How Different Fats Affect Bread Dough
How Different Fats Affect Bread Dough
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Fats used in breadmaking have different effects on the crust, crumb, flavour, and keeping quality of the final loaf of bread.

There are two main kinds of fat – vegetable and animal. Vegetable fats include various oils like olive, groundnut, corn, sunflower, rapeseed, grapeseed, soy, walnut, etc. Several animal fats can be used in cooking and baking like pork, beef, chicken, duck, goose. 

Every fat has its own flavour or lack thereof and some act differently than others when added to bread dough. Store bought lard (pork fat) can be totally tasteless and odourless. It will make the bread soft and pleasant to eat, but it will not add any notable flavour. If you want to use lard, then it’s best to render down some smoked bacon lardons to make your own. Then you will get the flavour benefit too.

Other animal fats can be the same as lard when it comes to flavour. You need to find the right one or make your own if you want it to taste like anything.

Oils on the other hand can have a great impact on flavour right out the bottle as they all have their unique taste. Of course, there are some that have very faint flavour or no flavour at all. 

Perhaps the most common fat used in breadmaking is butter. It comes from an animal source, but it is not made from the fat of the animal rather the milk that it produces. Butter has a distinct flavour which can only be described as buttery. I’m sure you know what I mean. It is a solid fat with a melting point at just below body temperature. That is what gives it that smooth mouthfeel when eaten. The same applies to animal fats. 

Author, educator, musician, dancer and all around creative type. Founder of "The Happy Now" website and the online jewelry store "Silver and Sage".

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