Questions on using old dough
For the past two months I’ve been making bread with a 100% hydration sourdough starter. Thanks to discovering this forum I’ve read quite a few tips & tricks that have helped me evolve my process and get to the point where I can make a pretty decent loaf. Nonetheless, since I’m basically preparing the same bread every day I’ve been thinking about trying to use old dough, which seems to be the approach at the artisan bakery in the small village that is nearby.
What I am hoping to achieve using old dough is to reduce the amount of time necessary to develop the flavor that I like. Every day I prepare 800g of sourdough at 60% hydration using my 100% hydration starter. The amount of starter that I use is normally 20% (baker’s percentage). It’s a basic dough consisting of flour, water and salt - no yeast or diastatic malt, and the whole process starts off with a one-hour autolyse.
I’ve come up with the following process and since I’m still a bread baking rookie I have questions and doubts on whether the approach is feasible and some other details. So here’s what I’m thinking:
1. Prepare 1100g dough in the morning (around 07:00)
2 . After the autolyse, kneading and bulk fermentation, use 800g to make bread and set aside the other 300g in a cool place in the house (temperature between 15 and 18 degrees centigrade).
Q1. Based on making an 800g boule or bâtard, is 300g an adequate amount of old dough?
Q2. When making the initial batch of dough, should I use a higher percentage of the 100% hydration starter (30 or 40%)?
Q3. Should I put the reserved (old) dough into the refrigerator instead of leaving it in a cool place until the next day?
3. Around 22:30 (before going to bed) mix 500g flour with 300g cold water and let it autolyse overnight.
Q4. Does this make sense? I’m considering this to save time in the morning by a) already having the autolyse complete, and b) not having to make my brain work so hard by forcing it to measure ingredients before I have a substantial amount of coffee in my system ;-)
4. The next morning, between 07:00 and 07:15 add the 300g of dough from the previous day and 10g of salt to the 800g of flour/water mixture that autolysed overnight. Then knead so that bulk fermentation starts no later than 07:30, and once it’s complete, reserve 300g for the next day to start the process all over again.
Q5. Am I correct in my understanding that the old dough is sufficiently fermented so that I no longer need to add any of my 100% hydration starter?
5. The bread needs to go into the oven no later than 12:00.
Q6. Is this timing feasible? If not, then
Q7. would I need to add some baker’s yeast to make it feasible? If so, then
Q8. how much?
Q9. If I do use baker’s yeast, would I get any benefit from adding diastatic malt?
Q10. If I don’t use baker’s yeast, would I get any benefit from adding diastatic malt?
If you remove the questions from that process description, it really looks very simple. That’s what concerns me. Can it be that simple and still produce a good loaf of sourdough bread?
Looking forward to your feedback and any other considerations that I should be taking into account.