Author Topic: Autolyse vs. Not comparison  (Read 4759 times)

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Offline scpizza

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Autolyse vs. Not comparison
« on: June 10, 2007, 10:39:19 AM »
In order to test the difference in flavor/crust texture/handling between autolysing and not I ran the following test.  Same recipe and rise conditions for each approach.  Did the test twice.

Autolyse: Add 75% flour to water and mix.  Allow to autolyse for 20 minutes.  Add starter, mix, add rest of flour, mix, add salt.
Non-Autolyse: Dissolve salt in water, dissolve yeast in water, add 100% flour, mix.

Below are pictures.  For the dough and the pizzas the autolysed one is on the right.  The crust differences on the first trial were most pronounced so I'm showing those here.  In the second trial the differences were smaller.

For the autolysed, I see a higher rise in the doughball and a more textured/bubbled/airy skin when handling.  The autolysed crust exterior is more irregular than the non-autolysed.  The non-autolysed crust interior shows more gumminess on the bottom than the autolysed.  The flavor of both is the same.

My hypothesis of what's going on is simply that the autolysed dough is experiencing more advanced yeast activity.  I'll bet if I let the non-autolysed dough rise another few hours it would look exactly like the autolysed dough.

Because starter cultures are so fickle, I'm not sure if this difference was caused by experimental error on my part, or if some aspect of the autolyse process is truly responsible.

After these tests, I didn't feel like autolysing was buying me anything special.  I think Peter suggested it may be more helpful for those with regular home mixers that are less effective at forming gluten structure than the Santos mixer I am using.
« Last Edit: June 10, 2007, 10:43:32 AM by scpizza »


Offline Montreal_Pizza

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Re: Autolyse vs. Not comparison
« Reply #1 on: July 05, 2007, 02:35:40 PM »
Hello, autolyse should be done for 2 hours for maximum affect. You'll see a huge difference if you do so.

Offline eric22

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Re: Autolyse vs. Not comparison
« Reply #2 on: July 23, 2007, 09:10:58 PM »
great photos. :pizza:

Offline scpizza

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Re: Autolyse vs. Not comparison
« Reply #3 on: July 31, 2007, 08:26:41 AM »
I repeated the experiment with a 2 hour autolyse.  Pictures below.  Autolysed dough on the right.

These batches of dough are both a bit immature.  Just as in the prior tests I noted the autolysed dough has a higher rise in the bowl, behaving as if it is farther along in the rise.  The autolysed shows a slightly more open crumb, but every other aspect of the crust (handling, texture) was the same.

My next experiment will be to let a non-autolyse batch rise a few hours more than the autolyse until the dough is at the same height in the bowl.  At that point I hypothesize the non-autolysed dough will be exactly the same as the autolysed.

Offline Montreal_Pizza

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Re: Autolyse vs. Not comparison
« Reply #4 on: August 02, 2007, 07:48:38 AM »
Thanks for the update. The pics really look nice. The autolyse dough definetly has more air bubbles which usually results in better texture and flavour.
How long do you make your dough rise for?
After a 2 - 2.5 hour autolyse, I let the dough rise for 2 - 3 hours at room temperature, punch it down and let it continue rising/fermenting in the fridge overnight. I find the more you let it ferment the better flavour is produced. I usually prepare my dough 2-3 days before I need it.

Please keep us informed on your next experiment. I suspect that you will have more enhance flavour but no additionnal air bubbles.

Here is a pic of one of my pizzas, aerial view. I leaving on vacation to Italy this week. On my return I will post some pics of pizzas I ate in Naples as well as the crust of the ones I make.

ciao!

have fun!

Offline scpizza

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Re: Autolyse vs. Not comparison
« Reply #5 on: August 02, 2007, 08:27:52 AM »
I am doing standard Neapolitan low-starter procedure with around a 24-36 hour rise at 18C (no punchdown).  You are correct, the autolysed dough is showing somewhat bigger voids - a good thing.  Why I am not sold on the effectiveness of autolysing is I can achieve the same larger voids by just letting the non-autolysed dough mature longer.  None of the above doughs are near their maximum rise point beyond which the dough is overblown.  Up to that point, the final voids in the crust just get bigger.

