Ask a Question

If you have a bread-baking question, you’ll probably find the answer on our FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) page, so please start there (we also have a Gluten-Free FAQs page). If you don’t find your answer in the FAQs, you can post baking questions and comments, but please be brief, so we can get to all the questions.  Here’s how: Click on any “Comments/Reply” field at the top of any of our posts (it doesn’t have to be here on “Ask a Question”) and scroll down to the bottom; then enter your question or comment. Tell us which book you’re working from, and which recipe and page number–we need that in order to answer your question. If you enter your e-mail and check off “notify me of follow-up comments by e-mail,” you’ll automatically find out when we respond. We answer all questions ourselves here on the website within 24 hours, often with a reference to a page number in our books where possible.  Please remember that our blog is moderated, so your post may not appear until we’ve read and approved it; this can take 24 hours.  And don’t look for our response in your personal e-mail– come back here to the site, on the page where you posted, to look for our answer.

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1,984 thoughts on “Ask a Question

  1. Making a half recipe for the American Crust from Artisan Pizza book. I was distracted by my own kids!! and put 1 cup flour more than what it’s supposed to be–4 1/2 cups of flour, instead of 3 1/2 cups. So, I added about 1/2 cup of water (recipe calls for 1 5/8 cups of warm milk). I don’t want to waste the dough, so it’s been rising in a container. What would be the final product?? Just tougher than what it’s supposed to be?? by the way, we have all the books and LOVE all the recipes!!! You guys are awesome!!!

      • Hi Nick,

        It can depend on the recipe. Your doughs won’t store as long with the milk and it may effect the baking time. Otherwise you can substitute half the water with milk and in some cases all of it, depending on the dough you are going for. This can be more an art than a science.

        Cheers, Zoë

      • Help! I’m using the New ABI5 book and have tried both the Master recipe(pg 58) and the Roasted Garlic Potato bread (pg 193). I am using KA AP flour and RS platinum yeast. Mixing with a Danish whisk. My first batch rose almost to the top of my 6qt bucket AFTER if was placed in the refrigerator. It was perfect! However, since then I cannot get the dough to even double after the initial mix while on the counter. The dough does spread, flatten out and rise a bit but not anything like the first batch. Additionally, it doesn’t rise much if at all in the refrigerator after sitting overnight. The first batch never collapsed on itself until I reached in and pulled some of the dough out to bake. Subsequent batches bake with only a slight oven spring and are nothing like the first batch. I have been using the same packages (date)of yeast. My ovens are accurate and I am baking in either cast iron skillet or a Lekue bread baker. My kitchen is not cold (mid 70’s) and it is not humid. So please tell me what am I missing? Besides being frustrating, this is becoming expensive :).
        Lastly, do you have any suggestions for adding fresh garlic(not roasted) to the dough in such a way that the bread will retain the aroma and flavor after baking?
        Thank you in advance.

      • You didn’t say what the baked result was like when you baked off the subsequent batches. It doesn’t matter exactly how much the dough increases in size–the important thing is whether the final result has nice hole structure. Does it?

        But–this dough is not the same as light, airy approaches to yeast-dough. Our stuff is definitely a little denser than what many people are used to.

        One other thing–KAF has more protein, and can be heavier–assume you saw the water adjustment with that flour? See page 10.

    • Hi,I am trying the master recipe no 1 .
      Ihave a conventional oven ,will I get better results if i use a baking stone or a clay baker or cast iron pot?
      Is the conventional oven suitable for baking your recipes or is a professional oven required?
      Do i have to use a thermometer to test the temperature of the preheated oven before I bake..?
      Thanks for your awsome book….

    • I use Bioreal yeast in the recipes. After the dough sits in the refrigerator for a few days, does it turn to sourdough? Or is it better to add some starter along with the yeast?
      Love your books. They have taken my bread baking to a whole new level.

    • Hi! I saw that you noted on this site that for the GLUTEN FREE MASTER RECIPE needs to be increased by 1 1/4 cups. I just want to confirm – the recipe needs 2 1/2 cups total of sorghum flour??
      Thanks!

