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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2,268 thoughts on “Ask a Question

  1. I have a problem occasionally where, when using refrigerated dough from your recipes, the surface of the dough tears open when I’m trying to form it into a ball using your method. Most recently, it happened with the 100% whole grain maple oat dough from New Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day. (It has also happened with other recipes from Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day.) I’ve heard it might be related to gluten formation. Is it possible that I’m not mixing the dough well enough?

    1. Probably not a mixing problem. This is most likely to happen with our doughs that have lots of whole grain. Maybe just back off a bit on the gluten-cloaking. Those whole grain loaves aren’t going to benefit all that much from it anyway.

      Could also try a touch more liquid. Maybe two tablespoons as an experiment. Might be too dry.

  2. In your pizza book it says that 7.5 cups of flour is equal to 2 lbs 6 oz of flour or 38 oz. However, I looked at an online conversion calculator and it said 7.5 cups equals 33.07 oz of flour.
    I looked this up because I wanted to know the weight of 6.5 cups of flour for your basic bread dough in your bread book. I do not have the new edition of the bread book.
    Thanks so much!

  3. When making a boule with 1lb of dough, how large should the finished loaf be, approximately in inches. I’m not sure mine are coming out large enough. It’s hard to tell fom your photos.

    1. Well, maybe 3.5 inches high (if you’re not getting much spreading, which can take a bit of practice). And maybe 6 inches in diameter. These aren’t giant loaves.

  4. Hello. I have been working on the New Artisan Bread in Five and am beginning to have great success! I am trying to perfect the Master Recipe before I move on. With that, I would like to take some of my new bread to a work lunch potluck. In the FAQ you discuss storing cut bread, but I am wondering if I don’t cut the bread…will it still be delicious? I don’t want to have to make it into toast, or have it go stale. I know I could form it and do a refrigerator rise and bake it in the AM, but that will require me to get up quite early. Is it ok to bake it the night before? Should I just let it cool overnight uncovered?
    Thank you for any help you have!

    1. Overnight, uncovered is about as long as I go. Bread made without preservatives or dough conditioners just wasn’t made to be eaten the next day. You’re going to find it’s OK–but not great.

      If you let it cool completely (at least 2 hours), then put it into a plastic bag, it slows the staling process, but the crust becomes completely soft.

  5. Congratulation on the BreadIn5 Books..!!
    I have two questions ref: The Flatbread & Pizza Dough found in the “Gluten-Free Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day (Published Oct 2014)” book (Kindle version pg 2098, so I honestly don´t know what actual hard copy page would be..):

    1. Dough recepie calls for 1 cup Potatoe Starch plus 5 Cups Mixture #1 -among other items-; the #1 Mixture for GF All Purpose Flour already includes 1 1/4 Cups of Potatoe Starch (Kindle version pg 806). Is this correct ?

    2. Ref the “No-Fail pizza crust roll-out” and “To freeze the rolled-out raw crust” side-bars (Kindle version pos 2153/2159), I would like to know if it possible to par-bake the pizza crusts and freeze them for latter use, and if so, what to do.

    Many thanks in advance for your help

    1. Sorry for adding something else; I hace the same concern in my first question, in regards to Xanthan Gum, which is also included in the #1 Mixture GF All Purpose Flour as well as in the Pizza/Flatbread doe recepie…

    2. 1. Recipe’s correct as written
      2. You can parbake them, but you may find that they’re a bit more brittle than wheat-dough rounds, and fall apart when jostled in the freezer. So we didn’t include in the book. Not to say it won’t work if careful.

  6. I have a question regarding flour substitutions because in Ecuador I have not been able to get Sorghum and Teff Flours. Can I safely consider
    1 cup Sorghum = 1 c Amaranth = 1 c Oat flour ?
    1 cup Teff = 1 c White rice = 1 c Brown rice ?

    Again, many thanks for sharing your thought / recommendations.

    1. Well… the only substitutions that we were really happy with were the ones we put into the book (page 61. All our other experiments just weren’t good enough for publication. So you’d have to experiment with the suggestions you’re making here, and it’s challenging–GF mixtures are sensitive to swapping like this, and we had many failures before we came up with mixtures that consistently worked.

  7. Am working with the master dough recipe from Artisan bread in 5. So far have made the basic boules and the deli rye; both have been terrific.
    I’d like to make bigger loaves that I could take to a group dinner, one bigger loaf instead of the typical 1-lb. loaves where I’d end up baking/taking 2 for 12 people. Any suggestions on cloaking/shaping/baking bigger loaves? I use an enamel cloche for baking.
    Thank you!

  8. Hi! Do you know anything about “salt rising bread”? Somebody asked me if I could make it but i have no idea what it is. Any suggestions?
    Melissa

    1. “The New Healthy…” can stand alone if you want to go straight to whole grains as your main thing–don’t need to start with The New Artisan. Most of our recipes in the whole grain book call for vital wheat gluten, but the book gives instructions for leaving it out if you like. On Amazon at http://amzn.to/1NdVkgj

  9. Jeff /Zoe,
    When a recipe call for Platinum baking yeast can you use Instant yeast with the same results.
    Thank you so much for your help, I am so grateful for everything I have learned from both of you.
    Have a wonderful day.
    Dunyia

  10. From your 2013 New Artisan Bread book pg 240 – Sweet provencal Flatbread with Anise seeds. Can liquid anise extract be used as a substitute if anise seeds are not available? If so, how much? (recipe calls for 1 tbsp of seeds). Can anise extract be used in any other recipes in your collection?

    1. Extracts will work–just think of them as another liquid. In theory, you should decrease the overall liquid in the recipe by the amount of extract you add–but at the likely amounts you’ll use, I can’t imagine you’d really need to do that.

      But–I can’t guess how strong your extract is. I’ve used almond extract, and a teaspoon is plenty for a four-pound batch of dough. But you’re going to have to experiment–it’ll work once you get the right “dose.”

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