The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts
BakerNewbie's picture

How to substitute butter?

December 13, 2018 - 3:50am -- BakerNewbie

I'm working on a bread recipe that calls for butter. I want to use shortening instead. What is the substitution ratio of butter to shortening? Is it just 1:1? If the recipe calls for 100 grams of butter, do I just put 100 grams of shortening? My recipe says to add the butter at the end; would I do the same with shortening? Or is shortening added differently to a dough?

And how do I get back that butter flavor that I would lose? I plan to use butter extract, but not sure how much to use. What's a general guideline for this?

pul's picture


December 12, 2018 - 9:51pm -- pul

In almost two years I tried to make croissants four times. I always thought they were too difficult to get right. The previous trials were not good, but this time I got something much better. Locking the butter in has been my greatest challenge, and the lack of patience to let the dough cool down is not minor either. I used a three-day old poolish to make the dough which gave a great flavor to the croissants. I am also satisfied with the honeycomb crumb structure. In spite of forgetting to add salt, the overall result and flavor are quite good.


alfanso's picture

We spent the month of November in northern California, where we lived for 15 years.  In SF for Thanksgiving with long long time friends, we stopped at one of the Arizmendi Bakeries that dot the bay area.  Among other delectables, we picked up their Sesame Semolina Jalapeño Cheese breadsticks, which we both fell for immediately.  Upon return home my wife asked if I could try to duplicate them.  So…

Looking for guidance here on TFL and the other sites, what I mostly saw was what would qualify as Grissini, those tall slender and sometimes gnarly things. I wasn’t interested in those near ubiquitous Skinny Minnies that are posted everywhere, nor those overly cheesy soft things that made a number of appearances as well.  No.  What I was after was a crisp sesame coated semolina version with some real girth to it.  The idea being to come as close to duplicating those treasured batons that we picked up in SF.

I relied on Jeffery Hamelman’s "Semolina (Durum) Bread" formula as my template, and then modified it to suit.  With the swapping out of the olive oil for more water and the addition of the two cheeses and jalapeños, this was no longer a Hamelman but an Alfanso with the nod to Mr. H.  This is a dough that uses an aggressive sponge, ready in 75 minutes in my 78-80dF kitchen.  

At 80g each, the breadsticks baked in a 460dF oven for 13 minutes with steam, 6 additional minutes and then 2 minutes more for venting.  And for a first time, I did not remove the parchment paper from under the dough.  Too delicate and messy to bother with.  

The Arizmendi breadstick, the real deal, exhibits both a pronounced cheese flavor as well as at the bite of the jalapeño in the back of the mouth.  I’m not quite there yet in either department, but the first inklings of the stronger taste are just beginning to show through.  Still have some work to do.  

Here is the formula normalized to 1000g, which is what I used for this bake.


Semolina Cheddar Jalapeño breadsticks with sponge     
Jeffrey Hamelman, mod by alfanso        
     Total Flour    
     AP Flour20.00%   
 Total Dough Weight (g) 1000 Semolina20.00%   
 Total Formula   Sponge  Final Dough 
 Ingredients%Grams %Grams IngredientsGrams
 Total Flour100.00%509.7 100.00%203.9 Final Flour305.8
 AP Flour50.00%254.8 50%101.9 AP Flour152.9
 Semolina50.00%254.8 50%101.9 Semolina152.9
 Water69.00%351.7 70%142.7 Water209.0
 Salt1.80%9.2    Salt9.2
 IDY0.40%2.0 1%2.0 IDY0.0
 Sugar2.00%10.2 5%10.2 Sugar0.0
 EV Olive Oil0.00%0.0    EV Olive Oil0.0
 sharp Cheddar Cheese7.50%38.2    Cheddar Cheese38.2
 Parmesan Cheese7.50%38.2    Parmesan Cheese38.2
 finely chopped Jalapeño8.00%40.8    Jalapeño40.8
 Totals196.20%1000.0 176%358.8  1000.0
Total time: ~5.5 Hours.        

Finely grate both cheeses

Mix all sponge ingredients well.  Will ripen in 75 min. (in a 78-80dF kitchen).  CONCURRENTLY...

Autolyse final dough flours and water        
Combine the sponge and autolyse and hand mix well.  Add salt and hand  mix again.   
75 French Folds, then a 5 minute rest.         
Add cheese and jalapeno and hand mix to incorporate.  And a final 75 FFs more.And a final 75 FFs more.    
Bulk rise 90 min with one fold at 45 min..       
Divide into 80g pieces.  Rest 15-20 min. and final shape ~14-17 in. long.    
Roll in wet towel and then in sesame seeds.       
Onto couche, final rise 60 min.        
Preheat oven 480dF.        
Bake at 460dF with steam.        
13 minutes, remove steam, 6 minutes more.  Then vent for 2 minutes with oven off.   


