For baking, the characteristics of fat are important in the formulae for pastry fat. If liquid oil is used, it will fail to coat the flour particles efficiently because it has a tendency to form droplets. A fat blend must have small crystals and a smooth easily spreadable texture. Palm oil is very effective as a major component of such blend.
Palm oil and palm stearin (the solid fraction of palm oil) are suitable components for pastry margarine as it does not mix into the dough during the rolling process, therefore very resistant to work-softening. A high degree of plasticity and somewhat high melting point is required.
Shortenings are also widely used in the baking industry as well as in the household for making biscuits, cakes, pastries, bread, and icing. Palm oil is preferred in its formulations as
i. it can increases the plasticity characteristic,
ii. it has a balanced composition of saturated and unsaturated fatty acids that confers a natural stability to the oil and allow formulations to be customised for different types of shorteniings
iii. its semi-solid consistency requires no hydrogenation, which is costly and hand unhealthy
Source: Palm Oil & Palm Kernel Oil Applications and Quality and Functions of Palm Oil in Food Applications