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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2,107 thoughts on “Ask a Question

  1. Toasting the sandwich breads for us results in the burnt outer crust, and not well toasted inner portion. Which breads toast better? We have the “the New artisan…” book

  2. This happened 3 times now. My family LOVES Brioche. When I’m making dough, I don’t smell, but after done with baking, the final product of my brioche smells like alcohol… What did I do wrong? It doesn’t happen all the time. It’s been only 3 times. Please tell me how I can fix this problem! Thank you!!

    1. Hi Remi,

      It is the fermentation that happens when the dough is rising. You can cut back on the amount of yeast (if you have our older book it calls for 1 1/2 tablespoons of yeast and you can use 1 tablespoon or even 3/4 Tablespoon). If you are sensitive to the flavor of the fermentation (oddly some people are and some are not sensitive to the alcohol flavor) you should bake the dough within 24 hours or freeze the dough to stop the fermentation.

      Thanks, Zoë

      1. I see!! Thank you!! I didn’t know I can cut back on yeast amount!! Is this same as American pizza crust, too (from your pizza book)? After I wrote you, my husband reminded me it happened one time before. So, I can cut back on yeast for pizza crust, too?

      2. Hi Remi,

        Yes, you can cut back on the yeast for all of our recipes. It will just take longer for the initial rise, if you cut back significantly.

        Thanks, Zoe

  3. Zoe,

    I have purchased your Crafty’s course and enjoy it a lot. I have a daughter in Minneapolis and wonder if you offer a hands on in classroom class? Thinking about a Xmas present. She bakes a little.

    Thanks

    1. Hi Al,

      Thank you for joining the Craftsy class and the lovely note. I don’t have any classes planned for this fall, but once I have any classes or events, I will be sure to post them here.

      Thanks, Zoë

  4. On pg. 271 of The New Artisan Bread in Five Minutes A Day, an 8 1/2 by 4 1/2 non-stick loaf pan is suggested for the GF Sandwich Loaf. Looked everywhere but can’t get that size. Only 8 inch or 6 inch is available. Would glass pans be OK? I assume though the recipe says “press dough into an oval”, a sandwich size slice will be created when done? HELP!!

    1. Hi Jean,

      I’m so surprised you’re having such a tough time finding that size, it is the industry standard for loaf pans. Here is one to check out: https://www.amazon.com/USA-Bakeware-Aluminized-Steel-Pound/dp/B0029JQEIC/ref=sr_1_10?s=kitchen&ie=UTF8&qid=1476716730&sr=1-10&keywords=loaf+pan You can use glass pans, but be sure to grease them really well.

      The dough will fill the pan nicely when it rises and bakes, so you’ll end up with a nice size slice. Here are some posts on more GF options:

      Gluten-Free Bread: http://artisanbreadinfive.com/2014/11/03/master-recipe-from-gluten-free-abin5

      Gluten-Free flour mix: http://artisanbreadinfive.com/2016/08/09/gluten-free-epi-and-a-better-batter-gluten-free-flour-giveaway

      Thanks, Zoë

  5. Is there an email list that I could be notified by? I don’t check ABN5 comments much and would most likely miss any post of an upcoming class.

    Thanks

    1. Hi Alfred,

      Such a great question. At the moment there is not, but we are in the process of redesigning the website and that is one of the features we’re working on.

      Thanks! Zoë

  6. Ingredients
    1-1/2 tablespoons granulated yeast (about 1-1/2 packets)
    1-1/2 tablespoons kosher salt
    6-1/2 cups unbleached flour, plus extra for dusting dough

    How to half the recipe?

    1. Hi Simon,

      Ingredients
      3/4 tablespoons granulated yeast (about 1-1/2 packets)
      3/4 tablespoons kosher salt
      3 1/4 cups unbleached flour, plus extra for dusting dough

      It is much easier to do when baking with weights, but it also works with measuring cups.

      Thanks, Zoë

      1. Hi Zoe:
        I found it the other day, I halved the recipe and baked 2 loaves. Nice, crunchy and tasty bread! The only exception is that instead of 35minutes as stated in the recipe. I need to baked with fan (convection oven) and extra 10 minutes to get the golden brown crust. Your recipe is on the Gold Medal AP flour, I found out after visited the product website! Anyway, nice recipe! One more dumb question, baking bread only with bottom heating element ?

