Q&A MISC. Bread Questions

Until we can figure out a more sophisticated way to handle your feedback, your praise and your questions, we hope the following series of Q&A posts will help. Our goal is to get a conversation going about a particular topic in one location. Hoping that it will be easier for you to follow and get the information you need to bake gorgeous bread.

If we haven’t started a thread on the subject you are interested in then leave it here and we can create another post!

Thank you so much for all of the conversation. We enjoy it immensely and are learning so much from you all!

Zoë and Jeff

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2,335 thoughts on “Q&A MISC. Bread Questions

    1. Amy: I usually get spelt in bulk from my natural foods coop. But that doesn’t help you, I know. The more usual source is Bob’s Red Mill, they have spelt. Jeff

  1. Hi – I’ve been asked to make an “Italian Bread” (like you’d buy in the supermarket) to go with lasagna for New Year’s, but I don’t see any recipes in either book that fit the description. Is there a modification that I could make to the baguette, to change the consistency a bit? (Plus, of course, changing the shape and adding the sesame seeds on top.)


    1. Robin: To me, an American-style Italian bread is just a baguette, made not-to-skinny, with sesame seeds. That’s exactly what I’d do. Jeff

  2. Hi Jeff and Zoe: I have a few friends who would like bread without salt – can I just eliminate all salt? Is there anything else I can add to counteract the bland taste?

    1. Amy: In the 2nd book, we talk about this– yes, you can decrease salt all the way down to zero. Taste and texture change, and we’ve tried using a little salt-substitute. It’s Potassium Chloride, so people on potassium-retricted diets shouldn’t add it. The flavor? A bit metallic– see what you think. Jeff

  3. So, I’m assuming that you ‘working surface’ (where you’ll be working with the dough, shaping and cutting will take place all on the pizza peel? Of course, it needs to be well floured to prevent sticking. Then the bread can easily slide from peel to pan or stone. Also, I noticed in a recipe to use a whole wheat stone?? Is there a wheat and white stone difference?

    1. A whole wheat stone? Wow, never heard of that, are you saying you saw that in our recipe? And yes, I like to work on a pizza peel, less dirty stuff to wash. Jeff

  4. I’m so excited about your new book, and use your first book all the time, making all of my family’s bread from your recipes. I’m truly a fan of your method.

    So I was bummed out (okay, really I was so frustrated that it woke me up in the middle of the night last night, tearing my hair out, asking the ceiling: “Why?! Why?!”) to see that the Table of Contents on the new book is as pared down as the TOC in the old book.

    As they stand now, the TOCs offer almost no help in finding recipes, nor in perusing the contents of the book for new baking ideas. The index is wonderful, but doesn’t serve the same purpose that a detailed TOC does in terms of browsing through a book.

    Is there any way, for the love of all that is good and righteous (and so that I can sleep at night and retain some of my hair), that you could post detailed TOCs for the two books on your website for readers to print out? By detailed TOC, I mean an outline of the book (with page numbers) that includes every recipe in the book (using subheadings and sub-subheadings as needed for even more organizational bliss).
    For example:
    Peasant Breads…10
    Euro Peasant Bread…11

    I have seen only one other post (Celene, Feb. 17, 2008) about this topic, but surely others would also appreciate and use a more detailed TOC.

    Thank you again for great and inspiring books and best wishes!


    1. Oh dear Sara,

      I’m so sorry that this causing you to lose sleep and hair! Is there a book that you could give us as an example of one that you think has a successful TOC? That would be very interesting and helpful to see what you consider a great TOC.

      Thanks for the feedback and happy holidays! Zoë

  5. I was the Challah using the Brioche dough and after leaving it in the refrigerator for 3 days I took it out in 1 lb pieces to get ready to bake. I noted to hard pieces in the dough that seems to be flour and butter? I wasn’t sure and so I tried to pick them out as best I could. Did I not mix the dough enough when preparing it? Better yet, how can I avoid such lumps in the dough — It actually happened once before with one of the peasant breads and I was sure then that I didn’t mix enough but the Brioche dough is so much more more moist that I may have undermixed it?

    1. Desiree: We’re not sure why the brioche seems lumpy, but ours is too– our best guess is that it’s honey— once you bake, that all goes away. How did it bake up? Jeff

  6. I love your bread books (just received the 2nd) and have been baking your bread for over a year.I was recently given Superstone, La Cloche by Sassafras. Can I use this to bake your bread dough? Would I allow the dough to rise in La Cloche as well as bake in it? Many thanks for your response.

