The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Oil for kneading

Janknitz's picture

Oil for kneading

I've been tying to reduce the bench flour I'm using so as not to mess with the hydration levels of my dough.  THis weekend I experimented with VERY LIGHTLY spraying just a tiny bit of olive oil on my marble board when I take the dough out of the KA to do the final bit of kneading and rounding (note I am not doing ALL the keading on an oiled board, just those little bits  of kneading or S & F for rounding before bulk fermentation). 

This seems to be working quite well and I can put the dough to rise in the bucket without having to add any oil on top to keep the cover from sticking.  I usually only need to use any oil at all during the bulk fermentation.  I usually find that there is sufficient gluten structure for the final shaping without the need for additional flour or oil. 

I was wondering if anybody has any comments about this method.  I'm not sure I would use it when the goal is a very lean dough, but for most breads this seems to work well without any bad "side effects". 

flournwater's picture

I use the method you describe for several of the breads I bake without ill effect.'s picture

I always use a bit of oil on my hands to knead Challah dough - this rich egg dough does not do well with too much flour - the challahs I make always come out light and delicious.

Yerffej's picture

Water also works in place of bench flour.


Barbara Krauss's picture
Barbara Krauss

In his book the Handmade Loaf, Dan Lepard suggests rubbing a small amount of oil on the kneading surface instead of dusting with extra flour.  Too much flour can upset the hydration balance more so than a light coating of oil.