      • You’re talking about the GF Master that appears in The New Artisan Bread in Five (not a our main gluten-free book).

        And there’s confusion here, we’re going to fix this on the Corrections page. Early printings of the book completely omitted the line with the sorghum, so if your book calls for no sorghum, you have to add 1 1/4 cups of sorghum flour to the recipe. If your book already calls for sorghum, you don’t have to add anymore.

        Sorry about that, and thanks for asking–we’ll make the correction tonight!

  2. Certainly a newby question I’m sure. I made my first batch of dough, following the master recipe. I used King Arthur flour, and added the recommended 1/4 c of water. Counter rested, then into the fridge. Dough rose to about 4.25 qts total

    When I floured and cut my first pound (24 hrs later) the remaining dough in the canister quickly deflated back down to near the 2 qt line. Is this normal, and expected, or did I do something wrong. Will the rest of my dough still be ok?

  3. I want to make jalapeno cheese bread. I plan to try two versions: A loaf in which I roll up the chopped jalapenos and shredded sharp cheddar into a rolled out 1-1/2 pounds of the master recipe and also a boule using the master recipe and mixing in the cheese and jalapenos just before I add the flour. Do you have experience/suggestions before I start? Thank you!

  4. Hi

    In your Gluten Free Artisan Bread Receipes Book, you use flaked Bob’s Red Mill yeast. Can I use gluten free quick rise yeast like Red Star (in powder form) instead? And if so, what is the equivalent measure 1:1 ratio?

    Thanks

    • See page 22 of the book, right after the heading “Yeast.” We give brand suggestions. I’m not sure where you saw that, we’ve never recommended any of the Bob’s Red Mill yeasts in our books.

  5. Can I replace sourdough with yeast from The New Artisan Bread page 53? How much sourdough should I use to replace all the 1 tbsp of yeast for the master recipe?

    • Try experimenting with the starting point we give on page 46; this is something we’re refining for our next book (http://amzn.to/1NdVkgj). Looks like you can go all the way to zero on the yeast (may have to increase the sourdough proportion), and remember that you have to adjust the water/liquid to adjust for the high level of moisture in the sourdough.

      Make sure your sourdough is very active when you start.

  6. I love your master whole wheat recipe, and I”m about to try using a scale when baking .. so, how much does the master recipe for the Healthy Bread recipe weigh? Should I get a scale that can handle up to 11 pounds? 5 pounds? some other number?
    Thank you — my kids reject store-bought bread because of you.

    • Hi Cathy,

      None of our recipes weigh more than 5 pounds, although many folks double the recipes. Our new version of our Healthy Bread book is coming out this fall and all the recipes are done in weights, so you may want to check it out. We haven’t even announced it yet, but will be soon.

      Cheers, Zoë

  7. Book: Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day
    page 43, Tips and Techniques

    Hello. I have been using your techniques for a year and love your methods. However, I have a new $7000.00 oven/stove and my bread is not responding so well to it. Having it “professionally” installed, I have not checked the internal temperature with a thermometer (would have to go buy one to do so).

    Problem:

    Bread takes double the time to bake and does not come out nicely browned and crusty.

    According to your method, I begin baking the dough on the stone in the lower section of the oven, and then move it to the upper section of the oven. However, it still takes nearly an hour to bake when it used to take only 25 minutes.

    Can you suggest something?

    Thank you.

  8. I love the flavor and ease of your bread, but I’m still not getting the oven spring that I’m after using the master recipe in the New Artisan Bread book. (I did only do a 40 minute rise though).

    I have a little more than 5 minutes a day to spare. I know you’ve done your best to fit people’s busy lifestyles, but have you found any methods requiring a little extra effort that turn out a better loaf? Thanks!

