Salt-stressed yeast increases rise?
I just ran across this story about using yeast that has been exposed to a 7% salt solution for 40 minutes. Apparently the resulting bread is softer and faster rising. While this is desirable for commercial bakeries (faster, bigger, softer), it doesn't look like it's going to be a hit with the artisan baking community (maybe shift the retarding phase to the freezer??). But perhaps for those sugar laden pastries, or 100% whole wheat breads, it might be a useful technique.
Note that at 7% salt, I'd want to use only about half of the total water in the stressing solution. (Assume a 1.6kg dough, and 60% hydration. That's 1kg flour, 600g water. Two percent bakers math salt is 20g in the entire recipe. A 7% solution would require 20/.07 = 286 grams of water, with the remaining 314 grams added with the flour. Upping the water to 300g -half of the total water- would yield a 6.7% solution, and would make the measurements a lot simpler.)
from the article:
- 'Commenting on the mechanism, the researchers report that exposure of the yeast to salt solutions leads to an accumulation of glycerol  in the cell membranes. Increases in volume may be due to "glycerol acting as a lubricant for the gas bubbles, allowing greater expansion", suggested the Taiwanese and Rutger researchers.
- "Specific volume increased with increasing levels of glycerol. Therefore, the larger loaf would have a less dense gluten network giving less resistance to compression," they said.