to contribute at the moment but I did want to report back on my most recent MM clone attempt.

If you recall, my most recent dough was the same formula I had been using (5% Brer Rabbit Mild molasses, 2% raw wheat germ, 3% oil, 54% water) but with reduced IDY (0.16%) for a longer cold ferment.  This dough was in the fridge for 4 days.

The dough performed well.  It was probably slightly more fermented (prior to tempering) than the 24-hour doughs I've been making.  I had no choice but to temper it at around 70o for about 2.5 hours.  I did toss it this time and it worked really well.  Usually when I am tossing dough I kinda "wimp out" once the skin reaches a certain diameter for fear of tearing it or dropping it.  But this time I pushed the envelope a bit on that and got it bigger in the air than I normally do.  That was fun for sure.

Cooked it for 6 mins on my stone with about 40 seconds of broiler action at the end.  I got great oven spring on the rim, and overall the bake was perfect as far as I could tell.

Basically the whole point of this experiment was the longer cold ferment and to see if this alone would impact the sweetness of the crust.  This was more just something I wanted to try on my own, for kicks.

Well, it didn't really change anything.  It seemed to me to taste just like my previous doughs of this formula.  It was a great pizza, but not quite what I was shooting for.

So at this point I think I'm at the point of trying an additional sweetener in the dough such as brown sugar or honey.  

I'm open to suggestions on which sweetener and at what formula %.  My one concern with brown sugar (assuming the same molasses percent) is that it would make the dough even darker, which would be beyond an MM color.


Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: norma427 on October 24, 2011, 05:39:31 PM
This picture is my frozen dough ball at market today.  The dough ball had 7% Grandmaís Original Molasses and 2% light brown sugar in the formula.

Norma
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: Pete-zza on October 24, 2011, 05:52:54 PM
I'm open to suggestions on which sweetener and at what formula %.  My one concern with brown sugar (assuming the same molasses percent) is that it would make the dough even darker, which would be beyond an MM color.

Biz,

Until Norma gets the samples of liquid molasses from commercial sources to see if MM might be using a similar product, I think a combination of 7% Grandma's Original molasses and 4% light brown sugar (I used the Imperial brand for my last dough) should get you close to an MM dough from a color standpoint. You can use whatever hydration value and oil you'd like. You can also use or not use the small amount of wheat germ you have been using.

FYI, light brown sugar contains around 3.5% molasses. Dark brown sugar contains around 6.5%. The rest will be the part that adds sweetness.

Peter
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: Biz Markie on October 24, 2011, 06:31:24 PM
This picture is my frozen dough ball at market today.  The dough ball had 7% Grandmaís Original Molasses and 2% light brown sugar in the formula.

Norma

Color seems awfully close to the real thing!
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: Biz Markie on October 24, 2011, 06:35:07 PM
Biz,

Until Norma gets the samples of liquid molasses from commercial sources to see if MM might be using a similar product, I think a combination of 7% Grandma's Original molasses and 4% light brown sugar (I used the Imperial brand for my last dough) should get you close to an MM dough from a color standpoint. You can use whatever hydration value and oil you'd like. You can also use or not use the small amount of wheat germ you have been using.

FYI, light brown sugar contains around 3.5% molasses. Dark brown sugar contains around 6.5%. The rest will be the part that adds sweetness.

Peter

Thanks for the suggestions!  You haven't been able to compare Grandma's Original with Brer Rabbit Mild, have you?  Grandma's must be lighter if 7% is going to be used because from my comparisons, 5% BR Mild is just about dead on from a color standpoint.  No worries either way.  I don't know if I'll go get some Grandma's or not.  I may try 5% BR Mild and then the brown sugar from there.  

As for the germ, I don't know if I mentioned it but I am definitely wanting to drop that a lot.  Down to 1% or possibly less.  There's been a slight flavor in my crusts that doesn't quite fit-in and I think this is the culprit.

Also Peter - any thoughts on the "failed" 4-day cold fermentation, in terms of affecting the sweetness?  I know it wasn't exactly germane to the exercise at hand, but would be educational to me if you have any insight.

Thanks!
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: norma427 on October 24, 2011, 06:39:22 PM
Color seems awfully close to the real thing!

Biz,

On my recent visit to MM's the dough balls appeared darker than this attempt to me.  Good luck on your next attempt!  I did use Brer Rabbit mild flavored molasses in some of my attempts, but have switched to Grandma's Original molasses.

Norma
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: JConk007 on October 24, 2011, 07:16:46 PM
Yes. I think  a shade darker hard to see with the cornmeal, but I did take note of the darker color of the dough at MM
John
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: Pete-zza on October 24, 2011, 08:23:47 PM
You haven't been able to compare Grandma's Original with Brer Rabbit Mild, have you?  Grandma's must be lighter if 7% is going to be used because from my comparisons, 5% BR Mild is just about dead on from a color standpoint.  No worries either way.  I don't know if I'll go get some Grandma's or not.  I may try 5% BR Mild and then the brown sugar from there.  

Also Peter - any thoughts on the "failed" 4-day cold fermentation, in terms of affecting the sweetness?  I know it wasn't exactly germane to the exercise at hand, but would be educational to me if you have any insight.

Biz,

The Brer Rabbit Full Flavor molasses, which is a second boil molasses, was the only Brer Rabbit molasses at my local supermarket. The Brer Rabbit Mild is a first boil molasses. I have been treating the Grandma's Original molasses as a first boil molasses but I learned recently that it is apparently packaged before the first boil. To my way of thinking, that may make the Grandma's Original molasses more of a Fancy grade molasses, which is the lightest of the retail brands of molasses but with the most sugar. You can see how the company that sells the Brer Rabbit and Grandma's molasses compares the various versions at those products at http://www.bgfoods.com/int_faq.asp. Also, see the Cook's Illustrated comparison test results for different brands of molasses at http://www.cooksillustrated.com/tastetests/overview.asp?docid=32258.

In your case with the Brer Rabbit Mild molasses, you won't need as much of that product as the Grandma's Original molasses because it is darker than the Grandma's Original molasses. And it will also have less sugar to contribute to crust sweetness. So, unless you don't care about the final dough and crust color, you may have to increase the amount of the light brown sugar to achieve that elusive crust sweetness.

As I noted recently, it is also possible that there are variations in the color of the dough balls at the various MM stores that are natural and unavoidable consequences of a commissary process that uses a liquid form of molasses. So you, Norma and I may be chasing our tails trying to make our dough balls look like the MM dough balls we saw, and where that benchmark color is in our minds only or through photos or other images that might not be entirely reliable because of different cameras and different lighting. In your case, you would have to make one of your dough balls that you think is of the right color and take it to one of your local MM locations and ask to compare it with one of their dough balls. You could do likewise if you were to be able to find an MM location that will sell you one of their dough balls.

On the matter of your "failed" four-day cold fermented dough, the sugar that contributes to final crust sweetness is called "residual sugar". Residual sugar is that sugar that remains in the dough at the time of baking. The amount of the residual sugar will depend on several factors, including the hydration of the dough, the amount of salt, the amount of yeast, any added sugar and its amount, and the manner and duration of fermentation (e.g., at room temperature or in the refrigerator). All else being equal, a low hydration dough will ferment faster than a lower hydration dough (because of reduced mobility of water and reduced biochemical activity), a dough with a lot of salt will ferment slower than one with a small amount of salt (because of its osmotic effect on yeast), a dough with a lot of yeast will ferment faster than one with a small amount of yeast, and a dough at room temperature will ferment faster than one fermented under refrigeration. If sugar is added to the dough, it can also slow down the fermentation process if it is used in a large enough amount because of its osmotic effect on the yeast. So, if in your case you used a low hydration for your dough, a small amount of yeast, a normal amount of salt, a cold fermentation, and a fairly large amount of added sugar, you should have had a fairly high residual sugar level to contribute to final crust sweetness at the time of baking (and also to crust coloration because of caramelization and the Maillard reactions). If you did not detect a noticeable sweetness, that perhaps means that you did not get enough sugar out of your molasses and the amount of added sugar was too low. In my last experiment, I used 7.5% Grandma's Original molasses and 7% raw cane sugar and the finished crust was overly sweet. That is why I went to 7% Grandma's Original molasses and 4% light brown sugar for my latest experiment. I won't know until I make the pizza whether that is the right combination or not but I was at least satisfied with the color of the dough.

The same factors as discussed above will also apply to an MM dough, whether it is a fresh dough or a frozen one. It is the numbers that will be different, not the principles.

Peter
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: norma427 on October 24, 2011, 09:27:18 PM
Peter,

You could be right about us chasing our tails in the color of MMís dough.  I know when I looked at the picture I posted at Reply 279 http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,3940.msg155913.html#msg155913
that dough in MMís commissary looked really light to me.  I know it could be the lighting or angles of the camera, but if the yellow top on the one spray container is looked at, the dough is light in comparison to that yellow top on the spray container.

On another note, I sent Paulette from Dominoís Specialty Foods an email today asking her if she had gone to MMís yet.  She just replied this evening that she just arrived in Washington, DC on Sunday morning and didnít have time to go there yet.  I then asked her if she does go to MMís if she would let me know what she thinks of the crust in terms of sweetness, and if she thinks something other than molasses is added to their dough.

Norma
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: Pete-zza on October 25, 2011, 08:00:10 PM
Since I am scheduled to be out of town for a long weekend, I decided to use my latest frozen dough ball today to make a pizza. The dough I used is the one with the KABF and vital wheat gluten, 54% hydration, 0.60% IDY, 3% vegetable oil, 1.75% salt, 7% Grandma's Original molasses, and 4% light brown sugar. But no wheat germ. To speed up the process, rather than defrosting the dough ball in my refrigerator compartment for about 24 hours before using, this time I defrosted the dough ball for about 5 1/2 hours at room temperature. With today's temperature hitting a high of 86 degrees F (there were predictions that another record might be set), that turned out to be too fast a defrost. So, I put the dough back into the refrigerator for a few hours before using to make the pizza. At the point where the dough was put back into the refrigerator, it was softer than usual but still fairly stiff. When used to make the pizza, the dough ball opened up easily and handled beautifully and could be tossed and spun with impunity.

For today's bake, I decided to use two pizza stones. One was placed on the lowest oven rack position and the second one was placed on the second from the top oven rack position. The spacing between the two stones was around 7". Both stones were preheated at around 500 degrees F for one hour. The pizza was baked entirely on the bottom stone. The use of the two stones did extend the bake time to around 10 minutes. I believe that using the two stone method with a lower oven temperature should allow me to exceed a bake time of 10 minutes. That is the way that I will bake my next MM clone pizza.

The main purpose of the test was to see if I could get the degree of final crust sweetness we have all been striving for. As it turned out, the finished crust was sweet but still too sweet. My thought for the next experiment was to either use the same amount of Grandma's Original molasses or increase it by a percent or two and to reduce the amount of light brown sugar to around 2%. I then recalled that Norma's most recent MM clone dough uses 7% Grandma's Original molasses and 2% light brown sugar. I wouldn't be surprised to find that that is close to what we are looking for in terms of sweetness. So, I will be interested to see the results of Norma's latest MM clone pizza.

