I’ve made bread for many years using bakers’ yeast and have always followed the original instructions I was given which involve sifting flour and salt into a bowl then adding water and kneading. No mention of adding the salt later. This always produced a decent loaf (although not a patch on sourdough IMO).
As I discussed in a separate post I have found that amongst sourdough experts (Bertinet, Robertson et al) there is a strong opinion that salt should not be added until some initial development of the dough has taken place. It is clear that salt introduced during the initial stages does not interfere with the action of ordinary bakers’ yeast and I have shown in my own sourdough baking that perfectly decent loaves can be produced by adding salt during the initial stages but I am wondering whether the reason for delaying the addition of salt might be because it interferes not with the yeast but with the bacteria, which is such an important part of sourdough baking.
As I understand it bakers’ yeast is a very powerful strain that gobbles up all the available food, leaving nothing for the bacteria, whereas in sourdough, or natural yeast baking, the weaker strains of yeast are able to co-exist with the lactobacillus sanfranciscensis thus producing the unique flavour of sourdough. Does the early addition of salt tend to kill off this bacteria thus affecting the complexity of the final taste without interfering with the rising of the dough?
Just thinking aloud really.