Larger loaves, or multiple loaves: How to adjust?

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Larger loaves: In my books, the standard size for a loaf-bread is 1 pound (450 grams), or a piece of dough about the size of a grapefruit.  Why opt for these relatively small loaves?  Because for beginners, they reliably brown without burning, and are easy to bake through to a nice result in the center of the loaf. At that size, the baking time is usually about 30 to 35 minutes.

Larger loaves need more baking to avoid a gummy result in the center, and that means longer baking times at the listed temperature.

  • Two pound loaves need about 45-50 minutes
  • Three pound loaves need about an hour. 

Let the crust get nice and dark, but keep an eye on the loaves as they bake–your own oven may not require this much extra time, or it may require more.  When baking large loaves, temperature is critical, so you must check your oven temp with an oven thermometer (click to see one on Amazon). 

Multiple loaves: In larger ovens, there may not be much extra time needed, but in smaller ones (or if baking without a stone), you may need to increase baking time by 10% to 20%. If the recipe calls for steam, you don’t have to increase the amount of water you use.

More in The New Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day, and my other books. Note: is reader supported. When you buy through links on the site, BreadIn5 LLC earns commissions.

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85 thoughts on “Larger loaves, or multiple loaves: How to adjust?

  1. I am having so much success with your recipes! The rye bread was a #30 on a scale of 1 to 10. With the rye bread, and I made bigger loaves, I used the proofing feature in my oven. Rose the loaf for nearly an hour but it baked in 30 minutes.

  2. I have the large goldtouch nonstick loaf pan from williams sonoma which they classify as 1.5 lbs. If I want to make 100% whole wheat sandwich bread in these, how much dough should I use? Thanks!

      1. Thank you for the wonderful recipes! I tried baking a 2 lb. loaf of rye bread, but I think I let it rise way too long – over 2 hrs. It spread out too much, the crumb was wonderful, tasted terrific, but wasn’t the height I wanted. How long should I have let it rise?
        Mary Ann

    1. Help!
      I have been baking bread for a long time, I used the old fashioned bread mixer of my moms. he was a super cook.. I have recently purchased ALL your books. I am planning on buying them for my boys(men) who are great cooks. I love your different selections to cook. HOWEVER, I just cooked the Sweet Potato Bread using the 450, stone and steam method. When I cut into it it was very soggy after 40min. I put it back in the oven and it doesn’t want to cook!! Help! The ends where cooked and tasted great!!!
      Love your books.Maureen

      1. Hi Maureen,

        I fear that it is not the temperature that is the issue. This is one of the recipes in the books that had an error in it. I highly recommend copying the corrections page for the books, so you can make a note on the page. Here is the link to the corrections for that book:

        To fix the rest of the batch, you can just add a touch more flour to the bucket, then let the dough sit, so the flour can be absorbed.

        Thanks, Zoë

      2. For multiple loaves, you state for smaller ovens, we may need to increase the baking time 10-20 pct.

        1-what size is considered “smaller”
        2-is that per loaf?

      3. Definitely not per loaf, that was intended to be understood as the overall increase in baking time. By “smaller,” I meant ovens were the total width is partly taken up by downdraft venting. These aren’t very common anymore, but back when I wrote this, I used to have one of those! It probably doesn’t apply to you.

  3. Hi All

    I plan on using a Pullman Pan with a lid to produce a square lofe of bread for toast and sandwiches.

    My Pullman is 9″ x 4″ x4″ and has a lid for producing a flat top – my questions are how much of the master HBin5 should I put in the loaf pan and should I rest it on the counter for the 1hr 45minutes with the lid on so it will compress the top and produce the smaller crumb.

    Also when I put in the over do I still need to use the water for steam?


  4. Your basic recipes make more than I can eat in two weeks and I have a small refrigerator. Is it possible to cut down the size of the recipe? Is it possible to cut down the size of the bucket if I do?

    1. Hi Caryl,

      Yes, all of our recipes can be halved or doubled, depending on your need. You can use a smaller container when you halve the recipe.

