FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

Our best inspirations come from reader questions, and we’ve enjoyed answering them since starting this blog to support our books in 2007.  Click on any of the questions below– these are the ones that seem to be on a lot of bakers’ minds.  If you’re having a problem with one of our recipes, breeze through these FAQs first.  If you can’t find an answer in the FAQs, click on any “Comments” field adjoining a “post” here on the website (doesn’t have to be related to the content underneath).  Please tell us which book you’re working from, and which recipe and page number:

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

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Convection oven: Any adjustment needed?

Dense or gummy crumb: What am I doing wrong?

Flour varieties: Do I need to adjust the liquids when I use different kinds of white flour?

Freezing the dough: Can I do it?

Fresh-ground grains: can I use them with this method?

Gluten-Free Frequently Asked Questions (GF FAQs)

Gray color on my dough: Is there something wrong?

High-altitude baking: How do I adjust the recipes for high-altitude?

Incorporating dried fruit, nuts, or herbs into stored dough: How do I do it?

Larger loaves: What adjustments are needed?

Left the dough on the counter overnight! Can I still use it?

Measuring flour by volume: How we measured when we tested the recipes (scoop-and-sweep)

Missing instructions and missing recipes: Some of the web-based recipes don’t have everything I need to make the bread, and others are missing from the website altogether

Nutrition content: How can I calculate it?

Photographs: Can I post pictures to this website?

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Refrigerator rise trick: The formed loaves or rolls rise overnight and are ready for the oven the next day

Rising: My shaped loaves don’t seem to rise much before it’s time for the oven.  What am I doing wrong?

Salt: Can I decrease the amount of salt in the recipes?  How do I adjust for different kinds of salt?

Sourdough starter: Can I use it with this method?

Steam alternatives: How do I create a steam environment for a great crust when my oven doesn’t trap steam well?

Stone broke! What did I do wrong?

Storing bread: What’s the best way to do it?

Traditional recipes: How can they be converted to the ABin5 method?

Underbaked! My loaf didn’t bake through to the center.  What am I doing wrong?

Web use: Can I use your recipes on my own website, in my class, or in a publication?

Weighing ingredients instead of using cup measures: How do you do it?

Whole grain flours and vital wheat gluten: How do you use them?

Whole grain flours and doughs without vital wheat gluten: How do those work?

Yeast: Can it be decreased in the recipes?

2,442 thoughts on “FAQs

  1. Deb, what a WONDERFUL idea! I live on a tiny island in the Caribbean and have to make all of my own bread (my life has been transformed by Artisan Bread in 5 mins/day-I am living proof that it works). I get lovely comments when I take bread, rolls etc to friends and have dinners. Other than diving there is nothing to do on my island so a day or evening showing my friends how to make your bread is a wonderful idea!!! Thank you!

    • Hi Philippa,

      I am so glad you benefitted from my post and comments. It was really wonderful to see the girls excitement as they mixed all the ingredients, and then saw it rise double in a few hours! The parents said it was not only delicious and fun, but a wonderful science lesson too. The parents said they want to buy a copy of the book, then come over one evening to make their first batch while making it a party.

      Hope you have wonderful get togethers with your friends while making bread!


  2. You say use more water for I bleached flour. Is that for all brands of unbleached or just the ones mentioned in the book? I usually use Heckers unbleached. I am using the revised edition of the book. Thanks!

    • Hi Judy,

      It looks like Hecker’s has a protein content that is similar to King Arthur Flour, which would mean we recommend using more water. I’ve never baked with Hecker’s, so I am not sure this is the case, but according to the website it has a 12% protein content. You may want to start with 2 to 3 additional tablespoons and see how the dough looks. You should check out some of our videos if you’ve never made our dough before to see what the consistency should be.

      Thanks, Zoë

  3. I have made your master white boule recipe and incorporated 1/2 cups red river cereal to the mix and less white flour, turns out great on a pizza stone as per your instructions, my question is can I put the dough into a traditional bread loaf pan and bake it that way, will it turn out just as well?
    I have also made the whole grain bread with the vital gluten, I found with that much WW flour it was heavier, can I substitute a couple more cups of white flour?

  4. Hi Jeff and Zoe!

    I am excited that your book will be out next week! Is it possible for you to share the most commonly used flours so I can have them on hand?

