Q&A Whole Grain Breads

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Q: When I make the 100% whole wheat bread it doesn’t seem to rise as well as the other doughs, am I doing something wrong?

A: The short answer is no! It is nothing you are doing wrong, it is just the nature of whole wheat flour. Because there is so much bran and natural oil in the flour it is impossible to get enough gluten development to achieve a really good rise on the bread.

To get a higher sandwich loaf, we tend to overfill the loaf pan and let it rise for longer. If you go about 3/4 full and allow the dough to rise for about 2 to 2 1/2 hours depending on the size of the pan, you’ll get a taller loaf. The whole wheat loaves in The New Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day will do well with this approach.

Another way to get more rise in the bread is to add “vital wheat gluten” (also known as “vital wheat gluten flour,” to the dough. If you whisk in 1 to 2 teaspoons per cup of dry grain ingredient you will have a much higher, lighter loaf of bread. It also contains vitamin C which helps to improve the dough and make it more elastic.  But you’ll need to increase the water in the recipe to adjust for the extra protein; that’s the kind of recipe testing we did for The New Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day.

“Vital wheat gluten” products are available from Bob’s Red Mill and Hodgson Mill. Both products are often in the baking section of typical supermarkets.

Q: My whole wheat loaf doesn’t get a good crisp crust! What can I do?

A: The naturally occurring oils in the flour, plus the added oil in the recipe will prevent this bread from ever getting a really crackly crust. You can bake the bread with steam to help with the crust, but it will eventually get soft again. If you want a bread with a crisp crust you will want to look for recipes with mostly white flour and no added oils.

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472 thoughts on “Q&A Whole Grain Breads

  1. Bettyanne: We did tour California for our first too books, so it will probably happen. Both times, we were sent to the Bay area, so that’s just going to hit a piece of the state. But multiple appearances there.

    Robin: Vital wheat gluten should be stored in the fridge after opening, in an airtight jar. Use it by the expiration date, supposedly it does go bad. Haven’t had a problem but then I use a lot.

    The 10-grain is a dense one, but should have at least risen in the oven (“oven-spring”). Did you get that, or was it over-dense in general?

    For soft top crust, can brush with oil or butter before baking. Also can soften by cooling under a clean towel.


  2. Jeff – I didn’t get any “oven-spring”…it didn’t rise much at all once I took it out of the fridge and formed it…either during the rest or in the oven.

    Thank you for the info about gluten… It’s about 2 years old, and I’ve kept it in the cabinet, so that may well be (at least part of) the issue with the 10-grain loaf.

    I’ll try the towel to soften the next loaf (that comes out correctly!)

  3. Robin: Also, if the 10-grain product you happen to have is very coarse, that will inhibit rise. May need to play with the recipe to the get the result you’d like, decreasing the proportion of 10-grain product. Could consider replacing it with white flour (more rise), or whole wheat flour (a little less extra rise). Jeff

  4. I love the books (well, the technique, to be exact) and have got a copy of the healthy bread version. I’ve also got a few recipes from the artisan version from the library. I’ve tried the brioche recipe a few times (both versions) and have good results! I would like to try to combine the two versions of brioche recipe and substitue only the oil for butter (with same amount in the artisan version?) and use white whole wheat flour (same proportion as in the healthy version?) – while keeping the same egg amount in the artisan recipe. What’s your thought? Would it work?

    1. Hi Joanne,

      Part of the success of the Brioche in ABin5 is all the butter. It sets up once it is cooled to make the dough easy to work with and tasty. The problem with replacing all the butter with oil is that the dough will not set up when chilled.

      Substituting the white whole wheat + Vital Wheat Gluten will absorb more liquid than AP, which might help balance all the extra oil, but I’m not sure you will get away with doing so in equal proportions?

      In the end you are just going to have to experiment. I’d start with half a batch and see how that goes.

      Thanks and keep us posted, Zoë

  5. Thanks, Zoe!
    I think I’m going to use the artisan brioche recipe as the base but substitue with spreadable butter/canola oil blend and use the AP & white whole wheat flour (w/ vital wheat gluten) and water as in the HB5 recipe. I prefer rolls/buns instead of loaves – do you think 20 – 25 min. baking time sounds reasonable for 12 rolls (from half recipe)?