  7. I just received your book for Christmas and am extremely excited to try many of the recipes as I LOVE BREAD of all kinds! My girlfriend is a fan of the King’s Hawaiian Sweet Bread Rolls and I was wondering if there are any recipes using the methods in the book to make that kind of bread or rolls. I would love to surprise her with freshly made bread. Thanks!

    1. Hi AJV,

      A couple of people have asked for this bread so I will have to look into a good recipe for it. Stay tuned!

      Thanks and enjoy all the bread! Zoë

  8. I received both of your books for Christmas yesterday, and just sat down and happily read through Artisan. I’m eager to get started. There’s one thing I really wish the book had, and I’d happily print and put in the book if it were available here: a simple index of recipes by dough type. That would make it easy and quick to consider what to cook next when I have, say, a bucket of boule dough and a bucket of olive oil dough in the fridge. Any change you all might put an index together? Or is there one here that I missed?
    Thanks for the great book!

    1. Hi Anne,

      Merry Christmas and happy baking! I’m so glad you got the books and look forward to hearing about the breads you bake.

      Several people have requested a similar glossary of recipes and we agree it would be very helpful. Perhaps some day we will have an opportunity to put one together for the first two books. We will also keep this in mind for our 3rd one on Pizza and flatbreads.

      Thanks, Zoë

  9. Read Mother Earth’s latest issue, they describe your method and it mentions gluten free bread. However, when I do a search here on your site, I can’t find one word about it. Going GF isn’t too difficult except when it comes to bread…I do miss “good bread”, but am hesitate to invest in your book until I have a few “particulars”.

    Can you tell me where I can find somethng about GF bread on this site?

  10. Hi Zoe,
    I am using King Arthur’s unbleached flour. I let the dough sit on the peel for 70 minutes. They are small cracks on the bottom. Next time I will let it sit longer. I’ll let you know. I will also watch the video.

  11. Hi Jeff & Zoe,
    I’m vegan and would like to try making some of the enriched breads with egg replacer instead of eggs. Have you heard of anyone doing this and having any luck? It seems like the butterfat/yolk free brioche recipe would be the easiest to start with, but I am also tempted to try the chocolate espresso brioche. I’m wondering if you would recommend adding a little extra fat to make up for the missing eggs along with the egg replacer. Thanks for your help!

    1. Hi Kelly,

      I have not yet tried it, but believe it should work. What vegan egg replacer do you use? Does it contain any fat? If so, just add it in equal parts. If not, you may want to add a touch more oil. You may want to start with a 1/2 batch and see how it goes.

      Have fun and let us know how it goes! Zoë

  12. I received your Healthy Breads book for Xmas and can’t wait to try the recipes. I noticed in the Tips and Techniques chapter that you recommend a refrigerator rise method when the bread comes out too dense. Since I work and don’t have the time to let it set for 90 minutes before baking for another 30, can I use this method with any of the recipes and pretty much have the bread ready to bake when I get home after work? And instead of loaves, I suppose I can shape small rolls instead and they should bake for the same amount of time? I know some of it will be trial and error. You may have already answered the refrigerator rise question in some other message but there are too many to read! 🙂 Thanks!

  13. I have found your videos very interesting and decided to purchase the HBin5 book. As I write this I have my first batch of your bread dough on the kitchen counter ready to go to the refrigerator in about 45 min. 🙂 My question is this:
    Would you be willing to develop a recipe containing the following ingredients. These ingredients are from a commercial bread I have been eating for years and have tried to duplicate using my bread machine but without much success. The ingredients are in the order they appear on the package without the additives & preservatives.
    Cracked Wheat, Unbleached Wheat Flour, Malted Barley Flour, Water, Wheat, Honey, Raisen Extract Concentrate, Yeast, Salt, Soybean Oil, Butter, Raisins, Wheat Bran, Vital Wheat Gluten and Wheat Germ. Thank you for your consideration.

