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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4,241 thoughts on “Ask a Question

  1. I have just read your Gluten Free Artisan Bread book and am anxious to try your recipes.
    I have a Pampered Chef Stoneware Bar Pan. Can I use that instead of a baking stone?

    1. I’m not familiar with that product, but if the manufacturer rates it as safe for oven temperature, and it’s nice and flat, it should work. That’s said, we got reports from our readers years ago that early versions of the pampered chef stones were cracking upon use in the oven. I had the same experience with one, but that was many years ago and they may have changed these products.

  2. Hi,

    The bagel recipe is wonderful! We made the raisin bagels using flame raisins and they were wonderful! Now I am wondering if I can use dried Bing cherries or pieces of dried apricot.
    I have made many of your bread recipes and love them. Recently, I made loaf bread using al lot more honey than called for and loading up the loaf tin quite a bit. After baking it for the requisite time, I turn d off the oven and left it in for the night. The next day, I had the oven on about two hundred degrees, with it and another loaf in. I left it in for some hours and the next day for a couple of hours. This was the most fantastic loaf of bread. It tasted like a pumpernickel bread. It was a wonderful dark crumb and Is just the kind of bread I have been wanting. Thank you!


  3. Left my two bibles up north but wanted to refresh my memory for the cornstarch wash when I bake my rye bread . Thanks

  4. Hey there. I have been learning to make breads from your New Artisan Bread book and I have had the same issue over my 10 attempts. While refrigerating the dough in cambro buckets I get a top layer that is a lot tougher/more dense than what is underneath. Usually I get all of this top layer when I pull dough for a loaf and it makes it difficult to shape it. I have had a lot of issues with the loaf spreading and blowing out of the sides while baking. What should I do with this top layer, and is there any way to prevent it?

    Thank you for your time.

    1. Zach:

      Which segment of the dough spreads and blows out, top or bottom? And how is the final product’s texture and flavor?

  5. Hello,

    would you want to post the master recipe for the original artisan bread in german, too ? I translated it for a friend, who isn’t exactly firm in the English language, so I could just hand it over. My sister and I will try to translate the book bit by bit over time, but the master recipe is finished.

    Thanks for this great book.

      1. Natalie: The problem is that there’s copyright law that makes this complex–I think we have to say no, sorry!

  6. Hi I Live in Costa Rica and just received your book from Amazon. Great book. My question is the bread flower I have here is 14 % protein can you tell me how much water i need to add to get the right consistency Thank you

    1. John: Well, it depends… is the measurement given “anhydrous” or not? Some countries do it differently than the US. If you can’t find out the answer, just try our recipes as written, and see if the hydration matches what you see in our videos.

      1. Jeff I’m sorry i’m not familiar with what the measurement Anhydrous means in baking.

    1. Hi Anne,

      Yes, the GF bread freezes well. I would suggest slicing it first, so that you can take out what you want and leave the rest frozen.

      Cheers, Zoë

  7. Hello Jeff ,Zoe ,Well I made my first two loaves of bread today ,And just as you said Bakery Quality .However I must admit my loafs did not look as pretty as yours .With a little more practice Im sure Ill get that great look . Just one quick question .Do you slash the top of your bread right after you shape it or do you wait until your ready to place it in the oven. Thanks

    1. Hi John,

      I am so glad to hear your bread is coming out so well. You want to slash the dough right before going into the oven.

      Cheers, Zoë

  8. Hello! I love your cookbooks (now have 3) and would like to try and make brioche slider-sized rolls using the recipe for brioche from the Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day (original version). How big (weight/size) should I make the dough balls of brioche in order to yield a slider-sized brioche roll? Thank you for your wonderful cookbook series!

    1. Hi Cathleen,

      So glad you are enjoying all the bread you make! I would say a 2 ounce ball of dough will be a good size for a small bun.

      Cheers, Zoë

  9. In Healthy Bread in 5 minutes a day, p.145, buttermilk is listed in the ingredients for Maple Oatmeal Bread. Your new edited version does not list buttermilk. Error or should I leave it out in the future?

    1. Hi Lynn,

      If you have been making it with the buttermilk and like that version, then continue to do so. We felt the results with the buttermilk was not quite as light and the dough didn’t store as long.

      Thanks, Zoë

  10. Can I use King Arthur Measure for Measure gluten-free flour for any of your mixtures? If so, which one(s)?

    1. Hi Sue,

      I have not tried the KAF GF flour blend, so I am not sure if it will work. I suggest just making enough dough for a single loaf, until you are sure it will work. The only commercial blend of GF flour I have had success with so far is Better Batter.

