Q&A Types of White Flour, Their Weights and How Much Water to Use

Return to FAQs page

Q: I want to use a white flour with higher protein, how do I adjust the recipe?

A: We wrote the original white-flour Master Recipe for The New Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day with typical all-purpose white flour (such as Gold Medal), which has a protein content of about 9.8-10.5%. The following flours have a greater protein content and will require you to add more water to dough that is entirely made from these white flours.  You don’t need all that extra water if white flour only part of the loaf’s flour mixture.

King Arthur All-Purpose, 11.7% protein (add approximately 1/4 cup extra water to the full recipe).

Dakota Maid All-Purpose:  add approximately 1/4 cup extra water to the full recipe

Canadian all-purpose flour, most brands:  add approximately 1/4 cup extra water to the full recipe

Gold Medal Better for Bread 12.5% protein: add approximately 1/3 cup extra water to the full recipe

King Arthur Bread Flour 12.7% protein (add approximately 1/3 cup extra water to the full recipe)

Any “bread” flour: Most flour labeled as “bread flour” is 12-13% protein (add approximately 1/3 cup extra water to the full recipe).  In Europe, this flour is labeled as “strong flour.”  If a flour is labeled as “high-gluten” it’s probably 14-15% protein (add approximately 1/2 cup extra water to the full recipe).

Q: What is the weight of the flour that you use?

A: We wrote the book with measures because we find that most people are still using cup measures when baking. We have been pleasantly surprised at the number of our readers that are scaling their recipes. Here are the weight equivalents to the flour that we use:

1 cup all-purpose flour = 5oz

6 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (master recipe) = 2 pounds

1 cup whole wheat = 4 1/2 oz

1 cup of rye = 4 1/4 oz

Q: What should the “hydration” of the dough be?

A: Again, we tried to avoid confusing professional language in the book, but several people have asked about bakers percentages and hydration levels for white flour. The hydration needed for dough storage will vary with to the type of flour you are using.  “Hydration,” when the term is used by professional bakers, means the ratio of the water weight to the flour weight, expresed as a percentage.  High protein flours absorb much more water and will require you to add more water. Here are the hydration levels we’ve used, but remember, this applies to dough made from white flours (whole grain is a different story, requiring higher levels of hydration):

When using most all-purpose flours (eg., Gold Medal):  75% hydration

When using Gold Medal Better for Bread:  83% hydration

When using King Arthur all-purpose:  81% hydration

When using King Arthur bread flour:  83% hydration

When using most bread flours:  83% hydration

When using most high-gluten flours:  85% hydration

More in The New Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day, and our other books. If you use vital wheat gluten to get an airier crumb with whole grains loaves, you need even more hydration–see The New Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day.

We recommend that you follow the Master Recipes in our books as we have written them until you get a feel for the proper consistency. Once you know what it should feel like then it is wonderful to play with other flours.

Click here if you want to understand baker’s percentages.

Return to FAQs page

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

636 thoughts on “Q&A Types of White Flour, Their Weights and How Much Water to Use

  1. Hi Zoe and Jeff
    Thanks for your reply. I am right now working on artisan bread in 5 mins . I have watched the video in this web site. Is the vital wheat gluten shown in the video for the healthy bread in 5 min a type of flour? From the supermarket, I found that ‘Bob red mill’ has vital wheat gluten flour. Is this the one ?
    I have a packet of organic yeast fr the brand ‘origin’ fr USA, sitting in my freezer. Does this organic yeast has the same efficacy as SAF yeast ? I have read fr some books that we have to be careful when choosing the brand of the yeast as some brand doesnt work.
    Thank you ….poh cheng, koh

    1. Koh: Bob’s Red Mill is what I use, it’s a nice product. About the yeast, I couldn’t say. I use Red Star with good results (any variety, doesn’t matter), same for SAF and others in the US. My guess is that the yeast will be fine– we have not found problems with any of the brands we’ve tried.

  2. Hi Jeff
    I have tried Brioche recipe, it taste very good, with very soft texture. It is as if i bought fr the supermarket !!! And your methods is so so easy and yet simple with very few equipments. Many thanks to both of you to come up and share with us such wonderful and easy recipes. I am so happy to have found such a wonderful book, really 5 mins a day and yet yield very fabulous results !!!!
    Jeff, i have a pkt of Wholemeal flour sitting in my fridge. Are they the same as wholewheat flour ? How can i use it ?
    Greatly appreciate your time and effort spent in answering my questions!!

