Some of us just cannot seem to pull ourselves away from the classics when it comes to baking. There are certain recipes, ingredients, and techniques that just continue on and on no matter what else develops in the culinary industry. It brings the phrase “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” to mind. Some things just work well for us even after being used for decades and being called old-fashioned. If it works, it works, and one thing that works is shortening. Shortening has to go right up there on the list of old-fashioned baking ingredients that people associate with older baking styles. It is hard to let go of something that works so well and adds to a recipe the way that it does. So instead of pushing out the older baking techniques, let’s embrace them and see what we can do today with this iconic baking ingredient.
What is shortening?
Shortening is fat used in cooking that is solid at room temperature but will melt down into a liquid when heated. It has no scent or particular flavor but is used to enhance other ingredients in a dish. Shortening can actually be considered almost a category on its own because it is not one exact specific product but a type of product. So some other ingredients may also be considered a type of shortening at times. This includes classic ingredients like butter, margarine, and lard. These days you will find that shortening is usually associated with hydrogenated oils.
Which shortening should I use?
With all of the different types of shortening available, you may be unsure of which one to use exactly. The good news is that they all generally serve the same purpose so there is quite a bit of wiggle room to figure out which one is best for your recipe. For baking specifically, you may want to look at cake shortening which is meant to keep cakes moist after baking. If you were wondering about a specific brand, then you may want to take a look at Stratas shortening. Stratas Foods as a company has developed a strong reputation for products like fats, oils, and mayonnaise, so its shortening is also top tier. Stratas shortening is also being improved upon constantly with new baking innovations being introduced to the world. For example, one type of Stratas shortening was revealed to have significantly lower saturated fats in addition to being made without hydrogenated oils or palm oils, which are ingredients that concern some people. If you were looking out for some good shortening to use, this brand may be your best bet.
What can I do with shortening?
Whether or not you try Stratas shortening specifically, you have a lot of options on your hands with shortening in your baking recipes. Since it is a more foundational baking ingredient, it can be brought into a wide range of recipes to improve upon the quality without conflicting with the taste. It can be used mixed in with dough while baking to add flakiness, which is great for things like pie crusts. You can also use shortening when baking cookies to make them more soft and moist. Shortening can even be used in decorations if you want to make your own icing with it.
As a new ingredient to you, you may be excited to hop in the kitchen and start playing around, experimenting to see everything that you can do with it. If you cannot wait to get started already baking with Stratas shortening or any other brand, you should head over to stovercompany.com for wholesale containers. You have a lot of possibilities to explore with this good old-fashioned ingredient.