Reading all the latest articles about salt in bread was purely academic to me until two friends came to stay. They asked us not to put any salt in our cooking as they both had high blood pressure.
I thought that there were just three main reasons to use salt in bread: flavour, control of fermentation and getting the dough through the plant.
As regards flavour, the FSA’s demand for a maximum amount of 1g per 100g of bread seems perfectly reasonable. If one thinks carefully about it, most bread is eaten in conjunction with a filling, so the predominant taste is that of the other food.
In any case, these excess amounts of salt did not start until the 1950s. A hundred years ago, the most common amount of salt used was 3.5lb to 3.75lb per sack of flour. This is at, or below, 1g per 100g of bread.
The point being missed is that some bread is so overdeveloped that some describe it as "cotton wool bread", while other bread breaks up nicely when it is consumed.
Turning to the other issues, control of fermentation was a factor in the days when we made doughs that lay in the trough from two to 10 hours, according to need. But with today’s no-time processes, it is irrelevant.
Lastly, great play is being made of the difficulty of getting dough through the plant with salt at this level. This is absolute rubbish, as there is already plant bread with salt at this level on the supermarket shelves.
Ian Barrett
Berkhamsted, Herts