Newbie pain a l'ancienne questions
Just getting into BBA, and I can see that the pain a'lancienne technique has immense potential. I do have a few questions, which I'm hoping y'all seasoned veterans can help me with.
1. Does it matter if AP flour, bread flour, or a combo are used? How does it change the results?
2. How long can the dough stay in the fridge and still give good results (I'm wondering if 24, 48, or even 72 hours is OK)?
3. Any need or advantage to letting the baguettes proof on the pan before going in the oven? Reinhart seems to leave proofing of the formed loaves out, but can it help?
4. Reinhart call for "19 to 24 ounces" of water. This is a tremendous range of hydration percentages, from 70 to 89 percent! What is the optimal hydration for this dough?
5. My experience with Bittman/Lahey's bread shows that a wet dough with a long autolyse (and l'ancienne definitely is one) needs very little "kneading", just a good preliminary mixing. Does the pain a l'ancienne really need the kneading in the mixer?
Thanks you all in advance for your help!