The Fresh Loaf

A Community of Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts.

fat in bread

ssor's picture

fat in bread

I have an aversion to wasting food of any sort. as a result I save all of my rendered fat from meat. I use by preference goose fat for pastry, chicken fat for baking powder biscuits and bacon fat for oatmeal cookies.

Before anyone starts about cholesterol I am 72 year old and my doctors are happy with my numbers.

Pork fat finds its way into my yeast breads. Tallow is used mostly for non food purposes where I need some grease.

Butter is rarely used in my breads but always on my breads.

I don't like the taste of the vegetable oils and shortenings except for olive oil.

cranbo's picture

hey, if those fats work for you in baking, that's great!

I'm curious, what temperatures do you bake your breads at? 

My only thought would be that the significantly lower smoke point of animal fats (including butter) could potentially cause the fat to burn/break down in not a good way at many higher baking temps, which is probably not good for flavor or health. 

Smoke points of various fats can be found here; I didn't see animal fats listed but I believe that some may start to smoke around the same temp as butter. On the other hand, Wikipedia says lard smoke point is ~370F/188c, which is pretty high. 

Then again, there may not be enough fat in your recipes to be of any significance in this regard. 

Bacon fat + oatmeal cookies sounds amazing! I'd even consider throwing in some maple syrup and some bacon pieces in the cookie...sounds like a great idea!


ssor's picture

has never been a concern for me but I rarely push the oven past 450 F. Dinner rolls are baked at somewhat more modest temperature and they have the most fat. Pie shells are typically baked at 425 but never much more than tanned never browned. Dry flour will brown at 375. 2-3% fat is the most that I use in any bread.

flournwater's picture

Re: Cranbo post:

Inasmuch as the fat is an ingredient in the bread and the bread temperature cannot reach the smoking point temperature of the fat(s) used in the formula (without becoming charcoal) the smoking point of the fat would only be a factor if it somehow contacted either the oven cavity surfaces or the surface of the baking vessel or stone.

MichaelH's picture

Back in the day when high quality lard was available it was commonly used in yeasted breads. The right fat can give a bread a nice flavor and a soft crumb when used sparingly.


ssor's picture

nearby you can still get any type of hog fat you want if you ask. The best comes from the body cavity around the kidneys. You must render it yourself. There are some breads that also use the lightly browned "crackling". The tissue that remains after the fat has melted out.

EvaB's picture

And lived to be 86, so don't worry too much about the fat, she was certain that margarine was poison, only liked olive oil (we used that on salad) and felt that bear grease was good with pastry. She rarely had the goose grease, but it was a perfect medium for turpentine (yes the real stuff) to rub on your chest for coughs and colds, and of course her go to medicine for when the whooping cough was going around.

Personally I quit using Crisco when they started putting canola oil in the mix, I could smell it, taste it and don't want anything to do with it! I use olive oil, lard and butter, and that's it. If I can get some pork fat, I will do some rendering, and have fresh lard. I also use bacon grease, and the taste is wonderful, makes great oatmeal raisin cookies, and works for frying anything that needs it!

By the way, my dr says its not what one eats that contributes to the high cholesterol, but your gentic makeup, and I can believe it, my husbands old boss, was restricted to no beef, no whatever else, lived on stir fry, and salads, and still had super high cholesterol, and that was with drugs to combat it too. His body made far more than needed, and it ran wild, even diet and drugs couldn't help. Unfortunately his genetic predisposition to heart problems, led to his death at 58, a full 18 years longer than almost any other male in his family, all of whome had heart attacks at around 40, including him, he lived through his, at 41, his younger brother didn't at 40, the same week.