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I've made a pizza today and thought the dough could use a little more salt. I've looked at this answer and have a question about the salt ratio. How is it calculated? The percentage of flour, or the percentage of dough?

My pizza recipe calls for 300 g flour, 150 ml water and 3 g salt. That is 1% of the flour weight, but less of the total weight. If 3% is the recommended salt level for bread, I should be using 9 gr for the flour, or 13,5 g for total weight. That is a huge difference.

Edit: The recipe calls for 1 tablespoon of salt, 1 bag of dry yeast (but I use my own mother dough), and 60 ml oil.

Edit: I believe I measured one tablespoon to be 3g :-(

  • A tablespoon of salt is not 3g -- are you sure you're not using a teaspoon instead of a tablespoon? A tablespoon is 15ml, and granular salt has a density maybe 60% that of water, so a tablespoon of it would be 9g. – Mike Scott Dec 23 '13 at 17:08
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When you have a (good) bread recipe, the weight ratio is always given as percentage of the flour. This tradition is known as a baker's percentage. It may sound counterintuitive at first, but when you are measuring, or scaling, ingredients (which add to the total weight by themselves) you soon notice how convenient it is.

So, if you recipe calls for 300 g flour and 3% salt, it needs 9g salt. The water at 150 ml is 50% - a rather low hydration, don't do this with bread flour unless you have another liquid in the recipe you didn't mention (eggs, oil, or additional water for a poolish). It will be stiff with AP flour, but I like it that way, while other people find it too hard. It is up to personal preference, I guess. Also measure the other ingredients (yeast) as a percentage of the flour weight. And if you are given a recipe for fresh yeast, don't forget to convert it to instant dry if you are using it, or vice versa - the conversion factor is 3:1.

  • So if the recipe calls for 10g dry yeast, it should be 30g mother dough? I'll look the recipe up and write it down here exactly. Later... – BaffledCook Mar 19 '12 at 13:39
  • It should be 30g fresh yeast (the one sold in pressed cubes in the refrigerated aisle). You can't freely exchange between yeast and sourdough, if this is what you mean, you have to make bigger changes to the recipe. And if you do go for sourdough, you will need much more than 10 g for even a small loaf. – rumtscho Mar 19 '12 at 13:42
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    Sourdough starter is usually somewhere between ¼ and ½ of the dough. Depends on how sour you want it, and how strong your starter is. So, if you're going for ~470g of dough, you'd want at least ~120g to be sourdough starter. – derobert Mar 19 '12 at 16:08
  • @derobert - You can get away with much, much less depending on the intent of the starter. If you're looking to just use natural leavening, then you can use a fraction of that and an extended rise. – rfusca Mar 19 '12 at 17:08
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Ratios are always by weight. In bread-making, percentages are made from the amount of flour (if you see a 70% hydration bread, the weight of the water is 70% of that from the flour). So it was meant to say "3% of the flour weight". So it should be 9 grams in your recipe for pizza dough.

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This is my recipe I translated from Italian website. So for 1 pound of flour (1/2kg), I use one tbsp (11 gram) of salt. Try and let us know.

1/2 kg unbleached all purpose flour 
4g dry yeast, half sachet, or 12g normal.
1tsp sugar
11g sea salt, 1tbsp 
300 ml Warm water
3tbsp Olive oil
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I usually use 1 tablespoon of salt for 1Kg of flour.

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