The Fresh Loaf

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Adding fats such as oil to dough

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nycbaker11's picture
nycbaker11

Adding fats such as oil to dough

Hello Bakers, 

Would anyone know what an oil such as ext. vir. OLIVE OIL would do to a ciabatta dough? I make a straight up ciabatta with just flour yeast salt & water and I'm just wondering what the addition of some OO would do to that dough... more holey crumb or the opposite?

Thank you, 

Ray

taurus430's picture
taurus430

Adding fat to a dough results in an enriched bread.  What distinguishes italian bread from french bread is that italian breads are usually enriched where as french breads generally aren't.

I normally add 1-2 tbsp olive oil to my bread dough, even the no knead method I use a lot. Fats will add to the taste and the bread will stay better. You mention Ciabatta. I use the no knead method for this as it should be a wet dough as Ciabatta calls for, and I add olive oil, sugar and 2 tbsp dry powdered milk to the dough.  I would post a pic of my Ciabatta but my pics are not on this PC. Yes my Ciabatta is somewhat enriched, but it keeps better, tastes better, is not dry and I freeze this.

Rob

ananda's picture
ananda

Hi nycbaker,

I don't include olive oil in my own formula for ciabatta, however I do use it as a lubricant during the bulk process for stretch and fold.

To be honest, commercially, I make this dough with a biga, and am convinced that using a pre-ferment of this type is the best way to condition the dough.

As to oil, its function is as follows:

Small amounts will form a coating on the protein chains, thus creating greater extensibility in the dough.

More obvious features are flavour and keeping qualities in the finished bread

In larger quantities oil/fat will weaken dough structure.   In very high proportions, it will de-nature protein.

Best wishes

Andy

MichaelH's picture
MichaelH

I take your comment to mean that you use oil in very small amounts for ciabatta; correct? Like 1%? Do you use oil in other "lean" breads for the same reason?

judsonsmith's picture
judsonsmith

Flavor is an obvious and aforementioned benefit. Oil will also tenderize the crumb to a degree and will soften the crust some.

flournwater's picture
flournwater

Ciabatta without olive oil?  Isn't that heresy?

ananda's picture
ananda

To clarify,

If you use oil in the stretch and fold process, then there is oil in the formula.   Most of that oil finds its way into the dough.

Just checked this, and I keep company with Jeffrey Hamelman by not including olive oil in the formula.   A biga is more important to me.

Best wishes

Andy

taurus430's picture
taurus430

I've been making Ciabatta for a while using the no knead method. I know the conventional way is with a biga, but what is the difference between Ciabatta dough made with a biga and no knead dough that sits on the counter 12 to 18 hrs?  It seems easier and actually the whole recipe of no knead dough is like a "biga". Just curious.

judsonsmith's picture
judsonsmith

Good question- There are some (subtle) differences in flavor and dough properties whether you preferment some of your flour in a biga in this case or use a really long bulk ferment. Both can give really nice results. I think prefermenting some flour can sometimes make it easier to schedule your production (in a bakery at least) without taking up too much space in a retarder.

 

taurus430's picture
taurus430

Oh I meant for home baking. I realize there is a lack of room and time to do things in a commercial bakery as opposed to home baking. I'm pro no knead, whether it's Lahey's method or ABin5, as it got a lot of people back to baking bread, like me. Thanks for the reply jud!

benji's picture
benji

I don't think it will have much effect on the crumb structure as a whole.  However, adding fat does keep in moisture in the crumb and aids in workability, which shouldn't be an issue with a wet ciabatta dough.  So it seems in your situation that taste would be most affected by the addition of Olive oil.