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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. 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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5,187 thoughts on “Ask a Question

  1. Hi – Love your bread! Just bought the kindle version of the new artisan bread in 5 minutes cookbook as Amazon was out of the hard copy. Throught it would be great to have kindle version, but without links in the index it is really hard to find what you are looking for in the book. So far I just have to get to the section and start searching. Any thoughts on how to make an index work for kindle??

    1. Robin: the way to use the kindle version is to go to the index, then hit “Search” or the magnifying glass, typing in what you found in the index. Or start with that, bypassing the index.

  2. Book: The New Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day
    Page: 88
    For Soft dinner rolls, the instructions say to preheat a baking stone in the oven, then to place the rolls on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
    When it comes time to bake the rolls, do I place the baking sheet directly on top of the hot baking stone or do I put it on a rack above the hot stone?

    1. Sorry Renee, kind of an editing mistake. You don’t need the baking stone for these rolls, but if you have one in the oven, and you like the way it evens out your oven’s heat, you can leave it in there. Bake the rolls near the middle of the oven, regardless of which shelf you have the stone sitting upon. In summer, I always take my stone out so the oven heats up faster and we waste less energy and cause less stress on air conditioning.

  3. Hi, I have used both multi purpose flour and recently bread flour to make the master recipe from Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day.

    The batter is always sticky and messy. The bread was successful a couple of times, but then the subsequent loaves from the same batch of batter turn out flat and shapeless, the batter even wetter and stickier.

    What could be wrong? I have made everything the same and weighed my flour instead of scooping. 80% of the time, the batter is sticky and wet and impossible to shape, also not rising. Please advise.

    1. What brand of flour are you using? Any chance it’s White Lily or other low-protein flour? The 2007 edition of our book didn’t have weight equivalents, so what weight equivalency are you using. Seems that your ratio of flour to water is simply off, if it’s not a matter of low-protein flour. The fact that your result is OK 20% of the time tells me that there’s some inconsistency in your measurement (what else could be the explanation?).

      That said, our dough is definitely wetter than traditional. That’s why it’s about to be stored in the fridge this way.

  4. This might be a silly question…
    I just bought the Artisan book. I was wondering about the yeast…
    Usually you desolve the yeast in water first, but it looks likes in your book it says to add it dry ingredients first. I am confused.

    1. Taryn, modern granulated yeasts can be mixed with the dry ingredients, even with traditional recipes, but in particular with our long-stored dough. The water dissolves it after mixing the liquids. It’s not harmful to do it the old way if you prefer.

  5. How big should the hole be that’s drilled in the lid of the dough bucket? I drilled a hole that I think is too big – about the size to pass a pencil through. My dough was getting leathery pretty quickly. I just bought a new dough bucket though, so was hoping for advice.

  6. Hi,
    I just made a half batch of of the master recipe boule from Gluten Free Artisan Bread in Five. For the flour mix that I used (mixture #1) I swapped out white rice flour for brown rice flour and I used psyllium husk instead of xantham gum. Also for the boule recipe, I used eggs as per the variation on page 73. My two loaves came out flat. The first rise was fine. The dough rose nicely though it was a touch “jiggly” – meaning it may have been a touch wet and it deflated somewhat easily. I did not refrigerate the dough. I shaped and let it rest for the second rise right after the initial rise. As soon as I shaped it, it began to relax and spread a bit. The bread is cooling now so I don’t know what the texture will be. Help. I really want this to work next time.

    1. It’s a little too soon to tell… once the bread is COMPLETELY cooled, see what the crumb looks like. If there’s decent hole structure, it means that the yeast worked, and the moisture level was about right. If it’s a brick– different story (harder to figure that out).

      If it just spread sideways, and you’re set on free-from loaves, you can try drying out the dough a little, but slightly decreasing the water, maybe 5%. Did you weigh your ingredients? If not, GF flours are notoriously hard to measure accurately with cup-measures, and you may have to get the moisture level corrected by look and feel– see this video:

  7. Hi,
    Can the Milk Bread recipe from the Holiday and Celebration Bread book be converted using the tangzhong method?

