The kids want play-dough, and yours is dried up or moldy. You’re out of Cream of Tartar and your recipe calls for a small boatload. Or, your teen has a school project and suddenly needs to make a replica Ganesha statue (stranger things have happened). Enter Perfect Salt Dough, the solution to all your problems. This dough dries completely in a couple of days if you want it to, or you can dry it out in your oven at 250 for an hour (or more for big projects). It dries bright white, and the high salt content makes it sparkle (which is very popular with Little Girl). You can also keep it in an airtight plastic bag, theoretically indefinitely. This was an old standby in my family’s house, probably because we never had enough Cream of Tartar hanging around to make the other kind.
Perfect Salt Dough
1/2 cup cornstarch
1/3 cup water
1 cup iodized salt (small grain – large ones do not dissolve and cut your hands)
1/3 cup water
Dissolve cornstarch and 1/3 cup water in a bowl. In a pan, dissolve salt in 1/3 cup water and heat to a boil. Remove from heat and pour in the cornstarch water. Stir vigorously until it thickens to the consistency of mashed potatoes. If it does not start to thicken after 2 minutes, return to low heat and stir constantly (scraping the bottom of the pan) until it begins to thicken. Turn the dough onto the counter until cool enough to touch. Knead until pliable and put in a plastic bag.