The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

The oil makes a difference in ciabatta

Felila's picture

The oil makes a difference in ciabatta

For a few months, I was making my everyday ciabatta loaves with cheap supermarket canola oil (approximately 1/4 cup oil + 1-3/4 cup water to hydrate 4-1/2 cups of flour). Bread was OK but not great. Then I splurged on a bottle of organic olive oil from my health-food coop. Bread is a lot tastier. 

D'oh! Of course the oil that has more sediment and a stronger flavor will assert itself in the bread.

(I say approximately on the measurements because I'll add extra flour or water to get the dough exactly the right consistency. If I had a scale and were weighing rather than measuring, I probably wouldn't have to fiddle so much. Sigh. If I can find a job, I can buy a kitchen scale.)


Chuck's picture

Yep, my experience is that "salad oil" and "olive oil" affect bread so differently that I treat them as two separate ingredients (even though they're both in the 'fat' category).

I found that salad oil (even at higher levels like 50 grams per loaf) like any fat affects texture, rise time, and storage time, but has virtually no flavor. Olive oil on the other hand (even at lower levels like 20 grams per loaf) imparts a very significant flavor enhancement, as well as having the usual effects of any fat.

In fact, I've chosen for the moment to not even bother with salad oil at all. I either use olive oil (or sometimes lecithin), or nothing.

Caperchick's picture

Hello Chuck:

When you use lecithin, do you use the liquid or the grandules?  I use grandules and find it convenient and gives the bread a nice texture and seems to stay fresher longer.  I bought a bottle of the dark, very thick liquid lecithin and don't know how to use it.  I guess I'm afraid to use it!   Love to know what you use.


Chuck's picture

I too use granules. Soy lecithin granules is what my local health food store carried, so it's what I got.

I think a search for "lecithin granules liquid" here on TFL will turn up enough useful information for you to figure out what to do. I don't remember any particular complications.