Author Topic: Do you autolyse?  (Read 2640 times)

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Offline Chaze215

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Do you autolyse?
« on: September 24, 2012, 09:32:52 PM »
I haven't yet, but I was wondering how many here do and if it makes a difference in the final product or stretching? Just curious if I should add this step when making dough. Thanks in advance!

Chaz
Chaz


Offline Chicago Bob

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Re: Do you autolyse?
« Reply #1 on: September 24, 2012, 09:44:58 PM »
Can you say Jerry Mac?   ;D
5 hr auto, same day dough.....less filling, tastes great!   :chef:
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Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Do you autolyse?
« Reply #2 on: September 24, 2012, 09:56:51 PM »
Bob,

If you look at the entries for the JerryMac dough recipes at Reply 1 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,11860.msg110289.html#msg110289, you will see that JerryMac uses a preferment (that he calls a poolish), not autolysis. For a brief description of autolyse, see the entry for autolyse in the forum's Pizza Glossary at http://www.pizzamaking.com/pizza_glossary.html#A.

Peter

Offline Chicago Bob

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Re: Do you autolyse?
« Reply #3 on: September 24, 2012, 10:03:53 PM »
Bob,

If you look at the entries for the JerryMac dough recipes at Reply 1 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,11860.msg110289.html#msg110289, you will see that JerryMac uses a preferment (that he calls a poolish), not autolysis. For a brief description of autolyse, see the entry for autolyse in the forum's Pizza Glossary at http://www.pizzamaking.com/pizza_glossary.html#A.

Peter

Here we go again....from "the glossary"
 Over time, the term "autolyse" has come to be used to refer to almost any rest period during the mix/knead cycle even though such use is not technically an autolyse as conceived by its originator, Prof. Raymond Calvel, a professor emeritus of baking sciences at L'ecole Francais de Meunerie and author of the classic work on European breadmaking, LeGout de Pain.
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Offline JConk007

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Re: Do you autolyse?
« Reply #4 on: September 24, 2012, 10:06:51 PM »
YES !! whatever its called this is what  I do and Find it does make a difference
I add 75% flour 100% water incorporate to a pancake like batter and lit it sit or rest for 20 Minutes add balance of flour and mix.
john
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Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Do you autolyse?
« Reply #5 on: September 24, 2012, 10:20:47 PM »
Bob,

I wrote the excerpt you quoted. The reason I wrote it is because many people add yeast (commercial or natural) and/or salt to a dough mixture that is allowed to rest, and refer to that method as autolyse. That is an incorrect use of the term but it unfortunately has been misused so many times as not to be salvageable.

The Pizza Glossary also has a definition for Preferment, which I also wrote, along with the common forms, such as biga, chef/pate fermentee, poolish, sponge, old dough, etc.

Peter
« Last Edit: September 24, 2012, 10:22:33 PM by Pete-zza »

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Do you autolyse?
« Reply #6 on: September 24, 2012, 10:21:56 PM »
YES !! whatever its called this is what  I do and Find it does make a difference
I add 75% flour 100% water incorporate to a pancake like batter and lit it sit or rest for 20 Minutes add balance of flour and mix.

John,

At what point do you add the yeast and the salt?

Peter

Offline Chicago Bob

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Re: Do you autolyse?
« Reply #7 on: September 24, 2012, 10:26:03 PM »
Bob,

I wrote the excerpt you quoted. The reason I wrote it is because many people add yeast (commercial or natural) and/or salt to a dough mixture that is allowed to rest, and refer to that method as autolyse. That is an incorrect use of the term but it unfortunately has been misused so many times as not to be salvageable.

The Pizza Glossary also has a definition for Preferment, which I also wrote, along with the common forms, such as biga, chef/pate fermentee, poolish, sponge, old dough, etc.

Peter
Peter,
Yep, I know you wrote the excerpt I quoted.  ;D  That is why I was wondering why you were trying to "salvage" me... :-D
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Offline Chicago Bob

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Re: Do you autolyse?
« Reply #8 on: September 24, 2012, 10:28:52 PM »
YES !! whatever its called this is what  I do and Find it does make a difference
I add 75% flour 100% water incorporate to a pancake like batter and lit it sit or rest for 20 Minutes add balance of flour and mix.
john
JConk007...whatever it is you do or whatever you want to call it.....PLEASE keep on doing what you are doing. Man you got the goods!  8)
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Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Do you autolyse?
« Reply #9 on: September 24, 2012, 10:44:32 PM »
Yep, I know you wrote the excerpt I quoted.  ;D  That is why I was wondering why you were trying to "salvage" me... :-D

Bob,

Over time, I have become more of a purist in these matters. To me, it is important because I can understand things better and help people more when they use the right terminology. Part of this process is to get our members to use the correct terms. My position on this subject is summarized in the last paragraph of Reply 14 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,12278.msg116355/topicseen.html#msg116355. That same Reply also discusses autolyse.

