Underbaked! My loaf didn’t bake through to the center. What am I doing wrong?

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When we talk with people with a loaf-center that won’t bake through, it’s almost always one of these explanations:

  1. The oven temperature is off: Usually it’s running too hot, and the outside looks brown before the center is baked through.  But a low oven temperature can fool you too– you think you’ve baked long enough, but it’s actually running 50 degrees too cool.  Home ovens can be off by 50 to 75 degrees F, so check with an inexpensive oven thermometer like this one on Amazon.
  2. Inadequate oven and stone pre-heat: This can be an issue for really large ovens and thick baking stones. Some professional-style ovens (Wolf and Viking, for example) may need up to an hour of pre-heating. If you are using a thick baking stone, it may also need up to an hour of pre-heat. Even thin stones will benefit from a longer preheat.
  3. Measuring flour incorrectly: The most common mistake is that someone isn’t measuring the way we describe in our books.  We use the standard scoop-and-sweep method.  See our video on this for proper technique.  Do not spoon the flour into the measuring cup before sweeping– if you do, the cup will be too-lightly filled, and the dough will be too wet, leaving you with a center that won’t bake through.  Consider weighing flour if you want to get away from the uncertainty of volume measurement, see the post…

If you’re really struggling with underbaking, you can try an instant-read thermometer.  For lean breads (no eggs), the temperature at the center of the loaf should be 205 to 210 degrees F (96 to 99 degrees Celsius).  For egg-enriched doughs, the temperature should be about 185 degrees F (85 degrees Celsius).

One other thing– thanks for a great review of Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day on Mary Hunt’s EverydayCheapskate.com, click to view.

More in The New Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day, and our other books.

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166 thoughts on “Underbaked! My loaf didn’t bake through to the center. What am I doing wrong?

  1. Another tip: If you’re not confident the loaf is done, use an instant read thermometer and check the temp of the center of the loaf. I usually take it out at 200-205 deg F, although I’m not sure where I got that number from, and I’m not sure that would be the right temp for all whole grain loaves. Doing this has saved me a lot of disappointment over the years.

    1. Hi Liz Tee,

      You are absolutely right about the temperature being 200-205, and that seems to work for the whole grain recipes as well.

      Thanks, Zoë

  2. I was also having the same problem, though I always weighed the flour. However, when I measured the internal temperature it was 195, which has been good for other breads. I’ll try leaving it in until at least 200, and that should solve the problem. Thanks!

    1. H: We find that 205 to 210 is the way to go if you want to use a thermometer. We’re not super-excited about them because the inexpensive ones take a long time to settle down (they’re not “instant” read).

  3. With summer approaching and scorching heat, could you post more grilling recipes, like grilled pizza and naan, other ways to make breads outside. Thank you!! All your posts are great resources.

    1. Jackie: Lots of grilling recipes to come, for now, check out last summers by going back through the website. Just go to the bottom, select “Keep Looking,” then keep going back to last summer. I think we may even have some from summer of 2008.

  4. Zoe: How do I bake my bread so that it is done in the middle, but doesn’t have a hard crust? I love “crusty” bread normally, but would like to use the bread for sandwiches for my kids and it is too hard for their liking. I have tried to lower the temperature to 375* for an hour, but that is still giving me a hard crust. I tried to take it out before an hour and the middle wasn’t done. Any ideas? Thank you!!

    1. Hi Sarah,

      Which recipe are you using? If you are not already you may want to bake an enriched bread for their sandwiches. The addition of butter/oil, eggs and/or dairy will produce a softer crust and a bread that most kids love. I used the whole wheat brioche recipe from HBin5 for sandwiches.

      Thanks, Zoe

    1. Hi John,

      Great point! The cooling part of the process is key to getting a nice crumb to your breads.

      Thanks, Zoë

  5. @Sarah: The American Style White Bread recipe in ABin5 is amazingly delicious and utterly slice-able! The crust is thin, light and yummy. Even the most pampered child wouldn’t want it cut off. (I know this). I have better results cooking this bread without a pizza stone.

