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If you enjoyed this post, please consider sharing it with others using one of the social sharing buttons above. Thanks, Jeff and Zoë

446 thoughts on “I posted a comment to this site but it hasn’t appeared. What happened?

  1. I have made many of your breads and have never had a problem until now. The 100% whole wheat bread in the Healthy Book. I substituted all spelt flour as you suggested. In the rising it just flattened out completely but made a delicious foccacio – light and fluffy, nice crumb. I tried adding more flour to make a bread again it flattened out after 90 minutes and I got a very dense bread. Tried letting it rise for 1 hour and the same thing happened – any suggestions?

    • Amy– that spelt substitution works best as a loaf-pan bread– that contains the spreading you can get in a lower-gluten bread (spelt has less gluten). Otherwise you do need to dry it out as you’ve tried, though it sounds like it might not be to your liking for other reasons.

      I’m assuming you’re using the full dose of vital wheat gluten as written– otherwise it really won’t work at all, and the way I’d expect it to perform is the way you’ve described. Jeff

  2. I am SUPER VERY new to do this, but I’m really excited to make bread. SO, I have a very silly Q to you… I’ve got a bread rising container 6Q from King Arther F company as it was recommended in the both books. It is not air tight???? When I put it on, it snaps and seems like definitely air tight container. So, I just cover it without snap on??? I’ve read that it has a hole on the lid, but I don’t see any hole… did I buy wrong kinds??

    • Hi Remi,

      You have the right container, we add the hole with a small nail. If you don’t add the hole you do need to leave the lid unsnapped.

      Thanks, Zoë

  3. Hi,
    I am working out of the Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day book (the first one?) and wonder how long I bake larger loaves of whole grain bread. If I want to bake a 2 or 2.5 lb loaf rather than a 1 lb one, do I bake it twice as long?
    Thanks. We love your great breads!!
    Carolyn Hahne
    Cincinnati, Ohio

    • Carolyn: Ovens differ for this. In mine, I have to increase the baking time, but only if the extra-weight bread is also higher, which is usually the case. For example, of you make a one-pound pita, and then a two-pound pita, the height’s the same and baking time’s the same (short!).

      But for the boule (ball-shaped), you need to increase in my oven– instead of 30 min, it’s 45 at least. Sometimes more. Jeff

  4. Jeff or Zoe,
    I took your class at Crocus and have your book. I have tried your basic receipe three times and keep having the same result–which is the concern. The bread does not get a warm brown color on the outside. It stays a pale tan in color. I make sure I do not open the oven door after I add the water to the pan like you suggested in class. Can you give me some of your thoughts as to what the problem is?
    Thank you,
    Cindy

    • Hi Cindy,

      Are you using an oven thermometer? It sounds like your oven is not getting hot enough? Unfortunately the built in oven thermostat can not be trusted, they tend to be off by a significant amount.

      Let me know if that sounds like it. Zoë

  5. I am trying to make the Gluten-free Brioche on pg. 252 of Healthy bread in five minutes a day every thing goes fine until I remove it from the pan … Then it colapses. What am I doing wromg?

  6. Hello,
    I purchased your book”Artisan Bread in 5 minutes a day”.I tried out the 100% whole wheat sandwich bread(Pg 76).It tasted good but the bread broke up easily into crumbs while slicing.Not the whole slice but parts it broke up too easily.This left lots of bits and pieces on the plate.This is my first baking experience so not sure what went wrong.I used measuring spoons and cups and used the right ingredients except for salt(used table salt instead of Kosher).And baked it for 50 minutesin a convection oven(when i ran a knife through the bread, it came out clean so stopped baking).And I cut the bread after it was completely cooled.I did not use a oven thermometer though..thought I will try without one first.

    • Archana: I wouldn’t start with that particular loaf as your first experience– learn on some of the ones that are mixtures of white and WW, they’re easier to get into a cohesive shape that won’t break up. Or even the basic Master recipe from that book (all white flour). Maybe the Light Whole Wheat?

