Question about Adding Salt to Baked Goods
I know there are a lot of Dorie Greenspan fans on this board. I am one of them. Sort of. I like her ideas but her recipes frequently seem to miss the mark when it comes to seasoning. When I hear her on the radio she often talks about the importance of including salt in sweets and her Paris Sweets book has a whole page devoted to salt, yet more than half of the recipes in that book do not include salt. I would like to try her recipes but with salt added. My question is this--is there a standard ratio for adding salt to baked goods such as x tsp of salt for y c of flour and sugar?
You can't have a formula for adding salt to baked goods because so much depends on the other ingredients in the recipe. You want to add salt to balance the flavours - something with chocolate will benefit from salt differently than something with, say, lemon. I suggest you start with 1/4 tsp. salt in a recipe and go from there. If you want, you can add more next time or leave it out altogether if the salt interferes. This is very much a matter of personal taste.
a lot of this depends on whether, if butter is an ingredient, the butter used is salted or unsalted - and the assumptions used in her book. Also, my experience is that many european sweets lack both salt and sweet for an american taste. So you may want to read the preface, see what her assumptions are about butter and adjust a litle salt to recipes calling for none at all.
For many american recipes, especially older recipes, I have to adjust the salt if I use unsalted butter since the recipes assume the more common salted.
re: jen kalb
The Paris Sweets book, the recipes specify unsalted butter. I know that Dorie Greenspan tested all the recipes in her kitchen using ingredients found in American supermarkets to make sure they'd work, which is helpful but doesn't account for how the American palate differs from the European one. I just thought it was weird to talk extensively about the importance of salt and then leave it out of so many recipes. Unfortunately, there's no way to contact her directly either through her publisher or her blog so I don't know how I'd get her to answer this question.