Is it recommended to increase my autolyze times when using freshly milled wheat?
I use freshly milled and milled-2 week-ago flour and have not noticed a difference. WW, no matter the source, needs a soaking time to allow the bran bits to absorb water.
Yes, but is your soaking time significantly longer than breads made from white flour or lesser percentages of ww flour?
Usually I let mine soak over night. But, I, also would like to know if there is a lesser time that is just as good - like down to hours.
overnight! wow. what are you looking for to tell you your autolyze is complete?
I usually do overnight just so that it is ready first thing in the morning when I want to make bread. If I start soaking my flour, and I know I won't beable to get to making the bread for at several hours (like night time) I will place it in the fridge. But, I think the minimal time of allowing it to autolyse is probably 2 hours with good results.
I mill wheat and produce wholemeal loaves on a weekly basis. I generally autolyse for one hour minimum. Freshly milled flour seems to be thirstier and take longer to hydrate so the extra time is desirable. You may autolyse for less time but more intensive mixing will be required.
I am asuming your not adding starter or yeast into the autolyse?
I have also autolysed overnight and added salt or used coldwater to slow down any enzyme activity which can cause havoc with a dough further down the track (ie. dough starts to become runny)
Visual signs aren't really there but if you feel the dough and stretch a small piece of it, it should feel smoother and more elastic than when you first combined the flour and water.
Hope this helps ...CheersPhil
The recipe, a ww sourdough boule from the LaBrea Bakery book, calls for the starter to be added before the autolyze. Given this, would you recommend I autolyze without the starter for an hour or so,nthen add the starter and let it continue its soak for the 20 minutes of autolyzing the recipe calls for?
Sorry I don't know the formula ...
What kind of starter are you using? If it is a stiff/firm starter I would leave it out and autolyse as I mentioned above.
Liquid starters are a bit different as they can contain a large amount of the total water used in the formula. So liquid starters are generally added to the autolyse .... If using a liquid starter then maybe reduce the autolyse times to around 30mins and give the dough a good knead then watch the dough like a hawk during the rest of the processes ... everything happens quicker with wholegrains ... especially freshly milled.
Maybe try and keep the dough temperature a few degrees cooler as well ... just a thought.
Great advice. The starter is kept at 100% hydration so I'll autolyze for 30 minutes and keep my eyes on the dough during the knead. I find that my kitchen must be hot, as my proofing times are usually considerably less than suggested in most recipes I follow. Perhaps that new brod & taylor proof box can help bring those proof times to a predictable level.