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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5,959 thoughts on “Ask a Question

  1. I purchased both of your books. Regular and Healthy 5 mt Breads. I tried one batch of your dough with white not whole grain flours per instructions. Worked okay. I rather not work with yeast, so I was anxiously awaiting this book because I like the ease and convenience of your methods, but I prefer sourdough starter to yeast. I have an active starter which I have used successfully with other artisan baking methods. I used a large, ONE QT Crock to make as much starter as I could. The recipe calls for 3 cups/2lbs/910 g. In each case, my starter only weighed up to 642 on my scale…not 910 grams once in the bowl with salt and water. I added more water since I am presuming the amount of levain is part of the liquid…or is it? This bread will fail.

    Today, was my second attempt at the SD recipe. Same problem. Starter was almost 250 g short of your requirements. If it collapses…I’ve lost my air. How can I make sure I have enough SD starter to rise your recipe? Thank you.

    1. Hi Maureen,

      Our method is based on making a lot of dough all at once, enough for four loaves of bread, that’s why the batch requires more sourdough starter than usual. Before you make the batch of dough, just feed your starter with more flour and water for a couple of days and it should provide you with plenty of starter for the batch and more to feed and keep for another time. Here is how we do it:

      Thanks, Zoë

  2. I wish I could get a question answered directly from you or someone in your company via email about the starter amounts…without posting it on a blog. It is hard to explain my frustration for all to see…I just need more info on SD batch method. Your chapter is only like 5 pages or less with little to no explanation about anything a reader needs to know. I understand SD is tricky but I really want to use your method with it. I will still do it traditionally, because I do have success with that method. Also, I like using both white and whole grain in my breads and your info on doing that is very difficult to understand. I’m definitely not a chemist. If I mix both flours…everything in your method changes.

    1. Hi Maureen,

      I hope my previous answer cleared up some of the concerns about the amount of starter to use.

      Playing with the types of flours can be a bit of an experiment, just because they absorb water differently. So, if you replace all-purpose flour with whole wheat, it will require a bit more water, but the amount will depend on how much you’ve replaced. If you want to play with different flours in the recipes, I always suggest you make a half batch or less, until you achieve just the loaf you love. Here is a post that may help:

      Thanks, Zoë

  3. Hello, I have been having trouble getting the correct texture of bread dough, in order to have ability to use the “cloaking method” and not knead. Mine is very loose and shapeless. I just realized that the flour I use, Einkorn, has less gluten overall. Otherwise I completely follow your instructions.
    I am wondering if I can solve this problem by a) adding some higher gluten flour or b) adding some kneading into the process. If either of those optTions or something else is the answer, I’d really appreciate having some specifics on how to do it!

    1. Hi. You can absolutely add more high gluten flour and/or reduce the amount of water in the batch. The kneading alone won’t make up for the overly hydrated dough.

      Thanks, Zoë

  4. I found your site today through the yeast company that I get my yeast from. Forgive me for forgetting the name but at almost 71 my mind does not work as good as it did. I am trying to create a cookbook for our local Food Bank that I want to give to the people who come to it. I want to do something for others where I was blessed before. I would like to I received a email from Red Star Yeast and I am trying to create a
    cookbook for our local food bank for the young women who never learned to cook when they were younger. (You would not believe how many young women never learned to cook.) and I was wondering if I could get
    permission to put the Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day recipes in my book. This would be a great help to these young women and mothers in learning to feed their family by making things themselves. This book
    will never sold for any purpose.

    1. Jackie, unfortunately, our publisher can’t allow us to give permission to reprint our recipes– copyright law and all that… Jeff

  5. Sorry to write again. I sent in a question, Jeff asked a question; I answered and now I can’t find it.
    Using GF Artisan in 5; Live in high altitude – dough won’t raise when I’m going to bake. Thanks.

    1. Ah, that’s very helpful. We have tested regular, wheat-based dough at that altitude (Denver), and found it didn’t make any difference. Are you using a stand mixer, or doing it by hand?… that tends to help. Which of our recipes are you using, from which book and page number?

      1. Hi Jeff
        I’m using a Bosch with the bread hooks. The dough seems to rise in the container, but when it’s time to rise before cooking, it doesn’t rise enough and the the finished product is dense but tasty. GF in 5 page 69. Thanks!

      2. Hmmm. Are you making any substitutions? Leaving out xanthan gum/ground psyllium husk? Using brands of flour other than what we call for? Any other swaps?
        Have you tried the same dough for flatbread (chapter 8 of that book)?

      3. I haven’t made any substitutions. I ordered all from Bob’s Red Mill. I even bought the large plastic containers. I have been putting the dough in a Banneton mold for the dough to rest and cover it with a plastic cap.

        I’ll try the flatbread recipe and let you know. Thanks SO much for responding.

  6. I am purchasing a FibraMent Baking Stone. This is a thicker stone than the baking stone you recommend but I want one that is larger and thicker so it might last longer. I also like they are an American Company and made in America. Also they come in an array of sizes. So with that said, how do you think I need to increase the heating time.

  7. Zoe, have you any tips for using the dough in the pizza oven? Saw your series so I guessing you tried! I revisited my books and the manual and there is only one specific section that says use the pot (which I have done in the kitchen oven). I also used the dough for a baguette in the kitchen and it turned out great. I have had the pizza oven since 2013 and use it for everything. Bread was a big failure. But having this dough ready to bake has been so much fun. Now, I am planning on trying outside in the pizza oven. No pots! Boules are good. Tray of water? Any advice will be great. 500 degree bottom? How long with door closed? I can easily do four at a time. Wise? Here’s hoping…

    1. Patricia, we’ve done extensive demos with outdoor pizza ovens at very high heat. It works great, but takes a bit of practice, and every pizza oven is different. Our experience is with a wood-fired one that was probably at 800 or 900 degrees F, and it bakes in under 90 seconds. Keep the crust thin, and don’t use too much topping. Expect to turn the pizza at mid-bake because there will be uneven-ness…

  8. I froze four 1 pound dough balls from the master recipe in the Artisan Bread book for 6 months in a deep freezer. Each ball was individually wrapped in Saran wrap. I thawed them out for 48 hours in the refrigerator and there is an inch of dark, blackish liquid in the container. Is this normal? Are these dough balls bad?
    New Artisan Bread Book page 53.

    1. Yeah, it’s really OK (from the standpoint of the liquid). The issue is the rising power at that long of a storage period (see page 45). It’s definitely worth a try to use it though. Even if it’s lost a lot of rising power, it’ll probably still make nice flatbread.

  9. Hi, can I substitute “00” flour for AP or bread flour for the master recipe, and if so what other changes should I make?

    1. So, our basic recipe made with white flour. Breads made with white flour are not inherently healthy, and should really be limited in your diet. Marginally they’ll be a little healthier if you add nuts, or bran or fruit, replacing some of the simple storage with more complex starches and even some proteins. But I’d never categorize white flour as health food! Which of our books are you working from, maybe I could direct you to some recipes that include some of these.

  10. I’m making master recipe from Healthy Bread in 5 M/Day. I’d like to bake in a dutch oven, how should I proceed?

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