Larger loaves: What adjustments are needed?

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In our books, our standard size for a loaf-bread is 1 pound (450 grams), or a piece of dough about the size of a grapefruit.  Why did we opt for these relatively small loaves?  Because for beginners, they reliably brown without burning, and are easy to bake through to a nice result in the center of the loaf.

Larger loaves need more baking to avoid a gummy result in the center, and that means longer baking times at the listed temperature.  Two pound loaves need about 45-50 minutes, and three pound loaves need about an hour.  Let the crust get nice and dark.  When baking large loaves, temperature is critical, so you must check your oven temp with an oven thermometer (click to see one on Amazon). 

More in The New Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day, and our other books.

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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

45 thoughts on “Larger loaves: What adjustments are needed?

  1. I am having so much success with your recipes! The rye bread was a #30 on a scale of 1 to 10. With the rye bread, and I made bigger loaves, I used the proofing feature in my oven. Rose the loaf for nearly an hour but it baked in 30 minutes.

  2. I have the large goldtouch nonstick loaf pan from williams sonoma which they classify as 1.5 lbs. If I want to make 100% whole wheat sandwich bread in these, how much dough should I use? Thanks!

    • Help!
      I have been baking bread for a long time, I used the old fashioned bread mixer of my moms. he was a super cook.. I have recently purchased ALL your books. I am planning on buying them for my boys(men) who are great cooks. I love your different selections to cook. HOWEVER, I just cooked the Sweet Potato Bread using the 450, stone and steam method. When I cut into it it was very soggy after 40min. I put it back in the oven and it doesn’t want to cook!! Help! The ends where cooked and tasted great!!!
      Love your books.Maureen

  3. Hi All

    I plan on using a Pullman Pan with a lid to produce a square lofe of bread for toast and sandwiches.

    My Pullman is 9″ x 4″ x4″ and has a lid for producing a flat top – my questions are how much of the master HBin5 should I put in the loaf pan and should I rest it on the counter for the 1hr 45minutes with the lid on so it will compress the top and produce the smaller crumb.

    Also when I put in the over do I still need to use the water for steam?

    Thanks

  4. Your basic recipes make more than I can eat in two weeks and I have a small refrigerator. Is it possible to cut down the size of the recipe? Is it possible to cut down the size of the bucket if I do?

    • Hi Caryl,

      Yes, all of our recipes can be halved or doubled, depending on your need. You can use a smaller container when you halve the recipe.

      Thanks, Zoë

  5. Greatly enjoy the recipes from your Artisan Bread in Five minutes a Day but I don’t always like the “sour” taste of the dough/bread that I get. Is there a way to make your recipes and eliminate the sour taste. This is esp. the case with the loaf breads in the bread pans for sandwiches, etc.

    Thanks for making bread baking fun and easy again.

  6. Hi, Jeff and Zoe:

    I see you have adjustments for 2-3# loaves, but, what about if I’d like to make a 4# loaf, in a Dutch oven? Are there adjustments for baking in a pan instead of freeform? What baking time do I need? Any adjustment to temperature? I ask, because I’m attempting to make a “master boule” recipe from your “Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day” (**FABULOUS** recipe for “bread-making phobes” like myself), but it needs to be tall, and baking it in a Dutch oven would be an ideal height and diameter. The bread is for a religious event called a “Slava”, and the bread is called a “kolac”, so, I’m keeping with tradition in making a tall large bread, but, I want to obviously make sure it’s cooked all the way through. Here’s a link of a good example of the finished bread I found, if that helps:
    http://www.svetistefan.ca/images/slavski_kolac.gif THANK YOU!!!!

    • Natalie: It can be tricky to get it done in the center before the outside burns when it’s so big. I’d turn down the oven 25 degrees and go longer, maybe 15 or 20 min longer than the 2-3# loaf. Consider using an instant read thermometer– lean loaf should go to 205-210 in the center. If probe comes back with raw dough, that makes it easy.

      Experiment on your family before the event…

      • Thanx, Jeff; this is very helpful. Crossing my fingers! The Master Boule is WONDERFUL and FOOLPROOF!!

  7. I love the taste of your bread. I mostly use the master recipe from the original book. I am looking to make some bread bowls for soup out of your bread. What recipe do you recommend and how long do I cook the mini loaves?

    • Hi Rachel,

      I would use the Master recipe or the Peasant loaf. The rising and baking times will depend on how big you want the bowls to be. Lets say you want to make them with 8 ounces of dough, let them rise for the 30 minutes and bake them for about 25 minutes or until they are well colored. Be sure to let them cool before you cut them and scoop out some of the middle.

