Commercial Yeast - Retardation - Flavor
Most of my breads are made with sourdough. When this type of dough is retarded the flavor profile changes noticeably in relationship to the length of cold fermentation.
It seems commonly accepted among most bakers that a commercially yeasted dough will also reap a flavor benefit from retardation. I have believed this from my earliest years of baking. Both breads and pizza doughs are said to benefit in flavor from varying lengths of cold fermentation.
Recently a comment posted by Doc challenged my previous thinking. He claimed that retardation of commercially yeasted dough had no affect on the flavor of the bread. This statement was shocking. In an attempt to learn the truth a call was placed to Lesaffre (makers of SAF yeast) and a seemingly experienced baker told me that bread flavor was enhanced in proportion to the amount of time it fermented at cold temps. He laid my concern to rest (for a while).
4 days ago a batch of Bouabsa Baguettes which use Commercial Yeast were mixed with enough dough to bake 3 baguettes. The bake is posted HERE. The first baguette retarded 24 hr, the second - 48, and the last 72 hr. To my surprise all 3 loaves tasted extremely similar with little (maybe none) change in complexity of taste.
Has anyone else tried a similar test?
If so, what were your findings?
I appreciate your input,