    By the way, I like the pizza on the stick idea – will try that soon and hopefully my picky preschooler will like it!

  6. Thank You Jeff, I have the second book and I did not even see it. I found some recipes for it. I just love the master recipe and was wondering if can replace the wheat for spelt. Hopefully it will come out good. Thanks again.

  7. Wow! I’ve been reading this site for a couple of HOURS now!! I’m new to WW baking but having fun experimenting. I have a question about gluten, if you can help. The first whole wheat loaf I made with gluten had an AWFUL taste! In reading some of the earlier posts, there was discussion about how much gluten to add to a recipe. I added two tbsp to about 2 1/2 cups ww flour and 1 c ground oats. The gluten and oats are the only ingredients I used different on this loaf, meaning I’ve used the flour in another bread made yesterday and no bad taste. So, what IS the proper measurement of gluten to use and do you think the gluten is what left such an awful, gotta-throw-this-loaf-away taste? Thanks for your help!

  8. I usually use fresh, home ground wheat flour in my baking endeavors and have recently learned how to sprout my wheat, dehydrate it and then grind it into flour. How would you suggest using sprouted wheat flour in the recipes in your HBI5 book? Would you substitute it 1 for 1 with whole wheat flour? Would you increase the VWG? Would you change the rest time, baking time or temperature? I am hoping some one has already done some experimenting with the sprouted wheat flour and is willing to share their results.
    Thanks so much,

    1. Hi Barbara,

      You may be the first to sprout and then grind the flour. I have not tried it, but my guess is that the gluten will be rather weak and so you may need to add more VWG to the mix. It will be a bit of trial and error to get the consistency just right. Remember that the dough absorbs the water as it sits so don’t make it too dry in the beginning. You can always add more water or flour, even after the initial rise.

      Good luck and please let us know how it comes out.

      Thanks, Zoë

  9. Hi,
    I’m still teaching myself to bake, learned about this site this weekend and have been searching but I can’t find anything about whole grain rice flour… I use brown rice flour cup-for-cup to replace white flour in non-yeast recipes like pancakes and it seems to work, but I don’t know if it will work in yeast bread. Does anyone know?

    1. Hi Mary,

      Wheat flour has gluten, which provides the structure and stretch to yeasted breads. Rice flour has none, so it can’t be replaced in the same way you do for pancakes. You will want to use our gluten-free recipes from Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day to bake bread with rice flour. Here is a sample from that chapter: http://artisanbreadinfive.com/?p=1396

      Thank you, Zoë

  10. I just found out about your bread making method while visiting family. I was so impressed, I went out and bought your book “Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day”. My one question is, I have recently lost 100 pounds, and want to maintain and my husband has Type 2 Diabetes. I love whole grain bread, but would like to keep the amount of Wheat Gluten to a minimum. Can I substitute Potato Starch Flour for the Vital Wheat Gluten Flour? If so, would it be in the same proportion? Thanks so much for all your hard work.

    1. Hi Dianne,

      The Vital Wheat Gluten is the protein which is extracted from the wheat. So the VWG gives the bread an extra boost of protein. It also gives the bread the extra needed strength it requires to be stored in the refrigerator for more than a day or two. Without it the bread will be very dense. Potato Starch Flour has no gluten (protein), so it is just more starch which has little nutrition and no structure to it at all.

      Thanks so much for trying the bread! Enjoy, Zoë

  11. Have you ever used spelt flour? It’s quite a bit softer than regular wheat. I’ve never tried it for bread-baking. Are there differences in how you work with it in these recipes over red or white wheat?

  12. I want to bake the English Granary bread in your first book, but am not sure whether to use diastatic or non-diastatic malt powder in the recipe, since you didn’t specify. Understanding what the malt powder is supposed to provide would help; if flavor, maybe the non-diastatic; if help to rise, maybe the diastatic? Or, if I used the non-diastatic malt powder and also added vital wheat gluten, I could get both results. I’ve been hesitating because when I tried to order both malt powders, KAF was temporarily out of the diastatic, so I’d need to put in an order for it. Thanks for your brilliant idea; I really do find the breadmaking quick and easy and the results fantastic. I gave up on making rye bread 20 years ago because I just couldn’t get it to rise properly, but with your recipe, I have rave reviews.

