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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5,794 thoughts on “Ask a Question

  1. I asked a question 3 weeks ago. I have not received a answer back. I’m very disappointed. My question was not rude. I was looking for a resolve to my dough.

    1. Yep, and Zoe answered it the same day you posted it (Jan 29). Here is her answer, copied again:

      Hi Judy,

      Yes, you can add more water to the dough if you think it is too dry. Here is a guide for how much water to add to certain high protein flours like KAF:

      Thanks, Zoë

      Hopefully it’s clear that we can’t answer people who post questions here with an e-mail back; we’ve had 56,000 questions since starting this blog. The answers to questions appear right here inside the blog, so that all our readers can benefit from the conversation. More on this at

  2. I love your Master recipe for making small boules. I am now freezing the dough and having great results. I want to try making Naples style pizza from the New Artisan book. In the past, I used cornmeal or flour on the stone when baking the boules but now that I have discovered using parchment paper (and removing after 20 minutes baking), I love it. I see that you don’t recommend parchment paper with the Naples pizza. Is there any reason that I could not use it, and, if so, what do you recommend.
    Thanks Jeff and Zoe!

    1. Technically the parchment doesn’t tolerate that level of heat– but you can do it. Watch for scorching and pull it out if your getting smoking.

      1. Thanks! I will give it a go. I was so happy to read about the parchment paper when I bought The New Artisan Bread book. I had the earlier version of the book and I don’t think it mentioned using parchment. If it did, I didn’t see it and I have given that book to a friend in the hopes of hooking her on your method, too. I did write in the margin about parchment in her copy before giving it to her.
        Hope your Super Bowl team wins!

  3. Can one mix up a batch of whole wheat all-in-one bucket of dough and store it in the frig for later use, i.e., the same method you use with all purpose flour?

    1. Well that’s qualified yes. You can’t just swap in all purpose flour the recipes are completely different. Much more in our whole grain book

  4. Hi, your book has been wonderful (GF Artisan Bread in five minutes a day); a gift from my wife. Can you help?
    I’m using the All purpose flour (Mix#1) and following the Master recipe: Boule.

    The final loaf is consistently cooling to become rather dense with the crust being unable to squeeze at all. I know GF recipes never end up like usual loafs but I’m sure the final bake could be a little softer. It’s great for toast but definitely too tough for normal sandwich slices etc.

    Please help/ what am I doing wrong- I’ve read through the book and struggled to see the answer in your comments/ FAQs. Your expertise would be greatly appreciated.

    Thank you,
    Sam (Pembrokeshire UK)

    1. any chance your oven temperature is off, and it’s taking much longer to bake than the time we recommend? That will give you a very hard crust. boring that you could try painting the crust with oil or melted butter, which should soften it up.

  5. Your books are brilliant! Thank you. Working from Artisan Bread in Five Minutes.
    I made the dough and it rose perfectly to fill a 6-quart container. I stored it in the fridge for 2-days. I removed it from the fridge to take out my first 1-lb ball of dough, and the rest of the dough in the container lost its poof and flattened down to about 1/4 of the 6-quart container. Should I have waited until the 6-quart container came back to room temperature before touching it? Should I throw the dough away and start over? Thank you so much. You’ve made quarantine much easier by offering recipes that are so rewarding to make for the family.

    1. No, that’s normal for our recipes. You’ll find that you get oven spring which will make up for the loss you’re seeing in the bucket

  6. I’m sorry if I’m re-posting. I just don’t see my question below. (I won’t do this more than once, in case it won’t appear without a reply 😉
    Hi Jeff and Zoe…Can we refrigerate our dough again once it has been cloaked, shaped, and proofed? I was reading how you can do that with sourdough to get better oven spring and easier slashing. Also it could be convenient at times, and since this is a wet dough too, i thought maybe we could do it too. Thanks for your insights! Loving your method! So convenient and delicious! (I began last year, with Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day).