  6. First, mahalo (thanks) for the great book. I’m having a great time trying all the recipes. Only one problem so far. Made the 100% Whole Grain Maple Oatmeal Bread today, which seemed to come out beautifully… until we tasted it. There was a bitter, plastic taste that permeates both loaves. I followed the recipe exactly, the only variation being that I added another teaspoon of cinnamon, some chopped pecans and tried using slightly less yeast than called for. I used the same flours I’ve been using and the same (plastic) container I’ve used for a number of loaves. Tasted the nuts and wheatgerm to be sure they weren’t the source of the bad taste. Any clues, because otherwise this seemed like one of the best loaves so far. Aloha, Jane P.S. believed I used the same pans before too

    1. Jane: Your welcome. OK, so I had to wiki “mahalo” to figure out it’s Hawaiian– anybody need Zoe and I down there in January to do a bread class?

      Re: your maple oatmeal bread: first guess would be that your pecans are rancid (stored too long and the oil goes bad), though I can’t explain why they taste OK alone. Why don’t you try it without the pecans (and leave the cinnamon where we had it)? That cinnamon increase may not have been a good way to go– sounds like a lot of cinnamon.

  7. Hi Both,

    I can’t say how much I love your books and I have now for about 1 month baked my own bread. I am so excited about the result.
    My only problem is that I would love to make the bread for our breakfast and with it needing to raise for 90 min and bake for 30 min it’s not possible for me to wait that long to give my family breakfast. Do you have any good ideas to how I can make it quicker?
    Thank you,

    1. Jane: Smaller loaves, or flatbreads need a shorter rest time. 20 minutes for rolls and even baguettes (if they’re white flour), and zero minutes rest for the thin flatbreads. Other option: the refrigerator-rise trick; see our FAQs page above and click on “Dense Crumb…”

  8. I just returned from a trip to Montreal and am very keen to try out the “Montreal Bagel” recipe. Shopping today I couldn’t find malt powder but I did manage to come home w/ malt syrup. Could I use this and in what proportions for the dough and boiling water? I looked on line, but didn’t have any luck finding substitution information. Thanks so much for your help. FYI, the best breads I’ve ever made come from your recipes, so thanks for that too!

    1. Andrea: You’re adding a little water if you swap in the syrup. It won’t make any significant difference in the boiling water. As for the dough, I’d increase the volume of malt to 1/4 cup, and decrease the water by two tablespoons. See how that goes…

      Glad the recipes are working for you.

  9. What keeps this dough from getting overly yeasty? I have tried refrigerating my regular (whole wheat) bread dough before (when I was time-crunched or something) and by the second day – or at least by the third – it’s so overly yeasty it almost smells/tastes *rotten*. I can’t even imagine eating it two weeks later!

    Your (enriched) recipe seems to be the same proportions of everything that I would get if I omitted a few cups of flour from my recipe to get the wetter dough for storage. (The yeast is the exact same ratio to the water and other ingredients.) Why does yours not get icky yeasty like this? I find myself utterly baffled by this disparity!

    1. Rachel: I’m guessing you’re going to prefer the low-yeast version, and that will solve all your problems. Some people just have a different perception of yeast (I don’t detect this problem). See the FAQs page above and scroll down to “Yeast: can it be decreased in the recipes?”

      I’m assuming you’re using our recipes; you can’t just store a traditional dough…

  10. I love the idea of trying loaves with the 100% whole grain brioche, but I’d love some advice on finding a less-sweet, milk and whole egg recipe. You’ve got an egg white & milk, or a whole egg and butter. Can I use the egg white recipe and just use half the eggs, whole? Any subs needed for reducing sugar?
    My kids love the bread-baking, but they still want Trader Joe’s Spelt bread for sandwiches. Don’t mind having it, but a sandwich loaf would be nice.

    1. Hi Stephanie,

      You can try subbing the egg whites with half the amount of whole eggs. As for the sugar/honey, it will depend on how much you want to reduce it by. If it is just a couple of tablespoons then no substitution is necessary. I would start by trying these changes with a half batch and see how you like it. Let us know what you come up with.

      Thanks, Zoë

  11. Jeff and Zoe,

    I have been making your breads for a couple months now with no problem. All of a sudden the last too batches are too watery. The first batch I noticed looked a little wetter but I didn’t think anything about it because when I went to use it found out it had been left out of the fridge by some children for undetermined amount of time so I dumped. I made a new batch which had been in the fridge for about a week when I went to use it. Their was tan water on top of the dough. This has never happened before. Any ideas? Same ingrediants as always. Thanks!!!!

    1. Hi Heather,

      This sometimes happens if the dough has gone unused for several days. I’ve found that if you leave your bucket vented it reduces the chance of this happening. You can also sprinkle a bit of flour over the top of the dough to feed the yeast a bit and it also seems to prevent this from happening.

      The liquid that you are finding is a natural product of the dough and is not as all harmful. If you have a lot of dough left then you may want to add a bit more flour to the dough. Let the dough sit to allow the flour to absorb the excess water and then refrigerate it so it is easier to use.

      Hope this helps! Zoë

    1. Hi Ana,

      The natural sugars in the flour is quite enough to feed the yeast, but adding a tiny sugar to the recipe will not hurt either.
      The sugar will make the yeast active sooner, but it is not essential for our recipes.

      Thanks, Zoë

  12. Question…Have I royally messed up by leaving my freshly made dough out all night? Made it and didn’t stay awake to put it in the ‘frig until the next morning. Help! : (

    1. Kate: One night won’t hurt anything; possibly won’t store as long in the fridge before it loses rising power.

  13. I don’t know where to write my question.

    I can’t get my cornstarch wash to work. It doesn’t make my bread shiny, and I don’t get that glassy look (I don’t think I do). I’ve tried boiling in a pot and the microwave. Any suggestions?


    1. Paige: Try two coats– once just before you put the stuff in the oven, and once more when you have about ten minutes left. Jeff

  14. Zoe or Jeff, I am having a problem with the shape of my rolls when I slide them into the oven from the pizza peal. I can only describe them as “floppy” and they do not retain their shape. What could I be doing wrong. Thank you for all of your help.

    1. Hi Marie,

      Are you using cornmeal or parchment under the rolls? If you haven’t tried it yet, I’d suggest going with the parchment to insure that your rolls slide right into the oven. About 3/4 of the way through the baking you can remove the parchment and allow them to crisp up on the baking stone.

      Thanks, Zoë

  15. I have been experiencing great difficulty slashing my baguette dough made with your basic recipe. I brush the baguettes with water after resting them for an hour, but my slashing ends up making a mess of the baguette dough. I have tried razor blades, serrated knives, sharp knives, etc. Nothing seems to slash the bread in a clean fashion. The result is baked bread with irregular breaks long the bottom and the sides. My dough appears a bit too wet to slash cleanly. But, I have been assuming that the wet dough is the premise for a good chewy crumb with holes. What am I missing?

    1. Hi Jeff,

      When you bake the bread do you get a nice oven spring or do they just spread out flat? If they are spreading flat then the dough may actually be a touch wet. One solution is to bake the bread in a perforated baguette pan. Because the dough is so sticky you will want to bake it on a sheet of parchment that lays in the pan. I find that this helps keep a nice shape to the baguette and allows you to slash it with less distortion. The trick to using a sharp serrated knife is that the blade should be a little wet and very clean. If the blade has any dough on it, it will drag through the dough instead of cutting it.

      Hope this helps! Zoë

  16. Love the bread! I’ve on my fifth or sixth round… all have been delicious but I have a consistent problem with cornmeal burning on the stone and setting off the smoke detectors! Oven temp is set for 450, thermometer measures it at 400-425. Thanks for the help!

