There are so many variables that go into making a PIZZA. The hydration of the dough, flour, yeast and many more.. Amounts of any kind of yeast in a pizza can make a big difference. Most recipes posted on the web, use too much yeast in their recipes. What I have found out so far, is either bulk fermenting the dough or cold fermenting the dough will give a better flavor in the crust. I am still experimenting to find different flavors in the crust of pies. In my opinion pizza is all about the best flavor you can achieve in a crust. I still am on the journey about flavors in the crust. Even differences in temperatures in you home or times of the year can influence how much yeast to use. If you want a pizza to develop flavors in the crust, there are many ways to go about achieving this.


Preferment for Lehmann Dough Pizzas

Crust of Pizza

Crust of Pizza
Rim of Preferment Lehmann Formula

Adventure in Pizza Making

There are many ways to go about trying to make any kind of pizzas you want to create. PIZZA making is fun and also you get to eat your finished product. I learned to make all my pizza on http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php If you look on pizzamaking.com you can see all the beautiful creations of pizzas members make on this site. Members and moderators help members and guests achieve almost any kind of pizzas they want to create. Since joining this site, my pizza making skills have gone from non-existent to something much better. I invite you to take a look at this site.

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Sicilian Pizza

Sicilian Pizza
Sicilian Pizza with Preferment for Lehmann Dough

At my mom's home getting ready to bake in her gas oven

At my mom's home getting ready to bake in her gas oven
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Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Our visit to Mellow Mushroom in Washington, DC 10/21/2011

Since I have been trying different formulas for a MM’s pie, and not really knowing if I ever have achieved anything like a real MM’s pie, I had thought about taking a road trip to Charlottesville, Virginia to that MM’s location, but that location is about 4 hrs. 30 minutes away from where I live.  I had noticed that the Adams Morgan MM’s location in Washington, DC, was soon supposed to open.  I asked my daughter if she would take me to the MM’s location in Washington, DC.  She said she would take me to MM’s 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 MM’s 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 MM’s 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 MM’s.

The MM’s wasn’t 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 didn’t 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 MM’s 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 couldn’t remember the name of the diner.  I said that was Zinn’s 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 couldn’t figure out what pizza to order, but the Kosmic Karma sounded interesting to me.  My daughter couldn’t decide what to order either, but ordered pretzels and the Capri salad.  I also couldn’t 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 wasn’t 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 10” 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 10” 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 can’t 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 MM’s 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 don’t stick together.  I didn’t 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 don’t 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 isn’t cooked (or raw) can't be sold.  He also said I wouldn’t 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 aren’t 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 wasn’t 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 didn’t 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.

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.


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