cutting margarine into flour

Discussion in 'Food and nutrition' started by Ben, Mar 8, 2004.

  1. Ben

    Ben Guest

    Hi,

    I have a recipe that says I should do this. How does this
    work? Margarine sticks are pretty hard. Can I just soften
    the margarine on a frying pan or melt it completely and stir
    it in or would that ruin things? (It is for a pastry dough
    for making franks in a blanket).

    Thanks, Ben

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  2. Penmart01

    Penmart01 Guest

    > ben abc asks:
    >
    >I have a recipe that says I should do this. How does this
    >work? Margarine sticks are pretty hard. Can I just soften
    >the margarine on a frying pan or melt it completely and
    >stir it in or would that ruin things? (It is for a pastry
    >dough for making franks in a blanket).

    Let the margerine sticks warm a bit at room temperature
    before cutting into flour. Shouldn't require more than 15
    minutes.... don't let the margerine get warm, or over mix,
    you want the shortening to remain in distinguishable bits...
    better to err on the side of less is more.

    ---= BOYCOTT FRENCH--GERMAN (belgium) =--- ---= Move UNITED
    NATIONS To Paris =--- Sheldon ```````````` "Life would be
    devoid of all meaning were it without tribulation."
     
  3. Zxcvbob

    Zxcvbob Guest

    ben wrote:
    > Hi,
    >
    > I have a recipe that says I should do this. How does this
    > work? Margarine sticks are pretty hard. Can I just soften
    > the margarine on a frying pan or melt it completely and
    > stir it in or would that ruin things? (It is for a pastry
    > dough for making franks in a blanket).
    >
    > Thanks, Ben

    Don't melt it. You might soften it just a little, but you'll
    get better results if you can work with it cold.

    There's a device you use called a "pastry blender" that cuts
    the fat into bits and coats them with flour. Here's what
    they look like: http://www.fabulousfoods.com/school/glossar-
    y/tools/pastryblend.html

    I've also cut up a stick of cold butter with a sharp knife
    and blended the butter pieces into flour with my fingertips
    -- that actually worked better than I expected.

    -Bob
     
  4. Dave Smith

    Dave Smith Guest

    ben wrote:

    > Hi,
    >
    > I have a recipe that says I should do this. How does this
    > work? Margarine sticks are pretty hard. Can I just soften
    > the margarine on a frying pan or melt it completely and
    > stir it in or would that ruin things? (It is for a pastry
    > dough for making franks in a blanket).

    Room temperature should do it If the margarine is in
    sticks, remove the wrapper and nuke it for a few seconds.
    That should soften it up just enough to be able to cut it
    in. If the margarine is too soft it will blend too much
    with the flour. The idea of cutting in the shortening is to
    get little blobs of it which will melt during baking to
    make it flaky.
     
  5. Limey

    Limey Guest

    "ben" wrote in message
    >
    > I have a recipe that says I should do this. How does this
    > work? Margarine sticks are pretty hard. Can I just soften
    > the margarine on a frying pan
    or
    > melt it completely and stir it in or would that ruin
    > things? (It is for a pastry dough for making franks in a
    > blanket).
    >
    > Thanks, Ben

    Don't soften it in a frying pan or melt it completely.
    Either let it come to room temperature or nuke a few seconds
    at a time until it's slightly softened. You can use either a
    pastry blender (a hand-held kitchen gadget with five or six
    semi-circular wires or blades), two knives (one in each
    hand, with a criss-cross cutting motion) or your fingers.
    I'm of the old school - I prefer the latter. If you try the
    latter, lightly rub in the fat with the tips of your fingers
    until it looks like meal.

    The whole idea is to disperse the fat evenly and quickly
    through the flour. Good luck!

