The salt-yeast method and Demi-Baguettes
The “Salz-Hefe-Verfahren” is a method of increasing stability and improving gas retention of yeasted bread doughs.
I thought it was a hoax when I read about it in a German cooking forum. Then I saw a picture by a home-baker, who applied the salt-yeast method to a Baguette recipe (link to the forum thread at www.chefkoch.de) :
“einervonuns” – the user in the Chefkoch-forums, who made the bread in the above picture – used Type-1050 flour, a hydration of 72% and folded the dough three times in the first 45 minutes of bulk fermentation.
It was no hoax. It is mentioned in my German book for bakers as well with the comment that it helps to keep the dough “young” and that this method is especially useful during hot summer months.
After careful analysis of the crumb of my bread, including tugging at it, tearing off bits and pieces and pushing my nose into it, I am not sure if this new method is responsible for the rather good aeration. But I did have the feeling that the dough felt wetter than a 70%-hydration, which I use frequently. Many users at chefkoch.de reported sensational results.
- Both all of the yeast and salt of the recipe are mixed with water, the water quantity should equal ten times the amount of salt (e.g. if the recipe calls for 10g salt, dissolve it, together with the yeast, in 100g water)
- Let the salt-yeast water stand for 4-48 hours at room temperature. Its temperature must not exceed 23°C
Demi-Baguettes (Yield: 2)
- 200g strong white flour (100%)
- 140g mineral water (70%)
- 4g fresh yeast (2%)
- 4g sea salt (2%)
Salt-Yeast-Method: Dillute both the yeast and the salt in 40g of water. The temperature of the water must not exceed 23°C. Let stand for 4-48 hours.
Make a soft doough by your favorite method.
Bulk Fermentation: 1 hour
Divide dough in half, let rest for 10 minutes and shape.
Final Fermantation: 1 hour
Bake at 240°C for 15-20 minutes.
Source: A variation of a recipe published in the book “Dough” by R. Bertinet