The Fresh Loaf

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No Margarine! Can I use butter instead?

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BakerNewbie's picture

No Margarine! Can I use butter instead?

I'm making a cinnamon roll and the recipe calls for margarine. I have a spread and unsalted butter at home. The spread is 65% vegetable oils. According to, it seems like spreads are not reliable. Should I use my unsalted butter instead?

isand66's picture

I would use the unsalted butter and make sure it is soft but not melted.  That should work fine.

BakerNewbie's picture

The recipe calls for melted margarine. Why not use melted butter?

Antilope's picture

calls for pouring hot water or milk onto the sugar, salt and fats to melt and mix them. Letting that cool, adding the eggs and then kneading that into the dough, after the proofed yeast has been added to the dough. But if you are going to make a Tangzhong and / or autolyze, you can't do it that way. You are using the moisture in the autolyze, only using the flour and leaving out the remainder of the ingredients until later.

What type of yeast are you using? If active dry yeast, you have to proof that in some liquid (1/4 cup) before adding it to the autolyzed dough and kneading it in.

I would then knead in the cooled melted butter, salt and sugar and eggs.

You can use butter or margarine, they are interchangeable. I wouldn't use whipped butter or margarine, they have added water (and sometimes gelatin). Salted or unsalted butter or margarine is up to you, it only makes a difference in taste, not texture.


isand66's picture

If that is the case you can certainly melt the butter.  I didn't know your recipe called for melted margarine or I didn't pay attention....

PetraR's picture

I  always use Butter, even if the recipes calls for margarine, it is a better taste in my humble opinion.

I do not like to melt butter, I rather have a soft butter and mix it in.

PaddyL's picture

I would never, ever use margarine!  Use butter. 

AbeNW11's picture

I've always disliked butter or margarine. But of the two stick to butter. Far better than margarine in every way. Can't comment on taste but healthwise, more natural etc. It's a myth that butter is bad for you. Used properly it can be included as part of a varied diet. I think it's a better ingredient.

Antilope's picture

has stated. We don't really know for sure. Fifteen years ago we would have said the opposite from studies of the day. Who knows what we will be saying fifteen years from now.  Many contradicting studies. What should you believe?

Ludington Daily News - Jun 25, 2001 - "Margarine Shown To Be More Healthy Than Butter"

The Free Lance-Star - Nov 21, 1997 - "Researchers say stuff used in margarine is worse than butter as artery-clogger"

The Times-News - Jul 28, 1973 - "Margarine Is Lower, Butter Higher in Saturates"

Toledo Blade - Jan 30, 1995 - "New Questions Raised Over Health Benefits Of Margarine"

New Straits Times - Feb 10, 1995 - "Vindication for Margarine"

Reading Eagle - Nov 16, 1995 - "Finns's - Margarine cuts cholesterol"

The Item - Oct 28, 2002 - "Research Shows Margarine Is the Better Choice for the Entire Family"

BakerNewbie's picture

Thanks for the links. Should be good to look into. But my question doesn't have anything to do with health. I'm wondering about the substitution and the possible effects on the dough.

ElPanadero's picture

"Many contradicting studies. What should you believe?"

The T'internet is chock full of competing "research" studies and viewpoints. It can be an absolute minefield trying to get to the truth of anything. The global "elite" clearly have great powers to suppress truths that they don't want you to know about and have the power to subvert "science" and scientists in order to present hooky scientific material. How can one sift through all this info and mis-info and make any sense of it all? I suggest there are some useful guiding principles available:

1. Always believe the guy who has no money to lose over the corporations who have $billions to lose.

This often manifests itself in the Big Pharma world where simple natural Earth given cures are belittled, derided and scoffed at by the corporations wanting to peddle their synthetic drugs at high prices.

2. Always favour foods that are natural to the Earth and have had little or no processing, over those foods that are manufactured.

Mankind has survived for 1000s years living off the land and all that it provides. The food the Earth provides has evolved over millions of years and is generally packed with all the nutrients particular species need (the species having been a part of its evolutionary growth).

Your average Paracetamol tablet has but 1 active compound in it.
Garlic, a freely available Earth commodity has over 300 active compounds, many of which we are still learning about.

3. The love of money is the root of all evil

Cheap things are often not bad things at all. Life should be cheap and simple. We should all have solar panels on our roof tops feeding gel batteries so we have more or less free energy. Solar panels are deliberately cost prohibitive to prevent us having that freedom. Even if you go for "rent a roof" free solar panels, they won't install batteries for you so you have free electricity at night. In searching through competing information on the internet, always "follow the money". Understand who is trying to make mega bucks and who is trying to genuinely save you money.

4. Is the information free?

If someone claims to have unmissable info or advice on a topic that is good for mankind, then that info should be free. If they are selling that info in a book or eBook be wary.

In the end I have found that one principle tends to underpin all others and that is:

"TRUTH is always simple, often beautiful, it asks for nothing in return and it resonates within you"

Sorry if that sounds like New Age mumbo jumbo, it's not intended to be.

Bottom line on the original question, I go with Mini, Butter, not margarine.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

Mom, Dad, and I call margarine "axel grease."   Go with butter.  Unsalted even better!

You get a higher rise with butter so be careful not to overproof.  Raise the dough too high, it gets a crumb that can't be cut and tears instead.  Doesn't really matter with cinn rolls, can be a blessing.  But if making a spiral loaf, and you want to cut slices, careful not to overproof.