Author Topic: Can we discuss "Autolyse" - I don't understand the concept  (Read 12313 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline canadianbacon

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 1041
  • Age: 49
  • DoughBoy
Can we discuss "Autolyse" - I don't understand the concept
« on: February 12, 2006, 03:33:07 PM »
Hi guys,

I have a textbook explaination of what Autolyse is, but I don't really understand the concept.
I was under the assumption that to get the gluten developed in dough, you have to knead for quite some time.

A lady gave me the info below, and she does a lot of bread baking, and NOT pizza baking, so I'm wondering if the
explaination below is directed more at bread making ? or does it pertain to us also ?

Whenever I made a dough, I get the mixer going and I just let it go for about 6-8 mins without stopping the mixer.
I then take it out and put it into a lightly oiled bowl and let it rise.....

anyway if anyone wants to chat about this proceedure, I really would appreciate it, as I am not familiar with
this process.

thanks in advance,

Mark

Autolyse: (pronounced ah-toh-leez) Yeasted recipes - A short rest called an autolyse comes right after mixing the flour, yeast, oil, and water. It cuts down on your kneading time and allow the dough to bake into a lighter bread with a more open crumb. Here's how an autolyse  works.• It allows the flour time to fully absorb the water, so the dough is less sticky when you knead it; • It helps the gluten to both bond and break down, resulting in a dough that's quicker to knead and easier to shape; • It gives the yeast time to rehydrate fully so you don't end up with yeast bits in the dough. You'll notice in the recipe that the salt goes in after the autolyse. This is because salt causes gluten to contract and toughen, preventing the gluten from absorbing as much water and thus fully benefiting from the autolyse.

Pizzamaker, Rib Smoker, HomeBrewer, there's not enough time for a real job.


Offline Pete-zza

  • Lifetime Member
  • Global Moderator
  • *
  • Posts: 22449
  • Location: Texas
  • Always learning
Re: Can we discuss "Autolyse" - I don't understand the concept
« Reply #1 on: February 12, 2006, 03:54:11 PM »
Mark,

The subject of autolyse has been discussed many times before on the forum, and used in many dough recipes, so a good starting point might be to refer to the Pizza Glossary at http://www.pizzamaking.com/pizza_glossary.html#A. Then, I would do a search on the forum using the keyword "Calvel", after the name of the French bread expert who came up with the autolyse process (you can also read about Prof. Calvel in the Glossary). If, after reading the Calvel materials, you feel you still need further information, then I would broaden the forum search by using the keyword "autolyse".

The autolyse process has its origins in breadmaking but it has become a popular process to use for pizza doughs also, although I am not aware of any professional pizza operator in the U.S. who knowingly and intentionally uses the autolyse process.

If there are any questions that are not answered by the use of the Pizza Glossary and forum searches, I will be happy to try to answer them. 

Peter
« Last Edit: February 12, 2006, 04:02:50 PM by Pete-zza »

Offline RockyMarciano

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 82
  • Go Sabres! Go Bills!
Re: Can we discuss "Autolyse" - I don't understand the concept
« Reply #2 on: February 12, 2006, 04:00:30 PM »
How do you hydrate the yeast, if you add the water first then the yeast?????

Offline canadianbacon

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 1041
  • Age: 49
  • DoughBoy
Re: Can we discuss "Autolyse" - I don't understand the concept
« Reply #3 on: February 12, 2006, 04:01:51 PM »
Thanks Peter,

I'm going to go and check into that right now.  Thanks for the great info on starting a search.

I will prob come back to this thread if I have questions, I'm sure I will.

anyway off to do some searching, thanks again for the info and help.

Mark
Pizzamaker, Rib Smoker, HomeBrewer, there's not enough time for a real job.

Offline canadianbacon

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 1041
  • Age: 49
  • DoughBoy
Re: Can we discuss "Autolyse" - I don't understand the concept
« Reply #4 on: February 12, 2006, 04:04:22 PM »
As the yeast bottle directions suggests,

you take a cup of warm water, and then add the amount of yeast, and stir, then wait
for about 10 mins until it froths

How do you hydrate the yeast, if you add the water first then the yeast?????
Pizzamaker, Rib Smoker, HomeBrewer, there's not enough time for a real job.