  13. Does your 5 minute a day plan include Dairy free? My son has a dairy allergy and I’m wondering if there are sufficient recipies where I can omit dairy or substitute with soy products. Thanks! Julie

    1. Hi Julie,

      Yes, we have heard from several of our readers that they replace the dairy with soy, rice or even almond milk or other products with great results.

      I hope you and your son enjoy all the bread! Zoë

  14. I have a 4-loaf stone baking pan made of the same stuff my pizza stone is made of. Is there a way I could use this for smaller loaves? I’d like it to be pre-heated as in the pizza stone. Any ideas? Thanks!

    1. Hi Glenda,

      Sounds like an interesting loaf pan. The trick will be getting the dough into the hot pan. You will have to let the dough rise and then slip them into the pan. Maybe this is best done on parchment. You may have to try it a couple of times to get the hang of it. You could also let the dough rest in the pans and place it into the hot oven. If the stone is not too thick it should heat up quickly enough to bake a lovely loaf.

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

  15. I have made many lovely loaves of both the peasant varieties and the basic whole wheat. I am trying to create a loaf that is lighter and ‘wholier’ than the regular whole wheat but with more whole grain than the peasant. I am not thrilled with my first effort; the dough felt heavy and the crust is unimpressive. Here’s what I used; what do you suggest?
    1 lb 4 oz white whole wheat
    1 lb AP flour
    3 Tbsp vital wheat gluten
    1 1/2 Tbsp yeast
    1 1/2 Tbsp salt
    3 1/2 cups water

    Thank you ahead of time for helping

  16. Hi Jeff and Zoe-

    I have a question about the Whole Wheat Christmas Stollen on page 279 in Healthy Bread in Five Minutes.

    How would I adjust the recipe using white flour instead of the white whole wheat and vital gluten?

    Are there any videos for the Christmas Stollen?

    Thank you
    Love both your books!

    1. Evie: Yes, there is video, at http://abclocal.go.com/kgo/story?section=view_from_the_bay/food_wine&id=7103139 We were on San Francisco’s “Eye On The Bay” last year, so that’s the video clip.

      If you don’t want WW, can swap out white and drop the VWG, but you’ll need to decrease the water. 1/4 cup? 1/3? 1/2? Not sure, would take some experimentation. Start with less water, then scale it up as you see what the dough is looking like. Fore something really rich, could try a mixture more like our brioche http://artisanbreadinfive.com/?p=357, but challah (http://artisanbreadinfive.com/?p=360) is closer to the richness level in our Stollen.


  17. I am a novice bread baker. I started with the 100% Whole Wheat Bread, Plain and Simple on page 79 of Healthy Bread in 5. Came out ok as I forgot the salt, dough was a little sticky and had trouble getting it off the pan and onto the stone ( I read the tips for scooting flour underneath loaf but it flopped upside down when I tried to put it on the stone lol – still tasted good with the flour and cornmeal on top – next time I will use parchment).

    I have an electronic kitchen scale and the water by weight was more than the glass measuring cup said. Should I just go by the measuring cup?

    I want to add millet to this recipe. Can I just toast it and add it or do I need to adjust the whole wheat flour?

    What about adding rye flour to this recipe (I do not want to use white flour)? Can I just substitute rye for some of the whole wheat in this recipe? If so, what quantities do you suggest. Thanks so much.

    1. Hi Rhonda,

      You can add millet and rye to the recipes, but it may take some experimenting to get the dough just right. We have a millet bread in that book you may want to refer to. The millet will end up absorbing quite a bit of water as it sits overnight in the refrigerator so keep that in mind. The rye has less water absorbing protein than whole wheat so you can’t just substitute one for the other. You will also have to decrease the amount of water or increase the VWG.

      Have fun and happy baking! Zoë

  18. I just couldn’t wait to make the bread so went ahead with the whole wheat recipe and added the toasted millet. Right away I could tell it needed more water which I added. Baked it this morning and it came out beautifully!

    In comparing the Toasted Millet and Fruit Bread recipes (ignoring the fruit) I see TM Bread has 6 cups of flour and 1 cup of millet to 3 3/4 cups water. The WW recipe has 7 cups ww flour to 3 3/4 cups of water. So perhaps substituting 1 cup of millet in the ww recipe would work.

    On to 100% WW and Flaxseed Bread!

    I want to try that Oatmeal Date Bread too.

  19. Regarding “The Master Recipe” in your “Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day”. The water amount seems to be wrong. The hydration is very high (90+%). Is this because you use vital wheat gluten? If I don’t want to use it, how should I adjust the water amount?

    1. Wildeny: Nope, it’s right. Our testing showed that whole grain doughs didn’t store all that well unless they included vital wheat gluten, which as you suggest, is what accounts for the very high hydration— the VWG absorbs lots.

      If you like, try the 100% whole wheat sandwich bread in our first book (http://bit.ly/cNtfJI), which doesn’t have any VWG. People who liked a dense bread were fine with it, but we had some concerns from readers– that’s when we started testing with VWG and were much happier with the results– which is the basis of our second book (http://bit.ly/3wYSSN )


  20. Hello – I’ve been trying to make good bread with a nice crust for 5 years with very little luck… until I tried your method! Allelujiah!!! Great concept – thank you! I am curious about when added oil (e.g. olive oil) is a good thing. I understand that it may prevent a good crust from forming, but at the same time it will allow the bread to keep longer. True?

    Thanks so much, Eric

  21. First I want to say thank you! You guys have saved my whole wheat bread from being a hockey puck. Second, I have a question about (sigh, yes, I am one of those people) grinding my own wheat. I would like to use the recipe from Healthy bread in five, pg 92, Soft whole wheat sandwich bread. (I have a loaf baking right now, smells soooo good.) I was wondering if you guys could tell me what kind of wheat I should be grinding. I have white wheat and hard red wheat. It doesn’t say winter or summer, so I have no idea, but could I use these? I have a nice grinder. Thanks!! Michelle

    1. Michelle: On the FAQs page, we have a post about Fresh Ground Grains, so check it out. You often need to adjust water when using fresh-ground, and it’s unpredictable.

      I’d lean toward the higher-protein wheat– which is the hard red wheat (“harder”=more protein). It’ll take up more water but the extra protein will combat the tendency of these whole-grain breads from being heavy and dry. Jeff

  22. Hi Jeff and Zoe,

    I recently bought Healthy Bread in Five Minutes. I just baked my third loaf which is crusty and lovely, but quite dense. I have a grain mill….The Wondermill…so the flour i have been using is freshly ground. I wondered if this might be making my loaves dense and if I needed to alter the recipe in any way. I tried Plain and Simple whole wheat using freshly ground hard red flour and then I tried using half freshly ground hard red and half freshly ground spelt. I had the same results with both. I have used an iron skillet in the oven for steam since i dont have a broiler pan….this seems to be working well. Thanks for letting me know your thoughts on the freshly ground flour!

    1. Nicole: Assuming you are using the full amount of vital wheat gluten, my guess is that it’s the fresh-ground flour. I’ve experimented with fresh-ground (though it was commercially fresh-ground, see my post on this at http://artisanbreadinfive.com/?p=1165). In that case, it worked great, but people have told us that home-ground flour behaves unpredictably, probably because of unpredictable water content. Sometimes it’s too dry, sometimes too wet. Only thing I can say is to try it once with Gold Medal Whole Wheat so you know exactly what the consistency should look like, then adjust the water in your fresh-ground stuff to yield the same consistency. Also check our FAQs questions above to see if there’s something else going wrong for you. And our Video’s tab, also above.

  23. How can I use nut flours or other alternatives to lower the carbohydrates in your bread recipes? My husband is Diabetic and needs to limit his carbohydrates, but loves the bread I make from your books.