      For 100% WW loaves, I prefer the stuff we developed for our second book (http://bit.ly/3wYSSN )– here are sample recipes:

      HB5 Master Recipe: http://www.artisanbreadinfive.com/?p=1087
      100% WW Hbin5: http://www.artisanbreadinfive.com/?p=1984

    • Hi Archana,

      It seems as though your loaf is much too dry, which can be caused by a couple of things. Your dough may have been too dry. What kind of whole wheat flour are you using?

      The other cause may have been that you baked the loaf on convection heat. The convection setting on your oven is much more intense heat than the regular setting. As a result your dough may have just overbaked and become dried out.

      You also want to make sure your oven is the right temperature, so I would do a test with the oven thermometer.

      Thanks, Zoë

  7. Do you have any suggestions for rolling out the bread dough? I tried making naan with the light whole wheat, but I just couldn’t seem to get it to the right thickness or rather thinness – it just seemed to shrink back, resisting my efforts to obtain a 1/8 inch thickness. I made what I had and it still tasted good, but I want to try making the pitas, and in the book it says if they are too thick they won’t puff. Is there a trick to rolling out the dough? Do I need more patience? More flour?

    • Sharpie: The trick is patience, yet. Let the dough relax for 10 minutes if it’s resisting your efforts. Also, some whole grain makes it less stretchy, maybe try one of those doughs.

      The other trick is to avoid doing a lot of shaping before you try to roll it out– minimize the gluten-cloaking step. Jeff

  8. Thank you Jeff and Zoe! I used Bob’s Red Mill whole wheat flour.
    I will try out the white flour recipes and get the oven thermometer.

  9. I made the Crusty Boule bread featured in the latest Cooking Club of America magazine and wanted to see how to alter the baking time to either bake 2, 1lb loaves of bread at the same time (side by side) — or how to make a larger (2lb) loaf.

    • Hi Beth,

      You can bake as many loaves in the oven as will fit on your stone. It may require a few more minutes of baking, but not much. To double the size of the loaf you need to let the dough rest an additional 30-40 minutes and bake 15-20 minutes longer.

      Thank you for giving our method a try! Zoë

  10. Can I make the loaves larger than a grapefuit to get a larger loaf. If so do you just adjust the baking time.

    Thank you for your help.

    • Dee: rest time has to increase; go 60 or even 90 min for large loaves. Baking time too, not 30 to 35 min, more like 45 to 60 for a 3 pound loaf. Something in between for a 2 pounder. Jeff

  11. Jeff,

    Thank you for your help in regard to my question about making larger loaves. I made 2 loaves today instead of 4 and they turned out terrific. I appreciate your help very much and have recommended your books to my friends.
    Dee

  12. I have had great success making breads from both books, but my last two loaves have been disasters! I have tried to make the 100% Whole Wheat bread on page 79 of the Healthy Bread book using the loaf-pan variation on page 80. The dough rises very well at room temperature, rises a little when resting before baking, but doesn’t rise AT ALL in the oven! This has happened twice with two different batches of dough. I have re-read all the relevant sections of the books, checked the expiration date on the yeast and vital wheat gluten, and triple-checked my measurements. I can’t figure it out! What is puzzling me even more is that my whole wheat sandwich loaves were awesome before I started using the vital wheat gluten. Please help!

    • Hi Elyse,

      What kind of flour are you using for the bread?

      The 100% whole wheat will not rise quite as much as the other breads, but you should get some rise.

      Thanks! Zoë

  13. Hi Zoe!

    I’m using 100% whole wheat flour. I used the same flour before with the whole wheat loaf recipe from your first book and got very nice oven spring. Maybe my resting time was too short? The loaf rested for 1 hour and 40 minutes in a 2 lb loaf pan, then baked for 55 minutes at 350. Or maybe I should try dissolving the yeast in the water before I add it to the flour/vital wheat gluten mixture? Thank you!

    Elyse

  14. Elyse: Which brand of 100% WW are you using? We get the best results from very fine-ground commercial flours, not from stone-ground stuff like Bob’s Red Mill in this particular recipe. It’s not your resting time, though you might be happier with smaller loaves for this recipe. And it’s not anything with the yeast, pretty sure. Jeff

  15. Hi Jeff!

    I already threw the flour packaging away, but I’m pretty sure it was Gold Medal – the same brand I’ve successfully used to make your recipes before. Since, the dough seems to behave normally during its initial rest, could there be something going wrong in the refrigerator? On the bright side, the white bread is always amazing!