  7. Hi, I asked earlier about Cuban bread. I tried your suggestion (lard) and also added a bit of sugar. Not perfected but seems to be working (at least no one is complaining!).
    Now, have you experience using a toaster oven for bread (ours is the large Breville). We travel in the winter and bring the Breville with us. That’s the oven I’ve been using. But bread does not crackle when first taken out of oven (otherwise pretty good).
    Steve Miller

    1. You may find that using a mini-stone helps, I’ve tried that in friends’ toaster ovens when we travel to their cabins (have stone and dough, will travel). I know that this one is currently unavailable on Amazon (, but they might have something similar–that’s the one I’ve used in toaster ovens.

  8. Love your book, The New Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day. Last week, two-week old Master Recipe dough made the best baguettes to ever come out of my oven! I would like to try rosemary olive oil bread next but don’t see a recipe for it in the book or on the website. I have made Nancy Silverton’s La Brea Bakery rosemary olive oil bread and adapted Jim Lahey’s no-knead recipe, both of which made great bread. It would be easier and, I have a feeling, even better using your techniques. Do you have a recipe for rosemary olive oil bread? If not, would you suggest that I try to adapt the Master Recipe? Or would adding chopped fresh rosemary to the Olive Oil Dough be better? What do you recommend?

    1. Your last suggestion is exactly the way to go just merge the instructions for the herb variation in the master with the olive oil recipe.

  9. Hi, Thank you for all this!! I can’t find any gluten free recipes with coconut flour. Is there a reason for this? Do you have any?
    Thank you,

    1. We do have an almond coconut loaf in our book, Gluten-free Bread In five minutes today, which you can find on Amazon if you click the cover image of that book, at the top of our homepage here on the website. Be aware that that recipe is no more than about a quarter nut flours, The balance is our mixture number 1. And it’s the only recipe in the book made from nut flour. We found it challenging to go much beyond that without getting loves that were dense.

  10. Have you ever tried making Struan bread with your method? Can any type of bread work for the 5 Minutes a Day technique?

    1. Not exactly, which of our books are you working from, what recipe and page number, and I can direct you? Most recipes can be adapted for our method.

  11. Hello! I’m working from the New Artisan Bread…and I’m on the master recipe (third batch, I’m new!). When I finish a loaf it looks nice enough, but there isnt enough resistance to cut it with a bread knife, it kind of flattens out. I have used bread flour and added the recommended water. Less water? Longer bake?

    1. Is the crust browning? Does the crumb look normal? And maybe most importantly do you have a good sharp bread knife. With a robust crust, and the wrong kind of knife, it doesn’t go through the crust and the whole slicing experience just flattens things out.

      1. I do have a fairly sharp bread knife and the crust seems pretty crispy! It’s just like the inside is super soft. I’m not sure about the crumb. Is there a link you can point me to to better guage that?

      2. Are you letting it cool completely? Otherwise the crumb will just crush. Type the words “back to basics”, into our search bar above and there are lots of pictures of the crumb in there.

  12. How can I keep the dough from sticking to my hands while shaping? I put flour on the surface of the dough and on my hands.

  13. I have made 6 batches back to back and have just refilled my container without washing it ever in between. I swear the flavor is getting better so I really don’t want to wash it if I don’t have to. My fridge stays at 34 degrees. Should I wash it and if so, how often?

      1. Artisan Bread in Five Minutes A Day 2007 publication at page 31 in the Master Recipe section. Thank you

  14. I love your recipes but have developed a reaction to rice flour. OMG. RICE FLOUR!!

    Do you have recipes for gluten free, grain free, and NUT free bread? I also can’t do almond flour, which is everywhere when I look for gluten free and grain free. I love to bake bread and was wondering if there is any hope for me out there.

    1. The problem here is when you say gluten-free and grain free. All of our recipes have one or the other of hours so unfortunately I don’t think our stuff is the answer for you.

