Pizza Making Forum

Pizza Making => General Pizza Making => Topic started by: stetip on November 20, 2016, 06:07:07 PM

Title: Salt and yeast mix
Post by: stetip on November 20, 2016, 06:07:07 PM
Quick question, can you mix water, salt and yeast together first before adding to your flour, thanks.
Title: Re: Salt and yeast mix
Post by: Pete-zza on November 20, 2016, 06:53:11 PM
Quick question, can you mix water, salt and yeast together first before adding to your flour, thanks.
stepip,

You don't want to have the yeast and salt together in the water at the same time since that can kill some of the yeast or otherwise impair its performance. You can stir the salt in the water until it dissolves thoroughly and then add the yeast but, even then, to be on the safe side, it is best not to let the salty water and yeast sit there for long.

Peter
Title: Re: Salt and yeast mix
Post by: stetip on November 21, 2016, 07:39:32 AM
Thanks Peter
Title: Re: Salt and yeast mix
Post by: Bisquick on November 26, 2016, 09:36:03 PM
I've always understood that as long as the yeast is in enough water (more than 30 grams or so) you should be fine. My understanding is that salt kills yeast by osmosis. It basically penetrates the yeasts protective membrane and completely and totally dries it to the point that it dies. This is usually what happens if you mix salt and yeast together dry. When the yeast is in enough water this should not be a problem, as even if the salt penetrates the membrane the yeast can just keep absorbing the water it's soaked into. My understanding is that this is how salt can "slow down" fermentation without completely preventing it.  It just makes the yeasts job a bit more difficult by interfering with it's moisture level.
Title: Re: Salt and yeast mix
Post by: TXCraig1 on November 27, 2016, 08:50:16 AM
That's not exactly correct. Salt can kill yeast, and a process involved is osmosis, but it's not exactly how you described nor it related to mixing the salt and yeast dry. There are other important factors as well as well.

Salt affects the yeast's ability to feed and its energy budget. Because it causes changes in osmotic pressure, salt (and sugar at high enough concentrations) makes it difficult for yeast to get nutrients through the cell wall slowing fermentation. Also, because water moves from areas of lower solute concentration to higher, salt causes water to move out of the cell. To counter this dehydration, yeast must pull solutes into the cell so that water will move the other way - back into the cell. This is an active process thus it requires energy; the more energy the yeast must spend to hydrate itself, the less energy it has to grow, also slowing fermentation. Of course, at some level of salt concentration, given enough time, the yeast will die because it will not be capable of reversing the water loss.

Interestingly, there is research that suggests that salt-stressing the yeast may cause desirable results: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20492129
Title: Re: Salt and yeast mix
Post by: vtsteve on November 27, 2016, 09:18:17 AM
I think the whole "salt kills yeast" is a bit of an old wive's tale. In the BBGA newsletter, Jeffrey Hamelman (King Arthur master baker) did a baguette test with compressed yeast. He put the salt directly on the yeast, which melted into a slimy mass, and let it sit for a couple hours. Then he finished the mix... the resulting baguettes were indistinguishable from the control batch where salt and yeast were kept separate.

My mistake, it was 22 hours:  https://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=38938.msg390349#msg390349 (https://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=38938.msg390349#msg390349)
Title: Re: Salt and yeast mix
Post by: Pete-zza on November 27, 2016, 12:09:10 PM
For many years I saw how Tom Lehmann counseled members at the PMQ Think Tank on how to handle yeast in dough formulations that also included salt. His advice was always conservative and geared to producing good results if followed. Otherwise, Tom might have found himself trying to fix members' problems because they did not follow the conventional advice. Tom has been equally conservative on this forum and, in my own case after watching Tom all of these years, I have tended to be equally conservative. As examples of Tom's advice on this forum on the salt/yeast issue, see the following posts:

Reply 4 at https://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=25247.msg255056;topicseen#msg255056,

Reply 4 at https://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=38063.msg383234;topicseen#msg383234,

Reply 8 at https://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=15577.msg153312;topicseen#msg153312,

Reply 1 at https://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=14785.msg146927;topicseen#msg146927.