    1. Rose: We haven’t tried nut flours, worrying that they might make the results too dense for some of our readers. But it’s worth a try. I’d swap in no more than a quarter cup of nut flour instead of wheat flour for starters, and dial it up to your taste with subsequent batches.

      You almost certainly will have to adjust the water, though I have to admit, I can’t even guess in which directions. Just try to keep the consistency as close to the all-wheat versions as you can.

      You’ll lose some stretchiness and resilience, and of course the flavor will change.


  24. I made the whole wheat with vital gluten, covered it with an aluminum lasagna pan; it is MUCH lighter than the boule and the crust is soft and not shiny at all. What did I do wrong?

    1. awc: Whole wheat doesn’t achieve the kind of crust you get with white flour. Which of the WW recipes are you using (page number)?

  25. Has anyone adjusted this to make a German style Graubrot. I tried the Rye in the First book (artisan) and the Whole Wheat and Rye on in the Second book (Healthy) and while delicious they aren’t exactly what I am hoping to recreate. Love some ideas on proportions.

  26. Hello,

    I just went to shape my dough for the Whole Wheat with Olive Oil and it tore into pieces and didn’t need to be cut. When I formed it, there was no gluten cloak to it. I’m still letting it rise and will bake it so that I’ll at least know how the taste and texture came out. Plus, my husband loves your bread so much he won’t let me toss the dough for any reason. 🙂

    I saw Zoe’s June 2010 response to Cheegi of adding a few tablespoons of water and I had a question. Is that adding extra water the next time I mix a new batch, adding it to the chunk I tore off, or adding it into the bucket for my remaining dough?

    Also, is there a reason in HBin5 that you add the dry ingredients to the bucket first, then add the wet ingredients? I liked adding the wet first in ABin5 because I felt like it kept a lot of the dry ingredients out of the corners and off the bottom of the bucket.

    And….THANK YOU! It was nice to read through these FAQs and not only see all of your quick responses, but also see how suggestions from years ago (like the weight conversion) were incorporated into HBin5. I’m a high school teacher and I always appreciate when people not only quickly and thoughtfully respond to the questions of others, but also listen to suggestions.

    1. Hi Andrea,

      There are generally two reasons that cause the dough to break off like that. Either the dough is too dry or the refrigerator runs on the cool side. If the dough is on the dry side there will be no gluten development and the dough will just tear off. You can fix this by adding a bit of water to the bucket of dough as you suggested. just mix in the water and then let it sit to absorb for a couple of hours.

      If it is caused by a cool refrigerator you just need to let the dough sit at room temperature for about 15 minutes and it will have its right texture again.

      We add the dry ingredients first because the vital wheat needs to be mixed with the dry ingredients so it won’t form clumps in your dough. Using round buckets may make this easier.

      Thank you! Zoë

  27. Hi we just got your 2009 ed. of HB in 5MAD. We are looking forward to trying it out. We would really like to avoid using any all purpose flour. On p.10 you state that you can’t substitute KA white whole wheat 1:1 for All purpose flour in the recipes. Can you advise what substitution ratio does work and what other adjustments need to be made to make it work? Thanks so much.

    1. Mir: White whole wheat can be swapped for regular whole wheat, not for all-purpose white flour. The HBin5 book has about a dozen 100% whole grain recipes, I’d start with those.

      For the ones where we used white flour, we felt it really needed to be lightened up, for example if there are other heavy ingredients. If you want to get rid of it altogether, it’s going to take some experimentation. You can do it, but you’ll need to increase the liquids. 1/4 cup? 1/2 cup? Probably not more than that.

      But understand– the result won’t be the same; you may find those recipes too dense. Jeff

  28. It’s Prep Day!! We will stick with the AP Flour — a couple more questions — on p.55 for step 2 on the master recipe you indicate for mixing with a stand mixer to use the paddle attachment. Just wondering why not the dough hook?? Also I have come across two bread stone options at Williams Sonoma — 1 is the more traditional rectangular tan-colored stone, the other is an emille henry stone which is black and shaped like a pizza pan with a handle. The selling point for the black one is that it can be used on an outdoor grill. Since we will be using it more in than out I wanted to be sure what if any differences the black stone makes with bread baking? Also they now have a “bread baking silpat” which is darker and has holes for air flow. Would using this eliminate the need to remove the silpat 2/3’s of the way through for recipes such as the 100% whole wheat on page 80, step 9? Thanks again. Can’t wait for those fresh bagels tomorrow!

