Ask a Question

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, Which we will do, right here on the website either right under your question, or a few down if a lot of people had the same question. Don’t look for the response in your personal email… Come back here to the side on the page where you posted, to look for our answer.

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.

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5,881 thoughts on “Ask a Question

  1. Hello, my question is this, I have the Celebration Breads book and am making the Babka dough. In the recipe the first ingredient is lukewarm water, however, in the first step, it says mix the milk, etc… Is it milk or water in the Babka dough?
    Thank you.

    1. Hi Alexandra,

      The ingredients listed are correct and the instructions are a misprint. Having said that, it will work with either one, so if you ended up using milk, it will still be fantastic.

      Enjoy! Zoë

  2. Hello,

    I am trying to perfect my artisan bread. Boy is it complicated!

    I made the mixture #1 recipe, measuring by weight. I ground up my own rice flour and that measured out to almost exactly 6 cups for 1020 grams.

    I substituted arrowroot for the tapioca, but it ended up being about 2 1/4 cups for 225 grams.

    The resulting bread dough, when mixed with the water, ended up being much dryer than wet, similar to normal bread.

    I am letting it rise now but have a feeling it is going to be dry bread. I guess I will find out. But I wanted to get your opinion on measuring and substituting different ingredients.

    QUESTION: should I measure substitutes by weight or cups?

    Any suggestions or tips highly recommended.


    1. Hi Kimberly,

      Grinding your own flour is going to result in a wonderful flavor, but is a bit of a wild card when it comes to consistency. That alone is going to require quite a bit of experimenting in terms of how much water the flour absorbs. The size of the grind will change how it absorbs liquid. We tested with many and found the Bob’s Red Mill gave the best and most consistent results. You can maybe use that as your guide when grinding the flour. Whenever someone tries an experiment with the flour blend or recipes, I always recommend starting with a small batch until you get the results you like. The substitutes can be measured by weight, but in this case it really doesn’t matter, since it isn’t one that we experimented with and you’re in uncharted, albeit tasty, ingredients.

      Let me know how it goes! Zoë

  3. I would like to find out what type of whole wheat people are using in their recipes. I have not seen anyone specifying what type of whole wheat. I have been using various whole wheat grains since 1992. My recipes take some a bit of working as I have a couple of other challenges to deal with such as a VERY dry climate along with high altitude. Our last home was at 8500 ft elevation, we are currently at only 7000 ft. So I must experiment with vital gluten and dough enhancers for my recipes.

    We keep 4 types of wheat on hand: Hard Red Spring Wheat, Hard White Spring Wheat, Soft Spring Wheat (A.K.A. Pastry berries) and Durum Wheat (for making pasta). Some folks refer to the ground Durum wheat as Semolina. Most of the bread recipes I work with are HRSW or HWSW. I have much less experience with pastry berries, but I am working on working with it more.

    So back to my question of what type of whole wheat are folks using?

    Thanks to all who respond.


    1. Hi John,

      Are you grinding your own wheat or buying commercially milled flour? If you are grinding your own wheat, I have found that it is rarely as fine as commercially ground wheat and may require a bit more VWG. If you are buying the wheat, then King Arthur is a very good brand for our method.

      I hope that helps and maybe other bakers will weigh in with their recommendations for high altitude baking.


      1. Thank you for your input. I am using home ground whole wheat, I have been since about 1992. I have two grinders that are engineered such that they keep the grain and flour cool. One of them actually uses high speed stainless steel blades to pulverize the wheat into flour. The other has an adjustment for how fine I want it as well as a set of stones for handling oily fodder such as soy beans. I do sift with a graded screen to ensure how fine the flour is that I am using.

        I am still experimenting with the VWG and may make things more complex with dough enhancer. I have not found any difference between the hard wheats I am using and the soft wheat. I thought that the soft wheat would have a higher protein content.

