These days, the number of interesting ingredients vying to star in your personal cooking show is countless. But one tastemaker that definitely deserves shelf space in your panty is smoked salt. In savory cooking, smoked salts are frequently used as a finishing spice, something to add a pop of flavor right before serving. In baking, smoky salt works well as a substitute for table salt a variety of classic and innovative treats.
What is Smoked Salt?
Smoked salt is just what it sounds like, salt that is kissed with the flavor of a smoky grill. Other seasonings can be added to these salt to create amazing spice combinations with herbal or spicy notes. Use these kicked-up salts on meats, vegetable dishes, salad dressing, or in any dish where a little extra zing is helpful. Sure, smoky flavor is a natural with heavy meat-based dishes, but will it really work in baking? The answer is absolutely yes!
Baking with Smoked Salt
Most baked goods, even super sweet treats, usually have a small bit of salt in the recipe to balance out the sweet flavors. Smoked sea salt adds a layer of depth that takes baked goods to a new level. Not every sugary confection can handle the intense umami flavors of smoked salt, but you may be surprised to learn that many of them can.
Bread and Rolls
Making bread at home has recently gained popularity. Imagine sprinkling your next loaf of sourdough with smoky chipotle-spiced sea salt before popping it in the oven. Delicious. The somewhat neutral taste of most breads and rolls makes a great canvas for the complex flavors of smoked sea salt.
Chocolate is an intense flavor that plays well with other intense flavors. Coffee, red wine, chili pepper, tart citrus, and even wasabi are paired with chocolate to create uniquely delicious confections. Chocolate and smoke-flavored salt is another flavorful combination worth trying. Use smoked sea salt in chocolate chip cookies, dark chocolate brownies, or toss a small sprinkle on top of a pan of fudge.
If you enjoy salted caramel cake or sauce, using smoked sea salt is the next step. The sweetness of caramel stands up well to savory or even spicy flavors like smoked salt with chili powder. Though it’s not technically baking, using smoky salt on caramel popcorn elevates this childhood favorite to a sophisticated treat for grown-ups.
Fruit Pies and Tarts
Grilling fruit once seemed like a strange idea, but now it’s almost commonplace. Stone fruits are especially delicious enhanced by a hint of smoke from the grill. You can get the same flavor in a pie by using a pinch of smoked sea salt in your fruit mixture before baking.
Bake It Natural
One thing you definitely don’t want in your baked goods is the chemical taste of synthetic smoke flavor. Be sure your smoke-salt products are 100% natural like those sold by Oregano Spices. Fake flavorings are rarely ever a good idea, but they’re especially unpleasant in baked goods. Choose high-quality smoked sea salt products and don’t be afraid to experiment with your favorite baked recipes.