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Ask The Experts...

Ask the Experts...About Salt

Q: What is the function of salt in baking? Can I leave it out of a recipe?

Dear Baker: Unless your dietitian or doctor prescribe a low-sodium diet, keep the salt in your baking recipes at the level called for. Salt has several functions in baked goods:

  • It contributes to overall flavor.
  • In bread, it controls the fermentation rate of yeast.
  • It has a strengthening effect on the gluten protein in the dough.

Without salt, bread rises faster and air pockets enlarge where the gluten has broken, allowing holes to form. Bread made without salt will taste bland. If you choose to eliminate salt, decrease the proofing time so that the large air pockets don't have time to develop. Salt should not be eliminated from recipes using automatic bread-making machines.

Q: Can salt substitutes replace salt in baking recipes?

Dear Baker: Salt substitutes, containing only potassium chloride and no sodium chloride, are not recommended for use in baking. The flavor and texture of baked goods will not be the same quality.

Salt substitute mixtures containing part sodium chloride, such as Morton Lite Salt® Mixture, can be used successfully in baking. For most recipes, a potassium chloride/sodium chloride blend can replace table salt in the same quantities, as directed. Recipes using an automatic bread-making machine may not perform as well.

Q: Is all salt iodized?

Dear baker: No, both non-iodized and iodized table salts are available and are clearly labeled. Iodized table salt provides iodine, which is needed for proper functioning of the thyroid gland and to prevent goiter. Plain table salt is available for consumers who choose to limit their iodine intake or must do so for medical reasons.

Also, check out: www.mortonsalt.com.