Master Recipe for White-Flour dough: Great coverage in “The Week” Magazine, but there was one little problem…


My book had great coverage in “The Week” magazine on April 18, 2008 (page 30 in the paper version).  But their version of the recipe has you throwing in 4 cups of water, rather than the correct 3 cups (see the fine print on the right, above).  Please use 3 cups, or you’ll have pancake batter!  The correct version of the basic recipe from The New Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day can be found here (click to view).

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192 thoughts to “Master Recipe for White-Flour dough: Great coverage in “The Week” Magazine, but there was one little problem…”

  1. I’ve been baking the 5-minute way for a few months now. I really like the 100% whole wheat loaf. Any tips on how to get a taller loaf? I can’t find a smaller loaf pan (I guess I have the standard size), but wondered if it would work to simply use more dough and make something like a 2-lb. loaf.

  2. My wife has been making wonderful bread for 30 years. I on the other hand have been making bread, using your book, for a day.

    My wife is astonished and also dismayed
    over how easy I made some of the best bread we’ve ever eaten .

    Thanks for bringing fresh bread on a daily basis into our home.

    Dale Pero

  3. I love your book! I live in the boonies in California and it takes me about an hour to get to a decent grocery store. Your book has allowed me to use the items I stock up on in my pantry to make delicious bread, breakfast treats and deserts whenever I want. I have even been baking loaves for my husband to take to work at his station to share with the other firefighters. They love it! Thanks for making my life a little more simpler!


    1. Hi Teresa,

      So glad you are enjoying the bread you are baking! How wonderful that your husband is sharing with the other firefighters!

      Thanks, Zoë

  4. I’ve just made my first loaf of this and it is wonderful! Impatiently waiting for my book to arrive, it should be here next week. Yum!

    Thank you! 🙂

  5. Just a quick question before I get started, do I cover the dough at all?? While it sits for 2-5 hours or even in the fridge for the 2 weeks??

  6. 1. After rise, “to fridge for two weeks” – do u have to wait for 2 weeks to use or does it last 2 weeks? also 2. How long to bake and on what temp?

    1. Hi Brenda,

      You can use the dough after the initial 2 hour rise.

      For the basic boule you want to shape a 1-pound ball, let it rest for 40 min – 1 hour, bake at 450 with steam for 30 minutes. We go into way more detail on page 25 of our book.

      Enjoy! Zoë

  7. I just amde my first loaf, following your Master Recipe and the instructions in your book. While the interior of the laof was wonderful, the exterior was quite hard and bordered on burnt. I would like to make another, but wonder whether I should simply shorten my baking time, or perhaps lower the temp and keep the time the same – any suggestions?

    1. Hi Mary,

      Are you using an oven thermometer? It sounds like your oven may be running too hot? I’d test it and then you can adjust the temperature.

      Let me know what you find out and we’ll go from there.

      Thanks, Zoë

  8. Thanks Zoe!

    I checked the oven temp – spot on – so, being an adventurous soul, I tried again. Success! (I have a strange feeling that the thermostat on the oven may have gotten bumped with the first loaf!)

    The bread came out so well that I had to make up the rest of the dough in order to have enough bread for dinner! There really is something about fresh bread that draws the family to the kitchen (” …just a little piece? Please?”)

    Thanks for the opportunity to provide wonderful things for my family. I can’t wait to try more of the recipes in your book (and to show off!).

  9. in the bread recipe you said to put in the refrig for 2weeks… is that wait 2weeks before you use it or it is good to use for up to 2weeks?

  10. after taking a grapefrut sized piece from the fridge, do you squeeze all the air out of the loaf or knead it at all? I am working from the aritcle in Mother Earth News and the instructions were confusing about ezactly how much to knead or squeeze it down after the flour/boule sat overnight in the fridge
    thanks greg

  11. I am so EXCITED about your recipe! I have been making it at home for about 6 months and now I am starting a high school age class at Sunday School for bread baking/devotional . Your recipe makes all this possible, especially for beginners! My only question would be about slicing the bread. I personally use an electric knife, but since the loaf is so “crusty”, what is your preferred method as far as slicing?

