Salt is salt, right?

summary: how to measure the salt: carefully; differences between table salt, seasalt and kosher salt; magnetic poetry for spring;

diamond crystal kosher salt Since we’ve had so much difficulty getting our favourite brand of fine seasalt, we’ve been using kosher salt.

And when I use a recipe that has volume measures, I’ve simply used teaspoon for teaspoon and then thrown in a tiny bit extra because I can see by looking that the kosher salt is fluffier than table salt.

But then I read Susan’s (Wild Yeast) post The Role of Salt in Bread and got to thinking about some of the difficulties I’ve had with some bread doughs being overly sticky. And how we often say that our bread could use a little more salt once we taste it.

Salt affects dough texture, making it stronger and less sticky […] Typically the amount of salt in a dough is between 1.8 and 2 percent of the amount of flour, by weight. If there is a large proportion of other ingredients, such as seeds, for which salt also enhances flavor, the percentage of salt could be a little higher.

– Susan, ‘The Role of Salt in Bread‘, Wild Yeast

So I did a little searching around to find out just how many grams are in a teaspoon of salt.

Alas, the Diamond Crystal Box and site are NO help at all. There is zero information on the box itself. A fair amount of wandering through their FAQ was very interesting but didn’t produce anything at all about weight to volume conversions for the various salts.

The USDA Nutrient Database reports:

1 tsp = 6gm table salt

(I looked around on Health Canada – Food & Nutrition to see if there is a similar list. Ha. If there is, I cannot find it.)

Further googling showed that the weight to volume can vary drastically, depending on how finely ground the salt is. From searching the internet, a teaspoon of table salt weighs 5.69, 6, 6.1, 6.24 OR 6.33 gm. I only found one measure for one teaspoon of Kosher Salt: 3.5 gms

Oh oh. That’s almost half.

[A] tablespoon of Morton’s kosher salt is the equivalent of 1.85 tablespoons of Diamond Crystal — just half a teaspoon shy of 2 tablespoons. We learn that a tablespoon of table salt can be replaced by 2 1/4 tablespoons of Diamond Crystal kosher salt or 1 1/4 tablespoons of Morton’s.

– Edward Schneider, ‘Warning: Measure Your Salt‘, Diner’s Journal,

If you want to use kosher salt for table salt, multiply the table salt quantity by 1.5.

  • 1 teaspoon table salt = 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon table salt = 2 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons table salt = 3 teaspoons kosher salt 400s FAQs: Food

Typically when a recipe calls for “salt,” it’s referring to fine sea or table salt. Most sources, including Bakewise and Cook’s Illustrated, say that 1 teaspoon fine salt = 1 1/2 teaspoons Morton’s kosher = 2 teaspoons Diamond Crystal kosher. But I found this ratio to be quite off. Look at my results after weighing the different salts:

1 teaspoon fine sea or table salt = roughly 1 1/4 teaspoons Morton’s kosher salt = roughly 1 3/4 teaspoons Diamond Crystal kosher salt

My results show that it’s better to think of Morton’s and fine salt as roughly the same, and to nearly double the amount of Diamond Crystal.

-Jill Santopietro, ‘That’s So Salty! It’s Not Salty Enough.‘

Wow. Using the USDA formula for how many grams of salt are in a teaspoon, I’ve calculated the percentage of salt in the Maori Bread that the BBBs made recently as relatively low at around 1.06%. In the half recipe I made, I worked out that I should have added 3gm salt. But I used a half teaspoon to measure the salt; it means that I probably added only about 1.5gm.

Could this be one of the reasons that the stencil stuck so badly on the Maori bread?

Maybe. Maybe not.

Whether or not it was the salt (or lack thereof) that caused my problems with Maori bread, I am now completely converted. Whenever possible, I plan to weigh the salt before putting it into bread dough!

At least, I’ll do that for as long as I remember… (after all, I realize that I’ve promised this before). I’m pleased to report that I DID remember this morning as I mixed the dough for caraway rye bread so we will be able to comfort ourselves with Reuben sandwiches and pretend that the ground is NOT white once more.

As I look out the window at the snow falling (again) I keep wondering if spring will ever actually spring….

Rhino Writer (RePoWriMo) thinks it has and wrote the following:

spring is sprung
… and, after a period of hibernation not unlike winter, so is this blog.

I’m back! Refrigerator poetry for all! Come April 1st -- dust off those magnets and clear off your fridge for another month of creating a poem a day.

Of course, Spring hasn’t sprung yet. Or at least it hasn’t here.

But ah! Magnetic poetry! I love magnetic poetry and it has been ages since I’ve broken out the words from the box!

spring time
only when these
purple shadow s stop

My favourite kind of magnetic poetry is contrived magnetic poetry. We used to choose ten tiles randomly and then everyone would create poems from the same words. We’d hide our final poems until all had created their poem(s). Our only rules were that all tiles had to be used AND that each tile could only be used once.

Want to play? Here are your words in alphabetical order (I promise that I chose them randomly):

ask can goddess he incubate luscious mad only trip you

For more information about RePoWriMo please read the following:


edit August 2011: In July, I contacted SAVEUR magazine about one of their recipes that called for Kosher Salt to ask them what kind they use. Here is the reply:

1 tbsp. kosher salt (we use Diamond Crystal brand) weighs approximately 1/3 of an ounce [approximately 9.5gm].

-SAVEUR Magazine, re: Lane Cake in the BBQ Nation issue, SAVEUR Magazine (facebook) page

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