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

  1. Hi! I have a question on a recipe from Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day. It is the variation of the 100% Whole Wheat Bread, Plain and Simple on pg. 80. The recipe says to use a 2 lb piece of dough and bake it in a lightly greased loaf pan. Do I still need to let it rise for 90 minutes. Also, do I still paint the top with water? Do I also use the hot tap water in the boiler tray? Thanks!

    • Julia: Resting time, yes, is 90m, paint the top B4 the slash, and use the water tray… One thing– if you ever do the spelt variation, some varieties of spelt flour have been coming out too wet– decrease the water if needed.

    • Can I use silicone bread loaf pans for the “Soft Whole Wheat Sandwich Bread” in your Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day?

    • I have the master recipe in my refrigerator, and I have a new Sassafras Baker that I would like to use. How do I know how much dough to use in this rectangular baker?

  2. Hello,

    I have been using a variation of your technique for making home-based Artisan pizza – excellent. I am interested in taking the process to a commercial level. Is there training or guidance that you offer in taking this next step?

    Thank you,

    Jake

      • Thank you for your quick response…I’ll follow up with your suggested link.

    • Hi,

      I love your book (the original)and my bread usually comes out fine. Here’s an odd thing: I made a fresh batch from master recipe–the loaf on day one was great; on day two, the dough had lumps in it, almost like soft marbles. This has not happened before. What gives?

      • Hi Michael,

        Did the top of the dough seem leathery? Your container may have had too much air circulating in it, which will dry out the dough and then it will form lumps.

        Thanks, Zoë

  3. Hi,
    Wondering what recipe you could use garbanzo flour in..to substitute or use as the primary flour??? I have made bread from all your books for almost 2 years…never buy store loaves anymore…

    Thanks,

    • Hi Jackie,

      Are you looking for a gluten-free recipe or are you wanting to add it to the wheat recipes?

      For wheat recipes: Garbanzo bean flour has no gluten, so you can’t use too much or the recipe will lose its structure. The flavor is very intense and so a little goes a long way.

      Thanks, Zoë

      • Thanks for responding so quickly. I was considering it for the wheat recipes, but actually have one family member eating gluten free, so would it work in one of those recipes?

        Jackie

  4. Jackie: People use it in GF recipes, but we stayed with lighter flours for ours. You can try swapping it into recipes, for at least part of the flours in the Gluten-Free chapter in Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day. Don’t use it exclusively though.

    Likewise in the wheat-based recipes.

  5. I am using all three books…love them…I would like to substitute agave nectar since my dad is diabetic and I was trying to find a way to make healthier bread for him. Since agave nectar seems to be ok for diabetics. Can I replace the sugar one for one in the recipe? Thank you.

    • Hi Nicole,

      If the recipe just calls for a tablespoon or two, then you can replace it with the agave. If the recipe calls for more than that, then you will also need to add more flour, so the recipe isn’t too wet.

      Thanks, Zoë

  6. Yet another question from me. You use yogurt in some Healthy Breads. I always have the thicker (“Greek”) yogurt on hand, but its consistency is different and most important for the recipe, with much of the whey strained out, it has less liquid. Can I substitute? Thin the yogurt with water or skim milk? What proportions>

    • Roz: It should work– may need to increase other liquids, but just a little. Unfortunately, I don’t know how much less let’s say, a cup of Greek yogurt has compared with regular. But my guess is that in a full cup of yogurt it’s probably about a quarter cup– will take some experimentation.

      • Thanks. I’ll try it and let you know; I’ll go by the consistency of regular yogurt compared to the thicker yogurt.

  7. I have made the Whole Grain Master bread recipe twice. While the bread is delicious, I have problems. It never ‘collapses’. Finally I shake it a little and continue. The dough is so moist that I can’t shape it into a real loaf; it comes out only about 2 inches high. How can I overcome these difficulties?

    • Grace: It doesn’t have to collapse, that’s not a problem. The too-wet situation is a problem, maybe different flours than what we tested with. Easiest way to deal with it is to increase the flours until it looks like what we specify in the books. Also– no bleached flour, and be sure you’re using vital wheat gluten.

  8. I have asked a similar question but this problem has happened again, so here I am again. This time it’s the cracked wheat bread in Healthy. The dough was really, really wet — almost pourable. But since the cracked wheat was supposed to absorb some moisture, I thought it was meant to be like that. The dough sat for two days and was still very, very wet (not near pourable though). Almost impossible to get it onto the paddle, and the onto the stone. Couldn’t control it, and it landed smack in the middle of the stone, and really spread; no room for the second loaf. It hasn’t risen very much (I’m sure it will be delicious as a flatter loaf.) So here’s the question: because of the extra moisture needed for the cracked wheat, should the dough be wetter than usual? To the point of being (almost)pourable? Or should I trust my instincts next time and add more flour to make the consistency like all the other breads? (Hope this isn’t too long>)

    • Roz: No, it shouldn’t be pourable, though it will take the shape of its container. The problem is that different cracked wheat products have different pre-existing moisture levels– they’re not as standardized as most commercial flours. So just adjust the water (downward) until you have a nice dough result with the wheat product you have access to. Or increase the flour, either way. 1/8 of a cup at a time? 1/4, depending on how over-wet it was?

