Watching Dough Rise – how high should it go? (Plus, a new member of the Bread in Five family)

We have you mix up your dough in a nice big 6-Quart Food-Storage Container, because over the course of 2 hours it will grow to nearly touch the lid.  Some folks have asked exactly what that should look like, so I mixed up a batch of each Master recipe from ABin5 and HBin5, then sat back and watched them rise. I promise this is more fun than watching paint dry, it will show you exactly what your dough should look like and I’ve set it to a little Johnny Cash (Ooops, apparently I can’t do that. Had to switch to something with a little less….copyright).

We also have an exciting announcement to make, especially for those Brits who are baking our bread or people excited to bake with weights.

Our first book Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day was translated for British bakers. Yes, it is still in English, but the recipes are converted to weights. They appear in both ounces and metrics. For those of you Americans excited to bake by weights this will be a welcome edition. The book’s title and look are also changed, but the recipes are the same. Five Minute Bread is now available for pre-order on Amazon.com.UK and will be on bookstore shelves in January 2011.

Also check out the holiday bread article Jeff and I wrote for Disney’s Family Fun Magazine.

Happy Baking!

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177 thoughts on “Watching Dough Rise – how high should it go? (Plus, a new member of the Bread in Five family)

  1. I already have the American book. Had I known this before I bought it (I only found this website later) I’d have bought the UK book even though it costs more to have it shipped here.

    Since weights are way more accurate than any type of volume measurement, and scoop and sweep can result in widely different results for different people, it’ll be really helpful if you would post the flour conversions in grams and ounces on the website. Not in a blog post that’ll get buried with new posts, but devoting a tab to it on the top of the site, or at least icluding it in the FAQs. I made my first batch yesterday and substituted 140g per cup for the unbleached all purpose flour in the Master Recipe. Would love to know what the exact conversions are. I’m not suggesting you post the recipes, or even the ingredients lists. Just the conversions you use.

    • J: Many US books publish only volumes, but we decided to develop our own set of equivalents for the second book, in part so that buyers of that title would feel they were getting something extra, of value, by deciding to buy the book– something that wasn’t already in the first book that many of them already owned. So we’re not able to publish that table here on the website– our publisher would kill us if we put all the extras in the books out here on the web. But it sounds like you’ve been successful using the book as-is…

      Jeff

  2. I tried the whole wheat loaf twice (used half recipes). Had to throw them out both times because the loaves failed to rise. I followed the recipe with the following exceptions 1) used sea salt 2) had the first rise in a bowl covered with plastic wrap. I even left the dough to rise and rest longer than the instructions stated and still would up with bricks. I’m ready to throw in the towel!

    • Jo Anne: Any chance your yeast is old? Is this same yeast working fine with other recipes? Which whole wheat recipe, from which book, are we talking about?

      If the sea salt is very fine, it will over-measure compared with the coarse salt we recommend, and salt can inhibit yeast. Are you saying there was no rising at all, or that the result was denser than you like? Have you baked anything? Jeff

    • Hi Jo Anne,

      Did the dough rise at all during the first 2 hour rest in the bowl? Which WW recipe are you baking? From ABin5 or HBin5? What kind of WW flour are you using?

      Give us a little more info and we will try to figure this out with you! Thanks, Zoë

  3. I used 2 different whole wheat flours in the recipes. 1st was King Arthur, 2nd was Pillsbury. Yeast was in-date…not old. Recipe was from the new book HB in 5. There was hardly any rise in the first rest. I did bake it and it was extremely dense to the point of being inedible. I have baked before. I’m not an experienced baker but did bake a couple of loaves of kneaded bread from a honey wheat recipe before I bought your book. They turned out ok – a little denser than I’d like but not anything as dense as the HB in 5 turned out. I tested my oven temp too (it’s accurate). Water was just warm to the touch…not at all hot.

    I used my last yeast packet – just bought a new jar. Will get kosher salt. The flour is not old – just bought a couple of days ago so that should not be an issue. I now have a covered plastic container. I don’t know what other deltas I can eliminate.

    • Hi Jo Anne,

      This is odd, but we can figure it out. In HBin5 the use of the vital wheat gluten is used to give the breads more rising power, so it is odd that your loaves are still so dense. Is your kitchen kept quite cool? Based on the fact that you didn’t get much rise from the dough during the first rise makes me think that the dough is cool and may just need longer to rise.