        I gave up using commercially milled flours as they had all been treated to remove the natural oils from the nucleus of the wheat kernel, the wheat germ. That removes a large part of the nutritional value of the wheat. Easy way to tell is if they sell it a room temp, no oil. Like any oil, wheat germ oil will go rancid at room temp.

        I have another question concerning the high altitude recommendations from the book. You say that the initial rise can be done in the refrigerator for 14+ hours. So upon mixing a batch there is no rise time at room temp? It just goes straight into the fridge? Or were you referring to when we form the dough for baking?


      2. Hi John,

        The refrigerator rise is for the shaped loaf and not the initial bucket of dough.

        Enjoy! Zoë

    1. Hi Brittany,

      It is the internal moisture of the bread escaping through steam, which causes the crust to crackle or “sing”.

      Enjoy, Zoë

  4. Good morning… I have your book years already… I am not sure If I am mistaken but did u mention at one time Better Batter flour works in your recipes.

    1. Hi Fran.

      Better Batter is the closest to our GF flour mix and I have had success with it. If you try using it with out gluten-free breads, I would start with a small batch to make sure you like the results.

      Thanks, Zoë

  5. Hi
    I have bought the book few years back and haven’t tried any of the recipes due to busy life
    Recently with the availablity in the market of easy loaf bread machines, making bread became more easy
    Hence my question is with regard to adapting the recipes in the book “healthy bread in five minutes a day”. Would you kindly provide tips to using these recipes with a loaf machine rather than the oven.

    Thanks in advance.

    1. Hi Batool,

      Our recipes are based on making a large batch of dough that you can use over several days/weeks, not just one loaf at a time. We have never tested them in a bread machine, so I am not able to help you.

      Enjoy all the bread! Zoë

      1. Thanks Zoe
        I’ll try the master receipt anyways in the bread machine and see if I can succeed

  6. Hi just wondering if you will ever do a keto bread book? Using lupin flour, vital wheat gluten, almond flour, whey protein powders ect. There are some good recipies out there for lupin flour breads and lupin flour sour dough breads, but using the kneading and rising method. How would I adapt a recipe into a bucket bread recipe? Thanks

    1. Hi Jenn,

      It is such an interesting concept, but neither of us have played much with the Keto flours. I know people are very excited about them, so it may be something we experiment with.

      Thanks, Zoe

  7. Home ground wheat is really becoming popular. You don’t have to wonder what’s in the flour, when was it milled, how old are the berries. I love having a variety of grains that I can sprout or not sprout, course or fine grind. Your wet dough is the answer to thirsty fresh ground flour. This method was made for home milling.
    Now that home mills can produce the finest wheat flour, when are you two going to write “The New Home Milled Bread in Five Minutes a Day”? Really, check it out. There are only TWO books on the market that covers home ground flour. Just think, how people would rush to buy a 5-minute home ground book by Jeff & Zoë!!!

    1. Hi Cherie,

      We love using freshly ground wheat. It will be a very exciting day when everyone is grinding their own wheat!

      Cheers, Zoë

  8. I own the “Healthy Bread”, “Pizza & Flatbread” & the “Holiday & Celebration” books. These 3 books will be my favorite “5 min Bread” books until you write the “Home ground flour bread in 5”. But that’s not my question.

    My question is, in these 3 books, I’ve seen, above the ingredients, in the recipes, that you can double or half the dough. My dough “buckets” are 6 qt size. I’m very new to this so I haven’t started experimenting yet. I’m wondering just how many pounds of dough will the 6 qt tub hold? If I double a 4 lb recipe, would 8 lbs be able to rise adequately in the 6 qt tub?

    Thank you.

    1. Hi Cherie,

      You will need a larger bucket for the double batch. The 6-quart bucket only holds one batch. You can get one large bucket, or divide it into two.

