...
Cerca
Close this search box.
Cerca
Close this search box.
Immagine copertina dell'articolo su Autolisi su Biancolievito

AUTOLYSE: EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT IT

Table of contents

WHAT IS AUTOLYSE

Autolyse has been used for years in everyday language when discussing bread, pizza, and leavened products.

Let’s see what Autolyse stands for. The suffix AUTO- indicates a process that takes place autonomously, and -LYSE instead indicates a separation or, rather, a break of something operated by enzymes (proteases).

Autolyse is a chemical process discovered by French chemist Raymond Calvel where proteins in flour are broken into smaller segments thanks to the action of some enzymes naturally present in flour. Therefore, the result is a shorter and less “tangled” protein structure, allowing more elastic gluten to form in a shorter time.

HOW TO AUTOLYSE THE DOUGH

Although the name is quite complicated, autolyse is simple, and we can identify 3 fundamental steps.

CREATION OF THE DOUGH

Mix the flour with the liquids in the recipe in this first step. In bread and pizza, these liquids can be water, eggs, milk, cream, etc., if you prepare a leavened dough for a pastry. For best results, I recommend you reach a hydration rate of about 55% – 58% of the flour weight (550gr/580gr of liquid for 1kg of flour), up to 65% in the case of wholemeal flour. If the recipe requires more liquids, add them in the following kneading stage.

In this phase, it is crucial:

DO NOT ADD YEAST: Whether using Fresh Yeast, Levain, or even Sourdough, it is essential not to add these ingredients during autolyse as their fermentation would strengthen the dough instead of making it more elastic.

DO NOT INSERT SALT: Salt (just like sugar) is an ingredient that can slow down or accelerate the activity of enzymes. If you add salt to the dough during autolyse, you greatly slow down the action of enzymes responsible for breaking down proteins in the flour, defeating all the advantages of this technique. The only case in which it is possible to add a little salt (about 0.1% on the flour weight) is for a particularly long autolyse, over 8 hours, as you will see).

This how the dough before the Autolyse looks like

How Long to Autolyse

Telling exactly how long to autolyse the dough does not make sense because it depends on many factors:

  • The Strength of Flour: A weak flour (W index around 260 with 10% of proteins) requires an autolyse for up to 20 minutes (at 20°C, or 68°F), whereas a strong flour will need more time, around 60 up to 80 minutes in case of particularly strong flour, such as Manitoba.
  • Temperature: If you leave the dough at room temperature between 20-22°C (68°F – 71°F), the autolyse time can extend to 8 hours (in case of particularly strong flours). On the contrary, you can opt for storage in the fridge at +4°C (39°F) for up to 24 hours. Working at room temperature and opting for an autolyse between 40 and 80 minutes is a very effective scheme in most cases.

Ensuring the dough has developed an excellent gluten mesh before proceeding to the next step is imperative. You can pick up a portion of dough and stretch it between hands until it forms a thin layer, which will not tear too easily. 

The dough after 40 minutes of Autolyse

FINAL DOUGH

Once ready, you can add all the other ingredients to the dough in their order and finish the recipe. You will notice that you will spend the dough quickly, starting with developed gluten.

WHEN TO AUTOLYSE THE DOUGH

Now that we know how to do it, it is helpful to understand when to autolyse can be a good technique to apply.

Despite the incredible hype that this technique arouses on the web, it is essential to know that alone is not the key to a perfect dough nor a universal solution to be adopted indiscriminately.

Let’s take a closer look at when it is helpful to autolyse the dough:

  • We work with Flour that is too strong: For example, we want to make homemade bread or a pizza, but we have strong flour (for example, Manitoba flour.)
  • Flour is very stiff (has a high P/l value): This aspect is perhaps less immediate for homemade recipes, but in some cases, such as a durum wheat semolina or wholemeal flour, you will notice that the dough will tend to be tough and not very elastic.
  • We need to make sure the gluten is elastic and well-developed: This is the case that mainly concerns the first dough of leavened products such as Panettone, Pandoro, and Colomba. In these cases, autolyse considerably shortens the kneading time to about 20 minutes.

An important aspect to remember, especially for bread made with medium-strength flour (such as Baguette or Ciabatta), is that an autolysed dough develops more elastic gluten and, therefore, a lesser thrust during baking. To improve this aspect, it’s essential to give more folds to the dough to recover its strength.

AUTOLYSE: PRACTICAL CASES

HOMEMADE BREAD AND PIZZA

  • If you use low-strength flour, autolyse is unnecessary; indeed, it is counterproductive.
  • For a Medium Strength Flour (with a protein content lower than 12%): Autolyse is not required, but it can positively affect the dough.
    • Autolyse the dough for about 30 minutes at 20-22°C (68-71°F)
    • If the recipe foresees a high content of Levain (40% – 50% of the flour weight), add it to the dough and autolyse for 20 minutes.
  • In case you use a strong flour (with a protein content between 12% and 14%): In this case, Autolyse can give a great advantage.
    • With Panettone Flour (W340-360, 14-16% protein): Autolyse for 60 minutes.
    • For Manitoba Flour: Allow 80 minutes of autolyse
    • For Wholemeal Flour: Increase the hydration of the initial dough to 65% (650 g water to 1 kg wholemeal flour) and autolyse for 40 minutes.

