The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Cutting back salt when using olives

bredtobake's picture

Cutting back salt when using olives

Hi fellow bread bakers,

I've just recently become enamoured with artisan  bread baking, starting with Peter Reinharts BBA, and now I'm working on a formula from Tartine Bread. Still rather a newbie, I was hoping someone could give me some advice regarding the salt content of the bread.

I am working with the standard country bread formula - 65% hydration, 8:1 white/whole wheat flour, and calling for 2% salt. The olive loaf version calls for additional olives (oil curred black), herbes de provence, and lemon zest. I opted for some really nice nicoise olives at the market, but they are salty, and so I was wondering if it would be a good idea to cut-back or forgo all together the salt in the recipe.

Any advise is appreciated. I'm hoping to post some photos of the final product in a couple days.



azmar's picture

I would choose to cut back on the salt rather than omit it. I just made an olive bread with around 35% olives (adapted from this recipe: I used around 1.25% salt, which turned out perfect for me.

You could maybe try between 1 to 1.5% to start with and adjust it further in the next bake.

When it comes to salt, I'd rather err on the low side. You can always add more at eating time, whereas trying to remove it... =P

aytab's picture

Whenever I bake with olives I always soak them for a couple of days in fresh water, changing the water several times a day, to try and lower the salt in them.  I love the flavour of olives but I always find them to be to salty for my taste so I try and get the salt out as much as possible and then just use my normal amount that my recipe calls for.




bredtobake's picture

I cut out the salt and the bread turned out well, but the problem with this approach (or benifit, I guess, depending on your taste) is that you only get a taste of salt when you bite into the olive. I'll try aytab's approach next time. I think that the yeast still developed the flavor from a slower fermentation, which I know the salt helps control. I did my bulk rise at 90F (above a warm pizza stone) and then shapped and final rised in a cold room.