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Questions? Start with our Search Bar: We’ve been posting recipes and answering questions on this site since 2007, so if you have a question, there’s probably a post that addresses it somewhere on this website. So, the first thing to do is to use our Search Bar. On our Home Page, it’s right over our pictures. In narrower laptop or desktop displays, it sometimes appears right underneath our orange BreadIn5 logo, and on phones it’s right above where it says “How to make bread in five minutes a day?” Just type in the bread style, ingredient, or technique that you’re interested in, and the search-engine will show you all the similar posts we’ve ever done on it, with recipes and answers to many questions.

Another place to look: our FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) page (we also have a Gluten-Free FAQs page). If you don’t find your answer in the FAQs, you can post baking questions and comments, but please be brief, so we can get to all the questions.  

If neither of those get you to the answer you need, click on any “Comments/Reply” field at the top of any of our posts (it doesn’t have to be here on “Ask a Question”) and scroll down to the bottom; then enter your question or comment. Tell us which book you’re working from, and which recipe and page number–we need that in order to answer your question. If you enter your e-mail and check off “notify me of follow-up comments by e-mail,” you’ll automatically find out when we respond.

We answer all questions ourselves here on the website within 24 hours, often with a reference to a page number in our books where possible.  Please remember that our blog is moderated, so your post may not appear until we’ve read and approved it; this can take 24 hours.  And don’t look for our response in your personal e-mail– come back here to the site, on the page where you posted, to look for our answer.

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5,317 thoughts on “Ask a Question

  1. Hi Zoe, I’m trying the Deli Rye Bread recipe page 11 in the Nee Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day Rey flour is Bobs Red Mill stone ground Dark Rye Flour. As i finished adding all the ingredients and mixed it is so much thicker consistency than the master recipe (p. 54)…i know when you answer it’ll be after the rest period lol so i guess this question is for next time, and also when I make pumpernickel bread…Should i add vital wheat gluten when using this stone ground dark rye flour? If so, how much, and do I have to also add more water, as I’ve read online? Is there any way i can add this after that first 2 hour rest, either before or after refrigeration? Thanks again! Love your & Jeff’s book!!

    1. That dark rye flour absorbs more water than the typical rye. You’re going to have to increase the water until it looks about like our p.54 Master. About 2 to 4 tablespoons for starters, but see what it looks like. Don’t do the VWG–that increases the water requirement even more. And you should be able to add water, and a little flour to re-start fermentation, after the fact as you suggest.

      1. Thanks Jeff…I saw your reply after I had out the bread in the oven (Murphy’s Law Lol). But I’m confused…it was tearing sometimes during gluten cloaking…i made the caraway swirl modification and it rolled out nicely after a 15 min rest..shaped ok but felt sticky. When i let it rest I added 30 min to the 90 in hopes of getting A dense loaf to have better air holes. But then i tested it and it was so sticky. Didn’t know what to do at that pint and chalked it up as a loss, and finished With the cornstarch glaze and baked it. Still in oven, haven’t cut yet…but tearing on one hand yet sticky on the other confuses me. Too wet (sticky)? Not wet enough (tearing)? I have the i Th rt half of the dough to adjust if I’m sure what to do. Thanks again, Jeff!

      2. Thanks Jeff..i saw your reply after making the first loaf. It was testing when i gluten cloaked at times, but then sticky when i shaped it (oval loaf)..i did the carats swirl modification. It spread sideways upon rising and the crumb was gummy in the end. Also it was hard to slash, so i had some cracking on the bottom. Ulg..i really messed up somehow. Meantime it was still a delicious flavor and smell. Was it too wet? Doesn’t seem that being dry would make it so sticky? Thanks!

      3. No, it’s that rye flour, especially coarse-ground pumpernickel with lots of whole grain, is very challenging to work with. Rye can be sticky even when the dough is too dry. If I had to guess–you need a little more water, but I’m not certain. If the flavor and aroma were great, maybe there’s no problem! Assuming you had decent hole structure.

        I’d switch away from this particular flour once you use it up.

  2. Hi,

    We purchased your book, “The New Artisan Brad in Five Minutes a Day,” a couple weeks ago. We have enjoyed making a few different breads so far. However, when we made the gluten-free chocolate bread on p. 291, it did not rise at all and the resulting bread was somewhat “gummy” inside. I noticed that the directions for other gluten-free bread recipes require mixing the yeast with water and sugar separately. Then after the yeast has been activated, the directions say to mix the wet yeast with the dry ingredients. Should we try this method with your recipes? I don’t see how the yeast could get activated in your recipe when it’s mixed with all the gluten-free flours and water is added later.

