Any baking meal contains shortening. Well, at least most of them have shortened. Be it chocolate cakes, bread, scones, etc. the chances are that they include shortening in them. Vegetable oil is mostly used as a shortening oil. However, much the oil is just perfect for the occasion; this post is going to deconstruct some of the alternatives that you can use in different baking plates. For instance, shortening for bread, etc. Shortening is usually made from vegetable oils but is hydrogenized into hard fats, which add richness and tenderness to baked dishes.
1. Coconut oil
Coconut oil is naturally solidified at room temperature. Therefore, you won’t need to harden it by hydrogenation for usage in your recipes. In addition to its appealing features, coconut oil can be used for its aroma; yes, it has a unique smell that coconut lovers will definitely love.
Margarine is perfect for your baking needs. If you are a fan of baking, you ought to have tried this already. Many bakers have reported having successfully substituted margarine for shortening oil, and it worked magically. The only thing with margarine that may be of concern is the water content. Usually, shortening oils is 100% fat. Margarine, on the other hand, has a few moisture content levels. Therefore, while using it, ensure you are aware of the water levels.
Butter and margarine are close substitutes. Therefore, if one of them is perfect, and so is the other. The only difference is that butter is a dairy product, and vegans will be keen to steer clear of it. However, it is a good alternative for your shortening objectives. Like margarine, butter also contains some moisture content; therefore, you might want to watch out on the water content in your dough.
Many bakers think that lard is the best alternative for use when baking biscuits. With lard, you are guaranteed with fluffiness, flakiness, and the sweetness you deserve in a biscuit. However, not all of the bakers think lard is a good enough substitute for shortening in biscuits. Some are coconut proponents, and others do use margarine.
5. Bacon fat
Bacon fat is the perfect shortening alternative for use in the preparation of bread. However, there is room to use others, such as oil in challah and brioche butter. To further savor the crustiness and the fluffiness of the bakes, you can also use butter and lard in buns.
6. A mix of coconut oil, butter, and margarine
So far, the above alternatives cannot stand frosting independently; if you are preparing a recipe for freeing, you probably will likely use a more tough shortening. When you use butter or coconut oil, then they are likely to meet sometime after the fridge life at room temperature. However, if they are used together, they stand a chance. Furthermore, the three are rich in flavor and guarantees an exceptional baking experience.
|Substitute||Flavor Profile||Texture||Best Used In||Source|
|Coconut Oil||Mild, slightly sweet||Solid at room temp||Cooking, baking, frying||Extracted from coconut flesh|
|Margarine||Mild, similar to butter||Solid at room temp||Cooking, baking, spreading||Plant-based oils, emulsifiers|
|Butter||Rich, creamy, savory||Solid at room temp||Cooking, baking, flavoring||Dairy product from churned cream|
|Lard||Mild, savory||Solid at room temp||Baking, frying, flavoring||Rendered pork fat|
|Bacon Fat||Savory, smoky||Liquid or semi-solid||Flavoring, cooking, frying||Rendered fat from cooked bacon|
Can I use oil instead of shortening?
You can use oil as a substitute for shortening in many recipes. However, remember that oil is 100% fat while shortening often contains additives like emulsifiers that can affect the texture and structure of baked goods.
How much vegetable oil to substitute for 1 cup of shortening?
To substitute 1 cup of shortening, you can use about 3/4 cup of vegetable oil. The texture and flavor of your baked goods might vary slightly due to the differences between oil and shortening.
What is the best substitute for shortening?
Depending on the recipe, you can use butter, margarine, or a combination of butter and oil as substitutes for shortening. Remember that these alternatives might affect your final product’s flavor, texture, and baking properties.
The bottom line
Shortening is made from soybean oil or cottonseed oil or any other oil which is hardened into fats.