Autolyse

20 May 2024 | Works

The power of pause

In bread baking, autolyse is a period of resting, after flour and water have been mixed together, before adding other ingredients such as salt and yeast. Developed by Raymond Calvel, a French bread expert and professor of baking, autolyse shortens the kneading process, improves flavour and colour, makes the dough more extensible and easier to shape, and fills the dough with air and gases during fermentation, providing the optimal volume.

Recently, I’ve been baking when I’m not painting. I started to bake bread because I wanted to eat Japanese toast. While studying the recipe, I came across this unfamiliar term. Curiosity triggered.

Especially for French baguette, I learned, autolyse is important. High-gluten flour, no butter, just flour, water, salt and yeast — here, autolyse can help (but not guarantee) to make the most delicious bread.

I found it very inspiring and wise to apply this method also to my living. We all know the idea: take a break, take a deep breath, relax.

This is how this bread head came to be. The perfect, crispy crust, and the delicious texture inside. Give your brain some autolyse! It will give you a delicious and wonderful result for whatever you’re currently busy with. This is the power of pause!

PS: Unfortunately, when I tried baking bread with the autolyse method, I did not get such beautiful air bubbles. Maybe something was wrong with my technique, or I used the wrong yeast or flour? I’ll just go back to painting, with paint and brush I know how to get the most tasty result!

BEHIND THE SCENES...

THIS IS WHAT THIS PAINTING COULD LOOK LIKE ON YOUR WALL

Something a bit old, but the ideas are still new