no need for oil

click on image to see larger view of risen dough

And speaking of making bread
Sandwich Bread Dough
I made sandwich bread again yesterday. And just as I was about to tip the risen dough onto the board for the final shaping, I decided to grab the camera first.

Over and over, recipe after recipe, I see a note to place kneaded dough into an oiled bowl before rising. (Some recipes horrify me even more by suggesting to spray the bowl with Pam…*shudder* ) But really, it just isn’t necessary to oil the bowl. Here, as you can see, the dough has pulled away cleanly from the sides of the bowl.

Sandwich Bread Dough Granted, the sandwich bread recipe does have oil in it. So you might think that that is what makes the dough fall cleanly away.

But even when there is zero oil in the dough (as in most French-style breads) the risen dough acts exactly the same way. So, next time you are making bread, do yourself a favour and don’t bother oiling the rising bowl.

This entry was posted in baking, bread - yeasted & unyeasted, food & drink on by .

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4 responses to “no need for oil

  1. Paul Trotta

    The reason that is usually given for NOT oiling is that the dough rises better in an unoiled bowl because it can attach itself to the sides of the bowl.

  2. ejm Post author

    And it does attach itself to the side of the bowl as it is rising. But once it is fully risen and ready to be released from the bowl, it pulls away beautifully. (as shown in the photograph)

    I really can’t imagine why anyone would bother oiling the rising bowl. I’d love to hear a good reason for it…

  3. Chris

    One reason to oil the bowl is to sort of swish the dough around for a bit, covering it with a layer of oil and thus affecting the rate at which it loses moisture to the air.

  4. ejm Post author

    That’s interesting, Chris. I had never noticed a lot of moisture being lost. Maybe it’s because I cover the rising bowl with a lid AND a plastic hat – the dough stays very moist. Even if the covering with a damp cloth method were used, I really can’t see that the oil would do anything at all – except perhaps to retard the rise (although I really have no idea if that would happen or not).

    I still maintain that extra oil on the rising bowl is entirely unnecessary for getting the risen dough to leave the bowl cleanly. If the dough has been kneaded correctly, the risen dough will come cleanly out of the bowl, leaving very little behind.

    It is especially unnecessary (not to mention, undesirable) for French bread, which should contain zero oil.


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