    Thanks for your help. I’m looking forward to baking more gluten-free bread with more success after I hear back from you.

    1. Yes… modern yeast can be used in exactly this way, but if you’re worried, you can mix it with the liquids. But that’s not your problem, I’m guessing. If you’re not weighing your flours, it’s probably the case that the measurement is off. Weights are much better for these powdery flours. And you can’t make any substitutions for the GF stuff–it’s very sensitive to any changes or omissions. For example, it doesn’t work at all if you try to omit the xanthan gum.

  3. Hello!
    I have purchased the original version of Bread in 5, on Kindle and have made my first batch with the master recipe. It says it makes four 1 pound loaves, but I have not found that to be accurate. I used 32 ounces of flour, 3 cups of water and the salt and yeast. Being a stickler for detail, I weighed the piece of dough that I pulled out of the bucket and adjusted. For my first and second loaves I used a pound each of dough, and when I went to bake the last two, I definitely did not look like two pounds were left, so I weighed it and it was 24 ounces. After checking the accuracy of my scale, I went and did the math: 32 ounces of flour, 25 ounces by weight of water, and the small amounts of yeast and salt, comes out to about 57 ounces, not 64. So the loaves are actually about 14 ounces and not 16. I know it’s a detail, but if I had made the third loaf a pound also, my last loaf would have been tiny and disappointing. They all tasted great, and I am looking forward to making more! Thank you!

    1. You are exactly correct. I wish we had been more precise in that first book of ours, or scaled the recipe up a bit. Another way to do it is by grams and if you use a thousand grams of flour and 750 grams of water, you get more generous loaves; everything else can stay the same.

  4. Hi Zoe and Jeff,
    Not a question, just a comment.
    We first met you years ago at a book signing, and you were kind enough to give us a personal demonstration after the crowd had left.
    Since then, we have not only mastered the boule and other shapes from the original book, but have also purchased the Healthy Bread book and are working our way through it. Today, I am making an epi.
    What I most wanted to tell you is that we have routinely given out herbed boules to friends for any and all occasions, and they love them.
    If there ever was a peaceful, loving way to connect with people , especially now, this is it.
    Thanks for your lovely books and bread!
    Chris and Diane Conanla

    1. Chris and Diane: Thanks so much for those very kind words–and I couldn’t agree more about how this connects people… well, homemade food in general.

  5. Hi Zoe!
    We bought your book and have really enjoyed making bread over the last 6 months! We have used organic bread flour and organic all purpose flour with great results thanks to your method. We have been using Einkorn old fashioned wheat in some of the recipes but found that we had to decrease the water to 2.5 cups. Have you ever used Einkorn wheat in any of your recipes? Any advice or help would be welcomed!

    1. We haven’t tried it, but your insight here may help others. One problem is that Einkorn isn’t standardized in terms of fineness of grind, and how much bran is left in. So, I fear that hydration requirements may be different among brands. So readers will have to experiment with hydration. Also, apologies, had to edit your question–we’re not comfortable endorsing any particular health claims about various ingredients, so had to edit your question…

  6. Hello. New bread baker here. I am using the ‘New Healthy Bread in5’ book, started with the master recipe on 81 and now the 100 % whole wheat master recipe on 91, both with added gluten. I weighed my ingredients. The dough rises very well in the bucket and is delicious.
    I have, however, noticed that the dough just breaks off when I reach in and grab a handful, instead of stretching, as in the photos. I am using King Arthur white whole wheat flour. What am I doing wrong?

    1. The 100% versions are definitely less “stretchy” than the blends with white flour. Does the dough seem dry?–that’s the real question. Have you baked anything yet? How did it come out? If too dry, the baked bread will be (no surprise)… dry.

  7. thank you so much for your GFbook.
    I made your challah and brioche bread (made them as buns) and it was amazing!
    unfortunately, I need to find a good substitute for the eggs, I tried mash potato with the same weight of the eggs and it turned out very dense bread… do you have any advice for me for a good substitute for the eggs?
    I’m looking for very soft and light bread

    1. People talk about a ground flax slurry, but it doesn’t taste or look anything like eggs. We experimented with this once, in a gluten-free dough at

      … nothing like challah and brioche though, and we’ve never tried this with a wheat dough. The real question is whether the commercial egg substitutes work well and I’m afraid we haven’t tried that, so you’ll have to experiment.