    Thanks again for all this wisdom! It is now my standard go-to for pizza crust as well as eating with dinner! Can’t wait for winter soups (bread bowls!)

    1. Jeanna: I think a traditional serrated bread knife works well, otherwise you don’t easily go through the crust and that compresses the slice, deforming it. If you’re not happy with your electric knife, try this Henckel’s bread knife, actually very inexpensive from Amazon, at

  12. Hi Zoe & Jeff, my son (chef) & I opened a cafe in a small village in Tasmania, Australia, last year. We make all our own bread using your bread making method. Our customers love it! Your new book sounds fab…congratulations!

    1. Colette: Thanks so much for writing– we love hearing from people all over the world this way. Curious— where did you buy the book, Australians on this website report difficulty finding it. Jeff

  13. Hi – I bought your book and had good success w/ my first loaf – but when I went to make the 2nd (2 days later) the dough had somewhat flattened and the baked product was way too dense to eat – please tell me what I did wrong. I love the idea of easy bread. Thanks so much for your help.

  14. I am baking my first loaf of bread as I send this off to you. My daughter raves about how easy and yet how good it is. I do have one question for you since I don’t have your book yet(am buying it tomorrow). What yeast do you recommend? I never get the rise I expect even thought my yeast is suppose to be fresh.

    1. Hi Vicki,

      Thank you for trying out the bread. We are so happy that you and your daughter are enjoying the loaves you bake!

      We have found that it doesn’t matter what kind of yeast you use in the recipe. With the long storing time, they all seem to behave about the same.

      I suspect that your issue is that your dough needs to rest a bit longer before you bake it. The dough should no longer feel cold and tight when you slip it into the oven. This will allow it to rise better and it will improve the crumb as well. You can let it rest about 15-30 extra minutes, depending on the temp of your kitchen.

      Thanks, Zoë

  15. Just made my first batch of dough (after ordering your book, but I couldn’t wait!)…How soon can I bake with my dough, how large a loaf, how hot and how long? Many thanks and congrats on the new book!

    1. Hi Elena,

      So glad you are trying out the bread. The Master recipe in the book goes into great detail about how to bake your first loaf of bread. Without some of those details my description may seem lacking. We cut off a 1 pound loaf, let it rise for about 45-60 minutes on a pizza peel covered in cornmeal, and bake at 450 on a preheated baking stone with steam for about 30 minutes.

      If you allow your dough to rest in the refrigerator for a few days while you wait to get the book you will have a lovely dough and more details to guide you through the process.

      Thank you and we look forward to hearing about all the bread you bake! Zoë

  16. I just got your book and I’m confused about the storage. You keep saying covered but not air-tight. Does this mean tupperware-type containers are not to be used? Can I use a mixing bowl covered with plastic wrap? Or a dutch oven-type container with a lid? Thank you. I’m looking forward to my first loaf!

    1. Hi Sadie,

      You can use Tupperware, but you don’t want to snap the lid shut. Leave it slightly open. The gas from the yeast needs to be able to escape or you will get too much pressure building up in the bucket and their will be an alcohol smell to your dough. You could also use a bowl and plastic wrap or a dutch oven, but the bucket is easiest for storing and fitting into your refrigerator.