      Thanks, Zoë

  5. Greatly enjoy the recipes from your Artisan Bread in Five minutes a Day but I don’t always like the “sour” taste of the dough/bread that I get. Is there a way to make your recipes and eliminate the sour taste. This is esp. the case with the loaf breads in the bread pans for sandwiches, etc.

    Thanks for making bread baking fun and easy again.

  6. Hi, Jeff and Zoe:

    I see you have adjustments for 2-3# loaves, but, what about if I’d like to make a 4# loaf, in a Dutch oven? Are there adjustments for baking in a pan instead of freeform? What baking time do I need? Any adjustment to temperature? I ask, because I’m attempting to make a “master boule” recipe from your “Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day” (**FABULOUS** recipe for “bread-making phobes” like myself), but it needs to be tall, and baking it in a Dutch oven would be an ideal height and diameter. The bread is for a religious event called a “Slava”, and the bread is called a “kolac”, so, I’m keeping with tradition in making a tall large bread, but, I want to obviously make sure it’s cooked all the way through. Here’s a link of a good example of the finished bread I found, if that helps: THANK YOU!!!!

    1. Natalie: It can be tricky to get it done in the center before the outside burns when it’s so big. I’d turn down the oven 25 degrees and go longer, maybe 15 or 20 min longer than the 2-3# loaf. Consider using an instant read thermometer– lean loaf should go to 205-210 in the center. If probe comes back with raw dough, that makes it easy.

      Experiment on your family before the event…

      1. Thanx, Jeff; this is very helpful. Crossing my fingers! The Master Boule is WONDERFUL and FOOLPROOF!!

  7. I love the taste of your bread. I mostly use the master recipe from the original book. I am looking to make some bread bowls for soup out of your bread. What recipe do you recommend and how long do I cook the mini loaves?

    1. Hi Rachel,

      I would use the Master recipe or the Peasant loaf. The rising and baking times will depend on how big you want the bowls to be. Lets say you want to make them with 8 ounces of dough, let them rise for the 30 minutes and bake them for about 25 minutes or until they are well colored. Be sure to let them cool before you cut them and scoop out some of the middle.

      Thanks, Zoë

  8. I’m sorry, I’m not sure this is the best way to answer this question, but I have the ABiF book and can’t seem to find the answer. Could you tell me, or tell me what page this question is located in the book? I’m trying to figure out how long the rise time is for refrigerated dough as opposed to dough that was just made and still warm from the 2 hour rise time. Thanks so much!

    1. for refrigerated dough, the book says 40 minutes, but you can actually go as long as 90 for a more open crumb.

      With non-refrigerated dough, you can go shorter in that range for the same result, As little as half that.

  9. thanks again for your very quick response. i can go forward with the bread mixing now. the flavor of the master mix for the healthy bread in five is delicious.

  10. Re Stuffed Naan bread. The bread is fabulous but I am not clear on your instructions for folding over the dough over the filling like a purse? I am folding it over all around to enclose the entire filling, but of course that makes the top look very rough. Is that correct?

  11. I have a couple of ceramic-coated pans that measure about 11 1/4 x 5 1/4 inches. I’m wondering whether I can use them for the Soft Whole Wheat Sandwich Bread from Healthy Breads, or are they too large? From what I have seen online I would probably need to use twice as much dough to fill these large pans. I’m concerned the bread won’t cook through, and don’t want to waste the dough.

    1. It’s not so much the extra length, it’s the extra width (which makes for a thicker/taller loaf–the center’s farther from the hot oven air)– so we mostly test with pans that are 4 1/2 inches wide. As you say, it’s easier to get those to bake through. But, it’s just a matter of experimentation to get it to bake through, and I had great results with a 5 x 10 inch pan, see my post on that at

      In your case, you could turn down the oven heat to 425 and maybe increase the baking time. First time out, don’t fill it high, and it’ll almost certainly bake through. Subsequent loafs, increase the fill and experiment with baking time.

