The Role of Fat in Food (page 2)

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Author: Cy Ashley Webb

Experimental Procedure

Experiment #1
  1. Add the following to your bread machine:                                                                                                                       1 cup of water 3 cups of unbleached white flour ½ tablespoon salt 2 tablespoons sugar 1 tablespoon yeast
  2. Follow the directions for your bread machine as if you were making regular white bread.  When the bread is done, remove it from the bread machine and let it cool. 
  3. Repeat Step 1, but add 2 teaspoons of butter to the ingredients.
  4. Compare your two loaves of bread.  Which rose more?  If you have time, experiment by making more loaves with increasing amounts of butter (good amounts to try are 3 and 4 tablespoons of butter).  Is there a point where butter stops helping bread rise and has a contrary effect?
  5. Measure the size of your bread loaves.  How long are they?  How wide are they?  Take pictures!
Experiment #2
  1. Chill a 2 quart metal bowl and the beaters of an electric hand mixer in the freezer for a half hour.
  2. When the bowl and beaters are chilled, pour 1 cup heavy cream into the bowl and begin whipping with the electric hand mixer.  Start at a low speed for the first minute before slowly increasing the speed.  Do not use the high speeds!  How long does it take to whip the cream?  Use your stop watch to measure how long it takes.
  3. Repeat steps 1 and 2 using light cream.  How long does it take to whip the cream?
  4. Repeat steps 1 and 2 one more time using non-fat milk.  Are you able to make whipped cream?
  5. Take pictures of your whipped cream. Make a table comparing the fat content of the cream to the time needed to whip the cream.


  1. The Curious Cook by Harold McGee
  2. Fat: An Appreciation of a Misunderstood Ingredient by Jennifer McLagan
  3. Baking 911 "Whipped Cream"
  4. Nemours Kids Health "Learning About Fats"
  5. Wikipedia "Fat"


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