The Fresh Loaf

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Can I leave an autolyse unrefrigerated overnight?

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AbeNW11's picture
AbeNW11

Can I leave an autolyse unrefrigerated overnight?

The last time I did a long autolyse I refrigerated it overnight. Trouble is one should bring it back to room temperature before adding the starter. Can I keep the autolyse at room temperature for 12 hours?

I have used all the water, from the recipe, plus an equal amount of flour. Tomorrow morning I plan to add the starter, which I've fed already, and rest of the flour. Then another autolyse of about 40min before kneading in the salt and proceeding onto the stretch and folds.

 

mwilson's picture
mwilson

We have touched upon this before have we not? Yes is the short answer. I utilise 12 hour autolyse at room temp as standard. But I do mine at 55% hydration. The long answer is that considerations need to made with the type of flour, hydration and temperature. Warm and wet, high ash flour degrades quicker than firm and cool, low ash flour. Additionally the use of a long autolyse works best in conjunction with firm starters as they contribute more to dough strength. An autolyse contributes extensibility. Strength (elasticity) and extensibility - It's a balancing act!

AbeNW11's picture
AbeNW11

We did talk about long autolyse but only about what autolyse exactly is, why it's recommended and if it should be done with or without the starter and salt. 

Basically we touched upon long autolyse with just the water and part of the flour and also with the fully formed dough plus starter but no salt. I've incorporated both. The overnight way and then another shorter one. 

But we didn't talk about doing the long autolyse at room temperature and if it's advisable. Last time I kept in the fridge but took a while to bring to room temperature which is inconvenient trying to time feeding and adding the starter.

This is going to be a 100% whole spelt at 66% hydration. I've done the autolyse at 100% hydration. Do you think fridge or room temp?

mwilson's picture
mwilson

Should be ok at room temp. There's only one way to find out.

AbeNW11's picture
AbeNW11

Starter has now been added plus rest if flour. Now resting for 45min before salt and stretch and folds etc. 

So far so good!

 

mixinator's picture
mixinator

Abe:

Out of curiosity, how much time elapses between your starter feeding and the start of your proofing?

AbeNW11's picture
AbeNW11

Feed starter and start autolyse: max 12hrs

Add active starter plus rest of flour and allow to rest for: 45min 

Add salt and start the stretch and folds. Completion: 1hr

Bulk Proofing: Now here is where more flexibility comes in. Depends, about average: 3-4hrs 

Shaping and final proofing: till doubled, about: 1.5-2hrs

 

golgi70's picture
golgi70

 Whole Spelt already has great extensibility. I would probably suggest against a 12 hour autolyse.  It's already done so I hope it comes together well but when i work with high % of Whole Spelt I keep to a very short autolyse for said reasons.    

Interested to see your results

Josh

AbeNW11's picture
AbeNW11

12 hours was too long. I also tried my hand at French kneading which was too much for the already 12 hour Autolysed Spelt. Let us just say there's no result for you to see.

On the plus side I did the French kneading quite well for the first time and it's better than stretch and fold but not so good for spelt. Spelt shouldn't be overworked - I've found.

golgi70's picture
golgi70

Sorry to hear it didn't at least turn out as a decent loaf.  It does make sense though.  Being that an autolyse among other virtues promotes extensibility in dough that Spelt doesn't require.  I find the best thing for 100% Spelt loaves is the use of a firm starter for the added strength and a very short autolyse.  In fact I've had best results at 20 minutes or skipping the autolyse all together.  That said my 100% Spelt loaves have been a work in progress.  While it doesn't tolerate fermentation and handling many decrease hydration to get it to stand up   While these result in good looking loaves I've found the eating qualities lack.  

The best 100% Spelt I've eaten (not made by me) was made at high hydration and baked in tins.  So my next attempt will be a cold bulk ferment at 100% hydration (fresh milled spelt) and baked in a pulllman/loaf pan.  

I use french kneading after I've built some strength via pinch/folds.  I think of it as speed 2 for hand mixing and save it for the latter part of the mix like we would in a machine.  For hand mixing it is the best means of incorporating air into the dough.  I wouldn't go as far to say it beats stretch and folds but is a great tool for developing dough by hand.  But I still follow with stretch and folds.  

Cheers

Josh

AbeNW11's picture
AbeNW11

I'm trying different things out and slowly narrowing it down to a perfect recipe. I've made adjustments following this weekends mistakes. The long autolyse is going and going back to the gentle stretch and folds for the spelt. I think French kneading will be better than stretch and folds for stronger! flours like wheat. Spelt should not be overworked, I've found. I do love the French kneading though and my next bread will be wheat as I've done loads of spelt recently.

Hopefully my next will be a success.

Jane Dough's picture
Jane Dough

Eric, at Breadtopia.com, makes a loaf that is 100% spelt that he leaves out overnight.  At other times he leaves it out all day and refrigerates it overnight.  Whatever way you do it, I have made it and it's delicious.  You could take a look at his video if this one didn't turn out to  your satisfaction.

 

AbeNW11's picture
AbeNW11

been a while since I came across it. I've been building my own recipes. Thanks for the advice and think i'll re-watch that video. Needless to say my weekend venture didn't turn out.