      Are your loaves 1-pound? If you are baking larger loaves you need to allow them to rest and bake longer.

      Are you baking a 100% whole wheat bread? These breads do tend to be denser, but it sounds like yours are even more so?

      Thanks, Zoë

  4. Hi Zoe:

    The kitchen is cool. I can try moving the dough to a warmer location. I halved the recipe to make 2 loaves, so should be 1 pound each. I am baking the 100% whole wheat so would expect a little denser loaf than white, but this was doorstop dense. Eventually I’d like to incorporate wheat germ to increase the nutritional value and would like info on what adjustment I’d need to make, but not until I can get a successful outcome to the recipe as is.

    Thanks,
    Jo Anne

  5. Jo Anne: Want to clarify– so you’re using which HBin5 recipe, from which page? And are you using vital wheat gluten (VWG)? Which brand?

    If you’re making these without VWG– well, many people find those too dense… Jeff

  6. Can you discuss container for keeping dough in fridge..
    AB5 says cover but not tight…My dough had dried out so much, I feel my bread will not be as it should be…I used the container like ones in photos…Should I close it completely..I have been placing lid on container, and not closing..I am using the sandwich loaf recipe. Thanks for any assistance……..my dough was very wet for 1st rising..dryness is after being in fridge a couple of days.

    • Hope: Check out this post on containers: http://www.artisanbreadinfive.com/?p=121

      Also consider drilling a tiny hole in a plastic bucket lid; then you can snap shut. If you’re really having trouble with a skin forming because of drying, transfer to smaller containers as you use it up.

      It’s best if you’re using frequently over the storage life, that prevents a skin from forming. Jeff

  7. I just took out the dough to make a Challah, and I want to give some dough to my daughter to make beignets. Do I dust it, stretch it, and form a ball then put in a bowl to give her to continue or do I just pinch off that grapefruit size piece and put in a covered bowl for her to do the additional steps later??????

    • Mary Lou: It probably doesn’t matter much, to tell the truth. In the 1st book (http://bit.ly/cNtfJI ) the Beignets recipe has you resting the beignets only after filling, and then only for 15 to 20 min. So her stuff doesn’t have to rest before she rolls it out, cuts, and fills. Jeff

  8. Could my kitchen/fridge be too cold? I am trying to master the Master Recipe in HBn5 and was dismayed to see your dough rise to the top of the container! Mine has never done that, I really want to get good at this but think I must be doing something wrong. Thanks so much!

    • Hi Brenda,

      It could be that your water or the room is just a bit cooler. It can also be that you are using a coarser flour, which does not allow as much gluten formation. What brand of flour are you using?

      Thanks, Zoë

  9. I followed the recipe for Quinoa Bread (p. 132, Healthy Bread …) using weight equivalents. The resulting dough was much to dry. I have added sufficient water to obtain a moisture content similar to your other recipes. Have you had any reports of problems with the Quinoa Bread recipe?

    • Hi Lynd,

      I have not heard other reports of dry dough for this bread? I take it you have made other breads and have not had this problem?

      Thanks, Zoë

  10. I want to make a butt load of the gluten-free bread for my bakery. Thank you for offering gf breads in your HBn5. How would I adjust the basic recipe for VEGAN; no eggs. What adjustments (if any) would I need to make? Have you ever worked with “flax eggs”? Anxiously waiting to make my first successful vegan gf loaf. Thanks for the inspiration!

  11. I recently got HBin5, and have tried the basic whole wheat bread recipe. It rose beautifully in the first rise, but after refrigerating over night, and letting it ret for 90 minutes, I get no rise ( or very little) while baking. I followed your directions EXACTLY, even weighing everything. I bought new yeast, and proofed it, so I know it’s working. My dough looked just like your dough in your dough rising video, so I feel I am doing things correctly. I tried baking it in a Romertopf baker, after soaking it and starting with a cold oven. I have also tried it just using a Pyrex loaf dish, preheated, in a preheated oven. I also made sure to let my dough rise in a warm environment. I am not sure why I get no oven spring. I expect it to be denser because of the whole wheat flour, but would like it to rise more. Someone suggested to me that my dough might be over-fermented. Any suggestions? I am using vital wheat gluten as called for in the recipe, and using Gold Medal whole wheat flour.

