'O Allah increase me in knowledge,

Wednesday, 23 January 2008

Salty Dough

Assalamu alaykum,
an ancient way of making sculptures. We used the salt dough to make our own Arabic alphabet. Kids also enjoying making flowers, stars, food items and animals.

Here is the basic recipe:
one cup of fine salt
one cup of flour
about half a cup of water

Mix the flour and the salt together in a large bowl. Depending on the flour brand, you may need a different amount of water so it is best to make a well in the center and pour in the water. You have to knead until smooth and elastic and non-sticky dough.
Shape the dough into a ball and wrap it into a plastic film in order to prevent it from drying. The dough is now ready to be used.
Variations :
The basic recipe can be adapted for different purposes :
Add more flour and you'll get a softer dough
Add more salt and the aspect of the sculptures will be granulous
Add wallpaper glue and the dough will be more cohesive
A few way to add color to your sculptures :
by using different brands of flour (rye, ...)
by adding spices, chocolate powder, coffee...
by adding gouache, oil paint (use gloves and knead long enough to get a uniform color)
by adding food colorants
by leaving the sculptures in the oven until golden
you can also paint your sculptures once they have dried.

Instead of allowing the dough shapes to air dry, you can bake them in the oven at 200 degrees F until hard. Baking times varies depending on oven and dough thickness. Make sure the dough is completely baked. You can cover the dough with aluminum foil if it starts to darken before completely baked through.

Salt Dough Suggestions and Tips:
You can store salt dough in a sealed container in the refrigerator for a day or two before using.
Add color to the dough by mixing food coloring or paint into the water before adding it to the flour/salt mix. Alternatively, you can paint the finished baked dough with acrylic paint.
Painted objects should be sealed on all sides with polyurethane spray or clear varnish to make them lasting gifts or keepsakes.