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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3,016 thoughts on “Ask a Question

  1. Hi,
    I have version 1 of Healthy Bread in 5 minutes a Day. I am having trouble with the Master Recipe (p. 54) rising properly. I let the loaf rise for the specified amount of time and it looks great until I remove the light covering. It instantly falls flat and spreads out. When I bake it, there is no more rising. The bread tastes fine, but is very flat and circular in shape. It happens with my free form loaves and the ones I put in a pan for sandwich bread. I am at a slightly higher altitude. Is there something I need to adjust?

    1. Hi Daniela,

      Which book do you have, I can try to point you to a recipe? If you have the Healthy Bread Book, it would be closest to using spelt flour, which requires less water, because it has a lower gluten content.

      Thanks, Zoë

  2. hey,
    great work. your books have changed my life (no kidding). i have always lived for good bread and now i can make it.
    anyway, question:
    i left my broa dough in the fridge way too long and it has obviously gone sour (smell test).
    is it still safe to consume after baking?
    is this now sourdough broa?
    is there a point after which it is just not safe?
    thx in advance,


    1. Hi Scott,

      So glad you are enjoying the bread.

      The dough is safe as long as it is free of any mold, which takes a very long time to develop, so it is likely just fine, but will have a strong fermentation smell and flavor.

      Thanks, Zoë

      1. thx for the reply.

        i liked my loaf of “sourdough broa” i’ve had sandwiches all week off of it!



  3. I’ve got 2 things that I don’t know what to do with: Kamut flakes and Bulger. What do I do w/ them? I can’t seem to find a recipe in my Five Min./Day book.

  4. Artisan Bread in 5 minutes a day, p. 91 “English Granary style Bread”
    Is the malt powder called for in the recipe malted barley flour? And should it be diastatic or non-diastatic?
    (I’m guessing non)

    Your book stayed on my shelf for about a year before I decided to try it out. As a long-time bread baker (from my very early teens), I was faithfully married to the idea of kneading. But this really works! Thank you! And thanks for the video of the scoop and sweep. That was exactly what I was looking for. I also noticed the adjustment for shaping the loaves and will be mindful of that for next week.

    1. Hi Sarah,

      Non-diastatic malt powder is what you need for this recipe.

      I am so pleased that you gave it a try and are enjoying all the bread!

      Cheers, Zoë

  5. Whey. I have whey from homemade yogurt. How much water can I replace with whey for the whole wheat and the master white recipes from your original book?


  6. Hello ! Love, LOVE your books , have them all . Question ire: recipe Deli Rye (p.58 original ABin5), for 1.5 Tbsp. kosher salt . i make it often & recently switched to La Baleine fine sea salt, for other needs , but altho I cut back to 1 generous Tbsp, found the bread too salty … I saw a post saying you developed with Morton’s, but couldn’t find a conversion . Can you help ? Also , I know salt is for flavour but also retards the yeast, so how much less before it blowing up ? Is the salt required to be in a fixed amount to the yeast ? Thank you v.

    1. Hi Cate,

      I am so glad you are enjoying the bread. I would go with 2 teaspoons of the sea salt, since it is fine and the recipe was written for a coarse salt.

      Thanks, Zoë

  7. The brioche recipe on page 300 in “The New Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day” calls for honey. Would it be possible to swap it out for maple syrup instead? I know it’s more expensive, but I always have maple syrup & don’t generally use honey. Thank you.

    1. Hi Virginia,

      Yes, you sure can. It tends to me a more intense flavor, so you can even reduce the amount a bit if you like.

      Thanks, Zoe

  8. I love your book Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day. When using the steam method, your book says to use one cup of water a broiler pan. There is no water left in the pan at the end of the baking time. Is that normal or should I use more water?

  9. I am on a low sodium diet and saw your answer to the question about reducing salt. You said it would alter the flavor. My question is this, what will removing salt or reducing the amount do to the texture and the rise of the bread? Will the bread be flatter than a bread with salt in it? Thank you for any help!

    1. Unfortunately, yes, it will affect structure, because salt strengthens gluten. So it might be flatter, and you may prefer versions done in a loaf pan.

  10. I have an abundance of un-ground wheat and rye “berries,” and a very fine home flour mill. I would like to have a recipe for 100% home ground whole wheat flour and rye flour. Thanks.

    1. Well, this is going to be a challenge.

      We have addressed home-ground flour in a post: go to the Search bar above and type in “Fresh-ground” and you’ll see it. It can be tricky, and you’re going to have to experiment.

      Then, for a recipe, the closest we have would be one of our 100% whole wheat recipes in The New Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day, available on Amazon at But we don’t have anything quite like this.

  11. I’ve got all your cookbooks except the gluten-free. I’ve been cooking a lot of wheat bread in the crock pot lately. I was just wondering if any of your recipes could be cooked in my new Instant Pot. Have you tried it?

