Author Topic: Overnight autolyse?  (Read 4006 times)

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Offline djones148

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Overnight autolyse?
« on: January 24, 2009, 12:30:56 PM »
I recently read about an interesting technique whereby some bread bakers will autolyse part of the total flour and water in the fridge overnight. They would use this autolysed dough along with one or even multiple preferments. I guess if the dough was chilled overnight you would have a lot of sugars produced from the enzyme activity in the absence of yeast activity, as you see with Pain l'Ancienne.


Any thoughts as to whether this might be a good technique for pizza? I read on another forum that bread baker Jeffrey Yankellow of the SFBI used this technique for baguettes when he and his teammates won 1st place at the Coupe du Monde de la Boulangerie in 2005, so that's what piqued my interest.  I haven't seen his formula but apparently he used a liquid levain, poolish, sponge and partial 12 hour autolyse.


Offline Pizza_Not_War

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Re: Overnight autolyse?
« Reply #1 on: January 24, 2009, 12:38:51 PM »
My experiences with longer autolyse is that everything else about your recipe and methods needs to change to accommodate the changes in the autolysed portion of the dough. Meaning you might need more or less of other ingredients as well as changes in fermentation time. In my limited non scientific trials, I found I was best off with a 20 minute simple autolyse of 75% of the total flour - if it ain't broke theory. The longer room temp ferment followed by baking or several days in the fridge works well for me.

This is not meant to discourage your experiments, please try it and report back!

PNW

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Re: Overnight autolyse?
« Reply #2 on: January 24, 2009, 02:11:43 PM »
djones148,

That is an interesting idea. I believe that you are correct about the production of sugars. However, a bulk of the sugars will be complex or very complex sugars that will require some enzymes in the yeast to convert such sugars to simple sugars to be used by the yeast.

As I understand the sugar production process, there is a small amount of simple sugars--glucose and fructose--in the flour to begin with. There is also a small amount of complex sugars--sacchaose and maltose--in the flour to begin with. The flour enzyme saccharase transforms the saccharose into glucose and fructose. Most of the sugars in flour come from converting damaged starch to maltose, by operation of the alpha- and beta-amylase enzymes in the flour. So, if I am correct, the overnight autolysed dough should contain small amounts of glucose and fructose and a lot of maltose. Once yeast is introduced into the dough, the zymase enzyme in the yeast transforms the glucose and fructose into alcohol and carbon dioxide. Another enzyme in the yeast, maltase, transforms the maltose into glucose, which is then transformed into alcohol and carbon dioxide by the zymase enzyme. So, the apparent value of the overnight autolysed dough would be to have a lot of the sugars in a form as to be immediately available to be used by the yeast and possibly to shorten the fermentation time. The autolysed dough should also be quite soft, due to the action of protease enzymes in the flour to degrade the gluten structure, although it is not immediately evident whether this has value, for example, in the mixing/kneading regimen or mix/knead times.

As an aside, I recently conducted an experiment which involved combining flour, water and salt, and no yeast, and letting the dough rest for four hours at room temperature. One of the purposes of the experiment was to see how much sugar, both simple and complex, would be produced during that time period and their effects on ultimate crust coloration. As noted at Reply 69 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,7740.msg66521.html#msg66521, whatever sugars were present at the time of baking were inadequate to contribute much in the way of crust coloration. I believe that part of the reason was the absence of the yeast enzyme maltase to convert the large amount of maltose to glucose.

I think it would be interesting for someone to experiment with the above idea.

Peter

Offline djones148

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Re: Overnight autolyse?
« Reply #3 on: January 24, 2009, 03:10:53 PM »
Thanks for the replies, guys.

Peter, it was suprising to see that your experiment didn't yield any increase in crust coloration. From what I understand, maltose is a reducing sugar and should contribute to Maillard browning, but perhaps sugars like glucose and fructose are more effective. Maybe as you suspected, more time would be required to see results. Do you think the maltose has a different flavor compared to other sugars? I was wondering if that may partly contribute to the taste benefit people have seen from slow refrigerated fermentations.






Offline November

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Re: Overnight autolyse?
« Reply #4 on: January 24, 2009, 03:15:55 PM »
I believe that part of the reason was the absence of the yeast enzyme maltase to convert the large amount of maltose to glucose.

djones148 beat me to a response.  Maltose is a reducing sugar and does not need to be broken down to glucose in order to contribute to browning.  However, maltose mixed with glucose has a higher reaction rate than maltose alone.  It wouldn't be enormously significant though.  Perhaps up to 25% faster browning.

EDIT: Added reaction rate.
« Last Edit: January 24, 2009, 03:23:33 PM by November »

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Re: Overnight autolyse?
« Reply #5 on: January 24, 2009, 03:29:38 PM »
djones148 and November,

Thanks for the clarification. I was using the theartisan.net material on yeast, as reproduced below, from which I assumed that maltose was a complex form of sugar:

Sugar Transformations (Rosada)

Simple sugars: The main simple sugars, glucose and fructose, represent about 0.5% of the flour. Yeast can directly assimilate them by penetration of the cell membrane. Simple sugars are transformed into alcohol and carbon dioxide by zymase, an enzyme naturally present in yeast cells. Because of this easy absorption, these sugars are the first ones used in the fermentation process. Their consumption takes place during the first 30 minutes or so at the beginning of the fermentation process.