  5. Hi
    Just a thought, I am wheat intolerant, not coeliac! Is there a pure form of gluten one can buy to add to wheat free recipes or is gluten from wheat and so no good for me.
    I am gradually managing to find the ingredients for your gluten free master recipe, just need the recipe now, will I be able to get the new book here in the UK?
    Thank you

    • Hi Lyn,

      Gluten is the protein found in wheat, so not recommended for those sensitive to wheat. The book will be available on Amazon and as a kindle, if that makes it easier?

      Thanks, Zoë

  6. How can I make a substitution for white whole wheat flour? I have unbleached white flour and whole wheat flour that I can use? I’d prefer less white, if possible.

    A true fan,

    • Hi Lynnea,

      No, I haven’t ever used it, but the starches would be more suited to pies and puddings as a thickener. The starch doesn’t add any flavor or nutritional value, so it’s not something I’d be inclined to use.

      Thanks, Zoë

  7. Regarding your recipe for Olive Oil Dough, page 214 in the new ABin5 Book, do I use steam and a baking stone? Thinking about using the Olive Oil Dough for a herb flavored bread. Should I use some type of wash or water for the top crust? Thank you!

  8. Can I pre-bake the olive oil dough for pizzas? We are having family dinner pizza night and I am baking a LOT of mini-pizzas. It would be easier to have them already prepared so people can add their own sauces/toppings. Also, what if I don’t have a pizza peel?

    • Hi Sarah,

      You can pre-bake the crust, but you’ll want to do so just before the party or freeze them or they will be stale by the time you eat. You can also roll them out and freeze the dough before it’s baked. Just put it on parchment and stack them in the freezer.

      You will need something to get the pizzas in and out of the oven, so if you have a cookie sheet without sides, that is a good alternative. Just becareful when reaching in to get the hot pizza, a pair of tongs helps.

      Thanks, Zoë

  9. Regarding your recipe for Olive Oil Dough, page 214 in the new ABin5 Book, do I use steam and a baking stone? Thinking about using the Olive Oil Dough for a herb flavored bread. Should I use some type of wash or water for the top crust? Thank you! Also what oven temperature do you recommend?

    • Hi Colleen,

      Yes, you should use steam when baking the bread made with this dough.

      If you are sprinkling herbs on the top of the loaf be aware that they may burn at the temperature we normally recommend for this dough, which is 450°F. You may want to incorporate the herbs into the dough, but then dust the top with flour, as we do for the master recipe. In the master recipe we have an herbed bread variation that you can follow, but just use the olive oil dough.

      Thanks, Zoë

  10. Hi I bought your gluten free book and so far I really enjoy it. I was wondering if the Apple cider brichoe could be made with regular flour to. Just following the regular recipe and swap the Apple juice for water? I am going to a party this weekend and I though I would make both kinds of donuts .

  11. I am so interested to buy your new book Gluten-free Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day. But I see one of the main ingredients of one of the dough is potato starch. Unfortunately I am allergic to potato. Is there any substitute that I can use?

    • Hi Carrie,

      I tried the recipes with various flour combinations and tried replacing the potato with other starches. The results were not quite as satisfying, but the bread still came out well when using corn starch or arrowroot. I recommend you start with a small batch to make sure you like the flavor and texture of the bread.

      Thanks, Zoë

  12. hi,
    love your new GF book I got yesterday.
    will start mixing dough today. My question is why is there no mentioning of egg replacements like in your other books?
    can I still replace the eggs with flax seeds and water in the new recipes? I am allergic to egg yolk. Or can I replace 4 egg whites for 4 eggs? Can’t wait to start baking, everything looks so good. Heidi

    • Hi Heidi,

      Yes, indeed you can use egg substitutes for many of the breads, but we also created most of the loaves without eggs at all. However, using the egg substitute may result in a lighter loaf, so do feel free to use them.

      Thank you and enjoy! Zoë

  13. I’m new to your book and wondering if any of your basic sandwich breads can be made using a bread machine? I can’t wait to try baking this weekend!

    • Hi Blythe,

      Our recipes are based on making a large batch of dough, so you only have to mix once (less mess) to bake 4 loaves of bread. The dough can be stored for up to 2 weeks, so you can bake when you want. It is too much dough to fit in a bread machine and we prefer the crust when baked in the oven.

      Thanks! Zoë

  14. I have a beautiful Le Cruset Cast Iron Dutch Oven and would like to try this to create the needed steam conditions for the recipes in your new cookbook GLUTEN FREE ARTISAN BREAD IN FIVE MINUTES.

    How do I know if the dutch oven is large enough to accommodate your recipes?

