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Mammy's little baby ...

PauHana's picture

Mammy's little baby ... (post #63396)

in

loves shortenin', shortenin' ...


So my question is about shortening.
In the past, whenever a recipe called for shortening, I just reached for a can of Crisco & never gave it a second thought. 
Now that I am trying to phase out trans-fat products, I have started experimenting & wonder what options I have.
Example:  A favorite cookie recipe where I substituted butter for Crisco created a noticeably 'tougher' result. (Still tasty though.)


Does anyone else have a favorite substitution?


This paragraph from the Crisco web site:
Crisco now offers a new shortening with 0 grams of trans fat per serving. New Crisco 0 Grams Trans Fat All-Vegetable Shortening measures, tastes, and performs just like original Crisco.
Has anyone found this product yet & tried it?


While I'm at it: Exactly what becomes 'shorter' as a result of using 'shortening' ?
(Other than the patience of CT forum members having to answer dumb questions)?


 


Hmm… I wonder if they meant to write:
¼ tsp of cayenne pepper instead of ¼ lb ?
Oh well – too late to worry about it now !

 

Who is Luke?
and
Why is his warm water
better than any other brand?

 

ashleyd's picture

(post #63396, reply #1 of 12)

Short = "easily crumbled", shorten = "make crumbly", shortening is how you do it!


“In victory you deserve Champagne, in defeat you need it.”
Napoleon Bonaparte

Age is unimportant unless you’re a cheese.

CookiM0nster's picture

(post #63396, reply #2 of 12)

If the cookies were tougher, you probably overmixed them. One thing about using shortening, is that it's more forgiving than butter regarding mixing techniques.

It's very rare that you can't sub butter for shortening (in fact I can't think of anything off hand), but you will find that things tend to spread and crisp a bit more with butter.

sandermom's picture

(post #63396, reply #3 of 12)

Our wallyworld stocks Louanna brand coconut oil and I sub it into things I want short and crisp.  It has less water than butter.

Klaatu Barada Nikto

UncleDunc's picture

(post #63396, reply #4 of 12)

Apparently no one else is going to say it, so I'll risk it.

Lard. Or other animal fats. Tallow, suet, etc. If you look closely at a can of shortening you'll notice that it says vegetable shortening, or at least all the ones I've ever noticed say that. According to the OED, the use of shortening in the sense of culinary fat extends back to 1823. Shortening existed before Crisco, and it was lard. Ashely explained why it's called that.

PauHana's picture

(post #63396, reply #5 of 12)

Thanks all for the feedback.


Ashleyd:  Makes sense to me.  I'm always interested in the origin of words that we take for granted.


Cookimonster:  If the cookies were tougher, you probably overmixed them.  I tasted while they were still hot.  Tasted again today & not noticeably tough.  (I'm not the cookie person in our house.)


Sanderson:  Louanna brand coconut oil On my list - definitely worth a try.


Uncle Dunc:  Lard  Hey - my favorite for pie crust.  I even use left over strained bacon drippings for savory pie crusts.  Thanks for the history on shortening.


Evidently no one has tried the new Crisco zero trans-fat product?


 


 


 


Hmm… I wonder if they meant to write:
¼ tsp of cayenne pepper instead of ¼ lb ?
Oh well – too late to worry about it now !

 

Who is Luke?
and
Why is his warm water
better than any other brand?

 

Wolvie's picture

(post #63396, reply #6 of 12)

not me, at any rate - I don't do shortening. At all. Gave it up years ago. A mouthfeel issue in the final product. And..butter tastes soooooo much better. ;-)

Men in authority will always think that criticism of their policies is dangerous. They will always equate their policies with patriotism, and find criticism subversive.   Henry Steele Commager



 

 

sandermom's picture

(post #63396, reply #7 of 12)

At the risk of going to far, here's an interesting, though longish link about coconut oil.  http://www.tropicaltraditions.com/coconut_oil_is_the_healthiest_oil.htm

Klaatu Barada Nikto

PauHana's picture

(post #63396, reply #8 of 12)

Wow - that's a lot to digest!  (pun intended)


I printed out the article to look thru in more detail later.


Hmm ... I have about a dozen coconuts ripening on my tree right now ...


 


Hmm… I wonder if they meant to write:
¼ tsp of cayenne pepper instead of ¼ lb ?
Oh well – too late to worry about it now !

 

Who is Luke?
and
Why is his warm water
better than any other brand?

 

DeannaS's picture

(post #63396, reply #11 of 12)

Watch out for that place. If you sign up to get access to their forums they'll spam you to death.

(I happened to do it because it's written using the same web scripting language that I use and we were discussing how slow the site was...blah blah blah.)

And, while the information might be true, the forums are scary - very cult-like.

"As for butter versus margarine, I trust cows more than chemists." - Joan Dye Gussow

sandermom's picture

(post #63396, reply #12 of 12)

Thanks for the heads up...I didn't sign up but the puter was acting a bit wonky so I ran the spy checker and got rid of 27 parasites...yeach! 

Klaatu Barada Nikto

KyleW's picture

(post #63396, reply #9 of 12)

What becomes shorter are the gluten strands. Maybe one of our more scientifically
minded friends can do the explanation justice. Somehow the fat coats the proteins and prevents the gluten from developing properly.

 


There is a very fine line between "hobby" and "mental illness". D.Barry

 

At weddings, my Aunts would poke me in the ribs and cackle "You're next!". They stopped when I started doing the same to them at funerals.

Heather's picture

(post #63396, reply #10 of 12)

I was hoping that Frank McGee had something to say on the comparisons among butter/veg. shortening/lard but all he says is "Since the early 19th century, the term shortening has been used to mean fats or oils that "shorten" a dough, or weaken its structure and thus make the final product more tender or flaky. This role is most evident in pie crusts and puff pastry where layers of solid fat separate thin layers of dough from each other so that they cook into separate layers of pastry. It's less evident but also important in cakes and enriched breads, where fat and oil molecules bond to parts of the gluten protein coils and prevent the proteins from forming a stong gluten. To make a rich bread with a strong gluten (e.g. panettone) the baker mixes the flour and water alone, kneads the mix to develop the gluten and only then works in the fat."


Edited 1/13/2005 2:06 am ET by Heather1