  9. Hello All

    My question is on “steam” in the oven – I have read in your books that if the “Master Recipe” calls for using steam then all other recipes in the same book of this Master Recipe needs to have steam also however, in HBn5 on the MR on page 58 calls for using steam but for the recipe Whole Wheat Banana Bread page 200 does not call for steam. I have made this recipe not using steam and it was not very good, hard and hardly any taste. What do you suggest on this?

    Thanks

    • Hi Charles,

      Any of the recipes that are enriched with fats, dairy or eggs will not benefit as much from the steam. The crust will always be softer and not crisp. If your bananas are not as ripe (nearly black) then the bread may lack the sweetness you desire. I would suggest adding more sweetener to the dough. This bread is not meant to be like a sweet banana quick bread, but should have a nice banana flavor.

      Thanks, Zoë

  10. Hi, I’m just getting started with your technique and have tried several recipes– deli rye is the most recent one. My loaves are flavorful but have had large air holes and some under cooked areas, and sort of “flat.” I’m ready to throw out my oven! I’ve tried 3 different oven thermometers and each gives a different reading. So as I struggle with the oven temperature, how can I really tell when the bread is done? The crusts are browned and look done… Meat thermometer? What is the correct interior temp? And, what about the air holes? Thank you so much for this process– I’m looking forward to the day when my loaves look and taste like yours!

  11. Is there any way to be more energy efficient in heating the oven as prep for the baking? I use a pizza stone but hate heating the oven for an hour. Is there a more efficient stone to use that would reduce the preheating time? Many thanks for any tips.

  12. I have just made the Betsy’s Seeded Oat Bread from the Healthy Artisianal Bread book. I have some questions.

    1. My dough has been in the refrigerator for 2 days. It rose quite a bit in on the counter and then after being in the refrigerator it flatted out quite a bit. I assume that is normal – still a lot of air wholes in dough but not quite as high as when i put it in.

    2. When I took the bread out it wasn’t as wet as I assumed it would be. Actually seemed much drier than other breads. I could have shapped it without flour – it woudl have still been sticky but not like say the brioche dough from book 1. Is that normal?

    3. I decided to do it as a loaf bread and I shaped in using about 2 pounds. I rose to just the top of my loaf pan after about 2 hours. Is that normal?

    4. I baked it on a preheated 350 oven on a stone. With this bread as well as other breads other than the brioche dough, I don’t seem to get much oven spring at all. What am I doing wrong?

    Thank you for taking the time to respond to my posting.

    Valerie

    • 1. that’s normal!
      2. this one needed to be a little drier or it tended to have no structure– due to the seeds. Brioche is wetter-feeling.
      3. Our stuff doesn’t rise as much as traditional doughs, yes– normal
      4. Bottom line, this is a denser health-loaf with less rise and oven spring than most of our stuff. If you’re finding it too dense in the final result, this loaf may not be for you.

      Assume you are doing the full resting time (in a room at least 68F temp), and you’re using vital wheat gluten…

  13. I would like to try the HB5 sweet potato recipe that calls for spelt flour. However, I would like to swap spelt for White Whole Wheat. May I do this? Thanks.
    PS Thank you for telling me about longer rise times. My bread finally looks like it should. I do have a question about HB5. Can I use the refrigerator rise trick with those whole grain flours? Thank you.

  14. In Artisan Pizza and Flatbread in Five Minutes a Day, the recipe on page 137 calls for 7 cups of diced root vegetables. That seems like an awful lot! Is that right? Thanks, Barbara

      • Barbara: we’d intended that there’d be leftover, for vegetable side dishes or making another flatbread. Yes, this is probably a lot left over– you can make less if you don’t want that…

  15. “Healthy Bread in 5 Min a Day” Ref p. 240 Gluten Free Pizza with Fresh Mozzarella etc. etc. which uses the p. 238 Gluten Free Olive Oil Bread recipe for the pizza crust! \
    I have been gluten free for exactly one year now (doctor recommendation) and have tried GF pizza crusts and had one bite and thrown all that hard work into the trash. Seriously tragic. Tonight: BRAVO SUCCESS WITH YOUR RECIPE. Awesome! Having been a conventional bread baker for years. it is absolutely “WEIRD” working with the “blob” dough of gluten free recipes. But keep the faith! I have found that after four days’ refrigeration, the dough gains so much wonderful flavor and maybe more workability. It is very challenging to work the dough but I used Mochiko sweet rice flour as recommended for handling it, and it turned out WONDERFUL. As to method, I have a King Arthur baking stone and a metal peel. I know you recommend a wood peel, but instead I used King Arthur flat sheet of parchment on the metal peel and rolled/worked the dough with plenty/but not too much rice flour directly on the parchment on top of the peel When I had put all the pizza toppings on, I just slid the parchment and pizza directly on to the 500F stone. Voila. It worked great!! About 12 min. I asked hubby if it was as good as his favorite thin-crust Pappa Murphy??? He said incredibly BETTER! Oh, happy dance! Thank you so much!!! Pizza has re-entered our lives! Hurray!

