Autolyse vs Not
Good morning folks,
As most of you know I just created a sourdough starter about a month ago, this 100% hydration starter has been doing very well with a 2.5-3X rise in a jar daily, I feed it with 80% KA AP and 20% dark rye once a day, it peaks in about 6-8 hours and stay peaked for 3-4 hours before receding. I have tested it with a small dough with a 70% hydration which represents my main dough (I use KA 75% bread & KA 25% whole grain) that I make weekly, and it would triple in 4-6 hours. Everything I have seen indicates my starter may not be the strongest but should be strong enough to leaven bread. Okay, that is out of the way, so I can discuss a problem I have with it.
I usually autolyse the dough with just flour and water for about 3-6 hours, if I am not busy doing something else, I usually catch it and stop it around the 3 hour mark, but nothing less, as I find the long soak of the 25% whole grain seems to help soften it. Okay with this approach, my dough fermentation (bulk) takes forever, in about 12 hours on the countertop with a dough temp around 75-85 F (I use a thermal pad), the dough barely rise to 50%, and the final proof takes like 7 hours to rise to 1.5X. Needless to say, something seems wrong with it, and obvious blame would be the starter, too weak it would seem. Okay not so fast with the following approach.
If i bypass the autolyse process and mix the flour, water, starter, and salt right from the getgo, the dough would double in about 8 hours for bulk fermentation. As a result, I think I have pinpoint the problem to the long autolyse which it does not seem to make sense, as I have seen people doing a long autolyse without a problem.
Does this make any sense to you folks? I am lost as it does not seem to make any sense to me at the moment.