    1. Hi Jill,

      If you are baking that much bread you may want to switch to using parchment paper instead of the cornmeal. Just let the dough rest on the paper and slide the whole thing, paper and all, right onto your stone. I usually take the parchment off and bake the loaf directly on the stone for the last 10 minutes.

      Thanks, Zoë

  17. My question has nothing to do with the post but has to do with making a kind of rye bread that I used to get when living near a Latvian store in Toronto. They sold a rye baked by a company named “Viking” and it was labeled “Sweet & Sour Rye.” The Latvians called it “Saldskaaba Maizel.” A link to a recipe can be found here: http://www.reciperascal.com/latvian-sourdough-rye-bread-saldskaaba-maize . What would you recommend doing to covert this kind of recipe to a “five-minute” style? Thanks in advance for your help.

    1. Hi Richard,

      Sounds great. Do you already have a sourdough starter to use? If so, you can certainly use it in our recipes. Follow these directions: http://artisanbreadinfive.com/?p=1284. I would start with your favorite Rye recipe from our book and replace about a 1/4 cup of the water with apple cider. If you don’t have a sour starter than make the dough and let it sit for at least 48 hours to ferment.

      Let us know how it goes! Zoe

  18. First, I love making bread this way. Thanks so much for developing the method and writing the book. Second, my question is about the Sticky Pecan Caramel Rolls. Is there a way to make these and then freeze them and at what point would I put them in the freezer? I want to have them ready for quick breakfasts after my baby is born.


    1. Hi Kelsey,

      Congratulations! What a wonderful idea to have these ready and waiting for you when you are tired and craving something lovely!

      If you only have a couple of weeks before you think you will eat them, you can form the rolls in the pan and freeze the pan, unbaked. When you are ready to eat them, defrost them, still wrapped really well, overnight, then let them rest and bake as the directions say. If you freeze the raw dough for more than a couple of weeks it isn’t as light in texture.

      You can also bake them, cool them and then defrost them. You can reheat them a short time to make them gooey again.

      Enjoy that bun in the oven! Sorry, I couldn’t resist! 😉 Zoë

  19. Question!

    I was in a rush this morning and mixed up the Challah dough quickly (never made it before). About 2 hours later I went to check it and it was very dense, I looked over the recipe again and realized I forgot the EGGS! Oops 🙁

    Is it possible to knead the eggs into the dough now? Or do I have to toss the whole thing?

    1. Amanda: I’ve tried stunts like this on a couple of occasions, and it did work, but I used a food processor (with dough attachment). It’s worth a try. Even though you’ll be knocking all the gas out of the dough, you’ll have a chance to let it rise again because the dough is so “young.”

      Could also try adding a little flour and water (don’t change the overall consistency) so the yeast will get some new energy source; not certain that you actually need this. Jeff

  20. Question regarding the crackers…
    if there are any left overs, what is the best way to store them? Airtight container?
    I used whole wheat olive oil, and used various toppings…
    poppy/sun/sesame seed and then the oil mixture from the Algerian flat bread… yum!

    My 9 year old said “pretty good for a first try”
    but she keeps eating them, so…
    maybe there won’t be any left afterall.

    1. Hi Mandy,

      These sound amazing. I would store them in an airtight container and see how that goes. The oil may make them a bit soggy. If so, you can always recrisp them in the oven for a few minutes.

      Sounds like they may all be gone by now anyway! 😉 Enjoy! Zoë

  21. Thanks Zoe, I did just that and
    they are wonderful.. the thicker ones could stand some recrisping, the thinner ones are just right!

  22. Thanks for the reply to my question above (about forgetting to add eggs to the chalah dough!)

    I had stuck the dough in the fridge for several hours before I went back to it. Added it to my stand mixer, tossed in the eggs and put the dough hook to work. It took some extra flour, but eventually it did all get incorporated, and I let it rise on the counter for a couple hours and it looked great.