      2. Hi Simon,

        I’m so glad you found us on the GM bag! I am surprised it took longer with convection to color, usually it goes faster with the fan. You can bake with a bottom heating element. You will have a nice outcome if you have a baking stone and let it preheat for a while, so it is fully to temperature. If your bread takes longer than 35-40 minutes you may want to check the temperature with an oven thermometer.

        Thanks, Zoë

  7. I was looking for a sourdough whole grain bread recipe in your book, but couldn’t find one. Do you have one? I would like it.

    1. Hi Drew,

      Yes, you sure can. Depending on the flour, you may need to add more water to the dough. The brioche dough may not need as much extra as the challah, but you may need up to a 1/4 cup more water.

      Thanks, Zoë

  8. I have made your olive oil pizza dough from your pizza book. I have tried to hand stretch the dough but it doesn’t seem strong enough. Other recipes say use 000 flour or bread flour. Have you tried any of these? I use KA unbleached added 1/4 cup extra water not sure I am happy with this. Any thoughts?

    1. Hi Adele,

      You can try the dough with the KA flour without the extra water and see if that helps. That flour is quite high in protein, so it should create a nice stretch. I have done it with bread flour and loved the results. You will want to let it rest longer to allow the gluten to relax, so it doesn’t tear when working with it.

      Thanks, Zoë

  9. Hi,
    I’m using the “Artisan bread in 5 minutes a day” book and it is working out very well! Can any of the doughs be used to make croissants and do you have a recipe?
    Thanks!

    1. Hi Anjali,

      Croissants are a “laminated” dough, which means the butter is layered between the dough several times. It is something we’ve been working on and hope to have a recipe eventually. The trouble is that it is quite time consuming and it’s hard to do shortcuts.

      Thanks, Zoë

  10. Hi, I am a huge fan of your books and recipes and use them quite frequently! I was wondering if you can create a recipe for the “Panv”. Its an accompaniment to classic Indian street food “Panv Bhaji”. It has pillowy soft white interior (no eggs in it), slighlty crisp crust and if you bite into them, they are slightly chewy. I would love to have a dough for that!

    1. Hi. This sounds so interesting, I will look into it and see if there are any recipes in our book that may work.

      Thanks, Zoë

  11. Using AB in 5 Min a Day. Challah.

    The loaves seem to be exploding down the middle of the loave where the braids go into each other. The outsides are perfect. Too much yeast?

    1. Hi Walter,

      You can try a slightly lower amount of yeast and you can also try using bread flour in the dough, to give it more structure, but you’ll need to increase the water by a couple of tablespoons. A slightly longer rise will also help.

      Thanks, Zoë

  12. Hi! I am using the master recipe from the original ABin5. Have you tested your recipes with Trader Joe’s Unbleached White Flour? According to the latest Fearless Flyer, it has 4g of protein per 1/4 cup. What adjustments would I need to make to the recipe to use this flour?

  13. I made your Master Recipe Bread as a boule instead of a loaf. I used 2 eggs and some cornstarch to make it lighter but it never did rise and had zero oven spring. It came out heavy, dense and pale. Flavor was OK though.
    Why doesn’t it rise? I was careful not to deflate it and handled it gently. Going on four years of baking GF bread I was not prepared for failure.

  14. Hi there,
    My daughter is allergic to potatoes. What can I use instead of potato starch for the flour mix?

    Best regards,

    1. We did not succeed in swapping for this particular ingredient. You could try proportionally increasing all the other flours/starches in the mixture, but no guarantees that this would work. High risk of failure, I’m afraid…

  15. I love the buttermilk bread recipe from the original Artisan in 5 book; however, I’m wondering if there is a way to incorporate some whole wheat flour or other healthy additives to this recipe that won’t drastically change the texture or taste of the bread.

    1. You can– just increase the liquid until it looks to be about the usual consistency. You will find it denser for sure unless you use vital wheat gluten (not essential though).

  16. I would like to share your Naan recipe in “Artisan Pizza nd Flatbread in Five Minutes a Day” with some folks that I am teaching basics of bread baking. Do I have your permission to either retype it or copy from the book? I could not find the recipe on line. Thanks.

  17. Hello, I need help with my crust. I am using the no knead artisan in 5 bread recipe with Dutch oven. The crust is to thick and chewy. I have tried using AP flour and even mixed AP/ bread flour. I have decreased temperature also. Nothing seems to help the hard tough chewy crust. Thank you in advance for your consideration. I live making bread and surely don’t mind kneading by hand either but this crust is just awful.