    • Hi Laura,

      If you only have 40 minutes to let the 1-pound loaf rise, it may come out a bit dense. You may like the results with a refrigerator rise and it will save you some time. You can find the instructions in the book, but it goes something like this:

      Shape your bread in the morning, place it on a piece of parchment, loosely cover with plastic (enough so it won’t dry out, but not so tight that it can’t expand), place it in the refrigerator for up to 10 hours. While you preheat your baking stone, set the loaf on the counter, once the stone is preheated (about 40 minutes), slide the loaf into the oven and bake as normal. This gives the loaf a long, slow, cold rise and should result in better oven spring.

      Thanks, Zoë

  9. As a quick follow up to my previous question – do you have a preference between this Pumpernickel recipe vs the one in NABin5 that only has 1 cup of rye, but also has cocoa and coffee?

  10. My wife makes the best Cinnamon bread I have ever tasted, each slice is like a cinnamon bun.. She is trying to alter the recipe to include sliced apples..

    She lays out the apples on the dough and rolls up the dough and bakes it.. The issue is when it is done there are what tastes like uncooked doughy sections near the bottom of the loaf and some times in the center..

    It is not the heat or cook time, I am pretty sure it is the apples releasing moisture is the culprit.

    we find near the heals there are smaller amounts of apples it is perfectly cooked..

    We are using uncooked Granny smiths.

    Is there anyway of correcting this. We don’t want to use apple sauce as we like the apple bits..

    • Hi Shayne,

      If she sautés the apples for a couple of minutes, to release the water content, before using them in the dough, they will not make the dough as soggy. She’ll want to let them cool before rolling them into the dough.

      Cheers and enjoy! Zoë

  11. Will the chocolate dough work well for a galette? I haven’t made either before, but have a lot of cherries to use up.

    Thanks and LOVE your recipes, delicious and easy!

    • Hi Kristin,

      Yes, you could use this dough to make a galette shaped flatbread. We’ll have to give it a try too. Maybe a nice post!? 🙂

      Cheers, Zoë

      • It turned out well and SO EASY, albeit a bit soggy because I forgot to cook the fresh cherries first. I also had some chocolate buttercream frosting in the freezer, so included that. My sweetie, who is not a chocolate fan, said it tasted delicious.

  12. Hi,
    I just found out I’m allergic to wheat and yeast. I thought online somewhere it said that you had unleavened bread recipes in your book. But after purchasing it online and looking through it there are none. Maybe it’s a goofy question, but is there anything breadish I can make without yeast using the recipes in your book? Or would you recommend a book or website for that? Or would I need to stick to biscuits, muffins, etc…?

    • Hi Chelsea,

      Unfortunately, none of our gluten-free recipes are yeast free. You will likely want to stick to quick breads and muffins if you’re avoiding yeast. There are lots of great gluten-free baking websites that will provide you with great alternatives. Gluten Free Girl and Heartbeetkitchen are just a couple.

      Thanks, Zoë

  13. how long can you safely store the dough in the fridge? I have a bucket of dough that has fermented and is kind of light grey in color..is it still safe to use?

  14. We do a harvest fest fundraiser at our school, and I have made your bread for it for several years now. There are usually several hundred people attending the event. This year we are making veggie sandwiches. I was planning on using the basic recipe from the AB book, which is what I have used for several years. Since we are making sandwiches, I would like to make a more squared off loaf or even a more cylindrical shaped loaf than the typical free form, but I don’t have a budget for so many loaf pans. Can I just form the loaves that way? I know with other traditional breads I’ve made they suggest almost rolling the bread out and rolling it up to form more of a cylinder shape if you know what I mean. I just want to get the most bread out of each loaf, have a more consistently sized slice. I would appreciate any suggestions you may have!
    Thanks,
    Julie

    • Hi Julie,

      I would do a test run and make sure you like the size of the rolled loaf.

      If you have a large grocery chain in your area you may want to see if they’ll donate a couple dozen disposable pans. You can use them for a few batches before they are truly disposable. I find that big companies in the community are happy to donate and this isn’t a huge ask. Just a thought! 🙂

      Good luck, Zoë

  15. I have been baking bread from your books for 5 years and love it! One of our favorites is Betsy’s Seeded Oat Bread on page 147 of HBin5. I have been following this recipe for years with no alterations but this bread always comes out of the oven flat. Other bread recipes are not flat. Any ideas?

