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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2,824 thoughts on “Ask a Question

  1. Hi- can you describe how to make a more elongated free-form loaf rather than a round dough ball? This would be for either the 100% whole wheat bread or European peasant bread in your first book. Thank you.

  2. The New Healthy Bread in 5 Minutes a Day
    Master recipe p81-82

    I thought when I started weighing my ingredients and adjusted for the use of King Arthur Whole Wheat flour that my dough would be as wet as you show in the videos, however, I am adding as much as 1 extra cup of water (I am in Tucson with 11% humidity today) and still get a dry dough. For example today’s grapefruit sized portion broke when I picked it up from the refrigerated dough instead of stretching. Do you have feedback from other desert bakers? (Yes, am going to Crock Pot as of today). Thanks, Le

    1. Hi Le,

      A cup of extra water is a lot, but not unheard of. The dry desert air will suck all the moisture out of the flour and make it absorb more water. If your dough seems dry like this, just let it rest longer before baking to get more rise out of it. You can increase the resting time, after the loaf is shaped by 30-45 minutes.

      Thanks, Zoë

  3. Is it possible to omit the All Purpose white flour from any of you whole grain doughs/breads altogether. Every recipe for whole grain bread I have read contains some amount of white flour.
    Why do I need the white flour?
    Many thanks for your help.

    1. Hi Doris,

      Which book are you using? The 100% whole grain breads tend to be denser and don’t store as well without the all-purpose flour. But, we have several 100% whole grain recipes, depending on the book you have.

      Thanks, Zoë

      1. Hi Zoe, I have The New Artisan Bread in 5 and The New Healthy Bread in 5.
        I would like to get away from the white flour and just use the “ancient” grains and flours. I find they have more flavour than the regular whole wheat flours.
        Love your books, there is so much variety
        Thank you.

      2. Hi Doris,

        Did you see the chart on page 92 of The New Healthy Bread book. It gives the amount of water needed for the various flours when making 100% whole grain breads. Let me know if that helps.

        Thanks, Zoë

  4. Hi Zoe, yes thank you – coincidentally I was leafing through the book this evening to look for some recipes and found the page. Very helpful. Very many thanks for your help. I shall keep you posted on the results of my baking efforts. 🙂

  5. Hi there! I’m new to your GF book and tried making the basic loaf with Mixture #1 today. The loaf was too dense and heavy when baked. It didn’t rise much even when allowed to rise longer than the time suggested. I did preheat the stone. The only thing that I did perhaps differently is that I don’t have a metal broiler pan so I used another metal pan. It didn’t appear to be actively steaming constantly and a lot of steam didn’t visibly escape when the door was opened. Anyway, I think the cause of the density of the loaf is that my dough isn’t mixed well enough. Now I have all this dough and am wasting by trying new things when I know it’s not mixed properly. So, my question is, can I remix dough that’s already been made and been sitting for the day? I’d love to get the dough more smooth so it tastes better. Thanks!

    1. Hi Alyssa,

      Did you use xanthan or psyllium as the binder? You can remix the dough, but it may take a bit longer to rise the second time, since you’ve knocked out the air bubbles. Did you happen to see our video on shaping?

      If you can eat eggs, I suggest trying the version that uses egg whites as part of the liquid. They help produce a lighter loaf, but it isn’t the default recipe, since some folks can’t eat eggs. You’ll find that version in the book or here:

      Thanks, Zoë

  6. I don’t like to store food in plastic for long periods of time. Have you (or your readers) found any nice stoneware or ceramic containers of an appropriate size for dough storage? Or pyrex? Or even glass?
    I am assuming that storing dough in metal containers will adversely affect it, is this correct?

    Thanks for your time, I’m super excited to get started!

    1. Hi Sarah,

      I know some of our readers have stored their dough in non-plastic containers, but I am not sure about specific brands. Hopefully some of them will see this and let you know.

      You can store the dough in stainless steel, but any other metal will likely react and give the dough an off flavor.

      Thanks, Zoë

    2. I wrap our loaves in cotton kitchen towels and store them in the microwave. We also use parchment paper inside tin foil if we are going to put them in the fridge.