As a side note, I might mention that the other day I had a nice conversation with a specialist at the Lasaffre Red Star company. As it turns out, she is the "voice" of "Carol" at the Red Star consumer website. When I called Lasaffre it was to discuss diastatic malts but when I found that she was also a specialist in yeast products, we had quite a discussion on yeast. I mentioned on how there were so many variations in how to use the different forms of yeast, and how in some cases people broke the rules as advocated by yeast producers yet achieved good outcomes. Having worked previously on the commercial side of the business, and more recently on the consumer side, she agreed with my assessment. She even acknowledged that some of the ways that people break the rules actually work, and she mentioned ADY being used dry as an example. And I am sure that she is well aware that there are modern versions of yeast that are more salt tolerant than older varieties. But she concluded that she could not rationalize all of the different ways that people use yeast but her closing advice was also conservative--that people follow the recommendations of the yeast producers.

Peter

 
Title: Re: Salt and yeast mix
Post by: Pete-zza on November 27, 2016, 12:11:59 PM
I think the whole "salt kills yeast" is a bit of an old wive's tale. In the BBGA newsletter, Hamelman (King Arthur master baker) did a baguette test with compressed yeast. He put the salt directly on the yeast, which melted into a slimy mass, and let it sit for a couple hours. Then he finished the mix... the resulting baguettes were indistinguishable from the control batch where salt and yeast were kept separate.
Steve,

Compressed yeast is about 70% water, so I would be interested to see what would have happened if Hamelman mixed the salt with dry yeast.

Peter
Title: Re: Salt and yeast mix
Post by: Giggliato on November 27, 2016, 12:26:34 PM
Well a lot of the chains use dry mixtures of salt flour and yeast...
Title: Re: Salt and yeast mix
Post by: parallei on November 27, 2016, 12:44:26 PM
Steve,

Compressed yeast is about 70% water, so I would be interested to see what would have happened if Hamelman mixed the salt with dry yeast.

Peter

My guess is that the salt solution would be more damaging than the combination of dry yeast and solid salt sitting mixed for awhile.  Easy enough to test.  Maybe I'll give it a go......
Title: Re: Salt and yeast mix
Post by: vtsteve on November 27, 2016, 01:11:44 PM
My guess is that the salt solution would be more damaging than the combination of dry yeast and solid salt sitting mixed for awhile.

That's my take too. With almost no water to transport the Na+ Cl- ions, it shouldn't have much effect. Mix just the IDY and salt, and give it 24 hours -- I'll try it next week, when the leftovers are gone.   :-D
Title: Re: Salt and yeast mix
Post by: Pete-zza on November 27, 2016, 01:36:06 PM
As I was walking to the supermarket this morning, I remembered that I forgot to mention that there should be some water used with the dry yeast and salt. I also remembered posting about the effects of a lot of sugar in direct contact with dry yeast and a bit of water and what a mess it made. However, I couldn't remember enough of my post to use as keywords to try to find the post.

As for combining dry yeast and salt and sugar in what is sometime called a "goody bag", that is quite common, as are pizza pre-mixes with the same ingredients. But I have also seen pre-mixes where there is no yeast. The yeast is added at the time the dough is made.

I quoted an excerpt about goody bags from something that Tom Lehmann wrote, at Reply 19 at:

https://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=12596.msg121004;topicseen#msg121004.

Peter

Title: Re: Salt and yeast mix
Post by: parallei on November 27, 2016, 02:09:59 PM
That's my take too. With almost no water to transport the Na+ Cl- ions, it shouldn't have much effect. Mix just the IDY and salt, and give it 24 hours -- I'll try it next week, when the leftovers are gone.   :-D

I've got an experiment going now.  IDY/dry salt, IDY/salt solution, and a "normal" dough with the flour/IDY added to a salt solution.  Only letting the IDY/dry salt and IDY/salt solution sitting for 3/4 hr.  All are 60% HR, 2% Salt, 0.5% IDY.  The 3/4 hour is almost up.  Will mix them up in a couple of mins. and check rise in about 4 hours.