    • Hi Joe,

      What kind of flour are you using? Brand? The flour may have a lower protein content and with all the seeds in this dough, it tends to be dense to begin with.

      Thanks, Zoë

      • For white flour I use Gold Medal which has the basic ABin5 recipe on it. My go to bread is the Oat Flour Bread in the New ABin5 book (yes I started baking it from the original book). I need to buy new white flour weekly. However I don’t make the whole wheat breads as often so I am not 100% sure which flour I bought. I think it was King Arthur. I do freeze the wheat flour, the oats, the vital wheat gluten and the seeds to avoid any moth issues. When I mix the ingredients I mix all the dry ingredients except the yeast. After the all ingredients come to room temperature I mix in the yeast and wet ingredients. So, does freezing the flour affect this? And, what type of flour do you reccomend?

      • Hi Joe,

        These flours should be fine and it sounds like you’re doing it all just right. I was mostly wondering if you were using a non-commercially ground flour, which has lower protein. Try adding another tablespoon of vital wheat gluten and 2 tablespoons water to the mix and see if you get a better structure to the dough.

        Freezing is a great idea if you don’t use whole wheat flour often.

        Thanks, Zoe

      • I thought about adding more vital wheat gluten but never have. I am a little concerned about the extra water. This particular dough always seems more wet than other doughs I make. Will the vital wheat gluten dry it up that much?

      • Strike my last comment on the wetness of this dough. I just checked some I made over the weekend. It is more wet when I mix it but it does become more typical. I will give your suggestion a try next time. Thank you for your help.

      • Hi Joe,

        The vital wheat gluten is pure protein, so it absorbs a ton of water. If your dough is seeming too wet, then maybe you won’t need extra water, but typically when you add more VWG you’ll want to adjust the water.

        Thanks, Zoë

  16. I like to bake my bread in a loaf pan for the shape and like to make 2lb loaves for sandwich. I have researched the site and don’t see this exact question. Can you tell me if there is anything special I need to do. I assume more baking time is required and I have read somewhere to test the doneness with an instant thermometer looking for 200 f. is that correct?

  17. Zoë,

    In New Artisan Bread in Five – is there a reason why the Pumpernickel bread on p123 is baked at 400 vs 450?

    Also is there a reason for shaping with wet hands vs using flour ala Deli-Style Rye recipe on p111?

    Thanks!

    • Hi JS,

      Often with breads that have sugars we bake at a lower temp so they do not over color before baking through.

      When a loaf doesn’t call for dusting with flour at the end, we work with water, so the crust is smooth and shiny. Either way works.

      Thanks, Zoë

    • Hi Marie,

      We have a corn tortilla recipe (page 103) in our Pizza and Flatbread book, which is GF. It is really the only tortilla recipe we have, since we focus on yeasted breads.

      Thanks, Zoë

  18. Followed pizza dough recipe on pg. 61 of Artisan Pizza in 5 minutes a day. Both batches have been very wet and hard to handle. What am I doing wrong?

      • Hi Linda,

        Was that a typo for the brand of flour? I am just wondering if it is a low protein brand of flour, which can make your dough wetter than it should be.

        Thanks, Zoë

  19. In reading about the Israelites, they baked 12 loaves of bread each week for their tabernacle. In the description, each loaf used about 2 gallons of flour. How could one bake a loaf this big? I would love to make one, to share in Bible study, but would like some pointed directions first. Thanks, may God bless, Dwight

  20. I have both your 1st book and the gluten free book. I am wondering if I can use the original book recipes with Turkey Red heritage wheat? I’ve found I can digest this without difficulty. I made bread with this wheat using the poolish method, but it’s rather labor intensive.

    • Hi Ann,

      Yes, you sure can. It may require adjusting the water slightly, depending on the flour and how coarsely ground it is. You may find that the dough is wetter than normal, so you’ll need to add more flour. I have also had people say their dough is a bit dry, so just add more water if that is the case.