      I hope that clears things up? Thanks, Zoë

  17. Thank you so much for your quick response. I have now made three loafs, and I love them. The one problem I had was the bottom being too done and I’ve just moved the rack higher. Now, the only thing I’d like to improve is the denseness of the inside. It can be ‘moist’ in areas, not light and fluffy. Do I need to bake it longer? It sounds hollow when I take it out but maybe it needs more time in the oven…

  18. Sadie: Check out our post on getting a lighter crumb, at First thing to try is a longer resting time. Rather than 40 minutes, go for 60 or even 90 and I bet that will solve your problem. Let me know how it turns out. I’m pretty sure your problem is not baking time, and we find that thumping for hollowness is unreliable for very wet doughs. Jeff

  19. Hi: After much waiting, I finally got the book. The first thing I tried was the olive oil dough for pizza as that is pretty much the only bread we eat frequently. I found it to be a little more yeasty tasting than I was used to. Can I cut down the yeast amount ? (I used rapid rise since the book said it didn’t matter) Or does the taste mellow out after a few days of resting the dough in the fridge? I used it right after the first 2 hrs.


    1. Hi Arthi,

      Thank you for trying the recipe. You most certainly can reduce the amount of yeast you use in the recipes. When you do so you will have to increase the resting times for the dough, depending on how much you reduce it by.

      Enjoy, Zoë

  20. I LOVE this bread making concept and have purchased books for my daughter and all my friends…as well as stones!

    You’ve got to try frying the dough….I had a bit of dough left and oil remaining from homemade potato chips… I rolled small balls of dough right out of the fridg and popped them into the hot oil… After they floated to the top and became a pale golden brown..I drained them and tossed in a garlic butter mixture in a large pan. OMG was that good…and the BEST part…..they didn’t get soggy and soft like other fried dough… SO good…
    Thanks for a great book…can’t wait for the next one…

    1. Thanks for the kind words Carla, we have deep-fried doughuts in the second book. Believe it or not, if you fry at the right temperature, they don’t absorb all that much oil. Jeff

  21. Hi, I haven’t purchased ‘store bought’ bread of any kind since I discovered your book! My kids ask me if I have any of the ‘good bread’ now when they want toast!

    I do have several things I’d like to improve, though, any hints would be appreciated:
    1) my bread does not seem to rise as high as the photos. This is pretty consistant with all the recipes have tried. The first batch rises the most, then by the time I make the last batch the dough is more liquid and spreads. (I have yet to let a batch last for more that 5 days, that’s how much I make!)
    2) Sometimes (often but not always) the bottom outside edge of the loaf rises up off the bottom of the pan during the cooking process
    3) The ‘wet’ nature of the dough makes it hard to shape into anything but a round loaf.

    Any ideas would be appreciated. Thanks so much (and my kids and husband thank you too!!)

  22. You know I gotta say again, you two are fantastic! I just found the link for the youtube video.
    I was able to answer almost all of my questions from there. It’s was so awesome. My sons were captivated. They want to do the bread as a science experiment again!
    There is still the question of the Gluten… I don’t have to use it, right? And the recipe would be the same, and just as good? Also, if I wanted to add some other ingredients such as cranberries/banana, honey, brown sugar, Vanilla Extract etc.. Do I just add more flour to balance, the moisture? Right? Ha! Thanks for all your patience, really it’s been so wonderful.
    I know just found my dream, and it’s finally coming true. Thank you! D.JJJ

    1. Hi Dawn,

      I’m glad you found the videos. To add other ingredients you will have to experiment with the level of moisture and flour. You will add the gluten to the whole grain doughs from our new book Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day:

      Here is the Master recipe from Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day in full: It is taken straight from the book, so you should have all the information you need.

      You might also like to watch our videos:

      Thank you for trying the breads and enjoy! Zoë

  23. Hi..I’ve got some oat flour I was considering combining with the all purpose flour in your Basic Recipe – anything I would need to change? I’m like everyone else on the list here – excited to try it out! : ) Thanks!

    1. Valerie: The Oat Flour bread in chapter 6 of the first book will be just what you’re looking for; yes, there are some changes. We haven’t published that recipe on the web and don’t have any plans to at the moment. Check out our first book at Jeff

  24. Help..I have made the Anadama bread twice , proofed the yeast with good results. I get a good rise for the first 2 hour rise..but very little during the 90 min rest before baking. No rise during baking. The bread tastes great but is flat..What am I doing wrong? I followed the directions carefully and the dough didnt seem to wet,
    Thank you.

