Salt is an important ingredient in bread baking as it plays a number of roles in the bread-making process. When adding salt to bread dough, it is important to use the right amount, as too much or too little salt can negatively affect the final product. The timing of salt addition is also important and it should be added at the right time in the bread-making process. Using the wrong type of salt can also lead to errors in bread making. To ensure the best results, it is important to follow recipe instructions and be mindful of the amount and type of salt used.
- Salt acts as a natural enhancer: Salt acts as a natural enhancer in the dough that not only adds to the taste but also helps bring out the flavour and aroma present of the flour and other ingredients.
- Salt in the right amount enriches the flavour: Bread baked without salt will have a flat and insipid taste. On the other hand, bread baked with an excess of salt will be unpalatable. It is important to note that salt enhances the flavour of the bread and is not a substitute for the fine flavour of superior well-fermented bread flour.
- Salt influences the shelf life: Because of its hygroscopic nature, salt reduces the shelf life of baked bread. However, depending on the weather, it somewhat affects the shelf life. Salt is important because it helps the bread retain water for a longer period in dry areas, preventing staling and so prolonging the shelf life. In a humid environment, however, it will absorb water and retain moisture from the air, making the crust soggy and reducing the bread's shelf life - this makes it more prone to spoilage.
- Salt tightens the gluten structure: Salt is essential for making a great crumb because it strengthens the gluten, allowing it to store CO2 more efficiently. During fermentation, the dough produces carbon dioxide, which is essential in the formation of the crumb's net structure. When salt is not added, the gluten structure is not tightened sufficiently, resulting in slackness and a low volume of bread.
- Salt indirectly aids the development of crust colour: Salt contributes to the colour of the crust on baked bread as it slows down the rate at which the yeast consumes sugar from the flour. In the absence of salt, the yeast quickly consumes the available sugar, and the crust is pale and dull. Since the salt slows down this consumption, there is some residual sugar available at the time of baking which gives the crust a golden-brown colour.
The Recommended Dosage of Salt
The ideal percentage of salt used in bread baking should be between 1.8% to 2.2% of the total amount of flour, depending on the recipe and personal preference. The low salt content can lead to bland tasting loaves. If there is a large proportion of other ingredients, such as seeds, for which salt enhances flavour, the percentage could be a little higher.
We hope the information in this blog has been valuable to you. Do share your comments, queries or concerns regarding this blog with us.
Have a topic in mind you want us to write on? We are open to hearing from you. Kindly write to us on firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank You for reading.