Peter
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: norma427 on October 25, 2011, 09:44:26 PM
Well there is some good news, and bad news about the MMís pie I attempted.  The bad news was I took pictures of the slice of pizza from MMís that was frozen for Steve before and after the reheat.  Steve got to taste a real MMís slice, and he did enjoy it.  Steve did agree that my attempt last week was sweeter in taste than a real MMís slice.  The frozen slice did thaw and reheat well.  

Then I went to take pictures of the dough ball and how I opened the dough ball, trying to do it the same way I saw MMís pie makers form the dough balls and then open them.  The color of my dough ball was about the same as yesterday when I took the first pictures today.  I donít know what happened, but something strange really went on with the dough ball.  Somehow it became darker.  I thought what the heck it going on with that.  I commented to Steve, why would the dough ball change colors.  I am at a loss to explain how that happened.  Another mystery. After I had the dough ball formed and had taken more pictures, my memory stick on my camera became full.  We were also busy trying to make other pizzas, and I quickly deleted pictures (a whole bunch of pictures) I thought werenít pictures from today, and then continued to take pictures of how the dough ball looked almost exactly like the MMís dough balls I saw on Saturday in color and in how they handled.  I could even open and stretch the dough like the MMís pie makers and put it aside bunched together, and then take it apart without it sticking.  That is when I started taking more pictures, that I am now going to post.  The MMís attempt baked well, with a really big rim and the taste of the MMís pie really tasted like the MMís pie I had eaten at MMís in the sweetness of the rim and had about the same texture, except my pie was more airy.  Steve also commented that my attempt tasted almost like the real MMís slice he had just eaten. At least to me my MMís attempt in how the dough handled and taste of the crust did go well. That is the good news.  I think lowering the hydration and adding light brown sugar was a good idea.

All my other pictures were also deleted of my attempt at a Nancy Silvertonís pie too, and an experiment I did on the preferment Lehmann dough. That didnít make me happy either, because those pies did turn out well too.   :(

If anyone wants to see the formula I used today for my MMís attempt they can let me know.  I can scan it in my printer and then post it as a picture.  

Norma
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: norma427 on October 25, 2011, 09:47:30 PM
Norma
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: norma427 on October 25, 2011, 09:48:53 PM
Norma
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: norma427 on October 25, 2011, 09:51:17 PM
Norma
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: norma427 on October 25, 2011, 09:52:23 PM
Norma
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: norma427 on October 25, 2011, 09:54:30 PM
Norma
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: norma427 on October 25, 2011, 09:56:28 PM
Norma
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: norma427 on October 25, 2011, 09:57:57 PM
Norma
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: dwighttsharpe on October 25, 2011, 10:26:47 PM
...If anyone wants to see the formula I used today for my MMís attempt they can let me know.  I can scan it in my printer and then post it as a picture.  

Norma

Yes Norma, I would appreciate it if you posted the formula for you latest bake here. Looks good.

Thanks.
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: norma427 on October 25, 2011, 10:43:01 PM
Yes Norma, I would appreciate it if you posted the formula for you latest bake here. Looks good.

Thanks.

dwighttsharpe,

Thanks for saying the MM's attempted pie looked good!  :)  This is the formula I used.  I just mixed the dough and then froze it, then let it defrost for one day, then left the dough ball sit at room temperature for 2 hrs, before I started to open the dough ball. 

Norma
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: norma427 on October 25, 2011, 10:45:10 PM
When I returned from market today, I received the samples from Dominos Specialty Ingredients of the Homemaid Molasses, Evaporated Cane Juice, and Golden Granulated Evaporated Cane Juice Syrup, with the data sheets for those products.

Norma
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: Pete-zza on October 25, 2011, 10:48:07 PM
Norma,

I'm glad to see that your latest pizza appeared to be a good copy of the MM pizza you had in DC. With all my experiments since I had the MM pizza in Florida, my memory of that pizza has pretty much faded.

On the matter of the dough changing color, were you comparing the defrosted dough ball with the frozen dough ball?

Peter
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: norma427 on October 25, 2011, 10:51:19 PM
Since I am scheduled to be out of town for a long weekend, I decided to use my latest frozen dough ball today to make a pizza. The dough I used is the one with the KABF and vital wheat gluten, 54% hydration, 0.60% IDY, 3% vegetable oil, 1.75% salt, 7% Grandma's Original molasses, and 4% light brown sugar. But no wheat germ. To speed up the process, rather than defrosting the dough ball in my refrigerator compartment for about 24 hours before using, this time I defrosted the dough ball for about 5 1/2 hours at room temperature. With today's temperature hitting a high of 86 degrees F (there were predictions that another record might be set), that turned out to be too fast a defrost. So, I put the dough back into the refrigerator for a few hours before using to make the pizza. At the point where the dough was put back into the refrigerator, it was softer than usual but still fairly stiff. When used to make the pizza, the dough ball opened up easily and handled beautifully and could be tossed and spun with impunity.

For today's bake, I decided to use two pizza stones. One was placed on the lowest oven rack position and the second one was placed on the second from the top oven rack position. The spacing between the two stones was around 7". Both stones were preheated at around 500 degrees F for one hour. The pizza was baked entirely on the bottom stone. The use of the two stones did extend the bake time to around 10 minutes. I believe that using the two stone method with a lower oven temperature should allow me to exceed a bake time of 10 minutes. That is the way that I will bake my next MM clone pizza.

The main purpose of the test was to see if I could get the degree of final crust sweetness we have all been striving for. As it turned out, the finished crust was sweet but still too sweet. My thought for the next experiment was to either use the same amount of Grandma's Original molasses or increase it by a percent or two and to reduce the amount of light brown sugar to around 2%. I then recalled that Norma's most recent MM clone dough uses 7% Grandma's Original molasses and 2% light brown sugar. I wouldn't be surprised to find that that is close to what we are looking for in terms of sweetness. So, I will be interested to see the results of Norma's latest MM clone pizza.

Peter

Peter,

Glad to hear your attempted MMís pie went well today too!   :)

Norma
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: norma427 on October 25, 2011, 11:02:24 PM
Norma,

I'm glad to see that your latest pizza appeared to be a good copy of the MM pizza you had in DC. With all my experiments since I had the MM pizza in Florida, my memory of that pizza has pretty much faded.

On the matter of the dough changing color, were you comparing the defrosted dough ball with the frozen dough ball?

Peter


Peter,

Thanks for saying your were glad my latest MMís attempt appeared to be a good copy of the MMís pizza I had in DC.  Sorry to hear your memory has pretty much faded about your MMís pizza you had in Florida, since you have made other attempts at home.

On the matter of the dough ball changing color, the dough ball looked the same color as the dough ball I had made and frozen, until the dough ball heated at room temperature.  I checked the dough ball a couple of times today before I made the pizza.  The color of the dough ball then changed to a darker color before I went to make the pizza.  How can the dough change in the number of hours I was at market.  Do you have an explanation for that?  Steve saw the dough  change colors too.  Do you also think this hydration was about the right hydration?  I can now only wish I had those other pictures to post to show about the color changing.

Norma
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: mailliw on October 26, 2011, 01:08:06 AM
I did a search in this site for autolyse.  I didn't find any thing on this thread.  you folks who are making these wonderful crusts; have any of you tried this method? 
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: norma427 on October 26, 2011, 08:03:42 AM
I did a search in this site for autolyse.  I didn't find any thing on this thread.  you folks who are making these wonderful crusts; have any of you tried this method? 

mailliw,

I haven't tried a autolyse, in any of my attempts.  I would think at MM's commissary they wouldn't use that method.  That method can be used to make pizza, but would think MM's would only use a straight dough method.

Norma
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: dwighttsharpe on October 26, 2011, 08:20:45 AM
dwighttsharpe,

Thanks for saying the MM's attempted pie looked good!  :)  This is the formula I used.  I just mixed the dough and then froze it, then let it defrost for one day, then left the dough ball sit at room temperature for 2 hrs, before I started to open the dough ball. 

Norma

Thank you.
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: Pete-zza on October 26, 2011, 08:54:06 AM
Glad to hear your attempted MMís pie went well today too!   :)

Norma,

I felt that we had narrowed the ranges of values of molasses and brown sugar to get "sweet but not too sweet" and that it was just a matter of time before we converged on a solution to the sweetness problem while getting the color of the dough right also. Since I like the flavor of molasses better than the flavor of raw can sugar or brown sugar, the next time I may use more molasses and less brown sugar. Since I have been using King Arthur bread flour and the Hodgson Mill vital wheat gluten, I may also lower the oil back to 2% and maybe add a small amount of wheat germ (maybe 1-2%) in order to get a somewhat more dense rim. You may not need to do this with the KASL.

I also thought that defrosting the frozen MM clone dough ball at room temperature was a good idea. When time came to make the pizza and I opened up the dough ball, I found that after getting the skin to around 8" inches (my clones have been 10"), it was possible to slap the skin from hand to hand as was shown in some of the videos. I also had no problem tossing and spinning the skin. I think if one defrosts the dough in the refrigerator for a day, using a longer temper time may yield the same dough condition that makes it easier to handle the skin.

I also think that it is possible to lower the hydration even further. I used 54% for my last dough but I think that 53% should work also, especially in my case where I am using the KABF and VWG.

Peter
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: Ev on October 26, 2011, 09:26:14 AM
Well, I finally got to taste my first real slice of Mellow Mushroom pizza. It seemed to be all dry and shriveled  from being in the fridge too long!  :-D
 Just kidding. It was actually very well preserved. Thank you, Norma for saving it for. I appreciate your kindness and generosity.
I thought it very good and maybe just a tiny bit less sweet than most of Normas' attempts. To be totally honest, taste-wise, in a literal "blind" test, I doubt I could tell which was which. Even the sauce, I think, is similar. Visually, Normas' has a larger puffier rim. I think the color is almost perfect as well.
 Great job, Norma. I think you just about nailed it! ;D
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: norma427 on October 26, 2011, 09:35:13 AM
Norma,

I felt that we had narrowed the ranges of values of molasses and brown sugar to get "sweet but not too sweet" and that it was just a matter of time before we converged on a solution to the sweetness problem while getting the color of the dough right also. Since I like the flavor of molasses better than the flavor of raw can sugar or brown sugar, the next time I may use more molasses and less brown sugar. Since I have been using King Arthur bread flour and the Hodgson Mill vital wheat gluten, I may also lower the oil back to 2% and maybe add a small amount of wheat germ (maybe 1-2%) in order to get a somewhat more dense rim. You may not need to do this with the KASL.

I also thought that defrosting the frozen MM clone dough ball at room temperature was a good idea. When time came to make the pizza and I opened up the dough ball, I found that after getting the skin to around 8" inches (my clones have been 10"), it was possible to slap the skin from hand to hand as was shown in some of the videos. I also had no problem tossing and spinning the skin. I think if one defrosts the dough in the refrigerator for a day, using a longer temper time may yield the same dough condition that makes it easier to handle the skin.

I also think that it is possible to lower the hydration even further. I used 54% for my last dough but I think that 53% should work also, especially in my case where I am using the KABF and VWG.

Peter


Peter,

I also think we narrowed the ranges of molasses and brown sugar to get about the right sweetness in our attempts.  I could only taste the molasses in my attempt.  I couldnít taste any brown sugar.  The crust wasnít really sweet.  It almost tasted like a MMís pie. 

