I have been using oil on my hands and work-surface for a while and find it works fine. I first read this tip on Dan Lepard’s blog and tried it and, as I say, it works just fine. The other tip is to wet your hands, this stops the flour sticking to them, that also works fine. I went on a bread course at Richard Bertinet’s bakery in Bath and he insisted that putting flour on the work surface is a very bad habit as it alters the amount of flour in the recipe which leads to the dough being heavy. I notice you have another comment on here about UK flour in comparison to US flour. You can read on here and in Rose’s latest book about ‘Kate’ flour, this will be of some help to you when converting recipes using cake flour to our British flours. If you haven’t got RHC just look on Rose’s Blog page, you will see it listed there. Hope this is of help to you. PS. When using oil, only use a very small amount, just a smear!