    Elyse

    • Hi Elyse,

      You can try letting the dough rest a bit longer before baking. Sometimes if the refrigerator is running cold or your kitchen is cool it can help to let the dough sit longer.

      You are not baking at high altitude are you?

      Thanks, Zoë

  16. Hi Zoe!

    No, I’m at low altitude and my kitchen is warm (68-72). I don’t think the fridge is cold, either and the white dough does great stored in there for several days. It just occurred to me that the whole wheat dough gets a thin darker harder layer on top, and the dough underneath stays wet. Maybe I’m not covering it well enough? I’ll try longer resting times, though. Thank you both so much for being so very responsive and nice :)

    Elyse

  17. Hmm… If you want to optimize the balance between airtight and ventilation, drill a tiny hole in the plastic lid’s cover, then you can snap shut tightly.

    May be a mystery though, or perhaps, the 100% WW isn’t going to be your “go-to” recipe. Jeff

  18. I am using the master recipe from the “artisan bread” book. THe bread is great, but my boules are much flatter than the pictures. Is my dough too wet? I measure my flour by weight (32.5 oz). What do I need to do differently?

  19. I’ve got both of your books now and my family loves the fresh bread! I have a wheat sensitivity though and use white unbleached Spelt flour instead of wheat. Your second book discusses alternative flours but doesn’t talk about how to adjust the recipes for other flours. I’m finding my dough is WAY too wet and have been adding as much as 1/2 cup as I shape it, to keep it from totally gluing to my hands. And now, I’m shifting to whole spelt and struggling with the recipe since I don’t want to use the vital wheat gluten. Best combination I’ve tried so far was to use 1 cup of white spelt and the rest whole spelt but I’ve still got to use a lot of extra flour when shaping. I’m also at 6000 feet (I’ve read all the FAQs about altitude and have found reducing the yeast to 1Tbsp was the best adjustment for that.) Anyway, my question is… do you have any rule of thumb for how to adjust for using spelt instead of wheat? I’d like to experiment with more of the recipes but it’s taking me several weeks of experimenting with each one to try to find something that works.

    • Martha: Not surprised this didn’t work, you’ve made a substitution that really change the water requirement. White spelt is not a whole grain product, and therefore absorbs much less water than the whole grain spelt we tested with in Healthy Bread in Five. We haven’t experimented with this product, so all I can tell you is that you need to come up with water amounts (less!) that work with it– it will take experimentation.

      Jeff

  20. Zoe, I am using Wegmans (local grocer) unbleached all purpose flour. I did watch one video and thought maybe I was handling the dough too much, so handled it less on the last loaf, same result.

    Your dough in the video appears to be a bit stiffer than mine, I will try weighing the water, maybe my measuring cup is the problem. Any other suggestions are welcome

    • Hi BobD,

      I’m not familiar with Wegmans, but it may be a slightly lower protein than the flours we use, which could produce a wet dough. You may want to add an additional 1/4 cup flour next time you mix a batch and see if that makes a difference.

      Thanks, Zoë

  21. In your recipes you say to use unbleached flour. Could you specify what kind because I want to order a larger quantity and I’m not sure what kind. Is it a strong or hard unbleached flour. Or is it another kind of unbleached flour? Please help.

    • Hi BABA,

      We use gold medal or the like for our flour. If you use a hard wheat flour, such as King Arthur or the like you will want to use an additional 2 to 4 tablespoons water when mixing the dough.

      Thanks, Zoë

  22. Hi Zoe
    So that is the only difference is adding the extra water? I’ve contacted a wholesaler and he has a unbleached hard (strong) flour, don’t know the brand, because it is much cheaper then buying bulk. So the unbleached strong flour is ok? But then he also had an unbleached flour, interestingly I wonder what the difference is maybe it is for baking cakes etc. Would that be ok or should I purchase the unbleached strong flour?
    Appreciate all of your help.
    I took a class in bread making at a bakery and they didn’t teach me anything different then what is in your books. Told some people about your books and your website.
    Baba

    • Hi BABA,

      Based on the language you are using to describe your flour I am guessing you are in Canada or England? Canadian flour is generally much stronger than those found in America and will most likely require you to add additional water to the mix. Strong flour has more protein in it and that is what creates the structure in the bread. The protein also is what absorbs the water in the dough, so if the flour is stronger than what we used to test the recipes your dough will come out too dry.