      1. The New Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day. The Master Recipe. It was a new bread stone. p.61.
        Thank you 😉

      2. Did you use lots of cornmeal, whole wheat flour or other “lubricant” under the loaf as it rested? Or did you rest for an overly long period of time, like longer than 90 minutes? Or was the dough simply too wet, which can happen if you’ve got a measurement problem. If all else fails, switch to parchment paper, it’s failsafe

  15. Hi Jeff and Zoe! I recently asked if i could refrigerate my cloaked and formed dough to rise and you referred me to FAQ#20, thank you! Since it speakers of rolls, i want to make sure, for a 1 lb bread, will the same timeframe for rose and bake work, and should i still increase oven temp to 375 for unenriched dough? Will the fridge rise also work for stuffed breads, like your VERY DELICIOUS Sun-dried tomato and Parmesan bread? (LOVED THAT!). Thank you so much…my second year using your method and recipes and am finding my confidence has really increased, the bread delectable! You’re the best!!! Love this, to be able to ask questions! I just wish we could get an alert when you’ve posted..i don’t seem to, or see the answer, till much after the date it’s posted. But grateful nonetheless!!

    1. It should work exactly as you’re describing, yes. But unenriched dough can be back at 450, for most of our recipes… Have to admit, we haven’t specifically tried the refrigerator rise trick with the stuffed breads, but it should work… there might be some risk of over-density especially next to the fillings.

      1. Thanks Jeff! From what the recipe in the FAQ’s says just letting the dough rest while you heat the oven is enough time. Sorry to pester you, but is that the same for a bread sized dough? I’m going to try this tomorrow night….I’d cry if it didn’t rise well in the oven lol. The smell is just too tantalizing for a “fail” LOL!

      2. That’s for a 1 lb loaf of white flour dough. If you make a larger size loaf, or if you add heavier flours or heavy ingredients it needs more resting time. To be safe, it should definitely have the chill out of it if not actually at room temperature.

  16. I have looked in the New Artisan Bread book but didn’t see how I would make adjustments. I want to make ciabatta but use combination of flours to make it multi grain (not all white or whole wheat) but what adj do I make ? Just more water? I tried to find in your FAQs typing in “adjusting flours” but didn’t come up with anything

    1. Generally take some trial and error, and it will of course depend on what flour you use. But yes you need to increase the water. Somewhere between 2 tablespoons, and half a cup depending on the proportion of whole-grain flour.

  17. Hello Jeff and Zoe!

    I hope you are all good and safe!
    I have a question regarding one of your recipies on the book “Gluten Free Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day”.

    Pizza Dough, it calls for cornmeal.
    Big question: i always get confused with cornmeal and its use in different countries. I’m in France now.

    Cornmeal is it Maizena? Is it Farine de maiz?
    If it is Corn flour is it yellow or white? Because i can find the 2.
    I have also seen that it is called Fumetto in italian.

    Or Maizena is what we call Cornstartch?

    If you can help me figure this out please?
    Not sure which one i need to use on the pizza Dough.

    Much much appreciate it and in love with your book!

    1. Pau: I’m afraid we’re just not experts on how these products are sold all over the world. Corn is native to the New World, but Europeans have adopted it all over the continent, and sometimes adopted their own nomenclature. what you’re looking for is something that is coarsely ground, maybe a little less so than Italian polenta but definitely much coarser than corn flour. I hope this helps

    1. Nancy yes we do, a Vermont cheese bread which appears in our book:
      The new artisan bread in 5 minutes a day… Click on the image of the book at the top of our homepage, which was lead you to the Amazon site where that book appears

  18. Hello, I am in the process of making baguettes from the master recipe. Should I rest the loaf for 90 minutes? Also instead of a pizza stone, can I use a baguette tray and how long to cook it on this? Thanks for all your help. I am really enjoying your books and bread!!!

