Butter, Oil and Baking!
The purpose of using butter and oil in your baking is to retain moisture for even baking. Water evaporates quickly where as fats do not. Fats break down slowly and weaken the gluten in baked goods. This creates tender, and even heat distribution for browning through.
Butter - is usually the fat of choice for baking because of the flavour. It does a great job of making baked goods soft and flakey. We caution the use of margarine. It is a cheaper alternative for butter, with matching fat content but not the same flavour. The Vegetable oils made up to create margarine contain trans fats, beware.
Why Use Oil in Baking?
Many oils are used in baking. Sometimes oils and butters are both called for in recipes to perform different roles as food is baked. In contrast of butter, oil will bring a denser appreciation to the baked goods. Think of brownies or fudge for examples of butter and oil interacting together. However, different baking oils bring a variety of qualities to the baking process.
Vegetable oil – many vegetables are tossed in the mix to create this oil generally has little to no flavour. It is not recommended as primary fat source.
Olive oil – If you enjoy a milder flavour from regular Olive Oil or a stronger flavour from Extra Virgin Olive Oil, be sure to choose the appropriate option for your suited baking needs.
Coconut oil – This sweet unique flavoured oil brings a different dynamic to your baking. The extra sweetness in the oil may need to be balanced out with the amounts of sugar the recipe has called for.
Shortening VS Lard
Lard - is made by rendering pork fat, this baking fat adds a light, flaky flavour to baked goods. It has no effect on cholesterol levels and can be used in everything.
Shortening - is made from vegetables and can give the same flakey results in baking. However the flavour is not a desirable especially when a waxy or artificial aftertaste lingers. It is a good alternative for vegetarians and those that choose not to consume pork or meat in general.