      Thanks, Zoë

  23. HI ZOE
    THE UNBLEACHED FLOUR I SPOKE OF IN THE LAST POSTING WAS UNBLEACHED ALL PURPOSE IS WHAT I MEANT IF IT ISN’T THAT KIND PLEASE LET ME KNOW WHICH IT IS THAT I NEED
    THANKS
    BABA

    • Hi Baba,

      Yes, that is exactly what we call for. As I said before, it may be slightly stronger, but with a bit more water it will serve you well!

      Thanks, Zoë

  24. Hello,

    I had a question about baguettes. My husband makes it exactly per instructions, and found that the dough had a better rise with lukewarm bottled water.

    Anyhow, it tastes great, but we are not seeing the fluffy spread section on top you usually find on baguettes, where the cut section fluffs open and you get that nice ‘tear’ look. We just sort of get an opening and it doesn’t have those “bubbly” looking surface on top, either.

    What do you think we could do differently to get the crispy baguette top? He uses the hot steam bath, he uses an oven thermometer as well, to be sure of the inside temp.

    • Hi Vee,

      You may need to preheat your stone longer to make sure you are getting a nice oven spring when your loaf hits the oven.

      You may also want to let the baguette rest another 15 minutes before baking.

      Thanks, Zoue

  25. Hi Zoe, thanks for your response.

    We had been allowing the baguette to rest an extra 20 minutes before baking, but we will try to heat the pizza stone some more before baking.

    Thanks–
    Vee

  26. Using the basic reciepe from “Healthy Bread in Five Minutes”. When the bread comes out of the oven after 35 minutes of baking, it has a nice brown crust to it. After cooling, unwrapped, the crust softens. What do I need to do to keep it “crusty”?

    • Hi Harry,

      You may need to let the dough rest another 20 minutes and bake it for an additional 10 minutes, it may be too dense and therefore not completely baking the moisture out in 35 minutes.

      Thanks, Zoë

  27. Hello Zoe and Jeff,
    I just tried your 10 grain bread recipe featured in Mother Earth magazine. It turned out great but I would to sweeten the bread a bit. Can I add honey or molasses or brown sugar? What would be the best way and will the recipe need any modification.
    Thanks!

    • Hi Deb,

      It depends how much you are planning to add. If it is just a couple of tablespoons, than you don’t have to change a thing. If you want to add any more than that you may want to add equal amounts of flour as well. Especially true for the liquid sweeteners.

      Thanks, Zoë

  28. Hello Zoe,
    I’ve baked a few loves using your basic recipe and it’s great. In reading the Q&A’s it seems like there are several eratta that would be made to the first edition. I went to buy the book(Artisian Bread in 5 Minutes) today and it seems like it’s the first printing.

    Has there been an updated printing or is there a “master” sheet witth corrrections?

  29. using the basic recipe in Healthy bread in 5 minutes, my dough came out dry not sticky to the touch. (compared to the basic white recipe) can i add water? if so How?
    thank you
    laura

    • Hi Laura,

      Jeff and I differ on the best way to do this. I tend to try to mix it in, usually in a stand mixer. Jeff on the other hand just pours it over the top and lets it work itself into the dough. We are both made happy with our methods, but I think mine gets a more even result. ;) He would probably argue his is far better!

      Thanks, Zoë

  30. thanks, i glad the two of you agree LOL. If i use a stand mixer, how long do i wait to use the dough? I assume if i just put water on the top id have to let it sit for some time?
    thanks laura

    • Agree? I don’t think so :-)

      If you work it in, you don’t have to wait. But if you’re using older dough, my concern is that working the dough this way will affect your loft– may be dense. If so, will work better as thinner breads, flatbreads, or pitas.

