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May 3, 2010 09:16 PM

Add salt to bread dough???

So I just made my dough and it's about to rise and I realize I left the salt out. Anyone added salt at this stage?

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  1. Yes, and it's not the same, does not incorporate well. Give it a try though as you have little choice.

    I hate when I forget the salt!

    1. as Bamia said, it's not going to be quite the same, but do the best you can...worst-case scenario, eat it with something salty or add a little salt before eating.

      1 Reply
      1. re: goodhealthgourmet

        If you're making a pizza type thing you can always add some salty topping (olives or something) or sprinkle some salt on top.

      2. Yes, I've done the same and it's not good. Try to knead it in; if you're using a mixer for kneading, that may work better than hand kneading. Good luck. Bread without salt is like life without love.

        1. I'd add a fine grained table salt (although I usually use kosher), reknead it, and then let it sit in the fridge for up to a day, and then start over. Maybe you've tried it, so you'll know that bread without salt is so amazingly WRONG! It must be avoided at all costs.

          Good luck!

          1. This is probably too late for you, but I hope your bread turned out. I've been going through some bread books, which say that since salt kills yeast (before it's had a chance to "activate"), that it should be added later in the kneeding anyways. In my usual routine I mix the flour, salt and water (activated with sugar/honey and allowed to sit until foamy), oil if it's going in. Then I kneed (actually in the stand mixer) until it comes together about a minute or two later. Then I let it sit for about 15 minutes to help the flour absorb/distribute water. Only after that do I add the salt. I just sprinkle it on and continue the mixing.

            In your case I would have just sprinkled on the salt and kneeded for a while more until it felt incorporated. Unless you're the Hulk, I don't think you would over-develop the gluten, so no worries there.

            I think, technically, there's something about the way that salt inhibits the yeast that makes it rise more slowly that it would without salt. That "slower-ness" means more flavor, as well as bringing out the flavors of the flour, etc. So, it's more than taste ... I think.

            2 Replies
            1. re: nstoddar

              I'm glad you clarified what you report as having read (salt kills yeast) because your mention that it "inhibits" yeast is more accurate. I would also endorse the method you use for introducing salt to your bread formula.
              However, once the dough is formed and in the process of its initial rise, it is very difficult to incorporate salt without over kneading the dough. One method I've seen used with some success is flattening the dough ball, sprinkling it lightly with salt (about 50% of the salt require for the formula) and kneading it half a dozen times and repeating the process. Another is incorporating the salt in as a saline solution with a bit of water and spritzing the flattened dough ball, using the same flatten/salt/flatten/salt routine already described. The added water does make for a less dense dough but the added hydration seems to transport the salt throughout the bread more thoroughly.

              1. re: todao

                Yeah that's what I've done (salty water spritz) . I guess it worked. Can't remember. I now put all the pre-measured ingredients in front of me first. Recently I forgot how many teaspoons of yeast I'd added. Not any more.