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Author Topic: adding salt too early??  (Read 2969 times)

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Online scott r

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Re: adding salt too early??
« Reply #20 on: December 01, 2021, 04:20:11 AM »

Offline HansB

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Re: adding salt too early??
« Reply #21 on: December 01, 2021, 07:39:02 AM »
Unfortunately this is a myth that is still perpetuated here on the forum and by many pro's.  ::)
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Offline Heikjo

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Re: adding salt too early??
« Reply #22 on: December 01, 2021, 08:11:19 AM »
According to Scott’s link, there is something to it. Not that one method kills the yeast and render the dough useless, but that there are nuances that can have an impact when comparing recipes.
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Offline HansB

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Re: adding salt too early??
« Reply #23 on: December 01, 2021, 08:22:22 AM »
According to Scott’s link, there is something to it. Not that one method kills the yeast and render the dough useless, but that there are nuances that can have an impact when comparing recipes.

I read it as completely debunking it...
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Online scott r

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Re: adding salt too early??
« Reply #24 on: December 01, 2021, 08:36:55 AM »
not to derail, but check out this guys pan seasoning page!

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Online Jon in Albany

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Re: adding salt too early??
« Reply #25 on: December 01, 2021, 10:31:20 AM »
I pretty much use IDY for pizza and have had similar results as this testing messing around with when salt and IDY get added, including starting the IDY in a portion of the total water heated to 95 degrees. I don't really see a difference in the finished dough. I mix up a good size batch of dough (close to 12 pounds), but that is still nothing compared to a commercial operation.

But Frank at Mama's Too was certain the late salt addition impacted his dough (and I absolutely loved the flavor of his squares). No idea if his work flow has changed since and I believe his opinion was formed on personal experience with dough trials. He was also using CY at the time and this testing was ADY. I would also think other aspects of a dough's workflow and handling impact how the finished product comes out.


Online RHawthorne

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Re: adding salt too early??
« Reply #26 on: December 01, 2021, 10:50:17 AM »
I read it as completely debunking it...
I couldn't agree more, and it brings up yet another critically important point: sugar is also hygroscopic, yet nobody thinks twice about adding sugar in the proofing water with their yeast, or adding the sugar whenever they feel like it. Also, a lot of people don't even seem to process the fact that salt is quite often added IN WATER .This fact alone should be quite sufficient to deduce that salt can't possibly rob yeast of it's moisture in such an environment. But as has already been said, old myths die hard.
« Last Edit: December 01, 2021, 10:53:43 AM by RHawthorne »
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Online scott r

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Re: adding salt too early??
« Reply #27 on: December 01, 2021, 10:51:47 AM »
I think the reason why Frank prefers the late salt addition could have something to do with the fact that he was using a planetary mixer. 

As Tom has taught us, the early addition of salt makes it take longer to build gluten in the dough.   Trying to mix a high hydration dough in a planetary mixer can be more problematic than it would be with say, a spiral mixer.  Planetary mixers tend to be less efficient at building gluten, and they also tend to heat up the dough a lot.  Both of these are enemies when you are working with wet doughs.  Often times in commercial situations with a planetary mixer I find that my finished dough temp is higher than I would like when I reach the gluten strength I am looking for and im in that 70+ hydration range that Frank lives in.  I prefer it to be room temp if possible so that I dont have the middle of my dough mass at a different temp than the outside after resting. 

Im just hypothesizing here, but to me, it makes sense that with a planetary mixer and high hydrations the late addition of salt is your friend.  If you have a spiral mixer, or are in a home situation with smaller dough masses, and where its easier to do stretch and folds post mixing, I can see where an early addition of salt is not a problem.   

Having said all of this, there is also something I have heard that Italian pizzaiolos (through our forum member Douhball) say that adding salt too early in a spiral mixer can tighten up the dough too much and make the resulting pizza tough.

I can say from first hand experience that I have been able to achieve an excellent product using both the early and late addition of salt, so there is much to study here. I would love to play around with some side by side mixes some day with both versions and see how they compare in the mixer I use the most.  My gut reaction is that I wont see a huge difference, but maybe its all mixer dependent.
« Last Edit: December 01, 2021, 10:59:14 AM by scott r »

Online Jon in Albany

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Re: adding salt too early??
« Reply #28 on: December 01, 2021, 10:57:08 AM »
I think the reason why Frank prefers the late salt addition could have something to do with the fact that he was using a planetary mixer. 

As Tom has taught us, the early addition of salt makes it take longer to build gluten in the dough.   Trying to mix a high hydration dough in a planetary mixer can be more problematic than it would be with say, a spiral mixer.  Planetary mixers tend to be less efficient at building gluten, and they also tend to heat up the dough a lot.  Both of these are enemies when you are working with wet doughs.  Often times in commercial situations with a planetary mixer I find that my finished dough temp is higher than I would like when I reach the gluten strength I am looking for and im in that 70+ hydration range that Frank lives in.  I prefer it to be room temp if possible so that I dont have the middle of my dough mass at a different temp than the outside after resting. 