    • Hi Rhonda,

      Does your dough seem very wet when you are working with it? Does it keep a shape when you form the loaf or does it tend to spread out right away? I am wondering if your dough may be a touch too wet. Having said that, the same problem may happen if the dough is much too dry. Let me know the consistency and we will go from there!
      Thanks, Zoë

  12. Zoe,
    After refrigeration, the dough is slightly tacky and stretchy. If I pull off a hunk, it doesn’t just tear off. It does spread a little bit once it warms up, but I’m not sure how much it would spread if I just put it on a flat surface, versus putting it in the baking dish. I’m guess I’m not sure just how slack or dry it should be.

  13. Rhonda: based on what you said, that it looked the same as our videos, I’m guessing your moisture content is about right. But no oven spring?

    You’re not going to get much oven spring with this method using a cold-oven start. If you want to use the Romertopf, preheat it as in my post on this at http://www.artisanbreadinfive.com/?p=566. Don’t soak in water if you try it my way. My all-time favorite results were obtained this way.

    Did you notice any difference at all when you used the pre-heated oven and pyrex? How about pre-heating the oven with a stone rather than the pyrex? Try it on the stone free-form (no loaf pan) and see if that’s nicer.

    Forgetting oven spring itself– is the final result dense, without holes? Or is it about what you expect in a high-whole wheat bread? Jeff

  14. There was really no difference in rise between the two different baking styles/vessels. The crumb has small holes, mostly uniform in size. I still have some dough from this batch, so I will preheat the Romertopf and try it that way. I don’t own a stone right now…that’s next to try on my list.

    • Hi Rhonda,

      Are you using Gold Medal flour for the AP portion of the dough as well as the whole wheat? It sounds like your dough can use a bit more gluten to get the rise you are looking for. You can try adding a few more tablespoons vital wheat gluten or switching to bread flour. This may require that you add a bit more water as well, but it should give you the structure the dough needs to have a better rise.

      Thanks! Zoë

  15. I am using the Gold Medal flour (which is whole wheat) for the whole recipe…..the recipe doesn’t call for anything but whole wheat flour. I’m not sure what you mean by AP? This is the basic whole wheat recipe in HBin5.

    • Hi Rhonda,

      When you said the basic recipe, I assumed you meant the “Master Recipe,” which is a combination of whole wheat and all-purpose flour. This explains a lot about the loaf you are baking. The 100% whole wheat loaf is going to be much denser than those with a portion of all-purpose flour. In order to get a more open crumb, you will want to use more vital wheat gluten and add more water to compensate. I would try adding 3 tablespoons more VWG and about 1/4 cup more water to the dough. (If your dough seems a little wet to begin with, you may want to cut back a little on that extra water.)

      Thanks! Zoë

  16. Ok, I see where the confusion is. I am using the 100% whole wheat bread recipe on page 79 of HBin5. If whole grains need more water and vital wheat gluten, why doesn’t this recipe say so? The master recipe says 4 cups water, while the whole wheat one says only 3 3/4 cups, with 1/4 cup vital wheat gluten for both. I guess it might really need to be 4-4 1/4 cups water and maybe 1/2 cup vital wheat gluten for the whole wheat recipe? I could do something like half and half ww flour / AP flour, but I am really interested in sticking more with whole grains.

  17. Rhonda: I think what Zoe meant was that if the recipe, as written, wasn’t to your liking, that you could lighten it up but increasing the VWG. Most of our readers who wanted 100% WW seem to be OK with the denser result you get with the p. 79 recipe (compared with the partial white flour version in Ch. 5), but this is just a matter of taste— increase the VWG and see if that helps. Jeff

  18. I tried a batch of the master recipe from HBin5 this morning, without much success. I was about to give up, but I mixed up one more batch ( was making half batches) to bake in the morning. I was sitting here watching videos on how to mix and knead bread. I decided, the heck with it, I’m going to break that bread….but I did the stretching and folding method first. I know this is a no-knead method, but I was kind of desperate, so why not go for broke? I didn’t do it for very long. I let the dough rise while preheating the oven and my Romertopf to 500 degrees. After the dough rested for an hour, I put it in the Romertopf, put on the top, stuck it back in the oven at 450, and crossed my fingers. About 20 minutes later, I took the lid offf…low and behold I had some good oven spring!! I let it bake for another 25-30 minutes until the internal temp was at least 200 degrees. I feel like I’m making progress, even if it’s not exactly what the book calls for. BTW, I did add a little extra water at the beginning, and probably a little flour there at the end while folding it.