I guess I'm bored!
Title: Re: Salt and yeast mix
Post by: The Dough Doctor on November 27, 2016, 02:18:42 PM
Many years ago we did a lot of research along these lines. If you mix compressed yeast with salt and/or sugar you can literally watch the plasma being drawn out of the CY (not a good thing for the yeast). But if you mix the same salt and/or sugar with ADY or IDY absolutely nothing happens, in fact the salt/sugar actually help to protect the yeast as it is more gyroscopic than the yeast thus serving to keep moisture away from the yeast. The problem though is that ADY doesn't hydrate well by itself without warm (100F) water so if it is used in a dry mix inconsistent results are the order of the day, however when IDY is used in the dry mix and the dry mix is then added directly to the flour this actually becomes an acceptable way of adding IDY (mixed into the flour) so all is good for the yeast and excellent dough performance and consistency are achieved. The dry mix manufacturer Richardson & Holland used SAF Red Label IDY in their dry mixes for years, in fact at one time they were the largest consumers of IDY in the U.S. There are some types of IDY that are more sugar tolerant than others but it is interesting to note that those that are more sugar tolerant (Gold Label) are at the same time more sensitive and less salt tolerant, there are actually strains which were developed for use in Europe where when high sugar levels are used (10% and above) the salt levels are reduced to 1% or less. When we did our testing with both the RED LABEL and GOLD LABEL products in bread and pizza doughs we didn't see any significant difference in performance at 1% salt level (remember the sugar level was varied from 2 to 6%) but when we increased the salt to more common (U.S.) levels of 2.0 and 2.5% the GOLD LABEL product showed significant loss in fermentation performance as compared to the RED LABEL product.
I might also add that for many years (prior to the introduction of IDY into the U.S. in the late 1960's) a type of ADY was manufactured for use in dry mixes, this was called protected active dry yeast (PADY). You could always identify this form of ADY by its round "BB" like shape. This yeast had a special coating on it which protected it from moisture present in the flour which allowed it to be used in SOME dry mixes with some success. Without the PADY the regular ADY would absorb moisture from the flour resulting in a shorter than desired mix shelf life or less than ideal performance from the dry mix. In any case, it wasn't ideal, but it was the best we had at the time, and as soon as IDY found its way to the U.S. it didn't take us long to discover its virtues in a dry mix. I did all of the early and original application research on IDY in dry mixes back in the early 70's and it didn't take long for the dry mix industry to embrace it. I was so enammored with the consistency of IDY that I directed all of our baking research at AIB to be done using only IDY unless stated otherwise in the research protocol. When we made the switch our standard deviation in proof times went from +/- 3-minutes to +/- 1-minute, and the standard deviation for our control loaves went from +/- 100-ml to +/- 50-ml. ( I actually think it was closer to 35-ml). We ran our labs using IDY (Red Label) as our regular yeast for many years and the performance of the IDY never varied, that's a lot more than we could say for CY.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor
Title: Re: Salt and yeast mix
Post by: parallei on November 27, 2016, 07:37:42 PM
O.K.  Here are my non-scientific results.

Dough as formulated above.  4.5 hr. rise at about 68F.

Dough A:  Salt dissolved in water.  Flour and IDY added.

Dough B:  Salt/water/IDY mixed together and sit for 3/4 hour.  Flour mixed in.

Dough C:  Salt (dry)/IDY mixed together and sit for 3/4 hour.  Mixed with flour water.

All were hand needed and risen for about 4.5 hours.

Doughs A and C were about the same.  Dough B was the loser, though it did rise some.

No doughs were harmed during this experiment.  They will all become mini bread-zass in the next day of two.

Edit - looser changed to loser!
Title: Re: Salt and yeast mix
Post by: The Dough Doctor on November 27, 2016, 08:52:40 PM
Those are the results we would expect from those doughs. The looser dough "B" was most likely looser due to leaching of glutathione out of the yeast and that yeast from which the glutathione is leached out does not exhibit very good fermentation properties which would explain the lower height.
I'd say that was a good test. :)
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor
Title: Re: Salt and yeast mix
Post by: parallei on November 27, 2016, 09:12:14 PM
The looser dough "B"........
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor

In my post, "looser" should have been "loser"!