Im just hypothesizing here, but to me, it makes sense that with a planetary mixer and high hydrations the late addition of salt is your friend.  If you have a spiral mixer, or are in a home situation with smaller dough masses, and where its easier to do stretch and folds post mixing, I can see where an early addition of salt is not a problem.

That could absolutely be the case. For his dough, and his work flow, the late salt addition worked better.

Online RHawthorne

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Re: adding salt too early??
« Reply #29 on: December 01, 2021, 11:48:42 AM »
I think the reason why Frank prefers the late salt addition could have something to do with the fact that he was using a planetary mixer. 

As Tom has taught us, the early addition of salt makes it take longer to build gluten in the dough.   Trying to mix a high hydration dough in a planetary mixer can be more problematic than it would be with say, a spiral mixer.  Planetary mixers tend to be less efficient at building gluten, and they also tend to heat up the dough a lot.  Both of these are enemies when you are working with wet doughs.  Often times in commercial situations with a planetary mixer I find that my finished dough temp is higher than I would like when I reach the gluten strength I am looking for and im in that 70+ hydration range that Frank lives in.  I prefer it to be room temp if possible so that I dont have the middle of my dough mass at a different temp than the outside after resting. 

Im just hypothesizing here, but to me, it makes sense that with a planetary mixer and high hydrations the late addition of salt is your friend.  If you have a spiral mixer, or are in a home situation with smaller dough masses, and where its easier to do stretch and folds post mixing, I can see where an early addition of salt is not a problem.   

Having said all of this, there is also something I have heard that Italian pizzaiolos (through our forum member Douhball) say that adding salt too early in a spiral mixer can tighten up the dough too much and make the resulting pizza tough.

I can say from first hand experience that I have been able to achieve an excellent product using both the early and late addition of salt, so there is much to study here. I would love to play around with some side by side mixes some day with both versions and see how they compare in the mixer I use the most.  My gut reaction is that I wont see a huge difference, but maybe its all mixer dependent.
Right. I do believe that the timing of salt additions can make a difference in the gluten structure of the finished dough; or at least I don't have enough concrete evidence to argue a contrary position. But I think the idea that salt can kill yeast in pizza at any stage in the process is just plain incorrect, and I really wish people would stop propagating it.
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Offline Rolls

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Re: adding salt too early??
« Reply #30 on: December 01, 2021, 07:56:15 PM »
... Also, a lot of people don't even seem to process the fact that salt is quite often added IN WATER .This fact alone should be quite sufficient to deduce that salt can't possibly rob yeast of it's moisture in such an environment. But as has already been said, old myths die hard.

Then how do you account for the practice of wet brining poultry before cooking?


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Online RHawthorne

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Re: adding salt too early??
« Reply #31 on: December 01, 2021, 08:24:14 PM »
Then how do you account for the practice of wet brining poultry before cooking?


Rolls
What does that have to do with baking pizza? There's no yeast involved in brining poultry, and you're talking about a process that usually takes a pretty long time, or at least as far as I know.
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Offline Yael

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Re: adding salt too early??
« Reply #32 on: December 01, 2021, 09:11:16 PM »
I read it as completely debunking it...

Hans,
I didn't understand your point... Do you mean that what he says in the article is not correct? The way I understand it, if I didn't miss anything, is that he says the difference of the result actually comes from the relation between salt and gluten instead of salt killing yeast :-\ Looks correct to me..
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Offline Pete-zza

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Re: adding salt too early??
« Reply #33 on: December 01, 2021, 09:43:20 PM »
I recall that the late Tom Lehmann often discussed the salt/yeast situation. This led me to also post on this matter from time to time. See, for example, Reply 16 at:

https://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=70970.msg680827;topicseen#msg680827

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Offline HansB

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Re: adding salt too early??
« Reply #34 on: December 01, 2021, 11:27:28 PM »
Hans,
I didn't understand your point... Do you mean that what he says in the article is not correct? The way I understand it, if I didn't miss anything, is that he says the difference of the result actually comes from the relation between salt and gluten instead of salt killing yeast :-\ Looks correct to me..

No, I meant that the article is correct. He debunked the myth that salt harms the yeast.   :)
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Offline Rolls

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Re: adding salt too early??
« Reply #35 on: December 02, 2021, 10:15:25 AM »
What does that have to do with baking pizza? There's no yeast involved in brining poultry, and you're talking about a process that usually takes a pretty long time, or at least as far as I know.