Complex sugars: The two main types naturally present in flour, saccharose and maltose, represent approximately 1% of the flour. Because of their complex composition, these sugars will be used later on in the fermentation process. The lapse of approximately 30 minutes at the beginning of the fermentation period is necessary to achieve their enzymatic transformation into simple sugars. The enzymes involved are saccharase, which transforms saccharose into glucose and fructose, and maltase, which transforms maltose into glucose.

Very Complex sugars: The main very complex sugar is starch, which represents about 70% of the flour content. Two types of starch are found in flour: amylose and amylopectin. Amylose is degraded by the enzyme beta amylase into maltose, and in turn the maltose will be degraded into glucose by the maltase enzyme. Amylopectin is degraded by the alpha amylase enzyme into dextrin, after which the dextrin is degraded by the beta amylase into maltose. This maltose will them be degraded by the maltase into glucose.


Peter

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Re: Overnight autolyse?
« Reply #6 on: January 24, 2009, 03:40:41 PM »
Peter,

Thanks for the clarification. I was using the theartisan.net material on yeast, as reproduced below, from which I assumed that maltose was a complex form of sugar:

Being "complex" (in nutritional terms) doesn't mean non-reactive (in chemical terms).  All glucose based saccharides (glucose, maltose, oligosaccharides), no mater how long the chains are, will contribute to a Maillard reaction.  The longer the chain though, the slower the reaction.

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Re: Overnight autolyse?
« Reply #7 on: January 24, 2009, 04:14:01 PM »
Do you think the maltose has a different flavor compared to other sugars?


djones148,

From what I can tell, maltose is produced during the malting of barley to produce barley malt syrup. I have a bottle of barley malt syrup (nondiastatic) and it has a distinctive and potent flavor that reminds me of molasses. My tastebuds aren't selective enough to be able to separate the flavor of maltose from other forms of sugar. But I have noticed its effect more in the color of the crust and crumb. You may be able to see the color effects for a Sbarro's clone pizza I made and described at Reply 56 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,2061.msg40413.html#msg40413. Another example where the coloration effects of using barley malt syrup are evident is at Reply 46 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,5851.msg55474.html#msg55474. According to Wikipedia, maltose is not as sweet as many other forms of sugar, which may account for why I did not detect a lot of sweetness in either of the pizzas described in the threads referenced above.

When I was researching the Maillard reaction recently, I read that there are over a hundred different compounds in a finished bread crust. Apparently, all of the factors that go into the Maillard reaction are not well understood, and scientists have not been very successful in replicating the totality of crust flavors and colors in the lab.

Peter

Offline djones148

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Re: Overnight autolyse?
« Reply #8 on: January 25, 2009, 04:06:07 PM »
Well, I just tried this technique and am absolutely blown away by the results. I've made probably about 300 pizzas at home over the years and this was the best one I've ever made. Here was the process:

12 hour poolish:

1 cup King Arthur AP
1/2 cup water
pinch SAF instant yeast

12 hour partial autolyse:

2 cups King Arthur AP
1 cold cup water


I decided to use my food processor to knead the dough since the friction of the blades would warm up the cold dough. Combined the above with:

1 Cup King Arthur AP
1 tsp. SAF instant yeast

Processed until the dough warmed up and then did a short autolyse. When I started up the processor again to add in the remaining salt:

1 1/2 tsp table salt

the processor bogged down so I had to knead the salt in by hand until it was combined well.

I did 2 folds over the 1st hour to strengthen the gluten, and then let it rise for 1 hour more. The dough was then divided into 2 balls and rested for 45 min while the oven preheated to 500 (my max temp). When I went to form the skins I was surprised by the huge bubbles that were being formed and retained:

(http://img166.imageshack.us/img166/1647/img1160fj9.jpg)

I had to pop the bigger bubbles and used parchment paper since this is a wet dough:

(http://img166.imageshack.us/img166/5906/img1161jk1.jpg)

(http://img166.imageshack.us/img166/1975/img1162kp2.jpg)

Just before putting the pizzas in I switched to convection mode on the oven (again at the max of 500) and baked for about 8 min. I preheat on regular because I think it heats the stone better.

(http://img166.imageshack.us/img166/9200/img1163ei5.jpg)

Overall, I got great spring as you could see the rim puffed up beautifully. I could tell there were more residual sugars in the dough than usual because I got good browning despite my low oven temps, and the crust had a great crispness to it -- even on the bottom --  that I really liked. I'll definitely use this technique from now on. Next up I'll try adding a levain in addition to the poolish and overnight autolyse.