  16. I have a question. Your master recipe is great for pizza dough. I have started to make it into sourdough by leaving a chunk of dough size of a grapefruit in container and then I make a new batch and add it to the old. It starts to bubble nicely after a few days. My question is is it okay after the 10th day to use? Is it still effective without adding fresh dough. How long should it be left without adding fresh dough. What is your advice on this?
    Please advise.
    Thank you

    • Hi Baba,

      You can use the dough for as long as it has enough strength to rise properly. After a couple of weeks it will lose much of its ability to rise and you will need to add more dough. You can continue to add more dough to the bucket indefinitely, just like a sour dough starter.

      From a safety stand point you can use the dough as long as there is no sign of mold.

      Thanks, Zoë

  17. Hi
    Now can u tell me how to feed my sourdough starter and how often.
    I have a master recipe which I ve been adding a lump of
    Old dough every time I make it. So instead of making a master recipe every week I could just feed what I have and use it when I need it.

    Thanks
    Baba

  18. We haven’t really experimented much with this– I’m guessing every five to seven days. Also a guess, but you probably need about 2 cups of old dough in a full four-pound dough recipe.

    • Do I need to make a new batch of dough every 5days can t I just add some thing to the starter to keep it going? Do u know how much of what ingredients?

      Thanks

      • Yes, you can just add to the original to keep it going. It think it’ll work well in a wide range of proportions, from 1/8 old stuff to 1/3. I’m talking about a volume ratio here, not an absolute cup-measure.

  19. Hi
    I m not sure we are understanding each other. I have a master recipe that I was going to use for pizza that I made and added old dough to it. Now I have a starter so now instead of using it I wanted to keep it as my starter and just break off pieces to a new batch and continue using it as my starter. So what I need to know is how do I feed just my starter to maintain it as a starter.

    Thanks

  20. Sorry!

    About starters, we don’t have any recipes for that, and it’s not a technique I’ve used more than once– I’m remembering that there was a monthly feeding involved (more frequent until it was “established”), where you threw out most of it and replaced it with fresh water and flour, kept it at room temp until it re-fermented, then added lots of flour to dry it out, and then back in the fridge for another month. Now you can see why I didn’t continue with that method– our method approximates sourdough flavor with a fraction of the work.

    • Hi yes I see. When u speak of your method what do u mean?
      Your master recipe is also great for fried pizza dough – pizza fritta

      Thanks

  21. I have made basic recipe from Artisan Bread in 5-minutes a Day twice now and dough is so sticky I cannot form into a loaf. What’s up?

  22. Another bread book I have recommends increasing the water in a recipe if whole wheat flour (regular or white) is substituted for some of the white flour. (2-3 Tablespoons of additional water for every cup of whole wheat)for conventional recipes, not your high-moisture technique. I have done it in those recipes with good results. My question: would the same principle hold for your technique? (I bake very little using conventional techniques, but strangely, I found conventional challah easier than the high-moisture ones because I have trouble braiding the softer dough. I am a bit of a klutz…

    • Our adjustments are a bit more idiosyncratic, and depend on whether we’re using vital wheat gluten. Have you checked out our 2nd book, which really deals with this more fully, on Amazon at http://bit.ly/3wYSSN

      but that’s in the ball park.

  23. Question about directions on flour bag. It says to “cover oven windows with a towel” and then add water for steam. Doesn’t seem to make sense to me. Please clarify. Thanks.

  24. I have a cloche bread baker. How large a loaf (lb) can be baked in it. Also about how long.
    I’ve used your basic bread recipe and had terrific luck (usually)
    Thank so much for your time and have a wonderful day, Debby

  25. Hi. Your book, Healthy Bread in five minutes a day just arrived from Amazon.
    I have tried your artisan bread that I found online and I loved it.
    I live in Tokyo Japan and unfortunately, a lot of the ingredients on your Healthy Bread in five., aren’t available here. Can I still make the healthy bread without the vital wheat gluten?
    The most accessible flour is wheat and oats.
    I hope you can reply soon.
    Thank you!