    • Hi Mama of GF Child,

      You don’t need a very large Dutch Oven to create our breads. It doesn’t matter if there is lots of space around the loaf or if it is snuggly place in there.

      Enjoy, Zoë

  15. This is my second batch of the “Master Recipe” and I’m still trying to get the hang of working with such a wet dough. I tried every serrated knife I have, but when I try to slash the dough, it just tears and deflates. Can you recommend a knife — hopefully one that isn’t too expensive?

  16. I have the New Artisan Bread in Five and the Healthy Bread books…love them. Question: Have you tried baking bread in an induction oven like NuWave? I don’t have one but am considering purchasing one. Any adjustments needed?

      • Guess I was wrong about the NuWave being an induction oven. Specs. say it is a combination of conduction, convection and infrared.

      • Well, shouldn’t be that different. I assume “conduction” is just traditional heating, and I’d experiment with that first.

  17. 2 questions: Can Bob’s Red Mill WG Brown Rice Flour work in your Master Recipe (as shown in FOX 9 Morning show?)

    Since Gold Medal has put your gluten free recipe on their bags, does Gold Medal make a gluten free flour? I have never come across one. Thanks!!

  18. Some recipes call for egg. We can’t have egg albumin, but yolks are ok. How can I modify your recipes that call for eggs?

  19. I love trying the recipes in your healthy bread book. Since I am a vegan, what can I substitute for eggs in recipes such as bran muffin bread? Didn’t see that on your
    faq’a list.

  20. I LOVE your method! Friends are surprised that what I bring them is not from a bakery. Anyway, my question–
    I want to make whole wheat brioche(Healthy Bread, p.275), but mistakenly bought whole wheat pastry flour instead of white whole wheat flour. Can I use this instead?

    • It’s lower in protein so the rise and density may be off. You could counter with a little more vital wheat gluten, problem is that I don’t know how much. It might just work as written if your pastry flour isn’t that low, just will involve guesswork.

  21. In your recipes for Healthy Bread in 5 minutes, CAn I substiute egg whites for eggs in the breads that call for whole eggs?

    • Yes, but you’ll also have to compensate for the fact that you’re taking out some liquid. Just add more water until you get the consistency is what you’re used to in our recipes, or in our whole grain videos.

  22. What is likely to happen if I leave my dough in the fridge for more than 2 weeks? Will it still bake up? I have to say, I love the results in the oven, but ever since the first time I tried the crockpot method I’ve been hooked! I’ll totally sacrifice a little aesthetic for the amazing convenience (and great results!) in the crockpot. Kudos!!

    • Hi Henry,

      I’m so glad to hear you like the crock pot method!

      The dough will lose some of its rising power after two weeks, but it will still be good for baking. You may want to stick to flatbreads at that point.

      Enjoy, Zoë

  23. Hello,
    I made my first batch of dough the other day, after having received the “New Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes” as a gift, and the first bread that same evening came out perfectly. However, this morning when I was going to make my second bread, I was surprised to see that the dough in the fridge had solidified into crust-like consistency a few places on the surface and was quite a bit drier in general. I broke of and discarded the most solid places but had problems shaping the bread because of the changed consistency. Also, this bread rose much less than the first, both before and when in the oven.

    I haven’t tasted the bread yet, since it just came out of the oven, but I already wonder what I could have done differently. Did I not cover the dough well enough in the fridge (I used plastic wrap with some opening)? Can the fridge have been too cold? Any input very welcome! Thanks in advance.

    • Hi Al,

      You already said both of the things I was going to suggest. The dough dried out because too much air was able to get into the container, so covering it more will take care of that issue. If you are using plastic wrap, it is ok to fully cover the container, just don’t tape it down.

      If your refrigerator runs on the colder side, it can make the dough feel tighter. It won’t hurt the dough, but you will need to let it rest longer before baking. If it is really cold, it can double the resting time.

      Thanks, Zoë

  24. I have your gluten free artisan bread in 5 min. a day book and love it. Thankyou for the arrowroot starch substitution on my previous question, it worked great in the master recipe 1. I baked a free hand boule using the master recipe 1 today and when I pulled it out of the oven after it was done the loaf cracked itself on the bottom. should I place it back in the oven or should I just let it cool on the rack. I don’t want it to be gummy because of the split.

    • Hi Maria,

      Because the dough doesn’t have as much stretch to it, I find they can crack more easily. It has happened to me as well. I just ignore the crack and bake as usual, it doesn’t seem to make any difference to the crumb.

