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40 thoughts on “Our books are back in stock at Amazon.com!

  1. Jeff and Zoe,
    I have a tech-support type question about the Toasted Millet and Fruit Bread. The flavor is fantastic; I’ve made it twice. I’m having a problem I’d like to figure out, though. Both times I’ve made the dough, it has been extremely dense. I don’t get the rise in the bowl that I usually get from the other doughs I make. I’ve been making your breads for about two years with great success, but this one is giving me trouble. When I shape the loaves, the dough is very dry and breaks as I try to cloak it–there’s absolutely no stretch. It barely rises in the oven. However, the flavor is great, so I’d love to deep working on it. I have half a batch of dough left. Is there anything I can do to salvage it? Any idea why it’s so heavy? Is it the fruit? Does the fruit absorb too much water from the dough and dry it out?
    Thank you for any suggestions you can offer.

  2. Dorothy: It’s definitely a denser bread than our usual stuff, and it may just not be to your liking. But…

    Maybe your millet is behaving differently than ours is. I have an idea– instead of toasting it, maybe soak it overnight. It will soften up and the result will be a wetter dough. If any water’s left, drain it.

    No promises, I can’t say I’ve tried this. Jeff

  3. I hate to take without giving back, so here’s my contribution to the Bin5 universe.

    Friday night at 10 pm I found myself needing a mushroom dish for Saturday. I would have to leave right from work to get to the event 1/2 hr late 🙂 So I decided to make a mushroom bread. This works great with dried morels or porcini and probably any mushroom you like. Just don’t add extra water for fresh mushrooms.

    I used the ABin5 master recipe except:

    1/2 Cup Rye flour substitutes for 1/2 C of the ap

    extra 1 1/2 TBSP sugar (can’t remember why)

    2 TBSP fresh porcini powder – I picked & dried my own, crushed it right before adding. Store bought will need more. I would probably double it next time. Porcinis are slimy if chunks are used instead of powder. Morels would be great in small pieces. Fresh can be any size you want.

    half the salt or less!

    Now the real secret! instead of 2 of the cups of water, I used 2 cups of chicken broth. I boiled it for about 5 min (add water if needed) and let it cool. When the steam subsides I added the porcini powder. When luke warm I added water to get back to 2 cups volume and added the rest of the water from the recipe (same total amount of liquid) plus extra water equal in volume to the mushroom powder. Is the broth idea original or have savvy bakers been doing it for centuries?

    I normally use half the salt recommended but the chicken broth may have salt so watch for that. Salt in the quantities we eat is hazardous.


    Then I mixed it as usual but let it sit out overnight so the am rest would be short. That may not be safe so use your own judgement. I shaped it in the am, fed the dogs and myself, baked it while I showered, and brought 4 loaves with me to work. only 3 got out alive 🙂 It was great and I got a full night’s sleep besides! Thanks again, Jeff & Zoe!

  4. Jeff, thanks for the idea. I will try soaking the millet. If it’s just a denser bread when you make it too, then maybe I’m not doing anything wrong. I just wondered about the breaking dough. I can live with it the bread as is. I just had a great turkey sandwich using that bread, and I think it would be very nice with certain cheeses. Thanks for the cookbooks and all the great bread! My husband considers himself a lucky man!

    1. Hi Dorothy,

      If you try letting the millet soak do let us know what you think. If you just add a few more tablespoons to the dough you will get essentially the same effect without having to soak them.

      Thanks and enjoy the bread! Zoë

  5. You say most–all?–recipes may be halved or doubled. Does that literally mean each ingredient is, say, halved? In the Master Recipe, e.g., I would use 2 3/4 cups of whole wheat; 1 cup all purpose; 1 packet yeast; 1/2 tablespoon salt; 1/8 cup of vital wheat gluten; and 2 cups water? Is that right?

  6. Zoe and Jeff,

    I recently bought a 2 lb bag of yeast at Costco and when I got home realzied it was Active and not instant. In ABin5, it states any yeast can be used. Is there any particulur technique for Active Dry that I should use – or just use it like I have Instant?



    1. Hi Todd,

      The Red Star 2-pound bag is exactly the yeast that I use. It really doesn’t seem to make a difference what type of yeast you use in our dough because you are storing it in the refrigerator for so long.

      Thanks, Zoë

    1. Hi Todd,

      You can form the loaf right after the 2 hour rise, but then it has to rest before baking. Not nearly as long as if the dough were chilled. Each recipe has a resting time for fresh dough and chilled dough. So depending on what you are baking you can just refer to the instructions.

      The type of yeast will not make a difference.

      Thanks, Zoë

    1. Saundra: I’m guessing that other sellers will take up the slack. Why shouldn’t they. We will soon be switching our main icon over to another vendor. Jeff

  7. Zoe,
    I wrote to you a couple of blogs ago about a King Cake recipe. I just wanted to let you know that I used the Challah recipe and filled it with a cream cheese and almond paste filling, similar to the cinnamon rolls except instead of cutting them after rolling and filling I just shaped it into a wreath. I frosted and sprinkled it with homemade colored sugars. It was delicious! Since Lent is a couple of weeks away, I plan to tweak it and change out the fillings. Some King Cake recipes use sour cream in the dough. How would I go about adding sour cream to an ABin5? Thanks, Cynthia

    1. Cynthia: I would use sour cream as part of the liquid. Keep the total liquid constant, maybe a little more.

      But this may throw off the moisture, make it tough to keep it from getting gummy. Go easy on the sour cream and you should be OK. Jeff

  8. I hate that you had the problem with Amazon. Thankfully they did get it back up in time for me to order another copy of ABin5!