My dough ball handled like a MMís dough, like I saw at MMís recently, in almost every way, just like yours. The only thing I have a question about is now how do I get the less airy looking rim?  I like the really airy looking rim, but that isnít what MMís rim is really like.

Thanks for your post on your attempt!  I think eventually with you using your home oven and KABF with vital wheat gluten, and me using my deck oven, with KASL, we should be able to produce a pie like MMís for anyone that wants to take a stab at trying a MMís pizza.

Norma
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: norma427 on October 26, 2011, 09:38:56 AM
Well, I finally got to taste my first real slice of Mellow Mushroom pizza. It seemed to be all dry and shriveled  from being in the fridge too long!  :-D
 Just kidding. It was actually very well preserved. Thank you, Norma for saving it for. I appreciate your kindness and generosity.
I thought it very good and maybe just a tiny bit less sweet than most of Normas' attempts. To be totally honest, taste-wise, in a literal "blind" test, I doubt I could tell which was which. Even the sauce, I think, is similar. Visually, Normas' has a larger puffier rim. I think the color is almost perfect as well.
 Great job, Norma. I think you just about nailed it! ;D

Steve,

Lol, you sure are funny! :-D

I did want to save you a slice so you also could know how a real MM's pie tasted.  Peter method of my freezing the slice did work well.  I also agree in a blind taste test, I probably couldn't tell the difference between the pizza I ate at MM's and the attempt I did yesterday.

Norma
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: briterian on October 26, 2011, 09:42:10 AM
Hi Norma,
I noticed you dip your dough in cornmeal while it is fermenting.  That's a new technique that I think sounds pretty neat.  Is there a certain type of cornmeal I should use or can I stick with my quaker?

http://www.quakeroats.com/products/more-products-from-quaker/content/specialty-items/cornmeal/yellow-corn-meal.aspx

I also am curious if one is not going to freeze the dough - what is the fridge fermentation you would recommend?  1 day - 2 day - x days?
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: Pete-zza on October 26, 2011, 09:42:43 AM
On the matter of the dough ball changing color, the dough ball looked the same color as the dough ball I had made and frozen, until the dough ball heated at room temperature.  I checked the dough ball a couple of times today before I made the pizza.  The color of the dough ball then changed to a darker color before I went to make the pizza.  How can the dough change in the number of hours I was at market.  Do you have an explanation for that?  Steve saw the dough  change colors too.  Do you also think this hydration was about the right hydration?  I can now only wish I had those other pictures to post to show about the color changing.

Norma,

I don't know if I have a complete explanation for the change of color that you observed with your last MM clone dough ball, but as I noted at Reply 460 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,3940.msg157718.html#msg157718, freezing something can change its color. In Reply 460, my observation of that effect was in respect of a frozen pizza slice but recently I observed the same phenomenon with respect to two dough balls that I made that were essentially identical except that one of the dough balls was a bit smaller than the other. The color to the two dough balls was identical. However, when time came to make the pizza with one of the two dough balls (the larger one), I noticed after defrosting it that it was darker in color than the other dough ball that was still frozen. The frozen dough ball was lighter, or "whiter", than the defrosted dough ball. I believe that it has to do with how the moisture in the dough freezes and forms ice particles that reflect light at the surface and give it a lighter appearance. Allowed to completely defrost, it would look the same as the other dough ball that was similarly defrosted. If you had a frozen dough ball that you purchased from an MM store and you wanted to test one of your dough balls for color comparison purposes, you would have to first defrost the frozen dough ball before comparing the colors of the two dough balls. You could then refreeze the purchased MM dough ball but you would have to defrost it again to do future color comparisons.

Peter
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: Pete-zza on October 26, 2011, 10:02:54 AM
Norma and Steve,

In one of my earliest MM clone experiments, I compared a slice of one of my MM clone pizzas against a part of the slice of the Florida MM pizza that I had saved. I, too, thought that the two slices were virtually indistinguishable. In my case, I even compared bites of the two slices, side by side with my eyes closed. I wasn't sure what to make of this other than to believe that maybe the MM clone formulation I came up with was in the ballpark. When I went back this morning and compared that dough formulation with what Norma and I have been using, surprisingly it has changed very little (at that time I was using only molasses and no added sugar). But the technical side of me says that the only true test is to do side by side comparisons of two freshly baked pizzas. Since that is not something that one can do in an MM store, the closest method for comparison tasting purposes might be to purchase an MM pizza, bring it home, and eat it side by side with a home version. Of course, this test works better if one is near an MM store so that the MM pizza doesn't change much by the time it gets home.

Peter
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: Pete-zza on October 26, 2011, 10:29:29 AM
My dough ball handled like a MMís dough, like I saw at MMís recently, in almost every way, just like yours. The only thing I have a question about is now how do I get the less airy looking rim?  I like the really airy looking rim, but that isnít what MMís rim is really like.

Norma,

I have always viewed the texture issue as being the second part of the battle that has to be conquered. The third is to match the dough formulation to a standard home oven.

It is because of the texture challenge that I have conducted experiments using varying amounts of wheat germ and oil and trying different hydration values. Since I am working with KABF and VWG, which will tend to produce a softer crust and crumb than one made using a high-gluten flour, I have been lowering the amounts of oil and also lowering the hydration value but I may need some wheat germ to achieve a somewhat denser crust like the one I had at the Florida MM. In your case, even with the KASL, you might try lowering the hydration by a percent or two and use less oil (I am thinking of going to only 1%). You could also try using less yeast, although when I tried that I found that the rise wasn't quite as good, so I returned to 0.60% IDY for a dough that is to be frozen for later use. Using less yeast will work for a dough that is to be cold fermented for one or more days before using but there is no evidence to date that MM does anything like that. Maybe one day we will learn how the MM stores that make dough in-house do it. However, I am not aware of any MM store that is making their dough in-house.

Peter
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: norma427 on October 26, 2011, 10:49:21 AM
Hi Norma,
I noticed you dip your dough in cornmeal while it is fermenting.  That's a new technique that I think sounds pretty neat.  Is there a certain type of cornmeal I should use or can I stick with my quaker?

http://www.quakeroats.com/products/more-products-from-quaker/content/specialty-items/cornmeal/yellow-corn-meal.aspx

I also am curious if one is not going to freeze the dough - what is the fridge fermentation you would recommend?  1 day - 2 day - x days?


Brian,

I just coat the dough ball with corn meal, (instead of using oil or flour) and then used corn meal instead of the flour to coat the dough ball right before I open the dough ball.  Also corn meal is used on the peel.  I donít know anything about Quaker Oats corn meal, or if anything is added to their cornmeal.  For my last attempt I had used light cornmeal.  

I really donít know how long to let dough ball (the formula I used) ferment in the fridge.  Since the formula I used has 0.60 IDY in the formula, I would think the IDY amount would have to be played with a little, and possibly lowered.  Maybe Peter can give you better information on the amount of IDY to use if you want to cold ferment your dough for a day or more.

Norma
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: Pete-zza on October 26, 2011, 11:05:15 AM
I really donít know how long to let dough ball (the formula I used) ferment in the fridge.  Since the formula I used has .060 IDY in the formula, I would think the IDY amount would have to be played with a little, and possibly lowered.  Maybe Peter can give you better information on the amount of IDY to use if you want to cold ferment your dough for a day or more.

Brian,

I believe that Norma meant to say 0.60% IDY rather than 0.06%.

I usually wait until I have figured out the dough formulation to my satisfaction before adapting it to a new protocol. However, if you can't wait and are interested in a one-day cold fermentation, you might try using 0.375% IDY. For a longer cold fermentation, I would lower that value. Keep in mind, however, that changing the protocol can change the final results and your version may not be the same as a real MM pizza. I discovered this when I was making the several versions of the Papa John's clones. The pizzas should still taste fine but they may just be different.

Peter
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: briterian on October 26, 2011, 11:09:59 AM
Thanks Pete.  Can you refresh my memory of the approach when .6 IDY is used?  Does one need to take the dough and freeze immediately to leverage the .6 technique?

Brian
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: Pete-zza on October 26, 2011, 11:16:06 AM
Can you refresh my memory of the approach when .6 IDY is used?  Does one need to take the freeze immediately method?

Brian,

I settled on the 0.60% IDY for the frozen version only, on the basis that freezing the dough ball kills some of the yeast. The 0.375% IDY recommendation is for a fresh, cold-fermented dough.

Peter
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: norma427 on October 26, 2011, 11:21:34 AM
Peter,

Thanks for your explanation on what might have been going on with the color change in my dough ball yesterday.  I had wondered more about that after posting that picture of how light the dough looked in the MMís commissary, and then how much darker the dough balls looked at MMís on my recent visit.  I had wondered if somehow freezing the dough, then changes the chemistry somehow if molasses is used, when frozen and thawed.  I know nothing about the chemistry of how dough can change when molasses is used.

It is interesting that you thought your MMís clone pizzas were virtually indistinguishable from the real slice you brought back home from your Florida visit.  I know your technical side is right. To do a true comparison you would need a side by side comparison of two freshly baked pizzas. (one a home clone MMís pizza and one a real MMís pizza)  No way that is going to happen for me, but for someone near a MMís, that might be able to be done.

I think you have done a great job in analyzing what kind of formula to use for a MMís clone attempt, and giving Biz and me help in what to try next.  ;D I still donít understand how you can make such an educated guess even from the first clone attempt.  

I will lower the hydration a point for next weeks attempt, and also will lower the oil by one percent, to see if it will give me a denser crust.  I saved my little piece of real frozen MMís crust and will defrost it next week, to see if I can make any comparisons on color.

You are correct in I posted the wrong amount of IDY I used.  I will edit my post. It was a typing error.

Norma
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: briterian on October 26, 2011, 11:21:52 AM
Cool. I'm on it.  Interested in revisiting this dough using Norma's latest.
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: norma427 on October 26, 2011, 01:58:21 PM
This is a picture of the Dominos Homemaid Molasses and the Grandmaís Original Molasses together.  They are both almost exactly the same color, at least to my eyes.  The taste of the Dominos Homemaid Molasses has a little stronger taste of molasses, but also has a sweeter aftertaste if that makes any sense.

I also tasted the Golden Granulated Evaporated Cane Juice Syrup and that stuff is really ďsickening sweetĒ.  :-D

At least I found it interesting that there was a patent applied for with molasses in pizza dough in a search I did, but donít think MMís has a patent for their pizza dough.

Norma
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: Pete-zza on October 26, 2011, 02:25:23 PM
I still donít understand how you can make such an educated guess even from the first clone attempt.  

Norma,

It's really just a combination of a mathematical and scientific approach to pizza making and having worked with many different types and styles of dough from which you learn the relationship between ingredients and their ranges and the final product. It is also a big help to have a big database of information about anything pizza related. When you do this sort of thing over a period of years, as I have done, you also develop a sort of sixth sense about expected outcomes that turns out to be valuable and saves a lot of time with testing and experimentation. I was also once told by a professional that most dough formulations can tolerate a fair amount of change in the amounts of ingredients without affecting the outcome in a material way. So, using say, 7% molasses or 5% or 8% perhaps isn't going to matter all that much in the final outcome. In our case, of course, we have been striving to achieve a particular dough/crust color using whatever brands of molasses available to us, so the amount of molasses has been important for that objective. But, absent that, the amount of molasses should work in a reasonably wide range of values.

