I'm making a bare-bones bread recipe, but I was wondering what the salt does. It looks like it helps it rise, but how does it compare to sugar? How do they interact with each other?
Salt has three functions in bread.
- It changes the flavor, making it more savory.
- It inhibits the yeast. In fact, it makes it more difficult to rise, not easier - as you see, the effect is not that pronounced, to the point where it was easy for you to mistake its direction from casual observation.
- It makes a somewhat firmer gluten structure.
It doesn't really interact with sugar at the amounts used in bread recipes (and in a barebones recipe, there is no sugar anyway). Also, it has different effects from sugar, so there is no common dimension on which to compare them.