The essential bread making basic ingredients – Fats

Bread making basic ingredients - Fats


Fat is essential when baking bread. It makes the bread taste better and affects how it feels, tastes, looks, and how long it lasts.
Fat also helps to keep the bread moist and makes it soft. Knowing how much fat to use is essential; too much fat will make it denser and unhealthy, but oddly enough, it will be softer and will not collapse. Using less fat will make bread flat and more rigid and won’t last as long.
French bread gets its unique crust and texture from the lack of fat added. However, bread types that call for fat stay fresh longer, as it helps to prevent it from going stale from the moment it is left to cool.
The type of fat you use affects the look of the final baked good. Different types of fat should not be used interchangeably; liquid fats are 100% fatty, while butter is a mixture of milk and water.


Butter or margarine

You can use either butter or margarine in recipes, and it’s fine to use salted or unsalted butter. But don’t use whipped or diet margarine or low-fat spreads, as they won’t work well. If the recipe asks for unsalted butter and you only have salted butter, reduce the added salt by 1/4 teaspoon for every 8 tablespoons of butter.
Sweet bread has more solid fats, which makes it tasty and soft.

Butter temperature

Use softened (but not melted) butter (salted/unsalted) or margarine in recipes. Butter and margarine can be used right from the refrigerator. Cut butter or margarine into small pieces before adding them to easily incorporate them into the dough during the kneading cycle.

If the recipe calls for room-temperature butter and yours is cold from the fridge, place the wrapped stick in a bowl of barely warm (23°C/73°F) tap water for 10 to 15 minutes before using.


Vegetable oil

Pick a neutral-flavoured oil like corn, peanut, canola, sunflower, safflower, or a mixture when a bread recipe states to use vegetable oil.

The same amount of vegetable shortening or oil can be substituted.

Olive oil


You can use any olive oil instead of vegetable or olive oil. However, the extra virgin or flavoured olive oils will add a more robust flavour and may not be appropriate for delicately flavoured or sweet bread.

Olive oil is commonly used in Italian bread or focaccia recipes.

Flavoured oils

Exotic oils such as garlic, walnut, and sesame can add unique flavour to the bread. It’s fun to try different oils and see which one you like. Just replace the vegetable oil with these oils in the recipe. Don’t use chilli oils because they are too hot for bread dough.


Applesauce or plain yogurt

Make low-fat or fat-free bread using unsweetened applesauce or plain yogurt instead of the recommended amount of fat in the recipe. Yogurt gives a sourdough-like flavour.

Use traditional or Greek-style, low-fat or full-fat yogurt unless directed otherwise.


What are the basic ingredients to make basic bread?

The basic ingredients to make bread are like instruments in an orchestra; each one does a specific job and gives a unique flavour to the bread. The right amount of each ingredient is essential to get the best taste. When you bake bread, a reaction happens to make a final masterpiece.

Excellent bread is as good as the ingredients that go into it. The basics for bread are simple: liquid like water or milk, fat like butter or oil, flour, sugar, salt, and yeastBread can taste better using additional ingredients, different grains and floursThere are also quite a few bread improvers that you can add to your home-baked bread, depending on what quality you are trying to improve.


This article is part of “How to bake awesome bread


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