    • Hi Rhonda,

      Fantastic, thanks for sharing your experience. If you are willing to do the extra work and wait a bit longer than it is certainly a way to get a bit more spring in your dough.

      Cheers, Zoë

  19. I would like to know if there is a glass storage jar on the market that could be used in place of the plastic as I would like to avoid plastic if possible. I read the recommended plastic container is #7 plastic and I would feel more comfortable using glass. Is a one gallon glass jar suitable?

    • Hi Anita,

      You can certainly use glass in place of the plastic, as long as you don’t use a jar style container with a screw on top. I don’t know of anything in particular, but perhaps other readers will weigh in here?

      Thanks, Zoë

  20. After measuring the top shelf of my fridge I found I would need something about 10″ tall or I may have issues with the location of our interior light. If I can’t find anything suitable in glass will the recommended plastic containers even fit? With a family six fridge space is hard to come by and I can’t see how we could adjust our shelves any lower.

  21. I tried the two gallon glass jars at walmart with a glass lid and it was too tall to fit. The one gallon size works well with the space we have but I don’t know if the dough will overflow the top.

    • Anita: Assume you’re making partial recipes, which is a good solution for small refrigerators. Or dividing it up. Jeff

  22. ABin5 page 217 and 218. Sunflower breakfast loaf. I follow the recipe exact. When I cut the finished bread …….the slices fall apart before putting in the toaster or if I make an egg sandwich. What am I doing wrong with bread falling apart??? Thank you Nancy

    • I wonder if it’s too dry? Could increase the water slightly, like 1/8 cup. Keep everything else the same. What flour brands are you using? Are you using bread flour as called-for? If not, that’s the explanation, forget about my water theory.

    • Sorry, I meant overall liquids, here, it would be the milk. But I understand your reluctance to increase if already seems quite moist. The other option is an oven temp that’s off– things don’t come together properly if that’s off, and when you suggest it’s already very moist, I’m wondering about under-doneness. Have you check your oven temp with something like http://bit.ly/czmco2 ? Either low-temp, or high-temp could throw things off.

      That said, all the seeds in this recipe make it a little less cohesive than a non-seeded bread. Jeff

  23. My bread comes out at 200 degrees………..so if my oven is off the time is perfect with your recipe time. I give up…….LOL I just can’t figure it out so put it in the refridge to harden before cutting.

  24. Hi, I am a newbie so hope this is the right place for this question. I use a bread maker with mainly spelt flour and some rye. This gives a beutifully crisp yet tender crust (excellent for toast). Can I substitute spelt for ordinary flour in your method please?
    Regards, Don.

    • Hi Don,

      You can use spelt, and we have many recipes in Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day that use this grain. You can’t substitute one for the other in all recipes, because spelt has less gluten in it so it absorbs water differently than AP flour. Often times you just need to add more flour.

      Thanks, Zoë

  25. Dear Jeff and Zoe,

    Thanks a million times over for your wonderful collaborations –all two, and soon to be three, books are for me, a dream come true!
    I love bread– but the time and work and care needed with normal bread making is too tedious for me to endvevor on an almost daily basis.
    I just made my second loaf of whole wheat bread—I am new to this!—I have been cooking all my life and have owned (with my Brother) three great Restaurants in San Francisco. I am retired now and doing other things so the smell of Freshly Baking Bread wafting through the house add much to the Joys of the Day. Julie Child once said the Aroma of Beef Burgeon cooking in the oven or stove top made all things right in Hearth and Home. The same holds true for baking bread.
    I have not yet made a loaf that meets my goals—I hope that you might have a few suggestions:
    1. The bread seems to stay too flat during the rising period–should I use more yeast or Vital wheat flour?
    2. The bread seems a bit too moist (almost undercooked) in the center after baking–the finished loaf seems flatter than the examples shown in your videos.
    I think I need to experiment with the technique but don’t want to get too far off track with incorrect and armature guesswork.
    Thank you again for your Zest and unbounded Passion for the Good Life!

    Cheers

    Dorn Cranert

    • Dorn: Shape stuff– don’t increase the yeast; that won’t work. Could dry out your mix a little– decrease the water slightly. Could also knead BEFORE the initial rise only. VWG is another option.

