Hand versus Machine Kneaded Bread - Salt

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Chris Klindt's picture
Chris Klindt
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Joined: 2015-12-21 04:11
Hand versus Machine Kneaded Bread - Salt

Hi Chef Jacob,

My question is, have you seen a difference of adding salt with yeast at the beginning of a machine kneaded bread?

For better than forty years, I have added salt in the beginning of making a yeast bread in a machine kneaded bread to get the salt and yeast spread out through the dough.

In 2007-2008, I did a test of salt and yeast doing a bag test on a plastic bottle using a condom to look for CO2 pressure. One bottle had salt and the other did not not. The salt added seemed to create a little better pressure than without salt but this was only one test.

So my understanding is that salt interferes with the gluten structure and makes the dough tougher to hand knead. This is true, correct?  

But in machine kneading, does it make any difference? 

Thanks,
Chris

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jacob burton
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Joined: 2015-05-25 20:37

Salt doesn't have much effect on the yeast, unless the yeast is already re-hydrated and for some reason it comes into contact with a lot of salt. As you know, salt in a high enough concentration will kill just about anything.

As you stated, delaying the addition of salt during the autolyse stage is more about gluten formation. Salt will tighten the gluten network, and require more kneading to develop that network in the first place if autolyse is skipped. This equates to working the motor on your mixer longer, and making the dough tougher to mix in general. You'll really notice the difference when working with lower hydration doughs like pizza.

I've also seen comparisons where the same dough was made side-by-side but one skipped the autolyse step. The finished baked loaf looked to have a better oven spring. Another user posted this somewhere here on the forums.

But the short of it is, if you're adding the salt at the same time as the yeast and getting a finished product you're happy with, I would say there's no reason to change.

Chris Klindt's picture
Chris Klindt
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Joined: 2015-12-21 04:11

Hi Chef Jacob,

You bring up some interesting points.

I have made all your pizza dough recipes and love them. Thank you very much!

I have done salt with the water and salt added at the end of autolyse but I don't believe that I paid much attention for the final baked dough(s).

So, are you saying that if autolyze is skipped that the baked dough will be more airy with CO2 holes in the dough and better oven spring? I think that I can see this in my mind that the gluten didn't have a chance to fully develop with water and kneading.

Do you remember if the user had any idea of the chemical makeup of the water that was being used? I have never taken the idea to bread put it does make a difference in all grain beer depending on summer or winter. I haven't done all grain beer since my stroke but some of this is still in my brain.

Water used to be an interesting subject to me but I have forgotten too much. Every water district whether city or county should have water report published online or available from the water district. If you are on a ground well, the person will have to pull a sample and send the water sample off to be analyzed.

Most water districts will deliver a +OH water to the user to protect the distribution piping with some scale and not to have brown water (rust). Just some thoughts.

Thanks,
Chris

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