    1. Georgann: Sounds like a great combo, but we’re up to our elbows in pizza at the moment, for our 3rd book! I bet you could figure out a version on your own, based on the Master Recipe. Keep the final consistency like you’re used to from our second book. Jeff

  14. Happy New Year to all! We ate our way through AB in 5 and loved every bite. Now, for the last month, we have been loving the breads in HB in 5. My question is: When I made the breads in the first book the slashes that were made right before sliding the loaf into the oven stayed and the bread looked lovely. Now, in book two, the slashes almost completely fill in. The bread always tastes great but the artisan look is gone. Is there a reason for this? Am I doing something wrong? Thanks. Barbara

    1. Barbara: I’m at a loss, to be honest. The only explanation for slashes “filling in” is that the dough is too wet. Hate to mess with the recipe, because I know it works, but maybe just dry it out a bit, a quarter-cup less water? Jeff

  15. I posted this on the FB discussion board, as well:

    I ran out of flour the other day and replaced 1.5 cups of flour with almond meal. The dough still looked pretty wet so I added the last half cup of flour that I had. The dough didn’t rise as much as the regular dough and it was still very wet. Pretty difficult to work with, but the bread still came out tasty, though it was very dense bread. Anyone else try bread with almond meal? I’m thinking I add another half cup of flour so six cups of flour and 1.5 of almond meal. Thoughts?

  16. Jeff/Zoe:

    In the book, Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day, you did not mention vital wheat gluten. In your video clip, you said said the vital wheat gluten is necessary if you are going to store the dough in the refrigerator. So, if I am using recipes from your 1st book … then I use no wheat gluten, correct?

    Also, I have looked at several baking stones on line (including Williams-Sonoma) and all have received some bad reviews … mainly hard to clean. Do you have any recommendations?

  17. OK…perhaps I will give this a try in a couple of weeks. By the way I see you and Zoe will be in Tucson AZ on March 14 at the Festival of Books held at the U of A. I live in the area so will look forward to meeting both of you then. Maybe I’ll have a new recipe for you 🙂

  18. I have not tried your method yet, and am wondering if I can use the cast iron pizza “stone” I already own instead of the suggested baking stone.

    1. Hi Cathy,

      I just got the Lodge iron pizza “stone” and LOVE it! You will get a great crust with it on the bread and it makes wonderful pizza.

      Enjoy! Zoë

  19. Just got your book and have made the master boule bread and deli rye bread– both delicious! Only complaint– the loaves are small and seem to disappear so quickly! I’m thinking about making a 2 pound loaf of rye next. Questions: how long should I let it rest before baking? Thanks!

  20. Jeff/Zoe,

    Great book. Even better website.

    I’m a newbie and I would like some help. I decided to use whole wheat flour my mom uses (We are Indian):

    Since the protein content is around 12.5%, I put in 1/3 cup of water more than what the master recipe calls for. However, the consistency did not turn out the way your videos show. I decided to try it any way and the crust came great. However, the bread itself felt liquidy when I cut into it.

    Is there any way to salvage this dough or should I just start from scratch? I was thinking about adding more dough and letting it rise for a little while after I pull it out of the refrigerator.

    Another thing I was worried about was that the temperature of the oven was hotter. I used an oven thermometer and it claimed that the temperature was a good 50 degrees below what I had set it to. So, I had it cranked up to 500 degrees. I’m now wondering if the thermometer is not correct and I should have left it at 450.

    Please help…

    1. Hi Mikey,

      Are you using the master recipe from Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day or Healthy Bread in Five? When you say it didn’t look like the video is it wetter or drier? I’m assuming that it is wetter from your comment about the “liquidy” interior. You can just add a bit more flour to the dough and then allow it to sit for a bit to allow the flour to absorb the water.

      It is typical for an oven to run hot or cold, so I would trust your oven thermometer, unless you have reason to believe it could be broken.

      Thanks! Zoë

  21. Zoe,

    I’m using the master recipe from the original book. I’m sorry I should have mentioned that it came out a little wetter.

    Should I have used the recipe from the new book? I guess it’s time to get that one 🙂

  22. Hi Zoe and Jeff,

    I am a huge fan of your first book and am also loving the second book. My father-in-law has a wheat allergy that developed later in life. One thing he always comments on is how much he would love a good slice of bread. In the past I have tried making gluten free breads, but they have turned out so bland and have felt like I was eating sandpaper. Your gluten-free recipe has been a major hit with my father-in-law! It is proof that you can teach an old dog new tricks! After eating a whole loaf in one sitting for Christmas, he was inspired to go out and purchase all of the ingredients and a baking stone. He has made four loaves on his own and is thrilled to be eating tasty bread again. Thank you so much for the work you do and sharing it with all of us!