Peter
« Last Edit: September 24, 2012, 10:46:04 PM by Pete-zza »


Offline Chicago Bob

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Re: Do you autolyse?
« Reply #10 on: September 24, 2012, 10:56:16 PM »
Chaze215,
Disregard my Jerry Mac reference.
But please do think about making a Jerry Mac pizza sometime if you haven't already. His "poolish" (preferment ;)) method used on that dough produces an exceptional tasting same day pie.   8)
"Care Free Highway...let me slip away on you"

Offline Chicago Bob

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Re: Do you autolyse?
« Reply #11 on: September 24, 2012, 11:19:18 PM »
If you please...jus a quick non hijacking question while some of the ones with topic experience are active tonight.  What does cream of tarter do on a DD w/ semolina dough do...? Thank you.  John, back in '09. '08 ? you were doing BTB's DD...Peter?
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Offline petef

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Re: Do you autolyse?
« Reply #12 on: September 25, 2012, 04:26:20 AM »
YES !! whatever its called this is what  I do and Find it does make a difference
I add 75% flour 100% water incorporate to a pancake like batter and lit it sit or rest for 20 Minutes add balance of flour and mix.
john

What exactly is the "difference" you found? 
If you skipped the autolyse step, what negative impact would it have on the dough?

---pete---


Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Do you autolyse?
« Reply #13 on: September 25, 2012, 06:31:16 AM »
If you please...jus a quick non hijacking question while some of the ones with topic experience are active tonight.  What does cream of tarter do on a DD w/ semolina dough do...? Thank you.  John, back in '09. '08 ? you were doing BTB's DD...Peter?

Bob,

If you are thinking of cream of tartar as a substitute or alternative to an autolyse, I have never seen it touted as such. The only commercial producer of deep-dish pizzas that I aware of that uses cream of tartar is Gino's East, and they refer to the cream of tartar as a dough conditioner. If you would like to explore the cream of tartar issue further, you might want to start a new thread.

Peter

Offline dellavecchia

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Re: Do you autolyse?
« Reply #14 on: September 25, 2012, 06:41:43 AM »
What exactly is the "difference" you found?  
If you skipped the autolyse step, what negative impact would it have on the dough?

---pete---



I have found that it works well for shorter fermented doughs that will be fermented over the course of maybe 9 hours. It gives the flour a chance to hydrate and get the fermentation process going. If you are doing super long ferments it might be skipped. The real value, from my observations, comes when using a shorter workflow.

Also, when using sourdough, since the levain is pre-fermented, it is considered an ingredient and not an addition to hydration or flour totals (in my opinion). And it is perfectly acceptable to autolyse with the levain included, which contains no commercial yeast. Maybe Peter would like to comment on this further - it would be interesting to hear his take on this.

John

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Do you autolyse?
« Reply #15 on: September 25, 2012, 08:55:53 AM »
I haven't yet, but I was wondering how many here do and if it makes a difference in the final product or stretching? Just curious if I should add this step when making dough. Thanks in advance!

Chaz,

I am not sure how you define the term "autolyse" but, as you may know, the autolyse method was conceived in the 1970s by Prof. Raymond Calvel, who is often called the father of French baking. Prof. Calvel intended for the autolyse method to apply to commercial bread baking. As discussed in Reply 11 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,8205.msg94494/topicseen.html#msg94494, and also in Prof. Calvel's book The Taste of Bread, the autolyse method was used to shorten dough preparation time and also to protect the carotenoids from damage. As for the definition of autolysis, Prof. Calvel described it and its benefits in his book as follows:

Autolysis is the slow-speed premixing of the flour and water in a recipe (excluding all the other ingredients), followed by a rest period. The other ingredients are added when mixing is recommenced [...]. During experiments in 1974, Professor Calvel discovered that the rest period improves the links between starch, gluten, and water, and notably improves the extensibility of the dough. As a result, when mixing is restarted, the dough forms a mass and reaches a smooth state more quickly. Autolysis reduces the total mixing time (and therefore the dough's oxidation) by approximately 15%, facilitates the molding of unbaked loaves, and produces bread with more volume, better cell structure, and a more supple crumb. Although the use of autolysis is advantageous in the production of most types of bread, including regular French bread, white pan sandwich bread and sweet bread doughs, it is especially valuable in the production of natural levain leavened breads.

