The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Yeast and salt

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bruneski's picture

Yeast and salt


While reading "Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day", I noticed that some of the standard steps in almost all recipes are

"... Warm the water slightly. ... Add yeast and salt (kosher or other coarse type) to the water in a 5-quart bowl. ... Don't worry about getting it all to dissolve. Mix in the flower --- kneading is unnecessary ..."

It also says that after all ingredients are well mixed, the dough should be allowed to rise, covered, at room temperature, until it begins to collapse (or at least to flatten on the top), approximately 2 hours.

Since one of the most basic things I learned here at TFL is that salt slows down yeast action, how can this dough described in the book rise and begin to collapse in just 2 hours?

Thanks. Have a great day!

dabrownman's picture

but does not stop it unless it is a very high concentration - 2% is like the control rods in a nuclear reactor.  In this case, it is used to keep the dough in the bowl from exploding and overlowing

DavidEF's picture

I don't know what the author is trying to accomplish with the salt. How much yeast is in the recipe? Perhaps they are using an overly large amount of yeast to get a quicker rise, but then adding the salt in order to keep the yeast from eating itself out of house and home, destroying the prospects for an edible loaf. I've never heard of adding the yeast and salt together in the water. I always try to protect my yeast from direct contact with salt. However, most bread recipes do call for some salt. It does more than curb the yeast growth rate. I just found out a couple days ago that salt actually strengthens the gluten! It also enhances the flavor of the bread, of course.

suave's picture

Simple - the recipe calls for at least 5-6 times more yeast than needed.

bruneski's picture

... 1 cup of AP flour (measured by the scoop-and-sweep method) weighs 140 g and 1 cup water weighs 225 g (both measures suggested by the authors themselves in, the dough formula is

lukewarm water = 74.2%, granulated yeast = 1.4%, table salt = 2.8% (or kosher salt = 3.8%) and AP flour = 100.0%.

That`s it.