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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2,717 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

  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

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