Peter
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: Pete-zza on October 26, 2011, 03:18:12 PM
Norma,

Your report comparing the Domino Homemaid molasses with the Grandma's Original molasses is actually quite timely inasmuch as I received a call back from the gal at Mellow Mushroom just a short while ago and I have more information to report.

By way of recapitulation, as I previously noted, I had been told during my last conversation with the MM rep that MM uses liquid molasses. I reiterated that statement today and, given a chance, it was not retracted. The main reason for the return call, however, had to do with the wheat germ. I was told today that while MM may have used wheat germ a long time ago, it does not now add wheat germ to their flour. So, as was earlier reported on a couple of occasions, it appears that the MM dough is made only from high-gluten flour, water (spring water), salt, yeast, oil and molasses.

When the conversation turned back to the molasses, I mentioned that it was my understanding that MM does not use refined white sugar. Her response was "Never." When I mentioned that something like brown sugar was not a "refined white sugar" but it might be considered a "refined sugar", she said that while she could discuss allergy and related health issues she was not in a position to discuss certain matters relating to their dough. But the impression I got was that it was only molasses that was used in the MM dough and in an amount just enough to give the dough and crust its color. She added that many people think that they are using whole wheat flour because of the crust color.

In defense of MM, I have not seen anything covering a period of several years, and attributable to MM corporate, that their dough contains wheat germ or Vitamin E. Its franchisees and writers have been the ones quoting their use. But perhaps MM corporate should have been more diligent in policing what their franchisees say about their dough.

Your Homemaid molasses might just be the ticket for a "molasses-only" sweetener. It might be worth an experiment using just that molasses without any added sugars.

I don't know what to say about the evaporated cane juice syrup and the rest of your growing collection of molasses products, both wet and dry. I'd hate to see you use all of those products and have your teeth rot and fall out and cause you to leave the forum and join another forum such as the BabyFood.com forum or the Marshmallow.com forum.

So, basically, what it appears we have with the MM dough is a not particularly healthful dough but one that is as idiot-proof as you can get in terms of using to open up the dough balls without the skins sticking to anything including themselves when they are preformed. With the dough balls being frozen for the most part and easily defrosted is also a plus to the MM strategy.

Hopefully, it won't be long before we solve the texture issue. Then, you and Steve can go to your local tattoo parlor and get some hippy-type tattoos and start your own funky, low-overhead place featuring discount clones of the MM pizzas.

Peter
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: norma427 on October 26, 2011, 05:21:54 PM
Norma,

Your report comparing the Domino Homemaid molasses with the Grandma's Original molasses is actually quite timely inasmuch as I received a call back from the gal at Mellow Mushroom just a short while ago and I have more information to report.

By way of recapitulation, as I previously noted, I had been told during my last conversation with the MM rep that MM uses liquid molasses. I reiterated that statement today and, given a chance, it was not retracted. The main reason for the return call, however, had to do with the wheat germ. I was told today that while MM may have used wheat germ a long time ago, it does not now add wheat germ to their flour. So, as was earlier reported on a couple of occasions, it appears that the MM dough is made only from high-gluten flour, water (spring water), salt, yeast, oil and molasses.

When the conversation turned back to the molasses, I mentioned that it was my understanding that MM does not use refined white sugar. Her response was "Never." When I mentioned that something like brown sugar was not a "refined white sugar" but it might be considered a "refined sugar", she said that while she could discuss allergy and related health issues she was not in a position to discuss certain matters relating to their dough. But the impression I got was that it was only molasses that was used in the MM dough and in an amount just enough to give the dough and crust its color. She added that many people think that they are using whole wheat flour because of the crust color.

In defense of MM, I have not seen anything covering a period of several years, and attributable to MM corporate, that their dough contains wheat germ or Vitamin E. Its franchisees and writers have been the ones quoting their use. But perhaps MM corporate should have been more diligent in policing what their franchisees say about their dough.

Your Homemaid molasses might just be the ticket for a "molasses-only" sweetener. It might be worth an experiment using just that molasses without any added sugars.

I don't know what to say about the evaporated cane juice syrup and the rest of your growing collection of molasses products, both wet and dry. I'd hate to see you use all of those products and have your teeth rot and fall out and cause you to leave the forum and join another forum such as the BabyFood.com forum or the Marshmallow.com forum.

So, basically, what it appears we have with the MM dough is a not particularly healthful dough but one that is as idiot-proof as you can get in terms of using to open up the dough balls without the skins sticking to anything including themselves when they are preformed. With the dough balls being frozen for the most part and easily defrosted is also a plus to the MM strategy.

Hopefully, it won't be long before we solve the texture issue. Then, you and Steve can go to your local tattoo parlor and get some hippy-type tattoos and start your own funky, low-overhead place featuring discount clones of the MM pizzas.

Peter

Peter,

Glad to hear your received a call back from the gal at Mellow Mushroom.  Since she still didnít tell you if MMís used any ďrefined sugarsĒ in their dough, I guess you are right that I can try the Domimoís Homemaid Molasses product only in the dough without brown sugar. That still doesnít leave out any other ďrefined sugarsĒ in their dough since she wouldnít discuss certain matters having to do with their dough. What percent of the Dominoís Homemaid molasses do you suggest I try for an experiment for next week?  I have no idea of what percent to try.  If that experiment fails the sweetness test, then maybe MMís is also using some kind of ďrefined sugarsĒ in their dough. At least that is my way of thinking.  I donít have the experience you do in determining how things work out in dough.  I can only go by my eyes, natural instincts and hands what might work.  I sure donít have the mathematical gene.  Do you want me to copy and post the data sheets for the Homemaid molasses first?  I will also drop the hydration and oil amount.  Hopefully that will solve the texture issue.  

In addition to my evaporated cane syrup, all my other molasses products, and all my other samples, I sure donít know what I am going to do with all of them.  I did recently add some dry molasses to baked beans and at least that gave them a new different flavor.  Maybe someday if all the samples donít get too old, or I donít become too old, I will find some ways of using all my samples.   :-D

It is interesting that in the end we probably will have an idiot-proof dough and also an easy dough formulation.  

I donít think either Steve or I am interested in real tattoos, but selling a clone MMís dough pizza would be interesting to try.  Since I saw the circus theme at MMís, I think I would rather go with a circus theme than a ďhippy themeĒ.  I also like circus related things.  :)

Thanks for your report on the talk you had with the gal from MMís.  I also thought it was interesting that she said that most people think MMís dough is made with whole wheat flour.  That is what it first looks like, even to me.  I guess MMís dough and pizza arenít as healthy as they made customers think.  Great detective work as always.  8)

Norma
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: norma427 on October 26, 2011, 08:04:06 PM
Peter,

The are the data sheets for the Homemaid molasses if you need them.  Two of the data sheets are light.  If you need more information from any of these data sheets, let me know and I can try to type out the information you might need.  I know you said you are going to be away from your home base for awhile, but I thought if you need any of this information, I would try to post it for the Homemaid molasses.

Norma
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: norma427 on October 26, 2011, 08:04:47 PM
Norma
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: norma427 on October 26, 2011, 08:05:10 PM
Norma
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: Pete-zza on October 26, 2011, 09:00:12 PM
Norma,

Thank you for posting the information on the Homemaid molasses. Unfortunately, Grandma's doesn't give comparable data to be able to compare the two products from the standpoint of constituent sugars. It would be nice if the Homemaid molasses is sweeter than the Grandma's Original molasses and puts the molasses sweetness issue to bed.

For an amount of the Homemaid molasses to use, I think I would go with about 8% by flour weight and see how that goes compared with the Grandma's Original molasses. I made and froze another MM clone dough ball today with 9% Grandma's Original molasses and 1.5% light brown sugar in an effort to get more of the flavor of the molasses.

Peter
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: norma427 on October 26, 2011, 10:25:57 PM
Norma,

For an amount of the Homemaid molasses to use, I think I would go with about 8% by flour weight and see how that goes compared with the Grandma's Original molasses. I made and froze another MM clone dough ball today with 9% Grandma's Original molasses and 1.5% light brown sugar in an effort to get more of the flavor of the molasses.

Peter

Peter,

Thanks for the advice on what amount of Homemaid molasses to use in the next formula. Hope your next MM's clone dough works out fine in sweetness and molasses flavor, when you bake it.

On the last data sheet I posted, there are names at the bottom of that data sheet.  It looks like Domino does might get some of the molasses from those companies.  I will check into that.  The one looks like it is in Florida.

Norma
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: Pete-zza on October 26, 2011, 10:48:14 PM
Norma,

I did a little research on the Grandma's Original molasses and it looks like it has 55.50 grams of total sugar for a 100 gram sample compared with 65 grams for the Homemaid molasses. So, it looks like the Homemaid molasses may, in fact, be sweeter.

Peter
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: norma427 on October 26, 2011, 10:56:16 PM
Norma,

I did a little research on the Grandma's Original molasses and it looks like it has 55.50 grams of total sugar for a 100 gram sample compared with 65 grams for the Homemaid molasses. So, it looks like the Homemaid molasses may, in fact, be sweeter.

Peter

Peter,

Thanks for doing the research.  I does seem that the Homemaid molasses is sweeter.  I guess I will find out in my next experiment.  I thought the Homemaid molasses did have a sweeter aftertaste when I taste tested both molasses products this morning.  The molasses flavor seemed to be stronger in the Homemaid molasses also. 

I looked up those companies I had mentioned in my last post and it seems like they are associated with Domino's.

Norma
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: norma427 on October 26, 2011, 11:25:20 PM
Peter,

There does look like there is a Grandmaís product that is called ďFancy MolassesĒ.  http://www.grandmamolasses.com/data/pdf/PDS_Fancy_Grandma_Feb_2007.pdf

Norma
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: Pete-zza on October 27, 2011, 07:16:12 AM
Norma,

That appears to be a product offered in Canada. There is even a separate website at http://www.grandmamolasses.com/index.php?id=3. Note that in Canada the product is sold under the Grandma brand name without the apostrophe "s". In the U.S., it is with the apostrophe "s".

I have not seen spec sheets for the U.S. Grandma's molasses products to be able to do a comparison, but it may well be that the Grandma Canadian molasses product is a Fancy product.

Peter
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: norma427 on October 27, 2011, 07:27:59 AM
Norma,

That appears to be a product offered in Canada. There is even a separate website at http://www.grandmamolasses.com/index.php?id=3. Note that in Canada the product is sold under the Grandma brand name without the apostrophe "s". In the U.S., it is with the apostrophe "s".

I have not seen spec sheets for the U.S. Grandma's molasses products to be able to do a comparison, but it may well be that the Grandma Canadian molasses product is a Fancy product.

Peter

Peter,

I had researched some more, and also found out the same thing, as I now am going to post.  I won't rewrite what I already said.