      Thanks, Zoë

  9. Hi there, quick question -can I use stoneground dark rye flour for any of your recipes that require rye flour in the “new artists in bread in five minutes a day” book? Thank you

    1. Hi Deb,

      Yes, but, it will be much denser than the bread baked with the rye we recommend. Rye has so little gluten-developing protein that it may also seem very wet. You can play with adding slightly less water, but it is a bit of an experiment. If you are a fan of dense bread, then try it. I suggest you start with a small batch to make sure you like the results.

      Thanks, Zoë

      1. Thanks again. I just made your apple and pear coffee cake and it is delicious!
        Should I refrigerate or store it at room temperature? Deb

      2. Hi Deb,

        It will be fine at room temperature overnight, but beyond that I would wrap in plastic and refrigerate it.

        Enjoy, Zoë

  10. Wow. I was watching your videos on YouTube. Next, a video came on with recipe for “bread in 5 min”. No big deal, I’ve seen others do it BUT, they always say, “this recipe comes from the book Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day.”.
    In this video she says, “the original recipe doesn’t call for this but I put some apple cider vinegar into it.” Then later she said, “if your interested in this recipe look for it in my book “Home Made”. I was surprised. Here I thought she was finally going to give credit where credit is due.
    Then I read the reviews where everyone was saying “what a great recipe”, “I’m baking my bread now..”. Wh didn’t anyone call her out? I certainly did. Yeah, I know, they probably think I’m a troll but I think she took your recipe without giving proper credit.
    Another viewer asked if they could add sourdough instead of yeast. I answered that they should read the books where the recipe originated from. I should have told her about this site.
    Do you come across people like this often, where they deliver the idea “from their home made book”?

    1. Hi Cherie,

      This happens far more frequently than we’d like. People don’t always follow the etiquette of naming their sources. Thank you for your support!

      Cheers, Zoë

  11. Hi from London,

    I’ve recently been diagnosed yeast and Gluten Free intolerant,.
    During my research I came across you fab book on GF Artisan bream in 5 mins.
    I’d love to start baking but could not find if there is a yeast alternative for Gluten Free breads?

    Please say there is and make my day!

    1. Hi Sammit,

      Our breads are yeast-based, so they may not fit your dietary needs. There really isn’t an alternative, other than a sourdough starter, but that has natural yeast as well.

      Thanks, Zoë

  12. I’m not getting oven spring in my 100% Whole Wheat Bread (Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day page 80 – traditional American style honey whole wheat bread recipe). I’ve followed the recipe closely and things look good until baking in the oven. The baked bread tastes good but it is flat or slightly caved in.

    I’ve checked my water temp to make sure it’s under 100 degrees, also checked my oven temp with 2 thermometers. I’m using King Arthur whole wheat white flour and instant yeast. I’m not sure what else to check or do. Please help!!

    1. Hi Susan,

      Does your dough feel dry or loose when you are shaping it? Does it have any stretch to it or is it breaking off when you pull it out of the bucket? Sounds like it may be a touch dry. Lastly, are you using VWG in the recipe?

      Thanks! Zoë

  13. Hello I am a 76 year Great-Grandma who loves your books and your directions. Last week I made a batch and got distracted. Put only 3 cups of flour in and thought it mixed so easily. I was surprised when I looked in refrigerator next day it is so soupy! Any ideas what I can make with this. Should I add more flour or make something tasty with this thin concoction. Had to make a second batch and it was perfect
    Made 8 perfect mini loaves in pampered chef loaf pan. Thanks for your thoughts

    1. Hi Sandy,

      You are in good company, the same thing has happened to me many times! You can always add more flour to the mix and let it rest for about an hour to allow the flour to be absorbed into the mixture. You can also try pouring it into a sheet pan with a generous amount of olive oil to bake as a flatbread.

      Thank you! Zoë

  14. I just got your Gluten Free Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day. I am new to baking and got into it when a friend gave a me a gluten free sourdough starter. I started experimenting, but to date, I got the taste PERFECT, but no matter what I do, the center is gummy and almost too dense to eat!. Thanks to you, I now understand that I can’t expect good results if I use “gluten full” recipes and adjust for gluten free flours.

