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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3,728 thoughts on “Ask a Question

  1. I am baking gluten free bread from your book,, not because of celiac, but because I am massively allergic to wheat (to the point that I thought for Halloween I would just eat a slice of bread, wait for the hives, then go out with a bell and moan”Unclean””). Since I can tolerate gluten, any recommendations for flours I can substitute for wheat in your original 5 minutes a day bread?

    1. To be sure I’m understanding the question, you’re looking for a non-wheat flour that can be substituted for wheat flour in our first book (or I assume the second, which was mostly whole-wheat flour). I’ve posted on this, see

      Those grains are flours related to wheat, but they’re not exactly wheat. They contain gluten, which you say you can tolerate, but my guess is that you’ll be allergic to all or some of those, so I wouldn’t eat them if I were you. Also, they are low in gluten, and won’t work well as a 1:1 substitute for wheat flour in our recipes.

  2. It’s all your fault!!!!!!!!!!! I’m hopelessly addicted to baking with yeast, but never have enough time and I’m retired!
    Somewhere I saw your new Holiday & Celebration Bread in 5 book, and ordered it. Amazon diligently obliged and I’ve been drooling over it most of last evening and then again this morning. Yep, read the beginning chapters, with emphasis on ingredients and tips. But it was the book’s cover image that really captivated me. I ordered those tulip papers back in the summer, with the idea of doing just over-size blueberry muffins. (My husband’s favorite). I’ve read the recipe and directions for the Panettone (Page 224) at least 3 times, and am seriously considering doing these as Christmas gifts for the tennis team. You further indicate (Page 13), “use whatever yeast is readily available”……….. and indicate there isn’t much difference between “granulated”, “active dry,” “instant,” “quick-rise,” or “bread machine.” I have been lucky enough to score 15 packages (they don’t sell it anywhere locally – we live in rural Virginia) of Red Star’s Platinum Superior baking yeast. Where does this fit into the picture with regard to final result?????? Can’t wait to get started…… eggs are warming up and butter is softening. My plan is to use King Arthur’s Fiori di Sicilia instead of lemon extract, and of course their flour. It’s the ONLY kind I’ve ever used in the last 10+ years.
    Sorry for the lengthy question, and thanks for your response and the AMAZING new cookbook!!!!!

    1. So glad you’re having fun with this, Peggy, that was the idea. OK, about Platinum.

      This is Red Star’s premium product, and it contains some wheat-derived dough conditioners that increase the final rise in non-stored dough. What I can tell you is that Platinum works great in all our recipes, but you don’t absolutely need it. As we say, any granulated yeast works well in our testing. See what you think…

  3. Hi. I’m working with “The New Artisan Bread…”. I haven’t even started and I’m still studying, but here is my challenge. It’s just the two of us. We live in a condo with a painfully small kitchen, and a really small fridge. I could not fit a bucket in my fridge to begin with. Since it is just the two of us, there’s not a lot of bread consumption. (When we buy a loaf, we often freeze half of it.) I really want to do this, though—maybe just do half (or a third) the basic recipe and take it from there. I’m looking for some guidance on that, especially since I also live at 6,500 feet in elevation. (So much math, so little time.) Making one loaf at a time while the other loaf is in dough form in the refrigerator would be perfect. Can you offer some guidance? Could I just keep a glass bowl with plastic wrap loosely draped? Thanks.

    1. Glass bowl with plastic will be fine, and you can halve, quarter or mix up a one-third batch. We’ve baked at Denver elevation without adjustment, but if you’re having trouble, see the “high-altitude” entry in Tips and Techniques. In general, the word is that this only is a problem about 8,000 to 10,000 feed.

  4. SO excited to make my first Brioche dough, and try all the things with it! First up though will probably be the Coffee Cake from the new book. I’m thinking of doing an orange/cranberry filling for it.. I don’t know I can make that as a quick jam as it isn’t berries, so thinking of ‘doctoring up’ some orange marmalade perhaps? Do you have any other suggestions for a pre-holiday coffee cake? Thanks so much!

    1. I think your orange-cranberry will work just fine, and it’s great for Thanksgiving. Just put some fresh cranberries (cook them first) into your marmalade. You can sweeten the cranberries if you want, but I don’t think you’ll need it, given it’ll be mixed with the marmalade. Watch the liquid level–if it’s looking too watery, cook the mixture down a bit or you can end up with a soggy result.

  5. I have been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes and rather than use medication to bring my blood sugars down, I am attempting to do so with a cleanse, diet, and exercise. One of my laments is that I had to remove bread from my diet (and coffee… ugh). I know there are some breads I CAN eat, but they are difficult to find and afford. My question is… how is your basic artisan recipe on blood sugar levels? Is there a low-glucose version that I can use as my basic recipe? Using almond or rye flour? I love your basic recipe, I hope I do not need to change it up too much. 🙁 Thanks in advance!!

    1. Our stuff is regular bread, which is high in carbohydrate, and you can’t just swap in nut flour, it won’t work. You need recipes that were specifically developed and tested with these flours. I’d recommend our colleague Peter Reinhart’s book, which is on Amazon at

      He made everything in that book with nut flours and other ingredients that aren’t grain/carbohydrate…

  6. Just made my first Boule from New AB in 5 (arrived last night- thank you amazon!) and the kids devoured it after school! Going to bake another loaf for dinner but wanted to know when to add a little bit of salt on the top? Don’t see that anywhere in the book or in forum.

  7. Hi. I just received a copy of your first cookbook ” Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day” and I want to make every recipe in it!! Today I started out with your master recipe on page 26. I have a 6 quart plastic food tub with a lid that I will use to store the dough. My question is, should I put the lid on tight or just kind of rest it top? You mention in the instructions not to have the container “air tight” but I worry that if I just rest the lid on top, the dough might pick up odors or flavors that may be in the refrigerator, especially if I keep the dough going for the two full weeks.

    Thank you,

    1. A little less than 1/2 cup, maybe 15% less by volume. To be strict, you could consider adding a little more water, but prob not important.

  8. In your original books you recommended the Bosch Universal Plus Stand Mixer. In your most recent, Holiday book, you show a Kitchenaid mixer. I need a mixer, both are very expensive and I want to get the best one. Given your experience, which is the better brand?

    1. Rebecca, I’m not remembering any reference to the Bosch in our books. Can you point me to where you saw that? I’m happy with my KitchenAid, and haven’t tried the Bosch.

  9. Hi! Loving your gf bread recipes. Quick question: if I wanted to make/bake multiple peasant loaves at the same time, how should I adjust the water and bake time, etc. (Pg 69 on 2014 book… using baking stone) thx!

    1. So long as the oven’s up to temp, shouldn’t require an adjustment. The stone helps here (it’s a large “thermal mass”).

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