coarse salt

so in almost all the few recipes i’ve posted so far, there’s been a common denominator: coarse salt.

i know that i might be coming off as a little bit of a salt elitist, and i really hope that the idea is met with more enthusiasm and less “well, la de dah, look at this procrastibaker recommending fancy salt!” dear reader, please know that i wasn’t always this way. when the idea of trading regular table salt for coarse salt was first presented to me, i was skeptical. is there that much of a difference? should i even bother? would anybody even notice?

now, if you’re procrastibaking along at home, and all you have is table salt, then by all means, use what you got. it’s gonna taste delish anyway. but you can probably tell that i have neither the budget nor the attention span (hello, i procrastibake!) to go out and buy ingredients i don’t absolutely require or won’t use all the time, and so i wouldn’t just recommend things willy-nilly. if you’re making a grocery list, i totally think coarse salt is worth adding– and here’s why.

  • texture. chemically, coarse salt and table salt are pretty much exactly the same– but the difference is in the texture. where table salt is super-fine, coarse salt granules are large and crystalline. coarse salt and table salt both come from the ground; if you want to get even fancier, try incorporating sea salt: it’s textured like coarse salt, but since it’s harvested 100% from salt water, it retains more of its minerals. mmm!
  • variety. so a lot of bakers would recommend using table salt in your recipes. because the granules are smaller, they blend in with dry ingredients more discreetly, leading to a more uniform taste. but come on! where’s the adventure– the excitement? coarse salt gives cookies and batters a more distinct quality– you bite into that soft, buttery pastry, and bam! a burst of flavor you’d never get with regular old table salt. let’s live a little, procrastibakers!
  • wiggle room. what table salt lacks in the size of the granule, it makes up for in saltiness. even a pinch too much can turn your most delicious cupcake into a sardine-y disaster. there’s a little more flexibility with coarse salt. larger granules pack more flavor in individual bites, it’s true– but a teaspoon of coarse salt is actually a lot less salty-tasting than a teaspoon of table salt. by substituting coarse salt for table salt, you’re actually reducing the saltiness of your recipe, but you might end up giving it a little more flavor-per-bite.

coarse salt is one of those ingredients that you’ll buy and use in a ton of dishes. honestly, i like it much better than regular table salt, and have used it in everything from pie shells to pasta. it’s not costly (there’s store-brand coarse salt out there!) and it lasts and lasts. next time you’re at the store, check it out!

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