  7. Hello,
    I just made your basic Boule with the Master Dough recipe using the Flour Mix #1 halved. I followed everything to the letter and used psyllium husk powder instead of xanthan gum. I also used my Kitchen Aid mixer to mix the dough and even made sure my water was exactly 100F. The dough mixed up like a normal wheat-based dough that I was able to pick up and out of the mixing bowl and form into a neat ball (not wet at all). The dough wasn’t dry and crumbly, but it certainly wasn’t sticky either. It looked and felt like regular bread dough that’s partially kneaded, ie. pretty smooth. I used the exact amounts in the recipe incl. weighing all my flours to the gram. I put my dough in a plastic bowl, partially covered to rise for 2 hours at room temp (approx 74F) and the dough never rose (AT ALL). My yeast was fresh (kept in the fridge). It’s currently in the fridge “resting” but I am seriously concerned that this will bake up like a concrete brick vs a normal loaf. Before I go ahead and bake this, can you please advise whether the dough is supposed to be like this or whether I should just throw it out in the garbage and try something different. If so, how should it be different? I’m not a beginner baker by the way. Thank you.

    1. Hi Margaret,

      Here is a post on the master recipe: As you can see the dough doesn’t rise a tremendous amount, but it does certainly rise and become lighter in consistency. If your dough didn’t rise at all after 2 hours, the yeast was not activated. This can be from cold water, which you say isn’t the case. The yeast is no good, but you said it is within the expiration date. The only other thing we’ve run into (personal experience) is forgetting to add the yeast all together. If that is a possibility, it is still possible to add the yeast.

      Thanks, Zoë

      1. Hi Zoe,

        Thanks for getting back to me. I didn’t forget to add the yeast and as mentioned in my earlier post, I followed the recipe to the letter. So I finally tried to bake some of that dough and the results were disastrous. The dough remained a chalky gray/white (never browned and yes, there was sugar in the dough) and the baked dough ended up hard as a baseball. Needless to say, I had to throw the entire batch of dough into the garbage. What a waste of expensive ingredients! I tried a completely different recipe which required me to proof the yeast in water at 110F (not 100F) prior to adding it to the flour mixture. Day and night difference. While I will still need to tweak the flour proportions to get a softer bread, the results were astonishingly different. My dough was soft and squooshy (in its “raw” form), doubled in size while resting, and browned beautifully in the oven. I had such high hopes for your recipe but I’m thinking that maybe it might be better to proof the yeast prior to adding it to the dry ingredients or maybe use only instant yeast using your method. I know you mention that using either worked for you but it just didn’t work in my case.

      2. Hmm. Can’t explain your experience, since we’ve never had to do that, but I’m so glad the recipe’s working for you with that change.

  8. Chat Conversation Start

    Hi my name is Bill and I have a question.
    My wife is making your artisan bread in 5
    and she asked me to put the container in the refridge. after the 2 hr wait time , but I forgot . It sat out on the counter overnight . She put it in the refridge. this morning . Will it still be usable after my mistake? Thank you , Bill

    1. Hi Bill,

      It depends. If she made up a batch of our master recipe (flour, water, yeast, salt) then your dough is just fine and you can use it without any problem. You are amongst many who have done this very same thing (including Jeff and myself). If the dough had eggs or other dairy, then you really need to start over!

      Thanks, Zoë

  9. My first ever bread made from classic recipe was perfection. Feeling cocky, my second was a disaster; dough too long in fridge, oven too hot; result burned and flat: lesson learned. Third with fresh classic dough again beautiful. All made using a dutch oven. I would like to graduate to a baking stone and find too many to choose from. There is a 3/4 inch five piece set on Amazon and wonder if you would approve: Dough-Joe® 15″ x 18″ Pizza and Baking Stone (5-piece set) Being thicker it does require a longer preheat time. Thanks for starting me out on my baking adventure. Beverly

    1. Never having used this particular product, I can’t really say. My prejudice is in favor of single large stones, although as one reviewer notes, that might make them more susceptible to breakage. The one that both of us have used extensively is, also on Amazon–it’s actually now more money than the one you’re considering, so that’s a consideration. My prejudice: seems that crumbs, flour, cornmeal–will fall between openings between the stones in the product your mentioning.

      Zoe’s written on this extensively:

  10. I’d like to make a sandwich bread that is similar to a sweet sourdough. I have a loaf pan for baking to the right shape but I’m not sure how to get that same taste and texture. Can I just add sugar to the master recipe? I’m using the New Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day cookbook.

    1. Well, sugar, or honey. Start with a half-cup and see what you think. And if you’re really looking for sourdough effect, let the dough age at least a couple of days before baking (stagger your batches, or use the pate fermentee technique on page 62.

