Fantastic Study Craig!....and it has sparked a question...
Letís say we have made a batch of dough. Separated into two different, equally sized dough balls initially.
Then we throw one in the fridge at 50F, and let the other sit out at 70F.
Now, we know that the bacteria will ferment slower or faster based on the temperature. And letís say for arguments sake, that the dough at 70F will ferment twice as fast as the dough at 50F.
After 10 hours, I take the dough ball out of the fridge, and place in a box that is maintained at 80F.
Letís say for arguments sake, that the bacteria will ferment 1.5 times as fast at 80F than at 70F.
We wait another 10 hours.
SO now, both dough balls have seen equal amounts of "bacteria work time". One was going at say 10 Miles per hour for 20 hours (or 200 miles of bacteria work time), and the second was at 5 miles per hour for 10 hours (50 miles), and then 15 mph for 10 hours.(plus 150), for a total of 200 miles of bacteria work time)
My question is, will there be any difference in the finished dough? The real question here, is does the rate of fermentation affect the final result of the fermentation? If it ultimately gets to the same place in terms of total work that the bacteria does?