  3. Hi Jeff
    One more question- let’s take master recipe which can be stored in the fridge for 14 days, does it mean that the longer you stored it, the better the flavor and texture ? That means if I bake it after 12 days storage the texture and flavor should be much better than 5 days ??
    Thank you….poh cheng

    1. Koh: Yes, wholemeal flour is the same as whole wheat flour; that’s more of a British way to label whole wheat flour (make sure it’s wheat). Assuming it is, you can use it anywhere we call for whole wheat flour.

      Yes, flavor and texture improve over the storage life. It’s a matter of taste of course, see what you think. Jeff

  4. I usually bake bread the old fashion way. I bake bread every week for my family. I just had my fourth baby and I was looking for ways to simplify baking. I bought the Healthy Bread book. I use Eagle Mills Ultragrain all-purpose flour. How do you adjust for this flour since it has whole grains? BTW-I think it is great that you personally answer questions on this site. You are awesome!!!

    1. Tisha: The EM UG product is a hard one, because the company doesn’t tell you what proportion is white and what proportion is white whole wheat. They say that the mixture substitutes well for white AP, but that’s not true in our recipes, which are moisture-sensitiive. Bottom line is that you have to increase the water if you swap EM for white AP, and decrease the water if you swap EM for whole wheat. Problem is that I’m not sure how much. The more you use, the more the water adjustment. I’d guess the maximum water adjustment is going to be about a quarter-cup.

  5. I’m loving exploring your site. Thanks for the info and inspiration. My problem is that here in Brazil all five varieties of flour I can find at major supermarkets have just 5% protein. My pie crust has been a disaster since I moved here and breads just don’t hold their shape.

    What can I do to increase the protein level in the flour. Is that what I need to be concerned with?


    1. Hi Jim,

      5% is very low and will wreak havoc with your baked goods, although you can probably bake some wonderfully light cakes with that flour. I know it is a long shot but you may be able to find vital wheat gluten. Here is a description of it and some of the different names it goes under around the world: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wheat_gluten_(food) If you find this you can add it to the flour you have and create a stronger wheat to bake with. Good luck! Internet stores may be your best option.

      Thanks, Zoe

    1. Hi Jim,

      7% is still equal to a very soft cake flour, you will still need to add the vital wheat gluten.

      Thanks, Zoe

  6. Hi Zoe
    I had just baked Olive Oil Dough bread, it has a strong bitter wine taste and the bread doesnt have much holes. Is the taste due to the amount of yeast=14g i have added ? I have baked The master recipe-boule, Brioche, buttermilk bread and yet didnt encounter this problem. For one and a half tablespoon of yeast, i measure as 14g.
    Is 14g too much ? Where have i gone wrong?
    Thanks…poh cheng

    1. Hi Poh Cheng,

      The bitter taste can be from too much yeast or from storing the dough in a container that is not allowing the gas from the yeast to escape enough. The gases build up and create an alcohol smell/taste.

      You can certainly reduce the amount of yeast if you think that is the issue. http://artisanbreadinfive.com/?p=85

      Thank you, Zoe

  7. Hi Jeff
    Just got hold of ‘healthy bread in five’. Many recipes call for white wheat flour, over here only Bobs red mill offers -100% organic unbleached Hi-protein plain wheat flour, are they the same as white wheat flour?
    Understand from the book that i can substitute whole wheat flour with white wheat flour right without changing any other ingredients right ?
    Thank you ….koh

    1. Hi koh,

      Yes, you can substitute regular whole wheat for white whole wheat in any of the recipes.

      Thank you, Zoe

  8. Hi Zoe
    My apology, my previous question is not clear of which is – Over here I can only get hold of Bobs red mill – 100% organic unbleached Hi-protein plain wheat flour – is this organic plain wheat flour the same as white whole wheat stated in your book ? Really cant find any other white wheat flour here!
    Will my bread be less dense by using white wheat flour instead of whole wheat flour ?
    Zoe, for the lazy sourdough shortcut whereby we save about 1 to 2 cups of old batch dough and mix it with the new batch of dough, do we need to reduce the amount of yeast stated in the recipe for the new batch of dough ? If yes , by how much ? The reason for asking is that last week I make a batch of Olive Oil dough and it turned out tasting bitter and with strong wine smell. I am now more careful with yeast !!!!
    Oh yes, I still have a small loaf (taste bitter with strong wine smell) sitting in the freezer, can i turn it into some thing else other than slicing them and eating them plain ??
    Thank you so much for having to answer so many of my questions. My apology !!!
    Thanks again…..p.c

