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Old 11-28-2005, 05:24 PM   #1
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Cool Low or NO Sodium

Hello all! My name is Michael and I am new to DiscussCooking.com.

I am also new to something else. Heart disease. 3 weeks ago in the efforts to remove a Tumor the doctors found that my heart was too weak (was pumping at 22%). Instead of removing the tumor, which was postponed, I had a heart operation They told me that I have had several heart attacks and one was in my mid 20s. Being that I am only 38 years old, I suppose I am kinda bumbed out.

Because of the sodium content in store bread, I am back to baking my own . Not bad really. I'm a very good bread baker! With salt... I tried some without salt and well.... lets just say I had really underestimated the importance salt has in bread.

I have had a couple of successes though. I left out the salt and added Vital Wheat Glutten. They came out INCREDIBLE! Very airy. It is if the salt was never taken out.

So my question to you all is what do you do? For those of you who can not have salt in your recipe, how do you get the bread to come out without the texture of a brick.

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Old 11-28-2005, 06:45 PM   #2
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Michael, even if you use a little bit of salt in your bread, it isn't going to be anywhere near the amount in store bread.
I'm not a bread baker, but there was a time that I worked really hard at being one. Best I can remember, about 1 tsp of salt will make two loaves of bread. How much sodium do think that would be per slice? I'd guess the amount would be miniscule.
Your body needs a little bit of sodium to operate properly...it acts as an electrolyt that transfers the brain's messages to the rest of your body...including your heart.
I'd recommend your using Lite Salt, which is potassium chloride rather than sodium chloride, but your doctor is probably monitering your potassium closely, so I would check with him first.

Do you have the American Heart Association Cookbook? They probably have a new addition out now. The one I have is one I bought when my mother had a major heart attack, so it's about 15 years old, and probably out of date.
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Old 11-28-2005, 09:58 PM   #3
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Michael, if you happen to have a Trader Joe's nearby they sell a saltfree multi-grain bread under their store brand. This means that they don't add any additional salt. 1 slice only has 10 milligrams of salt.
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Old 11-28-2005, 10:05 PM   #4
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There is a product called Salt Sense. It is packaged like Morton's salt and measures like salt, but has 33% less sodium than regular salt. It is more expensive than salt. My mother can taste the difference, but I can't, probably because I don't use much salt for health reasons. The salt substitutes that use potassium do have a distinctive taste which I don't like.
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Old 11-29-2005, 11:35 AM   #5
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Salt controls the action of the yeast, so it's hard to leave out of bread. Salt substitutes really don't work for this purpose, I don't think.

Here's from IMO one of the the best baking info site around, Baking 911:

"Salt in a yeast bread recipe moderates (slows) the action of yeast and allows it to produce carbon dioxide at a reasonable rate, resulting in a finer textured bread with small to medium air cells. This in turn allows for the flavor of the yeast to develop, as well as enhancing it.

Omitting or reducing the amount of salt in yeast dough can cause the dough to rise too quickly, adversely affecting the shape and flavor of bread, as well -- breads without salt tend to have paler crusts and a flat, dull taste.

Salt also adds structure to the dough by strengthening the gluten, which keeps the carbon dioxide bubbles from expanding too rapidly."
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Old 11-29-2005, 01:54 PM   #6
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So far...

Here is what I have done so far...

Using information from www.megaheart.com/askdon.html#nusalt I taylored this recipe and it tasted excellent. This recipe is from "The Bread Machine Cookbook", by Donna German.

Dark Pumpernickel

Water 1 1/4 C
Vegetable Oil 2 1/2
Molasses 1/4 C , I put in about 1 /2 C

Unsweetened Cocoa 2 Tbs
Brown Sugar 1 1/2 Tbs
Instant Coffee 1 1/2 tsp , But I did not have any so left out
Salt 1 tsp LEFT OUT
Caraway seeds 1 Tbs , But I did not have any so left out
Rye flour 1 C
Whole Wheat Flour 1 C
Bread Flour 2 C
Yeast 2 tsp

ADDITIONS TO:

Vital Wheat Glutten
Website says to add in Tbs, but package says to add 1 tsp per cup white flour and 1 1/2 tsp per cup wheat. I added 4 tsp.

Vinegar
This is used as a presearver. I had garlic balsmatic vinegar and put in 1 Tbs.