  12. I have a batch of Rosemary Flax Baguette dough. Can I make a loaf of bread using a 9x4x4 loaf pan? if yes, what temperature and how long do I bake the loaf? Do I need a pan of water for steam under the loaf pan?

  13. First, thanks for all the love that you put into this site. It has been a valuable resource – even though I use different recipes from yours. I had come to some of the same conclusions (make big batches, freeze, leave to rise in fridge during the day, bake for the evening) for some relatively standard lean dough breads. I almost always bake free form, so my nemesis is shaping. Especially shaping perfectly round loaves. 3 things seem to happen. First they look nice and round, but tend to flatten instead of rise in the final rise. Second, if I then score these flattened objects and bake them (pizza stone, 450F oven, steam), the rise uncontrollably in the oven. Oven spring you say? We have oven spring and really misshapen loaves. Third, if I try to use a lined bowl to corral the loaves, they deflate when I am turning them out on the peel.
    This set of behaviors is especially egregious when using an “old dough” method – using some of the old dough from a previous batch as the leavener for the current. Not exactly sour dough, but lots of flavor as a result. I am using KA bread flour and typically 68% hydration.
    Any help greatly appreciated.
    BTW, this is @seabird20 from twitter. I hope this is the place you directed me to in our previous conversation on twitter.

    1. Hi Chris,

      Since you aren’t using our dough, I’m not exactly sure if this advice will work for you, but this typically works with our method:

      Shaping: This may be the most important step for nicely shaped loaves.

      Make sure the stone is preheated thoroughly.

      Slash the dough about 1/2-inch deep.

      You may want to try a small Dutch Oven, which prevents the dough from spreading too much.

      Hope this helps! Zoë

  14. Every time I try to post a comment it says I have already done so which is not the case and won’t post it
    Thanks for your help

  15. The crust on my bread is too dense and hard to cut. Am I getting too much steam in the oven? How can I reduce the thickness of the crust

    1. No, it’s not that–maybe cover the loaves with plastic before resting (remove before baking). The crusts may be drying out before they go in. Also– which recipe is this, some develop thicker crusts than others. Also, your comments needed to be approved, which now should be permanent.

  16. What is the difference in the crust texture between using:
    Egg wash
    Cornstarch wash
    Plain water
    Thank you in advance for your response. This is a wonderful book (New AB)

    1. Hi Barbara,

      Great question!!!

      Egg wash (whole egg) – makes a shiny finish, but only used on breads without a crisp crust and bakes at lower temperatures.
      Egg wash (egg white only) – makes a shiny crust and can be baked at high temperatures, will work with crisp crust, like baguettes.
      Cornstarch wash – shiny crust traditionally for rye breads and great for sticking seeds to breads, although all of them work.
      Plain water – just simple and works really well in most cases.
      Flour – when you want a beautiful contrast of the cut surface and the flour dusted surface.
      Butter – this will soften the crust, but adds a lovely rich flavor.

      Cheers, Zoë

      1. Thank you Zoe, I think I will try the egg white wash next time. I do like a shiny crust. I brushed the baked loaf with butter last time which gave me the shiny crust but did soften it.

      2. Hi Barbara,

        Butter is the only one to do after it comes out of the oven, the rest go on before it’s baked.

        Enjoy! Zoë

  17. Hi,

    I am making your pumpernickel bread from the new ABin5 book. I wanted to make a 2 lb loaf in a loaf pan. How would I adjust the resting time/baking time/baking temp?

      1. Thanks! One more question. I want to make the chocolate babka but I only want one loaf. Can I divide the recipe by 1/3? If so, how many egg yokes should I use? Also, can this be made in a 9×5 loaf pan?

      2. Hi Lindsay,

        You can use 5 or 6 egg yolks, since 16 doesn’t divide by 3 neatly.

        You can bake it in a 9×5 loaf pan, it will just be a shorter loaf.