  8. Hi Jeff and Zoe, is there a way to find out what modification breads start with a specific dough, for instance what you can make from the master recipe (p. 56 in “The New Artisan Bread in Five Minutes A Day”) besides just making it plain? I found the olive loaf just reading through, and was delighted with it! I’d love more adaptations of the master dough as I play with it, to make sure I’m ready for the other kinds of doughs. Skipping ahead to the deli rye made me realize i need to know the right hydration by feel. Thank
    Thanks again for a GREAT book and for this INVALUABLE Q & A forum!

    1. That dough is extremely adaptable, and as you work through the book, you’ll see that many of the recipes are variations on that dough. You’ll soon be doing that variation-process yourself.

      1. Thanks Jeff. I’m new to this so I’m sorry, I’ve yet another question. I’m so frustrated. It seems like when I’m doing the gluten cloak, my dough never become a silky ball that doesn’t spread. It seems like it gets wetter and stickier if i keep going too. And I’m not getting nice open crumb, instead it’s kinda moist. What am i doing wrong? So frustrating that the dough seems to get sticker and stickier and never makes that nice ball. And even when i slays nice thick slashes, they go away whole cooking. Ulggggg!

  9. HI there,
    In GF Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes, Mixture 2 (Whole Grain, pg 62) suggests that there is a substitute for teff flour on pg 61. I’d really like to know if there is one, because I’m having to order it online, whereas I can get all the rest locally.

    1. So sorry, didn’t mean to suggest that–the asterisk after “teff flour” is actually a typographic error. The only swaps we were able to get to work are listed on page 61, and as you can see, it’s limited. We tried many others, and found we either didn’t like the flavor, or the texture.

      In your own experiments, you might try omitting the teff, and proportionally increasing the other three flours. But the truth is that this will probably affect hydration requirement, rise, and flavor in ways that are unpredictable. For example, that might make decent flatbread (chapter 8), but not support good rise for loaf-breads. To be clear–we haven’t specifically done the experiment I just mapped out.

  10. Hi Guys,

    I saw a comment here about undersized batches of dough and your response to use 1000 gm flour and 750 gm water. I noticed the same thing and the next batch I used 1000 gm of flour (King Arthur) and 500 gm water plus 1 cup buttermilk for the buttermilk bread in AB in FIve Minutes a Day, Page 207. Instead of 4.5 lbs of dough I came out with 3 lb 11 oz. Am I doing something wrong. The dough was very wet.

    Many Thanks.

    Bob Degen

    PS I just ordered your new book

    1. You didn’t do anything wrong; the yield on that version of the book is in error–the recipe makes a little less than 4 pounds of dough. Sorry about that!

  11. Hi there, I am looking at making vollkornbrot in your book The New Healthy Bread in Five Minutes and I have been having a hard time getting rye flakes easily. There are places I can order it but the shipping costs more than the flakes. So I was wondering if you had suggestions for a substitute in the recipe? I have read that rolled oats could be something to sub for it. But wanted to know if you would agree with this and how much would it change the recipe in taste and/or texture. If you can let me now I’d appreciate it.

    By they way, I’ve made several of your recipes so far and they have all been fantastic. We really enjoy the Quinoa bread.


    1. Oats are a reasonable experiment. I’d start with a half-cup first though, increase from there if it works; you may need to decrease the water a little, and it’ll have to be an experiment. Keep in mind that this is a very moist, dense German country-style loaf–nothing like the quinoa bread. If you’ve never had it, just be ready for this…

  12. I see that you started providing weights instead of cups starting 2009. Can you make the charts available to those of us who bought your 2007 book please…hard to believe but there does not appear to be consistency across the web so having the one you use would be helpful.

    1. We spent many long hours, days and (seemed like) years converting that book to ounces and grams, and our publisher felt that this and other content upgrades made it worthwhile for St. Martin’s Press to invest in a second version of the book (2013). That said, our publisher would be very upset with us if we put the substantive content of the new book up here for free on the web. So sorry!

  13. Hi, thank you for creating this easy bread receipt! My breads are always oval shaped, not as pretty round as yours, why is that?! I also don’t have so many holes inside my bread anymore as I used to, any ideas why? Thank you for your respond! Micky

      1. I made the olive oil dough(pg 215 New Artisan Bread in 5) a few days ago and I want to add my sourdough starter to the existing dough if possible, but I’m not sure if I need to add anything else

      2. Ah, I see. You really can’t easily add sourdough to a dough that’s already formed. How will it incorporate, without a lot of added water, and then flour to bring it back to regular consistency (may have to add salt too, depending on how much flour this’ll take. Use our usual proportion of starter (very active). Type “easy sourdough” into our Search Bar above.