 

Offline djones148

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Re: Overnight autolyse?
« Reply #9 on: January 25, 2009, 04:20:19 PM »
Oops, hotlinking of photos is apparently not allowed so here are the pics



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Re: Overnight autolyse?
« Reply #10 on: January 25, 2009, 04:51:14 PM »
djones148,

Those are interesting results, and the pie looks great.

What I would like to see is the effects of using just the "partial autolyse" without the poolish, so that the pH effects of the poolish are taken out of the equation to allow only the effects of the partial autolyse to be examined. I will have to think about taking a basic dough formulation that I am very familiar with, like the Lehman NY dough formulation, and convert it to use a partial autolyse to see if I detect increased crust coloration.

I assume by "levain" you mean using a natural starter of some sort, together with a bit of IDY in the poolish. Is that correct?

Peter

Offline djones148

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Re: Overnight autolyse?
« Reply #11 on: January 25, 2009, 06:28:32 PM »
djones148,

Those are interesting results, and the pie looks great.

What I would like to see is the effects of using just the "partial autolyse" without the poolish, so that the pH effects of the poolish are taken out of the equation to allow only the effects of the partial autolyse to be examined. I will have to think about taking a basic dough formulation that I am very familiar with, like the Lehman NY dough formulation, and convert it to use a partial autolyse to see if I detect increased crust coloration.

I assume by "levain" you mean using a natural starter of some sort, together with a bit of IDY in the poolish. Is that correct?

Peter

Yeah, a natural starter, the poolish with IDY and the autolysed portion all done separately. The autolysed dough seems to give that pain l'ancienne flavor and the poolish gives its characteristic nutty/wheaty flavors, so I think a little bit of acidity from the starter could bring it all together.

One interesting note -- when I made the pizza earlier it seemed noticeably more tender than usual, however an hour later after cooling the slices became quite tough like they had staled very fast. I wonder what could have caused that.

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Re: Overnight autolyse?
« Reply #12 on: January 25, 2009, 07:40:46 PM »
One interesting note -- when I made the pizza earlier it seemed noticeably more tender than usual, however an hour later after cooling the slices became quite tough like they had staled very fast. I wonder what could have caused that.

djones148,

I have been reading Prof. Raymond Calvel's book The Taste of Bread, and he has a chapter on staling. I don't know if his comments on what happens during the cooling period of a loaf of bread applies to your pizza crust, but he says the bread "should be kept under temperate conditions, about 24 degrees C (75 degrees F) to avoid shock and premature staling from excessive cooling".  On that basis, just about all of my pizzas baked in my kitchen during winter months will become stale pretty fast :-D.

Peter

Offline BurntEdges

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Re: Overnight autolyse?
« Reply #13 on: January 27, 2009, 09:50:31 AM »
I understand that the flour/water mixture is refrigerated during the 12 hour autolyse, but is the poolish also refrigerated during this period?

Offline djones148

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Re: Overnight autolyse?
« Reply #14 on: January 27, 2009, 11:57:31 AM »
I understand that the flour/water mixture is refrigerated during the 12 hour autolyse, but is the poolish also refrigerated during this period?

No, that's at room temp.

Offline djones148

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Re: Overnight autolyse?
« Reply #15 on: January 28, 2009, 05:53:17 PM »
OK, I just tried the other variation. Reduced the overnight autolyse by half and added some sourdough starter. 1 cup flour and 1/2 cup water with 1 TBS refrigerated sourdough starter added, refreshed at room temp. for 12 hours next to the commercial yeast poolish. I didn't think the flavor was as good, and predictably the crust didn't brown as much. My family didn't rave about it like they did with the first one.




Offline WestCountry

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Re: Overnight autolyse?
« Reply #16 on: January 31, 2009, 12:08:26 AM »
I really enjoyed reading about the technique here in this topic, so I decided to give it a shot this week. I followed the recipe per djones148 in Reply #8 above. I made two 350g doughballs which were 12-13 inch diameter using the King Arthur All Purpose Flour. Below is one of the pies, which I cooked at around 750 degrees. I also had some extra dough leftover, which made a nice flatbread and pita.

The crust had a nice wafer thin crispiness on its underside, and its interior was tender with large holes. It also allowed me to get a really thin/crisp crust towards the center, which held up well under the pressure of the fresh mozzarella and 6 in 1 tomato sauce.

Thanks djones148 and to the others above for their input on this topic. I had fun with this recipe and Iíll probably play with this concept some more.

Chris

Offline djones148

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Re: Overnight autolyse?
« Reply #17 on: January 31, 2009, 05:22:28 PM »
Looks great, WestCountry  :) I wish I had 750 degrees to work with -- at 500 with the longer bake time my sauce and cheese get a little overcooked.

I just tried the formula from post 8 again, but this time let the 12 hour autolyse go at room temp instead of chilled to see what would happen. It got a puffier crust which was nice, but it also seemed to get even more crisp to the point of being excessive.





 

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