DOUGH FOR LEAVENED PRODUCTS 

  • Place the flour of the first dough (or the recipe, if working with just 1 dough) in a bowl or mixer.
  • Create an emulsion with the recipe’s liquids: Eggs, Yogurt, water, milk, cream, etc.
  • Weigh the emulsion at a rate of 55% of the weight of the flour: for 1kg of flour used, you will weigh 550gr of liquid emulsion
  • Mix the flour with the liquids until the dough is formed and the liquids are absorbed into the flour.
  • Cover with a plastic sheet and autolyse for 60minutes at room temperature (20-22°C, 68-71°F)

Share

6 comments about “Autolisi: Ecco tutto quello che devi sapere”

  1. Ciao!
    Potrebbe spiegare, per favore, come calculare l’idratazzione dell’impasto finale? Nel mio caso, voglio aggiungere un’altra quantità di biga (30% di farina totale p.e). Come devo modificare la ricetta tenendo in considerazione che la biga già ha certa idratazione?

    1. Semplicemente devi considerare l’acqua impiegata per la biga e sottrarla all’impasto iniziale.buon impasto

    2. Ciao Paolo,
      l’idratazione totale della ricetta è la somma di tutti i contributi di acqua sul peso della farina usata.
      Se usi una certa quantità di biga, questa porterà dell’acqua (in genere su 100gr di biga trovi 40gr di acqua)

      Se vuoi ottenere una idratazione target (es impasto al 90% di idratazione) devi:
      1) calcolare quanta acqua dovrà contenere l’impasto rispetto alla farina usata (su 1kg di farina, saranno 900gr)
      2) togliere l’acqua della biga: su 1kg di farina vuoi usare 300gr di biga e quindi (3*40gr=120gr di acqua portata dalla biga)
      3) calcolare quanta acqua ti resta da aggiungere nell’impasto: 900-120gr= 780gr

      A presto!

Lascia un commento

Your email address will not be published. I campi obbligatori sono contrassegnati *

Immagine copertina dell'articolo su Autolisi su Biancolievito

AUTOLYSE: EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT IT

Table of contents

WHAT IS AUTOLYSE

Autolyse has been used for years in everyday language when discussing bread, pizza, and leavened products.

Let’s see what Autolyse stands for. The suffix AUTO- indicates a process that takes place autonomously, and -LYSE instead indicates a separation or, rather, a break of something operated by enzymes (proteases).

Autolyse is a chemical process discovered by French chemist Raymond Calvel where proteins in flour are broken into smaller segments thanks to the action of some enzymes naturally present in flour. Therefore, the result is a shorter and less “tangled” protein structure, allowing more elastic gluten to form in a shorter time.

HOW TO AUTOLYSE THE DOUGH

Although the name is quite complicated, autolyse is simple, and we can identify 3 fundamental steps.

CREATION OF THE DOUGH

Mix the flour with the liquids in the recipe in this first step. In bread and pizza, these liquids can be water, eggs, milk, cream, etc., if you prepare a leavened dough for a pastry. For best results, I recommend you reach a hydration rate of about 55% – 58% of the flour weight (550gr/580gr of liquid for 1kg of flour), up to 65% in the case of wholemeal flour. If the recipe requires more liquids, add them in the following kneading stage.

In this phase, it is crucial:

DO NOT ADD YEAST: Whether using Fresh Yeast, Levain, or even Sourdough, it is essential not to add these ingredients during autolyse as their fermentation would strengthen the dough instead of making it more elastic.

DO NOT INSERT SALT: Salt (just like sugar) is an ingredient that can slow down or accelerate the activity of enzymes. If you add salt to the dough during autolyse, you greatly slow down the action of enzymes responsible for breaking down proteins in the flour, defeating all the advantages of this technique. The only case in which it is possible to add a little salt (about 0.1% on the flour weight) is for a particularly long autolyse, over 8 hours, as you will see).

This how the dough before the Autolyse looks like

How Long to Autolyse

Telling exactly how long to autolyse the dough does not make sense because it depends on many factors:

  • The Strength of Flour: A weak flour (W index around 260 with 10% of proteins) requires an autolyse for up to 20 minutes (at 20°C, or 68°F), whereas a strong flour will need more time, around 60 up to 80 minutes in case of particularly strong flour, such as Manitoba.
  • Temperature: If you leave the dough at room temperature between 20-22°C (68°F – 71°F), the autolyse time can extend to 8 hours (in case of particularly strong flours). On the contrary, you can opt for storage in the fridge at +4°C (39°F) for up to 24 hours. Working at room temperature and opting for an autolyse between 40 and 80 minutes is a very effective scheme in most cases.

