shortening

/shawrt"ning, shawr"tn ing/, n.
1. butter, lard, or other fat, used to make pastry, bread, etc., short.
2. Phonet. the act, process, or an instance of making or becoming short.
3. Ling.
a. the act or process of dropping one or more syllables from a word or phrase to form a shorter word with the same meaning, as in forming piano from pianoforte or phone from telephone.
b. See clipped form.
[1535-45; SHORTEN + -ING1]

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▪ food product
      fats and oils of animal or vegetable origin used in most doughs and batters to impart crisp and crumbly texture to baked products and to increase the plasticity, or workability, of doughs. Important commercial shortenings include butter, lard, vegetable oils, processed shortenings, and margarine. For most baking purposes, desirable characteristics include bland or pleasant flavour; freedom from objectionable odour; light or clear colour; a high degree of plasticity; long storage life; and good shortening power, or ability to weaken and lubricate the structure of baked products to produce tenderness. Firm fats produce flaky pastry; oils yield more compact pastry. The proportion of shortening in doughs and batters varies according to the product, with breads (bread) and rolls containing about 1–2 percent, cakes (cake) containing 10–20 percent, and piecrusts containing over 30 percent. Increasing shortening proportions increases tenderness, but very high proportions may cause cakes to fall.

       butter, with yellow colour, solid consistency, and about 80 percent fat content, is valued for its sweet flavour, pleasant aroma, and ability to contribute great tenderness to baked products. It is popular for specialty breads, cookies, and pastries and is rolled into doughs from which flaky and tender pastries, such as Danish pastry and puff-paste products, are made. Because of its high cost, it is used, alone or in shortening mixtures, mainly in higher priced baked goods. It is fairly perishable, requiring storage at low temperature, and is not easily creamed (blended with sugar), producing cakes with lower volume and coarser grain than those made with more easily creamed shortenings.

       lard, obtained from the fatty tissue of hogs, has solid consistency, white colour, about 98 percent fat content, and mild, pleasing flavour and odour considered desirable in breads, crackers, cookies (sweet biscuits), and pie-crusts.

      Vegetable oils, obtained from such oil-bearing seeds as corn (maize), cottonseed, peanuts, palm nuts (coconuts), and soybeans, are 100 percent fat and remain liquid at fairly low temperatures. They are processed to achieve neutral to yellow colour and to eliminate odour or produce mild odour. Oils are used mainly in rolls, breads, and other fairly hard baked goods and in chiffon and other cakes in which their liquid consistency is useful.

      Processed shortenings, suitable for most baking purposes, are usually vegetable oils treated to produce an odourless, white shortening, 100 percent fat, with solid, smooth consistency and good plasticity. They may have added ingredients to retard rancidity and to encourage moisture absorbency and retention. Hydrogenated shortenings are made by adding hydrogen gas to heated oil, producing firmness.

      Margarines (margarine) are emulsions containing about 80 percent fat, from either animal or vegetable sources, plus water, salt, emulsifiers, and sometimes milk solids. They are white to yellow in colour, with neutral or butterlike flavour and solid consistency. Margarine has a high melting point, produces tender products, and is especially popular for use in puff pastes.

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Universalium. 2010.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Shortening — is a semisolid fat used in food preparation, especially baked goods, and is so called because it promotes a short or crumbly texture (as in shortbread). The term shortening can be used more broadly to apply to any fat that is used for baking and… …   Wikipedia

  • shortening — s.n. Specie de grăsimi animale sau vegetale de consistenţa unturii folosite în industria alimentară. [pr.: şórtning] – cuv. engl. Trimis de LauraGellner, 22.07.2004. Sursa: DEX 98  SHORTENING [ŞORTNING] s. n. specie de grăsimi animale sau… …   Dicționar Român

  • shortening — ● shortening nom masculin (anglais shortening, matière grasse) Corps gras utilisé dans la fabrication des biscuits pour les rendre croustillants …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Shortening — Short en*ing, n. 1. The act of making or becoming short or shorter. [1913 Webster] 2. (Cookery) That which renders pastry short or friable, as butter, lard, etc. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • shortening — index curtailment, decrease, decrement, deduction (diminution) Burton s Legal Thesaurus. William C. Burton. 2006 …   Law dictionary

  • shortening — butter or other fat used in baking, 1796, from shorten make crumbly (1733), from SHORT (Cf. short) in the secondary sense of easily crumbled (early 15c.), which perhaps arose via the notion of having short fibers. This is also the sense behind… …   Etymology dictionary

  • shortening — ► NOUN ▪ fat used for making pastry …   English terms dictionary

  • shortening — [shôrt′ n iŋ, shôrt′niŋ] n. 1. the act of making or becoming short or shorter 2. edible fat, esp. as used to make pastry, etc. crisp or flaky …   English World dictionary

  • Shortening — Shortenings sind Suspensionen von kristallinen Fetten in Öl oder halbflüssigen Fetten. Der deutsche Handelsname ist ungehärtetes Pflanzenfett . Die festen Fette kommen dabei häufig in der stabilen β Modifikation vor und sind nur zu ca. 1% gelöst …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • shortening — n. (esp. AE) vegetable shortening * * * [ ʃɔːtnɪŋ] (esp. AE) vegetable shortening …   Combinatory dictionary

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