    1. Jayme: So great to hear that the GF breads are working for people, we’re so glad. Giving up decent bread would be a major problem in my life, so I can relate! Thanks for sharing your experience. Jeff

  23. Mikey: Depends on whether you want more whole grains or not– if so, go with the new book. If your doughs are coming out too wet with the flour and water ratio you tried, just use less water and it will be fine. Jeff

  24. I love your book. I have refered it to many of my non bread baking friends. They love it also.

    I would like to add brewer yeast, lecithin granuales and wheat germ to the wheat bread. Can I do that? If so what quantities whoud you suggest.

    1. Hi Nancy,

      I would start with a couple of tablespoons each for a full batch of dough. I don’t think you will have to change the water, but if it feel dry just add a couple tablespoons of water.

      Thanks and let me know how it comes out! Zoë

  25. Hi guys,

    I am trying to work out what I am doing wrong please? I have tried to make the boule bread and have found it a bit uncooked in the middle. Are the measurements in US? I ask as a TBS here in AUS is 20ml, yet in USA it is 15ml? Could error with yeast measurement make this happen? Perhaps I put slightly too much water in?

    Any advice appreciated as I have tasted other peoples and it is fantastic!

    Thank you so much,

    1. Jo: likeliest explanation for undercooked center is that oven temperature is way off– use a thermometer to check, such as this one http://www.amazon.com/Taylor-Gourmet-Thermometer-Stainless-Steel%252fCopper/dp/B000HB5NA4?&camp=212361&linkCode=wey&tag=arbrinfimiada-20&creative=380725. Other problem people have is that they might be using “bleached” flour rather than “unbleached,” which leads to a too-wet dough. Are either of those the problem? Measurement is the other problem; yes, we use U.S. measurements so make the corrections as appropriate.

      Julie: salt is mainly a flavor item for our stuff, but as you suggest, it also tightens up the structure of gluten-based breads. That said, you can certainly tone down the salt; Zoe and I love salty bread but some people find our stuff too salty. The amount you quote should be fine. Jeff

  26. Great book and method – a Christmas gift and am on my first batch and have excellent results!

    What is the role of salt, other than taste? Does it play with the yeast development? Does it help preserve the refrigerated dough? I’d like to cut back to about 1t per 3c flour.

    Thanks for the sharing the passion!

  27. Hello,

    I tried the master recipe, left in the fridge for 12 days, then formed and let rise for 40 minutes. I cooked the bread and it came out great. Once criticism is that it was a very dense bread…..is there any way to make it more airy and light

  28. Thanks, Jeff….we have to watch the sodium and potassium in our diets here! So if I cut back on the salt but use a higher gluten flour (like King Arthur AP or Typo 00) should the gluten structure respond like your original formula? I will give it a go this week.

  29. Thanks Jeff. I didn’t have an oven thermometer on hand, but I increased the temp by 15 degrees (c) and it must have been my oven! I used the same batch and now it is perfect! So yum!. Can’t wait to try out your other recipes. Thank you for your quick response!

  30. 1) I would like some general guide lines for modifying the baking to make 2 pound free-form loaves or use a bread pan instead of free-form loaves. Maybe this has been covered, but I can not find it.
    2) I think that there is an error for the Grissini in Healthy in 5. You say it makes 24 sticks, but the directions say to cut it into 1/8 in strips –that would make 64 sticks (8 times 8). I tried it with 1/3 inch strips, which did yeild 24.

    1. John: Two pound loaves generally need the longer rest— go 90 minutes, not 40 as in our first book. The bread pan increases baking time maybe 5 to 10% at most, temp is the same.

      Thanks about the Grissini– we probably cut them thicker than we realized when we finalized the recipe. Jeff

  31. Another (polite and perhaps even loving) request for weights in future books – since I will almost certainly be buying the flatbreads one. I just got a good scale for my birthday and I’m eager to begin expanding my repertoire of properly-measured bread recipes! (my husband had to pack down the AP flour a couple of weeks ago to fit it in the container, which really illustrated for me the dangers of using cup measures!). However, I would also love to know the weights of the salt and yeast in a “doubled” version of the basic Master Dough (3 tbsp kosher salt; 3 tbsp yeast). Thank you for your baking inspirations!

