Baking & Snack - August 2016 - 65





Even as a 'small' ingredient in bakery
formulation, salt carries a big weight
from a functional perspective.
by Charlotte Atchley


Salt's importance in the bakery is most evident in the fact that
even in the simplest bread formulation - flour, yeast, water
and salt - its presence makes a big difference. Though considered a micro ingredient, salt carries important functions.
"Salt has three major functional roles in baking: enhancing
flavor, strengthening protein and controlling yeast fermentation," said Marie Thomas, vice-president of innovation, bakery
ingredients, AB Mauri North America. "While standard salt
levels found in baked goods only average around 2% of ingredients (on a flour weight basis), it makes a large impact on dough
processing, yeast activity and finished taste profiles. On a commercial scale, salt plays an important role in extending the shelf
life of products, and it impacts the dough's rheology."
In various bakery applications, these different functions carry more weight than in others. For example, in products relying
heavily on gluten, yeast stabilization and protein strengthening
rise to the top. In products where gluten isn't as important, flavor takes center stage.
"In baked goods leavened with baking soda or baking powder, such as cookies, muffins and biscuits, salt still serves the
same functional properties," said Chef Scott Keys, manager, culinary operations, Nu-Tek Salt. "However, despite its decreased
role in the functional sense, the role of salt, in this case, becomes increasingly important to the overall flavor and mouthfeel of this variety of finished goods."
But all the same, changes in salt content will have an impact
on finished products, whether in structure, texture and mouthfeel, or flavor.

Stabilize the yeast
In yeast-raised baked goods, salt plays an vital role in stabilizing the yeast. Yeast needs the water present in bread or cracker / August 2016 Baking & Snack 65

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