oil not flour when kneading bread dough
Posted: 02 September 2010 10:40 AM   [ Ignore ]
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I am posting this hoping to get some opinions from more experienced bread makers than myself. I have come across instructions to use oil on the work surface when kneading bread dough, instead of flour, in order to keep the amount of flour down in the finished product. I tried this on a basic white ‘cob’ and it was fine, but how would this effect the oil content of other breads I wonder? Any takers?

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Posted: 02 September 2010 12:35 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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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. grinPS.  When using oil, only use a very small amount, just a smear!

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Posted: 02 September 2010 12:47 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Hi.. I have used oil before and it seems to work fine, but I would only use it during the initial kneading phase and only on a dough that already has oil in it (that’s the purist in me talking).  Once when I oiled the work surface during the loaf formation stage I wound up with a spiral on the inside which caused the texture to be less uniform than I like.  I probably got too enthusiastic with the oil that time.  If you want to use a substance other than flour for kneading, you might want to try…....................WATER!  The Tassajara (sp?) Bread Book ( OK, so I,m dating myself) suggested that for the long kneading times for on their whole wheat breads and I found that it worked really well.  I prefer it to the oil, and most bread doughs can benefit from a little extra water.  When I use this technique I use a fine mister to control how much water.  Hope this helps…
Janet K

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Posted: 02 September 2010 03:32 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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Yes and yes. The trade off is that in order to keep from adding too much flour you are adding oil. Usually if you keep the amount moderate it doesn’t affect a recipe much but the same can be said of the flour. I usually reserve some recipe flour just for kneading and if the dough doesn’t come together I don’t hesitate to knead in extra.

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Posted: 02 September 2010 03:55 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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Thanks for this, I got the tip watching the Great British Bakeoff, which is kind of interesting. I’m going to store this tip along with all others, which is to use when appropriate and avoid when not appropriate.

Thanks for the flour info, btw, my husband thinks I’m obsessed.

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Posted: 02 September 2010 03:58 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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Tessajara (spelling?), dates me too! I don’t have that book anymore (I think a housemate in college had it), I feel I should track it down.

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Posted: 02 September 2010 05:03 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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I use a little cooking spray and that works very well.

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