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Old 02-07-2007, 02:40 PM   #1
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ISO Substitute for shortening

All baking recipes in old cookbooks call for shortening. I know that lard is a shortening but can butter or cooking oil be used instead. If so, would the amounts be the same?

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Old 02-07-2007, 02:48 PM   #2
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Lard is not a type of shortening.

Lard is animal fat. Shortening is vegetable oil which usually has been hydrogenated to be solid at room temperature.

You can usually sub butter 1:1 in most recipes but the taste and texture can change some. Taste changes for the better, IMO.

Subbing liquid vegetable oil can be done in many recipes, but is trickier as its a liquid. It really depends on the recipe.
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Old 02-07-2007, 03:16 PM   #3
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Crisco is shortening. You can use lard in the same amounts for shortening if you wish. The texture of whatever you are baking will remain roughly the same if you sub shortening for lard. If you sub butter or margarine or oil then the textures of things will be different. Can you post the recipes you are looking to sub and we can help you from there?
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Old 02-07-2007, 03:28 PM   #4
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Shortening

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alix
Crisco is shortening. You can use lard in the same amounts for shortening if you wish. The texture of whatever you are baking will remain roughly the same if you sub shortening for lard. If you sub butter or margarine or oil then the textures of things will be different. Can you post the recipes you are looking to sub and we can help you from there?
Most of the recipes that call for shortening are cookie recipes, such as:Molasses cookies
3/4 cup shortening
1 cup sugar
1 egg
4 tbsp. molasses
2cups flour
2 tsp. soda
1/2 tsp. salt 1tsp. cinnamon
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Old 02-07-2007, 03:34 PM   #5
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I'd use butter, 1:1. It tastes better and is better for you.

It will make your cookies spread out more, though. If that's a problem, you could use half butter and half shortening or margerine.
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Old 02-07-2007, 03:37 PM   #6
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OK, in that recipe I'd go with margarine. The baking kind, not the spreadable kind. Same amount. As jennyema says butter tastes better, but it will flatten out your cookie a whole lot. Margarine will keep the cookie a bit thicker. Give it a go and let us know how they came out.

Oh, and FYI, I use lard for my molasses based cookies and it tastes great.
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Old 02-07-2007, 05:42 PM   #7
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Butter and shortening will yield different products. One is not better than the other it's personal taste. When shortening is melted you still have all fat. When butter and margerine are melted you have fat and whey, or fat and water. This will account for the difference in texture. If you clarified your butter you would probably end up with a very similar product as with shortening and a bit more flavor.
When you talk about solid shortenings ( high ratio) vs. liquid shortenings lower ratio again you will get a different product. Higher ratio shortenings or fats are ones that are solid at room temp. The higher the melting point the higher ratio of shotening/fat is. When baking the lower ration fats melt quicker and can actually melt out leaving an oily mess around your flat cookie.

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Old 02-07-2007, 05:45 PM   #8
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Lard is actually healthier than either butter or shortening. It is lower in cholesterol, though this seems counter-intuitive. It's true. Do the research. And the shortening will allow your cookies to hold their shape better.

If you are making pastries that call for shortening, use lard instead. The texture will be much better. And though lard has no flavor, it will make a much flakier pie crust, for instance, and is healthier than the other fats (unless you are using liquid oils such as sunflower, nut-oils, avacado oil, etc.)

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Old 02-07-2007, 07:09 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Goodweed of the North
Lard is actually healthier than either butter or shortening. It is lower in cholesterol, though this seems counter-intuitive. It's true.
I didn't know that. Lard certainly makes the tastiest and flakiest pie crust. It also makes wonderful biscuits.
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Old 02-08-2007, 11:51 AM   #10
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I'm not going to disagree with Goodweed and hijack this thread, but I will say that claiming lard to be healthier than butter or shortening is a slippery slope ( ) at best. No solid fat is "healthy" in large amounts. Animals fats are an especially tricky issue.

So, if you are looking for the "healthiest" alternative, do some research and don't just take our word for it.
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