About how little oil can I add to an amount of flour to make a dough that is one lump of one consistency, not crumbly and in pieces? I'm looking for a ratio of solid to liquid. If it matters what kinds of flour and oil, let's say olive oil and white wheat all-purpose flour.

  • 3
    What are you actually trying to do? Doughs are not generally made out of just flour and oil.
    – Cascabel
    Commented Mar 21, 2012 at 6:26
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    – yitznewton
    Commented Mar 21, 2012 at 10:50
  • 2
    Are you sure it is not allowed to contain water? Short pie crust is 2-1 flour-fat and quite crumbly. But if you add just a teaspoon of water to 300 g dough, it comes together to a ball.
    – rumtscho
    Commented Mar 23, 2012 at 14:27
  • @rumtscho Interesting! The fat in this case I assume is solid (eg Crisco shortening). If you used a liquid lipid (eg vegetable oil) would the water still be necessary?
    – Double AA
    Commented Mar 23, 2012 at 15:59
  • 1
    Oil and water are very different when it comes to their role as a "liquid" in baking.... Commented Jun 14, 2017 at 1:44

2 Answers 2


This is actually not answerable as an absolute. One of the Great Unknowns when baking with flour is how humid it has been in your flour storage recently, and thus how much water is already in the flour. I've had a few cups of flour require as much as half a cup extra water to get the right consistency depending on the season.

My usual approach for making the driest dough I can is to instead of pre-measuring, add the liquid gradually to a spinning food processor that contains the dry ingredients. It will lump up quite quickly when the liquid is right.


According to the experiments reported in this paper they found:

We determined by experimental evidence the maximum amount of olive oil that could be absorbed by modern wheat, with a minimum of water to make a viable bread prepared as described. It was 5 parts oil to 16 parts flour, to 4 parts water.

  • 1
    The question is asking the opposite... the minimum amount of oil, not the maximum.
    – Catija
    Commented Jun 13, 2017 at 16:14

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