To be fair I should test not only if I can duplicate the larger autolyse voids by letting the non-autolyse mature longer but also if the autolyse can produce larger voids than the non-autolyse is capable of.  I.e. does autolysing simply accelerate the bubble formation process which will collapse at the same maximum point or does it shift the size of the bubbles up all the way down the line so I can get bigger bubbles than with non-autolyse.

Offline Bill/SFNM

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Re: Autolyse vs. Not comparison
« Reply #6 on: August 02, 2007, 10:38:47 AM »
I autolyze and have also been playing around with multi-day room temp fermentation. Still not sure what the optimum combination is, but have noted that my dough seems to have bigger voids the more gently I handle the dough when forming balls and stretching. FWIW.

Bill/SFNM

Offline scpizza

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Re: Autolyse vs. Not comparison
« Reply #7 on: August 02, 2007, 11:11:35 AM »
Yep, same observed here.  The more gently I handle the dough the more airy crust results I get.  However, Neapolitan pizzerias generally manhandle the dough and I observe it looks less mature than mine when they bake it.  Maybe the hotter ovens result in larger voids and require less maturation.

Offline abatardi

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Re: Autolyse vs. Not comparison
« Reply #8 on: August 02, 2007, 01:39:46 PM »
After a 2 - 2.5 hour autolyse

Wow!  That actually seems excessive to me.  Anyone else going this long?  I autolyse for 20, *maybe* 30 mins..

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Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Autolyse vs. Not comparison
« Reply #9 on: August 02, 2007, 02:22:20 PM »
Anyone else going this long?  I autolyse for 20, *maybe* 30 mins.


Aaron,

A few of our members, jimd included, use long autolyse times. See, for example, jimd's post at Reply 6 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,5319.msg45124.html#msg45124. In Jim's case, he actually uses the classic Calvel autolyse but others often refer to autolyse but really mean something else. For example, a classic autolyse is between only flour and water (no salt, sugar, oil, or yeast other than slow-acting yeasts like natural starter cultures for very short autolyse periods), but many people refer to autolyse whenever they let a dough rest for some reason. Sometimes, the "rest" is really fermentation because all of the conditions are present for fermentation, as opposed to autolyse. I suppose it doesn't really matter what you call something if you like the results but it is in my nature to be a purist about technical matters like autolyse. So, unless someone defines what they mean by the term, we have no idea.

I might add that in the bread making world, where autolyse originated, it is uncommon to find autolyse periods in excess of 45 minutes. Your autolyse period (20-30 minutes) is more common.

Peter


Offline Montreal_Pizza

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Re: Autolyse vs. Not comparison
« Reply #10 on: August 03, 2007, 08:11:30 AM »
Actually the 2.5 hour autolyse is from a bread recipe from the book "Cookwise, The Secrets of Cooking Revealed" by Shirley O. Corriher. The book talks about the science of cooking, I believe she is a chemist. She states in her book that it has been scientifically proven that 2.5 hours is the ultimate amount of time for autolyse that will yield the most air bubbles. I have taken that concept to my pizza dough recipe and have used it ever since with impressing results. She offers many tips in her book that I use for my pizza dough recipe. It's a great book if you are into cooking and experimenting and want to know how ingredients interact with each other.
An important step in autolyse is to properly mix the autolyse mixture. She recommends 5 minutes using all the water from your pizza recipe and about half the flour and nothing else.

Offline abatardi

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Re: Autolyse vs. Not comparison
« Reply #11 on: August 03, 2007, 05:08:33 PM »
She states in her book that it has been scientifically proven that 2.5 hours is the ultimate amount of time for autolyse that will yield the most air bubbles.

An autolyse should not yield air bubbles.. ???  What is producing the air?

- aba
Make me a bicycle CLOWN!