Ensuring the dough has developed an excellent gluten mesh before proceeding to the next step is imperative. You can pick up a portion of dough and stretch it between hands until it forms a thin layer, which will not tear too easily. 

The dough after 40 minutes of Autolyse

FINAL DOUGH

Once ready, you can add all the other ingredients to the dough in their order and finish the recipe. You will notice that you will spend the dough quickly, starting with developed gluten.

WHEN TO AUTOLYSE THE DOUGH

Now that we know how to do it, it is helpful to understand when to autolyse can be a good technique to apply.

Despite the incredible hype that this technique arouses on the web, it is essential to know that alone is not the key to a perfect dough nor a universal solution to be adopted indiscriminately.

Let’s take a closer look at when it is helpful to autolyse the dough:

  • We work with Flour that is too strong: For example, we want to make homemade bread or a pizza, but we have strong flour (for example, Manitoba flour.)
  • Flour is very stiff (has a high P/l value): This aspect is perhaps less immediate for homemade recipes, but in some cases, such as a durum wheat semolina or wholemeal flour, you will notice that the dough will tend to be tough and not very elastic.
  • We need to make sure the gluten is elastic and well-developed: This is the case that mainly concerns the first dough of leavened products such as Panettone, Pandoro, and Colomba. In these cases, autolyse considerably shortens the kneading time to about 20 minutes.

An important aspect to remember, especially for bread made with medium-strength flour (such as Baguette or Ciabatta), is that an autolysed dough develops more elastic gluten and, therefore, a lesser thrust during baking. To improve this aspect, it’s essential to give more folds to the dough to recover its strength.

AUTOLYSE: PRACTICAL CASES

HOMEMADE BREAD AND PIZZA

  • If you use low-strength flour, autolyse is unnecessary; indeed, it is counterproductive.
  • For a Medium Strength Flour (with a protein content lower than 12%): Autolyse is not required, but it can positively affect the dough.
    • Autolyse the dough for about 30 minutes at 20-22°C (68-71°F)
    • If the recipe foresees a high content of Levain (40% – 50% of the flour weight), add it to the dough and autolyse for 20 minutes.
  • In case you use a strong flour (with a protein content between 12% and 14%): In this case, Autolyse can give a great advantage.
    • With Panettone Flour (W340-360, 14-16% protein): Autolyse for 60 minutes.
    • For Manitoba Flour: Allow 80 minutes of autolyse
    • For Wholemeal Flour: Increase the hydration of the initial dough to 65% (650 g water to 1 kg wholemeal flour) and autolyse for 40 minutes.

DOUGH FOR LEAVENED PRODUCTS 

  • Place the flour of the first dough (or the recipe, if working with just 1 dough) in a bowl or mixer.
  • Create an emulsion with the recipe’s liquids: Eggs, Yogurt, water, milk, cream, etc.
  • Weigh the emulsion at a rate of 55% of the weight of the flour: for 1kg of flour used, you will weigh 550gr of liquid emulsion
  • Mix the flour with the liquids until the dough is formed and the liquids are absorbed into the flour.
  • Cover with a plastic sheet and autolyse for 60minutes at room temperature (20-22°C, 68-71°F)

Share

6 comments about “Autolisi: Ecco tutto quello che devi sapere”

  1. Ciao!
    Potrebbe spiegare, per favore, come calculare l’idratazzione dell’impasto finale? Nel mio caso, voglio aggiungere un’altra quantità di biga (30% di farina totale p.e). Come devo modificare la ricetta tenendo in considerazione che la biga già ha certa idratazione?

    1. Semplicemente devi considerare l’acqua impiegata per la biga e sottrarla all’impasto iniziale.buon impasto

    2. Ciao Paolo,
      l’idratazione totale della ricetta è la somma di tutti i contributi di acqua sul peso della farina usata.
      Se usi una certa quantità di biga, questa porterà dell’acqua (in genere su 100gr di biga trovi 40gr di acqua)

      Se vuoi ottenere una idratazione target (es impasto al 90% di idratazione) devi:
      1) calcolare quanta acqua dovrà contenere l’impasto rispetto alla farina usata (su 1kg di farina, saranno 900gr)
      2) togliere l’acqua della biga: su 1kg di farina vuoi usare 300gr di biga e quindi (3*40gr=120gr di acqua portata dalla biga)
      3) calcolare quanta acqua ti resta da aggiungere nell’impasto: 900-120gr= 780gr

      A presto!

Lascia un commento

Your email address will not be published. I campi obbligatori sono contrassegnati *

it_IT

Restiamo in contatto

Iscriviti alla Newsletter di Biancolievito!

Niente spam o offerte promozionali…Promesso!