Everything You Need to Know about Shortening

Everything You Need to Know about Shortening

what is shortening for baking

Baking is surely one of the best ways to create recipes and enjoy food. Who doesn’t love a piece of mouth-watering cake or a gooey chocolate chip cookie fresh from the oven? Of course, everyone definitely loves fresh-baked goodies. Yet, it can become quite a problem when one doesn’t know the importance of each ingredient in baking. Well, we can learn them slowly. For now, let’s get to know what is shortening for baking and why it is a very important ingredient.

What is shortening for baking?

For those of you who enjoy baking, you may have already come across the word “shortening.” Not everyone knows what shortening is and its importance in baking.

Let us share a bit of what we know about it. Basically, shortening is a type of solid fat that comes from vegetable or animal fats. And it is created through a process called hydrogenation. This process is about adding an extra hydrogen atom to vegetable or animal fats to make them solid.

What are the characteristics of shortening?

As most people already know, wheat flour contains a substance called gluten. If you don’t know what gluten is, it’s something that makes dough chewy and sticky. By adding shortening, the effect of the gluten in the batter changes. So without shortening, the pastry becomes flaky; but with shortening, the resulting recipe comes out soft and crumbly. This is especially helpful when baking tarts, pies, or any kind of pastry that has a crust. And surely , ther term shortening fits because of its ability to shorten the strands of gluten in wheat flour.

In addition, shortening can be melted, softened, and creamed into a mixture when making pastries.

Plus factor: It is a cheaper alternative to butter or coconut oil; but, it does not have the flavor and flakiness that butter can give.

Tip: One of the best things about shortening is that it has a long shelf life and does not require refrigeration.

What is shortening for besides baking?

Because shortening is solidified fat, it can be used as an alternative to any fat you normally use. Others would substitute shortening for butter and cooking oils. You can easily tell why. Butter and margarine contain water and usually splatters when used in frying. On the other hand, shortening has less water content, making it an ideal substitute for cooking oils.

We hope that the information above would shed some light on what is shortening for baking and how it can be a great ingredient for your favorite recipes. It’s cheap and makes your pastries tender and crumbly—perfect for those who are on a tight budget but enjoys the pleasures of baking.

So for those who are keeping a tab on their weight, keep this in mind: Be aware of consuming goodies with shortening because it contains the highest amount of calories compared to butter and margarine. But if you’re really that conscious, there are other substitutes for shortening you may want to try.

Enjoy and happy baking!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

%d bloggers like this: