Home Bread-Bakers v005.n032.3

Margarine changes confound bakers

Mary Beth Lohse <lohse@cis.ohio-state.edu>
Tue, 16 Aug 1994 13:44:58 -0400 (EDT)
The August 3 Food Section of the Columbus Dispatch had the
following article that may be of interest to bread bakers.
Here are some relevant excerpts.

This has never been a problem for me since I always use canola
or olive oil in my bread, even when the recipe calls for
butter or margarine.  But those of you who use margarine
should make sure that it *is* margarine and not a spread.

-- Mary Beth


     'Unanounced' changes in margarine may explain sudden 
      baking flops -- Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

          Cecelia Kazakewicz had made pound cake from the
     same recipe for more than 20 years.  This time, after 1 1/2
     hours of baking, raw spots still pockmarked a cake that
     was "all shrunk up from the sides, like a souffle that
     fell", she said.
          Kazakewicz of Washington, Pa., found out the hard
     way that her stick margarine had turned into spread. "It
     seems kind of deceptive" to use the same package front
     with just one word changed," she said.
          By law, margarine has 80 percent fat.  Anything less
     must be labeled a "spread" which won't work exactly like
     regular margarine.  The decision by the makers of Parkay
     and other margarines to go with less fat also has perplexed
     professional recipe developers, including those at Betty
     Crocker and Pillsbury.
          "Margarine has changed, and as far as I'm concerned, they
     didn't tell anybody it changed", said Andi Bidwell, food 
     editor of "Pillsbury Classic Cookbook"...
          Marcia Copeland, director of General Mills Betty
     Crocker Kitchens, called the switch to spreads "a completely
     silent evolution--or revolution".
     Today, cooks are hard-pressed to find a full-fat margarine
     among all the tubs, soft spreads, squeeze bottles
     and stick spreads.  Some spreads have a modest reduction
     in oils, perhaps from 80 percent to 68 percent.  Others
     are more dramatic, 40 percent or 48 percent, for example.
          The lower the fat percentage, the more change in 
     cooking and baking properties. ...
          It isn't just cookies and cakes that are left in
     the lurch.  Home economist Pat Waldoch answers consumer
     questions for Universal Foods' Red Star Yeast.
          "Margarine has so many different percentages
     that people are really having problems with their bread
     machine", she said.  Bread makers already have problems
     with humidity, she added, so "we've been recommending
     butter or oil."