    Dora
     
  6. Vox Humana

    Vox Humana Guest

    "ben" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > Hi,
    >
    > I have a recipe that says I should do this. How does this
    > work? Margarine sticks are pretty hard. Can I just soften
    > the margarine on a frying pan
    or
    > melt it completely and stir it in or would that ruin
    > things? (It is for a pastry dough for making franks in a
    > blanket).
    >
    > Thanks, Ben

    The whole idea of cutting fat into flour when making pastry
    is to end up with bits of butter coated with flour. I
    actually put butter in the freezer to make it hard. I then
    use a bench scraper to cut the butter into chunks. Then I
    use the food processor to cut the frozen chunks of butter
    into the flour. Working with soft fat will result in a very
    tender dough that is not flaky - think fragile cracker
    rather than flaky dough. I would suggest using very cold
    fat and either use a food processor or a sturdy pasty
    blender. I would also suggest using butter, lard, or
    shortening rather than margarine. Most margarine has too
    much water to make good pastry. Butter is nearly ideal for
    making a flaky and flavorful dough. Lard is also good, but
    is harder to work with than butter. Shortening yields good
    results and an easy to work dough, but lacks flavor.
    Margarine is little more than shortening with color,
    artificial flavor, lots of water, and sometimes
    emulsifiers, gelatin, and starches added.
     
  7. Nexis

    Nexis Guest

    "ben" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > Hi,
    >
    > I have a recipe that says I should do this. How does this
    > work? Margarine sticks are pretty hard. Can I just soften
    > the margarine on a frying pan
    or
    > melt it completely and stir it in or would that ruin
    > things? (It is for a pastry dough for making franks in a
    > blanket).
    >
    > Thanks, Ben
    >

    You can cut in butter/margarine/shortening with a pastry
    cutter, a couple of knives, or your fingers. And you want it
    hard. The idea is to keep small pieces of fat throughout the
    final dough, which will create crisp little pockets like
    with puff pastry. Just cut it into 1 inch pieces, toss in
    the flour, than use whatever tool you prefer to cut it in
    until the pieces are roughly the size of small peas (for
    most recipes).

    kimberly
     
  8. Frogleg

    Frogleg Guest

    On Mon, 08 Mar 2004 13:57:20 -0500, ben <[email protected]> wrote:

    >I have a recipe that says I should do this. How does this
    >work? Margarine sticks are pretty hard. Can I just soften
    >the margarine on a frying pan or melt it completely and
    >stir it in or would that ruin things? (It is for a pastry
    >dough for making franks in a blanket).

    No, no, no. Do you have a food processor? Chill the
    margarine; cut the stick into about half-inch chunks; put
    the flour in the FP; add the margarine chunks; and pluse a
    few times until there are many small fat bits coated with
    flour. The idea is to end up with a dough that has little
    teeny separate bits of butter in it, not a thoroughly mixed
    mass. A hand pastry 'blender', as mentioned does the same
    thing. Directions often add "...until the mixture resembles
    a coarse meal." Then you add cold liquid (so as not to melt
    the fat), roll or press out the dough, and proceed.
     
  9. Paula

    Paula Guest

    use cold margerine or butter that has been in the fridge
    or freezer ,and then cover with a good dusting of flour
    then grate it. you may need to dust with flour a few
    times but this will stop the marge. from sticking to the
    grater too much.
     
  10. Zxcvbob

    Zxcvbob Guest

    Vox Humana wrote:
    > "ben" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]
    > berlin.de...
    >
    >>Hi,
    >>
    >>I have a recipe that says I should do this. How does this
    >>work? Margarine sticks are pretty hard. Can I just soften
    >>the margarine on a frying pan
    >
    > or
    >
    >>melt it completely and stir it in or would that ruin
    >>things? (It is for a pastry dough for making franks in a
    >>blanket).
    >>
    >>Thanks, Ben
    >
    >
    > The whole idea of cutting fat into flour when making
    > pastry is to end up with bits of butter coated with flour.
    > I actually put butter in the freezer to make it hard. I
    > then use a bench scraper to cut the butter into chunks.
    > Then I use the food processor to cut the frozen chunks of
    > butter into the flour. Working with soft fat will result
    > in a very tender dough that is not flaky - think fragile
    > cracker rather than flaky dough. I would suggest using
    > very cold fat and either use a food processor or a sturdy
    > pasty blender. I would also suggest using butter, lard, or
    > shortening rather than margarine. Most margarine has too
    > much water to make good pastry. Butter is nearly ideal for
    > making a flaky and flavorful dough. Lard is also good, but
    > is harder to work with than butter. Shortening yields good
    > results and an easy to work dough, but lacks flavor.
    > Margarine is little more than shortening with color,
    > artificial flavor, lots of water, and sometimes
    > emulsifiers, gelatin, and starches added.
    >
    >

