is autolyse technique effective ?

I have not practiced autolyse yet *
It sounds like it may be effective
from what I can gather, I plan to:

mix water and flour til it hydrates, around 2 minutes
let it sit for 15 minutes
add salt and yeast and finish mixing as usual…(.or is the yeast added with the flour and water ?) *see quote below

…let me know if I am in the ball park of doing this…
I assume it allows me to use more water with the same handling as before, with improved texture and finished crust

Otis :slight_smile:

*Autolyse - Autolyse is a fancy word that just means one simple thing. The flour and water should sit together for at least 20 minutes before kneading begins. It’s a CRITICAL step. Some say that you should mix just the flour and water together, then after 20 minutes add the salt and yeast, then mix. Others say you can add all the ingredients at the beginning. I have found very little difference.

Is this a followup to this thread?

not sure which other thread.

I wish it would highlight the links better.

PostPost subject: Re: DR Lehman bulk fermentation versus single fermentation Posted: Mon Dec 24, 2007 7:40 pm

Reply to topic Reply with quote

Yep, mixing just the flour and water together and letting it set for 45 minutes is just a waste of time. If you were to add yeast to the mix, then you would get some fermentation going on, and that would serve some useful purpose, however, 45 jminutes of fermentation time really isn’t enough to make a decent pizza crust. The overall, best flavor development comes from long, slow, fermentation, like the dough receives in the cooler over a 12 to 48 hour period of time.

Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor


The quote you cited comes from However, if you combine all of the ingredients as suggested by the quoted material, you do not technically have an autolyse as conceived by its originator, Professor Raymond Calvel. For more on this technique, see post #5 at the following thread: … l#post2416.

thank yo all

to me, there seems to be something to this autolyse, may be more pertinemnt to hand mixing
the major thing being less mixing/kneading time because of the natural hydration,
Tom Lehmann refers to it as biomechanical glutenation.

I wish I had practiced that in my years of hand mixing.

I will experiment with it some, but my take on a difference in the end product is beginning to wane


Otis, don’t mean 2 offend, but you always seem 2 be trying something “different”…I suffer from that malady as well, but have found Dave’s old faithful 2 be more than adequate…

I realize your cooling capacity is limited, as is mine…I’m quite satisfied w/my little tweaks…I use ice cold water and just a little more IDY…the only thing I might experiment in the future is something you might consider…

Still using ice cold water (I don’t cross stack) I might make a batch of dough just before closing and NOT put it in the cooler, but to floor proof until the morning & then cool…the only reason I’m considering this is my volume is out growing by cooler space…w/your trailer, this migh give you what yer lookin fer…

“I use ice cold water and just a little more IDY.”

thank you Patriot,
what temp water do you use and how much IDY ?
what off the mixer temperature do you get ? probably the most important thing

I am familiar with Big Dave’s Old Faithfull, think it is a pretty bullet proof formula
with the .23% IDY per his formula and cold water, would think you would need a long refrigerated proofing time

…as for me, I use
12.5% protein flour
61% water
2.75% salt
.45% IDY

…it’s cold here in the desert, 30 degrees F in my kitchen this morning, so I use warm, around 100 degrees water and come off the mixer in the 60’S…the water cools quickly as it touches the sides of the metal barrel mixer and the flour is cold

…I’ll be in FL for the Pizza Cruise in February…are you going ?
maybe see you then,

H20 Temp is straight from the cooler, overnite…

Use All Trumps…1.25 oz. IDY 14.25 Qts H2O (27ish#'s)

don’t care what temp it comes off the mixer, just mixer…mix 4 9 minutes…have used both a spiral mixer & hobart…never cross-stack, never oil…been doing this 4 yrs…can’t really use the dough until 2 days later…always have 2 floor proof for a few hrs…dough has lasted a week or more (in the past)…

currently I can only store 300 or so dough balls, so I may experiment next week with proofing prior to putting them in the cooler

little confused on your formula:

“Use All Trumps…1.25 oz. IDY 14.25 Qts H2O (27ish#'s)”

Assuming you use a 50 pound bag of All Trumps with 14.25 quarts of water, that would be 57%, Big Dave’s old Faithfull is 51% and his IDY is .21%, your IDY would be .16% at 50 pounds of dough…

Anyway, whatever you are doing is working for, that is good,
I would have gone with more water also, but more IDY as well…
when you up the IDY, how much more do you go up ?


