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Old 07-13-2009, 04:27 AM   #1
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Question A box of flour?

I have acquired copies of some ancient family recipes. I was amused at some of the references in the recipes such as a peck of tomatoes. I couldn't help hearing myself leap into Peter Piper as I read it.

Anyway, there are a few mysteries I've found such as a box of flour. I know about a box of powdered sugar, but the flour is a mystery. How much would a box of flour be?

Another one is liquid shortening. Color me silly, but that's the first time I've ever run across that. I googled it and found that it is actually available online for purchase, but I'm not going to go that route. What exactly is liquid shortening. That I could not find, only products themselves. I'm assuming cooking oil would suffice, but what is recommended in particular?

Thanks to anyone for any hints!

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Old 07-13-2009, 12:54 PM   #2
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The only wheat flour in a box that I can recall using is Swans Down Cake Flour -- mine is a 2-pounds box.

My guess is that liquid shortening is the same as any cooking oil, such as those from Crisco or Mazola -- anything should do, except olive oil, which has a strong flavor that would be inappropriate for 99.9% of baked goods.
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Old 07-21-2009, 08:39 PM   #3
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Oh wow. I thought I thanked you for this! I can't believe I didn't. I'm so very sorry about that. Hmmmm.

Well in any case, thank you very much. That helped me tremendously!
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Old 08-13-2009, 01:15 PM   #4
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Soybeans seem to be a primary source for liquid shortening. I'm no expert, but I believe liquid shortening is available to provide the following two features for cooking:

1) higher smoke point than oil
2) convenience of use for cooking tasks that call for oil over shortening

Most liquid shortenings I looked at have a smoke point around 450, vs the lower points of the popular duo, olive oil (not EVOO) and butter mixed.

as for baking, I am not sure a liquid shortening has the same effect as shortening for making a shortcrust pastry, which is its namesake.

I've half a mind to buy a bag of flour, a can of crisco, and a bottle of liquid shortening and compare the two down the wire, from general cooking to baking to pastry making.

I'm a pastry chef, so this really intrigues me as something I should have tried before, but never did.

-Matt F, Gourmet.
Lifelong foodie taking back the Gourmet title.
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Old 08-13-2009, 01:38 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Antiguadreams View Post
...as for baking, I am not sure a liquid shortening has the same effect as shortening for making a shortcrust pastry, which is its namesake.
I have heard to never use liquid shortening as a replacement for a solid shortening in baking. Liquid shortening soaks into and coats each of the flour granules. This does not give the dough flakiness - quite the opposite.

Solid shortening, when cold, creates a solid wall layer that repels water, and when heated, melts away leaving a space between cooked layers of dough, making it flaky. This process is impossible to duplicate using liquid shortening.
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Old 08-13-2009, 01:43 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arky View Post
I have heard to never use liquid shortening as a replacement for a solid shortening in baking. Liquid shortening soaks into and coats each of the flour granules. This does not give the dough flakiness - quite the opposite.

Solid shortening, when cold, creates a solid wall layer that repels water, and when heated, melts away leaving a space between cooked layers of dough, making it flaky. This process is impossible to duplicate using liquid shortening.

thanks for the clarification Arky, just as I guessed. and thank you for saving me the cost and effort of putting together the test lab. :P
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