Long fermentation benefits
It is often claimed that long fermentation makes bread better. I wonder what aspects of long fermentation are actually important?
- Acidity. With both sourdough, and in lower degree (but maybe even more importantly in that case) with CY, longer fermentation would lead to accumulation of acidity in the dough, and to an extent that is certainly a benefit.
- Gluten development, and later partial breakdown? Development just through time is certainly a factor for the baker, but not so much for the final product: it'll change the crumb structure compared to development up-front, but whether it's a benefit is a question of taste. Partial gluten breakdown might be considered a benefit, if it is to be believed that it's easier to digest in that state.
- Any other benefits of long fermentation? For example, does just letting the flour sit in contact with water for a long time, even without any yeast/LABs/etc bring any benefits flavour-wise, forgetting about gluten for a minute? Would enzymes in the flour generate more flavour, except sugar that would feed the yeast?
Why I am thinking about this, is CLAS is supposed to bring excellent quality, but much faster, by bringing acidity and other fermentation flavours. This way one can make a bread with a relatively large amount of yeast and quickly, and still get a lot of flavour. But I am wondering if this process would miss out on some other benefits of long fermentation?