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Adding Salt in Recipes

Asked by Shiyamala. Answered on 5th August 2011

Full question

Hello, I have one question. why don't you add salt in many of your dishes? Shiyamala from India

I tried Nigella's Buttermilk Scones recipe this weekend, which I got from the NPR website. They looked beautiful when they came out of the oven, but I was very disappointed when I tried them because they had almost no taste at all. When I looked at the recipe again I realized salt is not listed as an ingredient. Is this a mistake? I have made many scone recipes, from the UK as well as the US, and not one was without salt. Thanks for your help.

Our answer

Generally adding salt as a seasoning to a dish is a very personal thing - peoples desire for salt, and tolerance to it, varies enormously. Consequently Nigella prefers to let people season dishes to their own taste.

For Buttermilk Scones in Kitchen (p283) you should add salt to your own taste, but as a guideline you could use 1/2 to 1 teaspoon. In Domestic Goddess Nigella's scone recipe is made with a similar quantity of flour (500g or approx. 3 1/3 cups) and uses 1 teaspoon salt. However we would emphasise that the Buttermilk Scones should be made with unsalted butter (shortening doesn't usually contain salt). If you use regular salted butter then the amount of salt added to the scone mixture will need to be reduced otherwise the scones will become to salty to eat.

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