Long bulk room temperature fermentation compared to biga/poolish or fridge
For a little background, i am in my second or third month of "real" breadmaking here, and making a lot of progress thanks to this site and the books I have learned about here. I have now read several Reinhart books and am most of the way through Hamelman at this point. From all of these books I have come to a conclusion that a strong pattern in good bread recipes is having at least some of the dough ferment for a long time. What I don't understand however is why it seems to be either they recommend a smaller amount of dough fermenting at room temperature for a long time (biga/poolish/starter), or the whole bulk fermenting for a long time in the fridge (pain a l'ancienne etc). The way I have been fermenting is based on what I learned from pizza making, namely a long room-temperature fermentation (the traditional Neapolitan pizza method). For white breads I do around 12 hours and up to 24 hours for whole wheat, always starting with a very small amount of yeast. I use active dry yeast in a very small amount and do not hydrate it in advance; it can take up to 12 hours for any rise to start (but, I have yet to have a failure). I like this technique because of its simplicity. The dough de facto gets a long autolyze step in the beginning due to the very low concentration of yeast. I have done some fridge fermentations, but don't particularly like doing it because of the longer time and need to pull it out to warm up, which gets me behind time-wise. I don't like the extra hassle of the biga/poolish/etc even though I am sure they work well. All I have to do is throw it in a bowl and do a stretch-and-fold every now and then.
I have read various posts here on the different methods and have heard mention of the advantages of the cold fermentation in the fridge vs a warmer one due to the yeast processes. I am also a beer maker and have clearly noticed the importance of fermentation temperature there. But, room-temperature in fact does lead to world-class beers in some styles. What I don't quite understand in the end is why there is not more focus on long, low-yeast, room-temperature fermentations since it seems to work very well to me and is incredibly easy. Has anyone every done a side-by-side test for example?
PS here is my latest concoction, "Mutt Loaf".
220 grams KA white bread flour 50%
44 grams each of rye spelt oat amaranth quinoa flour 10% each 50% total
366 grams water 83%
9 grams salt 2%
pinch (30 granules or so) active dry yeast