      Depending on how much sweetener you use, you may have to turn down the oven heat to prevent crust-scorching.

  11. I’d like to double the recipe for bagels on page 198 and following in The New Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day. I did try this once already and the dough rose over the top of my bucket and dried up around the lip. Would I need a bucket twice the size of the 6-qt (maybe more) bucket I got to use this book?

    1. Yes, you’ll need a bigger bucket, but you don’t need a 12-quart one, which won’t fit in any home fridge anyway. 10-quart? But will that fit into your fridge? You may have to mix and then divide into two buckets.

  12. The New Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day

    Page 134, 100% Whole Wheat Sandwich Bread

    Can almond mild, cashew milk, or any other vegan alternatives be used in this and other recipes that call for milk?


  13. I recently purchased your book and it looks great. My question can a cast iron baking pan be substituted for the baking stone? Have a Happy Holiday

    1. Which book do you have? I can point you to extensive discussion of this, depending on which book you have, and which edition (what year published?).

      1. Thanks so much for being so prompt. That is simply marvelous! I have the first edition 2007. I am not really fond of baking stone products so I just wondered if an other product would work just as well. I appreciate all your research and willingness to answer questions.

      2. Ah, that explains–our first edition (the 2007) didn’t have much discussion of alternatives. Yes, a cast-iron surface works quite well.

  14. Dear Zoe and Jeff,

    Your book is awesome! I’m just having trouble with one aspect of the master recipe from the artisan bread in 5 minutes a day (2014?) book.

    For some reason, my bread is turning out to be a little bitter. I let it rise for about 3-4 hours if I remember correctly. I used 1 tbsp yeast (active-dry/granulated yeast). The flour was the same as written in the bool but I used 653 grams of water because the original amount was a little too micj for me. Any ideas on what is causing the bitterness?

    1. Some of our bakers have had this–neither of us perceive it. But it’s solved by making the low yeast version of the recipe (see page 14-17).

      There’s one other possibility though–that you’re not fond of the flavor of sourdough that arises in our stored dough. You could test that by only using fresher dough—let’s say, younger than 3 days, and freezing it after that. Defrost in fridge overnight to use.

      1. Thank you so much for the prompt answer! About the sourdough flavor, is it possible to get that slightly tangy flavor that you get in store-bought sourdough with the master recipe? I’ve never done ot before and I’m worried about rotting the thing instead of fermenting it, and getting sick.

      2. Well, it’s going to be a matter of taste, not health. Given what you’ve told me, I think you’ll be happiest with the low-yeast version, but then store the dough for a few days at least–to start developing sourdough character. Lengthen the storage time to intensify the flavor.

  15. I have used your book for many beads. My problem is I am not getting the rise for my bread. I have checked the FAQ section with no help. I follow the book to the letter. I see that in the FAQ you say 475 temps but in the book, you have 450. Any help would be great.

    1. You say you’ve made many breads in the book–so you’re getting no rise for any of them? Is there variation by recipe? Which recipe is the main problem (which of our books, what page number)?

      Understand though–our method doesn’t produce lofty, high-rising, light breads–this is a denser loaf than typical American white bread, for example.

  16. Hi there! Finally found success with your GF book by adding eggs to the dough. Now I’m intrigued and have mixed up the brioche dough. I want to make copy cat Trader Joe’s almond croissants. I realize croissants are so intricately puffed and layered and this may not be possible with GF dough. However, I’m wondering if you guys have tried it? I think I could put the almond mixture on a piece of dough and out another piece on top and bake. Or I also thought I could bake without steam for part of the time to make it puff (like the pita recipe) then move it up to brown it? Just not sure about when to add the filling. Also not sure if croissants are even a possibility at all but it never hurts to try! 🙂 Hoping you can help!

    1. Try something like the Cinnamon Buns on page 230, but use almond cream as on page 236, and sprinkle sliced almonds on it before rolling.

      You could also try this in a croissant shape.

  17. Hi Zoe & Jeff! I’m about to tackle the Pumpernickel loaf, and was wondering how much King Arthur organic pumpernickel flour to add? I’m working from The New Artisan Bread in five Minutes a Day. I’m currently to the point where we no longer buy bread! We should talk when you have a moment! I went to KA for the Caramel color and noted the flour, so, yay! Thanks!

    1. Hi Rick! That’s a pretty rough-hewn flour, so start with a half-cup and go up from there. You’ll need to increase the water a couple of tablespoons (but see how it looks first).