    1. Hi Mir,

      Our dough is really quite wet and so the dough hook doesn’t really get the job done properly.

      Here is a post about the pizza stones we have tried and recommend: http://artisanbreadinfive.com/?p=2159

      I have never used one of the silpats that you describe, but I am very curious to know how it works. If you try it please let us know the results.

      Thanks, Zoë

  29. Results: Ended up with the Williams Sonoma stone, after reading your post we may have to pick up an emil henry too. The bread was a fabulous success the bagels, from the same dough batch however, a failure. They were nubby and kind of mushy, no crust at all– it reminded me of the “passover” bagels my mom made — imagine a smashed baked brown matzah ball — too much flour? too much sitting post boil? We are trying the 100% whole wheat recipe this week.

  30. I’ve been using the HBin5 for a couple of months now. I’m really into 100% whole wheat bread recipes but I’ve noticed that the loaves don’t keep the nice shape as seen in the photos. I use the vital wheat gluten . While I truly love the bread, my loaf is always very flat looking. After shaping dough and placing on peel I can watch it spread out instead of retaining the original shape I’d hoped for.

    I’ve been making the bread for a year now as I own ABin5. I’ve begun using a loaf pan just to have a nice slice.

    1. Hi Ruth,

      You may just need to dry out the dough a bit. Depending on the brand of flour you may have a lower protein content. Or, you can add a couple more tablespoons of the vital wheat gluten.

      Thanks, Zoë

  31. What do you mean by “drying out” the dough? And does one know the protein content of their flour? I buy an organic Arrowhead Mills whole wheat and white. Thanks.

  32. Just use a little less water (or a little more flour), in other words, adjust the water content relative to the flour. You have too-wet a dough to hold a shape. Easiest way to start would be to decrease the water by 1/8 cup and see if that makes a difference. Can also use LOTS of flour while shaping the loaves. Jeff

  33. Hello, I have just gotten your second book and am taking my first baby steps into cooking with different flours. My friend is insisting that I should cook a loaf or 4 for her that includes spelt and oat flours. I am not feeling confident enough with whole grain flours yet to just start experimenting. You mention spelt in your book, but you don’t say anything about oat flour. Anything you can tell me about them? I saw where the spelt was interchangeable with the WW–is the oat flour also interchangeable? Will I still need VWG? She’s even gone so far as to purchase the specialty flours, she’s very gung ho–yet isn’t too interested in trying it herself.

    1. Beth: You can use oat flour, but not too much or the loaves are very heavy. In our 1st book http://bit.ly/cNtfJI we have an oat flour bread, but it’s only about 17% oat flour and the rest is white.

      If you use this in a whole grain recipe, definitely include VWG. Jeff

  34. HELP! Chocolate espresso whole wheat bread p.301 in HB5. Am I correct in assuming that right after mixing the dough I need to refrigerate the dough for 2 hours? Then shape the dough, let it rise, and then bake?

    1. Hi Susan,

      You need to let the dough rest for about 2 hours on the counter, to allow the yeast to activate. Then you can refrigerate it to set up, which makes it easier to handle. But the initial rest is done at room temperature.

      Thanks, Zoë

  35. Hi, I had great success using the basic recipe from your book. Howevery, my husband prefers a darker bread and I usually make bread with at least one third whole wheat flour. I tried this with your method and the first loaf was ok, although a little wet. I left the dough in the fridge for almost a week before I made the second loaf, but the dough was very, very wet (runny!) and smelled of vinegar. What do you think caused the problem, and is there some way of overcoming it?