Edit:  I think Grandmaís ďFancyĒ molasses is only sold in Canada.  http://www.grandmamolasses.com/index.php?id=3

It also seem like there is a  Grandmaís 4 Star Unsulphured Molasses.  The Grandmaís 4 Star can be purchased from Sysco in Florida. http://syscosef.com/promos/grandmas.pdf  or at a website such as this one.  http://mybrands.com/Product.aspx?pid=4172

I used the contact page at http://www.bgfoods.com/about/contact.asp and asked if the Grandmaís four star molasses product is sweeter than the Grandmaís Original Molasses product, since I really canít find out much information about the Grandmaís four star product.

I will wait and see if they respond.

Norma
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: norma427 on October 27, 2011, 10:46:48 AM
I donít know if the Steenís Pure and Natural Light Molasses is a sweeter molasses, but it is expensive.
http://www.steensyrup.com/molasses.html
The Barbados Unslphured Molasses might be a sweeter molasses. http://www.alliedoldenglish.com/plantation.php
I did contact both of them to ask if they could tell me how sweet their molasses is.

Norma
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: norma427 on October 27, 2011, 04:43:19 PM
John Johansen, from Malt Products http://www.maltproducts.com/products.molasses.html called me a little while ago, and we talked about liquid molasses products.  John said their liquid molasses product #732 probably would be the best product to try in a MMís pizza attempt.  He did say that the Liquid molasses #732 is a sweeter molasses than can be bought at the retail level.  I told him about what percent of molasses, (retail level GrandmaĎs Original and Brer Rabbit Mild Flavored) I was using in my tests to get the results I wanted.  He said that is a high percent of molasses to put in pizza dough.  I told John I did have to add brown sugar or other refined sugars to get enough sweetness in the crusts of my test pizzas, along with the molasses. John thought the Malt products #715 would give the dough too dark of a color.  John said he would send the sample of liquid molasses product #732 out to me soon.  He asked me if I wanted a pint or quart of the liquid molasses sample and I said a pint would be fine for testing.  John also said he would also send me the sweetness data sheet or other data sheets.

Norma
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: briterian on October 27, 2011, 08:16:04 PM
Just made Norma's latest (brown sugar/molasses) and backed off on yeast to .325 vs. .6 since I was doing a next day cold ferment rather than freeze/thaw model.  Turned out nice but yeast didnt have near the imapct and resulted in little crust cornicorn.  Next time I plan to move up to .5ish.  Kids liked it said it tasted like mellow mushroom ...and my wife totally agreed.   I baked it 7 min at 525.   Next time maybe 9 min
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: norma427 on October 27, 2011, 09:21:49 PM
Just made Norma's latest (brown sugar/molasses) and backed off on yeast to .325 vs. .6 since I was doing a next day cold ferment rather than freeze/thaw model.  Turned out nice but yeast didnt have near the imapct and resulted in little crust cornicorn.  Next time I plan to move up to .5ish.  Kids liked it said it tasted like mellow mushroom ...and my wife totally agreed.   I baked it 7 min at 525.   Next time maybe 9 min

Brian,

Great to hear your children and wife thought your MMís clone did taste like a MMís pizza!  :) How was your crumb texture?  Was it more in line with a real MMís crumb?  My crust coloration isnít right yet either.  I canít figure out why it doesnít get browner.  Did you use Grandmaís Original Molasses?  Sorry to be asking all the questions, but did your dough look like it fermented okay in the next day ferment?  

Sounds like you did a great job on your first attempt.  :chef:

Norma
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: briterian on October 27, 2011, 09:50:34 PM
Hi Norma
I used gma's robust vs orig since that is what I had. That has a tad bit less sugar.  I have one more dough in fridge that I will let warm up on counter next time for as long as it takes to see a bit of lift. I'll be more patient.  A two hour warmup wasnt enough   The crumb was real close and kept some internal moistness and after we let it sit and cool for 20 min and rewarmed on my lodge pizza pan on stovetop it was even closer and brought out more sweetness.   I'll take pics next time. 
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: Biz Markie on October 27, 2011, 10:13:26 PM
Peter,

Do you have any reason to suspect that the MM rep would be less than 100% truthful/accurate in the info she was giving you?
I would assume that she is being above board, but when I attempted to contact their corporate office weeks ago, I got nowhere in terms of nutritional info.  I sent an email and the reply was simply that they are working on having data/info available and they could not tell me anything at this time.

Just throwing it out there to get your opinion.  It sounds like she was believable, but at the same time, what we're doing here isn't exactly Classified. ...just sayin!  :-D

P.S. Not sure what I'm gonna do next, especially if we go with the assumption that MM uses ONLY molasses.  I would have to try another brand, I guess, because from my direct color comparisons of cooked doughs, 5% Brer Rabbit and KASL produce a crust with basically identical color to MM.  Possible I could squeeze more Brer Rabbit in there before the naked eye could detect a difference, but I doubt that increase would manifest in sweetness.
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: norma427 on October 27, 2011, 11:16:32 PM
Hi Norma
I used gma's robust vs orig since that is what I had. That has a tad bit less sugar.  I have one more dough in fridge that I will let warm up on counter next time for as long as it takes to see a bit of lift. I'll be more patient.  A two hour warmup wasnt enough   The crumb was real close and kept some internal moistness and after we let it sit and cool for 20 min and rewarmed on my lodge pizza pan on stovetop it was even closer and brought out more sweetness.   I'll take pics next time. 

Brian,

Glad to hear Grandmaís robust molasses did work out in your MMís pizza.  Good also to hear that your crumb was really close and kept some of the moistness in the rim. 

It will be interesting to hear how your other dough ball turns out when it is made into a pizza.

Norma
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: Pete-zza on October 28, 2011, 10:27:53 AM
I donít know if the Steenís Pure and Natural Light Molasses is a sweeter molasses, but it is expensive.
http://www.steensyrup.com/molasses.html
The Barbados Unslphured Molasses might be a sweeter molasses. http://www.alliedoldenglish.com/plantation.php
I did contact both of them to ask if they could tell me how sweet their molasses is.

Norma,

I have seen the Steen's cane syrup product on supermarket shelves over the years but not the molasses products. The Barbados molasses product seems to be somewhat of a generic designation for a first boil molasses product, as earlier mentioned. But, both of those products appear to be retail level products and might be options for our members as alternatives to the Grandma's and Brer Rabbit products. But they are likelier to be harder to find than the Grandma and Brer Rabbit products and may entail some shipping costs if ordered online. It will also mean having to do some experimenting with quantities to get the desired degree of dough/crust coloration if that is important to the user. I'll be most interested in what you get back from Steen's on their light colored molasses and whether it is like a Fancy molasses.

It was also interesting to see that John at Malt Products and the gal at Domino Specialty Ingredients selected the same liquid molasses products to try as I did in Reply 354 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,3940.msg156811.html#msg156811. It's good to know that we are on the same wavelength.

Peter
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: Pete-zza on October 28, 2011, 11:01:00 AM

Do you have any reason to suspect that the MM rep would be less than 100% truthful/accurate in the info she was giving you?
I would assume that she is being above board, but when I attempted to contact their corporate office weeks ago, I got nowhere in terms of nutritional info.  I sent an email and the reply was simply that they are working on having data/info available and they could not tell me anything at this time.

Just throwing it out there to get your opinion.  It sounds like she was believable, but at the same time, what we're doing here isn't exactly Classified. ...just sayin!  :-D

P.S. Not sure what I'm gonna do next, especially if we go with the assumption that MM uses ONLY molasses.  I would have to try another brand, I guess, because from my direct color comparisons of cooked doughs, 5% Brer Rabbit and KASL produce a crust with basically identical color to MM.  Possible I could squeeze more Brer Rabbit in there before the naked eye could detect a difference, but I doubt that increase would manifest in sweetness.

Biz,

I think the MM rep was being straight with me. It became clear to me, especially after giving her the Cliffs Notes version of how grain is milled into flour, which was an eye opener to her, that she does not have a technical or science background. Her area of competence at the company seems to be to address issues relating to allergies, gluten intolerance and issues that vegans and vegetarians may have with their products. I myself used the allergies lever to extract information from her on the wheat germ. It might have been better to speak with a technical person at the MM commissary but that person would have been unlikely to give me anything of a proprietary nature.

On the matter of your not getting nutrition information from MM, that is quite common. The big pizza chains and some of the smaller ones do make their nutrition data available to the public but it can take some time for the smaller companies, like MM, to catch up. Nutrition Facts are produced using specialized software. The bigger chains, like Papa John's, Pizza Hut, etc., do the Nutrition Facts in-house. Smaller companies often farm the work out. To show you how long it can take companies to create their Nutrition Facts, see Buddy's website at http://www.buddyspizza.com/nutrition.asp and the Sbarro website at http://www.sbarro.com/ourFood/nutrition.php. It's been over a year in both case since those pages were put up on their websites. I can understand that Sbarro might not be in a hurry to complete their Nutrition Facts since they have been in bankruptcy proceedings but Buddy's seems to be doing well and shouldn't have a real excuse.

Peter
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: norma427 on October 28, 2011, 12:02:34 PM
Norma,

I have seen the Steen's cane syrup product on supermarket shelves over the years but not the molasses products. The Barbados molasses product seems to be somewhat of a generic designation for a first boil molasses product, as earlier mentioned. But, both of those products appear to be retail level products and might be options for our members as alternatives to the Grandma's and Brer Rabbit products. But they are likelier to be harder to find than the Grandma and Brer Rabbit products and may entail some shipping costs if ordered online. It will also mean having to do some experimenting with quantities to get the desired degree of dough/crust coloration if that is important to the user. I'll be most interested in what you get back from Steen's on their light colored molasses and whether it is like a Fancy molasses.

It was also interesting to see that John at Malt Products and the gal at Domino Specialty Ingredients selected the same liquid molasses products to try as I did in Reply 354 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,3940.msg156811.html#msg156811. It's good to know that we are on the same wavelength.

Peter

Peter,

You were good at selecting the molasses products at Malt products and Domino Specialty Ingredients for a MMís clone attempt.  You chose the same products as the professionals.

I was thinking last evening about other molasses products I might have tried in my lifetime in baking, and I remember when we used to make caramel corn we used to buy corn syrup (a heavier and thicker kind that canít be bought at retail level) at a place called L&S Sweeteners http://lssweeteners.com/  and knew they sold Golden Barrel Molasses products. http://www.goldenbarrel.com/blackstrap-baking-molasses.php I forgot about their Golden Barrel Supreme Baking Molasses, but do remember using that in shoo fly pie, without adding extra sugar, except for the crumb topping.  I could easily call them, because they are only a half an hour away from me in Honey Brook, Pa., or Leola, Pa., http://www.goldenbarrel.com/retail-outlets.php http://www.goldenbarrel.com/index.php
but I chose to just send them an email for now, to see if their Golden Barrel Supreme Baking Molasses might be a ďfancy molassesĒ. They do have a retail store there, so I could easily purchase a jar to try if it is ďfancyĒ molasses. Their molasses products are cheap (1.89), at least in my opinion. We stopped buying corn syrup from L&S Sweeteners,(at their location) because we could buy the same corn syrup (with the same name on the product) cheaper from the Nut market stand beside us at Rootís.  It also was easier than going down to L&S Sweeteners to get the corn syrup, since they are in 50 lb. pails.  I know they have railroad tracks right beside their businesses and probably do ship along the east coast.  I will wait and see if I get a return email from them to see if their molasses is a ďfancyĒ molasses.

