salt crust

Baking in a salt crust. I didn’t know about this.

Combine 4 parts flour, 3 parts water, and 2 parts salt into a dough. Knead until more or less uniform, then roll out at use it to wrap your food tightly. Bake at 180˚c for 1-1.5 hours.

The salt crust provides multiple functions. It keeps in moisture, allowing one to cook meats and vegetables while preserving a tender and moist texture, and it also seasons the food as it bakes. An added bonus – the salt crust hardens as it bakes, creating a shield that allows the food to keep for longer periods of time. This might have been the traditional impulse to bake foods in a crust.

salt crust

I baked some beets in a salt crust for staff lunch one day. They came out with a wonderful texture, though too salty for my taste – I would reduce the salt from 2 parts to maybe 1.5 or 1.

Ben’s done it with a whole chicken, and put hay in the crust too.

The possibilities are numerous. Though I wouldn’t do it all the time (quite a bit of salt to throw away), it is interesting and always worth learning new techniques. Or maybe there’s a way to find a new use for the crust – pulsed and used as super-seasoned breadcrumbs perhaps? Or somehow made into a stuffing to garnish the vegetables or meat cooked within? Or ground back into a toasted, salted, flavoured ‘flour’ to be incorporated back into a bread dough?

Plus it’s super fun to peel the crust off and find the food hidden inside. The great childhood love of edible fun, gratified.


This entry was published on Tuesday, December 4, 2012 at 10:55 pm. It’s filed under day-to-day eats, experiments, food, general, recipes, work and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

One thought on “salt crust

  1. Whole fish baked in salt crust is the best!

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