    1. Hi Bea,

      Are you looking for a loaf that has a soft crust, or are you just trying to achieve a thinner crust? Some people are not fans of a crisp crust at all and therefore enjoy breads with some oil or butter in it, which prohibits a crust from forming. If you give us some more detail about what you are looking for, we can try to help you find the recipe or help with the baking of this loaf.

      Thanks, Zoë

  18. I’m thinking of making a cinnamon raisin bread using the master recipe from the New Healthy Bread In 5. I was thinking I’d use the sugar/ cinnamon and raisin proportions from Judyss Board of Directors Cinnamon Raisin Bread from The New Artisan Bread book. Would I bake mine at 450 like the new master recipe, or at 375 like Judys?

    1. Sweet doughs burn at the high temp, but if you’re using the basic WW unsweetened dough with a little sugar folded in, should be fine.

  19. I have a question about this cinnamon raisin bread as well. When I tried to make this, the cinnamon/sugar mixture was pretty much absorbed into the dough, even though I followed the instructions to roll out the dough and roll it up. Is there a way I can get a big line of sugary cinnamon in the bread like the one that comes in the bread from our local bakery?

    1. Not sure here.

      Might be an issue with the ratio of cinnamon/sugar to loaf size. Try a smaller loaf with the same amount of cinn-sugar? Or double the cinn-sugar with the same-sized loaf?

  20. Hi, I just love your book, The New Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day, and I have been using it for about a month and a half. I am having a lot of trouble shaping the baguettes from the Master Recipe; they often come out uneven and narrower in parts because of how difficult it is to roll the moist dough, since we are trying to avoid adding extra flour to make the dough more workable. I have watched some videos on youtube on how to work with high humidity dough, but they involve multiple rest periods, with the dough eventually becoming more like “traditional” dough. The whole point of your wonderful book is to have great bread, fast! So is it a question of just “try, try again”? I wonder if there are any more tips and advice to form the baguettes; my boule shapes are just fine. Thanks so much!

  21. I love your book, The New Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day! I’ve been baking from it for the past year (basically the Master Recipe, Peasant Bread, and Deli Rye) and I’ve noticed the past few months that the bread is cracking a lot more than it used to. I’m slicing it pretty deeply before baking but it’ll split at the bottom or if I slice the top in a plus sign, it sometimes looks like one side is popping off. Any ideas what might be causing this? The flavor and texture are great; it’s just the appearance that’s a little off. Thanks!

    1. Can’t figure out why it’d have changed over your baking experience unless you changed flours, moisture levels, resting times.

      That said, biggest explanation for what you describe is inadequate resting, or resting at a lower temp than before. Rest longer–90 min if you’re not doing that already.

  22. Is there a way to put together the Sticky Pecan Caramel Rolls ahead of time (and freeze?)…so I can bake them before dessert time with no fuss?

    1. Sure–wait until they’ve rested before freezing, wrap well, and fully defrost in fridge overnight before repeating the rest after taking out. Or take them out frozen and let them rest a long time, till they defrost and fully warm up.

      1. It has become a tradition of ours to eat these rolls on Christmas morning. How about making them the day before and leaving them in the refrigerator overnight? Would I put them in the refrigerator for there initial rest? Do I need to let them warm up before baking or can they go directly from the refrigerator to the oven?

      2. Let them come at least partway to room temp before baking–at least 20 min. Wrap well the night before, and I wouldn’t go longer than overnight.

  23. Quick question for Crisp Cheesy Bread Sticks (New Artisan Bread in Five, p. 178):
    When ready to bake, after refrigerating the dough, do I need to first form a ball and let rise for an hour (as for a typical loaf, p. 177, step 5), or do I just take a portion of dough, form it, and immediately roll it out for the bread sticks?
    In sum, for bread sticks, do they need the second rise, as with the loaf?

    Thanks so much. Sincerely, Sharon

      1. I got your message just in time! I just now finished them in time to take to relatives for Thanksgiving tomorrow. I’ve never made bread sticks before, but they turned out delicious.
        Thank you so much for your (extremely quick) response.
        Sincerely, Sharon

  24. I have “The New Artisan Bread, Revised Edition” (c) 2013 and “Healthy Bread…” (c) 2009. Did you recently revise them both? If so, is this the third revision of your first book? I don’t want to miss anything!