Offline RockyMarciano

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 82
  • Go Sabres! Go Bills!
Re: Can we discuss "Autolyse" - I don't understand the concept
« Reply #5 on: February 12, 2006, 04:16:16 PM »
yeah thats what i do, but according to the autolyse description it says you add the water to the flour and wait 15 minutes and then add the yeast?

Offline Pete-zza

  • Lifetime Member
  • Global Moderator
  • *
  • Posts: 22449
  • Location: Texas
  • Always learning
Re: Can we discuss "Autolyse" - I don't understand the concept
« Reply #6 on: February 12, 2006, 04:18:48 PM »
Rocky,

In the classic autolyse as envisioned and practiced by Professor Calvel, the yeast was left out of the hydration process involving the flour and water because of the tendency of the yeast activity to acidify the dough. However, my recollection is that he came to acknowledge that it was OK to add a preferment and possibly even an instant dry yeast because of the delay in their activation. That is, they wouldn't start to really kick in until after the autolyse period was over. If the yeast is added after the autolyse, it can be added to the autolysed dough in the case of instant dry yeast, or if active dry yeast is used, it can be proofed in warm water and then added to the autolysed dough. I add the oil, if called for in the dough formulation, after the dough had been kneaded, so that the oil doesn't impede the hydration process. The salt goes in last. When using hand kneading, the salt is harder to work into the dough than if a machine is used, but if you work at it diligently it will incorporate also. You will wonder because the salt will cause surface tears and other irregularities in the dough before it is completely worked into the dough.

Peter

Offline cocoabean

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 15
  • I Love Pizza!
Re: Can we discuss "Autolyse" - I don't understand the concept
« Reply #7 on: February 13, 2006, 01:03:26 PM »
Autolyze means roughly to "destroy itself", in literal terms.  (auto, itself; and lysis, disintegrate or break down)

In the dough, the naturally occurring enzymes in the flour break down the starch into simpler sugars that the yeast can use.  Hydration, etc, is a secondary benefit of the autolyze phase, but often the actual goal especially when simpler sugars are actually added to the mixture, AFAICT.

Offline Pete-zza

  • Lifetime Member
  • Global Moderator
  • *
  • Posts: 22449
  • Location: Texas
  • Always learning
Re: Can we discuss "Autolyse" - I don't understand the concept
« Reply #8 on: February 13, 2006, 01:33:00 PM »
cocoabean,

The way I like to look at it is that the primary function of the autolyse is hydration, especially if only flour and water are combined, which is essentially the classical Calvel autolyse. During the autolyse, protease enzymes in the flour start to attack the gluten and soften it. Other enzymes (alpha amylase) also start to attack the damaged starch in the flour to produce simple sugars for use in feeding the yeast. However, I suspect that it takes longer than the autolyse period to produce meaningful amounts of sugar through that action. There is also around 1-2% usable sugar in the flour at the outset, and that sugar, as well as other sugars that are extracted from the flour through enzyme performance, or added externally, all become available as food for the yeast once the yeast is added to the autolysed dough.

Peter

Offline cocoabean

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 15
  • I Love Pizza!
Re: Can we discuss "Autolyse" - I don't understand the concept
« Reply #9 on: February 13, 2006, 04:59:38 PM »
Peter,

   I seem to have fallen prey to semantics and the definition of autolysis and autolyse, etc, and thought I knew something I didn't.  :)  So, I did some more research to see what is involved because the actual science of bread is very interesting, IMHO.  I found a post on google groups at http://groups.google.com/group/rec.food.sourdough/msg/085194522a9db241 that I've copied below.  Kind of like a set of definitions from various places.  Lots of benefits I didn't realize.

--

From:  Janet Bostwick - view profile
Date:  Sat, Apr 24 2004 9:01 am 
Email:   "Janet Bostwick" <nos...@cableone.net>
Groups:   rec.food.sourdough

>  maybe you can explain the mechanism
> and the expected result of the "autolyse" process.
> DickA

Autolyse:


"Artisan Baking Across America," by Maggie Glezer.
" The term "autolyse" (pronounced AUTO-lees and used as both a noun and verb) was adopted by Professor Raymond Calvel, the esteemed French bread-baking teacher and inventor of this somewhat odd but very effective technique.  During the rest time, the flour fully hydrates and its gluten further develops, encouraged by the absence of:  compressed yeast, which would begin to ferment and acidify the dough(although instant yeast is included in autolyses lasting no longer than 30 minutes ecause of its slow activation):  salt, which would cause the gluten to tighten, hindering its development and hydration; and pre-ferments, which would also acidify the dough.  The flour's improved hydration and gluten development shorten the mixing time, increase extensibilty (the dough rips less during shaping), and ultimately result in bread with a creamier colored crumb and more aroma and sweet wheat flavor.