    1. Hi Susan,

      The Anadama bread is much flatter than most of our other loaves, so much so that we even say so in the introduction of the recipe. It is just the style of this particular loaf, so chances are that you are doing everything just right.

      None of our loaves have much of a rise during the 90 minute rest, but most will have a big oven spring. This loaf is different and bakes flatter.

      Thanks, Zoë

  25. My wife mixed up a batch and baked a loaf after the first rise using a sheet pan. The bread was very good. Three days later I baked two loaves using a pizza stone. The bread was fabulous. I am concerned about using parchment paper. Paper ignites at 451 deg. F and the oven setting of 450 is, obviously, frighteningly close to that. Does parchment paper have a higher ignition point?
    My main question is about pizza. Do you add toppings to the pizza before or after the rest period?

    1. The parchment papers come with a temperature rating. I use one rated at 450 degrees F, so check for that– I use the “If You Care” brand, and it carries the 450-rating. Sometimes it scorches, but I’ve never had one catch fire. Jeff

  26. Using the master recipe, we don’t get much rise, so the loaf isn’t really usable for sandwiches. We were following the recipe which called for a 40 minute rest; will resting it 90 minutes give us a taller loaf?

  27. Hello!

    I started baking bread some years back and initially used a bread baking machine. Eventually I started baking the dough in the machine, and forming it myself. However, due to time constraints, it was too hard to keep up with the bread and everything else!

    I just purchaed your book and it looks like EXACTLY what I have been looking for. THANK YOU!

    I do have a couple questions, though….

    How wet is “wet” for the dough? I just made my first batch tonight and I guess I’m used to seeing dough in the traditional method. I didn’t know if it was supposed to be as liquid as what was appearing. I used my stand mixer with the dough hook, and I did end up adding one half cup more of the flour. Was this the wrong thing to do? The mixture is stilling rising, so I don’t know how the bread is going to turn out at this point.

    Also, regarding the “gluten cloak”, I looked at your pictures, but am still unsure as to how exactly you perform this process.

    Hope this email isn’t too long, but I am very excited about trying out more of the receipes and to finally be able to get back to bread making!

    Much Thanks.
    Carol C.

    1. Hi Carol,

      I’m thrilled you are enjoying the book. Here are some videos of us making and handling the dough, it may help you get a sense of how wet the dough is supposed to be. I find using the paddle attachment is much easier for mixing in a stand mixer.

      The videos should also give you a sense of how to gluten cloak the dough. Let me know if you still have questions!

      Thanks, Zoë

  28. Hi!

    Just wanted to let you know I baked my first loaf tonight from the Master Recipe, and even though a few mistakes were made along the way, it still turned out great. Also I watched some of the videos you referred me to and they really helped alot in regards to the gluten cloak and the correct wetness of the dough. I can’t wait to get another loaf started.

    Take Care

  29. Hi – I’ve baked hundreds of loaves of bread the “other” way; now I’ve tried 2 batches the 5 minute way for whole wheat…problem is that the rising before baking doesn’t seem complete after 90 minutes. I’m using SAF instant yeast, which has worked great in the past. Any suggestions? also, we’re at about 6000 ft. here in ABQ, NM- what are effects of high elevation on this method? Looking forward to your reply, since the method is great, and the results are tasty but don’t have the crumb you describe. Thanks, and keep up the good work! – Kay

    1. Kay: Check out our high-altitude suggestions, that may be your problem, at We also have general suggestions on correcting for dense crumb at If neither of those help, check back with us. Any chance you are over-handling the dough? That’s the problem w/experienced bakers. Don’t punch down. Don’t shape for more than 30 seconds, if that. And of course, don’t knead. All those knock gas out of the dough. Jeff

  30. I want to add a few extra ingredients to light whole wheat recipe right before baking. I want to include some chopped nuts and dried cranberries. If I stretch out the dough into a rectangle, sprinkle on the additions, then rolls up the dough, forming the basic boule shape, will this take out too many air pockets? Is there a different technique rather than this one? I imagine that it would not be a good idea to add nuts/fruit to the initial dough before the long rest in refridgerator because they might start to get soggy? What do you recommend?