    1. Hi Jennifer,

      We will hopefully include more weights in the next book. It is wonderful to see that it is becoming the norm for so many bakers!

      Thanks, Zoë

  32. Have you heard of anyone having trouble with steaming in an oven with a glass cooktop. Haven’t tried it yet but am concerned about it cracking.

    1. Hi Suzi,

      No, I have not yet heard anyone complain about problems with glass cooktops over their ovens. It may be a good idea to contact the manufacturer and find out what they suggest. You can always bake in an enclosed pot if they don’t think it is safe.

      Please let us know so we can tell others! Thanks, Zoë

  33. Jeff, first Happy New Year to you and Zoe and your families. A while back you kindly answered my question about baking the rye bread in a loaf pan. Unfortunately, my computer crashed and I’ve lost a lot. Do I just put the dough in the pan, let rise and then bake without a pan of water or what? Thanks a lot.

    1. Hi Louise,

      Just pull the dough from the bucket, shape, place in greased loaf pan, allow to rest, bake and cool. If you want a crisp crust then use the steam.

      Enjoy, Zoë

  34. Hi,

    I have a family of very mixed bread tastes. My one daughter and I love the master dough recipe with a bit of a sour tang to it. My husband and other two girls find it too sour, but love the texture (which is a major triumph). I’m making the bread within 24 – 48 hours of mixing the dough. I have your Healthy Bread in Five book (fantastic – absolute God-send for homemade bread with no time!) Can you recommend a recipe or two that may have a little less sour taste so I can ease them into a more flavourful bread? I’m hoping that over time they will get used to the sour taste and come to like it, but in the meantime . . .

    Thanks for any suggestions you can give me.
    (Southern Ontario)

    1. Hi Sonya,

      You may want to try cutting back on the amount of yeast that you are using, that may be the flavor that they are detecting in a dough that is only 24 hours old. If you try that you will need to allow the dough to rise a little longer during the initial rise. I’d start by trying the dough with 1 tablespoon yeast.

      You can also freeze the dough after the initial rise and that will prevent it from fermenting which is the “sour” taste. Just wrap the dough in 1-pound packet and freeze. When you want a loaf just put it in the refrigerator to defrost overnight and then bake the next day.

      Hope that helps! Zoë

  35. I’m a new baker and love your book!

    But can you please, please, please provide a page on your website with your common ingredients in grams related to cups or tablespoons where appropriate and include your sourdough, course salt and yeast.

    I can’t imagine that it would take more than 20 minutes in your test kitchen to weigh most of your ingredients to help out most of the world that uses the metric system.

    With all the variables in baking, your readers will find using a scale in grams will dramatically increase loaf consistency, reduce problem loaves, endless questions, and makes much of the verbiage ” gently scooping flour, then leveling the top of the measuring cup with a knife; don’t pat
    down” unnecessary.

    Additionally using a scale can save even more time (and water) off preparation and cleanup as all ingredients go straight from their original storage container to the mixing bowl on the scale. My only cleanup item is a wooden spoon.

    P.S. As soon as a a metric conversion page is on your website, I will send 3 more copies of your book for my friends and family in Sweden!

    1. Hi Matt,

      We are thrilled that so many home bakers are using scales these days and are requesting weights. We included a chart on page 36 of our second book Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day that includes metrics.

      Thanks, Zoë

  36. Hi!

    I used your master recipe and I think I may have royally messed it up. It really wasn’t as wet as I thought it woud be (even with the 6 1/2 cups of flour) and, though I tried not to knead, I had to mix the dough with my hands, as I don’t have a stand mixer/dough hook. I let it rest for half an hour and thenformed the ball, put it on my stone (I have a Pampered Chef stone and didn’t preheat it, as I worried about it cracking), and baked it at 450 in my oven for 20 minutes. I did put a pot of water in the oven with it (I have a convection oven. The broiler is IN the oven, just cranked up to uber high heat when needed.) WHen I pulled it out, the crust was as solid as a rock. When I finally cut through it with my butcher knife (yeah, it took my big gun to get through that crust, lol), the inside was nothing but a gooey doughey mess. So, what did I do wrong? I hear RAVE reviews on your breads and I really, really want to taste them. But, I need to make them first, lol. Apparently I am the idiot that this recipe isn’t proof, lol. Thanks!