As is often the case, bread making techniques are adapted for use in other places, including pizza making. In that context, I personally view autolyse as just another tool to use when one is seeking the attributes that are conveyed by autolysis. In general, for the most part I have not been a big fan of the use of autolyse, as I discussed in Reply 3 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,8093.msg69561/topicseen.html#msg69561 and also at Reply 31 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,8376.msg72635/topicseen.html#msg72635.

A couple of places where I thought that autolyse did help was when I made naturally leavened doughs (which confirmed what Prof. Calvel said above about natural levain leavened breads) and also when I made cracker-style doughs where the hydration levels were so low (in the mid-30s%) that it was very difficult to roll out the dough. In the latter case, I thought the improved hydration of the flour made it easier to roll out the dough into a skin. That application of the autolyse method clearly was not on Prof. Calvel's radar. But it is an example of an application of the autolyse method where it has apparent value. Like I said, it is just another tool.

My view has always been that people should experiment with autolyse and determine for themselves if it helps or hurts, or has little or no effect. I would like to add, however, that the autolyse method does have value in a home setting because it helps make up for the fact that most standard home mixers do not do as good a job at hydrating doughs as commercial mixers. It also helps protect the carotenoids from damage by excessive kneading.

Peter

Offline Don K

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Re: Do you autolyse?
« Reply #16 on: September 25, 2012, 09:26:45 AM »
I have always autolysed. How long depends on the flour that I am using. After seeing the effect on the dough, it's a no brainer to me.

I used to always mix entirely by hand (and still do occasionally when I feel like it). That's when you really notice the difference. The dough feels completely different after the autolyse. Much of the gluten development has already taken place and much less subsequent kneading is necessary. Once the water is incorporated, I usually only feel the need to knead a few minutes, which is great if you are kneading by hand.

A long time ago, when I used to just use just any bread flour, I would autolyse for an hour. After I started using higher gluten flours such as KABF or KASL, 30-45 minutes seemed sufficient. Lately I have been using AT HG Bromated, and I'm not sure that more than 20 minutes is required. I'm not sure if it's just the higher protein, the KBrO3, or maybe both, but the gluten seems to develop very quickly, as soon as you first hydrate the flour.

What I do is use all of my water upfront and hydrate at 100%. Just water and flour then autolyse. Then I add the rest of the ingredients and gradually add the remaining flour to achieve my desired final hydration.

I have read a lot of the posts here regarding autolyse, as well as other information in books and on the Internet, and there is definitely not a consensus on the technique or its history, or even something as simple as how to pronounce it. One thing that has always struck me as a little odd is all of the reverence given to Professor Calvel. I have seen him described as the inventor, discoverer, or even "the Godfather of autolyse." With all due respect to the professor, bakers have been using the technique for centuries, long before he was even born. He may have popularized the method in modern baking, or even coined the name, but the technique is very old. I'm not even sure if the name is really appropriate, assuming that it comes from the word 'autolysis', which from a biochemical standpoint isn't what is really happening during autolyse.

My wife's grandmother was an Italian immigrant. Almost to the day she died (at 96), she baked bread using pretty much the same recipe and method that had been handed down to her for many generations in Italy. My wife on occasion makes bread in the same way as she taught her.  Her method includes a 45 minute (at least to the best of my wife's recollection, she never really timed it) rest period where only flour and water is used. Everything is mixed and kneaded by hand on the table, using no bowls or tools. I have made pizza dough in the same way and it is really fun. Definitely as "hands on" as you can get.
« Last Edit: September 25, 2012, 09:28:25 AM by Colonel_Klink »
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Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Do you autolyse?
« Reply #17 on: September 25, 2012, 09:50:53 AM »
I have found that it works well for shorter fermented doughs that will be fermented over the course of maybe 9 hours. It gives the flour a chance to hydrate and get the fermentation process going. If you are doing super long ferments it might be skipped. The real value, from my observations, comes when using a shorter workflow.