        Cheers, Zoë

  18. I borrowed your first book from the library, watched a few YouTube videos and have been baking up a storm! We’ve enjoyed Boule, Naan and Pecan Sticky Rolls. I made a batch of the Deli Rye and wanted a loaf large enough to make sandwich slices. I used 1/2 of the batch and the bread is delicious!
    From the beginning, I found that using an instant-read thermometer and looking for a internal temperature of 200 degrees guaranteed fully baked bread.
    I just received “The New Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes A Day” from Amazon this morning. What a lovely way to start the weekend!

    1. Hi Deb,

      Thank you so much for the note, what a lovely way to start my weekend! 🙂

      Cheers and enjoy all the bread! Zoë

  19. Hi again, I think I finally got a loaf I’m really happy with… Still have to see inside before I start high fiving 🙂 A question. I made 2 large loafs from one master recipe batch. Is that normal? Thanks

  20. Saw on one your posts on shaping the refrigerated dough and letting it rise back in the refrigerator over night and baking it in the morning. Do you put right in the preheated oven or do you let it stand before baking? Thanks

  21. I’m having a problem with the oven spring in my dough. First off, I’m weighing my dough to 1lb. My ball is about the size of an orange not a grapefruit. Then with the 40 min. rest it spreads more than rises. I’m preheating my oven and dutch oven to 450 for about 20 min after it reaches 450. I’m getting a flatter loaf. It tastes fine the crumb is somewhat open, but not getting the rise as per your pictures. any help with this would be greatly appreciated.

      1. Thanks Zoe, checked out the video and added an 1/8 cup.of flour and it seemed to help out. Still concerned over the size of loaf in comparison to your pictures. I’ve just started with your method and hopeing with a little more practice with this method it will all workout. Very flavorful bread. I’ve been making bread for a while with the old make started, rest overnight then make the loaves the next day,etc.. This method great flavor without all the work. Just have to get it perfected.

      2. Hi Stan,

        Now that your dough is a bit drier and your shaping it tighter, you may want to let it rest for 60 minutes before baking. This may help it rise more.

        Thanks, Zoë

  22. Hi guys! I love the bread I’ve been making with your recipe. SO fast and SO good. 🙂 Now I want to cook two 2lb loaves in the oven. How long would I have to cook it for in the oven? The same 45-50min? What if I wanted to cook an entire 4lb loaf? How long should I keep in the oven for?


  23. What a nice and easy way of baking bread. Followed all instructions including oven temperature but it didn’t resemble the picture on the front of the book. I imagined a much bigger loaf. Could you give the approximate size of a finished loaf from one pound of dough?


  24. Can I bake more than one loaf at a time? Specifically I’m asking about two recipes in your first book, the first one is page 76, 100% whole wheat sandwich bread, and the other is on page 46, the European peasant bread. On either of these recipes, or any others, can I bake more than one loaf (of the same recipe) at a time?

      1. Hi Deb,

        Do you have to bake with convection heat? Most home ovens have both flat and convection heat. Our recipes are written for flat (non-convection) heat, so the timing will be different. The convection heat is more intense, so the crust will color and make the bread look like it is done, but the inside will likely need more time. If you are used to baking with convection heat, you already know that you’ll want to adjust the heat by about 20 degrees lower, unless it does that automatically.

        Thanks, Zoë

    1. Hi Deb,

      You can bake as many loaves as will fit in your oven or on a baking stone. You want to make sure there is plenty of room for them to expand in the oven. Bake just on one rack or they will bake at different rates. The temperature will be the same. If you have many loaves it may take a few more minutes to get the right color.