    1. Hi Deborah,

      You can rest the loaf for about an hour unless the room is very cool. A baguette pan is awesome, I use them all the time. The baking time is the same, but go by the deep caramel color of the crust to make sure it is fully done.

      Thanks! Zoë

  19. Hi Deborah, I am a home kitchen baker, and I am finding that a very good test of “fully done” is using an instant read thermometer, when the crumb reaches 195 – 200 F degrees baking is finished

    1. Thank you. I’ll try this. I live in NM so with high altitude baking, it has been difficult to know when it is fully done. Unfortunately a lot of over baking on my end.

  20. The new Red Star Platinum yeast packets – it appears that 3 packs will make 2 batches of the master recipe. Is this correct?? Also I use 2 12 oz bottles of beer in the recipe and I don’t think its as wet as it should be. Should I use more or does beer make the recipe different???

    1. Hi Ken,

      The beer should be measured when it is flat or it won’t measure the same as water, that’s probably why it is dry. I would only substitute a portion of the liquid with beer or the dough will become overly fermented very quickly and lose its gluten strength. You’ll want to bake it within a week.

      The platinum packets make just about 2 batches or a little more, depending on the dough you are making.

      Thanks, Zoë

  21. Hello,
    I have made olive oil dough and the master recipe and noticed that the dough is not very pliable. I have used the pizza and the focaccia recipes.
    Difficult to roll out for a thinner crust and when Also using my hands to stretch it out. I have left the dough to rest, but this doesn’t seem to help. Please advise. Thanks again!

      1. King Arthur all purpose unbleached flour. I am in NM and wonder if I should use bread flour due to the high altitude.

      2. Hi Deborah, The King Arthur flour is high protein flour, so the dough may feel a bit dry. Is that what you mean when you say it isn’t pliable? If it feels too dry, you can try adding a few more tablespoons of water next time.

        Thanks, Zoë

      3. Regarding the “pliable” dough, It won’t stretch or roll out enough to make a thin crust for a pizza. I end up with thick crusts.
        It could be dry since I am baking in a high altitude. I will add more water and see how it goes. Thanks for your help!!

  22. Jeff and Zoe, are you still recommending the HENCKELS Fine Edge Pro Bread Knife, 8-inch, Black/Stainless Steel,31467-201 bread knife? Is this the knife that you use? Do you sharpen it yourself or send it out for sharpening? How often?

    This is a very reasonable knife. As you suggested, I would use it only for slashing the dough. I don’t seem to have much luck with the lames that I’ve bought over the years. They always drag for me even when I speed up the slashing. I would be willing to pay more for a knife that might hold an edge longer.

    1. Hi Rita,

      Yes, I still use that knife and have never sharpened it, since I am not sure how to sharpen a bread knife. I have several, so they never get worn out, but it has lasted for at least a decade, if not more.

      Thanks, Zoë

  23. Do you have any advice on yeast-free breads? I am gluten-free, but even more allergic to yeast. I have a copy of your book for reference and have tried some variations without yeast that have not resulted in desired consistencies. I currently buy an artisan yeast and gluten-free bread that looks and tastes normal but cost almost $7 a loaf. Any advice you have will be greatly appreciated!!!

    1. Hi Maria,

      This is a toasted sugar, which caramelizes the sugar, but has a very subtle flavor, not at all like caramel color which is quite dark and bitter, pleasantly so. If King Arthur no longer sells it, we will try to find another source and replace the link. until then, the one you make yourself will be better than toasted sugar.

      Thanks, Zoë

  24. Hello! I have a question about the 6-quart food container for the dough: how tall is it? I found it on Amazon but it doesn’t specify height and width. I have limited space in my fridge.

    1. Hi Karl,

      Yes, you can use any loaf pan you have, just make sure to butter it very well so the bread doesn’t stick.

      Enjoy, Zoë

      1. Thank you. You are so adamant about using a non-stick pan that my baker wife was curious why. Onward to the whole what loaf!