      My way, I let it sit overnight. Jeff

  31. Jeff,
    I am sorry to bother you but I made up my first double batch of the master recipe from Aritsan bread in five using the formula 6-3-3-13 rule. I must have added too much water and when I went to use it the first time the dough was too wet. Before I put the rest back in the refrig. I added more flour. Was this ok to do? I know how busy you must be but I appreciate all your help.
    With thanks, Dee

  32. I am wondering if my fridge or even my kitchen could be too cold? After watching the video (HBN5), I was surprised to see how high the dough gets in the container. Mine has never done that, and when I go to take some out to make the bread it seems a little heavy to me. I love the idea of this bread and my husband just plain loves it and I really want to master it but at this point I must be doing something not quite right. I am weighing per the book and altitude is not a problem (in OK).

    • Hi sockmonkey,

      It could either be that your dough is too cold or that it is too dry. Are you using warm water when mixing the dough? What brand of whole wheat flour are you using?

      Thanks, Zoë

  33. I am using warm water, last time I even used a thermometer. I believe the ww flour is Hodgsons, I don’t have the sack but had read in the book about what would be good flour. Per your questions I am now wondering if dough is too dry. Should I try decreasing flour by 1/4 c for wetter dough and are external temps not a factor? Thank you.

    • Hi Sockmonkey,

      I think that the Hodgson mills flour may be a bit coarser than a Pillsbury or Goldmedal flour. This means that the gluten isn’t as strong and won’t trap as much air, which means it may not have as good a rise. You may want to add a bit more vital wheat gluten to the dough. If you do this, you may also need to add more water.

      Thanks, Zoë

  34. Hi Zoe and Jeff!

    I love your book “artisan bread in 5 mins”, and I can’t wait to try the master recipe! However, I only have a small convection toaster over, and it doesn’t have a bottom rack to hold the broiler pan filled with water. What would you guys recommend that I do? Would a mini metal pan *next* to the baking stone work? Or do you have any other ideas?

    Thanks so much!
    Lori

  35. I have been baking the basic boule bread from the original book for a couple of months now, but have an unusual result. Every loaf I bake turns out almost spherical. It rises off the stone to the point where only the very small center of the loaf rests on the stone.
    Also, my loaves come out very dark brown, but my oven checks out with a thermometer at exactly 450 degrees. Any ideas?
    I was introduced to your bread and book by a friend and absolutely love it!

    • Rick: Hmm. It sounds like you’re getting an over-exuberant rise. Possibilities:

      – too much oven spring from a too-hot oven, but you’ve tested (though thermometers can be off, could turn down a bit and see what happens).
      – flour has higher gluten level than what we use. Canadian flour?
      – very small oven? reflects back heat, may be promoting too aggressive oven spring as in #1.

      How’s the texture? Have you tried in a loaf pan? Jeff

  36. Hi Jeff and Zoe, I am baking the Master Recipe in HBin5 and I want to know if I can substitute spelt flour 1:1 for the whole wheat flour? Question 2: What effect would adding some malted wheat flakes have on the flavor of the bread? Thanks for your books and more importantly, for all of your one on one help.

  37. Thanks Zoe. You two are always so prompt and helpful. I have seen and made some of the spelt breads you refer to (and learned to like spelt.) But I don’t want to add more carbs with potatoes/honey/etc. That is why I want to know if I can sub spelt for WW on a 1:1 ratio in your HBin5 Master Recipe. Can I? I did see the Granary Style Bread in ABin5 and it sounds good (I’ll definitely try it sometime soon). Right now, though I’m trying to focus on your recipes that use less AP white flour. The Granary Bread uses too much AP white flour for my purposes right now. Thanks again for your help and your promptness.

    • Bettyanne: If you swap spelt for WW, be sure you have whole grain spelt, not spelt labeled as “Light Spelt.” Assuming you do, you can experiment with a 1:1 swap, but you’ll probably have to decrease the liquid a bit (1/4 cup? 1/3 cup?). Spelt doesn’t absorb quite as much water as whole wheat.

      Some malted wheat flakes (see first book for amounts) would add sweetness, and a chewy grain effect. Jeff

  38. Thanks, Jeff. I will do some experimenting. The English Grannary recipe looks really good but too much AP flour. Could I adjust the ratio of WW (or other WW or grain flour) to AP in that recipe or would that really throw the whole thing off?

