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I forgot to add the salt to the dough! I did, however, put olive oil, salt and rosemary on the exterior of the dough when I put it in the pan. I'm wondering what effect the lack of salt in the dough will have on the texture of the loaves.

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  • For the sake of something other than the foolishness going on below, how did it turn out, in your case?
    – Ecnerwal
    Apr 5, 2015 at 23:22
  • [kingarthurflour.com/professional/salt.html] visit this website for more information behind the MYTH of why salt is recommended.
    – Chef_Code
    Apr 6, 2015 at 7:11

2 Answers 2

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In my personal experience, the role of salt in bread is mostly myth, reiterated over and over until it's accepted as fact by many people. I haven't salted dough for something in excess of 25 years, and I have not noticed any textural loss either when I stopped salting, or in comparison to other people's bread.

When I last had this discussion with someone else, the only thing we could dig up that appeared to be actual science, as opposed to "I like salty bread" repackaged as "salt plays an essential role in bread, because I said so, and this other person before me said so, and none of us ever tested the hypothesis" indicated a slight reduction in staling at the 5 day point.

The salt on the exterior should provide the salty you want. If not, dig out the salt shaker. I'd be very surprised if you can detect a textural difference in a double-blind test. If you have an expectation of a textural difference and you know you are looking at the loaf with no salt in it, you stand a pretty good chance of finding one, but that's mostly psychology, not baking.

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  • I'm sure that there are loads of factors that will influence the outcome way more - amount of kneading, type/quality of flour, even brand and age of yeast and ambient temperature or quality of water. Forgetting the salt will mostly affect the taste and by salting the exterior you should be fine.
    – Stephie
    Apr 5, 2015 at 14:49
  • why don't you try it then make enough for about 10 sheet pans, or better yet look up--Does salt control the activity of yeast, these are the secrets you learn from professionals, I don't know where you get your information but it sounds like an opinion which is gonna ruin someones recipe and waste a bunch of someones money.
    – Chef_Code
    Apr 5, 2015 at 17:42
  • Salt is hardly the only way to "control the activity of yeast" - temperature, amount of yeast, moisture, amount (if any) of sugar all affect yeast activity. This particular "secret of professionals" is neither secret nor remotely accurate. The secret to not overproofing is to not ignore the dough until it's overproofed...and I get it from 30+ years of hands-on baking, including baking on a commercial scale occasionally.
    – Ecnerwal
    Apr 5, 2015 at 18:05
  • I never said it was the only way to control it, preaching to the choir, "its religion not science"... please get out of here it with that. I said it is there to control it. The question is about the salt not all conditions that help control the yeast, get over your self. I have credentials to back up what I say as well.
    – Chef_Code
    Apr 5, 2015 at 22:44
  • Professional double-blind taste test and textural examination. Why would you want them to blind folded afraid of what they might say. Product inspection goes farther than just taste @Ecnerwal
    – Chef_Code
    Apr 5, 2015 at 22:54
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According to Foodbook a page I follow on Facebook this is what the web author says.

Did you know salt in your Focaccia recipe (or any yeast based dough recipe), is not just there for flavor. Salt's main job in the recipe is actually to control the yeast activity during fermentation.

Actually too much salt can really slow down the yest or even kill it all together. If you are making large batches of dough it is highly recommended that you do not leave the salt out of the recipe, the yeast will go nuts and over proof/ferment your dough, you risk encountering such problems as tunneling in the finished product, weak first initial over-spring, or even having the dough collapse due to over fermentation.

I personally believe the salt does add to the flavor development during fermentation as well. Although I've heard both sides of the argument.

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  • ...so your actual experience with not salting dough is - you never do it, so you have none? That's religion, not science.
    – Ecnerwal
    Apr 5, 2015 at 18:09
  • How do you know if I have never done it? I don't think I'm perfect, I've made mistakes that's how I know.
    – Chef_Code
    Apr 5, 2015 at 22:49

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