Norma
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: norma427 on October 29, 2011, 12:08:48 PM
I mixed another MMís clone attempt this morning.  The hydration was lowered, I used a much higher percentage of Dominos Homemaid molasses in the formula, and also decreased the oil percentage.  The dough does look something like a real MMís dough ball in color, at least to me.  No sugars were used in this dough.

Norma
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: norma427 on October 29, 2011, 12:09:20 PM
Norma
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: briterian on October 29, 2011, 07:51:30 PM
I used my 2nd dough ball today and let it sit out around 3-4 hrs this time.  I used Norma's latest recipe (molasses/brown sugar) but decreased the yeast from .6 to .3 under the advisement of Pete since I skipped the freezing step.  I used grandma's robust molasses because that is what I had in stock.  One word: amazing.  i turned out about 95% identical to what we've had numerous times at MM.  I baked it in a 550 oven for 8 minutes and then rotated it 180 degrees and gave it an extra minute because the bottom was looking quite brown.   A keeper for me.   HUGE THANKS to Biz, Pete and Norma for their extreme dedication.  This is a really special community.  Chills

See pics.
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: briterian on October 29, 2011, 07:56:34 PM
Two more pics
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: Biz Markie on October 29, 2011, 08:59:49 PM
For what it's worth, I thought I'd post the formula for the dough I made today.

I'm a bit limited in my options here.  The only molasses I have access to is Brer Rabbit mild and Grandma's Original and Robust.  And all I have on hand is Brer Rabbit Mild.  

I am also a little bit lost on where exactly we are in this process.  I've seen references to texture/crumb issues lately, but I for one have been very satisfied with the texture of the doughs I've been able to produce.  The only thing that has been lacking is the sweetness.
I know Norma is experimenting with a dizzying array of molasses products and sweeteners, but since I can't reasonably obtain these, I have to go in another direction.
It also sounds like we're saying MM does not use anything other than liquid molasses.  But are we really saying that?  Also no wheat germ.

So with only Brer Rabbit molasses on hand, I had to come up with something.  Since I believe Peter and possibly Norma have tried molasses plus some kind of brown sugar, I thought I'd go that route.

All I have on hand is a store brand organic brown sugar.  It's fairly dark. .not a "light" brown sugar for sure.
  
Oh - I also have run out of KASL.  So I will have to revert to the Pete-zza KABF+VWG method as I used to do in my PJ Clone doughs from days gone by.

So anyway - here's my formula.  This is intended to be a 24-hour cold ferment dough.  I would love any and all feedback and guidance on where to go from here.

Flour/VWG Blend*  100%
Spring Water          54%
IDY                      .60%
Sea Salt              1.75%
Soybean Oil              3%
Molasses                  5%
Dark Brown Sugar      2%
TOTAL                 166.35%
     *Flour blend comprised of 97.9% KABF and 2.1% VWG

Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: norma427 on October 29, 2011, 09:00:22 PM
Brian,

Glad to hear your MMís clone pizza turned out so well!  Your pictures sure do look like a MMís pie.  :) Your rim browning looks like a real MMís pizza. Thanks for posting the pictures.  What do you think you would adjust to give your attempt at a MMís pie the last 5% ?  I only ate at MMís one time, so I havenít tasted real MMís pies many times like you did.  I would like your opinion on if you thought the crust should have been sweeter, or what other observations you  had on your MMís pie.  I know it is hard to get a MMís clone exactly baked like MMís in a home oven or even my deck oven.  It is hard to tell by the colors of different pictures posted, but did you think your MMís clone pizza did come close in color in the rim?  To me in the pictures you posted it does look like the rim looks like a real MMís pie.

Norma
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: Biz Markie on October 29, 2011, 09:02:31 PM
.   HUGE THANKS to Biz, Pete and Norma for their extreme dedication.  This is a really special community.  Chills

Wow, thanks for the props!  This is indeed a great community - totally awesome.

What was your formula % for Molasses and for the brown sugar?  Also, what kind of flour?

Thanks and congrats on a great pizza!  Hoping the formula I just posted, which I'm fermenting in the fridge now, turns out as good as yours.
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: norma427 on October 29, 2011, 09:22:36 PM
For what it's worth, I thought I'd post the formula for the dough I made today.

I'm a bit limited in my options here.  The only molasses I have access to is Brer Rabbit mild and Grandma's Original and Robust.  And all I have on hand is Brer Rabbit Mild.  

I am also a little bit lost on where exactly we are in this process.  I've seen references to texture/crumb issues lately, but I for one have been very satisfied with the texture of the doughs I've been able to produce.  The only thing that has been lacking is the sweetness.
I know Norma is experimenting with a dizzying array of molasses products and sweeteners, but since I can't reasonably obtain these, I have to go in another direction.
It also sounds like we're saying MM does not use anything other than liquid molasses.  But are we really saying that?  Also no wheat germ.

So with only Brer Rabbit molasses on hand, I had to come up with something.  Since I believe Peter and possibly Norma have tried molasses plus some kind of brown sugar, I thought I'd go that route.

All I have on hand is a store brand organic brown sugar.  It's fairly dark. .not a "light" brown sugar for sure.
  
Oh - I also have run out of KASL.  So I will have to revert to the Pete-zza KABF+VWG method as I used to do in my PJ Clone doughs from days gone by.

So anyway - here's my formula.  This is intended to be a 24-hour cold ferment dough.  I would love any and all feedback and guidance on where to go from here.

Flour/VWG Blend*  100%
Spring Water          54%
IDY                      .60%
Sea Salt              1.75%
Soybean Oil              3%
Molasses                  5%
Dark Brown Sugar      2%
TOTAL                 166.35%
     *Flour blend comprised of 97.9% KABF and 2.1% VWG



Biz,

Your formula looks good to me.  See if Peter also think so. He is the expert here at analyzing formulas. I think with Brian recent experiment different retail molasses products can be used with good results.  He used the Grandmaís Robust molasses.  Your dark brown (organic) sugar should work well with the percent of molasses you use in your formula.  On my last attempt I had used 7% Grandmaís Original molasses in combination with light brown sugar (2%).  I think you should have some sweetness in the crust with your recent formula.

I am glad your texture/crumb is fine.  I donít know if the way I mixed my MMís attempts, or if my deck oven has something to do with my crumb not being right.  That is what I am working on.  I am using commercial molasses products now to see if MMís might be using something like a ďfancyĒ molasses only, without other added sugars.  That is why I am doing the most recent dough ball I made with Dominoís Homemaid molasses.  I know other members probably wonít have access to the kind of molasses products I am trying, but these tests are just to see if enough sweetness in the crust can be obtained without any other sugars.  I was satisfied with my last attempt, except for the crumb structure.

Best of luck with your recent formula!  :)

Norma
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: briterian on October 29, 2011, 09:45:44 PM
Hi Biz
Reply 505 from Norma was the recipe I used.   Next time to get to the last 5% I would increase my yeast from .3 to .5 so I don't need to sit it out so long and I can get a bit more rise and spring.   I use bromated high gluten flour from GFS called primo guisto.   I've been using it for about a year with luck.   My  11 yr old son told me to keep this recipe in my "keeper folder"... Which is Evernote for me.   As far as sweetness .... I found it to be just right.
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: Biz Markie on October 29, 2011, 10:39:42 PM
Thanks for the "status update" on the project, Norma! 

Also, thanks briterian for the additional info.

Talk to you tomorrow or Monday with my results.  I am also eager to re-examine the grocery store shelves for any other molasses products out there.
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: dwighttsharpe on October 31, 2011, 06:36:43 AM
Norma,

The last MM pies that you baked and posted the formula for in post# 505:

What oven temperature and baking time did you use?

Thanks.
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: norma427 on October 31, 2011, 09:49:06 AM
Norma,

The last MM pies that you baked and posted the formula for in post# 505:

What oven temperature and baking time did you use?

Thanks.

dwighttsharpe,

I baked that MM's attempt in my deck oven at market.  The temperature was between 500-525 degrees F and the bake time was about 7 minutes.  Deck ovens do bake differently than home ovens though.  If you want me to give you the links to where Peter posted about how he has tried to bake his MM's attempts in a home oven so far, I can give you those links.  You could also asked Biz and Brian how they baked their MM's attempts.

Norma

Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: norma427 on October 31, 2011, 10:03:51 AM
I wondered after I looked at more molasses products and syrups at the supermarket if something like Treacle http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Treacle and http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/treacle might be used in MMís dough.  I saw that are called ďgolden syrupsĒ, which are a little lighter in color and I guess could be called ďfancyĒ, but I am not sure.  They do look like molasses products in color.  I donít really know a lot about Treacle but found this information interesting. http://www.recipes4us.co.uk/Specials%20and%20Holidays/Treacle%20Origin%20Uses%20Recipes.htm  It says in the above article that Light Treacle is Golden Syrup=Light Molasses.  I did see what they call ďGolden SyrupsĒ at the supermarket.   Another explanation of Treacle versus Molasses http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f12/treacle-v-molasses-10305/  

I have no idea if something like ďgolden syrupsĒ would work in a MMís dough or not, but just thought I might mention them.

There is also another kind of molasses called Bead Molasses, used in mostly Asian recipes. http://www.foodservicedirect.com/product.cfm/p/1928034/Bead-Molasses.htm

Norma
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: Pete-zza on October 31, 2011, 10:55:23 AM
I used my 2nd dough ball today and let it sit out around 3-4 hrs this time.  I used Norma's latest recipe (molasses/brown sugar) but decreased the yeast from .6 to .3 under the advisement of Pete since I skipped the freezing step.  I used grandma's robust molasses because that is what I had in stock.  One word: amazing.  i turned out about 95% identical to what we've had numerous times at MM.  I baked it in a 550 oven for 8 minutes and then rotated it 180 degrees and gave it an extra minute because the bottom was looking quite brown.   A keeper for me.   HUGE THANKS to Biz, Pete and Norma for their extreme dedication.  This is a really special community.  Chills

Brian,

I have been away for a few days and just catching up. I'm glad to read that you got such good results with your cold fermented version of an MM clone dough.

For your information, particularly in respect of the amount of yeast to use, the very first experiment I conducted to come up with a credible MM clone dough under this thread was to use molasses as the sole sweetener in the MM clone dough. The molasses was an older version of a Grandma's molasses (the only molasses product I had on hand at the time) that, judging from the amount of sugars for a single serving, was perhaps a second boil product. I used that molasses at 7%. The color of the molasses was about the same as the Brer Rabbit Full Flavor molasses (and possibly the same color as the Grandma's Robust molasses). As a result, the dough was much darker than a real MM dough. Since I decided to try a three-day cold fermentation of the dough, I used 0.375% IDY. The hydration was on the low side, at 54%.

After three days of cold fermentation, the dough had risen but only slightly. And, even after an approximately two hour temper time, the dough did not rise much more. The pizza made from the dough baked up fine with an excellent flavor profile--in my opinion better than later MM clones and maybe even better than the real MM pizza I had in Florida--but not with a sweetness level that I had detected in the Florida MM pizza. I concluded from the experiment that there was perhaps too much molasses in relation to the amount of yeast that I used, especially when considered with the low hydration value of the dough that caused the dough to ferment more slowly. I subsequently decided to concentrate my efforts on making frozen MM clone doughs so I didn't spend much time on how to come up with a good cold fermentation version of an MM clone dough. Had I done so, I would have used more yeast, as I suggested to you for your test (I increased the amount of yeast even for my frozen MM clone doughs but for other reasons).

