Light Rye Bread


I bake medium loaves (1.5 lbs); low sodium; in a Panasonic SD-YD250.  I make comparisons to the source recipe, and annotations:

  • {what I did} vs [the source recipe says]
  • * low sodium; *M low sodium and machine

The salt measurement is a normal low sodium adjustment  – reduce salt and yeast by equal proportions.  The yeast measurement is customized for the Panasonic SD-250;  it may work in a machine with similiar features and cycle but may not work in many other machines.

The Challenge

Processing authentic pumpernickel is outside the capabilities of bread machines. There are retail/craft/home formulas for this style with rye flour, e.g.  King Arthur Classic Pumpernickel baked in an oven. 

Light rye breads are soft  breads made with wheat flour, with rye flour or rye meal for flavour and texture, or light rye flour. There are dark or sour styles (retail/craft/home/bread machine) with wheat flour, rye flour and

  • cocoa or ground coffee for dark colour,
  • vinegar or sour cream for acidity
  • corn meal, oatmeal or sunflower seeds for texture

Also, there are (retail/craft/home) rustic rye and rye sourdough styles.

Bread Lover’s Bread Machine Cookbook has several recipes for Light Rye Breads. 

Rogers Foods mills Dark Rye Flour is available locally, and priced as a staple instead of a luxury good. Rye flour, even “dark” flour tends to make brown rather than black bread. Rogers does not directly publish a volume to mass conversion. The food facts label indicates 1 cup = 120 grams = 4.2 oz.  Food Facts for Dark Rye flours from other mills are consistent.  120 grams is in the range of published values, which is confusing and wide.  Online Conversion’s converter said 1 cup of dark rye flour = 4.5 oz. = 128 g.  Also, Aqua-Calc converter dark rye flour.   The rest of the range:

  • BLBMC; Reinhardt’s Bread Bakers Apprentice – no factor stated
  • The Bakery Network conversion chart – 1 cup “rye flour” = 4 oz. = 113.4
  • Aqua-Calc converter light rye flour (or medium rye flour) – 1 cup = 102 g = 3.6 oz.
  • The Traditional Oven’s  converter – 1 cup = 102 g. = 3.6 oz.  light rye?
  • King Arthur Flour’s Ingredient Conversion chart – 1 cup = 3.625 oz.  light rye?

Panasonic’s manual asserts rye flour leads to dense bread when used to replace other flour, and warns that mixing rye flour might  overload the motor.   It has less of the proteins that build gluten than wheat flour. Intensive mixing does not enhance rye dough. Without gluten, gas is not trapped – which is why gluten free baking requires alternative to fermenting leavening

A formula with 2 cups of bread flour and from .75 to 1.25 cup of rye flour will be about 70% wheat flour by weight and will form gluten with the intensive mixing used in a bread machine.  This amount of rye flour is manageable; the paddle keeps turning and the dough ball creeps around the pan.  My machine vibrates  but does not appear to strain. The dough is dense and elastic – it holds the ball shape until late in the rise phase but flows and rises.

The BLBMC light rye bread recipes are balanced.  They work in my machine. Adding water or increasing yeast weakens the loaf. These formulas should be measured out precisely.

The BLBMC recipes use caraway, fennel and anise seeds and orange peel or zest for flavour.  These ingredients can be used in varying amounts and combinations. Olive oil can be used to replace other oils. 

BLBMC Scandinavian Light Rye (p. 134)

On {Multigrain} [basic bake] cycle:

  • {261 g. (1.875 cups) Canadian All Purpose} flour [BLBMC bread flour]
  • {135 g. (1.125 cup) dark} rye flour [BLBMC medium rye]
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1.0 tbsp caraway seeds [BLBMC 1.5 tbsp]
  • {1 tsp fennel seeds}
  • {4.3 g (.75 tsp)*} salt [BLBMC 1.5 tsp]
  • {0} gluten [BLBMC 1 tbsp + 1 tsp = 4 tsp]
  • {1.6 g (>.625 tsp) *M} instant yeast [BLBMC 2.5 tsp SAF instant]
  • 1.5 tbsp {olive} oil
  • 1.125 cup water

Steamed Rice

Steamed rice is plain cooked rice cooked in water as opposed to being fried first (pilaf, biryani, some Mexican styles) or cooked as a risotto, paella, rice pudding, congee or other flavoured rice dish.  Steaming is an absorption preparation.  Salt is optional. It does not play a part in the cooking process and is added for taste.

