The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

kosher salt

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Patf's picture

kosher salt

I see this mentioned in many recipes on the forum, but don't know what it is.

How does it differ from ordinary salt?

How is it made?

What difference does it make in bread baking?

I should know really, as we try to keep kosher. But haven't seen it locally.

Thanks in advance - Pat.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

And it is made by Kosher elves.

subfuscpersona's picture

Goetter said it best (from the posted link)

goetter on November 15, 2007 wrote:
Table salt contains iodide and anti-caking additives.  I can taste those additives, so I don't use it anywhere in my cooking...Kosher salt doesn't contain iodides.

I also can taste those additives, so I also use kosher salt as my standard salt. However, some kosher salts now contain anti-caking agents, so be sure to read the label. I want my kosher salt to be sodium chloride (aka plain table salt) - nothing more.

bassopotamus's picture

I've been using sea salt for a while in everything, and even the coarse is fine in bread, although you need to add maybe 25% more of it. Baleine is just fine, maybe 4 bucks for a pound and a half at whole foods or many local groceries. Sure, that is about 8 x what regular iodized is, but I maybe go through 2 containers a year. Morton also has a sea salt i've been using lately with no problems (it's what the local grocery had)

Marni's picture

To the best of my memory -- Kosher salt is called that because it is the salt that is used for koshering meat.  Kosher meat is drained of excess blood and the salt does this.  The meat is thoroughly rinsed to lower the sodium level again before use.  It is additive free generally.

You can read about all kinds of salts here at


Larry Clark's picture
Larry Clark


You are correct about the Kosher salt name. Here is a link to an interesting article about a taste test of several different salts.



Marni's picture

I have never heard of Nu-Salt, and would never use a product like it, but what a great review !  Thanks for the link, I had a good laugh and enjoyed reading about the varieties of real salts.



Wisecarver's picture
Wisecarver (not verified)

...It is your best salt product, well worth the slightly higher price over table salt.
Keep in mind by volume you need nearly twice as much Kosher.
By weight it is the same so weigh your salt portions if you can.

gaaarp's picture

I've noticed that a lot of the cooking instructional books I read recommend Diamond Crystal Kosher Salt, and a lot of the chefs on cooking shows use it, too.  So I hunted for it at groceries and specialty food shops in my area.  I couldn't seem to find it anywhere, until one day when I was shopping at a local discount food store.  They had one-pound, Morton-type containers for 99 cents, so I bought a dozen of them.  It does measure differently than table salt, due to the structure of the salt crystals.  Weighing is definitely the way to go with this salt.

Patf's picture

.......or I think I do.  Thanks for the interesting replies, especially the Slate link. 

I do buy coarse salt for kashering, which I have to do occasionally, but it's just a local brand. People around here buy it for pickling veg. and preserving meat.

So if you add these large crystals to your bread mix, how do they become dispersed? Wouldn't they just end up as clusters of saltiness? Or perhaps dissolve them in the water. Pat.


bassopotamus's picture

I've been using coarse sea salt in all my cooking including baking, and find that it disperses fine. I use a stand mixer though, and have mostly been making fairly high hydration breads. Not ciabatta high, but pretty sticky, so it dissolves fine. I would suppose you could have an issue in a dryer dough.


I'm not sure that dissolving in the water is a good idea, as it may lead to trouble with the yeast, especially in pre-ferment recipies.

Wisecarver's picture
Wisecarver (not verified)

...Adding salt is varied with each culture.
With our typical French preferments salt is added, overnight.
With the exact same recipe for Italian you use no salt but adjust your Yeast.
This is because salt retards the work Yeast is doing, to an extent.
The flavor you get by adding salt at each special time is like Art.
When adding salt for most dough recipes you will find many bread chefs mix the yeast and water then in another bowl mix the flour and salt, then add that mixture to the yeast water.
As you paint your own beauties you will not get any lumps of salt, it will become a special tool for you.

G-man's picture

I've used Diamond Crystal since I worked with it in kitchens. Before that I was using Mortons.


The major difference between the two is the structure of the crystals. Mortons grinds their salt into coarse grains, while Diamond Crystal flattens their salt into flakes. The result is that it's easier to grab a few fingers of Diamond Crystal and get even distribution. As a result salting food becomes much more precise. At least that's my perception.

Another difference is that Mortons uses anti-caking agents in their salt. It's gotta be safe to eat since they've been doing it forever and I've never heard anything about it, but Diamond Crystal is just salt and I try not to use two ingredients when one works just fine.

Finally, as gaaarp said, while it's not as widely distributed it's significantly cheaper.


Edit: My goodness this is an old thread, but it was at the top of my Recent Posts list. I try not to practice necromancy if I can help it. My apologies.

jcking's picture

It might be better to revive and update the old rather than create a new one. Debit my account $0.02 {:-))


BeckyColeman's picture

In Jim Lahey's breadmaking book My Bread he has a recipe of using Sea Water from Jones Beach to make bread.  (Please don't ask me where this is as I am English.)   He filters it first through a coffee filter.

I don't recommend this as I have never done it myself although I do live only about 1 mile from the sea.  You will just have to try it yourself if you fancy it.  He says that the bread tastes a bit more saltier.

jcking's picture

Funny; whatever it is called/labeled all salt, mined or otherwise, came from a sea that has become dry or dried from an existing sea (or ocean). Deduct an additional $0.02 from my account.


Gunnersbury's picture

No need to be exotic to obtain plain old NaCl.  Most supermarkets carry iodized and, usually right next to it, plain salt: not kosher, not sea, just plain salt: at a comforting plain price.