When you watch a baking tutorial, you will always hear something about the use of shortening. So, what is shortening in baking? Shortening is 100% fat, and it contains no water. You have to remember that shortening is fat, and this is usually used in baking cakes. It creates a non-elastic texture, and it gives the baked goods a moist and tender texture. It is called shortening because it causes the gluten strand to shorten.
What is Vegetable Shortening for Baking?
For you to know what is shortening in baking, you have to understand how they work.
Vegetable shortening is the one usually used in baking. In baking jargon, they are usually called just “shortening”. Before it was discovered as a baking ingredient, it was used to make soap products. Most vegetable shortening is made with hydrogenated soybean oils or palm oil. Since its 100% fats, they are safe for frying because of the lesser possibility of it popping at high temperatures.
The process of shortening takes place when fat interferes with gluten formation in a dough. This makes the baked good flaky or crumbly. Without it, baked goods become chewy or gummy. To create a flaky and crumbly dough, you must add the shortening into the flour and creates a barrier between gluten molecules.
Vegetable shortening has a neutral flavor. This makes them desirable to use for recipes because it does not have a strong fatty flavor. It contains 133 calories per tablespoon. It has no carbohydrates, protein, minerals, or vitamins.
Easy to Make Recipes with Shortening
Many recipes apply shortening. With these recipes, you will understand what is shortening in baking can do.
What you need:
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 tablespoon ground ginger
- 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
- ¾ Shortening
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ cup molasses
- 1 cup white sugar
- 1 large egg
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- In a large bowl, mix dry ingredients.
- Get a separate bowl for mixing Shortening and sugar. Then add egg and molasses.
- Then pour the dry ingredients you mixed earlier.
- Form it into 1-inch diameter balls.
- Roll the balls in sugar, then place it into the baking sheet with 2 inches apart.
- Bake for 10 minutes.
Butterscotch Banana Coconut Cake
What you need:
- 3 ¾ cups flour
- 2 cups brown sugar
- 1 cup softened butter
- 1 cup sweetened flaked coconut
- 4 ounces Shortening
- 3 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 11-ounce pack butterscotch chips
- 3 medium bananas
- 2 eggs
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Grease the pan.
- In a bowl, mix cream butter and shortening, then add sugar. Beat until it is evenly combined.
- Mash the bananas then add to the mixture. Beat it again with the eggs and vanilla.
- In a separate bowl, combine all the dry ingredients.
- Mix the wet and dry ingredients. Mix well until combined. Then add the coconut and butterscotch chips.
- Pour the mixture into the pan you greased.
- Bake for 50 to 55 minutes.
- Test the pie by inserting a toothpick, and if it comes out clean, then the pie is done.
- Serve while it’s warm.
What you need:
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1 cup vegetable shortening
- 2 cups chopped apples
- 1 cup cold black coffee
- 1 ½ cups sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 cup raisins
- Preheat the over to 35 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Grease and flour the baking pan.
- In a large bowl, mix the flour, baking soda, and spices.
- In a separate bowl, mix shortening and sugar. Then add eggs and beat well.
- Mix in the flour mixture, alternating with coffee. It should begin and end with flour mixture.
- Fold in the chopped apples and raisins.
- Pour into the greased pan.
- Bake for 45 to 55 minutes.
- Remove from the pan and let it cool down.
These three recipes will make you understand what is shortening in baking. When you are able to successfully baked it, then you will know that shortening makes baked goods delicious.
Shortening plays an important role in baking. It contributes to the overall texture of the product. So, if you want your baked good to be flaky, then learn about what is shortening in baking and how they work. In that way, you can set your expectation on how the product will end up. Be careful, though, not to add too much shortening as this may cause the bread or baked products to be hard. Accuracy is a must. Find out more about baking.