    1. Hi Kama,

      I’m so glad you wrote, I think I have some suggestions that will help you. My thoughts are in bold type. Where did you get the recipe that you are using, off the web or from the book?

      I used your master recipe and I think I may have royally messed it up. It really wasn’t as wet as I thought it woud be (even with the 6 1/2 cups of flour) and, though I tried not to knead, I had to mix the dough with my hands, as I don’t have a stand mixer/dough hook. It is fine to knead while mixing, just not when shaping the dough after is rises.
      I let it rest for half an hour and thenformed the ball, (After the initial 2 hour rise, you can gently shape the loaf and then your bread needs between 40-1 1/2 hours, depending on the temperature of the room and dough. A 30 minute rest isn’t really long enough unless you are making a baguette)
      put it on my stone (I have a Pampered Chef stone and didn’t preheat it, as I worried about it cracking), and baked it at 450 in my oven for 20 minutes. The stone has to be preheated or you are not getting the benefit of its intense heat. The stone conducts heat to the bread and helps with the baking process. If you put the stone in cold it will keep the bread at a cooler temperature on the bottom until the stone has a chance to heat up.
      I did put a pot of water in the oven with it (I have a convection oven. The broiler is IN the oven, just cranked up to uber high heat when needed.) The water should go into an empty broiler-pan (this is something different than the broiler heating element in your oven) or other metal baking dish to create steam. When you throw the water into the preheated pan it should send up a big puff of steam, this helps get a nice shiny crust on the bread. If you are using the convection setting on your oven you need to reduce the heat by 20-25 degrees. Convection heat is much more intense.
      WHen I pulled it out, the crust was as solid as a rock. When I finally cut through it with my butcher knife (yeah, it took my big gun to get through that crust, lol), the inside was nothing but a gooey doughey mess. So, what did I do wrong? I hear RAVE reviews on your breads and I really, really want to taste them. But, I need to make them first, lol. Apparently I am the idiot that this recipe isn’t proof, lol. Thanks!

      I hope that helps! Have fun baking and I’m sure your next loaf will be much better! 🙂 Zoë

  37. Thank you for you book. I’ve had a lot of fun baking fresh bread for my family. I live at almost 5000 feet in elevation. My breads come out flat every time I bake. I’ve tried longer resting periods to see if that helps. It does not. Do I need to do anything to my formula to account for the higher altitude?

    Thank you.

  38. Regarding my Dec. 24th message about wishing for a more detailed Table of Contents, I looked through my cookbooks to see which TOCs were helpful, so I can answer Zoe’s question. 🙂

    A good example of what I’m talking about is the TOC in the Laurel’s Kitchen Bread Book.

    Thanks for indulging my comment, and I’m enjoying using the new book!


    1. Hi Sara,

      I don’t have that book, but I will get it out of the library and take a look at the TOC. Thank you for following up on that!


  39. GAAAAH! Today I mixed up a batch of wheat sandwich bread from your new book, and I just now realized I forgot to add the 2/3 c oil called for. It already had its counter rise and is now in the fridge. What can I do, or do I bake it up as is?

    Thanks very much for both your fantastic books and personal attention to these questions.

    1. Hi Cat,

      It may seem a touch dry as is, but you could certainly try a loaf. If you are not happy with the results than through the remaining dough in a stand mixer and add the oil. This will essentially knead the dough so you will have to allow it another 2 hour rest to reestablish any air bubble. Obviously you will need to reduce the amount of oil to account for the loaf you baked before adding it.

      Enjoy and let me know how it goes! Zoë

    2. Cat: You won’t be able to incorporate the oil now. Unless the dough seems really dry, I’d just bake it up. It is likely to be firm-crusted, not soft as was intended here. But still quite good. If it’s looking too dry, just float some water on top. Believe it or not, it will incorporate into the dough over the next day or so. Pour off the excess.

  40. Hi Jeff – the other flour I’m using is Pendleton 12% protein content, and am not sure of my last bag of Typo. Anyway, I cut back the salt to 1t:1.5c Gold Medal:1.5c Pendleton12% and had great results! I’ll continue to play around, and regardless of the results, my family will enjoy the product….only ‘”problem” is that now we are eating more bread! It’s too easy and accessible — thanks and I look forward to owning your other books and looks like I’ll be baking bread for a long time to come!
    Thanks for adding to our table, and best success + wishes in 2010!