      Tahnks, Zoë

  25. I’ve used your recipes for many years now to bake almost all my family’s bread–we are converts! Now, I have begun to grind my own whole grains, and much of what I’m reading suggests soaking flour in an acid medium (like buttermilk, kefir, or water & cider vinegar) prior to baking to increase it’s nutritional value. Have y’all done any work with soaked whole-grain flours? What about sprouted grains?

    • Hi Sharla,

      I have not tried this, but perhaps one of our readers has? I’ve also asked Jeff if he’s heard anything about the nutritional benefits to soaking the grains in acid, since he is the doctor on our team. If he has any insight, I’ll let you know.

      Cheers! Zoë

  26. Hi Zoe and Jeff!

    I have been using ABIF for a few months now, and thank you so much for your work! I have never enjoyed baking bread so much, and your dough makes the best pizza crust I have ever tasted. :)

    I have a question for you – my husband and I are starting a diet which forbids anything but 100% whole wheat bread. I purchased Healthy Bread in Five so that I could continue baking, and the 100% wheat recipes included are superb. However, I have noticed that many of the delicious looking recipes call for a couple of cups of unbleached all purpose flour. What’s a girl to do?

    I would like to know if I can substitute whole wheat flour (white whole wheat or otherwise) for the all purpose, and if so, how do I compensate? Extra water/vial wheat gluten? I realize that my bread will lack the crisper crust that the white flour provides, but I’m ok with that sacrifice. What I’d like to avoid is baking inedible bricks! Thanks for your help!

      • Hi Jeff,

        Thanks so much for the fast response! I’ll definitely try this out with the extra water, I am especially excited to try the peppery pumpkin bread! I have had the most wonderful time making your recipes, thank you for making bread baking such a fun adventure. :)

      • Duly noted, thanks! Will start out with small batches while I figure out the right balance.

      • Hi Eitan!

        So far I have made the pumpkin pie brioche using 100% whole wheat flour – I used an additional quarter cup of water per Jeff’s advice, however it became apparent as I was mixing the dough that it was definitely not going to be enough. The mix felt very dry. Makes sense, as the recipe called for a LOT of all purpose flour.

        When all was said and done I’d estimate that I added a cup of extra water to compensate. The brioche turned out really well, nice airy crumb. It’s definitely a trial and error thing, but my suggestion is to start with 1/4 cup of additional water, mix it up and add a tablespoon at a time while mixing until the dough feels right. Once you have made one of the book’s 100% whole wheat recipes a couple of times you know what consistency you’re looking for. :)

      • Thanks for the update Lindsay! Best of luck with the new Whole-Wheat regimen ;-D

  27. I would like to make Oatmeal Date Bread from Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day, page 191. It calls for 2 cups of either steel cut or old-fashioned rolled oats. Is that cooked or uncooked? (If I used uncooked steel cut oats, will it be crunchy?)

    • No, they steam themselves cooked as the bread bakes. Remember they’re also soaking with the liquid ingredients prior to baking.

      • Thanks! I wondered since it would take approximately twice as much water to cook the steel cut oats as the old-fashioned outs.

  28. Oatmeal Maple Bread, page 162 in your new ABin5 book calls for 3/4 cup wheat bran. Is this an unprocessed wheat bran or a cereal? Could you please clarify that for me? Example of a brand?
    Thank you!

  29. When you write that a recipe makes enough dough for at least three 1 1/2-pound loaves, is the 1 1/2 pounds the weight of the raw dough before baking or of the baked loaves?

  30. When using your recipe for Olive Oil Dough in your New ABin5 book page 214, and shaping loaf into a boule, do I use steam for the baking and do I need to brush the top of the loaf with a wash? Thank you!

    • Becomes your choice—if you brush with olive oil, that’s one nice effect; you get a soft crust and light browning without crisping. If you brush with water or cornstarch wash and use steam, you’ll get a firmer crust (though maybe not crisp with this kind of dough).

  31. I have looked all over this forum and I have the Healthy in 5 book. Love it and make all my family’s bread now. Yay!!! But I would like to make the HBI5 master recipe but sub 1/2 c rye and 1/2 c ground flax (I have done this and it turned out good) but now I want to also add some sweet component (honey, molasses, sugar, etc.) Can I do this and how much should I add?

    • Sure– you can put in 1/2-cup of honey (which weighs 6 oz or 170 grams) into the 100% WW Bread, Plain and Simple (on page 79). Decrease the water to 3 1/4 cups (or 3 1/2 cups if that’s too dry. If you just do a dry sweetener, don’t have to decrease the water. If you use that much sweetener, you have to decrease the temp to 350F or it burns, and bake for longer–50 to 60 min.