Also, when using sourdough, since the levain is pre-fermented, it is considered an ingredient and not an addition to hydration or flour totals (in my opinion). And it is perfectly acceptable to autolyse with the levain included, which contains no commercial yeast. Maybe Peter would like to comment on this further - it would be interesting to hear his take on this.

John,

I generally subscribe to everthing that you have said but on the matter of incorporation of the levain in the autolysis process, but I'd like to play the role of the gadfly for a moment.

First, as you know, and as I mentioned in the excerpted portion of my last post, Prof. Calvel deemed the autolyse method to be "especially valuable in the production of natural levain leavened breads". However, in his book, at footnote 3 on page 91, he says (with some repetition of the excerpted portion mentioned above):

Dough autolysis refers to a rest period that occurs after 5 minutes of mixing a fraction of the flour and part of the water, excluding the remaining ingredients. This rest period improves the links between starch, gluten and water and notably improves the extensibility of the dough. As a result, when mixing is resumed, the dough forms a mass and reaches a smooth state more quickly. Without autolysis, these processes would be slowed by the acidity of the natural levain.

It is that last sentence that discusses the potential of the natural levain to acidify the dough that leads me to believe that Prof. Calvel would have said that the natural levain should be added after the autolyse rest period. However, I read elsewhere that Prof. Calvel came to accept the addition of a natural levain to the dough during the autolyse rest period, and I read something along the same lines with respect to the incorporation of commercial yeast in the dough during the autolyse rest period. However, I have never been able to attribute those additions to Prof. Calvel himself. Prof. Calvel was a very prolific writer (his book lists a total of 92 articles and books that he had written) but most of the articles he wrote are in French. Maybe somewhere in those articles, or possibly after the book was written, he discussed the above matter. But if I were to say that it is acceptable to add a natural levain or commercial yeast as part of the autolysis, I would qualify such use by saying that the duration of the autloyse rest period should be less than that which would be needed to allow the levain or commercial yeast to acidify the dough. In his book, Prof. Calvel does give the autolyse rest period times. I discussed such durations, in the context of commercial bread production, at Reply 15 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,3220.msg74624/topicseen.html#msg74624. If one of such durations is used, and if there would be no acidification of the dough, or a minimally acceptable amount of acidification, I would say that it is perhaps safe to add a natural levain or even commercial yeast to the dough during the autolyse rest period. I think that it is clear however, that, with respect to commercial yeast, it would have to be used in very small quantities. But even with a natural levain, one cannot use it in very high amounts.

Peter

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Do you autolyse?
« Reply #18 on: September 25, 2012, 10:02:59 AM »
I have read a lot of the posts here regarding autolyse, as well as other information in books and on the Internet, and there is definitely not a consensus on the technique or its history, or even something as simple as how to pronounce it. One thing that has always struck me as a little odd is all of the reverence given to Professor Calvel. I have seen him described as the inventor, discoverer, or even "the Godfather of autolyse." With all due respect to the professor, bakers have been using the technique for centuries, long before he was even born. He may have popularized the method in modern baking, or even coined the name, but the technique is very old. I'm not even sure if the name is really appropriate, assuming that it comes from the word 'autolysis', which from a biochemical standpoint isn't what is really happening during autolyse.

Don,

I can't comment on the above simply because I do not know the origins of autolysis. Rest periods, including riposo, have been around for a very long time, but I don't know when the specific rest period that Prof. Calvel described involving only flour and water came into existence. The process of fermentation itself also entails rest during which gluten is transformed.

As for the pronunciation of autolyse, see the autolyse entry in the forum's Pizza Glossary at http://www.pizzamaking.com/pizza_glossary.html#A (last sentence). I believe that pronounciation is the German pronunciation or one close to it (http://www.forvo.com/word/autolyse/#de).

Peter
« Last Edit: September 25, 2012, 10:13:24 AM by Pete-zza »

Offline Don K

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Re: Do you autolyse?
« Reply #19 on: September 25, 2012, 10:18:02 AM »
As for the pronunciation of autolyse, see the autolyse entry in the forum's Pizza Glossary at http://www.pizzamaking.com/pizza_glossary.html#A (last sentence).
Yeah, that seems to be the pronounciation that you see most often, but I have seen others, like this:

http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/autolyse?s=t
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