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Do you bake with kosher salt?

gmm May 15, 2010 04:25 PM

I'm seeing more and more recipes for baked goods calling for kosher salt. I find that often in cookies, the salt doesn't dissolve completely into the dough and some bites of cookies are saltier than others. I like to cook with kosher salt, but for baking I prefer a finer grain sea salt. Anyone else?

  1. q
    quirkydeb May 17, 2010 11:20 AM

    I do use coarse sea salt and kosher salt for baking. However, It drives me NUTS when the recipe says to put it in with my dry ingredients and sift!!! Now I've gotten into the habit of just throwing it in when I mix the flour in. Or I just cut in the salt quantity in half and use table salt in the sifted dry ingredients.

    1. j
      julesrules May 17, 2010 05:24 AM

      This trend annoys me too. In cookies or say crumble topping (as in a plum coffee cake recipe here on chow), the salt is not evenly distributed. I can see it working fine for cake or pancake batter which are more liquid. There's also the fact that kosher salt comes in different "strengths" apparently depending on crystal size. Baked goods really rely on salt - an undersalted sweet can be full of butter, sugar, vanilla etc and come out bland due to lack of salt. And they can't really be salted to taste afterward (well, perhaps a little fleur de sel for us salty/sweet lovers...).
      Is there any good reason to bake with kosher salt?

      3 Replies
      1. re: julesrules
        gmm May 17, 2010 06:56 AM

        I guess that was really the point I was trying to make. Morton's website specifically says they do not recommend baking with kosher salt. I wonder if recipes are calling for it these days because it sounds more "gourmet" than just plain salt?

        1. re: gmm
          j
          julesrules May 17, 2010 08:26 AM

          That's my suspicion. I guess there are cooks who no longer stock table salt in their kitchens, but I think they should figure out the equivalencies themselves. It doesn't help that I'm in Canada so I'm using a different brand of salt - so I don't know which American brand my Windsor crystals measure up with. I could figure it out I suppose but again, why?
          I actually commented on that chow plum cake recipe about the salt issue. I think the chow staff could use the medium to have a better exchange with users about their recipes, but they rarely seem to address any issues people have (or simply explain their rationale for baking with kosher salt).

          1. re: julesrules
            t
            tullius May 21, 2010 11:43 AM

            Its been driving me nuts for years. Kosher (& sea salt for that matter) is being specified in recipes inappropriately or unnecessarily. Anytime you want the salt to dissolve & be dispersed evenly & you need an exact measure, I want table salt. What is the point of using expensive salt when you don't even want the big flakes?

            I also wondered if using kosher & sea salt exclusively might leave you with iodine
            deficiency. I found a very interesting thread.

            http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/475297

            Though there are a lot of opinions given, the general consensus seemed to be that unless you are pregnant or nursing (in which case you should be taking supplements) or a vegetarian you should not have a problem.

      2. mamaciita May 16, 2010 12:26 PM

        I almost always bake with Kosher salt, and I haven't had any problems. In fact, many of the recipes I use call for Kosher salt specifically.

        1. AndrewK512 May 16, 2010 11:07 AM

          I use kosher salt, just cause I don't have table salt on hand. I always try to dissolve it in the liquids or crush it first though.

          1. Bada Bing May 16, 2010 10:27 AM

            Apart from bread, I don't do much baking. I always use kosher salt. That said, when some table salt is handy, I'll use it for pancakes, where the quick dissolve would seem to be important. But when I've used kosher for pancakes, they've always seemed fine.

            A bit of an aside: I once made pancakes and left out salt, because the cookbook that I use to remind me about pancake ingredient proportions, the Betty Crocker standby, actually leaves salt out of its ingredients list. (The pancakes were horrible.) In the text portion of the recipe, it says "and a half teaspoon salt" or some such. But salt is never mentioned or quantified in the list of ingredients above the text, nor in any other recipes.

            Is that some old-fashioned cookbook convention, I wonder, not to list salt as an ingredient?

            3 Replies
            1. re: Bada Bing
              bushwickgirl May 16, 2010 04:35 PM

              Sounds like an big editing error to me.

              1. re: bushwickgirl
                Bada Bing May 16, 2010 04:43 PM

                Yeah, but they do it for ALL the recipes. They mention salt in the narrative but not the ingredients list.

                1. re: Bada Bing
                  bushwickgirl May 16, 2010 04:51 PM

                  I've never seen that occur unless it's editing issue.

                  It seems like it could be the recipe writing "style" Betty Crocker chose for that edition; maybe the editor didn't think salt was worth listing; that everyone would automatically know to add it. There is the "read the recipe through first" rule, maybe that's where they're coming from. I don't know. I have some older cookbooks but I haven't noticed that particular issue in any of them.

                  I have to say, when reading through a recipe, I always check for salt content, as it does get overlooked/deleted occasionally, especially on the web and even here at chow.

            2. k
              Kelli2006 May 15, 2010 07:02 PM

              I will use kosher for bread but I tend to bake with table or fine sea salt.

              1 Reply
              1. re: Kelli2006
                todao May 16, 2010 09:36 AM

                Me too ...

              2. bushwickgirl May 15, 2010 04:34 PM

                "the salt doesn't dissolve completely into the dough and some bites of cookies are saltier than others"

                That is the issue when baking with kosher salt. I find that many dessert/baking recipes are written with table salt in mind. That's what I use. I use kosher for bread, however and adjust the salt amounts accordingly.

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