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Shortening is a description for a fat. It is what gives the short texture to shortcrust pastry for example. ie fat is used to coat the flour particles when you rub fat into flour. This prevents the water getting to the protein in the flour and developing (gluten) You need to develop gluten when making bread or other pastries such as puff. Any hard fat should do the job. Chill it before you start and keep your hands cool.
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