  31. I saw the comments about the cost of stoneware – I started with one stone baking sheet about 10 years ago and now it is all that I will use – I have a whole shelf of stoneware in my pantry – try it and you will love it – definitly worth the $$ – start one piece at a time!!

  32. See ya later store-bought bread. Thanks so much for sharing your recipes and directions. I have 4 little kids and not much time to bake, but you have changed all this. Sooo delicious. Sooo easy. I mix it up in my food processor, bake one batch ASAP, and then as needed, which is mostly every other day.

    One question: I do not get the yield suggested, more like 3 loaves from the gpfrt sized ball. Any ideas?

    1. Beth: It’s not you. Our original Master from book one makes 3.6 pounds of dough; we say to make 1-pound loaves, but that’s really 0.9 pounds per loaf. Or, as you found, 3 more generously-sized loaves.

      I frequently double that recipe anyway… Jeff

  33. Hi, Just read the entire blog, and ordered both books.
    Can’t wait to get started, your books are to bread making what Rachael Ray is to Italian Cooking.. I love her recipes, and have made many of them.
    Decades ago, I used to make pan bread on the camp fire, and baked crude whole wheat loaves in the ashes of the campfire, but I had the luxury of time then.
    I’m really excited to explore the recipes in your books, and I’m in love with the simplicity and efficiency of them.
    Have you experimented with freezing the dough?

    1. Hi Ron,

      Thanks so much, we look forward to hearing from you when you are baking the bread! We do talk about freezing the dough in the books.

      Thank you! Zoë

  34. Zoe , can you please send me your recipe for the ciabatta bread ,as I watch the video tried to hear the recipe to write down but I don’t hear good~ Thank You , Lou

    1. Lou: We haven’t posted our ciabatta recipe as a free resource on the website, but it’s available in our first book; here’s the Amazon link to purchase:

      Our publisher would be very unhappy with us if we provided all recipes here on the site. But I can tell you that the dough we used for ciabatta is the one in this posting above. The difference is the way we handle the dough for this particular bread. Jeff

  35. Hi, any suggestions for using a convection oven for baking as far as reducing the bake time? Thank you so much!

    1. Hi Kathy,

      The rule of thumb with convection ovens is that you need to reduce the temperature by 20-25 degrees and I’d check it about 2/3 of the way to make sure the front and back of the loaf are coloring evenly. If not, rotate the loaf.

      Thanks, Zoë

  36. I want to try and make pizza using this method. I have had the dough in the refrigerator since Sunday. If I pull it out out a week later how long should I rest the dough at room temp before I stretch the dough for pizza. Thanks!

  37. Well, I got my books and plastic pail from UPS today, and promptly mixed my first master batch.
    Well, at first it was too dry, drier than pie dough, so I kept adding water, until it got too wet and sticky.
    I had to drop the project, and get back to work, and now several hours later, it’s risen nicely, more than doubled, so I put it in the fridge.
    Problem is, if I touch it, it sticks like glue to my finger.
    Do I need to adjust it?

  38. hey there – i’ve made my first batch of dough, and am currently baking my second loaf after letting the dough live in the fridge for two days. the first was really tasty but VERY ugly(brutto ma buono was what we called it) – seems to be rising unevenly when baking? as in the center split and it looks like it has a tumor : ( the second is doing the same, but not as badly – i did slash more deeply on the second loaf… anyway, do you have any thoughts as to why this might be happening?

    thanks in advance!

    1. Debra: Try a longer rest time, let’s say 60 or even 90 minutes, and keep slashing deep. See what you think, probably will handle the problem.

