Sodium Chloride, Common salt, NaCl

Salt is obtained from natural deposits and the sea. It is usually purified and then vacuum dried to a desired crystal size. It has no smell and is a white sugar-like material. A flaky, or dendritic, type obtained from the USA, is used to garnish certain savoury crackers.

Salt is used in almost all recipes for its flavour and flavour enhancing properties. Its most effective concentration is around 1-1.5% based on the flour weight, but at a level of more than 2.5% the taste becomes unpleasant.

Because the usage rate is low in doughs, the particle size is not critical as all the salt will soon become dissolved in the dough water. However, where it is used as a surface dressing, the size is important and it is normal to use a fine particle size. Salt is hygroscopic in most atmospheric conditions causing it to become damp, non-free flowing and lumpy. Solutions of salt cause corrosion of iron and aluminium so it should therefore be stored in airtight containers of plastic or stainless steel. Unopened bags should be stored in dry conditions.