    My question: can I add some of my gluten free starter into your bread master recipe #1?
    If so, how much and what do I need to adjust?

    1. Hi Susan,

      Although we have not experimented with sour starters in our GF breads, I know that many of our readers have. I am hoping they will comment about how they achieved success. It will somewhat depend on the style (hydration) of your starter, but you’ll want to replace some of the liquid and some of the flour in the recipe to accommodate the starter. Your dough will obviously take much longer to rise.

      Good luck and enjoy! Zoë

  15. If there’s anybody out there who home-grinds flour & has worked out the tweeks on the Master Recipe for Healthy Bread in 5 ….. please pass it on.
    I’m very new to Breadin5. I’m also new to home-grinding flour. After buying a new Mockmill & 7 different varieties of whole wheat (we’re not talking 1lb bags) & buckets & gamma lids to store the wheat, etc. I really did not want to make Breadin5 with store bought flour.

    The scientist in me figured I would be on a learning curve. At least I’m going in the right direction. The 1st batch was the worst. I didn’t even write it in my bread book (I record what I do). After the 2nd batch, I decided to break down & buy All Purpose flour to mix with home-ground Kamut. This would give me a better idea of what the texture should be.

    So, now I’ve got the right texture. The bread is rising better. On to batch #4. This time I’ll use Spelt for the whole grain with King Arther AP. It will be interesting to note the difference between Kamut & Spelt. My husband sure likes the Kamut. Every day he asks for bread which surprised me. He kept saying “I think it tastes good”. He didn’t say that with batch #1 (LOL).

    I keep re-reading Jeff & Zoë’s books with special attention to the ingredients sections. I re-read this website several times to glean any tips on the different wheats or grinds of flours. I WILL figure this out. I can hear Zoë saying not to worry about he chemistry because it ruins the fun. All I can say is I love chemistry. There is a lot of science in bread making & it helps to understand it. When I figure this out, I’ll share. Then maybe Zoë & Jeff can pass it on in book number 8 or 9.
    Please, anyone out there who can pass on their home-ground flour & Breadin5 tweeks would be appreciated.

    1. Well, all bets are off when you use home ground flour, because there isn’t consistency in the moisture level of the grains that you obtain. Every batch may be different in its hydration requirement. Also, the grind won’t be exactly like commercial flour, and commercial flours are what we tested with. So this becomes much less precise, and much more based on what the dough feels like, as far as when you need to stop hydration. Go ahead and type fresh ground flour into our search bar above, and you’ll see a post I did on this once.

  16. I just made my first Boule and baguette and they came out great and tasted wonderful.

    I noticed though that when you took your dough out of the refrigerator, it was airy and had risen twice as much as mine. ‘When putting the ingredients together I weighed everything out on a gram scale and then left in the frig for 30 hours before baking the loaves.
    My ONE pound batch of dough looks to make a much smaller loaf than yours did( on camera at least and my baguette was more like a fat bread stick. Any ideas?
    Love the taste and the texture though

    1. Well… if you love the texture, I assume that it wasn’t dense, and it had nice hole-structure. Given that, it must have risen nicely. I’m betting it spread sideways. If you’re getting that kind of expansion, but not upward rise… it could be a failure to nicely gluten-cloak. Or it could be that you need to use a little less water. 2T or so? Which recipe are you using, from which book and page number?

      1. I am using theGluten-Free Artisan Bread in 5 minutes book and the recipe is on page 64( Master Recipe) and the Baguette recipe on page74.