    1. We haven’t tested it, but from what I understand of the method, it should work nicely. There’d be a chance you’d have to slightly adjust the ratio of flour to total liquid, but I doubt it.

  8. Flour? I was making sourdough today and using home made starter ( been making for thirty years) I made a half recipe. I used a finer ground flour. ( mill on Indian Reservation in Utah). Mixed it but had to slowly add more flour to get proper consistency where dough would stick to side walls but still pull off clean. Question 1 : have you ever used a fine grind? It would seem to reason that you’d have to use more? QUESTION 2: when you make a half batch do you have to adjust amounts?

    1. This is where using weights instead of cup-measures is a better choice–it’ll be less sensitive to grind-level, which really affects how it settles into a cup. That said, we’ve only tested with commercial, standard-grind flours for our books.

      Just go proportional for half-batches, no changes in the ratios of the ingredients to each other.

  9. I am making the sunflower seed breakfast loaf from the New Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a day, page 337, and my bread is not rising like it usually does. I used lukewarm milk and my yeast is good, so I am wondering if it just takes longer to rise at room temperature than the other loafs that are not as heavy. It has been on the counter three hours. I will leave it out another hour and then refrigerate it. Thanks in advance!

    1. I assume we’re hours later here! You can go longer, but don’t overdo it. Key is how the crumb structure looked when baked.

  10. Hello this Is my second batch of down the first though I did a scoop and sweet muffin the second time I did it using the recipe from Bluprint and I measured it with a gram scale the first batch of cinnamon rolls came out light and tender and the second batch is tasty but chewy and not light and airy almost heavy.. is my second batch of down the first though I did a scoop and sweet muffin the second time I did it using the recipe from Bluprint and I measured it with a gram scale the first batch of cinnamon rolls came out light and tender and the second batch is tasty but chewy and not light and airy almost heavy. So is it a measuring thing or did I overstep her and overwork the dough

      1. I’m sorry I tried to edit, I use voice to text because of disability. I meant scoop and sweep method.

      2. Theresa: assuming you changed nothing in the second batch that you can point to, and you didn’t swap out flours for something different… it’s hard to know why you had variability from one batch to the next. As you suggest, a measurement problem of some sort is the likeliest explanation. If you know that you “overworked” in the second batch, that’s definitely a possibility–don’t want to compress and over-handle stored dough as that knocks the gas out of the dough.

  11. Hi there, I own your Gluiten-Free Artisan Bread in Five Minutes A Day and my family and I have been enjoying the recipes and variety.
    We have recently found out that a family member has an allergy to dairy (including egg whites and butter).
    I would love to continue making the English muffins but do not know what substitutes I can use for the Callah and Brioche dough. Any direction here would be much appreciated.
    Kindest regards,

    1. Wendy, challah and brioche are heavily dependent on eggs–that’s the essential flavor. We didn’t test with non-dairy, non-egg substitutes and have some skepticism as to whether they’d work well. As for the butter in those recipes, you can swap for oil (not the brioche though–it’ll be an overly wet mess!).

    1. Hi Samantha,

      It is really the baking stone that you are trying to get to full temperature and depending on how thick it is, that can take up to an hour.

      Thanks, Zoë

  12. Zoe – I would like to make a loaf of French bread. I assume this can be done with the basic recipe and following the instructions for forming baguettes. My question: How much dough should one use to make a loaf of French bread and are there any additional/different instructions I should follow?

    1. Hi Carole,

      Each recipe in our books and on the website will indicate how much dough you should use, so it just depends which French bread you are making! They will also indicate which dough to use, but for most of them the basic Master Recipe will work wonderfully.