      Thanks, Zoë

      1. Thank you very much for getting back to me so quickly- I’ll be baking a few loaves of the whole wheat bread tomorrow. You are correct, the oven will cook regular and convection; I just prefer convection for the reduction in electricity use. And I found your conversion for convection baking on another thread a while back- thank you for that!
        I bought your original book based on a friend’s recommendation, and I’ve been having good luck and fun! I think though, since I prefer whole grains, I’ll upgrade soon to your “healthy bread” book. In the meantime, I’ve been enjoying the European Peasant Bread as a guilty pleasure.
        Thanks- Deb

  25. Hello! My Daughter bought me your book. I use the basic recipe except I cut 8 individual “Broetchen” from a one pound lump of dough. 29 mins at 450 Fahrenheit and the rolls turn out perfect. You guys made it possible for me and my family to enjoy fresh, healthy bread all the time. Thanks!

  26. I have been baking your bread recipes since 2010 and never a problem. I am teaching my 10 year old grandson who loves bread to bake them as well. Problem to me is the dough raises initially on counter but after I store in fridge it collapses still ok but when I take out a 1 lb piece and form it it never raises again even after 1 1/2 hours
    And when I put it in the oven hardly a rise at all. I use Red Star yeast so that’s no problem. Maybe I should only make three loaves but that doesn’t solve the no oven raise. HELP

  27. I just purchased your HBIFM book,, am wondering would using a loaf pan, for loaf size bread, then top it with another loaf pan upside down, will this work like your using cast-iron crock pot plus it’s top? And would I need two cast-iron loaf pans or will regular loaf pans work? I guess I would need to preheat them?

    I use my counter top convention oven for all my baking, because I can no longer manage a full size oven. There is no room for a Dutch oven in the counter-top oven. I have been experimenting with steam while preheating, but I don’t think it’s working. I have had some success with a few different bread recipes, including one sourdough. It’s size limits, especially height are a concern, too low and the bottom of the bread could burn, next level up and the bread expands to almost touching the top burner risking top burn. I start with the bottom rack, after 15 min I raise the rack up to next height for 10 min, now I check top color and if it’s near the caramel coloring I lower the rack for the last 5-10 min. Any suggestion on how to do this better be appreciated. It takes patience but has worked out somewhat, it’s a hassle though.
    I love baking. I give my loaves to friends who help me with little things I can’t do any longer due to health and age. I’m looking forward to learning from your book.

    1. First question: I’ve done exactly what you suggest with two loaf-pans, and it works. I don’t preheat these; too thin to make a difference.

      In a small oven like what you describe, esp with convection, you’ll have to just rotate and move about as you’re doing.

  28. I make a two pound loaf and make all of the adjustments that you suggest in the book. And the loves turn out wonderful…but…the center of the free-form boule doesn’t have the glossy holes that the outer 1/3 of the loaf has. The dough rises properly, then is refrigerated overnight, then formed and rested for the 90 minutes. The loaf gets rather dark at 45-50 minutes (yes, my oven registers 450 degrees on the nose!) so I’m afraid of leaving it in there longer. Can you make some suggestions for how to correct this? Could the yeast be at fault, or…???

    1. Hi Steve,

      You can let the dough rest longer, so the center of the loaf has more time to warm up. I’d try giving it another 30 minutes, especially if your loaf is domed and your kitchen is on the cool side. When I bake a larger loaf, I tend to make them wider and not as tall, so they bake more evenly. The other thing that may help is baking in a Dutch Oven, which provides a more intense heat. Lastly, be sure your baking stone is fully preheated.

      Thanks, Zoë

      1. Thanks Zoe for the information. So next time I will let it rise for 120 minutes. I’ve been baking it in a Willow Banneton (love the spiral!) so it does have a bit more height to it. And I have been preheating the baking stone for a full hour. So if after this and I’m still not satisfied, I’ll try the Dutch Oven method. I’ll let you know how it all turns out. I’m assuming the temperature in the middle of the loaf should be around 205-210F? I may just put foil over it to keep it from over browning if the bake needs more time.

      2. Hi Steve,

        This sounds like an excellent plan and yes, around 205 is a good internal temperature to strive for.

        Enjoy! Zoe

  29. I love making huge loaves… seven kilograms (15 lbs) or larger. It’s so fun to work with the large dough mass by hand. Plus, eating the large slices in a sandwich makes me feel like a kid.

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