The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Flour Water Salt Yeast Book.

Seadog's picture
Seadog

Flour Water Salt Yeast Book.

I started to read the above book by Ken Forkish to learn about how bake Bread and I have found it very good,

I am surprised at how little Yeast is used in the recipe for the Saturday White Bread.

Ingredient   Quantity

White Flour 1,000g

Water           720g

Fine sea salt 21g

Instant dried yeast 4g

 

if I wanted to only use 500g flour this would mean 2g of dry yeast, my scales would need to be very accutate or does it not matter to that degree.

The other question on my mind is that I dont like to much salt in the cooking so in this example when baking a 500g loaf,if I only wanted to use 8g of salt instead of the 10g do I need adjust anything else to compensate

for this reduction.

I would appreciate your advice.

 

 

 

 

BaniJP's picture
BaniJP

With those small quantities of yeast, I would simply measure in teaspoons. One teaspoon dried yeast is about 3-4 g, so for 500 g flour I would use about 1/2 teaspoon. It doesn't matter that much to be precise, in bread baking you can adjust with other things like fermentation time, mixing, salt and water content etc...in pâtisserie or molecular gastronomy a difference of 1 g can make or break a dish.

Salt brings two things: flavor and control over the yeast. If you are using less salt, you will lose some flavor in the end product as well as need to adjust fermentation times, they might be a little shorter. 2% of the flour weight is pretty much the standard to achieve good and strong flavor as well as good control. So I wouldn't recommend lowering the salt content unless it's for health reasons. 

Seadog's picture
Seadog

Thank you for the advice, I will not adjust on my first loaf to produce a loaf as it ment to be,

then if required adjust a bit and compare the products.

 

idaveindy's picture
idaveindy

you can also use a smaller, more accurate scale for salt and yeast.  My small scale measures to a tenth of a gram.

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

These SCALES are inexpensive and accurate. They are used for things like yeast, salt, Diastatic Malt, etc. Many bakers use 2 scales, like Dave mentioned. One for precise small measurements and the other for larger ingredients.

Danny

Maverick's picture
Maverick

This one is on sale for even less and is the same thing. I have the AWS-200 that I got on sale (along with a calibration weight), but the AWS-100 I linked is 1/2 the price I paid for the 200 right now. Might be worth a try for 7 bucks (I get no commission for this btw).

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

I just bought one for a spare. They last a good while but they have given out in time. Very good price. I bet they are all exactly the same scales, probably made up n China.

They are very accurate.

Danny

Maverick's picture
Maverick

It is better to use too little yeast than too much. As long as you realize that the timing in the books are estimates based on certain conditions. If one packet is 7 grams and equals 2.25 tsp, then 2g would be a little more than 1/2 tsp (it is much cheaper to buy a pound of yeast than those expensive packets). Without a small scale like some of us use, I agree that using teaspoons is the best approach. Less salt will mean a faster fermentation, but  1.6% isn't going to make a huge difference. Personally, anything below 1.8% is too bland for me (9g with 500g flour). But if you like it with less salt then, as with everything else, flavor wins out. With a bigger scale, the difference between 8 and 9g is harder to tell.

BTW, I love that book. There are a few books I always  go back to, and that is one.

tom scott's picture
tom scott

Weekend Bakery of the Netherlands is a good bread site to bookmark.

Don't know if this will provide answers to all your questions but it is helpful.

https://www.weekendbakery.com/posts/salt-in-bread-baking-how-much-and-why/

Maverick's picture
Maverick

I love the weekend bakery as a resource. I never saw that article before, thanks for sharing. I found it interesting that the standard uses salt based on final loaf weight. I can only imagine how hard that is to work out every time. One thing to take note of is that they said a lot will depend on the flavor of the flour used. So until I get into milling my own, or move back to an area where it is easy to get good flour, I will stick to a baker's percentage of 2% salt. I am in the USA and like salt, so my palate might be different as well.

tarheel_loafer's picture
tarheel_loafer

Others have answered it well. The only other thing I'd add - Ken Forkish explains that he uses such small amounts of yeast so that you can do a long rise for flavor development. If you are close, it's fine - the water temperature, air temperature, etc. will also affect the rise time so you have to just watch the dough until it rises as much as you need.

If you omit the salt, the rise will be faster, and you'll get less flavor from the rise, plus it'll be bland from less salt. Also, salt helps to tighten the gluten in the bread, improving the structure. You can feel this for yourself if you add it after the first mix - as you squeeze the salt through the dough, it will tighten up noticeably. So no salt = flavorless, slack dough, not what you want for your first attempt. 

Also, to explain the % above - always go by %, compared to your flour. So, 21g salt divided by 1000g flour = 2.1%. 8g/500g = 1.6%. You want to stay between 1.8% and 2.2%, generally. 

Anne Ng's picture
Anne Ng

Search spoon scales. Here's one. There are spoons with a digital scales imbedded in the handle and they were designed for new parents to measure formula milk powder for babies. They are around $10 and are pretty accurate and sensitive (not recommended for shaky hands). If you really want to be precise you can grab one of these :)

And 2% salt really isn't that much. If you reduce it by half (like I did the first bake), the bread will come out very bland. But with homemade heavily salted whipped butter they are still pretty yummy. It all depends on your taste. Feel free to make modifications, and you will learn through trail and error but I kinda enjoy the learning curve XD

Seadog's picture
Seadog

Thank you for all the advice, the web site regarding the salt was good reading, i will stick to 10g to see what the flavour is like then reduce 9g.

The measuring spoon scales, never seen them before and they sre just the job.