Let’s face it — we’re all looking for that one magical hack that will take our baking to the next level. Surely there’s a secret society of baking magicians gatekeeping their trade secrets from the rest of us, right? But what if we told you there’s one baking trick that all the pros know and it isn’t a secret at all. In fact, this must-have baking ingredient is so obvious that it’s been hiding in plain sight all this time. Probably relegated to the dark corner of your pantry, forgotten and ignored instead of being embraced for the baking behemoth it was destined to be…
“Salt?” You may be asking. “That’s hardly an exciting reveal after such a dramatic intro.” And to that we say, “Who doesn’t love a little bit of drama?” But also, when we learned how many bakers are omitting this precious ingredient from their baked goods, we knew we needed to sound the alarms and write an article that captured the full extent of our incredulity.
Look, we get it. Salt has had a bad rap since the 70s. We’re not here to argue against the professionals or get into any health debates (there are plenty of those happening online already) and everyone should follow their own dietary needs. BUT, we believe cutting out ALL salt from our baking would be doing ourselves a dessert disservice. Just a sprinkle of salt can make a world of difference.
At its core, salt is one of the most basic seasonings, but also one of the most powerful for enhancing flavor. A sprinkle of sea salt can elevate chocolate chip cookies from ‘pretty good’ to ‘downright phenomenal’ and believe us, we’ve tested this. And what about salted caramel? There’s a reason it’s so popular.
But isn’t adding salt to our sweet desserts counterintuitive? Not at all! Salt is added to enhance flavors, and balance things out - especially sweetness. Add a pinch of salt to an icing that was flat, boring, or sickeningly sweet, and suddenly you have a much more nuanced and well-rounded icing experience.
Just remember — all salt is not created equal! Did you know that kosher salt is less salty tsp for tsp than table salt? So make sure you follow your recipes properly and don’t swap out table salt for flaky sea salt. We’re not responsible for any salt-swapping disasters if you decide to play fast and loose with the recipe recommendations. 😀
Looking for more?
If you’re looking for more baking tips and tricks, check out our Bake You Happy Live Classes, which deep-dive into all-things-baking with our roster of expert instructors. 👍