      Thanks and enjoy! Zoë

    • Hi Fran,

      I believe the recall is over, but you’ll have to check in your area?

      King Arthur all-purpose flour works great, but it is higher in protein than Gold Medal, so you will need to add up to a 1/4 cup more water to the dough to get the same results.

      White Lily on the other hand is too low in protein and is best saved for biscuits and not used for our bread recipes.

      Thanks, Zoë

  21. I’ve had issues with sandwich bread – if I use the dough right after it has sat on my counter for 2 hours, shape it, let it rise – it rises well, but then the bread is almost too “airy” at the top of the loaf & falls apart. If I allow the dough to sit beyond the 2 hours on my counter, it doesn’t seem to rise as well in the pan, but then it’s denser & doesn’t fall apart (sometimes more dense than what I’d want). So… any suggestions? I’ve been using the Sandwich bread recipe from Artisan Bread, because no eggs (allergy in our house). Thanks!

    • First suggestion–don’t use the dough right away–we designed this method for dough storage. Let it settle and develop for 24 hours and see if you get a better result. If you’re leaving it on the counter for long periods at room temp, not surprised that this is denser than you’d like.

      Second suggestion–to defeat the “airy” top that falls apart, try using the letter-fold technique described on page 66 of “The New Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day,” on Amazon at http://amzn.to/17Rw23Y .

  22. I want to try your no-knead artisan free-form loaf recipe from the gold medal flour sack, I don’t understand the instruction to
    “cover the oven windows” ? Explain please and is this safe with a gas oven?

    • Sorry about that– it’s meant to say:

      “.. open the oven door, cover the exposed glass with a towel, drop the water into the tray, REMOVE THE TOWEL, and then close the oven door. Gas oven is fine, it’s just that the water can shatter the hot glass if it’s an older or more inexpensive oven made without tempered glass.

  23. Just made Soft Whole Wheat Sandwich Bread
    p 92 “Healthy Bread in 5 min”
    I cut the recipe in 1/2 to make 1 loaf and used white whole wheat flour.
    Liked it very much but wonder if I can substitute rye flour for the www flour.

    • No, that’ll be way dense, rye’s always mixed with more wheat flour than you’re proposing, in order to get a good rise and light result. Something like the recipe on page 113, maybe that’s a good starting point. You could leave out the seeds, and then start experimenting with the honey and eggs and oil. You’ll be in the world of recipe testing and development at that point though–aiming for the same general consistency as you got on page 92. You can see that the oil and eggs swap for water, not necessarily 1:1 so you’ll just have to experiment.

      • Thank you for the p 113 suggestion for flour amts.
        I made 1 loaf with some changes in the liquids.
        1/4c honey, 2 eggs, 1/3c oil came to 1c liquid to which I added 1 1/4 c water.
        Used white whole wheat flour – just don’t like regular ww.
        Because the flours totaled nearly 4c, I used a 9″x5″ loaf pan.
        I was pleased with the result.

    • No, my guess is that it behaves more like whole wheat, unless the product you’re using is bran- and germ-depleted. Most of the einkorn products I’ve heard about are whole grain, so those probably behave more like whole wheat in our whole wheat recipes. So you’ll need to experiment with the water-amount.

  24. When I made the Pumpernickle with raisins and walnuts the nuts and raisins were not evenly distributed in the finished loaf. I did spread them evenly on the flattened dough, roll up jelly roll style and folded under the ends, pinched the bottom seam a little too. Any tricks to getting a more even distribution?

  25. Any suggestions for putting cheese on a loaf of bread? I usually just do the master recipe in healthy bread and add Italian seasoning and garlic chunks. Was thinking just sprinkle parmesan on top maybe? It seems like cheddar might just melt off while baking. Any thoughts?

  26. I’d love to use my brioche dough (New Artisan Bread in 5, pp. 300-302) to make buns for gourmet burgers. I can’t seem to find instructions on rise and bake times, best size/shape to shoot for, etc. My husband and friends are impatiently awaiting my mastery of this. Any help would be great, thank you!

