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Have you heard of Spry?

I'm not asking if you are spry.

picture of Spry cookbooks

Spry was a brand of shortening that is no longer sold, but I do remember my mom using it when I was a child. I'm pretty sure that one of these little booklets was hers and I purchased the other one at an estate sale. I love to find these old recipe booklets.

I got an idea from one of these booklets to make this pan spread years and years ago. It is something that I keep on hand and that we use all the time. Pan spread is the fore-runner of pan spray that most of us use in some form or another today. Pan spread is used to grease and flour baking pans all in one step.

picture of pan spread

To make pan spread all you have to do is mix together equal amounts of vegetable oil, solid shortening (such as Crisco), and flour. I generally use 1/2 cup of each. I mix it up in my mixer to get it nice and smooth, but you could use a wire whisk if you desire. I usually mix up a batch right before I bake a cake or something and then just scrape out the bowl and reuse it to mix the cake. I store the pan spread in this little Tupperware container in the refrigerator where it waits all ready for the next time I need it. It works great for any baked product that you would normally grease and flour the pan before adding the batter. I use the commercial sprays for other things when the pan just needs greasing.

Don't you just love the little label that DH made me with his label maker?

By the way, did you know that shortening got its name because it "shortens" gluten strands in baking and helps tenderize cakes and quick breads?

This is one of my favorite kitchen tips. You can find more tips like this on Tuesdays over at Tammy's Recipes.


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6 Comments on “Have you heard of Spry?”

  1. #1 Melanie Garland
    on Jan 13th, 2009 at 2:58 pm

    Hi Mrs. Loach. I’ve enjoyed reading your blog. Does this spread work better than the shortening and flour method? My cakes have a tendency to stick to the pan, especially when I use a bundt pan!

  2. #2 Becka
    on Jan 13th, 2009 at 3:46 pm

    Hi Melanie,
    I will answer you here and send you an email to make sure you get my message.
    I find that the pan spread does work well and is much less messy than trying to grease the pan and then turn it all around trying to get the flour in all the corners or nooks and crannies in your pan.
    Another tip for your bundt pan: Make sure you cool the cake about 20 mins. after it comes out of the oven and then take a small, flexible plastic knife like you might get at a fast food restaurant and carefully run it around the inside of the pan and around the center portion. The beauty of the plastic knife is that it is flexible and you can kind of bend it to reach down further into your pan than you could with a table knife. It also won’t scratch a non-stick pan the way a metal knife might. This tip has really helped me with bundt cakes. Try it and see what results you get.

  3. #3 Roxie
    on Jan 13th, 2009 at 4:22 pm

    I’ve heard of Spry and it used to be a generic term that was taken over by Crisco!!

    I’ve never used it and I don’t remember my mom ever using it, but I, too, found the term in an old cookbook that I found at a secondhand store or yard sale (don’t remember which). Don’t you just love the old cookbooks… I’d have a thousand of them if I had the place to put them.

    Thanks for the recipe for pan spread. I had never heard of doing this. Normally when I bake a cake, which is rarely since I like quick breads better, I just spray the pan(s) with cooking spray. Maybe I’ll have to try this next time.

  4. #4 Megan
    on Jan 13th, 2009 at 9:09 pm

    I had forgotten all about pan spread! I have many baking memories that involve that little Tupperware container that was always in our fridge. I also love the plastic knife trick for Bundt cakes. It really works!

  5. #5 Becka
    on Jan 14th, 2009 at 9:20 am

    I remember some of your baking adventures too! I am glad that you enjoy baking and I know Jim, Drew, and your friends are as well. You will have to whip up a batch of pan spread.
    Talk to you soon.

  6. #6 Rhonda
    on Jan 14th, 2009 at 5:24 pm

    Thanks for your pan spread recipe. I will definitely make some the next time I make a cake. I like to use organic ingredients, so this is a concoction I can make easily. Some of the oil sprays are available in organic, but I’ve not seen an organic spray with flour.

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