      Enjoy! Zoë

      1. Zoë – I’m sorry, I must be using the wrong terminology. I want to bake a loaf of bread like a baguette only bigger using the master recipe in AB in 5 … like what is labeled French Bread in the grocery store. The instructions call for 1/2 a pound of dough for a baguette so should I use 1 or 1-1/2 ponds of dough for the bigger loaf?

      2. Hi Carole,

        Sure, you can bake any size you like, so maybe try one pound and see if that fits your needs. You will need to let the loaf rest and bake longer, so follow the master recipe boule for resting and baking times, but elongate the loaf like a baguette.

        Thanks, Zoe

  13. I just bought your “Artisan bread in 5 min a day” and really enjoy making this bread, the pizza is especially good and easy to work with.
    My question: my crust comes out of oven crunch, but gets soft as it sits, any ideas?
    Thx, Chris

  14. Hi! I was one of the winners of the giveaway contest in April (thank you!) I received the yeast packets (and have made bread for the first time) but I have yet to receive my book (I picked the Holiday book). When should I expect it? Thank you!

      1. Hi Zoe,
        I have not received the book yet. I received the yeast, though! Thank you!

      2. Hi Sandra,

        My apologies, it was my error and I am really so sorry it has taken this long. The book is on the way and I had hoped it would have reached you by now, but hopefully it will very soon!

        Thank you for being so patient! Zoë

  15. I have a question regarding egg substitutes such as aquafaba? Have you used it in any of your recipes and how did it work? I have family members that have egg allergies.


    1. Hi Jo,

      I have not tried aquafaba, but I have tried flax and chia slurry or other egg replacers with success in some of the recipes. I have never tried it in breads like brioche that is really egg centric.

      Thanks, Zoë

      1. Thank you for those words. Have you tried the egg substitute in any of your gluten free breads?


    1. I’m here to answer my own question. I used the dough for pizza tonight and loved the result. Light and crisp crust. Excellent!

    2. Hi Rick,

      Yes, absolutely. I prefer the tenderness of the olive oil dough, but have made lots of pizza with the master.

      Enjoy, Zoë

  16. Hoping to making wurzelbrot, but I’m confused by the instructions. In order to make one loaf, it says to cut the 1.5 inch wide rope into thirds. Does it really make three smaller loaves, or do you put them back together. Do you cut a rotor with the length? It looks like a large loaf in the picture. Any help is appreciated.

    1. Hi Liz,

      The truth is you can make this loaf with any size dough. The way it is written, you stretch the dough into a log, then cut it into thirds across the rope, so you have three shorter pieces, then you twist and stretch each of those, so they are more like thick breadsticks. But, you could certainly twist a larger piece of dough and make bigger twists. If you do that, you’ll just need to make sure you bake it a bit longer, depending on how much dough you take.

      Thanks, Zoë

  17. Hello,
    I’m new to “no knead bread” and experienced in more common bread making recipes that require kneading. No matter what I try, I can’t get your dough recipe to be smooth. Is this normal? In your book Holiday & Celebration Bread, the pictures of your dough is beautiful, smooth and uniform, both pre and post baking. Mine is Jagged, sticky and has the appearance of a stucco wall texture before and after baking. I live in Canada and use Robin Hood All-purpose flour. I have increased the water content as you suggested in another post. The dough is rising beautifully, and is “happy” and all of the technical mechanics are happening perfectly. The bread is delicious and a huge hit with family and friends, I am simply discussing aesthetics.
    I love, love, love your bread, and method, but I miss having a beautiful well rounded smooth top on my loaves of bread post baking. Please let me know if I am doing something wrong or if this is normal and your pictures as simple magic in your book?
    A big and devoted fan,
    thank you,

    1. Hi Charles,

      Is the dough smooth when you take it out of the container to shape it or is it jagged even after it rises. The dough is not smooth until it rises and then the gluten should develop to produce a dough that can be shaped into a smooth ball. If your dough is not smooth, it may need more stirring before allowing it to rise and refrigerate. If the ingredients aren’t fully blended it will be lumpy in the end.

