The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

2 loaves, same formula, Vegetable oil Vs. Butter. Very 'oily' taste w/ V oil

mikeofaustin's picture

2 loaves, same formula, Vegetable oil Vs. Butter. Very 'oily' taste w/ V oil

I made two simple loaves (flour, salt, yeast, both W/ 8% suger), but I experiemented with vegetable oil versus butter.  One loaf with 8% oil, and the other with 8% unsalted Butter.  2 hour rise, then shape, then 1 hour proof.  Oven at 450, baked till centers were 200 degrees. 

1st one had VERY distinctive vegetable oil taste and smell compared to the one with butter.  Side by side, you would taste both, and want to through the one with Vegetable oil away to the birds. 


My question is, I see sooo many recipes with 10% to 15% Vegetable oil.  Why is this? Am I doing something wrong? The vegetable oil loaf wasn't horrible, but I won't eat it now since I've tasted the butter loaf (birds will though).  (I even double checked my measurements).   Am I destined to be a food critic?

Is the oil there just to tenderize the bread? or does it change the flavor significantly as well. Is there any rule of thumb for vegetable oil like, twice as much sugar as oil, or something like that?

Perhaps next time, I'll try no oil and just 8% sugar.???   

I just can't get over how much vegetable oil flavor came out of the first one. 

goetter's picture

I reckon that your oil had spoiled.  A good vegetable oil should have no "vegetable oil flavor."

Also, note that 8% butter (measured by weight in solid phase) contains less fat than 8% vegetable oil.  Butter is only about 4/5 fat.

mikeofaustin's picture

Intersting... I never thought of that. The oil is pretty old, and it was the 'very last bit' of the bottom of the bottle.


Here's a quick text I found on oil:

If unopened, peanut oil and corn oil and other vegetable oils will keep for at least a year. Once opened, they’re good for four to six months. But peanut oil, like olive oil, which is high in monounsaturates, benefits more from storage in the refrigerator. Olive oil will keep for about 6 months in the cool, dark pantry, but up to a year in the refrigerator. It may become cloudy and thicken up in the cold, in which case, letting it warm to room temperature will restore its pouring capacity. Walnut oil and sesame oil are delicate and inclined toward turning rancid. Kept in the refrigerator, they will stay fresh for two to four months.


-Thanks. I've try again this saturday with my new bottle of canola oil.

KipperCat's picture

I keep all of my oils in the refrigerator, except for the olive, just because I use it up fast enough.

JERSK's picture

  I think you hit the nail on the head with the bad "aka rancid"oil and butter does contain less fat. different oils have different flavors also. Extra virgin olive oil is very strong and soy bean oil is almost neutral. 8% oil is quite a bit. A lot of cookbooks suggest 2-3% oil as a dough conditioner. It'll give your dough some flexibility without changing the flavor and texture too much. I think better to use less oil and serve with butter or olive oil.

cordel's picture

Where did you find the recipes with vegetable oil in them? The recipes I have either call for butter, shortening (which I won't use) or margarine. For health reasons, I would prefer to use olive or canola oil.

Cooky's picture

You can substitute oil for butter or margarine 1 to 1. But as Jersk said, oil as a bit more fat than butter, so you can reduce the amount by as much as 1/4 without ill effect. I find canola particularly good for basic recipes because its flavor is basically undetectable. Olive oil, on the other hand, adds a subtle flavor touch to Italian breads or any bread with ingredients like onions, herbs, or meat.


"I am not a cook. But I am sorta cooky."

mikeofaustin's picture

?Where did I find the recipe for vegetable oil? Well, one recipe in particular (that has the 8%/8%, oil/suger), is the Amish white bread over at


Also, I tried it again this weekend with canola oil and it worked a lot better. It definitely was the bad vegetable oil.  Also, I experiement with 3 loaves.  Each with the same suger content (8%), but varied the oil. There was a 2% oil, a 4% oil, and an 8% oil. I think I'm leaning toward a 3 percent oil for my taste.  Next weekend, I'll play with the sugar content; 0, 3 and 6%.

cordel's picture

Thank you, Mike, that is really helpful. I will try using some oil in my bread.