  41. Hi Guys, Hello from England where my husband bought me your AB in 5 a day for my Christmas stocking as I have always loved making bread but not always spending so much time doing it. I have been following your Boule recipe and getting lovely bread but it is chewy. I have just put some loaves into the oven for elderly ladies locally (we are somewhat snowed in at present) and am concerned that it might defeat them. The crust is lovely and crisp but the inside quite dense and I believe it is because I am using Bread Flour with a protein content of 12.6 as I don’t know what you mean by ‘all purpose flour’. We have 3 types of flour here – Self Raising which has baking powder added and is used for cakes, Plain without baking powder and used for pastry and ‘Yorkshires’, and Bread Flour. I am sure it would be very expensive to have the flour you suggest shipped over from the US – can you please advise what you mean by ‘all purpose flour’ Thank you from a very snowy Cricklade, Lynne

    1. Hi Lynne,

      The flour that you can find in England that is closest to all-purpose is your “plain” flour. It has less protein than the bread flour, but still develops the needed gluten. If you want to continue using the bread flour just add a touch more water to the mix and you will be just fine.

      Enjoy and I hope you are staying warm! Zoë

  42. My first attempt was an utter failure. Could it be any of the following? My flour had been in the fridge a long time – say about a year; the gluten, while unopened, was about 6 months old; baked on perforated pizza pan on parchment paper…the first thing I noticed was that the dough did not appear to rise AT ALL after mixing. I used a large plastic bowl and halved the recipe. Just left it in the bowl to rise – it didn’t. After about 2-1/2 hours I divided the dough up into 12 small portions in a muffin pan and covered loosely with plastic wrap in the fridge. This morning I took it out to sit at room temp while the oven preheated to 450. Baked 2 “rolls” for 30 minutes on the above mentioned pan. Result: VERY hard crust, a little gummy inside; parchment burnt, too. So go ahead and tell me everything I did wrong. Should I lump the dough all back together in the fridge and just cut off what I want when I want to bake it. Does 2 small rolls baked at a time need a lower temp to bake? Help!

    1. Hi Sherry,

      The stored flour and vital wheat gluten should be fine. It sounds like you had an issue with the yeast. Was the yeast within the expiration date? The dough should double in size during the first rise, if this didn’t happen then something is up. Did you use warm water when mixing the dough? If the water is cold it will take hours longer to rise, but will eventually. If the water is HOT on the other hand it will kill the yeast and the dough will never rise.

      If the dough never had an initial rise then it had nothing to do with the way you were baking it.

      Let me know and we can figure it out from there. Thanks, Zoë

  43. I am loving the AB in 5 and am baking through the book. Could you please tell us how to promounce the names of bread and some recipes…. like… Aubergine Tartine…Batard…. Ciabatta… Couronne… Pain d’Epi. Hope this is not wasting your time. Your recipts are so easy to follow. This is what I have been looking for for a long time.
    Many Thanks…. Sherry

    1. Hi Sherry,

      My son’s teacher made the same request! 🙂

      Aubergine Tartine ~ O-ber-jene Tar-teen

      Batard ~ Bah-tard

      Ciabatta ~ Cha-bah-tah

      Couronne ~ Core-own

      Pain d’Epi ~ Pan de-pee

      Hope that helps! Zoë

  44. Thanks, Zoe. Yes, the yeast was within the expiration date – sometime this year. I made sure to use warm water, but maybe it was too hot. Is there a specific temp I should aim for. I have a candy thermometer I can use to test it until I get the hang of it. How about the pan? Perforated pizza pan with parchment paper? I didn’t want to invest in a stone until I get the hang of this. I bought fresh yeast and will try again.

    1. Hi Sherry,

      The water should be about 110 degrees or cooler.

      I have the same pan and it should work just fine with the parchment.

      Let me know if the new yeast works.

      Thanks, Zoë

  45. Help! I just mixed my first recipe, the WW Brioche on p. 275 of your new book. Is there any hope for that dough? Can anything be done to salvage it? I thought the dough was very dry and strange, and came here looking for answers, and just found the corrections.

    1. Hi Roni,

      I’m afraid that it will be too difficult to add anything to that dough. You could potentially take a portion of it and put it in a food processor with 1/4 cup water and break it up into a slurry. Try adding some of that to a new batch and adjust the water content and don’t add any more vital wheat gluten.

      I hope this will work and I’m sorry for the inconvenience! Zoë

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