The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Using yogurt instead of shortening...

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alifranroy's picture
alifranroy

Using yogurt instead of shortening...

I've found that many bread recipes use shortening, which is unfortunate, since I'm trying to cut out trans fats.

I've heard you can use yogurt instead, have any of you guys tried this? How well does it work? I've used it in a recipe or 2, but never a loaf of bread. 

helend's picture
helend

The classic recipe for using yoghurt is Naan bread.  But lots of breads don't require "shortening" at all eg french baguette recipes.  Some fat does help keeping properties so I prefer to use oil (either rapeseed which is flavourless or olive for italian breads) unless I want a specific buttery flavour.

maggie664's picture
maggie664

Yes, the use of oil seems to soften the bread texture, although I use a fatless recipe for bagels which are superior to commercial ones (NZ). The addition of egg also has a softening and enriching effect; but my food chemistry knowledge is getting vague and I can't remember whether egg yolks have trans-fatty acids in them. I think free range eggs have less saturated fatty acids present, anyway. I haven't used yoghurt in bread without oil as well (in a 'Persian' flatbread recipe). I liked the enhanced flavour of yoghurt in this particular flatbread although I doubt whether it was authentic 'Persian'. What sort of bread were you thinking of using yoghurt in? I think experimentation would be worth it. 

cognitivefun's picture
cognitivefun

I never use shortening.

 

I always substitute butter. Butter is natural, healthy and doesn't have manmade transfatty acids.

 

Another possibility if you must use shortening is good quality palm oil or coconut oil, which is hard at room temperatures. People think tropical oils are deadly but they are very healthy and have been the foundation of many cuisines for a very long time, and these people don't have the heart attacks that plague Westerners. 

 

But again, I always use butter.

 

I do use yogurt but more as a flavoring than anything else. I make flatbreads with yogurt, like naan, and these stale very quickly, so I don't think it helps the bread keep at all.

 

My best "keepers" are rustic sourdoughs. I make them in the food processor and they stay fresh for days. 

maggie664's picture
maggie664

Butter has a wonderful flavour but breads with a high content of butter are best eaten sparingly because butter contains a high proportion of saturated fatty acids which are just as detrimental to one's cardiac health as are trans fatty acids. But nothing can beat that beautiful buttery taste, sadly!

pizzameister's picture
pizzameister

Maggie,

I would have to respectfully disagree.  Butter is a natural product and does not contain trans fats, which are for the most part only man made.  The human body is not equipped to handle these inverse molecular isomers, thus they cause problems which can lead to heart and vascular disease.  While butter may be very highly saturated, pound for pound it is far healthier than trans fats.

Pizzameister

andrew_l's picture
andrew_l

have to agree with pizzameister. Butter is Ok - in moderation - and transfats are not OK in ANY quantity. And organic butter does contain some omega 3 - which is a "good" fat. So another bonus other than just the flavour!

naschol's picture
naschol

I have to agree that butter is healthy in moderation.  However, my fats of choice for breads are olive oil or nut oils for yeast breads and coconut oil or nut oils for quick breads.

 

Nancy

maggie664's picture
maggie664

Pizzameister, I agree with you 100% about the effect of the negative use of trans fatty acids in food and I think they should be banned (they certainly don't fit in with our so-called 'Clean and Green" image in this country. But saturated fats still alter the lipoprotein profile of those who are vulnerable regardless ;of their being a natural dairy product.( I wonder what the proportion of saturated fatty acids in butter was in the days of yore when the diet of cows was more varied and they had more room to move!) I'm being a bit pedantic here, but trans f. a's are present to some degree in dairy products, but only minimally! Butter used in moderation is the story - and  I doubt whether brioche made with oil would be a hit! 

pizzameister's picture
pizzameister

Maggie,

Yep, I am aware that minor levels of trans fats are found in nature - some meats and I guess some in milk is possible too. Thus, my "for the most part" qualification above.  As a scientific matter I'm not sure why that is.  We are supposed to be living in a left-handed part of the universe.