      2. Hi Karl,

        It’s true, we suggest non-stick, because our dough is very wet and can stick, but if you coat with enough butter, it won’t stick.

        Thanks! Zoë

  25. Hello,
    I have tried the gluten free recipes in the new healthier breads book and they are awesome and produce a much lighter and nicer bread. Are you going to update any of the recipes in the gluten free book. Also, any chance that you and Zoe could come up with a gluten free pastry dough for danishes?

  26. Hello,
    I love the 100% Whole Wheat Sandwich Bread. I would like to try and make it even a bit more sweeter. Can I get away with increasing the amount of honey? Have any recommendations?
    I have muliple of your books-this receipe is on page 134, The New Artisan Bread…Revised edition, 2013

    1. Hi Michael,

      You absolutely can, if you want to increase it by double, you can just decrease the water by the same amount.

      Thanks, Zoë

  27. Zoë – I have been comparing the bagel recipe in the Bread in Five (2013), New Healthy Bread in Five and the website. They are all a little different. How does this affect the outcome? I’m also wondering how does not boiling first (Health Bread … p. 138) affect the bagels. So many choices.

    1. Hi Carole,

      We are always on the quest for the best results with the least amount of work. So, we’ve tried just about everything. I like the boiled bagel, baked directly on a preheated stone at about 475-500°F. The baking temperature and timing will vary depending on the type of bagels.

      Thanks, Zoë

      1. Hi Carol,

        You can make bagels out of lots of different doughs, like whole wheat, white dough, even gluten-free and because our dough is quite wet, people find they brown better and faster at a higher temperature.

        Thanks, Zoë

  28. In your “Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day” cookbook, I found a hamburger bun instructions, which indicates the soft whole wheat sandwich bread would be a good dough choice. The recipe on page 92 calls for 5 cups of whole wheat flour. I grind my own flour, and have soft white wheat and hard white wheat. Can I use either of those? I know hard white wheat doesn’t have as much gluten, so I wasn’t sure. Also in making this with my home ground flour, should I sift out the bran? Thank you!

    1. Hi Laura,

      Here is some information about using freshly ground flours. If you are adding VWG, then you can probably use either flour, but you may need to do some experimenting with how much water to use in the dough. I recommend starting with a half batch of dough.

      Thanks, Zoë

  29. Last year I began baking artisan-style bread during the pandemic shut down. it has ben a great success a success. and received a lot of praise for the results. My wife gave me a copy of your book and have mostly relied on your recipes and techniques exclusively using a cast iron Dutch oven. I want to try baking a more traditional shaped loaf. I have a Pyrex loaf pan I intended to use. Can that work? obviously no preheating. What changes, if any , do I need to make?

    1. Hi Chuck,

      We’re so thrilled you’ve been baking your own bread. You can certainly use the pyrex loaf pan, you’ll just want to grease it very well so the wet dough doesn’t stick.

      Enjoy, Zoë

  30. Tried the original recipe with 910 grams of KA AP flour and 695 grams of water. After the dough spent about 18-20 hours in the refrigerator, shaped and let rise for 90 min, looking for a more open crumb. Didn’t really rise that much and not a lot of oven spring. With this flour, would I need a little more hydration? Also is a lb. about the right size for a normal grapefruit size loaf?

  31. I baked bread from all your books for years but then my husband talked me into trying the keto diet with him. King Arthur flour recently came out with a keto flour blend that can be used in place of ap flour. So far I’ve tried using it in your olive oil dough (along with a sweetener) and it works – though it doesn’t rise as much. I was reading some bakers add inulin to improve yeast activity but I’m not sure how much to use. It seems the consensus on the internet is 1 tps per serving…but not sure how many servings I should estimate for a typical batch of dough. Do you have any advice?

    1. Hi Darcie,

      I am not familiar with the Keto flour, but I am excited to hear it works for you. Our batches make about four 1-pound loaves. I hope that helps.

