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Help! I added three times the amount of salt needed for my sourdough bread recipe (1/4 c. versus 1 T.) Can I save it?

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  • What stage are you at? Do you currently have actual dough with too much salt?
    – Jolenealaska
    Apr 22 '20 at 21:51
  • Yes, i added the salt after the autolyse. There was a lot of liquid in the bowl after 30 minutes which i drained.
    – K Nels
    Apr 22 '20 at 22:22
  • Hey, you're under no obligation to answer this, but I'm intensely curious as to how the mismeasurement happened.
    – FuzzyChef
    Apr 23 '20 at 4:15
  • Fair question, embarrassed to say but I googled 20 gram conversion to cup measurement and it said 1/4 cup. I was on autopilot, not thinking that this might have been a correct measurement for water, which is a much different density to salt.
    – K Nels
    Apr 24 '20 at 6:37
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The short answer is no, unfortunately you cannot save this bread. Once the salt is mixed in you cannot remove it, and that much salt is likely to kill all the yeast in that dough, or at least slow it way down.

Diluting the salt by mixing it in with 3 times more bread is possible in theory, but realistically there's a lot of potential to be throwing away a lot of good ingredients. You could also use 1/4 of it mixed in with 3/4 fresh ingredients, but for my money you may was well start out anew as you aren't saving enough ingredients to make the extra trouble worthwhile. Mixing autolysed salty dough in with other dough so it completely combines and distributes the salt is problematic unless you mix it with the recipe's water, and then you're adding the salt before the yeast, which creates a hostile environment to put your sourdough starter in.

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  • Thank you for your informative reply. I decided to go through the normal steps and see what I'd end up with. I did leave the bread out an extra hour after the bread pulling every 30 minutes, but you're right, it didn't raise like it should, but it turned out ok. There were still plenty of air pockets present, which surprised me. Salty, yes, but add a little apricot jam and it balanced out the saltiness. Would also work for croutons. I'd say I've got lemonade. Happy baking!
    – K Nels
    Apr 24 '20 at 6:19
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This depends on when you recognize the problem. If your recognition is immediate then:

4 TBS in 1/4 cup. You basically have enough salt for a 4X recipe. So, you have to increase everything else by 3 to have the correct proportion of salt in your recipe. Good point @The Photon (below)...or reduce by 3/4 and replace with salt-free ingredients.

If you are well-into the fermentation stage, the excess salt could certainly be problematic for yeast and bacterial growth.

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  • Ok, thank you. I don't have enough starter ready for that.
    – K Nels
    Apr 22 '20 at 22:22
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    @KNels, you could throw away 3/4 of what you have made so far, then make it up with the other ingredients aside from salt, then proceed with the rest of the recipe.
    – The Photon
    Apr 22 '20 at 23:05
  • thank you for your reply, would i need to add starter too?
    – K Nels
    Apr 22 '20 at 23:33
  • in addition to the starter in the initiial batch.
    – K Nels
    Apr 22 '20 at 23:33
  • He could also just double it. That would mean that the loaf would have double salt, which would be not ideal but would at least still rise.
    – FuzzyChef
    Apr 23 '20 at 4:14

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