Butter vs. Shortening for BreadBy Jasmine Henry, eHow Contributor
updated October 10, 2011
Baking at home can prevent unwanted consumption of artificial ingredients Baking breads with shortening in place of butter can aid dieters in controlling consumption of saturated fats. An ounce of vegetable-derived shortening contains a mere 7 grams of saturated fat, compared to the 14 grams in an ounce of butter. Due to significant differences in flavor and water content, inexperienced bakers should use bread recipes designed for the use of shortening.
Substituting shortening for butter when baking yeast breads at home is complicated the most by the differences in water content between the products. A dough containing a high percentage of moisture will rise more quickly than a dry dough. Butter contains about 20% water content on average, while shortening is purely fat. Highly experienced bakers can switch between using shortening and butter while baking to adjust the rising time of yeast breads according to their scheduling needs.
Shortening lacks any strong flavor that can be detected in the final product. Avoid substituting shortening in recipes which prescribe the usage of salted butter, as this can result in a flat-tasting final product. If shortening must be substituted for salted butter, add an additional 1/8 teaspoon per 1/4 cup of butter. Shortening is ideal for use in flavored, savory yeast breads. To enhance the taste, add chopped garlic cloves or rosemary to the dough or sprinkle salt on top before baking.