Once again, there is a wide difference of opinion among Bread Book authors. Most say that an autolyse is the combing of the flour and water (no yeast or salt ) mixing for 2 or 3 minutues and resting for a period, usually 15-30 minutes to begin the passive process of combining the glutenin and the gliadin to form the gluten. Later yeast and salt are added and the kneading begins. The authors state that because much of the gluten has already been developed , less kneading is required.
A few Bread Book authors, however, state that autolyse is the resting period after the incorporation of ALL of the dough ingredients and before the main kneading.
I seen to recall reading about a baker that claimed great success going with a 2 hour autolyse. He supposedly got a much more open crumb in his rustic Boulles.
Anyway, I´d very much like to hear of your experiences with autolyse. What method YOU use and the results you obtain.