      Thanks, Zoë

  32. Hi I have made 2 batches and the bread has turned out well but my husband would prefer it to be not so dark and less ‘crusty’. I’m baking at 450, confirmed with an oven thermometer for the suggested time. Can I decrease the oven temperature a bit or perhaps remove from the oven sooner? The crumb has been very nice.
    Also yesterday I made what should have been soft cloverleaf rolls but they were very cursty. What did I do wrong?

    1. Hi Ann,

      If you want a softer crust you can bake it a little less, but too much and you may end up with a gummy interior. You can also brush butter or olive oil on the crust when it comes out of the oven, then drape it with a kitchen towel, so that it traps the steam as it cools.

      Thanks, Zoë

  33. I have a recipe for “Egyptian Barley Bread”. It only uses barley flour. Should I add gluten or bread enhancer to the recipe to insure rising?

    I often use my own home0-groud Oklahoma wheat flour.

    I own all of your books! Thank you.


    Happy Passover and Happy Easter.

    1. Hi Phil,

      A bit of gluten may help the rise, but not knowing the recipe, it is hard to know. I always suggest trying a half batch to test the results.

      Thanks, Zoë

  34. We have just begun the gluten-free journey. Have just read your “Gluten-free Artisan Bread in Five Minutes A Day” and have begun to bake our own breads. Thank you for all the tips and advice. My question may be a bit off topic though. Have you found a flour or blend that make a good Roux?

    1. Hi Howard,

      That is an interesting question, but something I haven’t personally tried with our flour blend. Because the flour blends have so much starch in them, I bet they will make a thick roux and you will need more liquid than normal.

      Thanks, Zoë

  35. I made the master recipe with sourdough starter and yeast (following the amounts and directions in the “New Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day” book) and the dough rose nicely before refrigerating. Checking it one week later, I see that the dough has fallen a great deal. Is this normal? Thank you!

    1. It is normal for our method. You’ll get good oven spring. As it continues to age, less so. Let it sit on the counter after shaping as we recommend, before baking.

  36. Hello, I’m planning on taking a trip and would like to prepackaged my dry bread ingredients prior to travel. Is it ok to add dry salt and yeast together in the same bag or will that effect the yeast (salt inhibit yeast)? I would not think it would be a problem but wanted to ask.

  37. I mill my own grain. Should I sift the bran from my flour for your recipes? Also, when you call for whole wheat, should I use red hard wheat or hard white wheat? Thinking red hard wheat but just checking. Thanks!

    1. First off, type the words: “using fresh ground”
      …into our search bar above, and check out my post on this topic. Which of our recipes, from which of our books and page number are you trying to use the flour in?

  38. Aloha,

    I’ve been following your master recipe with psyllium sub to make pullman loaves. They are quite heavy loaves 1460g, but the results vary, sometimes slow, sometimes fast rise, usually 1-2 hours. We had increased the water and got fluffier loaves, then we started getting big holes. So we decreased water, yeast, and water temp. Now sometimes they rise fast, sometimes slow. When we put them in the oven, sometimes we get spring, sometimes they fall. Generally we look for a certain height before we put them in the oven: just over the lip of the pan. So the problem is inconsistency. I would love to talk with one of you to discuss.

    Best regards,
    Prasad Soul Food

    1. Which of our GF “Master” recipes are you using; there are many… From which of our books and page number?

  39. Hi I made Oatmeal date bread from Healthy Bread in 5 page 191. It tastes delicious but wanted to know if the bread was supposed to rise over the top of the pan. It was flat. I used GM unbleached flour and GM whole Wheat so went by the recipe as stated and noticed the dough was very wet and bake day I couldn’t really form the ball. So was it too wet? Should I have been able to form the smooth ball like the white bread? Want to get this the best it can be.

    1. Based on what you’re saying, I will try just a little bit less water and see what you think. It may take some trial and error.

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