At the end of the autolyse, the once-rough dough will have greatly smoothed out and become much more extensible.  Salt, compressed yeast, and pre-ferments are now added and the mixing is continued.  While it may seem strange to add salt directly to a dough, as long as it is finely granulated, it will quickly dissolve.  If you are hand kneading, you can actually feel the dough tighten and dry when the salt dissolves.


Here is the technical explanation of what's happening during autolyse:  The term "autolyse" means "self-destruction," referring to the proteolytic--or protein-attacking-enzymes during this hiatus.  While it might seem contradictory to want to dismember gluten when it is supposed to be developing, it is, in fact, one of mixing's primary steps.  When gluten first forms, it is jumbled together in an uneven manner.  During mixing, the gulten is pulled apart and rebonded into a stronger and more uniform network.  The autolyse facilitates that step without mechanically altering the dough.  The reason acid-producing ingredients like pre-ferments and compressed yeast are avoided is because these proteolytic enzymes work more effectively in a more neutral pH environment.

Finally, the bread's color and flavor are improved because the dough is mixed less, so that less air is beaten into it and, thus, less oxygen. Oxygen is believed to oxidize the flour's unsaturated fats and bleach its yellow pigments.  The fats are a source of vitamin E and an important source of flavor.  Oxidizing them destroys their vitamin E content and unpleasantly alters the flavor of the bread."


"The Baker's Companion," King Arthur Flour
"Most of the recipes in this chapter include a step called an autolyse, in which the flour, starter, and water are combined and allowed to rest for 20-30 minutes before the remaining ingredients are added and the dough is mixed.  This simple step prepares the dough for the mixing or kneading that follows.  When flour and water are first brought together, the gluten is disorganized and tangled, and it must be mechanically pulled apart by kneading before it can reassemble into organized long strands.  An autolyse gives naturally occurring enzymes the chance to untangle the gluten, so less mixing is necessary to develop the dough.  Salt and additional yeast, if used, are not added until after the autolyse, because they tighten the gluten--just the opposite of what an autolyse accomplishes.  An autolyse also increases the dough's extensibility, which is its ability to stretch without pulling back like a rubber band.  This makes the dough easier to shape and increases its ability to rise in the oven."


"The Bread Baker's apprentice,"  Peter Reinhart
"One of the techniques that bakers often use to minimize mixing (and thus to reduce oxidation that causes natural bleaching of the flour) is to mix the flour and water for only 4 minutes, enough time to hydrate the flour fully, and then let the dough rest for 20 minutes.  During this resting, or what the French call the autolyse, the protein molecules complete their hydration and begin bonding on their own.  Then, when the mixing resumes and the other ingredients are added, it takes only 2 to 4 additional minutes to complete the mixing process, during which the newly formed gluten molecules continue to bond to one another in more complex ways."

Janet
 


Offline Pete-zza

  • Lifetime Member
  • Global Moderator
  • *
  • Posts: 22449
  • Location: Texas
  • Always learning
Re: Can we discuss "Autolyse" - I don't understand the concept
« Reply #10 on: February 13, 2006, 05:44:10 PM »
cocoabean,

That was a wonderful post and thank you for posting it. It is one of the few explanations of autolyse that I have read that I think is correct based on what I have read of Professor Calvel's work. I have made many autolysed doughs, for both bread and pizza, and I marvel every time at the way that the autolyse process produces the smoothest and softest dough. Unfortunately, I don't always like the final results because in most instances the crumb of the finished crust is too bread-like for my taste. Since the autolyse process was developed in the context of bread making and not pizza dough making, that should not come as a surprise. The exception I will mention is for autolysed doughs that use a natural preferment rather than commercial yeast. In that instance, the results are very good, maybe even exceptional. Whether it is the autolyse or the preferment that is to be given credit, or both, I have yet to ascertain. You'd think that there is not much left to learn about pizza making, but that had not been proven to be the case. The beat goes on. 

Professor Calvel was honored for his contributions to breadmaking a few years ago. At the time, he was in his 90's. To the best of my knowledge, he is still alive. At least I couldn't find an obit when I did a Google search.