      Let’s connect offline–we have a new book coming out in November of 2018–Holiday and Celebration Bread in Five Minutes a Day.

  18. Hi – I am new to your books and want to incorporate some of the techniques I’ve been using to make sourdough bread . I’m wondering if you have to add the salt right at the beginning of making your master doughs as I’ve found mixing the flour/water/leavener and leaving for a 30 min autolyse has really improved the texture of my breads. Wondering if this would have an impact on the longevity of the dough if I tried this. Thoughts?

  19. I would like to make a sweet sourdough (I think it is called Herman). Are there any of your current recipes that would be equivalent or that could be easily modified to get a sweeter outcome? My online search reveals only methods/recipes that require a starter and I was hoping to find something easier/faster/simpler now that I’m hooked on your method 🙂 Currently, the only book I have is The New Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day.

    1. Well, just try some honey or sugar–up to about a third of a cup probably won’t require much adjustment for a four-pound batch, but beyond that there’ll be a scorching tendency, so turn down the heat a little and go longer.

  20. I tried to make a homemade bacon corn dog using your Broa dough (The New Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day, page 146). I wrapped Richland Center Locker Plant wieners (far superior to Oscar Mayer) with pre-cooked bacon and wrapped 2.4 oz. of Broa dough around each and baked at 400 F for about 35 minutes. The outside got a little brown and a lot hard and crisp. They’re tasty, but hard to chew.

    So how do I make these and get a softer breading? Is there something I can brush on the outside to make them softer?

  21. Lately i was reading another breadmakers book and the author mentioned using a bakers cloth when rolling out a flatbread. I was wondering about this with your dough. Its pretty wet, yes?

      1. As far as i can tell the advantage of the cloth has to do with cleanup. Absorption of excess flour also.

  22. Hi. I’m actually posted this on the GF section, but not sure where it went. I am wondering how to get my GF challah to have a nice smooth exterior like in your photo in the book. It tastes delicious, but I always get a lot of cracking and a few holes on the surface as it rests/rises. I am wondering whether a light coat of oil brushed on prior to the rest would help. Thank you in advance for any advice

    1. Assume you mean the photos of the two challahs in the book–well…

      look more closely–those are very pebbly surfaces; it’s a little easier to see that in the Braided Challah than in the Turban-Shaped Challah. But we actually have the same experience you do.

      If you’re getting more cracking than “pebbling,” the only thing to ask is about humidity. If yours is very, very low (the desert), then the surface may be drying. Assuming you’re covering during the rest, there’s not much else to do.

  23. I just blew-it! I was making the 10 grain bread and instead of using the white ww flour I put in regular ww. Oh sigh! I wonder if there’s any hope for it? I hate to throw it all out.

      1. …and if anyone comments on it theres always…
        “I meant it that way”.

  24. Hi, all! I’m working on mastering the master recipe from New Artisan Bread in 5. For whatever reason, EVERY loaf I bake has crazy erratic cracks in the crust. No matter how I slash it or rest it, it never stays whole and round if that makes sense. And it doesn’t just split along the attractive slashes I make in it. I’ve made bread in the traditional method before and I always only get these splits when I underproof the loaves. Why is this happening to my master recipe and what can I do to make a more uniform crust? Thanks for a great book and your advice!

    1. Two things that might be the explanation:
      1. Deeper slashes
      2. Longer resting time, if you’re not already doing a 90-minute rest

      1. Thanks, Jeff! I appreciate the feedback, I’ll give it another shot! ….not that we mind eating split bread, of course, all bread is welcome in this house! I was only doing a 40 or 45 minute rest, so I’ll try a 90 min. Thanks again! 🙂

    1. Our “real” storehouse of recipes is in our books, which you can order on Amazon by clicking on their cover-images above. We do have some recipes scattered here all over the website, going back to 2007. Per our publisher’s request, they’re only a fraction of what’s in our books, and they’re not as detailed. And our website-version recipes aren’t indexed (our books have terrific indexes). So you can browse the site–or, if you have a specific bread you’re looking for, enter it into the “Search” bar above our pictures on the right side of the site. You’ll find a list of related posts that we’ve done; most contain recipes.

