The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Salt and Bread

scardanelli's picture

Salt and Bread

So I was recently thinking of ways to spice up bread recipes.  I wanted to stick with the traditional flour, water, salt, yeast, but I wanted to find a way to give it a little extra uumph, if you know what I mean.  Then it hit me: artisan salts.  I had recently received a selection of artisinal salts for christmas from a company called The Meadow (, so I put them to use.  For most loaves, I used the salt in the dough as you normally would, but I also sprinkled some on top of the dough as a garnish just before loading them into the oven.  I can't remember the names of all of them I used, but I particularly like this one salt that was a grayish color and was shaped like a pyramid believe it or not.  They all gave a nice crunch on top of the loaf, though there wasn't much difference to the taste of the crumb. One thing I would suggest is decreasing the overall amount of salt in the dough to make up for the extra salt on top.  It's a little more costly than regular salt, but it's nice every once in a while.

holds99's picture

there were so many salts from so many different places.


LindyD's picture

Cook's Illustrated did a review of various gourmet salts.

I use Kosher salt for all my cooking and baking.  I just can't justify spending over $50 for 12 ounces of salt, even if it came from the moon.

Dwu3193's picture

The amount of salt in the actual dough should probably stay the same because you still need that amount of salt to control the fermentation. Plus, a little extra salt on top will make the bread taste better without adding too much sodium to your diet (if you're worried, just drink lots of water).

summerbaker's picture

I have been working my way through Bertinet's Crust (among other books!) and last week made his Breton Bread which calls for sel-gris from Brittany.  It was wonderful.  I used Celtic Sea Salt, which also has a high mineral content.  I would type up the recipe but does anyone know if this is against copyright law if I own the book?  I'm just not sure. 

Anyway, what the recipe teaches is that in order to use many sea salts or other gourmet salts that are often very coarse, you first disolve the salt in a little of the water that is called for in the recipe.  I'm sure that this technique would be applicable to nearly any recipe that you would wish to try using fancy salts.  Just make sure that you don't leave any of the grit behind in the bowl.  These are your minerals!

scardanelli's picture

What a great idea.  It's so simple... I don't know why i didn't think of that.  What was the difference in the bread for you?  Were the flavors more intense?  Did it have something extra that other breads didn't when reg salt was used?  I'm going to experiment with the maldon salt sometime this week.  It's supposed to have a smoky flavor.  I'm anxious to see how it turns out.

summerbaker's picture

Glad to be of help.  I'm not such an experienced baker that I would know whether or not the loaf turned out to be so delicious because of the salt or because it called for a small portion of buckwheat flour, which I had never used before.  However, I can't see how it would hurt to use other varieties and if your taste is "salty," why not increase the salt a gram or two in an otherwise bland loaf (as long as you don't have high blood pressure)?  It still wouldn't approach the sodium content of most of the processed foods in the supermarket freezer department!

dablues's picture

You could try pretzel salt.  Don't know if you can get it locally, or even if you want to try it.  Anyway, here is one link to buy it.

AnnaInMD's picture

I mentioned the Applewood and Hickory Smoked salts from mysage.   They taste absolutely awsome in anything calling for salt and especially good in bread.

Look at all the different ones, even kosher.