    Thank you,
    Rita

    1. Your 2013 title is the current one, but the 2009 title has been updated this year in a second edition; it’s “The New Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day,” on Amazon at http://amzn.to/1NdVkgj. You can read about what’s new in the book at our publication-day post, at http://artisanbreadinfive.com/2016/10/30/our-new-book-healthy-bread-in-five-minutes-a-day-is-released-tomorrow-get-yourself-some-vital-wheat-gluten-and-make-our-whole-grain-master-recipe

      1. The new additions to ‘Healthy” sound wonderful. Now I have a problem: to put it on my Christmas Wish List or cave in to Instant Gratification.

        I’ve been curious: If one wanted to add gluten to a bread recipe, why not just switch to bread flour (or a percentage of bread flour) and adjust the liquid amounts accordingly? Are there some baking science and result-based details or decisions involved here?

        Rita

      2. Short answer–because supermarket bread flour in the US is always a white flour, and NewHealthy focuses on whole wheat. For the recipes in that book that call for some white flour, your approach would work, with a water adjustment (likely downward). We didn’t test that, so you’d have to do some trial and error.

        And the 100% WW recipes–this won’t be applicable unless you find a WW bread flour in a food coop. And you’ll still have to experiment with hydration, because the grind is non-standard in those products.

      3. Jeff, I knew I was missing something…the most obvious thing in the book…..the whole-grain flours. A classic case of over-thinking. Thank you for straightening me out with a perfect and clear explanation.

        Rita, who gets a double-Duh today. 🙂

      4. Well, it’s not that bad of a “duh!” The master recipe in that book is about 1/3 white AP flour, and if you were to swap it for bread flour (white), you’d be able to decrease, or possibly eliminate VWG (esp if you were willing to experiment with the water level–less–or tolerate a more sideways spreading in the free-form loaves).

      5. Thank you. I feel better now. It might be fun to try your true recipe and one with bread flour side by side and compare. Can’t have too much bread! I’ll be sure to report back.

        Thanks so much for giving us this forum for help and learning. How rare in cookbookdom.

        Rita

  25. I have recently bought your Gluten Free Artisan Bread in Five Minutes A Day. I have been getting dense bread that seems to blow out while in the oven and doesn’t seem to rise (this is my 1st loaf of my second batch – all loaves came out dense and un-risen but with wonderful flavour so I am not giving up on these. I am wondering if in our humid climate I need to reduce the liquid in the recipe (everything was measured using a weigh scale, I preheat for 1 hours with the stone, my loaves are the size specified in the recipe). I watched the video and my dough seems to be the correct consistency.

    1. Before we get into it–
      1. Which recipe are you doing from that book (page number)?
      2. Have you made any substitutions at all?
      3. What brand of flours are you using?
      4. Are you using a stand mixer?

  26. New to Artisan Bread in 5, but have some experience with bread before. I just got the book and mixed a batch yesterday. I’m working from New Artisan Bread in 5, page 131. Light Whole Wheat recipe. Today, about 24 hours after mix, I baked in a small glass loaf pan, as my baking stone is packed into who knows where while I’m awaiting my new house to be done, so I’m improvising. I did not use steam. The bread was delicious, the crumb has a great texture. My question is this: is there a way to get a soft crust from this recipe? Or do I need to use an enriched recipe to get a soft crust? My husband is undergoing several months of dental work and I’m afraid crunchy crust will be uncomfortable for him to eat. Would baking at a lower temperature longer help or would that reduce the oven spring too much or just dry it out?

    Thank you for any suggestions

  27. Hi, I asked a question about making the Carmel Pecan Sticky Rolls ahead of time so I could just pop them in the oven on the day of company. I saw the answer once but now I can not find the answer. What is the procedure for doing that. Thank you for your time.

      1. I am thinking after I form the rolls and put in the pan, I do NOT let them rise….wrap in saran wrap loosely and refrigerate…is that correct or let them rise first?

        Would it work if I froze them, pulled them out to get to room temp and baked them?

        Thanks again!

      2. First question: I’d let them rise..

        Second: yes, but they’ll be denser. Not all that much though, this’ll work.

  28. Can you bake any of the breads at a lower temperature? My cast iron Double Dutch smokes when I heat it to 450 degrees. Just wondering if 400 degrees would still be ok??? I made the Roasted Garlic Potato Bread from The New Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day tonight, but was worried to drop the temperature for fear it wouldn’t turn out the way it is supposed to. Thanks!

    1. It’ll work, but the baking time will increase and it might not brown the way you’re hoping for… probably 20% increase in baking time.

  29. I did this once – I baked them, let them cool, wrapped them up and then the next day just reheated them on a very low temp until they started to bubble. They were perfect!

  30. I using New AB5 pg 198 Bagels, Can diastatic malt be substituted for non-diastatic malt ? If so what changes should be expected ?

