The Fresh Loaf

A Community of Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts.

Alternatives to greasing the rising container?

bakerman's picture

Alternatives to greasing the rising container?

I'm wondering if anyone has any tips on ways to facilitate dough release from a rising container that don't involve oiling the container. 

Doing smallish batches I usually use nothing, and just run the dough scraper around the sides and invert it and let it release under its own weight. If the dough is a very soft one a little sticks to the bottom but I just scoop it off after and gently swipe it back onto to the dough and that's that.

This is fine for me using a curved sided mixing bowl to make 500-750g batches. But I'm planning soon to expand into larger batches in straight sided containers.

I know it's only a tiny amount of oil, sure, but sometimes I don't want oil in the dough. We don't have sprays or "neutral oils" in our kitchen, and I don't always want butter, EVOO, coconut oil, lard, etc in a lean dough and besides rubbing down containers with grease adds an extra, messy step to things. Besides, it just offends my sense of purism--if one doesn't want oil in the recipe, one should not have to have oil in the dough.

What about dusting with flour? Using wet hands or utensils to help release? Other options I haven't thought of...? Thanks!

Yippee's picture

Whenever possible, I always line my pans with parchment paper, as shown in this bake:


pmccool's picture

tossed at the juncture of dough and container, works well to assist the dough's release.  It's about the same motion and amount as if you were lightly flouring a countertop.  As your hand, or bowl scraper, pushes down along the walls of the container, the flour drifts down, too, which helps break the bond of the dough.  A neat trick I learned from Mark Sinclair.


mariana's picture

You might as well use non-stick pots and pans for that purpose: round, square, cylindrical, tall or not, your choice . A 10qt non stick pot, for example, sells for $30 on Amazon and will last you forever if you only use it for that purpose.

The only drawback is that you cannot see through its walls as the dough rises. But the lid is usually made with glass. And some come with marks for volume on the inside as well, although you can mark the wall inside (or outside) beforehand with a Scotch tape if you need to watch the dough doubling or tripling, etc.

Or line the bottom of your plastic container with a silicone sheet, it is reusable and washable, costs pennies.

Usually, though, professional bakers do not use anything, for plastic itself is "oily" to touch and is quite non-sticky and releases wheat dough well. Problems arise only when you ferment rye dough and other gluten-free doughs in them. Those require some oiling or other non-stick barrier between plastic and dough to release cleanly when inverted.

Dusting with flour is not efficient, what works much better is Better Than PAM flour mix or lecithine release agent, but both have some fat in them. They need to be applied only very thinly and none of them ends up as being part of the dough.

foodforthought's picture

…for bulk, stretch and fold, etc. on 2-3 kg dough batches. I never oil the container, just use a dough scraper and my wet hands. By the second stretch and fold, dough generally has enough strength to support coil folds. These tend to be white baguette or pizza dough at ~70-ish hydration or ciabattas at 80%+ hydration. Occasionally I’ll use a glass or stainless steel bowl for the same purpose and still no need to oil… Marianna makes good points about other types of doughs…

Hope this helps.

Yippee's picture

That's typically how I do bulk fermentation too. My previous response was for final proof.