The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Lard in bread recipe?

adelie's picture

Lard in bread recipe?

I recently bought a bilingual Chinese bread recipe book, and it featured a milk bread loaf recipe that uses lard and butter in combination. I like the flavor of butter more, which got me wondering, does lard have any special effect on bread? Are there any benefits to using lard over butter in bread?

BreadLee's picture

FWIW I've seen french recipes that use lard and they mention how it imparts a unique flavor that can't be obtained otherwise.  Love the stuff myself but haven't used it yet in breads.  

Colin2's picture

Yes, it's for flavor.  Bernard Clayton's pastry book has directions for rendering your own lard (easy and worth doing for flavor) and his _Complete Book of Breads_ has a couple of recipes using it.  

P..S. I was going to joke about trying out lard brioche, but I searched first, and it's a thing!  Bunches of recipes pop up for the search terms lard brioche or lard bread.

yozzause's picture

Lard has been used quite extensively in olden days because it was readily available and cheap, The North of England even has a Lardy Cake which actually is a bread uses a lot of Lard and fruit and is quite delicious. Its funny now that lard is quite a bit more expensive in the supermarket than butter.

It does incorporate well into a dough and does produce a good loaf that keeps well. I remember when we used to get large tubs of Lard or Dripping (Beef fat) it into the bakery I was apprenticed at many years ago. It wouldn't be able to be done today,  Australia has a multicultural population  with a number of  groups that are forbidden to partake of pig products Jewish and Muslim plus a growing Vegan movement.

I have just used Coconut oil which is solid below 26degrees and has a lovely feel and apparently many health and beauty benefits too, quite impressed with my first loaf which I posted yesterday in the blogs sweet potato with a dash of Turmeric.

BreadLee's picture

Now that's funny.  Lard brioche.  Who would've thunk?

BethJ's picture

Rose Levy Beranbaum has a very appealing recipe for a Proscuitto Ring which calls for lard (The Bread Bible).  It's been on my "to do" list forever - maybe I'll bump it up the list?

BobbyFourFingers's picture

Lard is essential for tortillas, refried beans, and tamales. You can definitely taste a difference between vegetable oil and lard in tortillas.

Decades ago, my wife went to the original Whole Foods to do some quick shopping for a pie she was making. It was just down the block from us. She needed lard for her pie crust and kindly asked a staff member if they had lard.

The staff member didn’t know what lard was so she sought another member of the Whole Foods staff to help. When explained, they both looked at my wife like she had just asked if they had rendered baby fat!

My wife still giggles when she remembers their faces.