  25. Question re: sourdough loaf bread. I’m cautiously entering sourdough realm and have made two batches of dough using sourdough starter per your instructions — starter looks/smells good, dough also looks/smells good — but the loaves crack horizontally during baking — lifting the lid, as it were.
    I let the dough start for about 24 hours (I’m at 5,400 feet, so it takes a bit more time), then ‘fridge the dough for at least 24 hours, then divide into 2 9×4 loaf pans and back into ‘fridge overnight, and bake the following morning.
    This second round I severely slashed the dough about halfway down before baking – but the slashes closed up (like first round’s shallower slashes) and the top of the loaf lifted off during baking (again) .. Final result tastes great, but doesn’t look great and slicing is a problem.
    Suggestions? Thanks!

    1. Continuing from prvs comment re: sourdough loaf splitting horizontally ….. I should prolly add that I do drizzle water on top of the dough b4 it goes into the oven — to keep things moist .. thx cathy

      1. The new healthy bread book with the whole wheat sourdough recipes that start on 389. I”m wondering if I need to let it rest longer (longer than overnight) in the loaf pan, but somehow keep the top moister/wetter at the start of baking.

  26. OK…

    I’m guessing that you need to “structure” the loaf a little more as you are shaping it. Try the letter-fold technique which we describe on page 102. Or even just more aggressively gluten-cloaking as we describe on page 85, Step 4 (… stretch the surface… rotating…”). Should help.

    Also, you’re right, a longer rest (at room temp once you get it out of fridge)–will probably help. Let it warm up.

  27. I’m in the midst of making your sourdough starter, and need feeding/ maintenance instructions after the initial preparation. How often do I need to feed it, and where should I store it for future use? Thanks

  28. I had been using the master recipe from the New Artisan Bread book, which I got working fine, but wanted to change to more of a whole wheat loaf. So I tried the master recipe from Healthy Bread book (not the new one – my hubby bought it for me like 4 months before the new one came out). The dough mixes up pretty well, but when I get it out to shape, even when it’s only 2-3 days old, it seems a bit too wet. With flour, I shape it, and leave it to rest, and it spreads to almost double the width, but doesn’t rise. When I slash it, the cuts basically just open up and melt away when baking. I don’t use seeds or anything on the top – I forgot to buy any. Then when it bakes up, it doesn’t rise much, spreads more, but the inside is relatively normal – nice air holes, not dense or anything, and the crust is nice. I use whole wheat flour I get from a local Amish bulk food store that is ground pretty fine, plush gluten like it says. I suspect that I have a bit too much flour, but don’t want to make the bread too dense either. I’m not sure how to proceed.

      1. That’s probably right. When using non-commercial flour, you almost always have to adjust the recipe because those products aren’t standardized to any particular residual moisture level in the grain just before it’s ground. See what happens when you decrease the water a bit–try two tablespoons at a time.

  29. I am probably overlooking something but I can’t find a list of your instructional and demo videos separate from your TV appearances on this website. I did find the “gluten cloaking” and “slashing” videos but that is all. Is such a list available?

      1. Oh, my! I never thought about youtube! What a Gold Mine! That should take care of my reading/viewing/educational material for quite a while. Thank you so much!

  30. RE: New Artisan, page 53: Master Recipe: Boule (Artisan Free-Form Loaf

    A question about making it easier to calculate the amount of extra water needed when using King Arthur all-purpose flour instead of a supermarket brand.

    Using the Master Recipe above as a base and the instructions on page 10 as guidance, I calculated the following:

    “If using King Arthur, Dakota Maid, and most Canadian unbleached all-purpose flour instead of a supermarket brand, increase the water in the recipe by 6.4 g for every 100 g supermarket all-purpose flour called for. Note: 1 teaspoon water = 5 g)”

    This would take into account that some recipes call for not only 100% all-purpose flour, but for a smaller amount of all-purpose flour with a blend of other flours. The formula also takes into consideration that some bakers are still measuring by volume.

    Would this formula hold true with all/most all other recipes? Should I change “water” to “water or other liquids?” I thought I would run this by you to find any flaws.

    I’m not sure that this formula would trump “feel of the dough” but it might help those of us to get closer to the best amount of water to add.

      1. Sorry, missed the question about the hot dog bun pan–we haven’t tested those, so sorry!

        That said, enriched doughs work best for hot dog and hamburger buns–you want a soft crust. Also can do a pita-style but and then you can use the master recipe. Or do it the usual way but brush the top with butter or oil to keep it soft…

  31. Sorry for the flood of questions. I’m working on 3 new breads at the same time.

    RE: Order of the steps in the Mixing method.