  32. My family enjoys the European Peasant Bread on page 94 in the New Artisan Bread in 5 Min. However, the crust is too hard for the 70 and 80 year olds, How do I make the crust softer?
    I bake it in parchment paper at 450,in a ceramic pot with a lid
    Sue Molitor

  33. Using the book, Artisan Bread in Five Minutes A Day. I would like to make loaf bread, would that be possible with your bread dough? Thank you.

  34. Hi-I live in an RV with a tiny – 14 by 16 with a 12 inch space for the bread, basically- propane oven. It is taking forever to preheat- even after 45 minutes it can’t get beyond 375 to 400.
    I’m on my 5th loaf and each is better than the last- but do you have any advice for ovens that can’t reach the recommended temps? Do I just cook a bit longer? My crusts are good, though not crackly as they should be- not that my husband notices as he chows them down….
    I’m using the new artisan book, and have only tried the boule so far with the master recipe. Using a 12 x 13 Emile Henry glazed baking stone and a bread pan for steam placed under and to one side under the stone.

    Thank you so much- you’ve changed our lives and saved us so much money in future!

  35. Hi! – I am going to be picking up a dozen duck eggs next week from a local farmer friend. I have heard that duck eggs are good in gluten-free baking, so I’m going to try your “Almost Rye” recipe (love it!!) with them. I know the eggs are bigger than chicken eggs, but from what I am seeing on google, I can just substitute 1:1. I suppose I may have to adjust the teff etc. amount a bit if too “wet” ? Will let you know how it goes! Any tips would be appreciated!
    Here’s one quote from this website: http://101sweetpastry.com/duck-eggs-vs-chicken-eggs-in-baking/

    “They are also a good addition to gluten free baking—what your baked good loses in structure by omitting gluten can be partially gained back with the denser albumen (egg white protein)”. -Jamie Oliver

    • Wow, that would be terrific news, though most of our readers just won’t have access to duck eggs. You may have to slightly decrease the water, or increase the flour if it looks too wet upon mixing.

  36. As I make the master recipe often and always have it on hand, I’m curious if I can use it sometimes as an all-purpose. I’d like to make pizza with it, and am wondering if I can roll it out with a bit of olive oil if it’ll be similar instead of also making an additional pizza dough.

    • Hi Brittni,

      Yes, you can use the Master recipe for pizza, pita and all kinds of things. If you try the pizza recipes you’ll notice they just have a different texture and slightly different flavor, but both ways make a wonderful pizza.

      Thanks, Zoë

  37. I’ve made several great loaves of bread with the basic recipe, but have one issue: even though I’m using a dough bucket with a lid (purchased from King Arthur Flour), a hard crust forms on the top of the dough. I set the lid on the container, assuming that if I closed it, it would explode. Is there something I can do to prevent this crust? Should I be closing the container tightly? Or do I just incorporate the crust into the loaf and move on?

    • Hi Chris,

      It does sound like too much air is getting into the bucket, so you want to close it a bit more. After the 1st day you can close it tight. I tend to put a pin hole in my lid, that way I can snap it shut but the gas from the yeast can escape.

      Thanks, Zoë

  38. Chanced upon your book and seriously tempted by all the great reviews. But I would like a little advice– I don’t eat eggs or use them in baking, but I do have gluten. Which book would you suggest I buy?

    • Hi Varsha,

      Our New Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day is mostly egg free. The enriched chapter at the back of the book will be the only one that has eggs. Those few doughs have lots of eggs, but you could experiment with using an egg substitute for a dough like the Challah.

      Thanks and enjoy! Zoë

  39. For a change, I tried your master recipe for healthy bread but I wanted to lighten it a bit so I added a short squirt (a technical measurement) of olive oil and a spoon full of honey. The dough turned out very watery!! I cannot find a variation in any of your books for a similar type. The whole grain rye on page 113 of HBI5 would be great with a bit of honey and oil but how much and do I need to reduce the water by much?

    • I can’t imagine why it’d make that much difference. Just decrease the water by the same amount of liquid you added and it won’t happen again.

    • Have not tried it yet, but it’d be a swap for whole wheat flour, not for all-purpose (white) flour. My best guess is that you’d need a little extra water to adjust for the extra protein in those flours.

  40. on your recipe it said 3 cups of luck warm water. well I had to use 4 cups to 6.5 cups of flour is this normal? 3 cups was not enough water at all.

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