Ask a Question

If you have a bread-baking question, you’ll probably find the answer on our FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) page, so please start there (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.  

Here’s how: 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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4,428 thoughts on “Ask a Question

  1. I have made your basic white dough many times. I leave it out of the fridge for two hours then refrigerate until we need it. After only three days I find that it smells so sour that I worry about using it. I have made sourdough bread before, keeping a jar of starter in the fridge, so I’m use to that smell. I expect this dough to be a bit sour, but I can’t imagine using it after longer than a few days.

    Is it really ok to use at 3-4 days and for longer when it smells so sour?

    Can you please explain the food safety/bacteria/etc around this?

    I believe that the reason sourdough starter is fine when left is because it is so acidic so the climate is no good for the bad bacteria. I can’t see how this would be the case with this dough.

  2. Hello, I would like to purchase a book for making bread, that is based on a Slow cooker only. Shipping, I am based in Malaysia. I will be travelling and this is my way to prepare 80% of my meals. Simple is a must as I will have only camping equipment. Overlanding, if you know what that is. Thanks for your time. dave cadwell

    1. We have a number of recipes in all our current books for bread made in a slow cooker, but just one or two recipes in each book. Is that going to meet your needs?

  3. Hello
    I just read the blog about the apple brioche. Is there any way of using the metric system (kg/gr/etc. even for liquids) instead of cups? It would make life a lot simpler for readers around the world.

    1. There is, and all of our books except the very first one (from 2007) have at least some metric equivalencies. The most recent books are well populated with this material. But mostly, we haven’t systematically put this up on our website.

  4. is it possible to substitute 00 flour for all purpose flour in your pizza dough recipes? Is there a general conversion factor I could use.
    I would like to use 00 flour with your Olive Oil Dough.

    1. See our pizza book (; on page 73, we have a recipe for an authentic Naples-style dough made with 00 flour, and you can get a sense of the moisture ratio. That said, there’s a MAJOR typographical error on page 72, where we give a table for making the Naples-style crust with bleached all-purpose flour. That recipe takes 3 3/4 cups of water, NOT 4 3/4 cups. If you’re measuring by weight, those are correct in the table.

      There isn’t a problem with the 00 recipe on page 73.

      1. Yes, I have your book. In general if I want to substitute the 00 flour for all purpose changes would you make?

      2. It just takes a little less hydration, and we haven’t tested it with olive oil, but it should work nicely. This will take a bit of experimentation though… compare page 61’s hydration, and page 73’s. I think you should be able to assume the olive oil is like the water, but not certain (in terms of absorption).

  5. I have a pretty stupid question. I was looking thru the Holiday and Celebration book and reading the recipes. In many of the recipes it will say to use a dough from another page but it never says if I am to eliminate any of the other recipe ingredients. If I am using the dough for Easter Bread do I always add the raisins? Or there was a strong dough that had lemon zest or cardamon – do I add those and continue on with the other recipe?

  6. Hello!

    I’m very new to your community. I’ve fallen in love with the Master Recipe and ease of baking it.

    I just wondered why you don’t have a tab on your website to look through your recipes. I would love to just browse what you have on the site, but I don’t see an easy way to do so. Not a vital request, but would be incredibly handy as I get better at baking from your book.

    Thank you!

    1. Well, the truth is, that it’s for the same reason we don’t index our website. It’s designed for supporting our books’ readers, and doesn’t work all that well as a standalone. That said, you can find any recipe that’s on our website by just typing it into the Search Bar and pressing “Return.”

  7. Hi, we’ve made the gluten free flour mix 1, followed by the master recipe in page 64 – both from the gluten free artisan bread in 5 book. After several attempts with different yeasts is still doesn’t rise. What am I doing wrong.
    Many thanks,

      1. Old yeast? Hot water? Too-cold water? What brands of flour are you using? How are you measuring? Since you’re hand-mixing, are you careful to mix and emulsify very, very throughly?

        But more importantly, let’s start with what you mean by “doesn’t rise.” Do you mean that the finished baked bread has no air holes, and is basically a solid brick? Or is it spreading laterally, with good hole structure, but not rising vertically?

      2. Hi Jeff,
        I’ve used brands including doves farm and bobs red mill to make the master recipe #1. I bought a few different brands of yeast, allsons and doves farm, all newly bought in September and October 2019. The water is around body temp. Once I’ve made a batch of page 64, left in the tub for 2 hours there’s no height difference after 2 hours. I tried baking some baguettes but they resembled bread sticks as they were so thin. I know everyone’s mixes differently but approximately how long should we hand mix for? I made a batch of the dough yesterday, it’s currently in the fridge at the same height it was after mixing. Can we mix this more or is it beyond use now?
        Many thanks

    1. You can try mixing it more now–
      But you didn’t answer the most important question: when you say the bread “isn’t rising,” I need to know whether you’re getting a solid brick without air-holes, or whether you’re getting those holes–but the bread is spreading sideways rather than upwards.

      It’s not the yeast, but if you’re swapping from Bob’s Red Mill, all bets are off. Though you say you had no-rise situation with Bob’s as well?

  8. Hi Jeff & Zoë
    You changed my bread making life with your recipes. I own the hard copy and the online one of The New Artisan Bread in Five Minuted a Day book.
    I am thinking of buying the Emile Henry Bread Baker, is it suitable for most of your breads?
    Also, I’m not a confident baker so wondering if it’s ok to add dry fruit and honey to the basic recipe? I’m thinking sultanas, dry apricots and Medjool dates.
    Thank you very much
    Kind regard
    Daniela Pelosi

    1. I have the Emile Henry bread baker and it works great for the free-form lean-dough loaves baked at 450F, but doesn’t add anything to the enriched breads, or to loaf-pan breads.

      One other thing–it’s a bit fragile, chipping and cracking off parts of the handle if jostled. And I’m not sure it offers much beyond what any other covering would (crockpot, lasagne pan–see page 20-21 in your printed copy). About adding dried fruit, see the recipes on page 127, 151, 167, 296, 300, 303, all of which use fruit, nuts, honey, or combinations of those. It’s not a big deal–easy enough.

      1. Hi Jeff, thank you so much for the prompt reply, appreciate it. Going to check those pages now…just baked the European Peasant Bread, delicious! Thanks again

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