The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts


Dot's picture


Help!  I had just started measuring and mixing my ingredients together to make  a couple of wholewheat loaves when I was interupted by a phone call.  I then could not remember if I'd already added the 1 tbsp. of salt called for in the recipe. I figured a loaf without salt would be tasteless so I took a chance and added a tbsp.  Now I'm worried that I may have ruined the bread if there is now 2 tbsp. salt in it as I know it does something to the gluten. (I'm not well versed on the science of breadmaking).  I don't want to waste time continuing making and baking this bread if it will end up inedible. Shall I take a chance?  I guess it can always go out to the birds and squirrels!

Doc.Dough's picture

If it tastes too salty, it is too salty.

wally's picture

taste the dough before you add more salt.  No need to guess....the dough will let you know.


meirp's picture

I usually just let the answering machine / voicemail answer calls. I highly recommend it. Aside from that I try to always add ingredients in the same order each time I make bread. I always leave the salt for last. I leave the salt teaspoon in a certain place until I've used it; then I move it out of the way. That way I know if I've already added the salt. Probably sounds obsessive-compulsive, but otherwise I'm always forgetting stuff, especially when I get interrupted.


LindyD's picture

Practicing mise en place each time you bake will avoid the problem no matter how many interruptions.   

A lesson I learned the hard way about five years ago.

ananda's picture

Lindy, you are so right.

Weigh all your ingredients first and have them neat and close to hand, with your accompanying recipe/formula sheet.   Check each one off as you add it to the mix.

Otherwise you have to follow Larry's advice and take the taste test.

Best wishes


linder's picture

I second Andy's mise en place.  Last week I put too much water in a sourdough because I didn't measure everything out ahead of time.  I got addle brained in the middle of measuring the water.  Was able to salvage the dough with addition of more flour and it was interesting to see what the effect was on the dough- more holes, but also more slack dough that resisted shaping and then flattened somewhat during the bake. Not quite ciabatta but closer to ciabatta crumb than the sourdough boule I was hoping for. 

davidg618's picture

from reading a Bread Bakers' Guild article (about the USA Bread Baking Team).

Many bread formulae instruct adding the salt to the flour/water mixture after autolyse.  Although I practice mise en place, I once left out the salt, during the first dough manipulation after autolyse. Fortunately, I caught it and added it during the second S&F.

Now--following the tip--after combining the flour and water, I sprinkle the salt over the dough before letting it rest to autolyse.

David G

Dot's picture

Thanks so much for all your comments.  The bread turned out great.  I am not usually so disorganized when making bread but I had my young grandchild under my feet and the phone call was an important one I was waiting for.  Not the best of days for making bread!