    Baked it today and it was delicious!! So glad I didn’t throw away the whole batch 🙂 Thanks again for the help

    1. Hi Amanda,

      I’m so pleased that it worked. I knew it would because I’ve done the same thing! 😉

      Happy baking! Zoë

  23. I’m confused about one instruction: If we can put the loaf directly on the oven rack for the last half of baking time, can we put the cookie sheet directly on the oven rack for the first part of baking or do we still need a baking stone?

    1. Hi Sue,

      What kind of bread are you baking? For many of the loaves you do not need a cookie sheet at all, they will just be baked directly on the stone.

      We give the option of baking on a cookie sheet for people who do not own a stone.

      Let me know what kind of bread you are baking and we can better answer your question.

      Thanks, Zoë

  24. Read about the person with the “sour” smell and taste after a few days in the fridge. I also have this problem. Where in either book do I find “low yeast” version? I find I am completely unable to eat bread after a few days stored in the fridge. Seems to be exaggerated when there’s whole wheat in it, and I already tried replacing my whole wheat flour to ensure freshness. Even tried adding honey to the dough to get less of the sour taste.

  25. I have tried making the Master Recipe for whole grain artisan loaf 3 times now from my first batch. It tastes great, looks great, real airy looking but…the inside is real spongy and doesn’t seem to be done. I tried uping the temp. Should I lessen the water in the pan below? How dark can it get should I be baking it longer? My husband is ready to ban me from continuing to bake bread. Help!!

    1. Hi Sherilyn,

      Are you using an oven thermometer? Without it there is no way to know what temperature your oven is actually running at.

      Make sure you are letting the bread cool completely or is seems as though it is not baked through.

      Thanks, Zoë

  26. When I tried the Roasted Garlic bread with spelt flour, it turned out very flat. The recipe calls for 2 T. of vital wheat gluten. Is that correct?

    thanks from Iowa

    1. Pen: I have a first-edition of HBin5, and this recipe calls for 1/4 cup of VWG, not 2T. That’s the Herbed Potato and Roasted Garlic Bread recipe from http://bit.ly/3wYSSN. Which recipe/from where… are you using?

  27. Pen—Ah, there it is, I was on a different recipe. Sounds like you may prefer this recipe with a full dose of VWG, a quarter cup. Keep the liquids the same and this will firm up and make for a higher-domed bread. Jeff

  28. Hi Jeff, I have baked my first bread last evening. But the problem I got was the crust seems to be a little hard but the inner is a little wet. This morning when we ate the bread, the crust is harder than last evening. What could have been wrong?

    1. Jolene: Guessing that your oven’s running hot. Check with an inexpensive thermometer like http://bit.ly/czmco2 Check back in if that’s not the problem. Also, be sure you’re using unbleached flour for any white flour in the recipe, and that you’re measuring using the “scoop-and-sweep” method if using volumes.

  29. I have been baking a terrific whole wheat breads based on your HBin5 recipie. One version is a plain sandwich bread and the other is the same base but with added cinnamon, raisons, and walnuts. (I call the latter one my “breakfast” bread because it’s great toasted with some butter on top, fruit on the side and a nice cup of coffee!) Unfortunately, when I eat the breakfast bread it tends to irritate my lips and the inside of my mouth. To my knowledge I am not allergic to the nuts, sunflower seeds or any of the other ingredients. Have you heard of this or a similar issue from others? Could it be the oils in the whole wheat? I am very-much at a loss here but don’t want to give up my breakfast bread!!

    1. Jeff B: Haven’t heard of this but sounds like you better check in with your doctor to be sure it’s not an allergy to the nuts or other ingredient in the recipe you developed. We’re definitely not set up to suggest any medical advice here on the website.

  30. I’d been getting such hard crust, that I stopped using water in the oven. Without the water the crust is still very hard. I’ve tried using yoghurt (my husband can’t tolerate milk) and still the crust is too hard (for hot dog rolls). Any solutions?

