- Real Yeast
- Real Wheat
- Real Nutrition
- Real Water
- Real Salt (this post)
- Real Flavor
- Real World Tradition
This course centers on the “Real 7” things you need to make wholesome, nutritious bread at home.
Number five is real salt. Salt is one of sourdough bread’s “three perfect ingredients.” All three ingredients need to be all-natural, even the salt.
Salt, like wheat, has gotten a bad rap. Doctors will tell you you need a low sodium diet, especially if you have heart problems. When doctors talk about the dangers of sodium, they’re talking about the kind of salt we all have on the table. White table salt has had all other minerals stripped out, been bleached, and had iodine added to it. These are major problems—don’t eat that kind of salt. It wreaks all sorts of havoc in your body.
But not all salt is created equal. Redmond REAL Salt is fabulous. It’s actually harvested in Redmond, Utah (in northern Sevier County, north of Richfield).
Redmond salt is a pink variety with 81 minerals in it. It’s not only not bad for you, but it’s also amazingly good for you.
If you feel like you have a cough coming on, you can gargle with Redmond salt to kill all of the germs in your throat. A mixture of real salt and water is more hydrating than Gatorade. This is the kind of salt you want for your bread.
Some people say our bread has a lot of salt in it (almost a tablespoon per loaf) and ask if we can make a loaf without it. Our answer is no, for two reasons.
First of all, bread would taste bad without salt; it gives flavor. The importance of salt as a flavor enhancer is even in the scriptures, which describe “salt [that] had lost its savor.” You want that flavor in there. Since sourdough doesn’t require oil, sugar, extra gluten, or any of the things that we used to add to bread to make it rise and taste good, it relies heavily on salt for it’s amazing flavor.
The second reason salt is necessary in our bread is that the bacteria in the sourdough start can be a little erratic during the dough-making process. If some pockets of your dough are hotter than others, the bacteria will process those pockets faster. Salt, as a preservative, slows the bacteria down and makes sure they evenly process your dough.
So salt is critical, but you definitely want real salt, and Redmond isn’t the only option. There are other natural varieties.
You can use Himalayan pink or Celtic sea salt (the Celtic brand is a great white salt). You can find Himalayan salt in most supermarkets.
Still, I highly recommend Redmond. It is a little pricey, but you actually don’t need to use as much of it.
You can find it at the Redmond Heritage Farms in Orem, Heber City, or in Sugarhouse. This is one of the cheaper sources, since Redmond Heritage Farms is the parent company that actually mines the salt. You can buy Redmond salt in tubs and in big 25 pound bags, and they even offer garlic and seasoned flavors. If you can’t make it to Redmond Heritage Farms, you can find small bottles in most supermarkets.
Whichever brand you choose, remember that real salt is a critical part of the “Real 7″ that make a true sourdough loaf.
(Next Monday, look for the fifth in this series: The “7 Reals” of Sourdough Bread.)