      Thanks, Zoë

  8. I’m sorry, I’m not sure this is the best way to answer this question, but I have the ABiF book and can’t seem to find the answer. Could you tell me, or tell me what page this question is located in the book? I’m trying to figure out how long the rise time is for refrigerated dough as opposed to dough that was just made and still warm from the 2 hour rise time. Thanks so much!

    • for refrigerated dough, the book says 40 minutes, but you can actually go as long as 90 for a more open crumb.

      With non-refrigerated dough, you can go shorter in that range for the same result, As little as half that.

  9. thanks again for your very quick response. i can go forward with the bread mixing now. the flavor of the master mix for the healthy bread in five is delicious.

  10. Re Stuffed Naan bread. The bread is fabulous but I am not clear on your instructions for folding over the dough over the filling like a purse? I am folding it over all around to enclose the entire filling, but of course that makes the top look very rough. Is that correct?
    Thanks

  11. I have a couple of ceramic-coated pans that measure about 11 1/4 x 5 1/4 inches. I’m wondering whether I can use them for the Soft Whole Wheat Sandwich Bread from Healthy Breads, or are they too large? From what I have seen online I would probably need to use twice as much dough to fill these large pans. I’m concerned the bread won’t cook through, and don’t want to waste the dough.

  12. I have a batch of Rosemary Flax Baguette dough. Can I make a loaf of bread using a 9x4x4 loaf pan? if yes, what temperature and how long do I bake the loaf? Do I need a pan of water for steam under the loaf pan?

  13. First, thanks for all the love that you put into this site. It has been a valuable resource – even though I use different recipes from yours. I had come to some of the same conclusions (make big batches, freeze, leave to rise in fridge during the day, bake for the evening) for some relatively standard lean dough breads. I almost always bake free form, so my nemesis is shaping. Especially shaping perfectly round loaves. 3 things seem to happen. First they look nice and round, but tend to flatten instead of rise in the final rise. Second, if I then score these flattened objects and bake them (pizza stone, 450F oven, steam), the rise uncontrollably in the oven. Oven spring you say? We have oven spring and really misshapen loaves. Third, if I try to use a lined bowl to corral the loaves, they deflate when I am turning them out on the peel.
    This set of behaviors is especially egregious when using an “old dough” method – using some of the old dough from a previous batch as the leavener for the current. Not exactly sour dough, but lots of flavor as a result. I am using KA bread flour and typically 68% hydration.
    Any help greatly appreciated.
    BTW, this is @seabird20 from twitter. I hope this is the place you directed me to in our previous conversation on twitter.
    Thanks
    Chris

  14. Every time I try to post a comment it says I have already done so which is not the case and won’t post it
    Thanks for your help
    Sara

  15. The crust on my bread is too dense and hard to cut. Am I getting too much steam in the oven? How can I reduce the thickness of the crust
    Thanks

    • No, it’s not that–maybe cover the loaves with plastic before resting (remove before baking). The crusts may be drying out before they go in. Also– which recipe is this, some develop thicker crusts than others. Also, your comments needed to be approved, which now should be permanent.

  16. What is the difference in the crust texture between using:
    Egg wash
    Cornstarch wash
    Plain water
    Flour
    Butter
    Thank you in advance for your response. This is a wonderful book (New AB)

    • Hi Barbara,

      Great question!!!

      Egg wash (whole egg) – makes a shiny finish, but only used on breads without a crisp crust and bakes at lower temperatures.
      Egg wash (egg white only) – makes a shiny crust and can be baked at high temperatures, will work with crisp crust, like baguettes.
      Cornstarch wash – shiny crust traditionally for rye breads and great for sticking seeds to breads, although all of them work.
      Plain water – just simple and works really well in most cases.
      Flour – when you want a beautiful contrast of the cut surface and the flour dusted surface.
      Butter – this will soften the crust, but adds a lovely rich flavor.

      Cheers, Zoë

      • Thank you Zoe, I think I will try the egg white wash next time. I do like a shiny crust. I brushed the baked loaf with butter last time which gave me the shiny crust but did soften it.

      • Hi Barbara,

        Butter is the only one to do after it comes out of the oven, the rest go on before it’s baked.

        Enjoy! Zoë

  17. Hi,

    I am making your pumpernickel bread from the new ABin5 book. I wanted to make a 2 lb loaf in a loaf pan. How would I adjust the resting time/baking time/baking temp?

  18. I borrowed your first book from the library, watched a few YouTube videos and have been baking up a storm! We’ve enjoyed Boule, Naan and Pecan Sticky Rolls. I made a batch of the Deli Rye and wanted a loaf large enough to make sandwich slices. I used 1/2 of the batch and the bread is delicious!
    From the beginning, I found that using an instant-read thermometer and looking for a internal temperature of 200 degrees guaranteed fully baked bread.
    I just received “The New Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes A Day” from Amazon this morning. What a lovely way to start the weekend!
    Deb

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