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4 jars experiment, autolyse

#autolyse #experiment

I was pretty confident about this experiment. I thought FOR SURE this was going to go according to plan.

And then, well, I learned I have a lot more learning to do 😂

The autolyse.

Pronounced auto-lease (like leasing a car 😂) but I always say auto-lice because I learned about it through reading and that’s how I said it in my head and I can’t shake it 🤷‍♂️

In most basic terms a mix of just flour and water. No salt. No sourdough.

At a beginner’s level your taught that the purpose of an autolyse is to hydrate the the flour without the presence of salt. Salt moves water through osmosis to balance salinity so it can actually pull water from the flour as its hydrating. So for high hydration doughs, we’re taught to autolyse.

As you get more advanced in #sourdough , you learn the autolyse is so much more than that and it plays a huge role in kicking off enzymatic reaction.

The first enzymatic reaction we learn about breaking starch into sugar. That sugar is then accessible to the yeast and bacteria. These enzymes are Amylase (which break down starch into complex sugars (maltose and sucrose)), Maltase (which breaks maltose into glucose), and Invertase (which breaks sucrose into glucose and fructose). (See Bread Science by Emily Buehler)

This is what I was focused on in this experiment. Could I extract enough sugar from the autolyse to act like the jar I spiked with 10% sucrose?

No. I couldn’t. Because I forgot about Proteases, enzymes that break gluten.

You can clearly see that the control jar on the left and the one with even just a one hour autolyse acted differently. The autolyse couldn’t hold the gas because it was less strong.

Don’t worry! This isn’t happening like this in your bread. Proteases help break up the gluten to allow it to build more strength during mixing and folding, creating new, stronger bonds.

Some will argue this is actually the true point of the autolyse, to let the proteases do some work for you to help make a stronger loaf. What do you think?

All were fed 1:2:2 with 50/50 bread and wholemeal.

The 12 hour was mixed with warm water, then refrigerated, then brought up to the same temp as the others – 22C
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