  14. Your Baker’s Percent link is inoperative. Love to read your analysis on this topic.
    Thank You

    D. Laughlin.
    PS Just ordered your book on Amazon

  15. I have been making the Italian semolina bread from the original cookbook and now have the healthy bread book. I can’t find anything similar to that recipe. I want to make a sourdough Italian semolina bread and have no idea what proportions of flour and semolina to use. I’m not even sure it will work with sourdough. Any ideas?
    By the way, I have made Betsy’s seeded Oat Bread and the Toasted Millet Fruit bread. We are going crazy for this bread.
    As a side note, we are vegans who follow the Whole Food Plant Based program so we don’t use any oil. When I make your recipes that call for oil I use aquafaba. It works well. In your next book you can add a “WFPB” section for us. I haven’t made a bread that calls for eggs that would have to be switched for either ground flax or chia seeds.

    1. When you say “original cookbook,” I assume you mean our 2007 edition of Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day, and you’ve seen its Semolina Bread recipe on page 80. You can start with the proportion we call for there, and adapt it to sourdough with the guidelines we suggest in our Sourdough Method. See Chapter 11 of The New Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day ( and an abbreviated version here on the website (type “easy sourdough” into our Search Bar above). But this is going to require some experimenation; we haven’t tried a semolina/durum with sourdough (it should work). Good to hear about the aquafaba, we haven’t sampled that.

  16. Hi there!
    The Barnes and Noble Nook ebook of The New Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day (which I love) appears to have a misprint in the ingredients chart for Lentil Curry Bread. The dry ingredients are missing and instead the lentils and curry powder are listed twice.

    1. Sorry about that! I’ll try to get them to fix that. sounds like you have the ingredients from the paper book though?

  17. I was gifted “The New Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day” hardback for Father’s Day. Unfortunately the pages were bound front to back and missing the first 58 pages. It came as an Amazon gift. Have emailed St.Martins Press, but no response. Can you offer any help?

    1. You have to deal with the bookseller; that’s who you did business with. Amazon will take it back, I’m sure, but you will need the information from whoever gifted you the book. Or a gift receipt from them, if that’s the way Amazon does it.

  18. I think I over-mixed the bread dough in the stand mixer because it’s not rising like it usually does. How do I fix this? Is the dough salvageable? I used the master recipe with sourdough starter and white all purpose flour. Maybe I should just make rolls instead of a full loaf of bread? I usually bake bread in a bread tin so that we have a sourdough sandwich loaf.

    1. I’m guessing this is your first time making a loaf risen only by starter, and it’s tricky–the problem you’re seeing is probably due to not having active enough starter. You may be able to just wait this out, even in the fridge, and you may eventually get a decent rise. If not, then yes, salvage by making smaller loaves or as you suggest, rolls. But even more fail-safe would be flatbread. They hardly need any rise–roll the dough thinly for best results.

  19. Even when we make only enough bread for a day we need a way to store it that is ant proof. We thought the microwave cut-side down on a plate – but that is also airtight. Bread bag made of linen? (Also, does it have to be made of linen or would cotton due?)

  20. Hello,
    I’m reading your book “ The New Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day “. I love it! Learning a lot! My question is can I use these recipes with a cold oven? I have been baking bread for a couple of months now and found a baker who uses a cold oven and a cold Dutch oven and I have had great success. I prefer the cold oven because I don’t worry about getting burned. Anyway would love your feed back on this.
    Thank you! Lytie

    1. We never start with a cold oven and have never tested with that. It’ll certainly take longer to bake, but I can’t guess how much longer. And for the whole grain loaves in the book you have, those may be underbaked in the center. So this’ll be an experiment.

  21. Hi Jeff and Zoe! For once I’m not asking a question, i just wanted to send a compliment. I just tried making the pumpernickel bread from The Nw Artisan Bread in Five Minutes” and it’s FABULOUS!! I don’t often use that word but it’s perfect here! The taste of that bread is deep and earthy and JUST like the great breads i used to be able to get from old-world bakers in NY and northern NJ when i was a kid. Thank you SO much!! Thought I’d never have that again!! (By the way, a slice smeared with cream cheese and sprinkled with coarse kosher salt is JUST Like a perfect bagel lol!

