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Waxed Salt Crystals?


Lisa Shock
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I give my pretzels a light egg wash after their water bath, sprinkle on the salt and toss them in the oven. The salt looks the same coming out of the oven that it did going in so it would be difficult to tell when it was added just by looking at them. I assume the heat of the oven counteracts the moisture from the egg wash before it can break down the salt. I've never tried salting after baking, never considered it because I don't know how the home baker would get the salt to adhere to the pretzels. But it appears the waxing of the salt does solve the storage problem. I want to try adding some of the waxed salt into my caramel ganache recipe and see how that does.

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It's kinda like wrestling a gorilla... you don't stop when you're tired, you stop when the gorilla is tired.

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10 hours ago, KennethT said:

Is it common to add the salt prior to baking pretzels?  All the soft pretzels I see here in NYC (tons are sold on the street every day) look like they've had the salt added after baking.  I imagine this is done in some kind of factory where the baking is conveyorized, and after a bit of cooling, they spray a fine mist of water or something, then shake on the salt and blast with some heat for a short time to evaporate the excess water.

 

I learned to dip, egg wash, salt, then bake -as a kid and later. I know that frozen soft pretzels are packaged naked and you are supposed to add salt from a packet. Maybe some people add salt later. I found this video of the Philly Pretzel Factory and they salt before baking as well. The big issue is pretzel rolls. Every time I go to Costco, I see bags of them and the salt has vanished. Bakers expect pretzels to be eaten the same day, but those buns need to keep for about a week to be profitable. (places like Sonic offer a hotdog on a pretzel roll, Wendy's had a burger on a pretzel bun for a while)

I personally wanted the salt mostly for making salted caramel ice cream. But, I like salting the outside of calzones, with herbs, as well. This salt should be pretty great on some types of focaccia bread, I think. More experiments to come.

 

Day 2, the no wax bag has no visible salt. the waxed items are hanging in there. About 20% of the salt has melted since yesterday, but, all buns still have visible crystals. I think a less moist bread might help keep them better. I am also wondering about desiccant packets, or specialty plastics which release some moisture. I used freezer bags and they are different from other food service type bags.

Edited by Lisa Shock (log)
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I have a half dozen pretzel buns cooled and packed in a plastic container (the other 2 from the batch are packed inside of me... there was zero chance of all of the freshly baked buns surviving as test subjects with me around). If they still have visible salt crystals on them tomorrow, as far as I'm concerned, the wax is a huge success. I fully expect that to be the case based on the above results.

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It's kinda like wrestling a gorilla... you don't stop when you're tired, you stop when the gorilla is tired.

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So, can we call it Shock Salt, as in, "I tried Kerry Beal's™ medium size Shock Salt on peanut brittle, and it had better shelf life?"

 

A peanut brittle test is in the near future, btw. (I generally toss some kosher salt on it as I pour it out to cool, I suspect that the wax will help it retain the crystalline shape.)

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28 minutes ago, Lisa Shock said:

So, can we call it Shock Salt


I'm guessing you can if you want to.

It's kinda like wrestling a gorilla... you don't stop when you're tired, you stop when the gorilla is tired.

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I spoke with the people who make the waxed sugar today - suggested they might want to make waxed salt. They seemed to think I was an idiot - explained that no one would ever want waxed salt. 

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Won't they be surprised when you and Lisa set up an LLC and make a killing in the pretzel and ice cream markets!

Edited by Deryn
bagel replacement with the real items of Shock Salt interest (log)
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Maybe we need to find the people who make pretzel salt and speak to them? I can also see that a factory that makes sugar products might not want to start doing salt for fear of cross contamination.

 

I think between confectioners, glaciers, and pretzel roll bakers, someone could make money. It is definitely a niche product, but, with salted caramel being everywhere now, this product seems like a natural.

Edited by Lisa Shock (log)
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I just peeked at the ice cream, it's not good news. I had taken a 6 oz container of a basic French ice cream mixed with toast dope, and scooped some out and then layered the finer salt between chunks of ice cream. I opened the container and found that where the salt had been were pockets of liquid ice cream base. The salt did dissolve, and the resulting salty areas won't freeze. My freezer is at -10°F. Might need to use the bigger granules, or figure out how to enrobe them entirely in caramel or chocolate or egg whites.

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Perhaps freeze-dried waxed salt ice cream would work. The freeze-dryer gets down (at least temporarily) to -50 F. I have often considered trying to use mine as a 'slower blast chiller'.

 

But, failing that, I wonder what would happen if you tried dry ice to initially chill that ice cream after the salt was added ... would it 'melt' as the temperature rose to a more normal ice cream storage temp?

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Maybe you and Tri2Cook should run with this! I'm spending enough time at trade shows these days and I don't think this would lend itself to the same venues.  

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1 hour ago, Kerry Beal said:

Maybe you and Tri2Cook should run with this! I'm spending enough time at trade shows these days and I don't think this would lend itself to the same venues.  


It's all hers. I just liked the idea of being able to store my pretzels/pretzel buns for a day or two without losing the salt, I don't need my name on it.

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It's kinda like wrestling a gorilla... you don't stop when you're tired, you stop when the gorilla is tired.

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2 hours ago, Tri2Cook said:


It's all hers. I just liked the idea of being able to store my pretzels/pretzel buns for a day or two without losing the salt, I don't need my name on it.

 

Ok, if I can manage to make something work, you two will both get a piece of the action.

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2 minutes ago, Lisa Shock said:

 

Ok, if I can manage to make something work, you two will both get a piece of the action.


If you can make it work to your benefit, enjoy all of the pieces of the action. I don't have a marshmallow in this fire. I only checked in because I like salt on my pretzels.

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It's kinda like wrestling a gorilla... you don't stop when you're tired, you stop when the gorilla is tired.

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  • 5 years later...
On 5/29/2016 at 5:16 PM, Kerry Beal said:

So experiments happened yesterday - I panned some rock salt and some large grain sea salt.

 

How do you pan Carnuba wax onto anything? I've tried to research how, and seen it suggested to mix the wax with food-grade acetone. I actually tried that, but it doesn't mix. Then I found that you need an "ultrasonicator" to turn it into an emulsion. My exploration of panning candy stopped with badly doubled chocolate covered almonds with no crunchy, shiny candy shell.

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