While salt is added in minimal amounts, this is an essential ingredient for your baking task. These grains of wonder accentuate the flavor of butter, flour, and oils. Salt is also added to chocolate to create an even more vibrant flavor. This flavor enhancer helps the gluten to hold more carbon dioxide and water in breadmaking—producing a tighter and firmer crumb.
While plain sea salt is commonly found in the market, there are variations of it. This includes kosher salt, iodized salt, flaky salt, Himalayan salt, and flavored salts. For baking purposes, iodized salt and non-iodized salt are used. These salt variants can be available on large flakes, or it is created on smaller grains.
What’s The Difference Between Plain Salt and Iodized Salt?
Plain sea salt is naturally occurring salts that are mined from underground deposits. Another source of salt is by drying large batches of seawater through evaporation. Either way, the large bulks of salt crystals are crushed in the form of grains, flakes, or specks. Iodized salt is introduced in the local market to address the lack of iodine in the household.
To cut it short, the only difference between plain salt with iodized salt is its iodine content. Iodine is collected from seaweed extracts before it is dried and pulverized before mixed into the large pile of salt. This non-toxic element is essential for the thyroid gland to produce thyroxine.
Thyroxine is a hormone responsible for reducing the risk of having goiter, hypothyroidism, and intellectual disabilities. Since salt has become a staple flavor enhancer to a typical household, iodine is introduced to treat thyroid-related ailments. In addition, introducing iodine through iodized salt creates a more straightforward solution for iodine deficiency.
What’s the difference?
Truth to be told, non-iodized salt and iodized salt have the same appearance, taste, and texture. The grain difference between these two variants is the iodine content. So, while iodized salt assists people with iodine deficiency, it doesn’t mean that you cannot use non-iodized salt for your cooking and baking needs.
Table salt, also known as plain salt or non-iodized salt, is harvested from salt mines or through seawater. If collected through seawater, it is placed on an extensive heating system until the water is completely evaporated. The ordered crystals from the mines and heated seawater are later on processed.
Larger chunks of salt are sold and are milled or crushed into workable pieces. Other variants are turned into grains before the dextrose, and anti-caking agents are mixed. These additives are included to prevent the plain salt from clumping, evaporating, and molding. Other non-iodized salts include pickling salt, flavored salt, kosher salt, and the infamous pink Himalayan salt.
Can You Use Non-Iodized Salt for Baking?
The answer is yes. You can keep your non-iodized salt and use it for your baking needs. Most bakers use iodized salt since it has finer granules compared to the non-iodized variant. Aside from flavor enhancer, iodized salt dissolves faster and binds well with other ingredients. The only downturn of this variant is that it doesn’t contribute to the food’s texture.
That is how non-iodized salt elevates. Add granules of iodized salt to your caramel, chocolate, and fruit tart. Aside from promoting the flavors, it can improve the contrast of texture to your food. A complementary surface such as the roughness of the salt paired with the creamy and thick chocolate makes the eating experience much better.
Adding pink Himalayan salt to your baked roast can add another perk of color and flavor to your savory dish. The rose-pink color of this salt can accentuate the baked vegetables, meat, fish, and other protein’s texture. Sprinkle few granules of kosher salt and pink Himalayan salt before serving to prevent the salt from dissolving.
Can you replace iodized salt with non-iodized salt?
Since the only visible difference between these two is the granule size and iodine content, these two can be interchangeably used for your baking needs. Non-iodized salt might have a larger grain size than the iodized variant. Still, it can be diluted on liquid ingredients like water, milk, and fruit juices.
To prevent a large clump of salt to your baked products, add the iodized salt during the mixing process, rather than adding it after mixing. Plain salt granules are more prominent and may not be fully dissolved during the mixing process. This creates a salt crystallization that may be made or break your dish.
If done write, the salt granules can improve the overall texture of the baking dish. However, too much of it can affect the flavor and texture. Kosher salt and non-iodized salt work the best with saltine crackers, salted pretzels, breadsticks, and garlic bread. Placing few pinches of salt flakes to your chocolate-based dessert also works best.
Is Iodized Salt Better Than Non-Iodized?
Iodized salt has iodine, making it essentially better than the non-iodized variants. Iodine is essential to treat people with iodine deficiency and thyroid issues while improving your meal’s overall flavor and texture. Non-iodized variants, on the other hand, do not provide the said health benefits.
While plain sea salt has a minuscule amount of iodine, it is not enough to be nutritionally significant compared to its iodized variant. Therefore, iodine is mixed in large amounts, together with dextrose and anti-caking agents. Dextrose improves the bind of iodine on the iodized salt. At the same time, the anti-caking agents prevent the clumping of this flavor enhancer.
While iodine is non-toxic, it can somewhat leave a slightly bitter aftertaste. However, this only occurs when you’ve consumed salt in enormous amounts. The salt content is enough to mask the subtle flavor profile of iodine. A gram worth of iodized salt has 45 micrograms of iodine, compared to plain salt with only a microgram or two.
So, what is the best salt for your baking needs? There is no definite answer since these salts have slight variations, but it still has the same ‘saltiness’ and flavor booster we need for our baked products. Even you conduct a taste test, there is no difference with the flavor profile of non-iodized and iodized variants.