The Fresh Loaf

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Autolyse or the 'all in method? for machine mixing

bakeyourownAU's picture

Autolyse or the 'all in method? for machine mixing

Hey there TFL community,

How's it going? I hope all is well :) 

I've got a question that's been on my mind lately and thought I'd ask here to find answers :) 

Recently, I've seen many sourdough bakers who are machine mixing utilizing the 'all in one method' whereby they put all their ingredients in the bowl, then mix on low speed for a couple of mins, then put it up two second speed and mix the dough until gluten is formed, usually to about 75%. They do not do an autolyse. When asked why they dont autolyse, the primary response is 'autolyse is to build gluten in weak flours and make it easier for handmixing, but when machine mixing, the machine does it for you, so no need to autolyse'.

What do you think in regards to this?

I've tried the all in one method a couple of days ago and got great oven spring in my pan sourdough loaves, havent tested it on my boules and batards though. 

I'd love to hear your thoughts.

Best Regards,

albacore's picture

The autolyse will reduce mixing time, but as you say, if you have a mixer, preferably spiral, that doesn't matter too much.

But it definitely gives the dough more extensibility, which can be a big help when you are shaping, especially stitching.

I never used to bother, but now I normally give it about 40 minutes.

Maybe less mixing will also give less dough oxidation, but I'm not an expert on the pros and cons of that.



dmsnyder's picture

Autolyse was "invented" by Prof. Raymond Calvel in the 1950's as a way to develop gluten well without intensive mechanical mixing. At that time, intensive machine mixing was used in French bakeries to save time, increase loaf volume and whiteness of their breads.  The cost was tasteless breads due to oxidation of flavor-carrying pigments in the wheat flour. Water and flour was mixed and let rest for 20-60 minutes before salt and yeast were added. (Salt competes with flour for water and tightens gluten bonds. Yeast starts fermentation.)

So, autolyse originally had absolutely nothing to do with hand/non-mechanical mixing, only mechanical mixing.

Personally, I use it for most of my breads, except for highly enriched breads and high-percentage rye breads. I think it results in gentler handling overall.


Benito's picture

I think allowing gluten to form is a secondary benefit of autolyse and not the primary one.  Allowing the flour and bran to fully hydrate is probably the number one reason to autolyse, this is particularly important with higher whole grain breads in general.  Another reason to autolyse is to allow time for the grain amylases to start working on breaking down some of the starches into sugars that the microbes need to use to multiple and produce the gases and flavour compounds for our bread.


JonJ's picture

At higher hydration the all in one method gave me a slurry that wouldn't run clean. So, I always got that puddle at the bottom of the mixing bowl. And if it starts off like that it remains very difficult to work into a bread although the final loaf may eventually be quite nice handling needs more skill.

This is less of a problem, or not a problem if I autolyse first.