    1. Hi Heather,

      The alcohol or vinegar smell is just a natural result of the fermentation. If you put a vent (small hole) in the lid of your bucket, it will prevent this from happening as much. Here is an example: http://artisanbreadinfive.com/2010/10/18/watching-dough-rise-how-high-should-it-go-plus-a-new-member-of-the-bread-in-five-family

      The liquid that accumulates is also a natural separation and generally happens when the dough has sat, unused, for more than a few days. If it is very wet, you can add more flour to the dough and let it sit to absorb the extra water. If the water is on top of the dough, then you can pour it off.

      Thanks, Zoë

  36. I love your book! I’ve had great success with the basic recipe and the Deli Rye. I just tried the 100% whole wheat sandwich bread, using white whole wheat. Unfortunately, I was so used to making the other recipes, I had the oven at 450, and I baked it for 30 minutes (just like the other recipes).

    The bread tastes delicious. But when you slice it, it falls apart. Is that because of my time/temperature mistake? Or is there something else that causes that?

  37. I tried searching FAQs for my answers so that I didn’t have to bother you! Can’t wait to start baking bread, but I am unclear about the best way of storing the baked bread since it says do not use plastic wrap, etc. Also I wonder if it is possible to just use spelt flour rather than the white flour also. I am sensitive to wheat, but spelt has not bothered me at all. I am not fussy about how the bread looks, just wonder if it can be done.

  38. Thank you, I had read that, but if you can’t use it all in one day then can you freeze the baked bread in an airtight plastic container or ?? Also, I am still wondering about the second part of my question…thanks much!

    1. Hi Kathy,

      You sure can freeze the baked loaf, and then crisp it again in the oven to regain the crust.

      Sorry I missed the question about spelt. It has much less gluten in it, which means the dough will be too wet and will not have enough structure to create a nice loaf. You will have to add more spelt to the dough until it is the right texture. It may require a bit of playing with, and you may want to start with a half a batch.

      Thanks, Zoë

  39. I am thrilled that you included nutritious Emmer in your newest book. Have you tried working with Einkorn wheat? I have some on hand and wonder how to make a good bread with it. Can it be substituted for any of the other flour(s) in your recipes? Does it require any adjustment to the vital wheat gluten compared to the Emmer bread recipe?

  40. Failing an answer from Jeff, I mixed up a half-batch of the master recipe using Einkorn in place of all the whole wheat flour. Dough rose beautifully in the bucket last night. Will let you all know it works.

  41. Nancy: haven’t use einkorn, and other than what I just read about it on Wikipedia, I haven’t heard much about it. Sounds like it will perform a lot like Emmer though…

  42. Yes, it performed very similar to the emmer flour. I had only purchased a small amount due to the high cost ($7.00/lb. +/-) from Growseed and from the dough I made a “wheat stalk” or epi per your instructions. Friends stopped by unexpectedly and we literally TORE the loaf to bits and ate every crumb. It was by far the most delicious homemade bread I have ever tasted. Wish the flour was more widely available.

  43. Hi Jeff & Zoe,

    I was wondering if there was anything I can use instead of plastic wrap to create a humid environment when I let my loaves rest.



    1. Just put a lid on the vessel– not airtight. Anything works, but don’t put a damp towel on our dough; it will stick. Jeff

  44. Lindsay, I too had a problem with plastic wrap sticking to my loaves and buns during rising. Now I place a few salt & pepper shakers around or amongst the dough to hold up the “tent” of plastic wrap. Just be sure to leave room for the dough to expand.

    1. also can just dust with extra flour before putting on the wrap, unless this goes against the effect you were going for.

  45. Hi, I’m checked out your book on healthy breads from the local library and am so excited to try your Master Recipe. My one problem is – it’s been difficult finding vital wheat gluten. Would it be possible to replace that with bread flour and still follow the structure of the Master Recipe, mixing and allowing it to do its work alone wihtout kneading and all?

    1. Hi Grace,

      Vital wheat gluten, is often called by other names like gluten flour. http://artisanbreadinfive.com/2009/10/26/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 Where are you located? It is also available online.

      You can make the dough with bread flour, but you will have to play with the consistency to get it to the right hydration. This will depend on the brand of flour you are using. The dough may also not last as long as 2 weeks, but will probably be fine for several days.

      Thanks, Zoë

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