Peter

Offline Perk

  • Supporting Member
  • *
  • Posts: 189
  • Age: 48
  • Location: Jacksonville
  • Dreams of Pizza!
Re: Can we discuss "Autolyse" - I don't understand the concept
« Reply #11 on: February 14, 2006, 06:48:55 AM »
Interesting stuff,
But a technique I will never use.
I just don't believe in that concept or should I say that it enhances the flavor I am looking for.
Dough is much harder to work with that way and to me it  takes more time than not.



-Dave
Jacksonville Fl.

Offline Pete-zza

  • Lifetime Member
  • Global Moderator
  • *
  • Posts: 22449
  • Location: Texas
  • Always learning
Re: Can we discuss "Autolyse" - I don't understand the concept
« Reply #12 on: February 14, 2006, 08:40:44 AM »
Perk,

Technically, the autolyse should contribute to better crust flavor (and color) because the autolyse shortens the knead time and, as a result, reduces damage to carotenoids in the flour. But you are correct that it takes longer to incorporate autolyse into the dough making process. I think it is worth trying at least once to see how the phenomenon works. You might even find that you like its effects, as it has done for several of our members.

Peter

Offline sebdesn

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 36
  • I Love Pizza!
Re: Can we discuss "Autolyse" - I don't understand the concept
« Reply #13 on: February 14, 2006, 11:35:33 PM »
Guess I will weigh in on the subject...I use an autolyse on everything I do doughwise.I do not use it with just flour and water as recommended because I use a very wet  sponge and dont  have enough water left to do it with just flour and water.But If you do an autolyse with whatever you have, just before the final mix, the final mix is easier, and seems to have much better forming characteristics and flavor. I do however, add the salt at the end of the final mix rather than with the water/yeast...
Bud

Offline Perk

  • Supporting Member
  • *
  • Posts: 189
  • Age: 48
  • Location: Jacksonville
  • Dreams of Pizza!
Re: Can we discuss "Autolyse" - I don't understand the concept
« Reply #14 on: February 15, 2006, 09:41:08 AM »
Perk,

Technically, the autolyse should contribute to better crust flavor (and color) because the autolyse shortens the knead time and, as a result, reduces damage to carotenoids in the flour. But you are correct that it takes longer to incorporate autolyse into the dough making process. I think it is worth trying at least once to see how the phenomenon works. You might even find that you like its effects, as it has done for several of our members.

Peter

I have tried it before it before, it puts a strain on my little Kitchen Aid mixer  ;D and really I haven't seen any improvements, I did it because It was supposed to be a faster way to mix everything but my equipment can't handle the mixing, Flour goes everywhere, more strian seems to be put on the mixture.

I think this method was created for the bulk pizza dough maker,
with the industrial mixing equipment that can handle the load.
It also is to justify his/her technique and why the dough maker may rushes things.

If I were a bulk pizza dough maker, I would put the flour in first then the liquid.
It's less of a mess, no splashing. LOL!
When you drop 50# of flour in a  gallons of water it's going to do a cannon ball! Splash!! LOL!!
Then cut the kneed time,
Any thing to cut down on time a bulk baker will listen too.
He already adds the flour first, so now it's less kneed time, Fantastic!! LOL!

For the quick kneed time, I agree, but not because of the method, I agree because I don't think
you have to kneed dough  excessively and over kneeding is more detramental then under kneeding

My thought is as long as you let the dough rise more then once you can cut down on your kneed time.
So that is why after I make my dough I let it rise 1 time, punch down divide the dough into 3 or 4 sections before I refrigerate it so it can slow rise again.
This compensates for the extra kneed time many may put into kneeding their dough.

But that's not to say what I do is right, but a lazy man, which I am, can spot another lazy technique which this is. LOL!





-Dave
Jacksonville Fl.

Offline gottabedapan

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 166
  • I Love Pizza!
Re: Can we discuss "Autolyse" - I don't understand the concept
« Reply #15 on: February 15, 2006, 10:20:37 AM »
I have tried it before it before, it puts a strain on my little Kitchen Aid mixer  ;D and really I haven't seen any improvements, I did it because It was supposed to be a faster way to mix everything but my equipment can't handle the mixing, Flour goes everywhere, more strian seems to be put on the mixture.