    1. Thanks so much Heather, for the kind words. For me, growing up where you did, that flavor (the various rye styles) was my reason to learn to bake in the first place.

  22. so I found the printer icon, but I really do not need ALL the pictures…. just the words… can you help?

  23. Thank you for your gluten free bread book! In the video of Zoë making bread, she cuts the finished loaf on a beautiful crumb catching cutting board. Any ideas where it was from? I’d love to get one like it as a gift for my mother.

  24. I have two of your books and have been making your amazing bread for many years now. So delicious and such a treat! Thank you! Here’s my question. I have some family members who are gluten free – but they are also egg free. In your GF book, are there recipes that can be created without eggs? Or is there a substitute you have found that will work? Flax eggs maybe? Have you tested any without eggs? I know eggs are an important leavening agent in gf baking…….

    1. The GF book does have egg-free options, yes (though not mostly, and we’re convinced that GF works better with at least egg WHITES). In fact, our standard master recipe in that book is egg free, with an egg variation. We’ve tried flax eggs with decent results, though it doesn’t provide any egg flavor, see

      I can’t see where it’s providing any leavening, as you suggest.

  25. Hi! I made the Brötchen recipe from pp 89/90 of The New Artisan Bread in Five Minutes. Now the last bit of it I accidentally left in the fridge for more than 5 days – probably 8 or 9. Is it still okay to use it? It smells well fermented, but otherwise okay. With the regular dough I wouldn’t worry, but since this one contains egg white, I thought I’d ask. Thanks – my whole family gobbles up these breads so fast, it’s hard to keep up! 🙂

  26. Where can I take your class now that Craftsy has closed. I’m having trouble following the book. Never baked and therefore have no baking supplies. I’d Just like to see it done before I start buying all the supplies. I went to Craftsy and there is a notice that say I am one month too late…May 30 was the last time I could buy the class.

    1. Unfortunately, Craftsy has all the rights to that material, and it looks like they’re retiring it, though the channel may be bought by someone else. Check out our youtube channel (

  27. Hello! I’ve had success with the master recipe when I lived in Northern California, but now that I’m living in Hawaii, I’m having some trouble. The bread taste good, and the inside looks great, but it’s spreads during the rise and bakes rather flat with a chewy crust. I also had trouble getting the knife to score it. It’s intended us is for sandwiches so any tips would be helpful. Aloha

    1. Hi Sarah,

      Are you using the same flour you used to bake with? The flour protein may be different if it’s a new flour and you’ll need to add more flour. It could also be the humidity, which will result in a slacker dough and will also prevent the bread from keeping a nice crust.

      Thanks, Zoë

  28. Hello! I Prepared the dough for your boule using sourdough starter and followed the directions you offered. I ended with a VERY sticky dough that’s hard to shape and impossible to slash before baking. What did I do incorrectly?

    1. Hi Orit,

      It may be a matter of the type of flour you used. If it is very wet, you can just add more flour to the dough and then let it sit for an hour before shaping.

      Thanks, Zoë

      1. Thanks Zoe! I use King Arthur . I’ll try to add more flour next time and see if that helps.

  29. Not a recipe question, but why do posts dated the end of June get sent in an email that I received today, July 5, especially if they’re titled to be time sensitive, say for July 4th?

    1. Hi Joanne,

      That’s an excellent question. We sent that newsletter when the post went up. I will see if it is something on our end that caused the delay?

      Thanks, Zoë

  30. Hi Have you tried using Caputo Gluten Free flour? I found it has the most like bread consistency, not gummy and no need to add gum in fact. I have successes using it more most bread like recipes.

    1. Hi Holly,

      No, it wasn’t around when we were testing our books. That is very exciting. I’ll have to try to find it.

      Thanks, Zoë

  31. Why no sourdough waffles? Back in the eighties when I used to make all my own bread. It was a regular special breakfast item. Now many years later (and a gluten free phase that was actually a glyphosate issue) I no longer have my recipe. It had an overnight batter that I would just add eggs and maybe milk to in the morning. They were amazing!

    1. Hi Deborah,

      Our method is based on making large quantities and storing them, so it seemed like a lot of waffles. BUT, it would be a terrific thing to do with the pour off of your starter, when you’re feeding it.

      Enjoy, Zoë

    1. Hi Sue,

      Yes, I’ve tried it and it works. You may want to make a small batch and make sure you like the results.

      Thanks, Zoë

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