The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Purpose of salt?

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BKSinAZ's picture
BKSinAZ

Purpose of salt?

Other than flavor, is there a purpose for salt in a recipe that only calls for flour, yeast, water and salt?

cranbo's picture
cranbo

To control leavening, and to tighten dough structure. 

Without salt, fermentation can proceed too quickly to develop enable flavor development. 

Salt also tightens the dough; without it it might become too flabby/extensible. 

meirp's picture
meirp

You have a nice summary of the purpose of salt here: http://www.kingarthurflour.com/professional/salt.html

There is at least one bread that is salt-free - Tuscan bread. You can google it to find out more.

Meir

cranbo's picture
cranbo

Good link summary, thx for reminding me of this one. 

Antilope's picture
Antilope

without salt. Tuscan bread proves that. If you are on a salt restriction, look into Tuscan bread recipes.

Tuscan Bread recipe

http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/22833/tuscan-bread

Link to recipe of bread in above thread at King Arthur Flour (Tuscan Bread)

http://www.kingarthurflour.com/recipes/tuscan-bread-pane-toscano-recipe

BKSinAZ's picture
BKSinAZ

I am not on a salt restriction, but I hear it oxidizes and 'can be' harmful to yeast. I was just wondering.

Normally I put the salt in at the very last minute before kneading.

SweetMK's picture
SweetMK

If you put the salt in last minute, how does it dissolve and get distributed??  

I would think salt has to be added to some liquid (like water) for distribution.

BKSinAZ's picture
BKSinAZ

the kneading distributes the salt.

PetraR's picture
PetraR

I add my Salt after I mixed the flour and Water and a 50 minute Autolise.

I just add the Salt over the top of the dough and work it in by folding the Dough over itself a few times and if you knead than you will distribute the Salt just fine.

You could keep some of the Water and disovle the salt in to it and add it that way after the Autolise.

Tigre1852's picture
Tigre1852

even in the King Arthur Flour link is that salt acts a preservative for the finished loaf. Tuscan bread is wonderful but it goes 'stale' super fast.

Antilope's picture
Antilope

even though it does have salt, also goes stale really fast.

Tigre1852's picture
Tigre1852

 ...make a French loaf with salt and make one without. Test for freshness.