  9. So I was curious just how wet is dough supposed to be for the boule I use bleached AP flour (I know it’s not perfect but it’s what I had on hand) and my dough fills the container but seems a little stiff?

  10. I have an easy soup recipe that is a bit unusual, but always well-received. It is called African Peanut Soup, I got the recipe from a cookbook published by my elementary school. It has sweet potatoes, chicken, and black beans. The broth is flavored with salsa, cumin and peanut butter. If you think it would match up well with any of the flatbreads in your upcoming book, I would be happy to share the recipe.

  11. If I wanted to make individual sized loaves of ciabatta bread (like for a sandwich) how long should I bake it and how much dough should I use?

    Also, is ciabatta bread the same as Turkish bread (I had Turkish bread in Australia and LOVED it)?

    1. Amie: Ciabatta bakes fast because it’s thin, making small ones won’t make much difference. It’s pretty close to Turkish bread, yes. Ciabatta’s made from a wetter dough, and it’s sprinkled with flour. Not a big deal. Jeff

  12. hi. this is more a baking question: when i make breads that don’t need steam can i leave the broiler/drip pan (that i use to pour the water into) under the bread that is baking? does it effect heat dispersal? same with pizza stone/bricks can that be left in the oven for other baking or does it effect how the heat circulates? i have a gas stove with a very rudimentary heat element, basically just a flame that is small or larger depending on the temperature.
    thanks a lot. the bread, every recipe, is revelatory!

    1. Hi Nina,

      Yes, you can leave the pan and stone in the oven at all times as long as they don’t interfere with what you are baking.

      Thanks and enjoy the breads! Zoë

  13. Hello, I found your book and and was almost giddy at the idea having fresh bread anytime w/o the hassle. I want to share it with a friend but she has allergies to yeast and gluten-free is also important. Is there any recipe that will meet both of these conditions? I would love to find an option for her and her family.

    Thank you so much for this book!

  14. I use a wooden peel covered in cornmeal for my dough to rise on prior to putting it in the oven. My problem is with the peel: it seems to absorb the moisture from the dough and it becomes damp-to the point that the underside of the peel gets moldy. I have been cleaning the mold with bleach, but every time I make bread the peel gets damp again and after a few loaves the mold reappears. Is there a way to correct this problem? Thank you in advance for your help. PS-Love, love, love your books. I have given them as gifts to almost a dozen people already. Karen Rinetti

    1. Karen: If your peel is truly moldy, I’d discard it. Consider rising on parchment paper, or consider an aluminum peel. I’ve never heard this problem before. Maybe you’re in a particularly damp environment?

      Thanks for your enthusiasm for the books, much appreciated! Jeff

  15. Doesn’t the nutritional value of vegetables get baked out? I always understood that heat destroyed nutrients. Please let me know how this works. Thanks.

    1. Hi JMH,

      I think that there are different ways to cook things that retain most or the nutrients. For instance when you boil veggies all of the nutrients end up in the water, that is why we have you use the cooking liquid when making the broccoli bread. As far as I know baking a sweet potato doesn’t leach away the nutrients, but it does concentrate the flavors.

      I think eating vegetables raw may have some benefits, but eating them cooked or baked is far superior to not eating any of the vitamin rich veggies at all.

      Enjoy! Zoë

  16. Hi there,

    Thanks for this update. Could you also let us know when your books are officially “out of print” and into the second edition. I’m VERY anxious to buy your book, but I’m waiting for the 2nd edition – where all the errors are corrected. In the meantime, I’m working my way through your first book (since it hasn’t been that long since I discovered you and your books).


    1. Lynn: Unfortunately, we have no way of knowing what each vendor is selling; they all have the option of selling backlogged old editions anytime they want. The only way to know what edition you’re getting is to look at a sample, and that’s not possible with on-line vendors.

      But to check the edition, go to the copyright page; at the bottom you’ll see a string of numbers, like:

      10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1

      … the last number in the string is the edition number. But that said, we only had four errors in the first edition, and they’re all documented on this website. Jeff

  17. Thanks JEFF, for your reply to my question about getting the 2nd edition. That’s a big help. I did notice the errors page on your website, but didn’t realize that those four were the only errors. I kinda thought maybe you’d still be finding some. So, my apologies, and CONGRATULATIONS on so few errors. I know that’s really, really hard to do. I used to be involved in proofreading, and I hated finding errors after printing. So, maybe I’ll just “get over it” and buy the book now. 🙂 Can’t wait.

  18. I bought your first book last year when I got my new Kitchenaid mixer… I made so much yummy bread! I wished at that time for healthier recipes. I’m so excited to have found the new book! I ordered it a couple of days ago from Amazon and I can’t wait to start with it. The only reason I stopped using the other book was because of nutritional content for my family. Thanks SO much for doing this! I am home full-time w/ my 6 kiddos and homeschooling so I do have some time to cook but sure love the convenience and health benefits and cost effectiveness of making bread your way! Great job!

  19. Hi guys! I am a big fan of making my own bread and love the idea of it being this easy! I generally use rapid rise or instant yeast but have never needed only one tablespoon (always more)! There is a ratio with traditional yeast/packets and rapid rise. Does that come into play with this recipe or is it really one tablespoon any kind of yeast?
    Thanks so much!

    1. Hi Emily,

      We’ve found that the type of yeast doesn’t seem to matter in stored dough. The rapid rise will have a faster initial rise, but in the end you will see no real difference. You can use 1 tablespoon of yeast for any type you have.

      Thanks, Zoë

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