      2. Got it. So the gluten-cloak isn’t relevant for GF. Have you swapped any of the Bobs Red Mill flours we tested with for anything else? Our GF recipes have been very sensitive to any changes in flour, requiring water adjustment. If your loaves are spreading sideways, that may be the problem. If the dough’s too wet, it spreads during the rest time. Key question is the hole-structure and whether there’s density. Sounds like no, so it’s a shaping/spreading problem. Other than hydration changes, you could try loaf pans…

  17. Hello dear authors,
    I have switched to gluten free so I have your GF bread in 5 and have been using the mixture #1. I have decide not to keep using rice flour and want to substitute buckwheat flour. Can I do this 1:1 for rice flour in the #1 mixture for the crusty white sandwich loaf bread recipe. Your help would be vastly appreciated. Thank you. Alison

    1. In testing the recipes, we found that GF recipes were very sensitive to substitutions… the only ones that worked were the ones on page 61.

      1. Thank you Jeff,
        My reasoning for switching to buckwheat from rice flour was because I am aware of the arsenic in rice and felt that this was a problem as I eat a lot of breads. Can you comment on this fact of arsenic in rice which can be removed if washed out with a quick boil of rice – removing that water then boiling again but how does the process work with rice flours. Is the arsenic removed somehow so that brown and white rice flours don’t have arsenic in them ?
        I would really appreciate some fed back on this.

      2. Hey, sorry, don’t have a lot of expertise about arsenic in rice; have you checked on USDA’s website for any guidance? Whatever they say, I would very much doubt that the rice flour millers are treating the rice grains with boiling or other process to dissolve anything in the rice, so whatever’s in the rice grain– is going to be in the flour. Sorry we don’t have a better answer– rice was really a staple in our testing and was very hard to get away from.

  18. Hello Jeff, hello Zoe, do you have an Icelandic Rye Bread recipe? Curious what bakeware you use. Thanks!

    1. Hi. I am not familiar with Icelandic Rye Bread, so I will have to do some investigating. We do have several rye breads in our books. Check out the ones in New Artisan Bread in 5 or New Healthy Bread in 5.

      We use many different types and brands of bakeware is there something, in particular, you are interested in? Here is a general list of products we like for bread baking:

      Thanks, Zoë

    1. Hi Sue,

      I haven’t tried it yet, but find it really intriguing. If I get my hands on an air fryer, I will post about it.

      Cheers, Zoë

  19. Hi Zoe, thanks so much for getting back to me. I’ve recently been reading about Iceland and have been fascinated by their “lava baked rye bread” which is baked by burying the pot with the dough underground, where is heated by hot springs. I’m pretty sure you would come up with an awesome homemade version likely using a Dutch oven (mine is cast iron). I think you’ll love to try this challenge so I’ll keep checking! Thanks, Nana

  20. In the book Gluten Free Artisan Bread in five minutes A Day, which we have been using for some years now, mixture no. 2 on Page 62, uses Sorghum Flour. We have brought this whole grain flour (Bobs Red Mill) from Amazon but can no longer source it from them. Their alternative is Bobs Red Mill sweet white Sorghum Flour – is this ok to use or should we stick to the alternatives shown on Page 61 of your book? Thank you

    1. Hi Alan,

      Thank you for letting us know about this, I will have to look into other sources and get back to you.

      Thanks, Zoë

  21. Thank you! I have loved the first Artisan in 5 minutes a day, but am most looking forward to the October 2021 book! But, I have one question – is a rye bread recipe included in this new book? The description mentions pizza, which is awesome…..but I’m continually trying to adapt a rye bread version that is stellar! THANK YOU!

    1. Hi KP,

      Thank you so much, we are very excited for the new book as well. There are absolutely rye recipes in it, since it is one of our most favorite recipes.