    1. Hi Koh,

      Oh, you are using plain flour and not whole wheat. They are not at all the same thing. I think the flour you are using is closer to our bread flour and not a whole grain at all. Can you show me which flour it is on the Bob’s red mill site? http://www.bobsredmill.com/organic-unbleached-white-flour.html

      The bitter taste can be from too much yeast or from storing the dough in a container that is not allowing the gas from the yeast to escape enough. The gases build up and create an alcohol smell/taste.

      You can certainly reduce the amount of yeast if you think that is the issue. http://artisanbreadinfive.com/?p=85

      Thank you, Zoe

  9. Hi Zoe
    Thanks for yr prompt reply.
    Oh! so this – 100% organic unbleached Hi-protein plain wheat flour by Bob’s Red Mill is not whole white wheat flour. Zoe, pls enlighten me, is the word ‘Whole’ makes a difference between plain wheat flour and whole wheat flour.
    I have looked thro’ the Bob’s red mill website but the above – 100% organic unbleached Hi-protein plain wheat flour is not shown and the packing is half the size of the normal packing of Bob red mill. Now i suspect that it might not be from Bob. I will take a look again. Sorry for the confusion.
    Zoe, i read about the section on convection oven fr HBin5. Can i bake all types of bread fr yr recipes on convection oven and definitely bearing in mind to reduce the temperature & baking time stated. I read fr other books that using convection oven to bake bread will dry up the bread. Is that true ?
    Thank you so much….pc

    1. Koh: In U.S. products at least, the word “whole” or “whole-grain” means that the bran and germ are included. Sometimes commercial bread that is made with whole wheat/whole grain is labeled as “wheat bread.” This is really a mistake, and causes confusion. Refined white flour-breads could also be called “wheat” bread. That’s the problem. All-purpose white flour is “wheat” flour, but it’s not “white whole wheat” flour. “White whole wheat” is a whole grain product with the same nutrition as regular whole wheat but a milder flavor and lighter color.

      We haven’t had trouble with drying when using convection and have successfully baked anything with it. Make sure the temperature stays accurate under convection (mine thermostat gets fooled by convection). Oven thermometer like one on Amazon: http://bit.ly/czmco2


  10. Hi Jeff
    Thank you so much for your explaination. I am much clearer now but can be quite confusing in certain aspect.
    Jeff, beside milder flavor and lighter color, does using whole wheat flour gives you a denser bread than using white whole wheat ?
    Thank you so much for your reply and enlightment….koh

  11. I have purchased 2 copies of this book (one as gift) and have made 30-40 loaves of 5-6 types. The taste is great but the bread was way too wet using your Scoope and sweep method. My scope and sweep yields 110 g/cup of KA AP flour. So my first dozen + loaves sagged severely. I began adding flour and am up to 135 g/cup. The loaves are looking better.

    Then I ran across the page and find you are recommending 5 oz, 142 g/cup! Scoop and sweep is obviously a very imprecise measurement. You provide an absolute reference such as weight or time (like how long should you mix the dough) for steps where variability can impact the end result.

    Other than this I have been pleased with the taste of the bread and look forward to getting perfect loaves with the right weights of ingredients.

    The most important thing the book gave me is confidence I cook make good tasting bread without a lot of time and hassle.

    1. Hi Dave,

      The measurement of the flour is important to the end result and there are other things that can greatly improve your loaves, although there is still room for play. You may want to check out some of the tips we offer in our FAQ http://artisanbreadinfive.com/?page_id=1479.

      Thank you for trying the recipes and enjoy all the bread! Zoë

  12. I have been trying your gluten-free recipes and want to make the G-F BRioche recipe for Cinnamon rolls. It calls for Cornstarch – I have a bag of Honeyville Grains Hi-Maize Resistant corn starch. Can I use this kind of cornstarch in your recipe or do I need a different kind?

    Also, Thank you very much for creating the G-F recipes as they have made life a little easier around here for baking breads!!! I hope you can create many, many more of them.