    Kay Sakamaki

    • Hi Kay,

      Sometimes readers abroad have found the vital wheat gluten under the name of seitan. Are you able to find bread flour or strong flour? If so, use that instead of the all-purpose flour and reduce the water by 1/4 cup. It may take a couple of experiments with the flours you have available, since I am not familiar with them. The vital wheat gluten is used to help the strength of the dough, so it will store better in the refrigerator. You may want to make a half batch and not store the dough quite as long.

      Thanks! Zoë

      • Thank you for your reply to my email. Since Unbleached flour,vital wheat gluten and other flours aren’t available in Tokyo , I’ve decided to order the new artisan bread in.., which I’ll get in November through amazon .
        In still trying to find ways to make your recipes from the healthy bread in five…
        Bread flour and strong flour are available , can I substitute it from vital wheat gluten or unbleached flour?
        I’m a newbie in bread making and I really appreciate your help.
        Thank you !
        Kay

  26. Hi, I’ve been enjoying baking various bread products from your New Artisan Bread in Five book for over a month now. I notice that while there are several dough recipes calling for Rolled oats and oat flour, there are none using Steel-Cut oats (Irish oats). Would it be possible to substitute steel-cut oats, and if so, what proportion would be appropriate?
    Thanks!

    • Hi Rachel,

      I do think it will work and have been meaning to give it a try. The steel-cut oats are processed differently, so they are much harder and therefore may take longer to soften in the dough. I suggest that you mix the dough and let it sit in the refrigerator for at least 12 hours before baking with it. To be on the safe side, start with a half batch.

      Please let me know how it goes! Thanks, Zoë

  27. I just made the dough for Brioche (p.189 of Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day) and forgot to let it rise for 2 hours before putting it in the fridge; instead I put it directly in the fridge! Will I still get good results when I bake it?

    • Hi Jenn,

      It may rise slowly in the refrigerator, especially if the ingredients were warm. But, if it seems like it didn’t rise that much, but somewhat, then let the shaped bread rise an extra long time before baking. What are you planning to make with it? If it seems like it didn’t rise at all, then you may have to let it come to room temperature and let it rise again, but I bet it will be fine.

      Thanks, Zoë

  28. I’ve been using your basic recipe for several weeks. I’m using the online version (although out of sheer gratitude, I bought one of your books!) using white flour with half or less whole wheat added sometimes. The last two batches, after I had used about half of the dough, developed liquid on the bottom–got very wet and hard to handle. Most interestingly, the liquid smelled a bit like whiskey. I’ve been reincorporating the last bits in the container into the water for the new batch, aiming for a sourdough effect. I don’t mind–it seems to make a nice loaf–but it is hard to handle because it’s wet and sticky. I have to throw a lot of flour around to get it into a ball. What do you suppose is going on? Is it fermenting?

    • Yes–It’s just the by-products of fermentation (including alcohol, which boils off during baking), nothing harmful– just use lots of flour as you’re doing. For more on this general subject, click on our FAQs tab above, then click “Gray color on my dough: Is there something wrong?”

  29. When I make the gluten free bread from your book “The New Artisan Bread in 5 minutes a day”, the dough looks gorgeous before baking. But once it is baked, it is crusty on the outside but the inside is wet. I have tried baking it longer but it continues the same. Do you have any advice?

  30. Hello

    I have been away from the site for awhile and just got back into making this bread again…my question is this, on p92 of HBn5 is one of my favorite breads, I put this together on last Saturday evening did all the right things and made a loaf of bread this morning, it look great in all aspects however it had a bitter taste, almost like a “after taste” but enough that I disposed of the loaf and discarded the balance of the remaining batter…..now with that said and like I said I have not made bread in awhile (like about 10 months) the shelf life on my products were as follows; King Arthur Premium 100% Whole Wheat Flour and King Arthur Unbleached never opened but expired on March 2013….my Vital Wheat Gluten had no date because I had repackaged it into another container but they were all purchased around the same time so I would say the VWG to be the same as the flour,the yeast expired March 2014…..eggs, Crisco were fresh so where would the cause for the bitter taste come from….
    Thanks and glad to be back cooking
    Charles

    • Hi Charles,

      The culprit is likely the whole wheat flour. Whole grain flour has oils in it that can go rancid and create that bitter flavor that you described. The yeast is probably fine if the dough had the expected rise. Vital wheat gluten doesn’t have oils, so it will have a longer shelf life. I tend to store it in the freezer and it lasts for a very long time.

      Thanks, Zoë

      • Thanks so much Zoë, you guys are so good….on my way to the store for more whole wheat and start over.
        Charlie

  31. I have made the basic recipe a couple of times now. Each time I get a good initial rise but once I put it in the fridge it condenses significantly. What am I doing wrong? Thanks!

    • Hi Holly,

      That is completely normal for the dough to collapse after the initial rise. Do you get a nice rise when it is baking?

      Thanks, Zoë

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