What model KA are you using? I autolyse 2-loaf batches of bread dough in my KA KSM50 all the time, and have no problems with straining the mixer or flour going everywhere.

Quote
Any thing to cut down on time a bulk baker will listen too.
Autolysing definitely does save time. Yes, it cuts down on the kneading time, but the overall dough prep time is significantly longer due to the rest period(s) involved.

Offline sebdesn

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 36
  • I Love Pizza!
Re: Can we discuss "Autolyse" - I don't understand the concept
« Reply #16 on: February 15, 2006, 12:20:09 PM »
Perk, you can do a very usable autolyse by just mixing all your ingredients together roughly before the final mix, and then let it sit covered for 20 minutes or so...Then the final mix will be easier because the flour will be better hydrated and take some of the strain off of the mixer...
Bud




















Offline billneild

  • Supporting Member
  • *
  • Posts: 130
  • I Love Pizza!
Re: Can we discuss "Autolyse" - I don't understand the concept
« Reply #17 on: March 12, 2006, 04:49:28 PM »
After reading all the posts I think I understand "autolyse" at least a little.  I tend to use my KitchenAid mixer if I am making bread dough and need to incorporate something like raisins in the second knead, it doesn't mangle them as much.  For pizza dough I have been using the food processor.  Now that Pete has fixed my recipe it turns out great pizza dough.  Since it kneads the dough so fast does it obviate the benefit of an "autolyse" or is the dough blades speed doing the same thing as a dough hook in less time?  As I'm hearing it the autolyse is hydrating before adding yeast and letting it rest.  If that is the case will instant yeast be the yeast of choice and will it incorporate well?  Also, was a lot of the information on autolyse developed before some of the technological developments in food prep?  For example, in cooking a chicken or a turkey one old way to tell if it was done was to test how "loose" the drumstick was.  Now you can stick a probe thermometer in the thigh, set the temp. alarm, and it beeps when it's done.  Sure we could still pull on the drumstick but is it necessary when our concern is internal temp?  Is autolyse necessary?

Offline Pete-zza

  • Lifetime Member
  • Global Moderator
  • *
  • Posts: 22449
  • Location: Texas
  • Always learning
Re: Can we discuss "Autolyse" - I don't understand the concept
« Reply #18 on: March 12, 2006, 06:12:13 PM »
Bill,

An awful lot has been written on autolyse on the forum, so I am not sure which posts you have read on the topic. The concept of autolyse comes out of the breadmaking art, not pizza making. In fact, after doing some extensive web searching, I was unable to find any evidence of its use by pizza professionals. If you check out the Pizza Glossary at http://www.pizzamaking.com/pizza_glossary.html and look under autolyse and Calvel, you will get a better sense of its origins and purpose.

There is no reason why you can't use autolyse with a food processor. I have done it several times, and most recently Steve incorporated it into his new same-day NY style dough recipe. It seems to me, however, that actual rest is needed, preferably without the yeast and salt. During the rest period, not only do you get better hydration, but the protease enzymes attack the gluten and soften it. That is one of the reasons why an autolysed dough feels so soft. I'm not sure that a whirling food processor blade will produce the same end result without the rest period.

Some people will put the yeast in with the flour and water, on the theory that it will not activate and start to do its job during the period of the autolyse. Originally, the yeast was left out of the autolyse to prevent it from acidifying the dough. If the dough temperature is kept on the cool side, I suspect that it is OK to add the yeast to the water and flour during the autolyse.

The autolyse will work with any yeast, including a preferment, and it will incorporate without any problem with the dough. My best advice to you is to try autolyse and see if you like its effects. I won't even tell you the reasons why people like or do not like or use autolyse because I'd rather not poison the well. I'd rather that you decide whether you like it or not.

Peter

Offline billneild

  • Supporting Member
  • *
  • Posts: 130
  • I Love Pizza!
Re: Can we discuss "Autolyse" - I don't understand the concept
« Reply #19 on: March 13, 2006, 08:57:27 AM »
Peter - Just so I've got this right, it's probably OK to include the yeast at the start, but give it a rest before finishing the kneading?  Of course the processor works so fast that by the time everything is mixed it's over with!  In watching way too many cooking shows I've noticed that nearly all baking calls for allowing the dough to rest for 20 min. to half an hour.  Is this "autolyse"? Or is it more specific than that?  The reason given is usually that it is easier to work the dough, that it relaxes.

Bill