It is my recollection that there were actually several versions of the Old Faithful dough recipe. Unfortunately, they are no longer available on this forum for us to see because they are in the old archives that we can no longer access. However, the last version I can recall–one that was used by Big Dave and Tom Lehmann at a NAPICS event in 2005–called for 60% hydration and 1% IDY, plus other values for the remaining ingredients that were markedly different from the earlier versions.

…Big Dave’s Old Faithful" formula is on the recipe bank here at PMQ…
I copied it below,


Back Cookbook Homepage Back to PMQ

Recipe Name: Big Dave’s ‘Old Faithful’ Dough Formula

Photo Not Supplied
Submitted By: Big Dave Ostrander
On: 11:59:39 04/11/2005

Prep Time:

46 lb. 100% High Gluten Flour (12% - 13% Protein)
7 oz (1.0%) Salt
9 oz. (1.2%) Sugar

1.0 oz (0.2%)Yeast (Instant Dry)
16 oz. (2.2%) Vegetable Oil
23.7 lb. (51.6%) Water (75°F)

How to Prepare:

  1. Accurately weigh out all ingredients.
  2. Pour water & sugar, salt in 60 qt. mixing bowl. Stir with wire whip. Let rest to dissolve and stir again.
  3. Pour in veg. oil and stir again.
  4. Pour in flour.
  5. Sprinkle Instant yeast on top of flour.
  6. Start mixer on low speed and mix for 10 minutes.

When dough has finished mixing place on worktable. Core temperature of dough should be close to 80 degrees. Cut dough balls to desired weights. Suggested weights:10â€


My recollection is that the recipe you copied was put into the Recipe Bank fairly late in the game, after Big Dave said that the recipe was in the Recipe Bank when it really wasn’t. However, Big Dave did not put in a later version. You can tell because the recipe calls for adding in the oil before the flour. He subsequently came to tell users that it was better to add the oil later, as Tom Lehmann recommends.

The NAPICS Old Faithful version I referred to earlier is this one:

100%, High-gluten flour (12-13% protein)
60%, Water
2%, Salt
3%, Sugar
1%, IDY
3%, Oil

this one is really slack compared to the original one on the recipe bank,
actually very different also,


You are correct. From my notes, the first version of the Old Faithful recipe was this one:

100%, High-gluten flour
51%, Water
0.95, Salt
1.22%, Sugar
0.27%, IDY
2.2%, Vegetable oil

Later, in response to an email I sent to Big Dave, he gave me the recipe you posted. The NAPICS version came after that. Maybe Dave was a bit loose with the nomenclature on that version.

Not too long ago, a friend asked Big Dave for the “Old Faithfulâ€

back in the day, when I used all my dough the next day, I used 3 oz. o IDY…really blew up fast…since then, 1.25 - 1.75 is all I ever use…even jumping from 1 - 1.25 is a 25% increase…I much prefer using 2 day old dough…the taste is there…plus, I use a lot more oil (48 oz) to help my dough brown & slap…beyond 14.25 qts of H2O the dough is quite sticky…you can let it “rest” & it will rehydrate a bit, but that is what works for me…some days, we make 3-4 batches of dough…can’t fool w/autolyse

Raymond Calvel in his book the taste of bread states that autolyse can only help with decrease mixing by 15%!!! 15% , well i do not know but my experience shows that autolyse is very helpfull in high hydration i allways use it

I am more interested in how using autolyse will affect the texture and flavor. What have you guys found? We are going to try it this week.

my thought are now that if hand kneading, it would be very helpful in making it easier and less time consuming…and hydration may be a little more,
with a machine mixer, it may be insignificant because of the scale and the fact that the mixer will have the force to mix it…I remember when I hand kneaded a lot anf how tight it would get…if I only knew then…
…I am still going to play around with it…I do 17 pound flour batches, the more pounds per batch, the less effect I think it will have…
Also, that time and temperature and introducing another variable and inconsistency
…the old economies of scale debate…my thoughts anyway,