Cooked rice can used a in dish, as an accompaniment to other dishes, fried or processed further, or added to other dishes e.g. Nasi Goreng uses cooked long grain white rice.

Rice absorbs water as it cooks.  Steamed rice can be cooked in a pan on a stove, and in a pressure cooker.  A rice cooker automates the steamed rice process. Other main approachs to plain cooked rice:

  • cook in boiling water, drain and rest
  • parcook the rice and put it in a steamer or collander, recommended by Jamie Oliver.

Rinse white rice to remove rice flour and talc. It helps to keep it from getting sticky.

The water is brought to a boil, the heat is turned down until the pot is just simmering, the pot is covered, and the rice simmers. Then the rice rests off the heat. Use a heavy pot to disperse the heat evenly; a heavy tight lid to hold in the steam.  It is necessary to make sure the heat has been turned down and that the rice is just simmering.  Then set a timer and leave it covered. Cooking time depends on the amount of water and heat.

The rice recipe at What’s Cooking America has a table of rice to water ratio and cooking times for several kinds of rice. The instructions at that site for cooking white rice are a bit contradictory.  There is a concise article by Fine Cooking magazine and some videos and notes at the Kitchn site.

The ratio of long grain white rice to water is 1 cup of dry rice to 1.5 to 1.75  cups of water.  Some recipes go for more water. The cooking time can be from 12 to 20 minutes. The method works within a range of ratios and times.  The results may be more or less fluffy, absorbent or sticky. 

This technique works in a pressure cooker. The ratio is 1 cup of long grain white rice to 2 cups of water. When the water boils, the lid is locked and the pot is brought to high pressure, and the cooking time on high pressure is 4 minutes. Then rest off heat 10 minutes or more without releasing the pressure (i.e. do not use the release mechanism) – let the pressure drop as the pot cools.

White Basmati Rice, a long grain aromatic rice originating from Northern India, Pakistan and Nepal can be cooked in a pot the same way as other white long grain rice, using about 1 cup of rice to 1.5 cups of wate, or in a pressure cooker the same way as other long grain white rice.

Or, soaked for 20-30 minutes, White Basmati Rice can be cooked in a pot on a stove with 1.33 cups of water to 1 cup (measured dry) of rice by bringing the water and rice to boil, reducing the heat, covering the rice and simmering on low heat for 23 minutes, and resting off the heat for 10 minutes. Refer to:

And if the rice is soaked, it can be cooked in a pressure cooker at the ratio of 1 cup rice to 1.25 cups water; the time can be 2-3 minutes on high pressure with a rest off heat as the pressure drops (i.e. not with a fast release).

Steaming brown rice takes more water, and longer cooking times. Recipes don’t  recommend rinsing or soaking. Long or medium grain brown rice:

  • conventional pot, 1 cup rice to 2.25 cups water, cooking time about 40 minutes;
  • pressure cooker, 1 cup of rice to 1.75 cups of water, cooking time 15-18 minutes (variation in the recipes). Rest off heat 10 minutes or more without releasing the pressure  – let the pressure drop as the pot cools.

Flax Seed Whole Wheat Bread


A medium loaf (1.5 lbs); low sodium; in a Panasonic SD-YD250.  I make comparisons to the source recipe, and annotations:

  • {what I did} vs [the source recipe says]
  • * low sodium; *M low sodium and machine

The salt measurement is a normal low sodium adjustment  – reduce salt and yeast by equal proportions.  The yeast measurement is customized for the Panasonic SD-250;  it may work in a machine with similiar features and cycle but may not work in many other machines.