    1. Judi: Thanks for the kind words…

      I haven’t tried this particular brand of cornstarch but I’d guess it should work just fine. That said, there can be an annoying lack of standardization in different commercial products (granule size, moisture content, etc.). We tested with typical supermarket brands, in the case of cornstarch it was Argo. If the consistency is very different from what you see in our videos, you may need to adjust the liquids in our recipes. Jeff

  13. Thank you, Jeff, for the quick response! I mixed up a batch and will give it a try – I can try to remember to let everyone know how it turns out. This corn starch is supposed to be a lot better on your system, has more fiber, but I have noticed it did NOT thicken sauces like regular corn starch. We’ll have to wait and see!!!

    I am excited – In general I don’t miss a lot by eating gluten free -there is so much out there now to try. But I have to say there are some things about a regular diet I truly miss – Cinnamon rolls happens to be one!!! Wish me luck! Judi

    1. Judi: Yes, the GF cinnamon rolls are a hit– they really do impersonate the wheat-based sweet rolls…

  14. Good morning, all. I mixed up the GF Brioche recipe the other day using the cornstarch I mentioned to Jeff, Honeyville Grains Hi-Maize Resistant corn starch. I have to tell you that I think I found my absolute favorite GF Bread!!! It is to die for. I haven’t had time to put together the cinnamon rolls yet, but I can only imagine how they are going to taste as well!!! And the loaf of bread disappeared in less than 24 hours. Everyone had to have some. My 24 yr old daughter, my toughest hold-out in switching to GF, didn’t even complain to me about “funny aftertaste”. She says EVERYTHING GF has a funny after taste!!! Even when it doesn’t. Thank you Jeff and Zoe for making my life a LOT easier!!! Judi

  15. Have you tested with Whole Foods Organic AP and Bread flour? I’m interested in whether the hydration percentages need to be different than the General Mills flours.

    1. Karen: I haven’t used these flours, but you can estimate whether they’ll work well by comparing the protein percentage with the Genl Mls flours, looking at the nutrition label. Problem is that they round to the nearest gram, so there can be error, but my guess is that if the round-number protein percentage is comparable, you won’t have to adjust. Divide the grams protein by the grams in a serving size to get the measure I’m interested in.

      All the nutrition labels are available on the web, just go to the manufacturers website if you don’t have bags of the relevant flours. Jeff

  16. Thank you! So simple, once it’s explained. Thank you also for listing the weights/cup you use here (though it took a while to find it). It is disheartening to go between different author’s bread books and see that a cup of flour can vary so much by weight, and it makes a /big/ difference!

  17. HI,
    I am making the whole wheat bread in the Artisan Bread book and I am getting a very nice initial rise, but after refrigerating, the crumb is still too dense. There is almost no rise at all before baking (from grapefruit 1 lb size). I used whole wheat bread flour (I didn’t have any WW AP) and I am using Canadian brands since that is where I am. What should the weight be? I would rather use a scale than measuring cup. I guess I have not used the correct water content, but is there a way to fix the remaining dough? I have only made one loaf from the recipe. The balance is in the fridge. The taste was nice, but I like a bigger crumb and more holes. Thank you!

    1. Abigail: If you’re talking about the 100% whole wheat bread in ABin5, that recipe definitely yields a denser result. If you really want to make a lot of 100% WW bread, try the recipes from our second book (http://bit.ly/3wYSSN ), some of which are here on the site (http://tinyurl.com/yfafxk7, or http://artisanbreadinfive.com/?p=1984 )… you’d need to use Vital Wheat Gluten– that’s what gives WW loaves bigger holes and better rise, see http://artisanbreadinfive.com/?p=142 for details on how to use it.

      If you’re not using the 100% recipe, you may still prefer your WW loaves with it, so consider making modifications, adding VWG (and increasing the water a little.

      Write back to tell us exactly which recipe you’re using, and confirm from which book– then I can help you with weight conversion, or use the weight conversion chart in Healthy Bread in Five (http://bit.ly/3wYSSN) Jeff

  18. Hi,
    I’m using Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day. The recipe on page 86 100% whole wheat and flaxseed bread. I did use the VWG, but as I said, I used WW bread dough. There was no second rise to speak of once I removed it from the fridge and waited the 90 minutes. Can I simply add water to what I have resting in the fridge? Thanks for your reply

    1. Hi Abigail,

      There will be very little, if any, rise while the dough is resting after you form it into a loaf. You should get a nice rise once it is in the oven. If you are not getting a nice oven spring then perhaps your dough does need a touch more water. You can add more water to the dough. Just mix it in and let the dough rest for at least two hours again so the dough has time to absorb the extra water.