    Real margarine (how's that for an oxymoron?) has exactly the
    same amount of moisture as butter. The problem is that real
    margarine is getting hard to find; manufacturers add more
    water to reduce costs and then call it something like
    "reduced calorie spread". These spreads don't meet the USDA
    minimum requirements for margarine, so they can't say
    "margarine" on the label.

    -bob
     
  11. Dan Levy

    Dan Levy Guest

    "limey" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...

    > You can use either a pastry blender (a hand-held kitchen
    > gadget with five
    or
    > six semi-circular wires or blades), two knives (one in
    > each hand, with a criss-cross cutting motion) or your
    > fingers.

    Hmm, if crisscross knives work, how about snipping around in
    the mixture with a pair of kitchen shears?
     
  12. Vox Humana

    Vox Humana Guest

    "zxcvbob" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...

    >
    > Real margarine (how's that for an oxymoron?) has exactly
    > the same amount of moisture as butter. The problem is that
    > real margarine is getting hard to find; manufacturers add
    > more water to reduce costs and then call it something like
    > "reduced calorie spread". These spreads don't meet the
    > USDA minimum requirements for margarine, so they can't say
    > "margarine" on the label.
    >
    > -bob

    Yea, I hear ya but I find that even margarine that is marked
    "good for baking" has as much as 35% water added. Even if
    you read the nutrition label it is nearly impossible to tell
    how much water is added to some margarine. I have tried to
    think of a single good reason why one would use margarine
    over butter, or even shortening and have yet to find one.
    Since margarine is hydrogenated vegetable oil, then why not
    just use shortening, like Crisco? At least you know what you
    are getting with Crisco. For health reasons, butter is
    probably a better choice in addition to the fact that it
    tastes batter. The best thing I can say about hydrogenated
    oils is that they cost less than butter.
     
  13. Ben

    Ben Guest

    Vox Humana wrote:
    > margarine. I have tried to think of a single good reason
    > why one would use margarine over butter, or even
    > shortening and have yet to find one. Since

    Here's one: Some people do not want any milk products in
    their recipes. On such person like that is me so I don't use
    butter and haven't bought it in a long time.

    Do those margarine tubs you buy (in the U.S.) which are
    softer and good for spreading just as good as the sticks
    when it comes to cooking? Any disadvantages or
    advantages etc.?

    regards, Ben

    --
    "What passes for wisdom may only be eloquent foolishness"

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  14. Dan Levy

    Dan Levy Guest

    "Vox Humana" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > Even if you read the nutrition label it is nearly
    > impossible to tell how much water is added to some
    > margarine.

    Calorie count tells the story immediately. 100 calories per
    tablespoon is the same fat content as butter. (120 calories
    per tablespoon would be pure fat.)
     
  15. Zxcvbob

    Zxcvbob Guest

    Vox Humana wrote:

    > Yea, I hear ya but I find that even margarine that is
    > marked "good for baking" has as much as 35% water added.
    > Even if you read the nutrition label it is nearly
    > impossible to tell how much water is added to some
    > margarine. I have tried to think of a single good reason
    > why one would use margarine over butter, or even
    > shortening and have yet to find one. Since margarine is
    > hydrogenated vegetable oil, then why not just use
    > shortening, like Crisco? At least you know what you are
    > getting with Crisco. For health reasons, butter is
    > probably a better choice in addition to the fact that it
    > tastes batter. The best thing I can say about hydrogenated
    > oils is that they cost less than butter.
    >

    I like the taste of margarine better than butter because
    that's what I grew up with. But I've started buying butter
    for cooking with and "Smart Balance" to spread on my toast.
    I hardly ever buy stick margarine anymore unless I'm baking
    cookies for a bake sale or something; then I look for the
    word "margarine" on the box, and 100 calories per tablespoon
    on the nutritional label just to make sure.