The Challenge

My sister makes a bread machine Flax Seed Whole Wheat bread with 2.5 cups of whole wheat flour, 1 cup of white flour, oatmeal, sunflower, flax and poppy seeds, flax meal, and 1.75 cups milk.  The Bread Lover’s Bread Machine Cookbook (p. 118) formula uses 1 cup whole wheat flour,  2 cups of bread flour.  So does a formula on the web Flax Seed Whole Wheat Bread. I used this formula, with a shift to more whole wheat flour; and adding the ingredients of my sister’s recipe.

When milk, real or reconstituted (powder plus water) is used, lactose, the natural sugar in milk is added to the formula.  Sugars in the dough tend to carmelize when the dough is baked – i.e. the crust is firm and brown. Unpasteurized milk can lead to surprizes. Some bakers think milk,  real or reconstituted, should be scalded to denature proteins that may inhibit the action of the yeast, and for other reasons. I skipped this step. Whole milk has more fats, which may give a loaf a little extra shelf life.

The whole wheat flour, rolled oats and flax meal absorb fluid.  At the level of fluid in BLBMC formula, the dough ball was shaggy and took a while to relax; even with added water. In the first trial, pan flow was not good = lopside loaf. The result on further tries and with other changes is a little lopsided but good. It had tasty firm crust, not crunchy; a dense crumb holds up, sliced. It needs the honey for flavour and hydration. 

The formula

On whole wheat cycle:

  • 9.75 oz. (2 cups) whole wheat flour [BLBMC 1 cup]
  • 4.875 oz. (1 cup) Canadian All Purpose flour [BLBMC 2 cups bread flour]
  • {3 tbsp ground flax}
  • {3 g. (.5 tsp) salt *} [BLBMC 1 tsp]
  • {3 tbsp} flax seeds [BLBMC 2 tbsp]
  • {1 tbsp poppy seeds}
  • {.33 cups rolled oats}
  • 1 tbsp. gluten
  • {1.4 g (.5 tsp) instant yeast *M} [BLBMC 1.5 tsp]
  • 2 tbsp {olive} oil [BLBMC canola]
  • 3 tbsp honey
  • {1.5 cups skim milk} [BLBMC 1.125 cup water + .25 cups dry milk]


Panasonic SD-YD250; Yeast

Bread maked in this machine does not need as much yeast as most  recipes say.  I noticed this when medium loaves  based on The Bread Lover’s Bread Machine Cookbook (“BLBMC”) and other recipe resources filled the  pan, and had airy, weak crumb; some ballooned or cratered/collapsed/imploded.

Panasonic’s recipes in the machine manual and its online recipe resource pages call for about half the amount of yeast that other recipes prescribe for a similiar loaf. 

I monitored medium loaf recipes,  (3 cups of flour and 1.25 cups+/-) of liquid in June, July and August 2018. I peeked under the lid to see what happened in the rise phase – including the last part after the machine knocked down the dough.  I made manual interventions a few times – I ran a silicon spatula between the dough and the pan 5-10 minutes before the end of the rise and the start of baking to deflate the dough. (Using a spatula risks marring the no-stick surface of the pan. Silicon spatulas are safer.)

I adjusted yeast in BLBMC formulas for white, whole wheat, and combined flour (multigrain), and formulas requiring 2 +/- tsp of yeast for a medium loaf (a formula with 3 cups or 15 oz. flour +/- by weight):

  • Ignore the amount of “bread machine yeast” in a formula in the BLBMC – (BLBMC has different amounts of SAF instant dry yeast and any other “bread machine yeast”);
  • Use half the amount in the recipe for SAF instant dry yeast in a BLBMC formula (instant or “bread machine” dry yeast in other formulas not specifically written for a Panasonic machine) i.e. reduce 2 tsp. for a medium loaf to 1 tsp.