      If the dough is smooth, but your loaves are not, it may be that you need to use more flour to shape the loaf, so the dough isn’t sticking to your hands.

      Do either of those things sound like your issue? If not, give me a few more details and I will try to help.

      Thanks, Zoë

  18. Hello, I just purchased your book and made a Boule loaf and am thrilled with the results! Thank you! I would like to try baguettes next. If I use the Emile Henry Baguette pan, do I need to modify any of the steps in your book when baking? I am on page 65 of The New Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day.
    1) Do I preheat the Emilie Henry baguette pan with cover on it in the oven at 450 for 20-30 minutes?
    2) Do I then place the baguettes with their parchment paper into each baguette compartment of the hot pan?
    3) Do I still bake for 25 minutes? Do I leave the lid on the entire time?
    Thank you!

    1. Hi Dap,

      I’m so thrilled you’re enjoying the bread!

      1. I typically preheat the pan, but there are also instructions with the pan for doing it without preheat.
      2, Yes, use the parchment to very carefully lower the loaf into the pan.
      3, Yes, bake for the time suggested in the recipe and remove the lid for the last 10 minutes.

      Enjoy! Zoë

  19. Hello!
    I just have a question about rising bread.
    There was a site that mentioned two different rising methods.
    One method has you wait until the dough doubles in size in its own. The other method has you let the dough rest for 10 minutes and then stir/knead it around a bit and then put it back to rest for 10 minutes again. You do this 5 more times before you cut the dough in half and set to proof for the final time.

    I am curious about what the difference is between the finished product with these rising methods? Or if one is better than the other?

  20. Hi, Zoe and Jeff.

    Hope you are both well and safe!

    Tried to put in this question a while ago and it didn’t get through, so I’m trying again.

    I tried your 2010 panettone recipe from this site, and while the result was absolutely delicious, it’s doesn’t have that airiness and rise of a panettone. It’s more like a dense yeasted fruitcake. It rose very little in the oven, and while I would still make it again, I’d be very grateful if you might help me figure out what might have gone wrong.

    I’ve worked with three of your Artisan in Five books for years (and love them; I never thought I could bake bread this good). Because of my experience with your recipes, and even though I had never made panettone before, I was surprised at the lack of oven rise.

    When I first mixed the dough, it rose beautifully though slowly on my kitchen counter–it took seven hours to more than double in size. I ended up with 4 liters of dough that I refrigerated for about 18 hours before baking the panettone. The slow rise on my counter was not all that much slower than usual; it usually takes up to five hours for any dough I make to double in size; maybe it’s my marble counters.

    Anyhow, I followed your recipe precisely, except that I left out the lemon peel and substituted a tsp of vanilla for the tsp of lemon extract.

    I used a 1 lb, 8 and a half ounce piece of dough, forming it into a ball per your method as usual. I used a paper mold that was 4.5 inches high and 6.5 inches in diameter, which is close to the size mentioned in your recipe. I put the paper mold on a sheet pan for support, and put the entire thing in the oven. The baked dough rose to less than half the height of the form, and the density of the finished product tells me that it somehow didn’t rise as it should have in the oven.

    The result is incredibly delicious, but it’s sort of a non-panettone panettone, and I’d love to be able to achieve full panettone-ness if possible. Thanks in advance for your help!


    1. Hi Laurie,

      If you make sure all the ingredients are room temperature or even slightly warmer it will not take quite so long for the dough to rise initially. Often the reason for slow rising enriched dough is the cold eggs slowing down the yeast.

      Before shaping and resting the chilled dough, knead it for a minute or so to excite the gluten. After doing this, you need to let the dough rise until it is slightly wobbly. If your kitchen and counter are cool, try letting it rise in the turned-off oven, but the light on. The light is enough heat to create warmth.