I am a butter eater for things where the flavor makes a real difference, but I would guess that we go through a pound of butter here (except around holidays) over a period of a couple months. So, it is not like it is a significant dietary component.  Olive oil wherever possible and other vegetable oils.

Isn't it so true that a lot of our health problems stem from eating things "not in moderation".  Jay Leno once mused (regarding McDonalds early introduction of some health food items to its menu), "Hey, what could be healthier than a Big Mac, except maybe eating Crisco right out of the can???"

Interesting thought about possible changes in butter over time.  Hmmmm?  Have to think on that one.

p.m.

andrew_l's picture
andrew_l

Butter must have changed over the years - especially with regard to omega 6 / omega 3 content and ratio. Two studies in the UK indicate respectively that organic milk has 68% and 71% more omega 3 than milk from intensively (grain fed) produced cattle - which is obviously replicated in butter. As all milk was organically produced over 100 years ago then milk has changed a lot.

And studies (http://www.mercola.com/2001/jan/21/grassfed_beef.htm) in the US indicate that this Omega 3 deficiency and omega 6 excess is also found in the fat of intensively reared cattle, whereas organically reared is high in omega 3 and lower in 6. Also in eggs, pig fat - all fats consumed by we humans.

So it's not just moderation that has an effect on health - it seems to be the source of the fat we eat too.

http://www.newstarget.com/017048.html

maggie664's picture
maggie664

Andrew-I I agree that the source of fats is an important dietary issue, but so is the total amount of fat in the diet. Even a high intake of olive oil can negatively alter the lipoprotein  profile of those vulnerable.  Very interesting about the inverse ratio of omega 3 / omega 6  in intensively fed/organically fed animals. I guess free range eggs (not necssarily organically fed) would have a more favourable nutrient profile too. This has inspired me to do some more reading, when I have time.Pizzameister - what is Crisco? Have never seen it here in NZ, so can't appreciate the comparison you made (yet). I agree that our understanding of a 'balanced diet" is out of kilter, but the more sedentary and indulgent way of life exascerbates the issue. And, unfortunately, even wholewheat breads are higher on the G.I list! Apparently this is where barley can be used effectively. .But getting back to breadmaking - I really love yeast cookery - would do more for my husband and me if I didn't have a full-on full-time job. In the town where I live the 2 commercial bakers use premixes (their ciabatta is a joke) and it is generally a DIY situation if one wants real yeast baked products. I was thrilled to find this website. 

maggie664's picture
maggie664

Pizzameister, I have just found an interesting website regarding TFA's which stated that the geometric isomerism (during which one of the hydrogen atoms crosses to the other side  of the double carbon bond) also occurs naturally in ruminant animals where TFA's are found in a limited quantity in dairy and meat products. See www. bunge.com/industry-information/trans-fatty-acids.html. 

andrew_l's picture
andrew_l

Which of course raises the quesion - are these particular ruminants intensively reared / grain fed, or organically reared / grass fed? Without that information the study is of very limited value as it prevents us from being able to make sensible decisions as to choice.
If, as I suspect, these animals are intensive / grain fed, which is not their natural diet, (given that the vast majority of animals are reared, sadly, in this fashion than it follows that the vast majority of studies will be made using this group) then it very much strengthens the case for organic production.
Andrew
Incidentally, my server couldn't find the pages using this address....

maggie664's picture
maggie664

Andrew, re websites and TFA's info - I may have left off 'http' as a prefix of this particular website but Google should find it quickly amongst other entries. Sorry.yes, I think to give food animals more room to live their lives in the world in order to normalise the constituents of their products, we would have to swing food choices more to the vegetarian spectrum. Organic beef  farming doesn't equate entirely with grass-feeding, does it? 

djbdhill's picture
djbdhill

Folks, I appreciate the age old debate over the health benefits of butter vs. other baking ingredients, but the question at hand was can/do you ever subsitute yogurt for shortening?  Especially quick breads I find this to be handy.  I'm curious what the ratio is.

 

Thanks!