      Too moist: convinces me to decrease your water. Did you check your oven temp though? Jeff

  26. Jeff,
    Thanks for the tips—I made the Enriched Brioche and let it rise in a warm oven instead of the counter top—the bread was perfect and all who enjoyed the two loafs I made gave thumbs up rave reviews–I liked the fluffy yeasty texture of the bread–not like the fundamental recipe –the base recipe still seems dense and moist–I see other people here on the forum with the same issue—I will keep working until I solve the problem—will post results when I accomplish the mission so others can learn how to get a lighter bread.
    Cheers

    Dorn Cranert

  27. Jeff,
    I just watched Zoe’s Video and noticed that my bread has not risen to the same mark on the container as did Zoe’s—Should I let the bread rise longer untill it reaches the same mark?

    Cheers

    Dorn

    • Hi Dorn,

      It may never reach the same hight as the dough in my video. This can depend on the temperature of the room and the water you use. In the end it will not make a difference.

      Thanks, Zoë

  28. Hi Zoe

    Still learning–have made more great enriched bread but base recipie still comming out too dense–Brioche is awsome as usuall and I am getting endless requests to bake same!

    Thanks for the feedback!

    Cheers

    Dorn

  29. My initial “in the bucket” rise is wonderful and impressive. But when it comes time to shape the loaves, they rise by spreading, so that i have a great texture and taste, but horrible shape. What am I doing wrong?

    • Patti: Which recipe are you using (which book, page number)? Sideways spreading is more of a problem with some recipes than others. Jeff

  30. Bit confused with master recipe, do I allow dough to rise for a couple of hours at room temperature before refrigerating, or can I mix up dough and refrigerate straight away, using the dough days later?

      • Sorry Jeff, Artisan bread in five minutes a day,page 26 “boule” recipe. Having reread the paragraph (4) many times, I do think it should stand for 2 hrs @ room temp. Just finished mixing up a batch now and have allowed /allowing it to stand 2 hrs. The finished bread seems to still be ok in texture and taste even refrigerating immediatedly. I make it in a tin as it’s less messy ( my wife doesn’t like me in the kitchen ), and take it out of the tin with about 10 minutes to go to ensure a better base and side crust. Use to make a proper sourdough bread but this certainly tastes as good and is heaps easier and cleaner.

      • Hi Chris,

        The recipe does call for leaving the dough at room temperature for 2 hours before refrigerating the dough. Having said that, it will certainly work to refrigerate it right away, as long as you have days to let the dough rise. The colder the environment and/or water you use, the longer it takes the yeast to work.

        Thanks and enjoy the bread. I bet your wife is very happy you are in the kitchen when that bread comes from the oven! ;)

        Zoë

  31. G’day Zoe, Thanks for the advice, having people lining up for the bread. Have a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. Chris

  32. While busy Thurs. evening I started my whole wheat bread then forgot to put it into the refrigerator after the two hours rise. The next morning I sat it into a 58 degree garage because the refrigerator was already stuffed. About 12 hours after putting it into the cool garage I moved it to the refrigerator last evening. Is this safe to use now? I’m using the “Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day,” page 55. Thank you.

  33. I have made many of the recipes in your Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day book and in the Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day book, using a Swedish dough hook. I wanted to use a 14 cup food processor as you recommend it for your recipes. I bought the best I could find for over $400, only to find out the maximum capacity for the ingredients used in it is 2 pounds. The ingredients in your recipes weigh quite a bit more than 2 pounds. Yes, you do state the recipes can be divided in half however, I am wondering what brand of 14 cup food processor is it that you recommend which will handle the capacity of your recipes as I have not found one or a 16 cup food processor which will do so. The 16 cup food processor I have found has a maximum capacity of 2 3/4 pounds of ingredients.

    • Robin, re: the one you bought, What’s the cup-capacity of the bowl? What’s its make and model number? And more importantly, was it sold with a dough attachment as we specified, signifying that the manufacturer intended the product to be used in mixing dough?