Dough "B" wasn't looser, as in slack.  In fact, it was tighter!  It was the loser, as in last place...
Title: Re: Salt and yeast mix
Post by: The Dough Doctor on November 28, 2016, 12:00:19 AM
Gotcha. :)
That being the case you probably had sufficient water to prevent leaching but still got the sodium suppression on the yeast activity. This is the same effect as you would see if you used too much salt in a dough formulation.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor
Title: Re: Salt and yeast mix
Post by: Pete-zza on November 28, 2016, 10:32:33 AM
Paul,

In your B experiment, if you had used more yeast than for A and C, you might have gotten better performance out of B because the added yeast would have compensated for the salt-damaged yeast. Or if you had used water that was too warm and damaged the yeast in some way, more yeast might have saved B. Or if the yeast you used had been stored in the freezer or was long in the tooth, and you increased the amount of yeast to compensate for the loss of leavening power, you might have saved B. These solutions are similar to adding more yeast in making frozen doughs, knowing that freezing will destroy some of the yeast cells or otherwise negatively affect their performance.

Although not a salt/yeast issue, in an earlier post in this thread I alluded to the use of ADY dry, which "Carol" at Red Star said was doable. I have done this sort of thing many times, usually to slow down the rate of fermentation. In fact, I believe that is what Papa John's does to be able to get up to 8 days of cold fermentation (and in rare instances, 9 days) out of their doughs, and to be sure of that, I suspect that they use a small amount of yeast.

The point of the above examples is that it is possible to break conventional "rules" regarding yeast in many cases yet achieve success. We have members who do this all of the time. But it is important to distinguish success due to accident and success due to following the conventional advice regarding yeast. Because we have so many members who are new to pizza making, my preference is to have them follow the conventional advice regarding yeast. In due course, they may go their own way, and if they are happy with what they do, that is fine by me.

Peter

Title: Re: Salt and yeast mix
Post by: parallei on November 28, 2016, 10:33:55 AM
Gotcha. :)
That being the case you probably had sufficient water to prevent leaching but still got the sodium suppression on the yeast activity. This is the same effect as you would see if you used too much salt in a dough formulation.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor

Sorry for the confusion, Dottore! 
Title: Re: Salt and yeast mix
Post by: parallei on November 28, 2016, 11:25:19 AM
In your B experiment, if you had used more yeast than for A and C, you might have gotten better performance out of B because the added yeast would have compensated for the salt-damaged yeast.

Peter

True.  However, I had it in my mind to use a "typical" dough formulation.

...........my preference is to have them follow the conventional advice regarding yeast. In due course, they may go their own way, and if they are happy with what they do, that is fine by me.

Peter

Absolutely.  I've been using the food processor for some doughs lately and have just been measuring the IDY and salt into the same small container (shot  glass) and letting the two sit together while I prep.  No ill effects.

Based on my half-assed "experiment", I just wouldn't pitch the IDY directly into the water that has had the salt dissolved into it.  Dough A is how I normally do things when mixing by hand.  I rarely use a stand mixer.

As an aside, the salt solution was 3.2% NaCl (mass) based on the Bakers %'s of 60% HR and 2% Salt.
Title: Re: Salt and yeast mix
Post by: TXCraig1 on November 28, 2016, 11:39:54 AM
Based on my half-assed "experiment", I just wouldn't pitch the IDY directly into the water that has had the salt dissolved into it.

I don't see how you get that conclusion from an experiment with a 45 minute saltwater soak?
Title: Re: Salt and yeast mix
Post by: parallei on November 28, 2016, 12:06:03 PM
I don't see how you get that conclusion from an experiment with a 45 minute saltwater soak?

I would avoid it because it appears to impact yeast performance in a bad way.  Like you, I'd guess time (and salt solution concentration) would play a roll in how yeast performance is impacted.