      Thanks, Zoe

  21. Frequently, I experience a “blow out” during baking, ruining the appearance ): what am I doing wrong? This bread is amazingly delicious

    1. Hi Cinda,

      This is typically fixed by letting the dough rest longer after being shaped. Give it another 30 minutes rest before you slash and bake it.

      Thanks, Zoë

  22. I am trying to locate “Caramel Color powder” to use in the pumpernickel bread recipe (page 124 in the “The New Artisan Bread in Five”). I am not interested in making it myself as it sounds rather dangerous(!) Is it a necessary ingredient?

    Also, I recently upgraded to the revised version of Artisan Bread in Five. I see that you are now recommending an 8 1/2 x 4 1/2 bread pan. Will the 9 x 4 pan that was recommended previously still work?

    1. Hi JoNell,

      Did you try the King Arthur Flour website for the caramel color?

      Those two pans will work equally well.

      Thanks, Zoë

      1. Thank you for your reply! I contacted the King Arthur Flour people and they have discontinued that product and do not anticipate bringing it back. Would the liquid caramel color work?

        I love your instagram videos!

      2. Hi.

        That’s a shame, but I do think the liquid caramel color will work. It is adding a bitterness and color that makes this bread unique. Just follow the directions we give for how much to use if making your own caramel.

        Thanks, so glad you enjoy the videos! Zoë

  23. Hi! I’m having several problems with the master recipe from the New Artisan Bread in 5 min a day, I bought the book and I’m LOVING it! However, I seem to have encountered several issues that come up with some batches and I can’t seem to fix them:

    – Bread spreads out instead of giving me a nice oven spring, it’s still delicious, but it’s flat. My dough had been really really wet so I added more flour and it was holding up really nice during the rise but when I bake, it still turns flat (I live in Costa Rica so I don’t know if the humidity plays a part, but the first boules turned out great and now they are all turning flat)
    – The crust is not staying crispy, but it’s going soft after it cools. I preheat my Dutch oven for a good 45 minutes at 475, I take the lid off after 25 min and leave it for another 15 min to finish. What could the problem be?

    I use AP flour, it has 8% protein for every 30g portion.

    Like I said, the first boules turned out better so I don’t know what’s happening, still tastes good but I want a pretty loaf and I’m not getting the results I like.

    I appreciate all the help I can get, thank you!

    1. Hi Hannah,

      The humidity will prevent the bread from staying crusty. It may seem so when it comes out of the oven, but then it will soften.

      Is the flour the same as the other times you baked the bread? If it is very humid the flour too will contain water, so you may need to add more. Here is a video on shaping wet dough, which will help keep a good shape when baking. Does your dough look wetter than this?

      Thanks, Zoë

  24. In the New Healthy Bread in Five – there is a chart for different whole wheat flours requiring different amounts of water. I am using Turkey Red Whole Wheat and wondering how that might relate to the other flours mentioned.
    Thanks for your help.

  25. I just saw a food show and the used beer in their pizza dough. I have the bread in five flatbread book could I substitute beer for water in the olive oil dough? should I cut back on yeast?

    1. Hi Drew,

      I usually replace about half the water with beer to make the dough. You can experiment with how much you like. No need to reduce the yeast.

      Enjoy, Zoë

  26. My loaves don’t hold their shape. I form a ball and set to rise and it just falls. I have tried a basket to rise but when I take it out it falls also. To much water?

  27. Hi! New at this! Book: The New Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day. Master recipe page 56, “pull up and cut off a 1 lb (graefuit-size) price of dough”. I halved the recipe, , and the entire dough ball is only 1 lb; additionally when I weighed my grapefruit sized piece (1/2 of my dough ball made from a half recipe) Piece of dough (1/2 of what i have, it only weighed 0.5 lb. Is my 1/2 recipe dough ball supposed to weigh 2 lb??? Should my grapefruit sized price weigh 1 lb? . Thank you!, i love your book and want to work my way all the way through it.