  27. Healthy Bread in Five Minutes A Day: Dilled Rye with White Whole Wheat, pages 123-124.
    I’m using a container of what I BELIEVE to be regular Whole Wheat flour. It’s in my ‘fridge, but unlabeled. I purchased a brand new Vital Wheat Gluten (Arrowhead Mills) and have rye flour I’ve used recently with the new edition of Artesan Bread in 5 mins/day. My flour is Gold Medal, fresh. Red Star yeast, 2 envelopes, exp 11/19. This bread doesn’t bloom AT ALL, 2 times I’ve made the dough and all loaves are FLATTTTTTT!!!! Water was warm, not hot. Dough rises on counter, but after overnight in the ‘fridge,vented, the dough is so moist & sticky! Is it the Whole Wheat, because it’s not WHITE?

    • But how did the bread come out? Decent hole structure? Assuming yes, you can probably fix this by just decreasing the water slightly– 2T?

      • Yes, there is a nice hole structure, but it’s crazy to try to make a sandwich with it. That would be like making a sandwich with pizza crust!
        I’ll try again, less water.
        thanks.

  28. Gluten-Free ARtisan Bread in Five Minutes A Day
    3-4 years ago I stopped eating rice after learning there is a wide-spread problem with arsenic contamination (especially pronounced with brown rice).
    FAQ Response: “We have not been able to get good results without some rice flour in the recipes.”
    Have you found an arsenic-free source for rice? Or can you tell me what I can substitute for the rice (both brown and white). Thanks.

    • Here’s what Bob’s Red Mill wrote to me two years ago:

      “All of our rice comes from California so this information may put some people at ease because some sources specifically mention the arsenic levels being higher in the south. Unfortunately, we don’t consistently test our rice for arsenic. At this point, we don’t have any specific info that we can give regarding how much arsenic is found in our rice products; though consumer reports did test one of our products (you can find those results in the consumer reports article). To date, there are no FDA guidelines on allowable limits of arsenic in food products, though I will say our rice products have tested (in past tests) significantly lower than the allowable limits for drinking water. Our products are guaranteed, so if the customer doesn’t feel safe to eat our products, we are more than happy to replace it with another product or issue a refund. Please feel free to contact our customer service team if you have any further questions at 800-349-2173.”

      • Hi Bob, thanks for the reply. California rice also has problems with arsenic. I love rice but choose not to eat it due to the deleterious effects of arsenic on health.
        Just about all of your recipes have rice in them. Can you tell me what other grains can be substituted for the rice?
        Thanks.

      • We weren’t successful in our experiments swapping other starches or flours for rice–we just didn’t like the result. You can start your own experiments, proportionally increasing the other flours in the recipe. Or trying arrowroot starch.

        In all cases, you have to adjust the water, and I can’t really recommend–you may end up wasting a lot of ingredients

  29. Perfect timing and thank you! I had dough that was going to age out if I didn’t use it so this a.m. I put 6 dough balls in the fridge for an all day refrigerated rise. I think I guessed the size right. Will try to buy english muffin molds on the way home as I don’t own those. The entire recipe looks great – I’ll report back after the meal. I appreciate your responsiveness.

  30. I want to make buttermilk bread but I resist buying liquid buttermilk because I have no other use for it since I don’t like the taste otherwise. Can I use reconstituted buttermilk ( from powder ) or use the old substitute of milk laced with white vinegar?

  31. I hope I didn’t overlook this on your site somewhere, but, I’m wondering if you had a recipe for a no-knead, savory pumpkin bread? I ate some bread at a function I was at, and it was a simple bread–not a brioche, that had canned pumpkin in the mix; not canned pumpkin pie mix. The bread had no spices in it; from what I understand, just flour, water, yeast salt and the pumpkin. It was a LOVELY golden color. Can I adapt the master boule recipe adding canned pumpkin, or, is there another recipe I can use on your site for this? Thanx so much!!

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