Low sodium baking works.  At 50% reduction, it doesn’t affect the process or hurt flavour.  The basic method is to reduce yeast by the same percentage as salt as suggested in BLBMC at p. 290 and by the Please Don’t Pass the Salt bread page

  • For a Panasonic recipe I cut yeast and salt equally;
  • For a BLBMC or other recipe I make my adjustment for yeast amount above first, then I cut yeast and salt equally.  When  I use 50% of a BLBMC recipe amount of salt, I use 25% of the BLBMC recipe amount of yeast.

The recipes and my notes are in a separate post.

Continue reading ‘Panasonic SD-YD250; Yeast’ »

Recipe Summaries

Trial Recipes

These are summaries of bread machine formulas I baked June-August 2018, working out my approach to bread machine baking in a Panasonic SD-YD250. Most of them are in the Table [T]. Some are for Panasonic machines, and may not work in other machines.  Others are Bread Lover’s Bread Machine Cookbook (“BLBMC”) formulas.  In the recipes I list dry ingredients before moist ingredients and fluids. That’s the way my machine works. Some machines want fluid loaded first.

In the table I identify the recipes by short names.  In these loaves:

  • Flour measured in cups
  • Wheat flour, by Rogers, a Canadian mill.
    • All-Purpose flour; 1 cup = 4.875 (4 7/8) oz = 138 gram. Bread Flour for White Bread; Whole Wheat flour; 1 cup = 4.875 (4 7/8) oz = 138 grams. Whole Wheat Bread Flour (a blend of Whole Wheat and white flour, and added gluten);
  • Rye Flour. In one trial, Nunnweiler Organic Dark (I had a bag in the fridge). Rogers Dark Rye Flour
  • Yeast
    • in tsp; in some trials in grams; 1 tsp = 2.8 g.Trials 1-6 Fleishmann’s Quick-Rise; others SAF Red Instant dry
  • Salt in grams (For table salt 1 tsp = 5.7 grams); the % of the salt in the published recipe;
  • Cm column
    • is a rough measurement or estimate of the height of the loaf; ^ gassed and rose to top of the pan or ballooned / lopsided or asymmetric; * a manual step to deflate the dough.
tsp or g.
Salt g.Cm
1Country French2.25 Bread
.5 whole wheat
1.2521.254.5 [51%]^
2Country French2.25 AP
.5 whole wheat
1.2521.254.5 [51%}11
3Dakota2.25 Bread
.5 whole wheat
1.2521.1257.5 [83%] ^
4Dakota2.25 AP
.5 whole wheat
1.2511 [50%]9 [100%]10*
5Basic White3 AP1.2501 [100%]10.5 [116%]10
6Country French2.25 AP
.75 whole wheat [105%]10*
7White Whole3.25 wWhB1.2511.1259.10 [101%]14*
8White Whole3.25 wWhB1.250.8759.15 [102%] 14
9Whole Wheat3 whole wheatWW1.250.5 [50%]6.9 [76%]10
10White Whole3.25 wWhB1.250.55.25 [58%]14
11White Whole3.25 wWhB1.250.3754.5 [50%]14
123 Seed3 wWhB1.250.53.1 [50%]11
133 Seed1.5 whole wheat
1.5 AP
1.250.5 3.0 [50%]8
143 Seed1.5 whole wheat
1.5 AP [50%]12
153 Seed1.5 whole wheat
1.5 AP [50%]10
16Country French2.25 AP
.75 whole wheat
1.25.375.54.5 [50%]13
17FS Whole Wh2 AP
1 whole wheat 3.0 [50%]12.5
18FS Whole Wh9.75 oz. AP
4.875 oz. whole wheat g.3.05 [51%]11.5 /
19Buttermilk WhWh7.375 oz. AP
7.375 oz whole wheat
* Buttermilk
1.5.5 tsp 4 [44%]11 //
20Buttermilk WhWh7.3 oz. AP
7.3 oz. whole wheat
* Buttermilk
1.0 tsp1.52 g. 4.1 [45%]11
21Irish Brown9.7 oz. whole wheat
4.875 oz. AP
1.251.5 tsp1.49 g. 4.45 [45%]13 /
22Whole Wheat14.6 oz. whole wheatWW1.25.75 tsp1.42 g. 4.52 [50%]11
23Sc Light Rye9.0 oz AP
1.125 cups rye
1.1251.5 tsp1.42 g4.51 [50%]11 /
24Bohemian Black8.5 oz. AP
1 cup dark rye
.25 cups wheat germ
B1.125 +
3 tbsp melted butter,
I tbsp espresso drip
1.5 tsp1.51 g.4.52 [50%]9 /
25Buttermilk WhWh207 g. AP
207 g. whole wheat
1.5 tsp1.40 g.4.50 [50%]