      Thanks, Zoë

  19. I purchased your artisian bread in 5 minutes a day and it is awesome. We have to make a new batch every other week. My son is gluten intollerent so I tried the same master recipe only used 1part brown rice flour, 2/3 part potato starch, and 1/3 part tapioca flour. It is the recipe for gluten free all purpose flour. but it didn’t work. is there a better, more adaptable gluten free flour that will work with your recipies?

    1. Hi Sierena,

      The flours are completely different and require other ingredients to create the stretch and structure of bread. We have an entire chapter on gluten-free breads in our second book Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day. Here is a bread from that chapter: http://artisanbreadinfive.com/?p=1396

      Thank you and I hope your son enjoys the bread! Zoë

    1. Hi Melinda,

      There is a chart on page 36 of Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day that has all the conversions.

      1 cup = 5 ounces = 140 grams (this is for unbleached all-purpose white flour)

      Thanks, Zoë

  20. Hello again,
    I increased the water and the crumb was a bit better, but the bread is SO bitter. Is this the vital wheat gluten? Also, the dough in the fridge, oozes liquid…which I discard. I am still not getting much oven spring. I have made the no knead bread from the NYT which gives more oven spring. What am I doing wrong? Thank you for your help! Should I lower the whole wheat content and use some white flour? I have made whole wheat before and it hasn’t been so bitter, but I have not used the gluten before. I am still talking about the recipe on Page 86. Lastly, can I incorporate this bitter dough in little bits into a new dough as a starter to retain some depth of flavour, or do you think the bitterness is from another cause and this dough should be tossed? Thank you again for your responses!!

  21. Abigail: The flax and WW is a dense combination, w/o a lot of spring or resiliency. We were happy w/the result, but we knew it would appeal to those looking for a dense, hearty loaf— not for everyone.

    As for the bitterness, it’s not the VWG, it’s all that WW. Try white WW– it’s less bitter and measures exactly the same.

    I think you’ll be happier with some white flour— try a cup at first; you’ll be able to decrease the water a bit. A quarter cup or so.

    And yes, you can use the old dough as a flavor-booster for a new batch. Jeff

  22. Thanks. I eat lots of dense hearty…it was just a bit too bitter. I think I will add some white and see what happens. At what point should I add the starter? Right at the beginning when I mix the water, flour and yeast? Or later? Thanks again for your help. Is the dark liquid leeching from the dough normal? Or does that mean it’s too wet? Thanks once again.

    1. Hi Abigail,

      You will just add the starter in the beginning as you mix the dough.

      The dark liquid is perfectly normal and is just a natural byproduct of the dough. To avoid this from happening I have started to put a small hole in the lid of my bucket, which allows the gases from the yeast to escape. As seen in this post: http://artisanbreadinfive.com/?p=1616

      Hope this helps! Zoë

  23. Is it possible to form the sticky buns after the initial rise and refrigerate overnight? I’m hoping to just pop them in the oven in the morning but I’m worried they’ll just turn into a large blob. Thanks for your help!

    1. J: Yes, you can do it. See our FAQ on this subject (click above on the FAQ tab) and select the “Dense Crumb” question. Scroll down a bit for the refrigerator rise trick. WOrks w/sticky buns. Jeff

  24. A question about the additional water for KA flour. If I use the weight method, 2 lbs flour, do I add 3 water or 3 1/4 cup? It seems like it’s coming out too wet. I was wondering if it only applied to measuring KA by volume, that the weight per cup might have been different…

  25. Emma: If it’s coming out too wet– don’t increase the water at all, see what you think. Yes, the densities of AP and bread differ…

  26. Thanks! What I meant was adding the additional water for the KA AP flour made it seem too wet. Now that I’ve been making this regularly, I’m much more comfortable just winging it. I made the challah last night for the first time, and it was fantastic. I used the base amount of water, and since it seemed dry, sprinkled more water over the dough and worked it in. I don’t think I’ll ever make any other kind of bread again…

  27. Emma: Understood– just keep the water the same, except when, in your experience, you think it needs more. As people get familiar, they tend to start doing it the way you’re doing it– by feel.

