06 March 2011

Whole Wheat Epis feat. Wrongful Autolyse-ing

Last time I made the whole wheat epis loaf, the dough was really wet and sticky, and it didn't form the proper wheat stalk shape. I believe I'd tried to add more water at the time (to make up for the use of only whole wheat flour), but I think because it was so sticky I ended up adding a matching amount of flour anyway.

This time I used the autolyse method -- where, just after mixing the ingredients, you let the dough rest for 20 minutes to let the flour fully absorb the liquid -- except I hadn't read enough to know that you're supposed to autolyse with ONLY flour and water, not with the yeast and salt already in the mix. So while it firmed up the dough and made it more manageable and shapeable, it may have been more detrimental to the fermentation process.

The rise in the fridge this time was about 18 hours. Halfway through that, I folded in sundried tomatoes and sunflower seeds again. The loaf is a lot smaller. The holes inside aren't quite as big and the flavour not quite as exciting as the last time when I let it rise for two days. Maybe because the autolyse killed the yeast too quickly? I don't know enough about the science of it yet. The more I learn about baking bread the more potential there is to screw it up. There is SO MUCH to learn. Actually, this seems to be a pretty good place for some learning. This also fills in a few gaps.

All in all though, the bread is fine. It seems nearly impossible to make inedible bread.

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