  31. I’m at 6000′, and i find our bread has a doughy interior and when I got it only to 201 (was taking forever, so I bailed) the crust was thick and hard. We are not using the salt in your basic five-minute recipe. What is your advice? Thank you very much!

      1. Thank you Jeff. How much salt do you suggest we add back in for 6,000 feet elevation? Should we shoot for the 205 internal temp (water boils at a lower temp at altitude, right?)? appreciate your prompt reply!

      2. Honestly–we haven’t had trouble at Denver altitude on a trip there, so I’m not sure you need to do much. But the recipes aren’t as structured without salt. Try half the usual salt-amount from the recipe.

  32. Hi –
    Love your books. I bake bread sporadically, so am still learning and picked up some good tips on your FAQs page. That said…. If I wanted to use your recipes from the Healthy Breads book, but wanted to make them traditionally – with the kneading and rising (I know, I know!!! All that work!) – is there a standard adjustment that I could make in decreasing the amount of water used? I assume that’s all that would need to be changed….?? Or would I need a different amount of yeast, as well? OR, is this just a bad idea all around? :o)
    Thanks!!!

    1. Same yeast, that doesn’t change. It’ll take some experimentation, but I think the liquid decrease will be in the range of 1/4 to 1/2 cup.

  33. I love your books but have been very successful loosing weight on the low carb diet… I REALLY miss bread & pizza.
    I have made some pizzas with low carb recipes & they are better than no pizza.
    I’m hoping you have a low carb pizza dough recipe.
    thanks
    kim

    1. Bread=wheat=carbs; there’s really no such thing as low-carb pizza… unless you make the pizza very, very thin, and you’re really just controlling the portion size. See our post on this at http://artisanbreadinfive.com/2015/02/05/cracker-crust-pizza-youll-need-this-french-dowel-rolling-pin-giveaway

      Portion-size, portion-size, portion-size! You must start with a ball of dough half the size of your old-style pizza, and have the exactly same number and size of slices. If you do that, you’ll have half the carb load. But that’s the best it’ll get.

  34. My wife and I have been very successful, losing 30 lbs, my wife, and 40 lbs, me following the 2 day per week restricted calorie diet we saw on PBS a few years ago

    The diet is simple. Any 2 days of the week, you can only eat 600 calories. The rest of the week you can eat anything, including pizza! We have found the most success “saving” 50 of the 600 calories so we can share a banana at bedtime, when we need something sweet to stave off hunger at night.

    Give this a try.

    Mike

  35. i’ll back that up… i’m at 8500 ft, in Colorado… i have no issues, i use about 15g of salt in the basic recipe.. i use a cloche (amazon), and my bread looks the cover of the book

  36. I am reading the new artisan bread book for the first time. I see you use a plastic bin to store the dough in. I perfer not to use plastic because a history of cancer. I was thinking of using my soup kettle until I could find some sort of crock. On looking in my cupboard I found my spare ice tea making gallon glass jar. Could I use that to store the dough? It has a wide mouth. I also have the lid but thought press and seal wrap would be better because I could put a hole in it. Or use aluminum foil the same way. I hope to begin trying the basic recipe next week.

    1. Hi Anne,

      As long as you can easily mix in the glass vessel, it is just fine to use it. You can cover it with either the plastic wrap or foil. The soup kettle or crock will also work, as long as it is made from nonreactive materials.

      Thanks and enjoy the bread! Zoë

  37. p. 61 Master Recipe from Artisan Pizza and flatbread. Olive oil variation. Re: The amounts for the olive oil being substituted for part of the water. I take it the amount of olive oil being substituted in the Master Recipe is for the the entire eight 1/2 pound pizzas? I routinely halve the recipes, so if I halve the Master recipe then I would need 400 g of water for the basic recipe or 362.5 g of water and 37.5 g of olive oil for the olive oil dough, correct?

    Thank you. Btw, the” Judi Board of Directors cinammon raisin bread” is fabulous. How about chopped walnuts in this bread? Thinking of adding about 100 g. What do you think?

    1. Hi David,

      Yes, that amount of water is for the full batch, so you would halve that amount. Your numbers look good.

      I think the walnuts would be fantastic in the bread.

      Enjoy, Zoë

  38. ThisThis isn’t a comment on the book –it’s question about being entered in the Emile Henry contest. All the instructions say is to enter [something] below — but where? Does it mean leave a comment for posting? Or is there something I’m missing on the screen? Or?

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