The bread came out very airy and crust was inicially bakery crunchy. I had put loaf in plastic bag and crust got "store bought" softness. It has, so far, lasted 4 days, but is almost gone (as in eaten).


I am in the process of making a Levain to try a Pain au Levain (probably a San Francisco Sourdough).
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Old 12-02-2005, 05:30 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael_Schaap on 11-28-2005
Hello all! My name is Michael and I am new to DiscussCooking.com.

I am also new to something else. Heart disease....Because of the sodium content in store bread, I am back to baking my own . Not bad really. I'm a very good bread baker! With salt... I tried some without salt and well.... lets just say I had really underestimated the importance salt has in bread.
Salt is added to bread dough primarily for taste. For most bread recipes you can [1]omit the salt OR [2]reduce the salt OR [3]replace the salt with the salt substitutes recommended by other posters. You should still be able to produce excellent bread without salt. You might try recipes for whole wheat or other whole grain breads rather than an all-white-flour bread for extra taste without salt.

Salt also has a (minor) effect on yeast in that it will slow the rising process somewhat. In brief, on the microscopic level, salt kills some of the yeast cells, so the bread rises (slightly) more slowly. Experienced bakers experiment both with the amount of salt and the timing (when salt is added to the dough) to control the fermentation process.

Salt is *not* required for successful bread. In fact, salt was *not* routinely used in bread-making until about the 18th century, when salt became an inexpensive commodity available to the mass of ordinary folk.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael_Schaap on 11-28-2005
I have had a couple of successes though. I left out the salt and added Vital Wheat Glutten. They came out INCREDIBLE! Very airy. It is if the salt was never taken out.
Gluten (present in wheat flour) is developed by mixing and kneading. In brief, it forms an elastic web that traps the gas given off by yeast and is what allows bread to rise. Vital Wheat Gluten is wheat flour that has been processed to remove the starch, so that what remains is primarily wheat gluten. It can be added (in very small amounts) to wheat flour to increase the gluten content.

It is unlikely that your successes were due to the omission of salt and they were probably only partially due to your addition of wheat gluten. Without knowing the type of flour(s) you used, I suspect that this combo was compensating for a failure to knead the dough sufficiently. Ordinarily, wheat gluten is *not* needed as an additive to bread flour as bread flour is milled specifically for bread-making.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael_Schaap on 11-28-2005
...So my question to you all is what do you do? For those of you who can not have salt in your recipe, how do you get the bread to come out without the texture of a brick.
If a bread comes out with "the texture of a brick" it is usually b/c it has [1]been insufficiently kneaded AND/OR [2]was not allowed enough time to rise.

You emphasize the necessity of eliminating salt from your bread but do not mention eliminating oil or butter from your bread. Given your heart condition, is this also important to your diet?

Please don't hesitate to either post again to this thread or PM me for a more detailed discussion of how to bake excellent bread that will meet your dietary requirements. I would be happy to assist in greater detail.
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Old 12-02-2005, 06:42 PM   #8
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Cool Hmmm... you are right...

Quote:
Originally Posted by subfuscpersona
You emphasize the necessity of eliminating salt from your bread but do not mention eliminating oil or butter from your bread. Given your heart condition, is this also important to your diet?

This is correct. I guess because I generally do not add a lot of fats to the breads with the exception of Jewish Egg bread (they have a lot of eggs in them so the cholesterol is high). Think I'm going to try to make a batch with egg substitutes and see how it turns out... I have been making egg bread, or Challah, for about 15 years now. The breads I have recently made I have used Olive Oil, which I am told is the best for you.

Constance mentioned that the small amount of salt that we bakers would add to a bread recipe is nothing compaired to what the store bought bread producers use. I guess that is where my inicial confusion came into being. The package says 150 - 250mg /slice, but how does that relate to what we would put in? If the 1 or 2 tsp we add does not amount to much per slice how much do you think they are adding.... 1 Tbs...2... more?

Michael
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Old 12-02-2005, 07:42 PM   #9
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I could be wrong, but commercial bread may contain additional sodium as a preservative.
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Old 12-02-2005, 10:27 PM   #10
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Consider getting some cookbook software that calculates nutritional information for your recipes. That would be a big help for your monitoring your critical ingredients.

There are several programs that will do the job. I'm familiar with Master Cook Deluxe for about $20.
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