During our absence our friend house/dog sat.  Upon our return I asked her which bread she’d like me to make for her.  She opened my looseleaf and while blindly flipping pages stopped on the Phillipe Gosselin Baguettes, levain version.  I have rarely made this in the 4 or so years since my first foray.  but as the lady asks, the dude abides.

M. Gosselin is another luminary boulanger in Paris, another who, I believe, also won the annual competition for best baguette in Paris.  The formula that I use was posted on TFL by David Snyder back in 2012.    And as you can see, these make for explosive oven spring and a quite open crumb.


Patti Y's picture

My 1st wheat bread...Memo's Bread...thanks to Zola Blue's recipe

December 12, 2018 - 12:36pm -- Patti Y

My first wheat bread. Memo's Bread.

A little light colored compared to others I have seen. Very airy and light textured. A little too airy and open, but it is my first. I used really old, very shiny loaf pans that were my grandmother-in-law's. I used my Ankarsrum mixer, and it is so nice to not have to knead by hand.

I baked until the loaves had an internal temperature of 202° F. 


boeboen's picture

Which have more milk fat and milk solid

December 12, 2018 - 8:59am -- boeboen

Hello again everyone. In this topic i'm curious about which have the most milk fat and milk solids per given weight between fresh milk, condensed milk, evaporated milk, and milk powder. Im talking about full cream milk derivatives.

And if we have found the answer between those four, then why use the other if the one with the most milk fat and solid deliver the best result taste wise.

Thank you for your insight. Cheers. 

albacore's picture

A Surfeit of Bran

December 12, 2018 - 8:44am -- albacore

Over the last couple of months I have accumulated about 200g of bran from various grains, mainly when sifting to create high extraction flours.

Any ideas what I can do with it other than lining bannetons and adding to levains?

I recall seeing a recipe for bran biscuits, but maybe that is carrying healthiness too far? Anyone tried them?


TMB's picture

Whole Wheat for Pizza crust?

December 12, 2018 - 8:16am -- TMB

I have a question, if using whole wheat for pizza crust do I need to cut 50/50 with white flour?

My late father would make bread with whole wheat but he said you had to cut it 50/50 with white flour or it wouldn't be good, is this true?

I love bread, any kind so been working with low carb ideas and thinking of adding whole wheat to help out flavor


Any thoughts?


Elsie_iu's picture

No vital wheat gluten this time.



Porcini Mushrooms Cheddar 30% Germinated Red Rice SD


Dough flour (all freshly milled):

150g      50%       Whole spelt flour

90g        30%       Germinated red rice flour

60g        20%       Whole Red Fife wheat flour


For leaven:

10g       3.33%       Starter

40g       13.3%       Bran sifted from dough flour

40g       13.3%       Water


For dough:

260g     86.7%       Dough flour excluding flour for leaven

100g     33.3%       Whey

132g        44%       Water

90g          30%       Leaven

5g          1.67%      Salt


For porcini sautéed mushrooms:

60g        20%        Diced king oyster mushrooms

1 tsp         -%        Dried porcini mushrooms, powdered 

1/4 tsp      -%        Onion powder

1/8 tsp      -%        Salt

1/2 tsp      -%        Cooking fats (preferably ghee)



-g               -%       All of the porcini sautéed mushrooms

50g      16.7%       Red mature cheddar cheese



305g       100%       Whole grain

277g      90.8%       Total hydration


Combine all leaven ingredients and let sit until doubled, around 3.5 hours.

Make the porcini sautéed mushrooms. Heat the fats in a pan over medium heat, toss in the king oyster mushrooms and cook until caramelized. Put in the rest of the ingredients and mix until the mushrooms are well-coated in the powders. Deglaze the pan with a tablespoon of water or dry white wine. Remove them from the pan when the water/wine evaporates. Set aside until needed.

Roughly combine all dough ingredients except for the salt and let it ferment for 20 minutes. Fold in the salt and the add-ins. Ferment for 1 hour 55 minutes longer.

Shape the dough and put in into a banneton. Retard for 10 hours.

Preheat the oven at 250°C/482°F.

Remove the dough from the fridge to warm up for 30 minutes. Score and spritz the dough then bake at 250°C/482°F with steam for 15 minutes then without steam for 25 minutes more or until the internal temperature reaches a minimum of 208°F. Let cool for at least 2 hours before slicing.



I’m not sure whether the bread was under or over-proofed so any comment would be appreciated. Neglecting the unimpressive look, the bread tastes pretty nice. After all, how could it be otherwise when cheese, porcini mushrooms and red rice are combined?



Germinated red rice is a really flavorful grain: it not only contributes sweetness, but also alluring aroma to this bread. I highly recommend you to give it a try if you can get it on hand. I guess you can also sprout red rice from scratch but I haven’t tried it myself.




A couple of stir-fries


Minced mutton okra dry curry with naan


Coconut raisins buns


Spiced pumpkin pancakes


Roasted spiced orange duck with Brownman’s killer gravy :)



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