A family soda bread recipe calls for Crisco. Is there a more natural or healthy replacement?
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I use the Spectrum organic vegetable shortening when I make biscuits and some pastry. It works really well and has a nice, not chemical flavor.
You can leave it out; it's neither traditional nor necessary. Or sub butter or lard (the fat's melting point isn't of any consequence in such an application).
This may be of interest: www.sodabread.info
I've never made soda bread, but if you sub butter for crisco in your recipe, crisco is 100% fat while butter contains 14-18% water.
pierino is a trusted source on General Cooking and Tough Love.
I'm in the lard camp. Believe me, when my grandmother was making soda bread back on the old sod they'd never heard of Crisco. And I don't think she'd ever heard of a town south of Galway.
Pegeen is a trusted home cook.
I believe the Atlantic ocean is south of Galway - one of the best cities in Ireland. No wonder you're scrappy. :-)
Crisco was developed as a substitute for lard. So if you eat meat, lard is the obvious choice. 25+ years veg, I have recently been having great success with coconut oil as a substitute for lard and it's impostors.
I second spectrum. Really good.
As a lard substitution in other recipes (but not lard in soda bread), I've also used Spectrum with good results. As Pierino mentions, lard is not a common ingredient in a traditional soda bread recipe.