The impact of salt reduction on a wide range of dough and bread characteristics is addressed in this study. The effect of an incremental reduction of salt, from current usage levels (1.2%) to 0.6%, 0.3% and 0% addition, was considered from a fundamental and practical perspective. Empirical and fundamental rheology, bread-making performance and descriptive sensory evaluation were employed to gain practical insight into the viability of salt reduction in wheat dough and bread. Decreasing salt addition reduced the dough resistance to extension, extensibility and complex modulus without affecting the ratio of liquid to solid behaviour, thereby indicating that no major structural changes take place as a result of salt reduction. Changes in gas holding capabilities of doughs with reduced salt were observed, however not affecting the final bread quality, e.g. specific volume, bake-loss or moisture-loss. Omission of salt resulted in uneven crumb structure and high crumb hardness on day 5 post-baking, however these effects were not present when salt was included in the formulation, even at low levels of addition, i.e. 0.6% or 0.3%. Breads were more strongly affected by age than by level of salt addition in the sensorial evaluation. Overall, breads produced with 0.3% and 0.6% salt were found to be comparable to the control (1.2% salt) in terms of dough rheology, baking quality characteristics and sensory attributes. (C) 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved..