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I'm working through a pizza dough recipe, and one of the instructions is to use oil on the worktop to stretch and fold the dough:

Oil the worktop once more, dimple the dough out into a rectangle, then pull one side of the dough out and fold it back in upon itself. Do the same with the other side, then rotate the dough through 90 degrees and repeat the dimple, stretch and fold steps once more.

Now currently to do this, I'm using olive oil which is my standard at home oil... however, this is much to the consternation of my girlfriend, which I can understand and if I continue with this recipe I'm going end up wasting a lot of olive oil on work surfaces

Is there a cheaper oil that I could use for this and also other bread baking?

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2 Answers

up vote 3 down vote accepted

Oil in this case is only used as a lubricant. You can use any food grade oil you like. Most recipes will probably work best without distorting their flavor, so a neutral oil (refined sunflower, rape/canola, or just "vegetable" oil) will work well. Using the cheapest oil you can find will not hurt your bread.

In a few cases, the oil is supposed to give flavor to the bread. For example, a focaccia should be covered in oil. In this case, you should use the oil mentioned in the recipe, even if the application method means that you will lose some expensive oil. But this is an exception tied to specific breads. For a pizza dough, you are unlikely to ever taste a difference between oils, unless you happened to use something very assertive which changes the dough taste (e.g. nigella).

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The reason for seen olive oil in pizza recipes is because it's the traditional oil in Italy. It's the oil you'll see in traditional Mediterranean recipes, as it was the only oil available not so long time ago. +1 for recommending using the cheapest oil. –  J.A.I.L. Jun 29 '13 at 23:45
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May I encourage you to not put any oil in there at all? Some of best pizza in the world (Di Matteo in Naples and others) are wholly against oil in the dough. With a little flour on a smooth counter, you can make a much better pizza dough.

Have a look at Richard Bertinet's video on folding dough and follow that without the use of oil. You can also look at this recipe for a very fantastic Pizza dough nearly guaranteed to win over all critiques.

There are a lot of Pizza recipes out and many of them can be done better.

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