      1. It is a brand of electric pressure cooker. Mine came with a trivet that would allow water to be put in the bottom and the bread could be in a pan sitting on the trivet. The pressure cooker would be creating steam, so it seems a lot like what your books describe when water is poured in a pan that was preheated in the oven.

      2. Well… I really don’t think that’s going to work. For bread-baking, you use steam at the beginning of the bake, but then it transitions to dry heat as the steam sizzles off in the first few minutes of baking. In a pressure cooker, the steam is relentless, and it’s under pressure, so I think you’d end up with a very soggy loaf and there’d be no crust development–which depends on drying out the surface of the bread and oxidizing it. It’d be stark white when your done.

        Also not hot enough–I know it’ll exceed water’s boiling-point because of the pressure, but water boils at 212F, and we’re calling for 450F in our lean doughs, and you’ll be nowhere near that.

  12. Hi, do you have a recipe for a sweet pumpkin dough that can be braided like challah? I saw pumpkin pie brioche in New healthy bread, but wasn’t sure if it could be braided or if it should just go in a pan.

  13. I have purchased the kindle version of the Artisan Pizza and Flatbreads in 5 Minutes per day. There is a chart with the Master Recipe in the Master Recipe chapter. The chart is so small that it is unreadable and I have not been able to increase the size. I spent the money for this book on amazon and would really love to have the master recipe. Why is it that it cannot be enlarged. I have your other 3 books and am feeling disappointed. It was purchased last year so I cannot return it for the hard copy or I would.

    1. I’m looking into it with the publisher. What kind of Kindle do you have? But meanwhile, the recipe’s just 3.5 cups water (28 ounces/800 grams), 1T granulated yeast, 1 to 1.5T coarse salt, 7.5 cups AP flour (38 ounces/1,080 grams), and 1/3 cup of thick tomato sauce, 3 ounces fresh mozzarella (85 grams), and 6 fresh basic leaves.

    2. Phyllis: Publisher got back to me–double-tap on the image of the table, and it will enlarge. At least that’s the way it behaves on my Kindle.

  14. Hi, I have all your cookbooks. I want to make spelt bread that is nondairy. Which recipe should I use? I’d like it to be mostly or all spelt. Can you give me a few choices please? Thanks.

    1. You can swap spelt for whole wheat in any of our recipes, and most of the whole-grain recipes are non-dairy. In The New Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day, see pages 82 (Master Recipe with spelt) or 92 (100% whole grain). But it’ll work throughout, though denser. Most tasters preferred this grain with vital wheat gluten, especially the 100% whole grain versions.

      It doesn’t rise quite as much as regular wheat; you may prefer this as a flatbread.

  15. Hello, I’m enjoying The New Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day! Have had wonderful success with the bread, I’m trying to perfect the baguettes as we like to have a warm baguette with butter as a sort of appetizer just as dinner is almost ready. I’d like to make cinnamon rolls with the Challah (p 296) or the Brioche p 300). May I substitute white sugar in place of honey? I have looked through the FAQs and haven’t found this yet.
    Thank you!

    1. Absolutely. In theory, you have to adjust for the water content, but I’ve found it makes little difference. Honey is about 85% sugar and 15% water. So not off by much.

  16. Can you tell me how you determone the protein percentage in flour? I am using Central Milling Organic Unbleached All-Purpose Flour. In the nutritional information it states that there are 4 grams of protein for every 30 gram serving. Does this mean that the protein percentage is 13.3%? That seems awfully high considering on page 9 of your book it says that most all-purpose flours average around 10%? Should I be using more water for breads made with this flour?

    1. Can’t use those #s because of rounding error. Since they’re only required to post to the nearest whole number of grams of protein. So could be anywhere from 3.6 to 4.4 grams. How does the dough look when u mix it accdg to instructions?

  17. I understand that FRESH yeast gives even better flavor and lift than dry yeast. Can fresh yeast be used in the basic recipes and how would I go about that? Thanks!

  18. Can butternut squash puree and dried cherries be incorporated into the Master Recipe from “Gluten Free Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day’?

    1. Yes! We have one in The New Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day: But be aware, we didn’t find that you could use a whole lot of quinoa without ending up with a very dense loaf, so there isn’t much quinoa in it. Then again, we used unground quinoa and maybe you could push that if you used quinoa flour (not readily available in most markets though).

  19. Hi–I made the cheddar cheese recipe–think it’s called “Vermont…”. I noticed that the dough needed more water to make it a wet dough; also, did not taste the cheese. Is the dryness the result that the it’s winter and the air is dry? (Couldn’t be the baker!)
    Last Saturday, I made dough (the master recipe) and again, dough needed more water than indicated in recipe.

    1. More likely, measuring differently? Are you weighing? Using scoop and sweep. A little more water’s OK. What kind of cheese?

      Air=dry could have some effect, yes…

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