    Thanks for the kind words…

  28. wow…just learned how to make the basic from a friend today…yum! we have wheat allergies in our house, but ok with gluten…anyone have suggestions or has anyone tried substituting oat, tapioca, spelt or other combinations of flours? any help appreciated!

    1. Hi Jenna,

      In our second book Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day we use lots of spelt flour in the recipes. We also have a chapter dedicated to gluten-free baking, which uses tapioca, rice and other non-gluten flours.

      Enjoy, Zoë

  29. Have been making breads from Artisan book for a few months now – mostly successes. At first I was concerned to substitute exact USA measureing but have found this is not critical to my taste tester family. They love the breads – even the “failures”. So now I just use the Aussie measureing cups and spoons and go with the flow. Thanks so much for sharing your method. Maybe my breads are sometimes not as “airy” and more dense than your examples but that doesn’t alter the great taste.
    Still experimenting.

  30. PS
    I just love the paper used in your books as I keep pencil notes next to the recipes. Sometimes I change a measure, or substituted an Aussie available flour.
    It helps me keep track right at the recipe – if I write lightly it is also easy to rub out and re-write new experiments.

  31. I know in the FAQ you say you dont like to approve references to commercial products, but it is relevant information that took a while to track down, and Im hoping you’ll let it slide… Edit the comment to remove the brand name and just say “a common brand” maybe?

    After seeing Starwind’s question above (and having run across similar ones around the net with only vague responses) I decided to go to the source. I emailed Smucker Foods of Canada via their website for Robin Hood Flour – a common brand here in Ontario if not nationwide. Below I’ve copy-pasted the response, so the numbers are available for Canucks and us Expats for adjusting the water content.

    And here I thought I was just losing my touch with pastry after all those tough pie crusts! Thanks to both of you, I can have bread every day again. However, I wont stop whining that I miss my Italian bakeries from south Queens!

    In response to your inquiry, the information regarding protein in Robin Hood Flours is as follows:

    * Robin Hood Unbleached All Purpose: 12%
    * Robin Hood All-Purpose Whole Wheat: 14%
    * Robin Hood Best for Bread Homestyle White: 13% to 14%
    * Robin Hood Best for Bread Whole Wheat: 14%
    * Robin Hood Best for Bread Multigrain: 14%
    * Robin Hood Nutri Blend: 13%

  32. Hello. I am a beginner at all baking in general, but more recently I’ve become very interested in bread baking. I was very intrigued to pour 3 cups of 110 degree water, 32 oz. of KAF’s AP flour, tsp. salt and 1 and 1/2 T. instant yeast into my stand mixer, whip it around for half a minute, let it sit in my off, lit oven for a few hours, then to the fridge over night and have dough-to-go! I’ve made it 3 times in three different shapes, baguettes, round boule, and footballs, and had super crusty loaves with tender interiors. I must be lucky. The last batch, though, I was expecting trouble because when it was supposed to be rising, all it did was spread sideways, and it was super sticky wet. So I grabbed it up from it’s rising spot and intuitively kneaded in more flour. Also, this batch I did use half n half KAF bread flour and their AP, so it almost doesn’t make sense that it would be more wet than my other all-AP batches…after that, it pretty-well was in-line with previous doughs and came out real well. My question is, and I don’t know if this was covered here at another time, but if I have another batch in the fridge now, and it will be for several days…do I need, or would it be beneficial to the outcome, to punch down and do the series of “folds” on it every day? I’ve read that process somewhere, but just can’t remember the details. I am new to this website and the book too, so I don’t know what recipe you call your Master is…yet. I’m glad to have bumped into you here, while I was googling about my question on folding the dough. I’ll have to get more familiar with you and the book sounds like a valuable tool for a newbie like me. Thank you to anyone who may have an idea about the punching down/folding process for refrigerated doughs.

    1. Hi Janet,

      With our doughs it is beneficial to handle the dough as little as possible to maintain as many of the gas bubbles you developed in the first rise. This will also reduce the amount that your dough needs to rest before baking.

