Tuesday, November 16, 2010

How Do I(fill in the blank)?

I desperately need some help in baking.

I've used Crisco all my life. Haven't baked much the last 10 years and am making a comeback--EXCEPT the pie crust and bread have both come out greasy--the crust not short, and the bread not cohesive and draining oil. I currently have most of a can. I tried making an applesauce-mincemeat bread recipe today, using the recipe amount of 11/2 cups shortening. It was so greasy, it wouldn't hold shape and oil ran from the dough after cooking.

There HAS to be a conversion table. If your old recipe used X amount, now use Y. I'm guessing half. That would be cool. I've done a brief search and found comment sites complaining the same, but no company site giving me a conversion--you know, like a tablespoon fresh herbs converts to a teaspoon dried. Something like that. Toss in another egg? No instruction on the can. That seems shortsided to me. It's healthier--no trans fats. so please tell me how to use it.

I've talked to a good cook who used to bake a lot, but doesn't anymore, and she recommends I use half the Crisco called for. I'm wondering if that is enough or if there are other adjustments I need to make. She said she now uses pre-manufactured crusts or uses butter. Expensive, and today's shortening may be more healthful, but I don't know anymore. I'm not finding ready information from folks who do.

All I want to do is bake some stuff, using ingredients I know--but I don't know them any more.
No wonder all the food ads say cooking is hard and just buy----

Less and less I trust the products I buy. Now it extends to food. All I wanted to do was make a couple of loaves of bread for my son to take hog-hunting.

My frustration is palpable.


clairz said...

Well, you could skip the creepy Crisco altogether and try this wonderful and very simple bread. It's made with just flour, salt, yeast, and water. Believe me, the result is way greater than the sum of the parts. It smells delicious, it's crusty and very lovely to eat.

The first part of the recipe is here and the second part is here.

charlotte g said...

Thanks, Claire. I have only occasionally worked with yeast, but this seems doable. I want my fruit bread, though. It's an ancient favorite we call CAMP bread for cranberries, applesauce, mincemeat, pecans. Our version of fruit cake. I also have a great recipe for pear bread with lemon zest. I suspect when I dig it out, it will also have the dreaded Crisco. My family will love your recipe. I just want it ALL.