Role of Fat in Baking

Fats and oils are triglycerides with varying degrees of saturated and unsaturated fatty acids

  • Fats – generally solid at room temperatures and high in saturated fatty acids.
  • Oils –generally liquid at room temperatures and low in saturated fatty acids.

Fats can be defined as a soft greasy substance found in organic tissue.

The function of fat is to protect the vital organs of the body, to provide heat and energy and certain fats provide vitamins. Fats can be divided into solid fats and oils.

  • Fats are a cooking medium.
  • Fats were traditionally of animal origin.
  • The quality of solidifying naturally distinguishes saturated fats and unsaturated fats like vegetable oils.
  • They are the chief source of energy.

TYPES OF FATS

  • MARGARINE
  • SUET
  • LARD
  • BACK FAT
  • DRIPPING AND GOOSE FAT
  • SHORTENING
  • GHEE

 

MARGARINE

  • Made from vegetable oils
  • contain milk or animal fats or fish oils, plus emulsifiers and coloring agents.
  • Oils are hydrogenated to form solids.
  • Its characteristics are similar to butter
  • it is not suitable for frying.
  • To soft to be rubbed into flour.

SUET

  • Comes from Latin word tallow.
  • Was used instead of wax for making candles.
  • It is stiff and melts slowly.
  • It is firm white fat and surrounds lamb or ox’s kidneys.
  • Used for sweet puddings such as Christmas pudding ,jam-roly poly.
  • Used in savory ones like steak and kidney and steaks and mushroom.
  • When mixed with flour it is one of the most satisfying winter foods

LARD

  • It is the pork fat
  • Light and clean tasting
  • Mainly used for frying
  • Also used in bakery because of its creaming properties.
  • Best lards are the ones rendered from the belly fat or the bacon big.
  • And from directly under the skin of back.
  • To overcome the porky taste add drops of rosemary .
  • Used throughout South America and North America.

BACK FAT

 

  • This is the fat that runs along back of the pig over the loin.
  • Used primarily for larding dry meats such as veal and game birds.
  • Cut into strips called lardoons, fat can be inserted into the flesh using needle to keep it soft while cooking.

DRIPPING AND GOOSE FAT

  • Acquired from straining and reserving the fat that has dripped off a roasting joint or bird.
  • Drippings from different kinds of meat should not be mixed.
  • Beef drippings can be used to fry the beef stews.
  • Drippings from goose or duck are used for bean dished, roast vegetables, fried potatoes
  • Lamb drippings smell unpleasant

SHORTENING

  • All hard fats are shortenings.
  • They are capable of producing a crumbly short crust.
  • The white cooking fats may be made of blended vegetable oils or a mixture of vegetable and animal fats or fish oils.
  • They are bland light in texture and fluffy.
  • Texture of white cooking fat makes creaming and rubbing easier
  • it is flavorless.

GHEE

  • A type of clarified butter made by heating ordinary butter to get rid of impurities. Very commonly used in Indian cuisine.

OIL

Oil is a fatty substance that is liquid at normal or room temperature. There are various kinds of oils like mineral oil, animal oil, vegetable oils etc.,The oils used in cooking are the vegetable oils, which are extracted from seeds, nuts, fruits or roots.

History: The Egyptians did the oldest use of oil and they used the sesame oil. In Greece the olive tree was a sacred tree and a symbol of the city Athens. Oil was not only for food but also used as a fuel to provide light and heat for many centuries.

Facts: Pure oils are taken from a single vegetable species.

Whereas the term vegetable oil indicates that they are a blend of two or more vegetable oils.

Most oils sold today are refined oils, which means that during processing, their original taste and flavour have been removed. However there are still a few oils, which are processed by cold pressing, and are termed as virgin or natural oils as they still retain the taste of their vegetable origins. (E.g. Olive oil)

Usage

  • Used in marinades for vegetables, meats, seafood, kebabs etc.,
  • Preservatives: Used in preserving Indian pickles, also to preserve goats’ cheese, meats, fish and herbs.
  • Used to make sauce: Mayonnaise, aioli, pesto etc.,
  • Used as an ingredient in cold dressings: Vinaigrette.
  • Used directly in most of the basic principles of cookery like deep frying, shallow frying, sautéing, braising, searing etc.,

The most commonly used oils:

Groundnut oil, coconut oil, Mustard oil, Soya-bean oil, Sunflower oil, Olive oil, Corn oil, Walnut oil etc.,

Oil varieties are available in different grades and qualities. For example olive oil which is rich and easy to digested is sold under various grades such as:

Virgin olive oil: Mixed with other oils and from the second or third press.

Pure: Mixed virgin and refined oils.

Extra virgin: The purest oil obtained only from the first pressing.

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