A Stir The Pots Post


by | Jul 2, 2014 | Bread

Well known among avid bakers, autolyse is a process of mixing water and flour in ways that activate enzymes that degrade proteins and soften gluten, in effect pre-kneading the dough. While adding steps, it actually shortens the baker's work, making for a more manageable extensible dough and better bread. 

A recent article on autolyse in Jarkko Laine's online Bread Magazine magazine jogged my memories of baking school lectures, and inspired me to review my own usage of this bread baking step, the pay offs being more perfect crumb and crust.  Currently I've found negatives and pluses in the local flour I'm using with this technique. In future posts, I will report back on the effects, good and bad.




  1. Bryan Truitt

    Differences I notice:
    The dough feels more extensible when I stretch it during the bulk fermentation. I have not noticed a significant difference in the texture of the crumb, but haven’t done many comparisons because I always autolyse now.
    The raw dough tastes significantly sweeter at the end of the autolyse. I believe this is due to amylase enzmes converting starches into sugars. I have extended my autolyse times to 3-4 hours (I autolyse and prepare the leaven simultaneously) and the finished loaf tastes subtly sweeter.
    I always use freshly milled whole grain and usually ferment around 80 degrees F, so the fermentation with the leaven added is quite short and the bread is never sour.

  2. Jarkko Laine

    Thanks for the mention, Jeremy! Looking forward to reading more of your autolyse posts.


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