      Thank you! Zoë

  22. For the life of me I cannot figure out what is going on with Master recipe and why while following your instructions, weights and measurements, I cannot get the dough to stop collapsing on the counter. I have fresh all purpose flour, tested yeast, and every ingredient is weighed. I even use the Danish whisk to incorporate the dough before putting in the fridge for a few days. I’m really baffled! I saw another piece from you advising an extra 1/4C of water to `Canadian’ all purpose flour. This dough is extremely sticky already and I doubt adding more water is going to fix this ongoing challenge I am having. I only shape for the recommended 25-30 seconds, so again I can’t figure out why so many failures! I

    1. Hi Dan,

      The issue is most likely the freshly ground flour. Tell me more about that. Are you grinding it? We’ve found that home ground flour tends not to be quite as fine and doesn’t absorb as much water, even high protein Canadian flour. You can try adding less water or a bit of vital wheat gluten.

      Thanks, Zoë

      1. Hey sorry I didn’t pick this up sooner lol – what I meant by `fresh’ is that it isn’t older. One thing I do regularly in my baking cycle is from a tip from you about using unused dough with `hooch’ and using an immersion blender to mix this in with the next batch. Maybe this is the culprit? The dough also seems to flatten out when it’s resting before baking. Some say this might be because of underdeveloped gluten mesh (ie. knead more?). Sorry I am throwing in more variables and info here now!

      2. Hi Dan,

        Different issue altogether. If you are using too much of the blended older dough, it can certainly make your dough slack, so try reducing the “hooch” to no more than a 1/2 cup per batch and see if that helps. You can also try using bread flour with it, to add a bit more gluten structure.

        Thanks, Zoë

  23. Hi Jeff & Zöe, I live in Cape May and I get this problem occasionally. I mix the master recipe from the New Artisan Bread in 5. I have been baking within for more than 8 years. I usually make double sized batches and use them between 1 and 3 days. I am using KAF Sir Lancelot. Most of the time it s fantastic. I do already adjust the water to allow for the added gluten. It seems like when we get high humidity for a sustained amount of time in the summer the dough gets very shaggy. I make baguettes and they seem fine at first then the dough seems to melt or something and there are craters. Could the flour be absorbing water from the air? I store the flour in a large rolling rubbermaid flour bin. I am trying less water so I may have fixed the problem already. I would like to get to the bottom of it though.

    1. Hi Drew,

      You nailed it, the flour absorbs moisture in the air, so it makes sense that this will happen if it is humid for a prolonged amount of time. You can try storing the flour in an airtight container or adjust the water in the recipe, as you have suggested.

      Thanks, Zoë

      1. I thought I ask another question but now I can’t find it.
        I asked if I can add more flour after it is refrigerated and let it rise again?

      2. Hi Drew,

        You sure can. Just give it an hour or so to absorb the additional flour.

        Thanks, Zoë

  24. I just got a backyard pizza oven that can go up past 900°F. Are you planning on adapting or developing recipes for this new trend in baking pizzas, flatbreads or loaves at home?

    1. Hi Ken,

      I have a pizza oven and love baking in it so much. There isn’t much to adapt, just learning the timing is the key. If you are on Instagram there are a couple of good resources for learning to bake in the wood oven. @fontanaforniusa and

      I use our olive oil pizza dough with great success in the oven.

      Enjoy! Zoë

  25. Hello. My brother gave me your book “Gluten-free Artisan Bread in Five minutes a Day” as a birthday gift. He is not gluten free but does enjoy baking breads.

    I have been gluten free for twenty years. Your book looks great. I have other food intolerances including yeast.
    Do you have a substitute for yeast? I would greatly appreciate your response because I would love to try out your recipes.
    Thank you.

    1. Hi Carole,

      All of our breads are baked with yeast. If you can tolerate natural yeasts found in sourdough, you can try using a gluten-free sourdough starter instead.

      Thank you, Zoë

  26. Hi there, I’ve owned your books for years. Haven’t baked for while and previously used a cast iron crock pot.

    I’ve now purchased an Anova Precision oven (which is also a steam oven). Wondering if you have any experience/tips in using it to bake an artisan loaf?

    1. Haven’t used one of these, but my best guess is that these deliver a great dose of steam. Use the steam function for the first quarter of baking and then have it shut off.

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