The Fresh Loaf

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Why ferment 18hrs in a 2nd bowl with oil?

Bread Head's picture
Bread Head

Why ferment 18hrs in a 2nd bowl with oil?


I have just started making bread with Jim Lahey's No Knead method about 3 months ago, with no prior experince with cooking or baking.

That being said, I have "why" questions for different things explanined in his book and other things I read.

For example;

In Jim's book after mixing the ingredinece you then leave in the bowl for 12 to 18 hours.

On Jim's website he says after mixing the ingreadince you place in another bowl that has been lightly oiled.

What is the differece between letting the bread ferment 18hrs in the same bowl or another bowl that has oil in it??


Also spell check is not working.  After I correct my words It still posts the wrong ones.  Please advise...... 

Russ's picture

The dough comes out of the oiled bowl a little easier, that's about it. I generally don't bother oiling my bowls. I use a plastic or silicone scraper to remove the dough and have one less bowl to clean at the end of it.




hutchndi's picture

I don't like to add any oil at all to my own bread, not as intentianal ingredient or an unitentinal one from the side of the bowl. However, I have found that on my large plastic bowl there is considerable improvement in the dough releasing from the sides, even when I only just very lightly wipe the bowl with oil first and then vigorously wipe it clean with paper towel.

Bread Head's picture
Bread Head

I have the same thinking and just use my hands to mix everything together.

I thought the oil did something to the dough, maybe flavor it more or add something to it.


G-man's picture

Oil does soften dough and make it last a little longer, but it has to be added in slightly higher quantities than you're going to get from just oiling a bowl. It may brown the crust a little bit and add some flavor there.

dabrownman's picture

oil in the bowl doesn't make any difference to the bread but does to you when it comes easily and clean from the bowl.  I also routinely oil my granite counter tops to do stretch and folds and other kinds of kneading - instead of flour.   My favorite mulitgrain challah bread, that I use for sandwiches,  already has 1/3 C of olive oil in it anyway, so 1 half a tsp of olive oil for the bowl and top of the dough ball for ferment cannot be noticed by the god of all bread (Floyd) much less anyone else.   Italian loaves, where, in the end,  all French ones come from,  will usually have some olive oil in the recipe or they aren't Italian :-) 

Don't sweat the oil and make some good bread in spIte of it and others :-)