  31. Is there a rule of thumb for doubling the recipe (2lb. loaf vs. 1lb. loaf)? How much longer do I need to let it rise, and how much longer do I need to bake it. I am guessing it is not double. I’m using the rye peasant bread, but would like a larger loaf.

    1. Hi Elvira,

      I generally give the loaf an extra 20-30 minutes rest and let it bake an additional 15-20. All of this will depend on the shape of your loaf and the temperature of your kitchen.

      Thanks, Zoe

  32. Hi:
    My question is on electric versus propane oven. I moved to a new house and it has a propane stove. The bread does not brown as well with propane and the crumb is too dense and gummy. I have changed nothing in the recipe, and I’m pretty good with bread as I have been baking my own for 30 years and have not bought store bread in at least that long.. I’ve tried eliminating the water in the pan, and that made little difference. I’ve tried spritzing the raw dough with water when I put it in the oven and that made only a slight improvement. The oven temperature is accurate to within 5 degrees according to my candy thermometer.
    My house is at 8000 feet, but altitude has never been a concern since I have lived my life at 6000 feet or greater and have been baking once or twice a week for 30 years. Is it the propane fuel that has more moisture than electric?

    [email protected]

    1. Hi Mike,

      I fear you are right, it is the gas oven. I recently visited a friend and baked bread in his gas oven and had the same disappointing results. He, by the way, lives in the flatlands so I don’t think this has much to do with your height. You will have to adjust to baking in a Dutch oven or other enclosed vessel. http://artisanbreadinfive.com/?p=552

      Hope this helps! Zoe

  33. I too had a problem with the bread not getting crisp! However, my 1 cup of water evaporated out of the pan in about 10 minutes. Do you replace the water or just let it go like that. The loave rose beautifully and got a nice golden color but did not crisp up. And yes, I have a natural gas oven.

    1. Hi Lisa,

      I’m afraid it is the oven and not your technique. The gas ovens vent differently than electric and allow all the steam to escape. This will not allow your breads to crisp or caramelize as well.

      Your best bet is to bake the breads in a Dutch oven or other enclosed pot method. http://artisanbreadinfive.com/?p=552

      Thank you, Zoe

  34. Hi Bread Gurus!

    Quick question on the Master Recipe: If we were to put it in a loaf pan so that we could have slices more convenient for sandwiches, what would we do different? Is this even feasible?

  35. Question: All of the gluten-free recipes include eggs, but I am vegan. Is there a particular egg substitute you would recommend? Thanks!

  36. We just got a new oven with an upper oven with one rack. I was hoping to use that to do bread to use less energy, but what could I put the one cup of water in? There is no place for the broiler pan? Do I need to stick to the lower oven and if so is it possible to use convection?

    1. Hi Deb,

      Are the heating elements on the floor of the oven? I have put the broiler pan right on the floor, but this will not work if the heating element is there. You could also try using a smaller metal vessel on the same rack, if there is room. I do this on the grill sometimes.

      You can use the convection oven, but you need to turn down the temperature by about 20-25 degrees and be sure to keep an eye on that first loaf to make sure it is baking evenly.

      Thanks, Zoë

  37. I mix the dough in my kitchenaid and while it is definitely wet when I take it out and put in a container (large pot) it’s no where as wet as what I saw in the video. I do ad 1/2 cup of soy isolate instead of 1/2 cup of flour and I suspect my flour is bleached (its a mixed grain flour from Robinhood). I also add some flax, hemp and quinoa seeds (I’m trying to make a healthy loaf). Is that my problem? Could I get around it by adding more water? The loaves are very heavy and dense.

    1. Miriam: More power to you, but you’re totally changing the recipe! Fun.

      I think all you need to do is increase the water a little. Bet a quarter-cup will do it, let us know how you make out. Jeff

  38. I’m just about to bake my very first Healthy Bread in 5 Minutes, using the master recipe. The thing is, I only have a glass (Pyrex) bread pan. How will this affect the baking time and/or temperature?


