Home Bread-Bakers v103.n047.23

Another technique for the idlers amongst us.

Tue, 28 Oct 2003 14:33:39 EST
Hi All

Today's lesson is all about extended room-temperature autolyse rests 
(Snappy title, don't you think?).

The method is something I stumbled upon purely by chance and I don't know, 
and, frankly, can't be bothered to find out where, if anywhere, this 
technique has been or is being used so please don't tell me that Marcel 
Topinambour makes this bread in his Boulangerie in Tours where it's called 
Pain Sauvage.<g>

This technique does not reduce the elapsed time required to make a bread, 
it just reduces the effort and baker's time input during the making.

The background.

A few weeks ago I was making a batch of my standard, light, soft(ish) crust 
daily "workhorse" bread and had just roughly mixed the main dough, after a 
short poolish, when I was called away by a friend's sudden illness. The 
roughly mixed dough was just covered tightly on the way out and, by the 
time we'd sorted out our friend's problems and driven home, it was 1 am and 
I thought "Sod it, the bread can take its chances!", too tired even to put 
the mix in the fridge, and went to bed. I got up next morning and found a 
bubbly, sour smelling, ooze which mixed relatively smoothly, certainly 
smoother than I usually consider ready to go into Stretch 'n' Fold, with 
elasticity already present, after just a half dozen strokes of the spoon.

So I just carried on as if I had mixed the dough for a few minutes, after a 
normal, 20 minutes  or so, autolyse rest, and the result was a superb, 
light, elastic, holey crumb with a thin crust and more flavour than usual, 
all of it good. More elasticity than usual as well which made the first, 
tricky, Stretch 'n' Fold piss easy.

I've since run the bread 3 more times with excellent results.

I've posted the recipe separately but the method has obvious applications 
for many high hydration doughs.