Baking – Should you add some salt to flour when baking


I was always taught to add a pinch of salt to flour when baking (mainly cakes / muffins and puddings).

I have recipes that specifically mention adding salt and others that don't.

Is there a scientific reason to add salt?

Best Answer

Salt serves two primary purposes in baking:

  1. To regulate yeast
    • Salt kills yeast. The addition of salt to a yeast leavened dough prevents the little beasties from growing completely out of control.
  2. To enhance and mask specific flavors
    • Salt is almost a universal flavor enhancer. Virtually anything that tastes good, will taste better with salt. What typically comes as a surprise to people is that this holds true with sweet things too, particularly chocolate. The addition of even a tiny bit of salt can make a sweet dish significantly sweeter. It also serves to mask the taste of raw flour.


Also according to Progressive Baker salt affects the strength and shelf life of baked goods.