In your case, if you find that your MM clone dough still does not rise fast enough, you can increase the amount of yeast even further or use a longer fermentation window and/or a longer temper time or even a higher temperature to temper the dough before opening up to form a skin. You will have to play around with the values of ingredients to achieve the desired final dough condition that works for your particular timeframe. I wouldn't worry too much about the color of the dough. You would perhaps have to find a molasses product similar to what MM uses. That product is unlikely to be available at the retail level unless Norma discovers that the samples of commercial liquid molasses products she recently requested from Malt Products and Domino Specialty Ingredients are like the Grandma's Original molasses or some other comparable first boil or Fancy molasses sold at retail.

BTW, in your photos I noticed a pizza screen. Did you bake your pizza on the screen or was that only for cooling purposes?

Peter
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: norma427 on October 31, 2011, 11:21:04 AM
I just received an answer to my questions to Steenís.  This what the email said.

The sugar content is 16g per tablespoon.  I spoke to Narris Duhon who is our controller.  He says our molasses is the same as Grandmaís Molasses.  He also said that our Steenís Pure Cane Syrup would be the same as ďfancy molassesĒ.  I have not hear of anyone using molasses for pizza dough.  I hope this answers your questions.  Let me know if we can be of further help.
 
Thanks,
Glenda
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: Pete-zza on October 31, 2011, 11:27:59 AM
I wondered after I looked at more molasses products and syrups at the supermarket if something like Treacle http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Treacle and http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/treacle might be used in MMís dough.

Norma,

One of the things that I have learned from all of my reverse engineering and cloning projects is that the companies try to keep things simple. That means that they are not going to use a retail level product unless the company has a wholesale or foodservice division or it is located in their backyard. They are also going to look for the cheapest products that meet their needs, whether it is molasses or anything else. Since MM has completely abandoned the use of wheat germ and Vitamin E enrichment and the notion of offering a healthful product (admittedly molasses does have some nutritional value but it is still a sugar that can rot peoples' teeth and pose problems for those who must avoid sugar products), I can't see MM doing anything fancy when it comes to selecting a molasses product to use. Also, in the case of golden syrups, and while I can't speak for what the regulators allow in the UK, I think that the FDA would frown on MM using golden syrups and calling them molasses. MM has pounded the word "molasses" into peoples' consciousness for so long that they had better be using molasses.

Peter
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: Pete-zza on October 31, 2011, 11:32:06 AM
I just received an answer to my questions to Steenís.  This what the email said.

The sugar content is 16g per tablespoon.  I spoke to Narris Duhon who is our controller.  He says our molasses is the same as Grandmaís Molasses.  He also said that our Steenís Pure Cane Syrup would be the same as ďfancy molassesĒ.  I have not hear of anyone using molasses for pizza dough.  I hope this answers your questions.  Let me know if we can be of further help.
 
Thanks,
Glenda


Norma,

I'd be curious to know why Steen's does not call its Pure Cane Syrup molasses if it is molasses. Maybe what Narris Duhon means is that the Steen's Pure Cane Syrup can be used as a substitute for molasses. Clearly, Steen's is not a supplier to MM since they are not aware of anyone using molasses for pizza dough.

Peter
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: norma427 on October 31, 2011, 11:58:02 AM
Norma,

One of the things that I have learned from all of my reverse engineering and cloning projects is that the companies try to keep things simple. That means that they are not going to use a retail level product unless the company has a wholesale or foodservice division or it is located in their backyard. They are also going to look for the cheapest products that meet their needs, whether it is molasses or anything else. Since MM has completely abandoned the use of wheat germ and Vitamin E enrichment and the notion of offering a healthful product (admittedly molasses does have some nutritional value but it is still a sugar that can rot peoples' teeth and pose problems for those who must avoid sugar products), I can't see MM doing anything fancy when it comes to selecting a molasses product to use. Also, in the case of golden syrups, and while I can't speak for what the regulators allow in the UK, I think that the FDA would frown on MM using golden syrups and calling them molasses. MM has pounded the word "molasses" into peoples' consciousness for so long that they had better be using molasses.

Peter

Peter,

I can understand that companies try to keep things simple, and you have learned that from all from your reverse engineering and cloning projects. I donít think MMís would be using anything ďfancyĒ either.  It still makes me wonder about golden syrups and if they can be called molasses products. I donít know how the FDA looks at that. I havenít really researched ďgolden syrups muchĒ (or know how much sugar content they have), but do know that Golden Barrel sells many kinds of syrups. http://www.goldenbarrel.com/pancake-waffle-syrups.php  They probably wouldnít be a supplier of MMís either. I forget what brands of ďgolden syrupsĒ my supermarket carried, but will look the next time.  Molasses products and ďgolden syrupsĒ are very confusing, at least to me.

Norma,

I'd be curious to know why Steen's does not call its Pure Cane Syrup molasses if it is molasses. Maybe what Narris Duhon means is that the Steen's Pure Cane Syrup can be used as a substitute for molasses. Clearly, Steen's is not a supplier to MM since they are not aware of anyone using molasses for pizza dough.

Peter

I will email Steenís again and ask the question you posed.

Norma
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: dwighttsharpe on October 31, 2011, 12:27:58 PM
dwighttsharpe,

I baked that MM's attempt in my deck oven at market.  The temperature was between 500-525 degrees F and the bake time was about 7 minutes.  Deck ovens do bake differently than home ovens though.  If you want me to give you the links to where Peter posted about how he has tried to bake his MM's attempts in a home oven so far, I can give you those links.  You could also asked Biz and Brian how they baked their MM's attempts.

Norma



Thank you. Just from an appearance perspective, I like the looks of your pies(texture and color of the dough, not so dark on the bottom).

I have my first attempted doughball in the fridge now. I used your last formula but will try a cold ferment ala Briterian, so I used .5% instant yeast. Not quite sure how long it will cold ferment, but this evening will be 24 hours, so I will probably let it temper and try baking something later on tonight.

About your inquiry to Steens; reading about all these various grades of molasses and sugar boiling, I often wondered where their "pure cane syrup" fit into the picture. Curious that the Steen's rep consideres it to be fancy grade molasses. Guess he knows what he's talking about. I wish I had known this yesterday when I made the dough, as I love Steen's, and had some in the cabinet.

As it was, I used some "older" Roddenberry's brand molasses(no grade specified). I also have a somewhat newer, unopened bottle of store brand molasses. I opened it and tasted it to compare it to the Roddenberry's. They tasted about the same to me. Neither one I would hardly call (very)sweet, so I used 5.5% molasses and 3.5% demerera sugar to sweeten the dough.

Thanks again.
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: briterian on October 31, 2011, 03:38:26 PM
Hi Pete,
I may have mis-read what you recommended to me way back but I seem to recall you said to reduce my yeast from .6 to .3.  Sorry if I misunderstood.  It all worked out by just letting it work 5 days in the fridge and then warm on bench for 3-4 hours vs the normal 1-2 hours.


So you are cool thinking I should go with maybe use .5 next time instead of .3?  I wonder if there just isn't enough yeast to chew on all that sugar I'm giving it  (going back to my beer making days) since I've used less yeast for doughs with much less sugar.

I only cooled it on my mesh screen.  I baked it directly on my bakers pride p44 -preheated for over an hour at 550.
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: Pete-zza on October 31, 2011, 04:22:50 PM
Brian,

My original thinking was that you could try 0.375% IDY for a one day cold ferment, or something less for a longer cold ferment, which is what you apparently did. However, one of the things that I perhaps didn't sufficiently take into account is that if there is too much molasses (or molasses plus brown sugar) you might have some impairment of the yeast activity. I discussed this general topic earlier today at Reply 14 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,16190.msg158559.html#new. It sounds like you ended up doing some of the things I mentioned as possibilities (longer ferment and temper times) when the amount of sweetener(s) is high in relation to the amount of yeast. Another point to keep in mind is that molasses contains a fair amount of fructose. Fructose is about 1.6 times as sweet as sucrose but it is not metabolized as quickly by yeast as other simple sugars (the only types of sugars that yeast can use as food). That might also slow down the rate of fermentation. These are the kinds of things I learned from all of our research on molasses and the experiments we have been conducting.

What I have strived for with the MM clone doughs that I have been experimenting with is to achieve doughs that rise fairly slowly so that they don't get too gassy (which could happen if there is too much yeast) and yield light and airy crusts and crumb rather than dense, chewy ones like the MM crusts. My other main objective was to get the complex flavors that molasses gives to a crust without having an accompanying cloyingly sweetness that other forms of sugar, most notably sucrose and even brown sugars, can produce. Ultimately, I would hope to use only molasses even if that means a darker dough and crust color as compared with the MM dough/crust.

If you want to shorten the fermentation time, you could try increasing the amount of yeast. You might not want to go above around 0.60% IDY but that will depend on how much molasses or molasses combination you decide to use. I think you should be able to get more oven spring with more yeast given the low hydration value for the dough but the dough will have to have sufficient fermentation and fermentation gases to help achieve a larger rim. These are the factors that you will have to play around with, especially with your oven that is not a standard home oven. If you stick with cold fermented MM clone doughs, you could well end up with pizzas that have more flavor than a real MM pizza made with a frozen dough ball with much less fermentation time under its belt.

Peter
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: norma427 on October 31, 2011, 05:57:05 PM
Thank you. Just from an appearance perspective, I like the looks of your pies(texture and color of the dough, not so dark on the bottom).

I have my first attempted doughball in the fridge now. I used your last formula but will try a cold ferment ala Briterian, so I used .5% instant yeast. Not quite sure how long it will cold ferment, but this evening will be 24 hours, so I will probably let it temper and try baking something later on tonight.

About your inquiry to Steens; reading about all these various grades of molasses and sugar boiling, I often wondered where their "pure cane syrup" fit into the picture. Curious that the Steen's rep consideres it to be fancy grade molasses. Guess he knows what he's talking about. I wish I had known this yesterday when I made the dough, as I love Steen's, and had some in the cabinet.

As it was, I used some "older" Roddenberry's brand molasses(no grade specified). I also have a somewhat newer, unopened bottle of store brand molasses. I opened it and tasted it to compare it to the Roddenberry's. They tasted about the same to me. Neither one I would hardly call (very)sweet, so I used 5.5% molasses and 3.5% demerera sugar to sweeten the dough.

Thanks again.

Dwight,

Thanks for saying you like the looks of my pie and the texture. :) Best of luck when you made your MM's clone!.  You will see in my next post what Glenda answered me about Steen's.

Norma

Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: norma427 on October 31, 2011, 06:03:07 PM
When I returned from market today, the molasses from Malt Products Corporation was delivered.  I guess John forgot to send the data sheet for the sweetness level, so I will email him again.  I tasted the molasses from Malt Products Corporation and it does taste sweeter to me than any of the other molasses products I have at home.

I also received a return email from Glena at C.S.Syrup, Inc. (Steenís).  This is what I wrote in my email to Glenda and what she replied.

