The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

How to make taste-free bread

HeidiH's picture
HeidiH

How to make taste-free bread

Hubby Bill kept bugging me, "Why do you put salt in bread?  I can't taste it.  We probably don't need the sodium."  So, finally, tired of his repetitions of the topic, I did.  I made a fine 75% hydration filtered water, hi-gluten Pendleton flour, and yeast bread without salt.  It, of course, tastes of nothing.  Or rather a faint hint of flour and under-the-sink-filtered Columbia tap water.    It rose well, it looks great, the crumb is right and it tastes like nothing.  It is particularly redolent of nothing with unsalted butter.  A foodie friend who's eaten a lot of my bread was over and I asked her to try the bread and tell me what was wrong with it.  She took a bite and said, "You mean that it has no taste?"

Anyway, I don't think we will be required to repeat this experiment.  Bill's a statistician, so n's of 1 do not usually convince him but in this case ...

;=)

hh

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

everywhere are picking up pitch forks and marching on the nearest salt lick :-)  I'm with your Wild Bill and think cutting salt down to say 1.5% doesn't change much in the way of taste.

HeidiH's picture
HeidiH

I'm already at 1.5% for salt and hardly ever go higher.  Also we don't eat too many processed foods, use unsalted butter, eat our veggies without salt, and cook with a light salt hand in general -- so except for our adventures with ham, we're pretty low salt around here.  No salt is fine for broccoli or corn niblets.  For bread?  Not so much.

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

Leaves more room for that healthy red wine and beer - without thirsting for it because of the salt :-)

AnnaInMD's picture
AnnaInMD

 proves that since chocolate is made from cocoa beans which grow on trees, chocolate is a fruit.

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

about chocolate, even though it makes complete sense to my apprentice, but my daughter thinks that money grows on trees and that her Daddy has acres of them on several tree ranches just waiting to be harvested.  Poor thing, when she finds out the truth, the shock could really do her some long term damage :-)

gary.turner's picture
gary.turner

Salt is one of those things that enhances the perceived sweetness of foods (salt on your cantaloup) and counteracts sourness (e.g.  on your grapefruit), and neutralizes bitterness (a bit in the coffeepot).

If your bread is tasteless without salt, try sourdough, a preferment, or a slow, cold bulk ferment. These will each add flavor in the form of sugars or acids. Dairy will improve the flavor, too. Use sour milk, buttermilk, or yoghurt in place of a substantial portion of the water to increase acidity.

cheers,

gary

MangoChutney's picture
MangoChutney

I use 1% salt in my bread and we are happy with that.  That is only 120 mg of sodium per slice.  I accidentally left it out once and yes, the bread tasted like wet flour.  Even leavened with sourdough and made with yogurt.  If I had put spices in it, probably we would have liked it better.  That's how I cook without added salt; I add spices.  We ate all of the saltless bread but it was a chore.

If all else fails, tell your husband you need the iodide content.  *grin*

 

All at Sea's picture
All at Sea

... in the air around here, I'm going to live to be a hundred and nineteen. Pickled from the outside in.

Just steer clear of the processed foods and then you can throw a little salt in your dough (and you'll make it to 118 at least ...)

All at Sea

AnnaInMD's picture
AnnaInMD

or the hickory one which is so tasty with a generous helping of caraway seeds in the rye bread - unheard of :)

My husband insists that no bread is good for him unless it is whole wheat. I hate that bitter stuff (which, since my first outcry here, has been changed to KA's light WW or scalted the night before and not so bad anymore), but nonetheless, I appease him by showing him 1/4 scoop of the flour as I put it into the bowl and make him believe there is more of it ............   Men !

 

HeidiH's picture
HeidiH

I'm with you on the applewood-smoked salt and have used it in cheese bread but not rye.  Rye is coming up in rotation, probably today, and I'll give it a go.  Gotta use those 42 oz. of caraway I got on sale! LOL

AnnaInMD's picture
AnnaInMD

hickory-smoked salt.  But I am sure, applewood is just as good.

Happy Baking !  :)

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

(or the back of a big kitchen knife) and you'll get more kick from your buck.  :)  I keep a pepper grinder full of 'em.   

AnnaMagnani's picture
AnnaMagnani

As my cousin the doctor says, "No fat, no salt, no flavor."  My last loaf of Buttermilk Potato Bread had so little flavor that, even in a sandwich, it was a trial to eat.  I checked my formula and discovered salt was at only 1.5%.  I like salt and made the next loaf with 2%.  It now tastes right.

odinraider's picture
odinraider

I'm not taking the nihilistic stance that "we all have to die of something," but really, don't we hear to much about salt? Everyone is jumping on it like lowering consumption is the cure-all. If we are focused on salt, chances are, we are not focusing on something else just as detrimental. High fat content. Simple sugar content. How the chemical composition will change when encountering enzymes in the digestive tract and form carcinogenic compounds... the list goes on. How about instead of counting every milligram (those of us without heart-related heath issues or a doctor's notice), we simply use some common sense and moderate our intake of all things? As I see it, balance is much better than abstinence.

As for the Tuscans, sure, they make saltless bread, but commonly pair it with salty preserved meats and hard cheeses. And some fruit.

I try to limit the amount of salt in my cooking, because I want to taste food, not salt. I limit it in baking for the same reason. 1.5% in some recipes; 2% in others, or other amounts depending on the taste I want to impart at the end.

For what it's worth.

Matt

Grenage's picture
Grenage

Salt is ok, it's just hyped up because some people eat diets that are absolutely loaded with salt.  They eat crisps, and other pre-packaged foods, they use it in almost all of their cooking, and then they use it at the dinner table.

I use minimal salt when cooking potatoes, but that is all; 1.5% in bread is fine for me.  Any more, and all I can taste is salt.

joem6112's picture
joem6112

. Though I've never have tasted wallpaper, I can only imagine that's the taste of bread made without salt. A few times being in a hurry I have forgotten the salt when making bread and fell to my knees sobbing because I would have to endure a beautiful TASTELESS loaf. Now I have a note attached to my bread baking utensils that states, "DON'T FORGET THE SALT". That has helped