when autolyses kill
Today I mixed an autolyse and it was a little dry (467g unbleached white AP flour, 200g water), and I got to talking and left it for an hour instead of the usual 1/2 hour. The dryness of the autolyse was a result of having a poolish already and going for a specific hydration - that's the flour and water I had to work with. Anyway, what happened was that the autolyse became like a resilient putty. I couldn't get it to blend into the poolish. What a disaster. I tried putting the whole lumpy mess on the mixer with water and a paddle to make it into a solution and then add enough flour again to get back to my hydration level. I never got beyond pea sized lumps of autolyse distributed throughout the dough. I don't want to throw it away, I'm going to do some stretch and fold and hope for the best, but this was a learning experience for me.