      Thanks, Zoë

  11. Hi guys, I am trying to make some red hamburger buns. I don’t want to use a lot of dye what do you think of substituting beet juice for some water. I also add sugar to my dough so I thought I should skip that too

  12. Before I buy the book Gluten Free Artisan Bread in Five:
    Do you use xanthan gum in all your recipes or does psyllium work well in them? We’re sensitive to xanthan.

  13. In your first book you instructed to use “unbleached” flour stating it had a different moisture content than a;;-purpose flour.
    Now, I read that you are stating using “all-purpose” flour. I also noticed you changed the amount of yeast from 1-1/2 T to just 1T.

    I have the issue of dense and still moist towards the bottom of the loaves.
    Just invested in a Stone and used for the first time, hoping that would be the answer. Unfortunately, the loaves came out the same way…..too moist towards bottom of the loaves. Have been using your original recipe for at least 2-3 years.

    What do you suggest? I’ve already referred to your suggestions under FAQ.

    1. Hi Twyla,

      We prefer unbleached all-purpose flour and recommend it for our recipes for the flavor. The protein content is no longer changed by the modern bleaching process, so that will not be effected.

      If the loaf is dense and moist at the bottom of the loaf, I would recommend letting the dough rise a bit longer and make sure your baking stone is pre-heated. This can take 30-60 minutes depending on the thickness of the stone. If the stone is not properly pre-heated, it can actually prevent the dough from rising properly.

      Thanks, Zoe

  14. 2 related questions: Have you any experience using the King Arthur’s Vermont Cheese Powder? Since the Vermont cheese bread recipe is the Master Recipe plus sugar and cheese-can you make those two additions to a pound of the master recipe dough prior to baking rather than incorporating it into an entire batch of master dough?

    1. Hi Michael,

      I haven’t tried the VT cheese powder, but it sounds like a great idea. You can absolutely add cheese to a pound of the Master recipe.

      Cheers, Zoë

  15. Help! I’m having the same problem with multiple different types of whole-grain bread.

    All of my whole-grain loaves (just tried this with your 1-lb 10-grain cereal loaf, have also had it happen with the maple oat loaf) come out with an incredibly dense crumb and rise to the sides, only very little up. I had this problem at altitude and increased the vital wheat gluten but it didn’t help much. Now I’m having the same trouble at sea level!

  16. Can I bake ur bread in my bread maker? Do I have to reduce time? Could I pile in a bunch of ‘buns and bake them this way?

    1. Hi CJ,

      People have successfully used our dough in a bread machine, but you will likely have to reduce the amount of dough to fit your machine.

      Thanks, Zoë

  17. I have a SunBeam 5891-33 Breadmaker that has a ‘Bake’ Option that “can be used for baking dough that was prepared without using any of the previous settings”…I take this to mean any dough that I have made by hand.
    The manual states that it will bake for 1hr. I am not sure of the temperature: it is either 239F or 266F.
    I am thinking of making buns from the Master Recipe intending them to be pull apart type but instead of baking in oven, I placed them into the baking pan and used this setting. Have you had any experience using a BreadMaker to bake your Master Recipes? Do you have any suggestions on this concept? You have used a crockpot and a Dutch Oven…maybe a breadmaker can also be used. This would be better than heating up a big ole oven on a hot day 🙂

    1. I’m guessing it’ll work, but believe it or not, we’ve never tried it, so we can’t give any sensible advice about temperatures, or the likelihood that the system will be able to drive off moisture, out of the breadmaker–or the result might be overly damp.

      Probably will take some trial and error.

    1. We’ve never heard of that baking option–what do the instructions for your oven say about that setting–what it’s used for?

  18. Hello, I just started using your GF Artisan Bread in 5. I’m wondering if you have any high altitude suggestions? We live in Colorado at 9,000 ft., so have issues with breads rising properly. Thank you. ~Retta

    1. We live at sea level and haven’t had a chance to test at altitude, so we have guesses only. You can check our high-altitude tips for wheat breads and see if you want to experiment with that, at

      Otherwise, if we had access to a high-altitude kitchen in which to test GF loaves, here’s what we might try:
      1. More xanthan gum (or ground psyllium) and less yeast
      2. Eggs (or even better egg whites): maybe even increase over what we suggest in the book. This will improve structure, which is what you need to help prevent collapse at high altitude.

      1. So do you have measurements if I just want to make one loaf at a time(instead of the whole batch that stays in the fridge) so I can experiment with some high altitude solutions?

