The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Add salt to overnight autolyse?

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scottsourdough's picture
scottsourdough

Add salt to overnight autolyse?

So I've read that sometimes people add salt to soakers to constrain certain enzyme activity. Here's a post that taks about a lot of those specifics: http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/17415/baguettes-l039ancienne-cold-retardation. From what I understand, you would only want to add salt to a soaker if it contains flour, not just seeds.


My question is wouldn't it make sense then to add salt to overnight autolyses? I've been working with Don D's baguette formula specifically lately: http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/17415/baguettes-l039ancienne-cold-retardation

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

To add salt to an autolysis, defeats the purpose of autolysing the flour, and that is, to allow the flour to absorb all the water and form gluten.  Salt competes for the water on the molecular level and also tightens protein bonding, but that protein bonding should be done first without the presence of salt.  



If the room temps are warm as in summer, then yes.  If there is a lot of outer grain material or whole grain flour, yes.  If you are trying to improve the gluten and flavor of a flour? no.   



Some seeds can effect the dough and that is why they are often soaked separately, drained and added after the initial dough mixing.  Letting the seeds soak in salty water that is discarded can throw off salt calculations and I suspect remove some food value from cracked seeds and grains.  Be sure to check info on your seeds and the best way to soak them, some soak better in hot water, others cold.  Experiment and see for yourself what works for you.