    I noticed that in the New Healthy book you combine the dry ingredients, including the yeast, and then add the liquids. In previous books you dissolve the yeast in the water first and then add the dry ingredients. Does the new approach affect anything in the rising process and the finished product or is it more for convenience and better work flow?

    I think I am going to like the new approach. I’m assuming that it can be applied to your older books too, including the New Artisan?

    1. In New Healthy, you must do it that way, because of the vital wheat gluten–which has to be even distributed through the dry ingredients before adding the liquids. If you’re using a recipe without VWG, like all the stuff in New Artisan, you don’t have to do it that way–but you certainly can–it works just fine.

  32. I love the flavour these breads. I am having a problem getting them to rise. I have followed all the instructions in the gluten free book as well as as have read the comments in the FAQ’s. I would love to make a sandwich loaf but it does not rise—ant other tips?

    1. When you say “does not rise,” do you mean there are no air holes in the finished bread (and that therefore it’s not expanding at all), and it is solid as a brick? Or do you mean that it’s spreading sideways in its expansion rather than upward? If it’s the latter, it’s a matter of better shaping, using a little less water, or baking in a loaf pan.

      And all this is assuming you’re using Bob’s Red Mill flours, which is what we test with.

      1. the bread does not rise upwards–does not have air holes–it does not seem to expand at all. I bought new yeast and still get the same results . I would love to be able to make a sandwich loaf but it does not rise. I use some of Bobs Red Mill flours but I live in a small community in BC and all those flours are not available here. should I try using eggs?

      2. Definitely try the egg version–especially the egg-white version on page 73.

        But unfortunately, all bets are off when you substitute flours–we found that GF recipes are very sensitive to substitutions. So if you can’t get Bob’s (try mail order or the web; Amazon has it), you are going to need to carefully start altering the water level and see if that helps.

        Also, you absolutely can’t leave out the xanthan gum or ground psyllium husk–if you are, that’s the explanation–it will be solid as a rock without it, regardless of what flour you use.

  33. Dear Zoe and Jeff,

    You book is absolutely amazing. I’m really enjoying the New Artisan Bread in 5, and I’ve been making a very large loaf every week for my friends. I’ve only run across one problem, which is with the crust. Normally, I realize that the loaves are rather small. I made a loaf using about half of the premade dough (910 grams flour, 650 grams water, a little less than 1 tbsp yeast, 1 tbsp salt). My problem is that I’m not exactly sure how to gauge baking times for loaves like these that are large. I don’t want to bake two small breads at the same time, since I like large loaves. The crust turned out a little tough, and difficult to chew (it was moderately crispy and chewy at the same time…very weird). I baked it for 45 minutes after resting it for about two hours. How can I get a softer, but crunchier crust? I’m not sure what I can do to troubleshoot this. And is there a way to calculate how much baking time is necessary based on the weight? I remember reading something about taking almost an hour for larger loaves in the first part of the book.

    1. You’re right, it’s just a longer bake-time, and check your oven temp (see If you’re already using a stone, there’s not much else you can do (lots of heat mass).

      But it seems you’ve made a slight change in the recipe–we call for 680 grams of water–I can’t imagine that explains this, but maybe??

      You’re using steam in the oven, I assume. Another option–make a flatter loaf, which will bake through quicker.

  34. Re: Bread knives & slashing (Ugh! Sounds like a bad movie!)…scoring:

    I own a Wusthoff Classic bread knife for, I’m guessing, between 5 and 8 years. I was only able to bake crusty bread about half of that time. I am just now getting back to my “soul” passion. It’s like getting back on a bicycle after a long absence, right? Not quite. There is a lot of new and exciting information out there to process now. So stimulating. But I digress.

    What is the life of a bread knife like ours? I sense that mine is getting dull since I find it difficult to make clean scores. My knife pulls on the dough even though I try to make quick decisive cuts. I have heard that serrated bread knives cannot be sharpened. Is that correct?

    Would there be any benefit to spraying the knife edge with Pam? Or would it make the knife drag even more?

    1. The Pam idea is worth a try, though I haven’t done that.

      Most sharpeners say they cannot do a serrated, but one place here in Minneapolis does it. I’ve done it once in 20 years and I’m happy with the performance of the knife (a Hoffritz). If you’re local, it’s a place called The Sharpening Center, out in the suburbs.

