Allison and her young son Logan love coming to the bakery. We're always glad to see them because Logan is a really cute little fella and Allison loves to talk bread.
Allison is deeply interested in ingredients because Logan's having some issues and can only have a tiny bit of sodium in his diet. Logan loves our Orange Boot Birdseed Loaf so Allison asked for a reduced salt or zero salt bread that he could eat without worry.
Can We Make Salt Free Bread? #
I did some research and learned that in Italy, specifically in Tuscany, bakers often make their bread without any salt. We've also been making a low salt white bread for the Greek church. So we were hopeful we that we could help Logan out.
Teisha and I worked on a salt free Birdseed Loaf over the winter months. It's a real challenge because of the important role salt plays in bread baking. The deeper we dug, the more interesting the role of salt became:
- Salt adds flavour and colour. This was easy to see. If you are used to having salt in your diet, a salt free loaf can taste very bland. And the final colour of the loaf can very from a pale cream colour to a dull brown -- certainly not the deep, rich colour of our normal bread.
- Salt gives the dough strength. When you are used to mixing your bread a certain amount, it's a big shock to shift to salt free bread. Our salt free loaf develops very, very quickly in the mixer. So quickly that we don't dare take our eyes off the mixer lest we over mix the dough.
- Salt helps gluten develop. At the microscopic level, salt helps the gluten proteins develop longer chains. It's those long protein chains that give the dough strength over time.
So we started testing. Mix very quickly. Ferment, Shape and Bake very quickly.
And the result? Bread! Maybe not the tastiest loaf in the world, but it was definitely a light loaf with good crust and crumb, with no added salt.
Can We Make Salt Free Bread Taste Good? #
But boy oh boy, that taste sticks in your mind. How could we make this loaf taste a little more, well, better?
The bran in whole flour always has some interesting flavour notes, so we added whole wheat and whole rye flour to the mix.
And we've found that adding a variety of seeds and whole grains adds flavour, so sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, rolled oats and flax seeds found their way into the mixer.
Finally, we added our sourdough starter to the bread, to raise the acidity and add a complex flavour to the final loaf.
The resulting loaf is just like our Orange Boot Birdseed Bread but without any salt. Ok, it doesn't taste exactly the same, but Logan loves it and that makes Allison happy. Makes us happy too.
Salt Free Birdseed Bread Available Via Special Order #
Allison asked, we responded, now you can get some too. "Pane Toscana di Logan", or you can call it "Salt Free Birdseed", is available at the bakery via special order only
We can make this bread with the seed mix or without the seed mix, as you like. Give us a call at (306) 584-2668 and we'll hook you up.
Please note that we can only make this bread on Tuesday thru Thursday. Minimum order is 6 loaves. We can slice it for you and have it ready for the freezer if you like.
This is Why We Get Up In The Morning #
Allison and Logan's story is exactly why Cindy and I opened Orange Boot Bakery.
We wanted to build a place for you to get great baking and be able to talk to your bakers and learn about what you eat.
We wanted a place where you could trust us to bake simple, real food using real, natural ingredients.
We're not food scientists. We can't accomodate every diet restriction that's out there -- we can't make a gluten free & egg free & dairy free & soy free & fat free & nut free & sugar free muffin, for example -- but we will certainly try to help where we can. I'm glad this one worked out.