[T] Panasonic Basic White Loaf

Panasonic Manual or online. Basic bake cycle

  • 3 cups bread flour
  • 1.5 tbsp. dry milk
  • 1.5 tbsp butter
  • 1.5 tbsp sugar
  • 1.5 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp (instant) yeast
  • 1.25 cups water

Panasonic French Bread

Panasonic Manual. French bread bake cycle:

  • 3 cups bread flour
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1.5 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp (instant) yeast
  • 1 5/16 (1.25 cups + 1 tbsp) water

[T] Panasonic 100% Whole Wheat

Panasonic Manual or 100 % Whole Wheat. Bake Whole wheat cycle:

  • 3 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1.5 tbsp. dry milk
  • 1.5 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp (instant) yeast
  • 1.5 tbsp butter
  • 1.5 tbsp molasses
  • 1.25 cups water

[T] Chuck Williams’s Country French

BLBMC (p. 200).  70% white flour in the style of country breads. Pain de campagne, with whole wheat (not rye) flour.  Adapted from Williams Sonoma recipe for La Cloche device. Basic or French bread cycle:

  • .75 cup whole wheat flour
  • 2.25 cups bread flour
  • 2 tbsp. gluten
  • 1.5 tsp salt
  • 1.75 tsp instant yeast
  • 1.25 cups water

[T] Dakota Bread

BLBMC (p. 119) or Beth Hensperger blog: Dakota Bread. Basic cycle:

  • .75 cup whole wheat flour
  • 2.25 cups bread flour
  • 2 tbsp. gluten
  • 1.5 tsp salt
  • 1.75 tsp instant yeast
  • 1.25 cups water

[T] White Whole Wheat Bread

BLBMC (p. 127).  Also see this recipe variation with 3 cups of flour.  White Whole Wheat flour is a specialty flour. Basic or whole wheat cycle:

  • 3.25 cups white whole wheat flour
  • 1 tbsp gluten
  • 1.5 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp instant yeast
  • .25 cups maple syrop
  • 2 tbsp olive oil or nut oil
  • 1.25 cups water

[T] Three Seed Whole Wheat Bread

BLBMC (p. 116). Basic or whole wheat cycle:

  • 1.5 cup whole wheat
  • 1.5 cups bread flour

  • 3 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp. gluten
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/3 cup raw sunflower seeds
  • 2 tbsp sesame seeds
  • 2 tsp poppy seeds
  • 2 tsp instant yeast
  • 3 tbsp non-fat (skim) dry milk
  • 2 tbsp sunflower oil
  • 1.25 cups water

[T] Flax Seed Whole Wheat Bread

BLBMC (p. 118). Basic or whole wheat cycle:

  • 1 cup whole wheat
  • 2 cups bread flour
  • 4 tbsp flax
  • 2 tbsp. gluten
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp instant yeast
  • .25 cups non-fat (skim) dry milk
  • .25 cups (4 tbsp) honey
  • 2 tbsp canola oil
  • 1.125 cups water

