I'm glad that the MM#6 clone dough formulation with the Golden Barrel Supreme Baking Molasses worked out so well for you. It sounds like you hit a home run. If you decide to sell MM clone pizzas at market, it will be interesting to see how your customers react to them, especially since there are no Mellow Mushroom stores in Pennsylvania where they might have had MM pizzas before and know what to expect. I can see it now: Norma's MM Pizza Clones (you can whisper in the ears of your customers what the "MM" stands for).
There are a couple of notable aspects of your recent results that I think bear mentioning and discussing:
First, it is possible that MM is using a product like the Golden Barrel Supreme Baking Molasses. If so, and especially with the word "molasses" on their containers as received from their supplier, they perhaps could legitimately refer to the product as molasses, even though it is mostly pure cane syrup. It is also possible that MM is using a 100% pure cane syrup, such as the Steen's 100% Pure Cane Syrup, and maybe even a product like the Grandma's Original molasses. Steen's does not call its product "molasses", as does Grandma's, but both products seem to be equivalent to the "open kettle" molasses that smaller producers make and call "molasses". As you know, my last experiment using a combination of Steen's and Grandma's Original Molasses did produce noticeable sweetness although the salt level (more on this below) was reduced from prior experiments. I can even conceive of the possibility that the Steen's or the Grandma's Original molasses being combined with another molasses product, including a small amount of blackstrap molasses. The good news for home pizza makers is that all three of the above products can be purchased at the retail level, either in selected stores or by mail order. Golden Barrel also sells their Golden Barrel Supreme Baking Molasses at their website at http://www.goldenbarrel.com/blackstrap-baking-molasses.php
Second, while the reduced salt level may have played a role in getting the desired degree of sweetness in the finished crust, it may be necessary to conduct a further experiment with the previous level of salt that we were using--around 2% or maybe even a bit higher. It is possible, for example, that the sweetness of the crust that you detected was due solely, or principally, to the Golden Barrel Supreme Baking Molasses and not to the reduced salt level. The only way to know for sure is to repeat the MM#6 clone dough formulation but keep everything the same but for the salt, which would be at around 2% or maybe even a bit more (but not so much as to make the crust too salty and unenjoyable).
You might be interested in knowing that after I posted on my recent simple kitchen salt/molasses experiment, I recalled a couple of instances where the salt/sugar matter was discussed or where I thought that the salt level may have affected sweetness. The first instance involved the salt/sugar relationship and the proper balance of salt and sugar in a Papa John's clone sauce that I devised solely by taste based on a PJ sauce ingredients list. You can read about that example, and the interesting an informative exchange I had with member November on the subject, at Replies 1-4 and Replies 10-12, starting at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,6633.msg56932.html#msg56932
. November even went so far as to set forth a typical ratio of sugar and salt (about 5.9 to 1, in Reply 11) to achieve a balanced condition in the sauce. Out of curiosity, I calculated the same ratio of the Golden Barrel Supreme Baking Molasses and salt for the MM#6 clone dough formulation and it is 5.6 to 1 (this is after deducting the weight of water in the Golden Barrel Baking Molasses). Of course, the ratios may mean different things in a sauce as opposed to a dough, but the relationship is something that might be considered when one is making a sauce or a pizza dough.
The second example involves a clone of a Papa John's dough that member Randy came up with, and which I described in the opening post in the thread at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,1707.msg15310.html#msg15310
. You will note that the dough formulation I posted there has a total of 9.8% sweeteners (5.3% raw sugar and 4.5% honey, both of which have above average sweetness). Yet, as you will note from the last paragraph of that post, I made the observation that the crust of the finished pizza did not strike me as being sweet. Instead, I attributed the deficiency of sweetness to other ingredients masking the sweetness. But, if you go back to the formulation, you will see that it includes 3.3% salt, which is far in excess of what most pizza doughs use. It is hard to say that it was the high salt level that was the culprit after all, but it may have played a material role in masking at least some of the sweetness.
As for possible tweaks to the MM#6 clone dough formulation, I'd rather wait for the time being pending the results of my most recent experiment with all Grandma's Original molasses and the even further reduced salt level. But one tweak that does occur to me is to reconsider using some wheat germ in the dough. I have read reports from time to time where diners at MM units complained that they liked the early MM pizzas better than the more recent ones. The amount of wheat germ, which has natural Vitamin E or its equivalent, might be quite small, maybe an amount that is equivalent to the amount of wheat germ normally found in flour before milling to make white flour, which is only a few percent.