So, I learned some things yesterday.
(1) My parents have not done much baking since I moved out of their house.
(2) Shortening does, in fact, have an expiration date. Even if it’s not printed on the container.
(3) Rancid shortening is one of the most foul things on the planet.
(4) Butter is only a semi-acceptable substitute for shortening.
All that aside, it is possible to make choreg without using shortening. It just doesn’t have the same dough texture — the dough is sticky and less friendly to work with. Simple solution: instead of braiding the choreg, make little roll shapes.
So…if your shortening happens to have gone rancid, and you’ve already started mixing everything else (cough, cough…who checks their ingredients first?), you can switch out the 1/2 lb of shortening for 1/2 lb (2 sticks) of butter. To compensate, you’ll need to add some extra flour — I honestly can’t tell you how much because I was just adding a tbsp at a time until it worked, but it was enough to make the dough not stick to my hands. Best guess? Another cup of flour.
(5) My old camera is not nearly as good as the other one. Everything looks so blurry!
On the bright side: no matter how ugly and pointy the choreg might look before they go in the oven, they’ll smooth out and look better during the baking process. I was seriously concerned with the sticky factor, but it looks like it’s not that big of a deal after all.
Want that choreg recipe? It’s right here.