  39. I made my first loaf of bread (whole wheat master recipe). I followed all the directions, but my baking time was over 1 hour. I used a digital thermometer and took the bread out of the oven at 193 degrees. I should have left it in until it reached 205 degrees, because it was somewhat doughy in the middle. I’ve checked my oven with an oven thermometer and it is true.

    My question is: why did it take so much longer than the 30 minutes recommended in your cookbook?

  40. Hi there folks! I am a reader from Spain – got your two books and have been experimenting for a few days now with the master recipe. I even bought a pizza peel and a baking stone.

    However, I am not 100% happy with the results. The oven seems to be overbaking the top crust but the bottom has no crust at all, even though I placed the baking stone on the bottom of the oven and the loaf is being baked in that position. The only solution I’ve found is to turn the loaf once the top crust is starting to look too dark, so that the bottom also develops a nice crust. BUT… almost everytime, the bottom part of the loaf seems to crackle (break). It doesn’t have a flat surface.

    Any ideas? I am using cornmeal and handling the dough with care when inserted in the oven, but once the dough rises the bottom simply cracks. The problem is that once it comes out of the oven, humidity escapes from the inside of the bread and it is all very “gummy”. Hope this makes sense…

    1. Hi Victoria,

      Here is a post on baking the perfect loaf, it may give you a few hints at how to get the loaf you are wanting: http://artisanbreadinfive.com/?p=1616

      It sounds like you may want to let the dough rest a bit longer before baking, this is the most common cause of it cracking on the bottom.

      Try letting the baking stone preheat for 30 minutes instead of 20. This will probably help your bottom crust to crisp up nicely.

      Do you have an oven thermometer? It is important to know if your oven is at the accurate temperature. It sounds like perhaps the oven is running a little hot?

      Be sure to let the loaf cool completely before you cut into it or the center of the loaf will be gummy.

      Thank you and happy baking! Zoë

  41. Thanks Zoë!

    I do have an oven thermometer and in fact it seems to run colder than it should -but no matter what, the top crust will be too brown.

    I’ll try resting the dough longer and see it if helps.

    In any case, thanks for making my bread making so much easier! I had tried different kneading and baking techniques before but the results I’m getting with your books are by far the best.

  42. I very excitedly mixed my 1st batch of whole wheat white. Alas, I didn’t pour the water in all at once and the dough has lots of little lumps in it. Can it be saved? I tried mixing it for a minute wit the stand mixer but I didn’t want to mess up the delicate balance of gluten and protein by overmixing. I will proceed as the recipe states until I hear a reply. Thank you! and thanks for an exciting cookbook-I know I will get it right next time.

    1. T: In all likelihood, the lumps will work themselves out as the dough rests. Nothing else to do; I bet it will bake up just fine. Jeff

  43. I was hoping to talk to the webmaster, b/c each time I come on the website i can’t get back to where I left off. It’s now 10/5/10 and the newest answers are from May. Sometimes I accidently find the current q&a but I failed to copy down the way I did it. I really don’t know how to solve the problem. I posted a few questions but can’t find where the responses are posted. Very, very frustrating for a non-geek, but longtime baker having trouble with HB dough. Threw out 2 batches. Help, please.

    1. Hi Ruth,

      The comments are cumulative, so it is hard to find an answer from months ago because they tend to get buried in the most recent conversations.

      What seems to be the issue with your bread and we will try to help you out! Thanks, Zoë

  44. I forgot to set the timer when I put a loaf of whole wheat bread in the oven. Is there anything to help judge other than crust colour?

    1. MaryAnne: Other than crust color, firmness of crust is helpful in lean breads. I don’t think the hollow-thump method works well for wet dough. If you’re confident of your probe thermometer and are comfortable that you can estimate the center of the loaf, you can use 205F for lean breads, and 185F for enriched (eggy) breads. Jeff

  45. All of the recipes called for making the dough into grapefruit size shapes. Is it possible to make full-size loaves and how much longer would you have to bake the loaf?

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