    Best regards, Bob
     
  16. Dan Levy

    Dan Levy Guest

    "zxcvbob" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...

    > I like the taste of margarine better than butter because
    > that's what I grew up with. But I've started buying
    > butter for cooking with and "Smart Balance" to spread on
    > my toast.

    Maybe it's just me, but I've found that the aftertaste of
    Smart Balance in or on most things is like I'd eaten axle
    grease. It tastes just fine, but afterwards the oiliness
    lingers and lingers and won't go away for hours. Can't
    figure out why, because I've had foods high in each of the
    individual oils in Smart Balance and they never gave me
    any trouble.
     
  17. Vox Humana

    Vox Humana Guest

    "Dan Levy" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    >
    > "Vox Humana" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    > news:[email protected]...
    > > Even if you read the nutrition label it is nearly
    > > impossible to tell how much water is added to some
    > > margarine.
    >
    > Calorie count tells the story immediately. 100 calories
    > per tablespoon is the same fat content as butter. (120
    > calories per tablespoon would be
    pure
    > fat.)

    I thought of that, but the last time I checked, they all
    said 100 cal./tablespoon no matter if they had 20 or 35%
    water added. I figured there was some rounding rule in
    play. I have to go to the store tonight, so I will take a
    careful look.
     
  18. Vox Humana

    Vox Humana Guest

    "ben" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > Vox Humana wrote:
    > > margarine. I have tried to think of a single good reason
    > > why one would
    use
    > > margarine over butter, or even shortening and have yet
    > > to find one.
    Since
    >
    > Here's one: Some people do not want any milk products in
    > their recipes. On such person like that is me so I don't
    > use butter and haven't bought it in a long time.
    >
    > Do those margarine tubs you buy (in the U.S.) which are
    > softer and good
    for
    > spreading just as good as the sticks when it comes to
    > cooking? Any disadvantages or advantages etc.?
    >
    > regards, Ben

    That's a reasonable point. If I were a keeping kosher, I
    might choose margarine over butter for some applications.
    However, for baking, I think I would just use shortening.
    You would have no dairy and you wouldn't have to guess about
    the water and other additives. The tub margarines are
    classified as "spreads" and are definitely not a good choice
    for any type of cooking or baking.
     
  19. Dan Levy

    Dan Levy Guest

    "Vox Humana" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:D[email protected]...

    > > Calorie count tells the story immediately. 100 calories
    > > per tablespoon
    is
    > > the same fat content as butter. (120 calories per
    > > tablespoon would be
    > pure
    > > fat.)
    >
    > I thought of that, but the last time I checked, they all
    > said 100 cal./tablespoon no matter if they had 20 or 35%
    > water added. I figured there was some rounding rule in
    > play. I have to go to the store tonight,
    so
    > I will take a careful look.

    35% would have to be a 90 at most, even if by weight (by
    volume would be an
    80). That's a difference of over 1 fat gram = 9 calories,
    too much to account for rounding.
     
  20. Zxcvbob

    Zxcvbob Guest

    Dan Levy wrote:
    > "zxcvbob" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]
    > berlin.de...
    >
    >
    >>I like the taste of margarine better than butter because
    >>that's what I grew up with. But I've started buying
    >>butter for cooking with and "Smart Balance" to spread on
    >>my toast.
    >
    >
    > Maybe it's just me, but I've found that the aftertaste of
    > Smart Balance in or on most things is like I'd eaten axle
    > grease. It tastes just fine, but afterwards the oiliness
    > lingers and lingers and won't go away for hours. Can't
    > figure out why, because I've had foods high in each of the
    > individual oils in Smart Balance and they never gave me
    > any trouble.
    >
    >

    There's a different brand (I don't remember the name) that
    I tried that that was like that; I threw it away. It
    wouldn't even melt if you spread it on a hot potato or
    tried to cook with it.

    I don't like potato chips fried in olestra because they
    leave a greasy film in my mouth that I can't get rid of. I
    think Smart Balance tastes like unusually good margarine
    or butter.

    Best regards, Bob
     
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