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Old 06-19-2008, 10:11 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by suziquzie View Post
What are you making that the water content is going to make such a huge difference? I guess I would just try it with whatever is available and tweak it from there.
Well the main thing is doughnuts if the water content is wrong then the dough will be too thin or too think and my dropper will not work right.

Plus it may affect the rising as well but I'll try it with margarine and see what happens
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Old 06-19-2008, 10:18 AM   #12
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I think water is one of the easiest things to make up for. The wonders of flour! Too thin can easily be fixed.
Besides, what fun would it be to play with if you got it absolutely perfect the first time? :)
Good luck!
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Old 06-20-2008, 01:41 AM   #13
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I'm sorry if the only answer you found was "technical" - but when you start trying to make substitutions of fats in baking ... well, it does get technical.

For example - the legal regulations governing butter in the US and in the Netherlands is based on the minimum milkfat content - 80% US and 82% NL - and a maximum water content, 18% US and 16% NL.

Solid margarine can be up to 20% water. Soft spread margarines can be higher, just like tub soft, or Lite, butter.

Shortening has a higher melting point than butter, and is about 20% tiny air bubbles by volume (in place of the 12%-18% water in butter) - these act as leavening agents in baking - the heat causes them to expand and allows the dough to set before the fat melts.

If you want to use butter in place of shortening (hydrogenated vegetable oil - which should be available in the Netherlands if it contains less than 2% trans fat according to Dutch and EU regulations) - and adjusted for Dutch butter:

(Using US measurements and Dutch butter) For 1 cup of shortening - use 1 cup of butter and and reduce the liquid in the recipe by 5.25 US teaspoons.

But, that will only substitute the fat ... if you want to make up for the loss of air in the shortening - you have to measure and then cream the butter before using it in the recipe.

Not knowing your "recipe" is a handicap. There are different kinds of donuts - yeast raised, batter cake ....
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Old 06-20-2008, 08:55 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Larkspeed View Post
Well the main thing is doughnuts if the water content is wrong then the dough will be too thin or too think and my dropper will not work right.

Plus it may affect the rising as well but I'll try it with margarine and see what happens
Hi Larkspeed,

As I see it, you`ve asked a couple of questions here.

First, what is "shortening"? I live in the UK so my answer comes from a European tradition of baking rather than an American. I see shortening as a fat (WHITE) used to rub in with flour to prevent the development of long stands of gluten. As such, the fat could be pork fat, or a white fat such as Cookeen/Trex (trade names in the UK) or a WHITE fat sold under a supermarket own brand label, and you can recognise it as it is, quite literally - white! For a short-crust pastry, such as one would use for a shortcrust pastry pie, one would use equal quantities of butter and "shortening" and 2 teaspoons of water for each ounce of flour.

Second, what fat should one use for doughnuts? For a yeasted doughnut, I would use butter, using approx. 1 oz per lb flour or butter. If making doughnuts using a doughnut maker, or a mix using baking powder, I would use the same amount of BUTTER per lb of flour, unless speciifed by your machine.

Hope this helps,
Archiduc
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Old 06-20-2008, 08:58 PM   #15
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If the water content in your butter is less than US butter, I would start there. Unless you are a chemist or making a really fussy baked item, I don't think you are going to see an appreciable difference (personally).
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Old 06-20-2008, 09:00 PM   #16
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Doughnuts ... hmmm ... have you considered replacing half the fat with sour cream? Sour cream doughnuts, oh YUM.
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Old 06-22-2008, 04:03 PM   #17
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Try oil, sorry you'll have to play with it for a while cuz there's no real Standard ratio for Shortening-Oil (I've tried to find one, it doesn't exist)
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Old 06-22-2008, 09:00 PM   #18
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Try oil, sorry you'll have to play with it for a while cuz there's no real Standard ratio for Shortening-Oil (I've tried to find one, it doesn't exist)
You can NOT substitute oil for shortening (unless the shortening is melted before measuring) - that's why you can't find a standard for such substitution, Penguins. Different fats serve different functions in baking .... although they are all fats.
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Old 06-23-2008, 07:22 PM   #19
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If the water content in your butter is less than US butter, I would start there. Unless you are a chemist or making a really fussy baked item, I don't think you are going to see an appreciable difference (personally).
Hi Andrea,

Do you have a figure for the fat/water content of US butter and how this might differ from UK/European butter. This is not an idle request. I would like to know for future reference regarding any recipies which I might post.

All the best,
Archiduc
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