  39. How should I adjust the master recipe if I am using King Arthur unbleached, all-purpose flour?

  40. I just made the basic boule… the bread turned out fine… but the cornmeal burned all over in my oven! My poor 18 month old woke up in a panic to all the smoke detectors in the house going off. lol. Any ideas? It’s a propane stove. Also, my oven only takes 15 minutes to get to temperature, should I put the bread in early instead of letting it preheat for 20 minutes, since you say to put the bread in before the oven is fully preheated?

    1. Celena: Cornmeal is a smoky product. There are a couple of things you can do:

      1. Try to decrease the amount of cornmeal you use. That’s tricky– decrease it too much and it won’t slide off the peel
      2. Switch to parchment paper, like this one on amazon ( peeling off the parchment for the last one-third of the baking time. You get zero smoke this way– no cornmeal needed.
      3. Consider baking on silicone pads like this one on amazon: Again, you’ll get no smoking.
      4. If you have an exhaust fan, that will help.
      5. Consider baking in non-stick loaf pans, which are greased and you don’t get this smoking problem


    You will never again have a loaf stick to the peel.

    Jeff: Recommend that you and Zoe make this change in future rewrites of your book. Semolina never, ever sticks.

    1. Toby: Problem is that semolina is often not widely available for some of our readers. But yes, it does work nicely. Jeff

  42. When you say, “into the fridge for two weeks”. Do you mean you have to wait 2 weeks to use it or it’s good for two weeks? Also, how soon can it be used to make the German breakfast rolls? Thanks for your help.

    1. Hi Kelly,

      You can use it directly after the first two hour rise, but it is easier to handle and has more flavor if you wait at least 24 hours. I suggest starting with chapter 5, which talks in more detail about this.

      Thanks, Zoë

  43. Thanks, Zoe….you folks do things right. Write a great book and then bring it to life through interaction with your fans…very smart, helpful and appreciated.

  44. I work at a library. Your book came through our check-in desk and caught my attention (I love baking bread), so I took it home and tried several of your recipes. Wow! Bought the book! We’re giving it as a Christmas gift to several friends.

    Thank you for putting my grandmother’s bread back on our table. She never wrote down a recipe. She wouldn’t allow any of us to help, either – SHE was the cook – so we couldn’t even be sneaky and write down approximate amounts and processes!

    Again, thank you. We’re having the master loaves with Thanksgiving dinner today…yummm…

      1. Jeff, read the book and loved it and is on my order list. I want to amke a Broa and was wondering if it could be made in the style of an Epi? Seems like it would be just the right size to use for dipping in any stew or soup.

        Thanks for taking the time to read my post and the prompt reply.


      2. Hi Steve,

        We’ve baked nearly every dough as an Epi and they all work so far. You can bake the broa dough as an Epi and it will be delicious, but it won’t hold the shape quite as well as the dough made with white flour.

        Thanks, Zoë

  45. My husband & I have become complete bread-idiots – we have been making a loaf every day or two since we got your book. We bore everybody we meet talking about our BOULES – the basic dough & resultant bread is just delicious. It was my neighbor Grace who got me into this, and it’s been so much fun! Thank you for the terrific concept & all the work you did bringing it to so many people! (I can smell my peasant bread baking in there as I type!)

  46. Love your recipe book and I still have a few questions.
    1) Why is it so bad to use a stainless steel bowl in the process?
    2) How would it change the product if I used regular granulated yeast
    3) If I use regular yeast how much more would I have to use to get a similar product?
    4)When you store dough in the refrigerator, does it matter if you punch it down or not over the next several hours or days?
    5) After pulling dough out of fridge, how long must a one pound loaf sit at 75 degrees before I pop it into the oven on to pizza stone?
    6) When you pull a piece out of the fridge, do you have to avoid punching it or forming it to avoid the dreaded wet doughy texture that I got one time using the recipe?

    I hope you can help me with these questions as I did not notice them addressed in the book yet.
    Thank you so much for your time.

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