      I also own a Chef’s Choice rotary sharpener which makes the claim that it can sharpen serrated. OK, so I’ve sharpened that Hoffritz twice in 20 years–once at that Center, and once on my Chef’s Choice. I remember being happy with the performance.

  35. Hi, in reference to your “100% Whole Wheat bread Recipe page 79” from your book “Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day”. I have just started too mill (grind) my own flours. I wanted to know if I can grind 7 cups of “Bob’s Red Mill Hard Red Spring wheat Berries” and use it in your recipe? I would split your recipe in half and make two large loaves. Thanks in advance for your advice 🙂

    1. You can do it, but fair warning–it’ll almost certainly require lots and lots of testing to determine the hydration needed. All bets are off–we didn’t test this way.

      1. Thanks Jeff for your quick response! I just mixed your Whole Wheat recipe. I am using commercial Organic Whole Wheat flour. I will post my results soon. Next week I will grind my own Whole Wheat flour and post the results. I will use your recipe and replace cup for cup using my own ground Whole Wheat flour. Jeff, I don’t believe “hydration” will be a problem, I am going to “half” the mixed recipe and make 2 large loaves rather than 4 one pound loaves. My project is to make a low carb” bread for a diabetic “Me”

      2. Well, we’ve found that fresh-ground tends to have different water requirements compared with standard flours, but see how it comes out.

      3. Jeff, Made your “100% Whole Wheat bread Recipe page 79” Great bread! I used a Canadian flour “Milanaise Organic Whole Wheat Flour” great tasting bread small crumb but I expect that with whole wheat bread ( I used the dutch oven method). My wife loves it 🙂 Next week I make your recipe using my home ground flour.

      4. Terrific–biggest thing to watch for is hydration changes that might be necessary with home-ground.

    1. Vollkornbrot – Healthy (83) & New Healthy (122)
      Emily, to quote from the recipe in New Healthy Bread: “Don’t expect a lot of rising during the long (2-hour) resting time after shaping.”

      I have made another version of Vollkornbrot, not Jeff and Zoe’s. My experience is that this bread is typically a heavy dough and that it bakes off into a pretty dense bread; it just doesn’t rise much. Jeff, please correct me if I’m off base on your recipe. The one I used to make did not contain any vital wheat gluten and it was really dense. I’m anxious to try Zoe and Jeff’s version.

    2. It is typical–this is a dense bread. Assume you didn’t make any ingredient substitutions, or it’ll be even denser than our expectation.

  36. I have used your master recipe for 100% whole wheat bread, but it came out very dense. I used my bread machine recipe for 100% whole wheat bread, but it came out very dense. I live in the high desert part of Nevada that is very dry and 4500 ft in altitude. What am I doing wrong?

    1. Well, it’s not the altitude–that’s not all that high. Understand though, that 100% WW loaves are denser than typical supermarket breads. WHich of our recipe (from which book/page number)… are you using?

  37. I have all your books, old and new, except the gluten-free.

    I have searched the books and website for burger buns but get no hits. I am looking for your favorite recipes for soft-crusted burger buns that will not fall apart from burger juices, ketchup, or other moist toppings. Please suggest doughs for burger buns—for white, light whole-grain, and mostly whole grain buns.

    Also, how many grams of dough per bun (for 5- to 6-ounce burgers, before cooking). I’ll be using the buns also for salmon or turkey burgers.

    It would be nice to be able to search the comments to see what others think, their ideas, and solutions to their problems. Is there a way to search the comments? I am respectfully requesting search ability in the Ask a question, Q&A, and comments sections, if possible.

    By the way, I made your European Peasant Bread for the first time the other day into 1.5-pound loaves (too small for us; next time 2 pounds). A 3-day dough. The flavor and crust were absolutely incredible! I adjusted the recipe for King Arthur flour.

  38. One more please. I have all of your books, old and new except the gluten-free.

    I use a half-and-half mixture of all-purpose flour and rice flour to dust my cane brotforms. It works very well for releasing your proofed bread doughs. It also releases standard-hydration doughs well when used on the linen-lined forms. Do you think that the Bread in 5 doughs would work all right in them? Not too wet for the linen?

    Thank you.

    1. OK, a lot going on, I’ll try to answer all your questions:
      1. Burger buns: any of our enriched doughs, about 3 ounces per bun, 4 at most. Type hamburger into our Search Bar above. That Search Bar searches the articles (posts), but unfortunately not the comments. Technical barriers there. Better bet–use the indexes in our books that you have.
      2. Great about the Euro peasant bread (a little oil or butter in that and it’s a great bun…)
      3. My guess is that it’ll work–haven’t tried a rice-flour mixture though on the brotforms.

