We continue to use pomace oil as our main "go to" olive oil in our annual pizza seminar. The question was also raised if the oil had any influence on the browning properties of the crust or the way the dough absorbs water. While there may be slight differences in color attributable to the source of oil, the color variance is well within the normal for color variation with normal baking properties, so for all practical purposes, the type of oil has no real impact upon crust color characteristics. However, we do know for sure that oil can/will impact the way the flour absorbs water. We have all heard stories of how the humidity affects the dough absorption, just an old wives tale. But, if you put the oil and water together in the bowl, and then add the flour, the oil floats to the top of the water where it contacts the flour and promptly proceeds to soak into it, rendering the proteins responsibly for forming gluten ineffective in that important role. Remember how/why you make a rue when making gravy? Same thing happens here. When this happens, the doughs take on a different feel due to the difference in gluten development. To correct for this condition, I developed a mixing procedure (called the delayed oil addition method) where the oil is not added to the dough until the flour has had a chance to hydrate on the water, which is typically about 2-minutes into the mixing cycle for 60 and 80-quart size mixers, the oil is then added and incorporated into the dough without any problems due to interference with gluten development.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor