So I hear people say that kosher salt tastes better -- and I see baking recipes on the site that call for kosher salt. But kosher salt is so coarse. Do I have to grind it up before using it?
No, just use it as it is.
drbabs is right. Use kosher salt as is.
I don't agree. If the salt is coarse, it won't distribute well and in baking does not have time/moisture enough to dissolve. I don't enjoy when I can detect the salt in a scone or muffin for example (I have particularly noticed this when I have used coarse salt in scones- low moisture, short baking time and less sugar to balance the salt?) Sometimes catching a granule of salt... say, in a brownie, not so bad, but in general, use a finer-grind of salt for baking.
I use Diamond Crystal kosher salt in everything - scones, cakes and cookies. It dissolves fine and tastes delicious. But it's probably best to go with your personal preference, as ChefHef describes.
Here's an interesting factoid. In Shirley Corriher's book BakeWise, she says "Flakey sea salt and Diamond Crystal kosher salt blend faster and better than granular table salt. Most table salts are dense cubes, made by vacuum pan evaporation and referred to as "granular." Sea salt and [kosher salt] are formed from surface evaporation."
Shirley also says "A sea salt like Maldon that is in the form of delicate flakes is ideal for baking."
I'll have to find some Maldon. Haven't tried that one yet.
depending on what i'm baking, if i'm using kosher salt, i might add it into the wet ingredients instead of mixing it in with the dry ingredients to ensure better distribution of saltiness.
mrslarkin, i love maldon! i haven't used it in baking, but it is my favorite finishing salt. it's so delicious on eggs and meats and pretty much anything!
It's my understanding that if you're making a recipe that calls for regular table salt and you want to use Kosher Salt or vice versa, a rule of thumb is 1 teaspoon of regular salt = 1 1/2 teaspoons of Kosher Salt. You need to increase or decrease the amount of Kosher Salt you use to equal the same amount of saltiness.
Interesting, mrslarkin! I'm surprised you don't have Maldon, as it seems to be a big favorite among a lot of Food52ers. It has a huge flake, which I find a little overwhelming, so I prefer the smaller-flaked ones, like Noirmoutier and Ile de Ré. I don't bake so much that I have to worry about the cost, so I'm definitely going to try the Maldon.
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Kosher salt is a much coarser (larger) grain than say table salt, as you have said. Therefore, they cannot be used interchangeably, teaspoon for teaspoon. The level of saltiness will be off. However, if the recipe calls for Kosher salt, then you want to use it as is. If the recipe maker wanted a finer grain, they would have used a different variety.
Yes one definitely needs to weigh ingredients for baking. The different kosher salts have different densities, so until you have figured out the demott of your choice, you will definitely deliver too much or too little salt if you measure by volume. In a recipe that calls for fine salt, then an equal volume of kosher salt will weigh less - the amount less depends on brand.
Kosher salt is saltier per volume as the grains are larger; a teaspoon of table salt has more actual salt in it, and less space in between the grains. Zomick's bakery uses kosher salt for their products http://zomickskosherbakery.com/