A question of salinity...
There is a simple question that I have seen answered with two contradictory answers. I am bringing it up hoping to settle the question once and for all.
The question is: What does ‘a dough’s salt content’ actually mean?
The two contradictory answers I have seen are:
- The correct meaning of ‘a dough’s salt content’ is the weight of the salt divided by the total amount of flour in a dough, including the flour in any pre-ferments.
- The correct meaning of ‘a dough’s salt content’ is the weight of the salt divided by the amount of flour added in the final mix of the dough, ie excluding the flour in any pre-ferments.
So, by example:
Pre-Ferment Mix TOTAL
Flour: 51g 512g 563g
Water: 51g 371g 423g
Salt: 0g 14g 14g
TOTAL: 102g 898g 1000g
- If the proponents of answer #1 are correct, the salt content is 2.5% (14/563).
- If the proponents of answer #2 are correct, the salt content is 2.7% (14/512)
To me, #1 wold be a more useful standard practice, because it gives a clear indication of the overall salinity. i recently read an excellent discussion topic on a bread where the pre-ferment, in the form of a biga, was a whopping 90%. If #1 is correct, the salt content of that bread shound still be stated as ~2%, but if #2 is correct, the salt content would be 20-30%, because the flour in the final mix is so little. That sounds unintuitive to me.
I’m clearly hoping #1 is correct, but naturally I will comply with whatever the correct usage turns out to be.
thanks in advance to anyone who can help.