Whether you’re making a pie, cookie batch, or any other rich puff pastry, you may be looking for a recipe that lends itself to vegan substitutions. We’re here to tell you that coconut oil can be a great tool in your herbal toolbox, but you’ve got to get it to behave the way you want it to. And we have a sure-fire way to bend coconut oil to your will.
Coconut oil can be a great vegan substitute for butter or shortening in your baking, but it’s a substance that can be annoying to use in recipes like pie crusts and cookies, which require cutting. fat in flour. This is because coconut oil behaves differently from other fats at low temperatures.
Why does coconut oil behave differently from butter and shortening?
Butter and shortening are relatively malleable even when frozen – which is the temperature you want to make dough – and can easily be smoothed into small pieces with the back of a fork and then incorporated into your mixture. of flour. Cold coconut oil, on the other hand, is waxy, hard, and not very spongy. Without smooshage, there can be no hope of making flaky pie crusts or chewy cookies. And what’s the point of baking if you have to sacrifice flakes and fluff?
Puff pastry is made when thousands of small pieces of solid fat are sandwiched between thin layers of dough. In the oven, the fat supports these layers like a scaffold, holding them until the dough is set; the fat eventually melts and is absorbed by the crust.
The shortening has a melting point of 117 degrees Fahrenheit, which gives the dough enough time to set before the shortening liquefies. The melting point of butter is around 90 degrees, which can still produce flakes as long as it is stored cold ice before going to the oven. Although coconut oil is rock hard at room temperature, this strength is deceptive: it has a melting point of a paltry 76 degrees.
But making flaky layers with coconut oil is always possible, you just have to make sure that it stays solid in the oven as long as possible, in order to put the dough long enough before the oil melts.
How to make puff pastry with coconut oil
The easiest way to cook with coconut oil is to stir it into as many smoothed flakes as possible, at the coldest temperature possible. Here’s how:
1. Melt the desired amount of coconut oil in the microwave. If your kitchen is hot, it may already be completely runny and you can skip this step.
2. Pour the liquid coconut oil in a thin layer on a baking sheet lined with waxed paper.
3. Freeze the oil until it is rock solid.
4. Remove the coconut oil from the freezer, then roll the waxed paper to break up the oil into hundreds of small flakes. Reduce large pieces by breaking them up with a fork.
5. Working quickly, stir the frozen coconut oil flakes into your flour mixture and continue the recipe as directed.
For a great recipe that involves this coconut oil trick, try our VEgan Ccoconut Biscuits Wwith Ging Asd Guava. Let us know if you have any other vegan cooking tips we should know about.