      2. We never did that calculation to make individual loaves, though you can proportionally decrease the ingredients in the flour mixture (let’s say, make a half recipe or less), and you won’t be committing as much product. It’ll just be a matter of using the exact same ratio, though it is some calculator work!

  19. I have purchased your Gluten-Free Artisan Bread in Five Minutes A day and was hoping for a recipe for banana bread. I love banana bread but a recipe I have been working with on the web habitually is causing my loaf to “exhale” or slump after baking. In your book you recommend xanthum bum on pg 22, but I really need a legit recipe. Can you help?

    1. we didn’t include a gluten-free banana bread recipe with our stored dough GF method, because of concern that it was just going to be too dense. Sorry about that!

  20. Hi Guys, I had my master recipe dough in my restaurants fridge and a power outage turned my fridge off. When I got to it the temp in the fridge was 90+. The dough was very wet. I can’t tell you exactly how long it was off in the fridge but it was very hot in there. I tried making some baguettes. Small ones were hard to shape but I made some. They didn’t brown as well but they seem to be okay. The larger baguettes were very hard to stretch. I make a lot of dough. I put it back in the fridge and I am hoping it will come back. Is that wishful thinking?

      1. I was wondering for next time if dividing the dough and mixing it with a fresh dough would be effective in refreshing the dough a bit, while making the new dough more complex?

    1. Yes, that would be the new healthy bread in five minutes a day (click on the book image above), which has a whole chapter on this.

  21. Hello!
    I was making the Oatmeal Maple Bread and let it rise in the tub for 90 minutes, THEN transferred it to the baking pan. Have I ruined it?

    …I’m aware that you will answer this question after I’ve tried to bake it, but it may help someone else in the future 🙂 Thank you!

  22. I need to make buns that are red for someone. I don’t want to use red food coloring. I was thinking of beet juice or more like it water that i boiled beets in. There’s also beet juice with lemon juice in it at the market. Do you gave a suggestion?

    1. Beet juice is often used as a coloring agent, but fair warning, it simply doesn’t create a brilliant red color. Natural dyes don’t work that way.

  23. Hello Mr. Herzberg and Ms. Francois,

    I live in Denver, Colorado at 5280′. Is it necessary that I use the high-altitude recipe.

    Thank you,

    1. We baked in Denver and had no trouble–it’s higher altitudes that are the problem (though I’m not sure what the threshold is).

  24. Hello there, my name is Gene,
    I was wanting to turn your gluten free artisan loaf into a SOURDOUGH gluten free artisan loaf. Do you have a recipe on that already? How much starter do I need to add to the dough and are there any alterations I should know about? Looking forward to your answers!
    Thank you in advance.

    1. Gene, we have a sourdough recipe, in the final chapter of one of our books, The New Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day. however, that was written for wheat breads, not for gluten-free. We’ve never tested it in gluten-free. That said, some of our readers have tried this and said they were able to get it to work. I’d be worried about density of the bread. Could be worth a try though.

  25. I have somewhat customized 100% Whole Grain Levain-Risen Bread, with the Vital Wheat Gluten Variation, to reduce the hydration to 80%. This makes it easy to handle, and I like the end result. Sometimes, though, the 90-minute rest makes scheduling difficult. That resting time makes the total time from refrigerator to eating about 2:45. If I get home from work at 5:30, I’m eating later than I want to. What do you think would be the result of reducing the resting duration? Or, alternatively, of lengthening it a lot, to 9-10 hours?

    1. The shorter rest usually means a less open, airy crumb… In other words denser. The trade-off may be worth it to you though. A 9 or 10 hour rest at room temperature will probably result in “over-proofing,” where it spreads laterally and flattens. That said, you probably can get away with this if you refrigerate during the rest. Cover w/plastic wrap for that.

  26. Thanks. But I’m perplexed about something for the long refrigerated rest. Background: all of the following start with mix dough, refrigerate over one or a few nights, take out of fridge, shape. Then…

    (1) Normal: rest covered with bowl for 1.5 hr. at room temperature, bake.
    (2) Refrigerated long rest: put back fridge in covered with plastic for 9-10 hrs., take out of fridge, bake.
    (3) No rest: bake.

    It appears that the only difference of (3) relative to (2) is that the shaping is 9-10 hours earlier. Am I missing the significance of that, or missing something else?

  27. I’m reading your 2013 edition and want to get started but I’ve heard that salt kills yeast. You’re basic recipe mixes salt and yeast together in the warm water. That leaves me confused. Please explain!

    1. for the length of time that they’re in contact in our method, it doesn’t make any difference. The traditional rules are often the result of never having formally tested things before they become received wisdom. If you’re worried mix the salt in with the flour and it will be an issue at all.

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