Use Extra Virgin Olive Oil for Healthy and Delicious Baking

Extra virgin olive oil can add new flavors and characteristics to all kinds of baked goods while decreasing the consumption of unhealthy fats.

Renowned pastry chefs are using extra virgin olive oil in new and innovative ways, while researchers work to produce solid olive oils that are capable of offering butter-like textures and stability at room temperature.

How to choose the perfect olive oil for baking

"The first step is to choose the olive oil best suited for your baking experience, a choice that will significantly impact the final result," Antonio Campeggio, a famous Italian pastry chef from Puglia, told Olive Oil Times.

"Its acidity should be as low as it can be with such fine products, and if it is organic, that is even better," he added. "Because it has to blend with vanilla beans, wholemeal flour, and so on, its flavors should be round and soft, not intense."

While many pastry chefs innovate with new baking recipes that incorporate EVOO, most home bakers and other chefs use olive oil as a healthy replacement for butter.

How to bake with EVOO

This happens mostly in recipes that ask for the use of liquid butter, such as granola, quick bread, brownies, muffins and some cakes. Many also use EVOO for shortcrust pastry too.

To obtain the best results, pastry chefs replace butter with a smaller quantity of extra virgin olive oil and bake their goods using slightly different techniques. Butter recipes substituted with olive oil will need to be adjusted.

“There are a few things we need to be aware of when baking with olive oil,” Campeggio said. “First of all, as it is a liquid fat, the resulting products, such as a typical shortcrust pastry, tend to be more fragile, more delicate.”