A Salty Question
I did the final build on a batch of sourdough last night from my 100% hydration starter. Component calculations were done with JMonkey's Excel spreadsheet (thank you!), and for reference here's my batch build:
100% Hydration Starter: 810g (used two expansions from initial 50g)
50/50 KAF AP & KAF Bread Flour: 987g
I mixed it all briefly leaving aside the salt, and set it aside to autolyse (is that word a verb or a noun?) for 30 minutes before going on with kneading. The dough was extremely wet and sticky even after nearly 20 minutes of "wet dough stretch and fold" (as best I could) modeled on Bertinet's wet dough video. The dough just would not come together, and I decided it was time to put it down for fermentation. I planned to give it several more stretch and folds as it fermented.
Then I noticed I had left out the salt! I put the dough back on the slab, stretched it out and sprinkled the salt over it, folded it up and started working again. The dough came together within just a few strokes, and matured rapidly into a very nice ball of tackey but silkey smooth dough that was easy to form up.
This is not explained by anything I've read so far about the actions of salt in dough. Did this have anything to do with the salt, or was it because of the few minutes of rest the dough got as I was washing my bowl for fermentation?