  34. Robin: More on this– I test with Cuisinart products, have always used their food processors. The 14-cup model is on Amazon at http://ow.ly/8nBDc. You can look through the manual before you buy at http://www.cuisinart.com/share/pdf/manuals/fp-14dc.pdf

    Cuisinart doesn’t express it’s limit for dough-making in terms of weight, rather, it gives flour limits (how much flour would be too much). One caveat, the manual I reference above has a little conflicting information. Early on, it mentions a 6 cup flour capacity when making dough in the 14-cup version of this machine, but later, it quotes 8 cups (our basic recipe takes 6.5 cups).

    But– keep in mind, they’re not anticipating wet, slack dough like ours, and the fact that we don’t knead– you can shut down the machine as soon as all the flour’s mixed in. Both of those mean less strain on the machine’s motor.

    I’ve never had a problem burning out machines, but if you’re really concerned, then yes, you would have to split in two… And I can’t vouch for any other brand– just haven’t used others.

    Hope that helps. Jeff

  35. Hi,
    I anxiously awaited my bread in 5 minutes book while waiting for may rising pail from King Arthur. I made my first batch of dough. The first loaf was great. The second loaf (2 days later) was very difficult to shape and flattened during baking. It was edible, but not great. The third loaf (2 days after that) was too wet, slack and smelled funny. I baked it anyway and it came out like ciabatta. I have another lump of dough left, it does not weigh 1 pound, but I am throwing it out, it looks bad.
    What is going wrong here? I followed the directions closely except for using 75% King Arthur AP and 25% King Arthur bread four.
    I am so disappoint that I only got 1 good loaf of bread out of this. Help please!!

    • Georgia: The swap you made makes for a dough of typical hydration– you need a high-hydration dough in order to be able to store it. The hydration will be about right if you use 100% King Arthur AP. Their bread flour is very high in protein and that takes up water.

      2nd piece of advice: try the lower-yeast versions of our doughs, see this post http://www.artisanbreadinfive.com/?p=85 Some people don’t like that amount of yeast.

      If your dough’s spreading sideways, consider using a little more flour– 1/4 cup might make a difference.

      That said, our dough develops sourdough characteristics over its storage life, and that isn’t to everyone’s liking. Jeff

  36. made my first master recipe from Artisan in 5. Put it in the container and it has not risen AT ALL in 3 hours. Obviously I did something wrong. I used a standing mixer with 2 bread hooks. I used a digital thermometer to check the water was at 100 degrees. I added the yeast and salt to the water and stirred a little. I poured the mixture into the flour already in the mixer bowl. Still had lumps of salt/yeast plop into the bowl. Turned mixer to a setting of 4 (I have an oster with 16 levels) which is ‘mix’ (slow). I let this run for a while and scraped the bowl periodically. But after getting all ingredients wet, I had a lot of pea-size or larger lumps of flour still in the dough. I increased speed to a nine (for heavy mixing) medium speed. Mixed until most lumps seemed to be incorporated. Spooned into my storage container, covered and let it sit. Nothing. Flour was fresh, yeast was fresh, used kosher salt. Did I over mix? Are lumps ok? how ‘smooth’ should my dough be? About how much time ‘should’ it take to mix dough by mixer? Low speed, medium, high? Should I add ingredients in different order? It is cool in our house, cold day outside and house is probably about 65. But really don’t see any bubbles at all. Yeast was cold (envelope) but I let it sit on counter for 30 minutes before using. Could use a little more detail on speed for mixer, time for mixing, how incorporated the flour needs to be (lump free?). I assume it was ok to transfer the dough to another container after mixing. And assume ok to scrape dough from sides of mixing bowl as mixing. Any other thoughts? suggestions on what I should do differently. Sounded so easy, yet my first attempt was a flop. help please.

    • Jan: None of those details matter– the yeast is dead, for some reason; won’t be able to tell why from here! Did it ever rise?

      Try cool water next time and let it go a long time. Jeff

      PS: Try the minimally-risen stuff for pizza, yes.

  37. I have a question about starting the master recipe with a sourdough start instead of yeast. Is this possible and what are your recommendations? We observe Passover and Unleavened Bread, but sourdough without added yeast is acceptable. Thank you for any advice on this! Our family of 8 loves, loves, loves your recipes!