Glenda,
 
Thanks, for answering my other questions.  I have more questions to ask and maybe Narris Duhon can answer my questions.  I'd be curious to know why Steen's Pure Cane Syrup molasses isn't called molasses, if it is molasses. Maybe I am confused about what all can include the "term" molasses.  I never really studied molasses before. Is there something that the FDA requires for something to be called molasses, or is molasses included in a broad term sense?  Does Narris Duhon mean that the Steen's Pure Cane Syrup can be used as a substitute for molasses?
 
Kindest Regards,
 
Norma

Narris has not come back in this afternoon but I am sure that what he meant to say that the Steenís Pure Cane Syrup would be the closest to the ďfancy molassesĒ.  What we have is Pure Cane Syrup and the Dark Molasses which are two different products.
 
Glenda

Norma
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: Pete-zza on October 31, 2011, 06:21:56 PM
Norma,

Thanks for the update on the Steen's pure cane syrup. While you were awaiting a response from Glenda, I did a search to see if there is a "standard of identity" for molasses at the FDA. I did not find any but it does appear that Canada has a standard of identity for molasses. See, for example, the document at http://www.grandmamolasses.com/data/pdf/PDS_Fancy_Grandma_Feb_2007.pdf. All of this notwithstanding, it would not be wise for MM to use a pure cane syrup and pass it off as molasses. I'm certain that they are not doing that.

Of course, members who have the Steen's pure cane syrup should feel free to try out that product in an MM clone dough. Hopefully, in any such case, it would be nice to get some feedback on the use of the Steen's pure cane syrup and how it compares with using a molasses product.

Peter
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: norma427 on October 31, 2011, 07:19:48 PM
Norma,

Thanks for the update on the Steen's pure cane syrup. While you were awaiting a response from Glenda, I did a search to see if there is a "standard of identity" for molasses at the FDA. I did not find any but it does appear that Canada has a standard of identity for molasses. See, for example, the document at http://www.grandmamolasses.com/data/pdf/PDS_Fancy_Grandma_Feb_2007.pdf. All of this notwithstanding, it would not be wise for MM to use a pure cane syrup and pass it off as molasses. I'm certain that they are not doing that.

Of course, members who have the Steen's pure cane syrup should feel free to try out that product in an MM clone dough. Hopefully, in any such case, it would be nice to get some feedback on the use of the Steen's pure cane syrup and how it compares with using a molasses product.

Peter

Peter,

Thanks, for finding that Grandma Fancy molasses, in Canada, does have a "stand of identity" for their molasses products. I wonder why the US doesn't have a "standard of identiy" for molasses. I guess we will just have to do the tests to see if regular molasses or commerical molasses products are enough to give some sweetness in the crust.  I used 11% Domino Homemaid molasses product in my last formula.  That should tell if the Domino Homemaid molasses product will give enough sweetness in the crust.  At least I think that much molasses in the formula should show something.

I also wonder if anyone does have and uses the Steen's pure cane syrup how it will compare with using a molasses product.

Norma
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: Jet_deck on November 01, 2011, 11:15:22 AM
Norma, now seems like a good time to bring up something that you had pointed out a few posts back.  http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,3940.msg157323.html#msg157323 (http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,3940.msg157323.html#msg157323)

There is another kind of Excelsior Mill.  Picture #1.  It would have been used to begin the processing of (sugar) cane, ribbon cane and sorghum cane (grain sorghum).  Many different varieties of cane were milled to produce the liquid that becomes cane syrup, sorghum syrup and sorghum molasses.  Molasses is supposed to come only from the residue left after the crystalization of sugar solids in a sugar making operation.  Sorghum molasses is not "real" molasses, but it probably picked up the term because of its similarity in color and consistency.

Back in the plantation days the fall would be when the cane syrup was made.  I'll bet that there are still some "old timers" in South Georgia that grew up with sorghum molasses, and you would have a hard time convincing them that sorghum "molasses" was not real molasses.  Then there would be those in Kentucky and Tennessee that possibly make their cane syrup a littler darker, cooked a bit longer, a little sweeter.  I have a customer in South Georgia that always wants me to come by and eat breakfast with him.  A cat's head biscuit and cane syrup are always necessary for breakfast he tells me...

There is a cane mill at 2:50 here   http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-H7Uxz_DU3U (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-H7Uxz_DU3U)


Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: dwighttsharpe on November 01, 2011, 12:03:18 PM
Norma, now seems like a good time to bring up something that you had pointed out a few posts back.  http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,3940.msg157323.html#msg157323 (http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,3940.msg157323.html#msg157323)

There is another kind of Excelsior Mill.  Picture #1.  It would have been used to begin the processing of (sugar) cane, ribbon cane and sorghum cane (grain sorghum).  Many different varieties of cane were milled to produce the liquid that becomes cane syrup, sorghum syrup and sorghum molasses.  Molasses is supposed to come only from the residue left after the crystalization of sugar solids in a sugar making operation.  Sorghum molasses is not "real" molasses, but it probably picked up the term because of its similarity in color and consistency.

Back in the plantation days the fall would be when the cane syrup was made.  I'll bet that there are still some "old timers" in South Georgia that grew up with sorghum molasses, and you would have a hard time convincing them that sorghum "molasses" was not real molasses.  Then there would be those in Kentucky and Tennessee that possibly make their cane syrup a littler darker, cooked a bit longer, a little sweeter.  I have a customer in South Georgia that always wants me to come by and eat breakfast with him.  A cat's head biscuit and cane syrup are always necessary for breakfast he tells me...

There is a cane mill at 2:50 here   http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-H7Uxz_DU3U (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-H7Uxz_DU3U)


Kind of get the feeling that if you told these folks they were not making "real molasses", they would run you off. :)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=n6kQeoEr3CA#!

For all intents and purposes though, everything seems to be identical, except the particular species of "grass" one happens to be growing/harvesting. Of course, also realizing the final "molasses" products are not identical, and not necessarily interchangeable.
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: Pete-zza on November 01, 2011, 12:24:20 PM
Here is another video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qpbUdAcpA20&NR=1. I was watching to see if any of the workers were wearing Mellow Mushroom shirts  :-D.

Peter
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: norma427 on November 01, 2011, 09:59:04 PM
Norma, now seems like a good time to bring up something that you had pointed out a few posts back.  http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,3940.msg157323.html#msg157323 (http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,3940.msg157323.html#msg157323)

There is another kind of Excelsior Mill.  Picture #1.  It would have been used to begin the processing of (sugar) cane, ribbon cane and sorghum cane (grain sorghum).  Many different varieties of cane were milled to produce the liquid that becomes cane syrup, sorghum syrup and sorghum molasses.  Molasses is supposed to come only from the residue left after the crystalization of sugar solids in a sugar making operation.  Sorghum molasses is not "real" molasses, but it probably picked up the term because of its similarity in color and consistency.

Back in the plantation days the fall would be when the cane syrup was made.  I'll bet that there are still some "old timers" in South Georgia that grew up with sorghum molasses, and you would have a hard time convincing them that sorghum "molasses" was not real molasses.  Then there would be those in Kentucky and Tennessee that possibly make their cane syrup a littler darker, cooked a bit longer, a little sweeter.  I have a customer in South Georgia that always wants me to come by and eat breakfast with him.  A cat's head biscuit and cane syrup are always necessary for breakfast he tells me...

There is a cane mill at 2:50 here   http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-H7Uxz_DU3U (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-H7Uxz_DU3U)




Gene,

Thanks for pointing out another kind of Excelsior Mill.  Your information is very good.  ;D I believe that some ďold timersĒ in South Georgia that grew up with sorghum molasses would throw you out if someone told them that sorghum ďmolassesĒ wasnít real molasses. What does real cane syrup look and taste like?  Thanks for posting the video of what a cane mill looks like.  

Norma

Kind of get the feeling that if you told these folks they were not making "real molasses", they would run you off. :)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=n6kQeoEr3CA#!

For all intents and purposes though, everything seems to be identical, except the particular species of "grass" one happens to be growing/harvesting. Of course, also realizing the final "molasses" products are not identical, and not necessarily interchangeable.

Thanks Dwight!  :)

Here is another video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qpbUdAcpA20&NR=1. I was watching to see if any of the workers were wearing Mellow Mushroom shirts  :-D.

Peter

Thanks Peter!  :)
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: norma427 on November 01, 2011, 10:05:16 PM
My attempted MMís clone today turned out good in some ways, and bad in some ways.  The good news was it was it looked like the same color as a real MMís dough ball, and had about the same color as a MMís baked pie in the crumb. Picture 362jpg. is the saved crust crumb (that was frozen) from a real MMís pie compared to my crumb. The dough ball handled well, and could be stretched, twirled and tossed.  It could have been tossed for a long while, and I donít think it would have ever tore even if I had tossed it many more times than I did.  That darn Steve wouldnít stopped taking a video of me, after I had finished tossing the dough. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_rN5-mp-6ig

The bad things about the MMís attempt with the Homemaid molasses. was the hydration was too low in my opinion, because now the crumb was too tight and bready.  I have no idea what MM's is using in their dough besides molasses, but this crust and crumb didnít have any sweetness, even though I did used 11% Domino Homemaid molasses in the formula.  It leads me to believe that MMís must be using some kind of ďunrefined sugarĒ in their dough.  I could be wrong, and maybe they did find a ďfancy molassesĒ that I donít know about.  I would have thought that 11% Homemaid molasses would have given at least a little sweetness in the crust and crumb, but it didnít.  Maybe even Gene and Dwight are right about sorghum molasses.   ::)

Norma
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: norma427 on November 01, 2011, 10:06:45 PM
Norma
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: norma427 on November 01, 2011, 10:10:11 PM
Norma
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: norma427 on November 01, 2011, 10:12:15 PM
Norma
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: norma427 on November 01, 2011, 10:15:46 PM
Picture of MM's real pie crumb beside my crumb.

Norma
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: norma427 on November 01, 2011, 10:16:26 PM
Norma
Title: Re: Mellow Mushroom Pizza found in Atlanta and surroundin areas...Recipes?
Post by: Biz Markie on November 01, 2011, 11:30:54 PM
Sorry to hear that your crust didn't taste sweet even after all that molasses!  It sure looks tasty, though!  The color looks practically identical to the real thing, in my opinion too.

As for my attempt on Sunday, with the formula I most recently posted, it turned out really well.

I was pleasantly surprised by the dough performance, being my first time using KABF+VWG in a while.  I had been using KASL but ran out. 
The dough was easy to handle and held up to some pretty vigorous tossing (though I think I nearly put a hole in it in the end).

This was also the first time to use my brand new Fibrament stone.  I got a 16x21 stone so that it takes up almost my entire rack.  It was so nice to finally be able to slide the pie onto a big stone instead of having to precisely guide it onto a tiny circular disc.  I can't say that I necessarily saw a performance improvement or not.  . .I mean, it got hot and it cooked the pizza - nuff said!  It probably didn't preheat long enough since my new stone is so much bigger and thicker than the old one.  I also used to heat my old stone on the very bottom rack which is only an inch from the element, and I did not do that with the Fibrament since it's so honkin' heavy.

Anyway - back to the pizza.  The crust had a great texture as far as