  39. I am so loving your new Healthy Breads cookbook. My only complaint with any of these books is that they are hard to keep open when I am using them. May I suggest you use a spiral bound form for the books? It would be so much easier to use.

    I have also been experimenting with some heirloom recipes, including one for Czechoslovakian Vanoka, a traditional Christmas bread. When making this bread it calls for the milk to be scalded. Do you know if this is necessary for a sweet bread like this? Once the milk is scalded I add in the lemon zest, ground mace, vanilla, sugar and salt. I am wondering if the scalding makes the flavors more intense or if this is an extra, unnecessary step.

    Thank you for wonderful books. Looking forward to any new ones on the horizon.

    1. I meant to add that with the heirloom recipes, I am trying to adapt them to your methods. If I were making the Vanoka your way, I would combine all the dry ingredients and then add all the wet ingredients that have been mixed together. The only difference with the Vanoka is that the butter needs to be combined with the flour before adding anything else. I assume this is to make the bread light with layers of butter.

      1. I know I keep adding things here but as I read through the other comments, other thoughts come to me.

        At my daughters request I have been using bread pans to make many of the free form loaves. She loves to make grilled cheese sandwiches and also toast with the breads and likes the square shape better for that. I use parchment paper in the pans to make it easier to remove after baking. Two stripes, one long ways and one wide ways. It works great and bread comes out nicely browned all over.

        My next project is Pumpernickel bread. Our friend who trades his homemade jams with us as asked that I make some. My daughter hates the taste of anise seed so this may be a bread that I will get a little of. Your breads go so fast in our house. We share with our neighbors all the time. And in our small community, when someone gets married, dies, has a baby, moves into our neighborhood or is sick, there is nothing like a nice loaf of warm whole grain bread to make their day.

        I think that may be all for now. But stay tuned.

      2. Alice, I can tell you of my personal experience with scalding milk for bread doughs. I always do it, others do not. I have done a few side-by-side tests by making the same recipe (by weight), scalding the milk in one recipe and not scalding it in another. In every case I found that the loaves containing scalded milk rose higher than the ones that contained not-scalded milk. Apparently the scalding denatures enzymes in the milk that affect the rise.

        If I knew that I was going to do a lot of baking, I would scald a whole bottle of milk at once and refrigerate it to use as needed over the course of several days.

        I see that in Jeff and Zoe’s NEW Healthy Bread book (page 37) they address your question. It’s worth reading the whole paragraph, but they close by writing, “We don’t call for it in the recipes, but if your dough is dense it is worth a try.”

      3. Oh yeah, we saw that in Shirley Corriher’s book, but we weren’t certain it made a difference in stored dough, so we equivocated. I probably couldn’t tell the difference!

    2. I forgot to mention that I usually scald a little more milk than the recipe calls for because of evaporation. Allow the milk to cool to around 100 to 110 degrees and then measure it for the recipe.

    3. I got some of my books made into spiral bound at Office Depot. I did 3 cookbooks (only 1 was Artisan Bread) with a coupon for under $20. Beats buying new ones!

    4. I’m guessing it makes no difference, but you could do a side-by-side test to determine.

      Yep, we agree–but can’t get the publisher to spring for the extra expense in choosing a spiral…

  40. I have the new Aritsan Bread in five minutes a day. Which recipe would I use to make hamburger rolls and how do I cut them out?

    Thank You

    1. Use any of the enriched doughs, or the buttermilk dough (see index). 3 ounce-balls, flatten them, and bake after a short rest. For a really soft result, brush with butter or oil just before baking, and just when it comes out.

  41. I couldn’t find a reply button to your post, so here it is in the Ask Question thread.

    Quote: jeff
    July 24, 2017 at 9:05 pm

    Oh yeah, we saw that in Shirley Corriher’s book, but we weren’t certain it made a difference in stored dough, so we equivocated. I probably couldn’t tell the difference!

    From Rita:
    You have a point, Jeff. My tests were done with straight doughs and used a standing mixer for them, before your Bread in 5 revolution. What a shame that I will have to compare scalded and not scalded milk in your stored doughs. Not! I’ll love, love, love to have a chance to test that out for myself!

  42. Hello,
    Do you have vegan gluten free recipes? Or do the gf recipes contain eggs and/or dairy?

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