  38. Hello,

    I try to master recipe from AB in 5 with 1 cup of rye and I have problem with storing the dough. It’s in a non air tight container in my fridge and it get very hard on top and very wet on the bottom. There is also condensation on the lid.
    I live in Australia so I use a different brand of flour but it is unbleached.
    Any idea of what I could be doing wrong?
    Thanks a lot!
    Sophie

    • I have the same problem with all my doughs; whole wheat, rye, and teff so far. I use HBin5, King Arthur flours, the food-grade 6 qt tub with lid sealed then one spot popped up as in the video, in a small 2nd refrigerator that is on my patio (for BBQ stuff initially), and I live in a low humidity area at 2,900 ft of Rocky Mtn foothills. Same hard crusted top and liquid around dough underneath. Thanks, I’ll be watching for the response to Sophie.

  39. Donna: We’ve found that this happens for folks who don’t actually use the dough every day (as we do). Disturbing it every day, dusting with flour, pushing the excess down off the sides, seems to disrupt the process you describe.

    If you’re using it less frequently, could consider matching the dough quantity more closely to the container size, and transfer to progressively smaller containers as you use it up. Or just freeze your dough into loaf-sized portions.

    But if this doesn’t affect the quality of the finished product, I don’t think you need to change anything.

    • Thank you Jeff. For me it does affect the quality of the bread. So much so that I just gave up making more. It causes a hard, dry section throughout the loaf. I thought I needed to let it set for a week or so to develop flavor. Not true I’ve just learned and will make another batch to see if I can do better. I do have smaller containers where the dough could be moved. If I find I’m not able to use it fast enough (I’m single), I’ll either freeze the dough, or baker a couple loaves and freeze them. Your really quick response is very appreciated.

  40. Donna: Yep, you definitely don’t need to let it sit for a week– if we were confusing on this in the book, can you point me to where? I’m guessing others had the same confusion– always trying to improve these and subsequent books.

    Thanks, Jeff

  41. I have a question about using a plastic bag when making my doughs. If I wish to let my dough rise and fall in a plastic bag rather than a bucket, is there any reason not to? I tried this recently, loosely closing the bag but leaving a small opening.

    I did find that some of the doughs I allowed to rise in this fashion did have a fermentation smell as a result. Is that because the bag was closed too much?

    • Hi Bob,

      The issue is finding a bag that is big enough for the batch. Or, you can break the batch up into a number of bags.

      Thanks, Zoë

  42. I tried the master recipe for Healthy Bread in 5 minutes from the YouTube video that I found and I have a few questions. After I had let the dough rise for two hours (it probably tripled in size) I grabbed it to make a loaf and it was like it deflated. I had not refrigerated it based on another method that I had seen and I didn’t want to wait to try and make it. I then formed my loaf and I let it proof for 90 minutes and it rose again and then I went to cut the top with a knife and it appeared to deflate again. My loaf turned out ok taste wise, but it was very flat. I was hoping for a much taller loaf. I have read on your website that I should use unbleached white flour (I’m not sure what I have, but I’m sure it’s bleached) so I will get something different, but is there any else that could have gone wrong? I also want to try using only whole wheat flour. Does it work with this recipe? What adjustments would I need to do? Thank you!

  43. Hey guys,

    I found this site from reading an article/recipe “basic pizza Dough” in Costco connection magazine. The recipe has been adapted from your pizza and flatbread in 5. In this publication the first talk of refrigeration is after the 48 hour rise then refrigerate. Do I understand that correctly that the first 48 hours is not refrigerated?
    Today I spent a while in the FAQ section and see I have many of the same questions. Thanks for all of those answers. It looks like my next step is to figure out which book to start with. Maybe the pizza and flatbread. I have a Wolf gas oven and just from skimming your answers to some of the bread issues that I have had in the past (it has been a while since I have tried to make bread) my equipment may offer a bit of a challenge because of venting???
    I look forward to reading your books.

    Thank You
    Mark

  44. My dough has consistently smelled very alcohol-y … and tasted alcohol-y, too. What do I need to correct? Thank you.

    • Absolutely, for starters see our post on this at our FAQs tab (click on the line with “Sourdough starter: can I use it with this method?”). But we used yeast also in that discussion; I can tell you that zero commercial yeast works but it’s a little temperamental for most of our readers.

      Our thing is stored dough and some folks found naturally-risen dough got too dense with storage; in any case don’t go longer than five days.

  45. Would it be possible to show us what your gluten-free dough looks like when it’s rising when compared to your wheat recipes’ rising? Am going to do the GF recipe in the crock pot and am so excited to try it!

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