[T] Buttermilk Whole Wheat Bread

BLBMC (p. 108). Basic or whole wheat cycle:

  • 1.5 cup whole wheat
  • 1.5 cups bread flour
  • 1 tbsp + 1 tsp gluten
  • 1.5 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp instant yeast
  • 2 tbsp maple syrop
  • 2 tbsp canola oil
  • 1.125 cups buttermilk

[T] Irish Potato Brown Bread

BLBMC (p. 117). Whole wheat cycle:

  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup bread flour
  • .25 cup instant potato flakes
  • 1 tbsp + 2 tsp gluten
  • 1.5 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp instant yeast
  • 3 tbsp butter, cut in chunks
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 1.25 cups water

[T] Scandinavian Light Rye

BLBMC (p. 134). Basic cycle:

  • 1.875 cups bread flour
  • 1.125 cup medium rye flour
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1.5 tbsp caraway seeds
  • 1.5 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp + 1 tsp gluten
  • 2.5 tsp instant yeast
  • 1.5 tbsp canola oil
  • 1.125 cups water

[T] Bohemian Black Bread

BLBMC (p. 138). Basic or whole wheat cycle:

  • 1.75 cups bread flour
  • 1 cup medium or dark rye flour
  • .25 cups wheat bran
  • 2 tbsp unsweetened Dutch Process cocoa
  • 1.5 tsp instant espresso powder
  • 1.5 tsp caraway seeds
  • .5 tsp fennel seeds
  • 1 tbsp gluten
  • 1.5 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp instant yeast
  • 3 tbsp butter, melted
  • 1.5 tbsp molasses
  • 1.125 cups water

Bread Machine Cookbook

Bread machines came on the market  about 1986, and became popular outside Japan by the late 1990s.  My first bread machine was a Black & Decker B1561. I replaced it with a Panasonic  SD-YD250 in 2016.

A bread machine makes one loaf of bread, usually with wheat flour, in less than 5 hours. 

Home bakers cannot create the same results as professional bakers – either in industrial baking or artisanal baking.  Home bakers may have a good oven, a stand mixer and lot of space and time.  (Home ovens reach temperatures of 450 F (230 C) which is enough for most bread).  A bread machine cannot produce what a professional baker or a serious home baker can produce.

A bread machine is not a versatile as a cook in a reasonably furnished kitchen. A bread machine is a small oven and a small mixer. It has a heating element, a motor, and a double purpose pan – baking pan and mixing bowl – mounted to the frame. The mixing paddle is connected to the power train by a shaft housed in sealed bearings at the bottom of the pan. Most machines have distinct cycles for baking dough leavened with yeast including a basic cycle, and a fast cycle manufacturers call Bake (Rapid), Turbo, Quick Bake, Rapid, etc. quick-rise baking. Some have additional cycles for whole wheat flour bread.

Beth Hensperger’s The Bread Lover’s Bread Machine Cookbook (Harvard Common Press, 2000) was a comprehensive resource.  It treated all bread machines (it listed 18 customer service numbers for manufacturers of machines on the market at the time) as equivalent, with a  warning to “Take Stock of Your Machine”. This understates difficulties in designing bread machines and writing formulas for bread machines:

  • the processes of mixing ingredients, working dough and baking dough in a bakery or at home steps involve doing something until a result it observed (the dough is mixed and supple; it has risen, or is ready to bench or bake);
  • a machine works in simple steps, without feedback.  The designer can program combinations of steps that should produce results with some combinations of ingredients if the machine is loaded properly;
  • machines are different:
    • a machine might mix ingredients and knead the dough properly, but might not be able to rest or work the dough,
    • a machine can only shape a loaf if the dough fills the machine pan -it has to flow and rise by the right time and spring;
  • a recipe writer cannot test every recipe in every machine.
Continue reading ‘Bread Machine Cookbook’ »


The idea of a low sodium diet is to consume less salt. There are many sources of information. Sources may  promote a fad or a personal theory. Buyer beware. These resources are scientific and fact based:

Salt can be avoided or reduced. A product label will identify sodium in almost anything that has been packaged.