      Thanks! Zoë

  33. Hi Jeff and Zoe, I just bought the KAF european style artisan flour (a blend of winter and spring wheat enhanced with Vit C and white whole wheat. It has 11.7% protein.
    What adjustments do I need to make on your wonderful breads if I use this flour. Thanks, Bettyanne

    1. Bettyanne: treat it like bread flour (maybe a touch less water, see our post on this at the FAQs page, titled “Flour Varieties…”

  34. Hi Jeff and Zoe- I LOVE your book and the bread is absolutely amazing, but I’m sure you hear that all the time! I made the brioche with the chocolate ganache filling, and it was delicious, however, it was almost like the center of the loaf colapsed (I made it in a standard rectangular non stick loaf pan) There was a fairly hard crust, and then the inside with the chocolate filling, but between the two there was a huge gap – like 1.5 inches. I tried it again, but this time didn’t do the chocolate, just sprinkled on some cinamon and sugar before rolling up and putting in the pan, and the same exact thing happened. What can I do to prevent this? It doesn’t affect the taste, but it just makes for a very unactractive loaf. Thanks, Lauren

    1. Hi Lauren,

      Try rolling it out to only 1/2-inch thick. This way the dough is thicker and has more body to it. Sometimes if the dough ends up in very thin sheets it will separate, due to the fillings.

      Hope this helps! Zoë

  35. Hi Jeff and Zoe,

    I am making the Broa bread in your AB5 book and am thinking of using the Arrowhead Mills Whole Grain Cornmeal instead of the Alberts Yellow Corn Meal I’ve been using. Will that make a difference in taste?
    Also, do I have to change the liquid ingredients?
    I will also use the AP flour in the recipe.
    Thanks and hope you both are having a great weekend.

    1. Hi Bettyanne,

      It may change the flavor a bit, but that can be a good thing. All of the grains have their own personality and it is fun to experiment with new ones. As for the change in the water absorption, I’m not sure? I would mix it up and see if it feel similar to what you are used to? You can always add more water after the fact to find the right texture.

      Please let us know how it comes out! Thanks, Zoë

  36. Hi,
    I’m very excited to try your bread. I have a sensitivity to wheat, but I ordered your ABin5 before I realized you also had published HBin5. Being far too impatient to wait for the second book before jumping right in, I decided to just substitute and see what happens. My first batch of dough is the Master recipe from ABin5 and was made with 100% light spelt flour. I pulled it out of the fridge this morning and it’s so wet that it’s unmanageable. Am I out of luck with the whole batch? Can I add more flour at this point without messing up the bubbles from the first rising? I really don’t want to throw away the whole batch. I’ve been reading through the comments and faqs trying to find a solution to this and haven’t been able to find it. I’d love any advice that anyone might send my way. Thanks!! Elizabeth

    1. Elizabeth: Yes, you can work in extra flour now, but also, understand that spelt is NOT gluten-free (though it’s lower in gluten than ordinary wheat). Spelt, strictly speaking, is a low-gluten variety of wheat. So if your problem is gluten, this isn’t necessarily going to solve it.

      But this is not going to be a result that rises well, needs extra gluten (from vital wheat gluten in the book, as you’ll see). Again, not great if your problem is gluten. Jeff

  37. I am trying to understand the protein content Canadian flour brands. These seem to be higher than in the US. According to the “Nutrition Facts” on a bag of all purpose unbleached flour, a 30g serving size contains 4g of protein. By my calculation this would make the protein 13.3%. Is my calculation correct? and if so, what adjustments do I need to make to the recipe? Do I need to add another 1/3 cup flour? My efforts so far have resulted in a dense crumb – specially in the lower middle, what I would call the belly, of the loaf. In fact, I would almost call it damp or spongy in that particular area.

    1. Hi Tobby,

      Yes, Canadian flours tend to be much stronger (higher protein), this means you will want to add more water to the dough. Try adding an additional 1/4 cup of water. If your flour is 13% you may even need to add as much as 1/3 cup more water.

      Here is a post that speaks further about dense loaves: http://artisanbreadinfive.com/?p=141

      Thanks, Zoë

  38. I baked a gluten-free boule using almond flour, brown rice flour, a bit of chia flour, and the Tapioca flour. Left it out on my counter to rise for 90 minutes or more resting on parchment paper. Formed a round-ish loaf. Covered it lightly with plastic wrap. Heated the oven and stone, slashed the loaf before slipping it onto the stone, and added a cup of water for the steam. I baked this for about 35 minutes. The crust was great. The sponge was cooked but very dense. When I substituted the types of flours, I weighed each. Didn’t know what else to do. This bread is too heavy. What did I do wrong?

