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I've been making cornbread for decades, and quit using oil at all about 20 years ago. Corn meal, flour, a little sugar, rising agents, salt, milk, an egg... It comes out fine. A little bacon fat can make it tastier.


You can make make Bearnaise with normal butter. The version with clarified butter has a more subtle and, some say, refined taste. I think the missing milk solids negatively impact on taste, which is why I always use regular butter.


The water content in butter/margarine can be enough to make things rise from steam action that you do not want risen (shortbread type doughs which you want to keep shape), or make things wet which you want to stay dry (molten chocolate)... and some textures might rely on the fat not melting below a certain temperature, or quickly going from solid to thin ...


Butter and egg yolks have very different profiles in terms of their uses in recipes and constituent parts. Butter usually has 80-85% fat by weight, while egg yolks are only about 25-30% fat. Butter has only a trace amount of milk proteins, while egg yolks typically have 15% or more protein by weight. Butter has only a small amount (about 15%) of water, ...


There is a thing called powdered shortening or you can get powdered butter. They are just add water products that you can put in a recipe like that and it will work fine.


This sounds like a simplified version of, indeed, an ice water pie dough, where you do not beat but cut the butter into unleavened, optionally sweetened/salted, flour, eg by using a pastry cutter, stout wire whisk (used like a pestle - works a charm but takes some physical force, but hey you'll be eating rich pie later :) or bladed food processor (usually ...

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