Continue reading ‘Labels’ »


Bread is high in sodium, as an effect of the baking process.  The master formula for bread is to grind dried grain into a paste or flour, add water and yeast, let the stuff ferment and throw it on a hot surface until it dries out and stops fermenting.

Salt controls yeast which affectsfermentation. Fermentation affects flavour but it also affects rise, which affects the size of the loaf and the production line; it also has a chemical effect on the taste buds (Lallamand Baking Update, Volume 2, No. 6). A few bread styles, such as Tuscan bread, are made without salt.  Salt is part of the process for most bread sold by grocery stores and bakeries large and small.

Continue reading ‘Bread’ »


Dietary and culinary theories abounded – and still persist, that salt is adds flavour and should be used in cooking nutritious and tasty food. Salt has been added to food as necessary preservative e.g. ham, sausage, olives, cheese, soy and other sauces. It has become a normal practice to put some salt into any dish, or the water to prepare boiled ingredients.

Some culinary books say that consumers can avoid the wrong processed ingredients and avoid processed foods. That’s true, but that advice may be accompanied by advising home cooks to use salt, as suggested in a recipe, in preparing meals.  Also to brine certain foods to make them cook better. The writers, presenters, and publishers of the  Cook’s Illustrated/America’s Test Kitchen family are an example. This sends contradictory messages about processed food, prepared food, home cooking and eating to satisfy taste and psychological needs:

  • It supports home cooking and food preparation with less reliance on processed ingredients
  • It appears to encourage safe and wise use of salt
  • It is a rationale for trying a salted item for one’s own pleasure or as  comfort food, which is also a rationale for departing from a program.

Recipes from some sources include nutrition facts.  General recipe books generally do not provide this kind of information.   General recipes may involve processed ingredients; these are worthless in a low-sodium diet unless a no sodium alternative can be substituted.

Some culinary books recommend measuring salt by weight, because it is more precise and because of the variations in the densities of salt (oarse, kosher, table, sea salt etc).  Table salt is not uniform.  Recipes assume table salt, at 6 grams per teaspoon. Cook’s Illustrated/America’s Test Kitchen published the weight of a specific brand of iodized table salt (Morton Iodized Salt) in The Science of Good Cooking (2012) at p. 113 as over 7 grams. The extra gram of salt is 400 mg. of sodium.

Continue reading ‘Cookbooks’ »


Salt (sodium chloride) is a chemical agent used to cook or process food. Saltiness is regarded as one of 5 main tastes. (Scientists have not, as of 2018, identified a distinctive taste receptor for salt.)  Sodium is an essential nutrient, but consuming more sodium than the minimum has no health benefits. Excessive sodium is a health risk. The upper limits for sodium intake, in milligrams, per day:

These numbers are not stated in ranges for body type, or weight.  The limits are stated as a single high number and a second lower number for persons diagnosed with hypertension, or defined by age or other statistical risks. The 2,300 milligram figure is the sodium in about a teaspoon (the unit of volume) of salt. Exceeding the upper limit is risky and harmful.

Food products high in sodium:

  • Bread;
  • Sandwich spreads, condiments and salad dressings;
  • Processed meat, cold cuts, charcuterie;
  • Cheese;
  • crackers,
  • pickles, olives,.
  • Processed (flaked/puffed or shaped and toasted) breakfast cereal;
  • Tomato juice, vegetable juice and tomato-clam (some very high);
  • Processed spaghetti sauces and tomato sauces (very high);
  • Pizza – bread topped with tomato sauce, cheese, and whatever else (most very high);
  • Canned soups (monstrously high);
  • Soy sauce, hoisin sauce and fish sauce (monstrously high);
Continue reading ‘Salt’ »