    1. Hi Denise,

      Without knowing the ratio of the flours you used I can’t really be of much help. The almond flour is very heavy and can not be a straight substitute for any of the other flours or it will be very dense. I’ve never worked with chia flour, so I’m not sure how it will behave. Each flour and starch has very different properties and absorb different amounts of water, so once you change the type of flours you are developing a new recipe.

      Thanks, Zoë

  39. Recent web searching indicates, and leads me to believe that Gold Medal Better for Bread flour has lowered it’s protein to that of the institutional Harvest King brand, which is listed as 11.9 g protein per 100 g of flour. This calculates to 11.9 %, of course.

    That the Harvest King and Better for Bread flours are identical was garnered from Rose Levy Beranbaum’s blog @:


    Harvest King specs: http://www.gmflour.com/gmflour/flour.aspx?type=WBread#53722w

    Do you think this is worth checking out and updating your chart? Thanks.

    1. Dwight: I’ve had poor results doing this kind of straightforward division– rounding errors mess up the precision, though you’re giving a pretty precise numerator. But the bottom line is that 11.9% is in line with bread (high-protein) flour, which is how we classified it. So nothing to change? Jeff

  40. Zoe and Jeff,

    Thanks for the great information and recipes for bread easier than a bread machine! I saw your book at Barnes & Noble and have had great success with the master recipe.

    I have a question. Can you reuse the flour that you dip the dough in when you form it or even put it back into your flour container with unused flour? I hate to waste flour but am always very careful with any potential cross contamination when cooking.

    Thanks in advance for answering my simple question and I look forward to trying more of your recipes.

    1. Joshua: “Cross-contamination” refers to the danger of introducing uncooked foods that might contain active microbes into food that won’t be cooked again, or even onto your hands or utensils. Usually I don’t worry about that for things like flour and water, but I do worry about it with butter, eggs, milk, meat, and cheese. If you’re using only water-based dough, should be OK (with caveat below). But I should say, that would never be done in a restaurant– because of health code rules. People would forget what exactly they were working with and so the safer rule is never to re-use like that.

      I re-use at home, so long as I’m not working w/butter, eggs, meat, cheese etc. But would only do it if you’re going to quickly use up the dipping flour. Otherwise you’re introducing moisture in there which isn’t great to sit.

  41. Hi Zoe, I am an aspiring baker, beginning with the Artisan Bread in 5 approach. I think I have a problem with my dough.

    The nutritional label on my flour says it has 4g of protein in 30g of volume, so about 13%. If I understand correctly, this is higher than 9 – 10% protein level, I need to use more than the 3 cups of water in the Master recipe.

    I am thinking somewhere between 1/3 -1/2 cup more water.

    I use a Kitchenaid stand mixer and with 3 cups of water, the dough is very stick and clings to the dough hook. Does this sound about right?

    I can only assume the dough would be much wetter and ‘thinner’ with more water?

    Thanks for all of your help!

    1. David: We found that you can’t calculate protein % by dividing the grams protein by total grams in a serving, because of rounding errors in the numerator. They report the protein grams to the nearest whole gram. But even so, sounds like you are using higher-protein flour.

      Match your dough to what you see in our videos, click the tab above, adjust water as needed. Which recipe are you using, from which book (what page #)? Jeff

  42. Thanks for the reply Jeff, I am using the master recipe on pg. 26 from the original book.

    Using the exact recipe, my dough is super-sticky; even with well-floured hands and board, it sticks like crazy. Your dough is much firmer and ‘integral’ and from the videos, infinitely easier to handle. If I were to appear on camera with my dough, it wouldn’t help sell books!

    Perhaps less water is the direction I need to go?

    Still lovin’ it (even with sticky hands!)


  43. David: Definitely, decrease to the standard water dose and you should be fine, assume that you DON’T have high-protein flour.

    Problem is that there’s variation in Canadian flours– we didn’t hear back from Tobby…

  44. I’ve made the Basic White Master Recipe twice now, and have found I need more water than the recipe allows, I am using GM unbleached white, and have to add at least 1/2 to 3/4 cup water extra to achieve the right consistency in the dough.

    I also live in Phoenix Arizona where there is not much humidity, could this be the reason why the dough sucks up so much water?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.