The Fresh Loaf

A Community of Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts.


Truth Serum's picture
Truth Serum


I am wondering if any folks on this site, have some tried and true low sodium around 100 -150 milligrams per serving recipes for bread that they liked to share.


LindyD's picture

You can use any of the formulas here which include baker's percentages, then just reduce the salt.

In most cases the salt is 1.8 to 2 percent of the flour weight.  Try 1.5 percent (or lower) but keep in mind that salt tightens the gluten structure and making a major reduction will have an effect on the dough, volume, and, taste.

patnx2's picture

uses no salt. Another use in baking is controling the  yeast. Less salt faster fermentation. Patrick

rossnroller's picture

My partner has kidney impairment and has to keep her salt intake low. Since I bake the bread and do the cooking, I've adjusted my recipes and habits to align with her requirements. We're both food nuts, so it wasn't easy at first - everything seemed like a compromise. It was especially challenging for me as a cook to drop salt content way down, as I was accustomed to 'tuning' my dishes with salt to optimise the flavour. In time I found workarounds. But to get to your question...

I adjust all my bread formulae down to 1.5% maximum salt, and I don't feel that the flavours suffer at all. In fact, I sometimes suspect lower salt actually enhances flavour by allowing some of the more subtle tones to come through. After years of reduced sodium intake, my palate is now re-sensitised to salt, though, so that must be factored in.

I've gone as low as 1% salt in my SD breads, and thought that was too low.

Can't say I've calculated milligrams of salt per serve for my breads. I'm not sure what you mean by 'serve' - 1 slice? Cut thick or thin? How thick or thin? If you specify this 'serve' value, I'll be able to work out the mg of salt per serve figure for the proportion of salt I use.

As patnx2 points out, there is no salt in a variety of Tuscan bread. I've tried baking such a loaf and must admit it was too bland for my taste. I suppose you could get used to it (the Tuscans evidently have!), but bread is such a joy...I think I'd rather have smaller serves of the breads I love than compromise by baking saltless Tuscan bread.


Truth Serum's picture
Truth Serum

I am hoping to do some experimenting(bread therapy ) tomorrow. I will post the recipe here.

Truth Serum's picture
Truth Serum

To get an idea of the sodium per slice of bread I total all the sodium use in the recipe. Based on pan size I chose a number. for a 9 " loaf pan I say 15 which gives me a ball park figure. I have found that a preferment really improves the flavor and my palate has changed; I am much more aware of salt in food.

Juergen's picture

It's always a good a thing to try and lower your salt intake, but in bread baking, there's no way around a reasonable amount of salt. I've tried to go as low as 1% but it didn't work for me. The only thing one can do is just eat less bread on a given day and perhaps cut down on salt in other food. This way one can still make and eat tasty loaves without having to worry about too much salt intake.

Truth Serum's picture
Truth Serum

I agree with you, bread needs salt. How much is the question. Rossnroller said 1.5 % is a point where the bread still tastes great.  I do eat less of special sodium rich bread, such as bagels.  And I wouldnt attempt at making a low sodium bagel!!!

However for a sandwich bread, I have found that you can increase the flavor of the dough by using a mixture of flours that is mostly wheat , but contains a small amount of oatmeal, rye, fine cornmeal, and potato.  (I know I should be more specific about amounts, but alas and alack I have not been. ) I mix this and let set for a few hours. I also improve the flavor  with browning sauce, that might also be called bakers caramel.

dabrownman's picture

a rule of thumb of 1.5% of the total flour as salt - even in bagels no problems and could probably go to 1.25% - just haven't done it yet to see if it makes a real difference for our family who are used to lowered  salt intake in all of our foods.  I think folks use way too much salt in all of their food for all kinds of questionable reasons or just because they think it tastes better.

 When I see a celebrity chef on TV tossing in huge piles of  salt when they season their food I nearly have a heart attack watching it.  It is simply not required.  My wife and I can hardly go out to eat without being attacked by the grossly overdone  salt levels in most restaurant foods we seem to find.

If you think your gluten structure will be somehow harmed below 1.5% levels of salt, add some vinegar which supposedly strengthens the gluten structure on bread too. 

I read a study not too long ago where the average America consumes 3 times more salt than they should and 70% of all salt intake it comes from bread!  This is not a good thing but no wonder when the staple of life has 2% salt and is more closely linked to many causes of death than folks realize.   It is just another thing that gives bread a bad rap.