I have a question about the recipe "Dan Leader's 4-Hour Baguette" from Genius Recipes. Ahh! Forgot the salt! Will it be OK??!
How far are you into the recipe?
The salt serves the purpose of inhibiting the growth of the yeast- sugar feeds it, salt stops it. These two ingredients keep the yeast in check. Without it, your baguette might still be edible, but it won't have the same flavor or texture.
ahh crap. well, definitely too far along. we'll see how it goes!
well, it's not terrible - but it's not particularly great bread. maybe i'll use it for panzanella!
Salt really has very little effect on bread; it won't taste as salty, is about it. You might like it better- the recipe as written has an awful lot of salt. If you want to add salt while baking, you can brush the crust with salt water- not the same, but it does add some salt flavor. As far as it's effect on the yeast, it's really negligible, it might rise a touch faster.
It'll be fine, bread doesn't need salt. It won't taste as salty, but then the original recipe is awfully salty; you might like it better. You can brush it with salt water toward the end of baking for a stronger crust and some salt flavor, though it's not the same. It may rise a tad faster, but probably not enough to notice- salt is by no means a necessary ingredient in bread.
MarenM, for another time, you may be interested to know and try Tuscan bread, which is traditionally made without salt.
One of those historical issues: they say the recipes were developed when salt taxers were insanely high and people couldn't or wouldn't pay them.
Anyway, yes the recipes work, but also yes they taste differently from what one expects in a bread recipe intended to be made WITH salt.
If you're interested, have a look or a try:
It might affect the proving time (the salt is also there to control the growth of the yeast), but should be ok. One thing about unsalted bread...it can take some getting use to. I've made Tuscan bread and while the crust and crumb were great, you really do miss the salt. But if you are pairing the bread with a highly seasoned dish (like a sauce or a stew), the bread should be just fine.