It's an example of how salt still exerts osmotic stress even when it's dissolved in water - something which you didn't seem to think was possible "in such an environment".  With regards to the effects of salt on yeast specifically, I think it's pretty well documented in the scientific literature that salt, through the process of osmosis, draws moisture from the yeast's cytoplasm, causing some of the yeast to die, discharging reducing agents into the dough. 

In practice, it's true that it doesn't appear to matter much when the salt is added to a dough.  The effects of osmosis are somewhat mitigated by the selection of more osmotolerant strains of yeast that are developed specifically for baking applications.  As a survival mechanism, yeast counteract the effects of osmosis by releasing glycerol.  Still, it is estimated that about 25% of yeast give up the ghost because of osmotic stress caused by salt.  Remember also that salt is used to regulate the rate of fermentation in many dough-making situations, such as fermenting a biga for an extended period of time when the ambient temperature is higher than ideal.  Same is true for sourdough starters.


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« Last Edit: December 02, 2021, 10:28:11 AM by Rolls »
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Online RHawthorne

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Re: adding salt too early??
« Reply #36 on: December 02, 2021, 10:58:47 AM »
It's an example of how salt still exerts osmotic stress even when it's dissolved in water - something which you didn't seem to think was possible "in such an environment".  With regards to the effects of salt on yeast specifically, I think it's pretty well documented in the scientific literature that salt, through the process of osmosis, draws moisture from the yeast's cytoplasm, causing some of the yeast to die, discharging reducing agents into the dough. 

In practice, it's true that it doesn't appear to matter much when the salt is added to a dough.  The effects of osmosis are somewhat mitigated by the selection of more osmotolerant strains of yeast that are developed specifically for baking applications.  As a survival mechanism, yeast counteract the effects of osmosis by releasing glycerol.  Still, it is estimated that about 25% of yeast give up the ghost because of osmotic stress caused by salt.  Remember also that salt is used to regulate the rate of fermentation in many dough-making situations, such as fermenting a biga for an extended period of time when the ambient temperature is higher than ideal.  Same is true for sourdough starters.


Rolls
Yes, I knew this. I was just saying that I don't think a brining solution with meat in it is really comparable to pizza dough when you ask the question of whether or not salt can kill yeast. In theory, salt can kill yeast and many other types of microorganisms given enough time and a high enough concentration of salt, with no other counteracting factors. But in pizza dough, the salt content is nowhere near high enough to kill a significant amount of the yeast, there is a large amount of flour acting as a partial osmotic barrier, and the yeast cells are always multiplying anyway. Plus, in most cases, even when the salt is being added directly to the proofing water before any flour is added, the amount of time that situation exists is extremely short; like not even a minute. I can't even imagine any situation where anybody would set up the conditions for salt to completely kill yeast at any point in the dough making process.
  I'm not trying to say that salt has no effect on the growth of yeast at all, or that it can't kill any of the yeast. I'm well aware that the whole reason salt is in dough is so that the yeast doesn't grow without limit. But what you're saying is accurate overall.
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Offline Yael

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Re: adding salt too early??
« Reply #37 on: December 03, 2021, 08:47:19 AM »
I remember reading posts of Tom Lehmann highly suggesting that yeast and salt should not be in contact (and put in dough at different times), but I think that from his point of view it was just a matter of limiting the risks for restaurant/industrial production.
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Offline amolapizza

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Re: adding salt too early??
« Reply #38 on: December 04, 2021, 10:55:36 AM »
AFAIK, yeast cells only multiply for a very short time (if at all) in a newly made dough.  The freely available oxygen is rapidly used up and then the yeast shifts into anaerobic alcoholic fermentation mode.

Regarding the salt, I've been taught that adding the salt early protects the dough from oxidation during the mixing process, but that adding it late can be particularly useful when making high hydration dough as it also has an effect on the gluten formation.
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Re: adding salt too early??
« Reply #39 on: December 04, 2021, 01:15:29 PM »
AFAIK, yeast cells only multiply for a very short time (if at all) in a newly made dough.  The freely available oxygen is rapidly used up and then the yeast shifts into anaerobic alcoholic fermentation mode.

Regarding the salt, I've been taught that adding the salt early protects the dough from oxidation during the mixing process, but that adding it late can be particularly useful when making high hydration dough as it also has an effect on the gluten formation.
I guess I should have said that the yeast is always multiplying while fermentation is underway. As far as yeast only growing for multiplying for a short time, I've never heard that. My understanding is that it will continue multiplying until it's killed by the heat of the oven. It might go dormant before that if the fermentation is allowed to go on for an extremely long time, and the multiplication process might drop dramatically, but I don't think it stops until the yeast has hit the limit of available sugars that it can digest, which can take quite a while, or until it's killed during baking. Here's a link to an article that I think sums it up pretty well https://www.finecooking.com/article/the-science-of-baking-with-yeast-2
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