That said, I'm just a practical type guy and would avoid it on GP's.
Title: Re: Salt and yeast mix
Post by: TXCraig1 on November 28, 2016, 12:41:36 PM
I would avoid it because it appears to impact yeast performance in a bad way. 

Chugging a gallon of whiskey would impact your performance in a bad way; should you avoid all drinking? I just think the 45 minute soak is such an outlier that you can't necessarily infer anything from it when applied to a realistic scenario that may only be a minute or two. When I use IDY, I add it with the flour, so I don't have much of an opinion on that, but with SD, I'm convinced that adding the culture to the salted water makes better pizza and bread.
Title: Re: Salt and yeast mix
Post by: parallei on November 28, 2016, 01:01:36 PM

I just think the 45 minute soak is such an outlier that you can't necessarily infer anything from it when applied to a realistic scenario that may only be a minute or two.

As noted above, I'm sure time would have something to do with it.  Now, if I was just motivated enough to do 15 mini-doughs over a 30 min period!  Maybe the next snow storm.

............ but with SD, I'm convinced that adding the culture to the salted water makes better pizza and bread.

I typically add the salt at the end with SD doughs.  I do this for two reasons, 1) my SD bread making was mostly learned with Robertson's Tartine Bread book, and 2) it weirds me out how the SD tightens up when it hits the salt solution.  Pretty scientific, huh? ;D

Anyway, one can happily mix dry salt and IDY together.
Title: Re: Salt and yeast mix
Post by: TXCraig1 on November 28, 2016, 01:36:32 PM
2) it weirds me out how the SD tightens up when it hits the salt solution.

I haven't experienced that even with large additions on the order of 15-20% sd.
Title: Re: Salt and yeast mix
Post by: Pete-zza on November 28, 2016, 01:45:10 PM
When I use IDY, I add it with the flour, so I don't have much of an opinion on that, but with SD, I'm convinced that adding the culture to the salted water makes better pizza and bread.
Craig,

I was once chided by Marco (pizzanapoletana) on this point, and that prompted this post by Marco that confirms your approach, at:

Reply 4 at https://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=1085.msg9695;topicseen#msg9695.

I think where a lot of the confusion arises is when the process is viewed as a single step process where the salt, water and yeast are mixed together all at the same time as opposed to a two-step process where the salt and water are mixed together and the yeast then added to the brine.

Peter
Title: Re: Salt and yeast mix
Post by: parallei on November 28, 2016, 04:03:35 PM
I haven't experienced that even with large additions on the order of 15-20% sd.

I notice it more with smaller %'s of SD.  I mix by hand mostly.  The salt solution tightens ,or makes stringy, (or something), the gluten, or proteins, (or something) in the SD matrix.  I find it dissolves better into the water without the salt.  But that's just me......... I'm sure it doesn't make a difference one way or another.   
Title: Re: Salt and yeast mix
Post by: TXCraig1 on November 28, 2016, 04:14:52 PM
I start with all the formula water, dissolve in all the salt, then using a whisk, dissolve in the SD which is usually ~2%. Maybe using the whisk I don't see it?
Title: Re: Salt and yeast mix
Post by: parallei on November 28, 2016, 04:29:08 PM
I start with all the formula water, dissolve in all the salt, then using a whisk, dissolve in the SD which is usually ~2%. Maybe using the whisk I don't see it?

Next up:  Stringiness experiment. 8)
Title: Re: Salt and yeast mix
Post by: TXCraig1 on November 28, 2016, 05:11:03 PM
If it's anything, it's just wet gluten with the starch washed away like is seen in the experiments Norma has done.
Title: Re: Salt and yeast mix
Post by: The Dough Doctor on November 29, 2016, 12:59:19 PM
Parallei;
Your first step needs to be to define "stringiness" and then what you hope to show in your experiment, followed by an experimental plan/design.
We could have used you when we were doing our research! :)
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor
Title: Re: Salt and yeast mix
Post by: stetip on February 22, 2017, 07:22:20 PM
Guys, thanks for this. Being a novice this was a great help to me and a great read. Really love this pizza science. Like being back at school.
Thanks for all the replies, most great full.
Steve