You will need:
  1 cup (8 oz) salt
  3 1/2 cups (14 oz) flour
  1 1/2 cups (10 floz) cold water




1. Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix together until smooth
2. Dip your fingers in a little flour and draw the mixture into a ball
3. tip onto a lightly floured board and knead until you have a smooth ball.
4. roll out the dough and cut into shapes or model into required shape.
5. Bake on the top shelf of a slow oven (150 C or 300 F)
6. Bake for 2 hours - longer if you want a darker shade.
7. Paint and/or varnish when cool

Basically copied from "Cooking for Fun - a children's cookbook" by Anne Thorp Lansdown Press (1980).

Possum's Hints and comments : In my experience
1. cooking salt dough adds to its lasting qualities.
2. cooked salt dough that goes soft (due to getting wet as in my wreath on the front door or from high humidity) can be rejuvenated by rebaking (even when painted - but you might want to air the oven out afterwards; alternatively, dry them on top of the aircondtioning vents or radiators)
3. The dough needs to be well kneaded to avoid air bubbles. These are what causes splits when baking (little hands sometimes have trouble with this)
4. Bake at a really low temperature - you're only drying the dough out, not really cooking it properly - this should also minimise splits.
5. Thick pieces (such as a full sized Christmas wreath) may take much longer to bake. When half done - turn them over to dry the underside better or bake on a rack rather than a tray.
6. I hate having to paint everything twice - so we always use full gloss acrylic house paints (wash in water until dry when they are water proof) - sometimes (and in some places) available in premixed 100 ml tins. The gold and silver metallic ones look fantastic for Xmas decorations. This way varnish is only needed for ones that need a "natural" look.
7. Other variations include adding food colouring to the dough and adding glitter (or both)
8. After baking, the finished article can sometimes have a white bloom. This seems to disappear with varnishing.
9. Some books recommend painting with poster paints or even felt tip pens and "varnishing" with PVA glue. As PVA is not as water proof, I would expect that you would need to be doubly careful with where you place your creations and how you store them.

More salt dough recipes

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