- My question: How do you calculate the value to give to the friction factor when you are planning to do an autolyse?For instance here on my mixer I use a friction factor of 22 for the amount of dough I usually make (2 lbs). If I do an autolyse, since the temperature in my house is on the cool side (between 62 and 64 during the cold months), I know the dough is going to cool as it waits for the autolyse to be over. Is there a rule of thumb to apply to the calculation?
- Jeff’s reply: I don’t know any firm rule of thumb about the friction factor for autolyse—of course the coolness or warmness of the environment will have a greater or lesser impact. That said, it’s something we have to work out for our own environment, and likely the friction factor will change with the seasons consequently. I generally go between 12 and 15˚F
- Write down the temperatures of the air, the water (using water at between 65 and 75 F) and the flour prior to mixing a straight dough (that is, without preferments. If using a preferment such as a poolish, you’ll need to record its temperature as well)
- Mix dough as usual
- Take the dough temperature
- If the dough temperature is for instance 76F, then multiply 76 by 3 (since we already know the temperatures of three of the elements to take into consideration), in this case: 228 (if using a preferment, multiply by 76 x 4)
- Then substract the air, flour and water temperatures (as well as the preferment temperature if using)
- What’s left is the temperature increase resulting from the friction, in other words the value of the friction factor for your mixer.
It is good to remember that:
- The more dough there is in the bowl of the mixer, the lower the friction factor
- Wetter doughs (for instance ciabatta dough) generate less friction than dry doughs (such as challah dough), so for ciabatta up the water temperature by 5 F (do the opposite for challah).
- Autolyse: resting period following the incorporation of water and flour (and sometimes starter or yeast but no salt), allowing the gluten to start developing on its own prior to the beginning of the mixing process. This technique makes it possible to shorten the mixing, thus reducing the incorporation of oxygen into the dough which helps with the flavor and the crumb structure
- Poolish: a portion of water and flour mixed (usually in the same proportions) with a pinch of yeast and allowed to ferment before its incorporation into the final dough
“Thank you, Dr. Gersten. Good morning, President Megahed, Board of Trustees, Faculty, Family, Friends, and good morning to you, Class of 2008.”
“Do you remember your first day at Kendall? I do. My whites have never been whiter, I was carrying around a huge yellow tool box filled with mystery tools, and I didn’t know a soul. It was first grade, all over again.”
“Looking back on that first day, I realize that we students weren’t students. We were really ingredients. . .let’s say, flour, water, yeast and salt…and we all were going to be made into bread.”
“It didn’t matter whether we had come to Kendall to study Early Childhood Education, Business and Hospitality, Culinary or Baking and Pastry. We were about to be made into bread.
We had already been “scaled,” carefully selected from the large pool of applicants to Kendall. Now we were ready to be “mixed” into classes. Baking and Pastry students were lucky because theirs had wonderful sounding names like “Chocolate” and “Sugar,” “Artisan Bread” and “Breakfast Pastries.””
“In our classes, we began to “ferment.” We learned how to work together. Flour, salt, yeast and water are all wonderful ingredients but not one of them does much on its own. However, if you combine them, you can make all sorts of wonderful breads: sourdough rye, whole wheat bread or even a perfect baguette. “Ingredients” working together make the final product that much better.”
“And as we “fermented” in our classroom kitchens, we formed a strong “gluten network,”…oops, I mean, we formed strong ties with other students and instructors.”
“Sometimes, we made mistakes, left something out of the recipe, but we didn’t quit because we were determined to “rise.””
“And all along, our instructors “kneaded” us carefully. They made certain that the knowledge we learned in the classroom and kitchen was completely “developed.””
““Stretching” and “folding” came next—commonly called quizzes, tests, portfolios and projects. All of them were meant to prove us worthy of a degree from Kendall.”
“Our instructors pushed us hard—sometimes very hard—to be organized, efficient, and creative. They expected us to think outside the box and to try again and again and again until we truly understood what we were doing. Sometimes, members of the faculty, you believed in us more than we believed in ourselves, and we would like to thank you for that.”
“Then it was time for us to be “divided” and “pre-shaped” according to our interests: here a pastry chef, there a savory chef. And of course, more “kneading,” “stretching,” and “folding”—just can’t seem to get away from that “stretching” and “folding.””
“Oh, once in a while, on vacations, we were allowed to “bench rest.” But more often than not, we were busy gaining valuable work experience, whether on an internship or by taking part-time employment.”
“Internships allowed us to put into use what we had learned in the classroom. The reputation of Kendall is so high that many of us were able to intern in the best restaurants, hotels and schools Chicago has to offer. This experience helped us to decide where we wanted to go after graduation, and Kendall College made it possible.”
“Finally, at long last, we were “shaped” and ready! We were put in the “oven” for a final round of exams and came out as you see us now: beautiful, delicious, and crusty!”
“Today is a day to look back on how much we’ve learned. We are leaving here different from when we arrived as individual “ingredients.” We’ve gained knowledge and skills to put with our passion and energy, and in the process we have become a part of something bigger.”
“We will take with us memories of the many opportunities that the faculty and staff of Kendall College have given us: the opportunity to take chances, the opportunity to fall flat on our faces every once in awhile, but most importantly, the opportunity to succeed in the professions that we love.”
“Students of the Class of 2008, many of us could not have succeeded without the support of family and friends. We have all benefited from the excellent teaching of our instructors and the unfailing assistance of the staff at Kendall College. I’d like to take a moment for all of us to stand up and thank everyone who has helped us along the way.”
“Thank you, Kendall!
Good luck, everyone!”