“I forgot to add salt to my bread dough, can I save it?”
Don’t panic, you won’t need to start all over again, we’re about to tell you how to fix this problem. The solution’s easier than you think and it’s actually very common. So, please don’t feel bad about it.
We all know bread is one of the most complicated preparations in the kitchen, but once you get the hang of it, you’ll want to bake bread all the time. Personally, I always like to make my own homemade pizza dough from scratch, and no, I don’t buy pizza anymore unless I go out for dinner with my date or my friends.
Keep reading, we have some tips and tricks for you!
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Indeed, this problem is more common than you imagine, so don’t feel alone on this train and welcome to the club of the forgetful. In like manner, bakers and kitchen lovers in general commonly forget to add ingredients.
Certainly, achieving a perfect dough is an illusion that any cook wants. We all want our dough to grow and have many bubbles inside. As well as the adorable yeast smell characteristic of good bread.
Salt naturally absorbs moisture and tightens gluten. But if you’re not sure about this, you can taste some of the dough to check if it has salt. And knowing that flour is an ingredient that should not be consumed raw, you don’t need to fear, because a little piece will not have any unhealthy effect on your digestion.
And the million-dollar question’s answer is: Yes! Your bread can be saved! Let us tell you how.
Adding salt right after kneading dough
Are you kneading and realizing the dough feels sticky and flabby? It’s definitely not the desired texture and you start to wonder why. Let me tell you we all know the feeling.
Steps to incorporate the forgotten salt to your bread dough
Step #1: Make a saltwater
In a cup, mix 2 teaspoons of water with the salt.
Step #2: Re-knead
Return the dough to the mixer or mixing bowl (low speed if you’re using an electric mixer), and pour your salty water carefully in intervals. You’ll hear it slop a little bit, but no worries.
Read more about Best Mixer For Bread Dough
Step #3: Let it rest
Next, cover your bowl with plastic film and let the dough rest from 20 to 60 minutes before using it.
Adding salt after its first rise
You can now see all the air bubbles in it. In this case, re-kneading the dough will cause severe damages to it. The good thing about this is that you can still bake it.
As a recommendation, you can accompany this bread with very spicy dishes, strong-flavored cheeses or meats, or salty, flavored, and spreadable butter. You can also make some salty or sweet pizza! The point is letting your imagination run.
There is a bread called Tuscan, which doesn’t contain salt. You can also use this bread to make an Italian dish called Panzanella Salad. Take a look at it!
When to Add Salt to Yeast Dough?
Yeast is a living organism that needs to be fed by adding a little sugar to grow faster. Although it’s not mandatory to add sugar, it can still grow with the flour itself, but it would take a little longer.
If we incorporate the salt at the beginning of the kneading, we’ll notice a lower volume and greater crust, this is recommended when working with weak flour. On the other hand, if we incorporate the salt at the end of the kneading, we’ll obtain greater volume and fine crusts, do this if you’re working with strong flour.
There are two types of yeast, dry and dense yeast.
Dry yeast is practically hibernating, and the most important fact of it is that it’s actually quite immune to salt until it’s rehydrated. So if you’re making a straight dough, you can feel free to add the salt at any time.
Dense yeast – also called fresh or wet
Certainly, salt will inhibit the fresh yeast and can kill it in a high enough concentration. Therefore, you’ll try to arrange it so that the salt is spread out in the other ingredients before it makes contact with the yeast. Meaning, you will mix all the dry ingredients first, and then, you can leave the yeast for the end.
Read more about Amazing Cinnamon Monkey Bread from Scratch Without Yeast
Why is Salt in the Dough so Important?
Salt is a super valuable ingredient, it is used to improve any dish. It affects the texture and taste of different ingredients. Salt has its right moment to be integrated, and of course, we must know what is the amount necessary for each of these ingredients or dishes.
It also helps to control its volume and improve color. It is generally used in a proportion of 2% of the weight of the flour.
What Does Salt Do In Bread?
In this particular case, salt helps control fermentation. And without it, the dough will rise faster than normal and this would result in a weak taste and structure. However, there’s no need to lose hope.
And as we mentioned before, you can still bake it and use it with too many delicious recipes like curries, cheese boards, soups, etc.
8 Salt Functions in Bread
1. Strengthens Gluten. The lack of salt produces softer and stickier doughs. Salt increases the firmness of the dough and its manageability.
2. Increases water absorption.
3. Slows down yeast activity.
4. Inhibits the action of acid bacteria. It reduces the yeast’s acidity due to its antiseptic properties.
5. Has an antioxidant effect. It produces superior oxidation when incorporated at the end of kneading.
6. Produces thinner and crispier crusts.
7. Gives taste to the bread.
8. Aid to the conservation of bread. Though, in humid climates, this can be counterproductive because it helps the bread to get leathery.
To sum up…
You must take into consideration that all of these facts depend on the type of bread, personal preference, conditions, location, etc.
Don’t worry about not having added salt to the dough, remember that there’s always an option to save a fantastic recipe.
Read more about Can You Use Bleached Flour For Sourdough Starter?