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: the way 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?

2,392 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

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