    1. Hi Heather,

      If you make a 1/2 batch of dough, you will end up with two loaves that weigh just under 1-pound each. I hope that helps.

      Thanks, Zoë

      1. Ah thanks Zoe! I thought the actual dough ball was supposed to weigh 1 lb lol. My bread came out DELICIOUS! This is so much fun! And regarding my other question about volumetric ca weight measurements, i belive I’ll stick to weight. Seems like it would be more reliable.
        Now i have ANOTHER question, about making Olive bread (page 103 in New Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day), from the Master recipe: you never mention making a gluten cloak, just riling out then rolling up the dough. So no pulling and cloaking is necessary? Is there a specific way to roll up the dough?

      2. Ah thanks Zoe! The bread came out DELICIOUS!
        Now i have ANOTHER question, about making Olive bread (page 103 in New Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day), from the Master recipe: you never mention making a gluten cloak, just riling out then rolling up the dough. So no pulling and cloaking is necessary? Is there a specific way to roll up the dough?

  28. Hi another question. In The Nee Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day, i completed the equivalent grams for the volumetric amounts for each ingredient (In Master Recipe page 54) , since I’m new to the gram measurements and bought a scale to be more accurate. My question is, when i googled the equivalent weight in grams for flour, etc, online, they didn’t match what you have listed. I simply followed your recipe but I’m confused. Can you tell me why there would be a discrepancy? Thank you very much!

    1. Hi Heather,

      There is no standard for how much a cup of flour weighs, so if someone measures by spoon and sweep the grams will be lower than if they scoop and sweep the flour. For our breads you’ll want to use the grams we suggest. I too wish it were standardized, but it’s not.

      Thanks, Zoë

  29. I made a batch of your five minutes a day European Peasant bread, can I make ciabatta and and or baguettes with this dough? You don’t include this bread dough on you ciabatta and baguette pages.

    1. Hi Myriam,

      Yes, you absolutely can, it’s just not the traditional dough to use for those breads and the crumb will come out a bit tighter than if you use the all white dough.

      Thanks, Zoë

  30. I made a batch of the Master Recipe for baguettes but would like to use the rest for herbed ciabatta. How can I add the herbs now?

    1. Hi Wendy,

      You can roll the dough out to about 1/2-inch thick, sprinkle the herbs over the dough, roll it back up and knead it for a minute to distribute the herbs, then proceed with the recipe. It will take longer to rise since you kneaded the dough.

      Thanks, Zoë

  31. Is there a difference between fresh yeast and dry yeast? I usually use dry but can’t find it right now. Do I need to make any changes to the recipe to use fresh instead?

  32. Hi Zoe!

    Love your posts! And you did a gluten free post, YAY!! I am following the method you used yesterday on your Intstagram video – I can’t find how long to bake it – you said an hour covered, but how long uncovered? Until browned will be my method today. I have the book and cannot find it there either – maybe I have issues.

    By the way – We met at Estelle’s in St. Paul before this pandemic started. You were so great! Forgive me for fangirling all over you. Lovely that we met. After our chance meeting, I found you on Instagram – I was missing out. I’ve been GF baking like crazy during the stay-at-home order!

    Thanks again!

    1. Hi Denise,

      So fun to hear from you and I am thrilled you are baking the bread! Hope you and your family are well!

      Going by the color is perfect. In the book the recipe calls for about 75 minutes in the oven, but if it isn’t dark enough, it will do fine to leave it for a bit longer. The instructions for the method I did during the live is on page 68.

      Enjoy! Zoë

  33. Zoë – When baking the dough in a rectangular pan, do you still have to slash the top of the loaf? I’m thinking that if you don’t, it might explode.

  34. Kind of a strange question; since a lot of stores still don’t have yeast in stock, I was wondering how long it takes companies to manufacture yeast and how is it done?

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