    • Bettyanne– you can do it, but you’ll need more water (1/4 cup, 1/3 cup, but this may be countered by your use of WG spelt). And, you’ll probably need some vital wheat gluten (VWG), or the result will probably be too dense when stored. More on this in Healthy Bread in 5 Min/Day. Jeff

  39. Great! now that I have all the info I just need to experiment. I find that even the WWW (in its early 2 or 3 day old stages) in your master recipe for HBin5 has a taste I don’t care for but I do like the whole grain spelt. I even tried using orange juice as part of my liquid for the WWW hoping to combat the taste but I still didn’t care for the flavor.

  40. When my daughter gets back from Iraq later this year, she wants to try this method so I told her that I would get her both books like I have plus the bucket and the dough whisk.

    • Hi Bettyanne,

      Does your flour smell bitter or sweet in the bag? It may be rancid if it isn’t sweet smelling? If the dough has an alcohol smell and taste, you may need to put a hole in the lid of your bucket to let the gas from the yeast out.

      Thanks, Zoë

  41. Hi Zoe, my flour smells sweet. I keep my WW and WG flours in the freezer to avoid getting rancid. The dough, however, does have an alcohol smell and taste. I try to offset the lid but maybe it is not enough. I will put a hole in the lid for my next batch. Thanks again for all of your help, both of you.

    • Bettyanne: I once tested flour that smelled sweet, and it was a boutique product– they were using a fair amount of malt powder in the flour. That a possibility here?

      But that alcohol smell has nothing to do with malt– some people are just sensitive to it in stored dough. Increasing the venting will help, as you suggest, but you may be a person who needs to bake off all the dough before it ages too long. Jeff

  42. I have both your books and have been baking your breads for three months now, mixing a couple times a week. I generally baked two loaves at once and give one to a friend or neighbor. I live in a dry mountain climate. My loaves have turned out perfectly since day one because of a error I made right at first. I misread the measuring directions and started off spooning flour into the measuring cup. After several weeks I was re-reading the directions and realized I was doing it wrong so I used the scoop and sweep method, not even thinking that this would change my results significantly. I was baffled when I pulled the dough out of the container to cut off a piece and it broke instead of stretching. I couldn’t think what I’d done differently for a couple days. Then it dawned on me! I then measure the two different ways and weighed the results and found the difference to be one full cup of flour or 140 gr! I now measure your way but have increased the flour to 3 1/3 cups and sometimes I need to add one or two TB. This works out perfectly. This also explains why I told you on another thread a couple months ago that I couldn’t get 4 X 1 Lb loaves!
    I also only bake in covered dishes; I keep three in my oven at all times since I bake so much.
    I tried the brioche a couple weeks ago and it was marvelous. The rest of that dough is in the freezer.
    My one issue it that although I’ve bookmarked the link to your step by step basic loaf thread, the page is now missing. I’d saved it in an email which I sent my son and my sister–I bought each your AB5–and in my bookmarks but I just clicked on it in both places and the page is gone. I like to refresh my memory and read the latest posts. Oh, I’d saved it on my ipad too and it’s gone there too, all i get is the homepage.

    Oh, and I’ve settled on 3 1/2 bread flour with 3 c ww as perfection for me. Played with the salt a bit too. You do mention in Healthy Breads that no all salt is the same. True.

    Thanks for bringing the aroma of my childhood neighborhood bakery in my home. After nearly 40 years in the U.S. I can bake my own delicious bread–not pay $4.50 for it. I’ve lived on almost nothing else for the past 3 months. With honey, my homemade jelly, imported french ham or cheese, salami. All yummy!

    • Martie: Not sure which post you mean, but nothing should be missing. Which step-by-step? Which book is it from (and which page)?

      I’m not 100% sure why you’re needing more hydration than we call for… maybe it’s the flour you’re using though. Could be the dry climate but we haven’t heard that from others. Jeff

  43. Correction to above!!!! In paragraph 1, about 5 lines from the last line, it should ready, “I have increased the WATER, not the flour, to 3 1/2 cups.” Perfect for my dry climate. I recently visited my son in AZ and taught him the method and got similar results with the additional water.

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