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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3,516 thoughts on “Ask a Question

  1. Dear Jeff and Zoe,

    RE: Ten-Grain Bread recipe on p 164-65 of “New Healthy Bread” book:

    Can I replace the Ten-Grain hot cereal with Bob’s Seven-Grain Hot Cereal mix? If so, would the measurements be the same?

    Thanks in advance for your time!

  2. Very much enjoy NAB and NHB. Even at 8500 feet, everything works without adjustment. Using a cloche.

    I’d like to vital wheat gluten to the master recipe for NAB. What adjustments do you recommend?

    1. Hi Mike,

      So glad you are enjoying the bread and good to know you don’t need any adjustments.

      When you add vital wheat gluten, it will absorb some of the water, so you may have to add more to the recipe so your dough isn’t too dry.

      Thanks, Zoe

    1. Hi Jennifer,

      Yes, it is totally normal for it to separate. If you are not going to use it for a while, you can dry it out as we suggest in the book.

      Cheers, Zoë

  3. I’m trying to make steamed bun dough ( like steamed bbq pork bun dough)my recipe included milk,sugar,salt,cake flour,oil, and baking powder I left it to rise it’s been over an hour but nothing.. do I leave it on the counter longer? Or is there some way to fix it

    1. Hi Jessica,

      This website is to support our yeasted bread books and the recipes we have developed, so I am sorry not to have a satisfying response for you. Good luck and if you ever give our recipes a try, we’re happy to help.

      Cheers, Zoë

  4. Greetings
    I have baked bread from your first book Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day for some years and love the technique. It works for me. However, as I live in New Zealand, some trial and error was necessary initially. Why? Because NZ (and British) cup measures are different from US cup measures and because NZ flour is very absorbent so UK and US recipes need to be adjusted with either more liquid or less flour to work here.

    You might want to note somewhere that people in other countries will need to make adjustments and concentrate on final texture rather than exact measures. I can see that is tricky for you but could prevent some early failures. I found the advice that the mix should be lose enough to spread itself to fit the container to be a good guide.

    1. Hi Nicky,

      We have since added weights to all of our books, which is more common around the world, other than the US. It still doesn’t help the issue of flour varieties, which really do change wildly around the world.

      Thanks for the suggestion and for trying out the bread!

      Cheers, Zoë

  5. I would like to use my bread machine for gluten free bread. I have the gluten free artisanal bread cookbook and made up master recipe#2. Any suggestions?

    1. Hi Rosanne,

      Are you intending to mix and bake or just bake? I’ve never made our recipes in a bread machine, so I don’t know how it will work, but I do think the recipe is too large, so You’ll have to cut it down to fit the capacity of your machine.

      Thanks, Zoë

  6. I recently purchased a Lekus Artisan Bread device and also you book. Now I am wondering whether I can use your dough recipe with that item.

    1. Hi Elizabeth,

      Yes, you certainly can. I’ve never baked in it, but my understanding is that it would be used just like a cloche.

      Thanks, Zoë

  7. Oops — sorry. I neglected to mention that the book I purchased is The New Artisan Bread in FIve Minutes a Day.

  8. The book looks incredible, but are there a lot of vegan recipes? I know the majority of GF store bought items I buy have eggs so I wanted to figure that out before purchasing the book.

    Thank you!

    1. Hi Lauren,

      We tried to make most of them vegan and many of our readers have had good luck using an egg substitute when a small amount of egg is called for.

      Thanks, Zoë

    2. I said I buy but I meant available to buy. Just to be clear. I’m trying to avoid the eggs lol. But great! I’m excited to get the book!

  9. Many of the yeast breads that I make seem to crumble when I slice the bread for sandwiches. I especially see this with the top crust crumbling. Any suggestions?

    1. Hi Sylvia,

      Please let me know which of our recipes you are having this issue with and I can try to help you.

      Thanks, Zoë

  10. Hi there, have just purchased your book The New Artisan in 5 minutes a day. My husband asked me to make a meat filled dough like the Turkish bread and I was wondering which dough to use please. I was so impressed with this book I bought one for my friend.
    Thankyou Jackie

    1. Hi Jackie,

      I am so thrilled you are enjoying the book. I would try that style bread with the olive oil dough, but you could also use the master recipe.

      Cheers, Zoe

      1. Hi Zoe
        I tried the master recipe dough but the top came out really crisp also puffed big time, so I will try the olive oil dough and put slashes on the top. How do I stop the top from being crisp as we need it to be soft.
        Have just bought your pizzas and flatbreads can’t wait for that to get here.

      2. Hi Jackie,

        If you want a soft crust, you will want to use an enriched dough. The olive oil dough will be better, but the challah will be even softer.

        Thanks, Zoë

  11. Hi,

    I’d like to try baking your Master Whole Grain Recipe in a Dutch Oven. What quart size Dutch Oven should I use to make a one pound loaf (grapefruit-sized ball of dough) as per your recipe? I am reading your HEALTHY bread baking book and would like to try making whole wheat and spelt breads. Thanks!

    1. Hi Laurie,

      I typically use my 5 quart, but have also used a smaller and larger one. If you go with a smaller one, it may touch the sides and that will change the shape of the loaf, which isn’t bad, just something to consider. You could bake a 2-pound loaf in the 5-quart as well, but that may touch the sides.

      Thanks, Zoë

  12. Hi there, I am on my 3rd day of the sourdough starter and everything was looking great…I added some whole wheat flour (started with white) and now while it has a lot of bubbles and is expanding, it has about 1/4″ of liquid at the bottom. Also, beginning on day 2 it started to develop what I would call a cheesy smell. Am I doing something wrong? Reading a few other places it seemed like people either said the liquid at the bottom was bad…or fine.

    1. Hi Shannon,

      That all sounds like it’s going just as it should. If you have our book, you’ll notice that we describe that smell and it is totally normal. The liquid on the bottom is because the mixture is so wet that the flour and water separate a bit and that’s normal. If it is still bubbly and active, then it is going as planned.

      Thanks, Zoë

  13. Hello Jeff and Zoe, this is the first time I am baking from your
    I just recently purchased. I will be selling my breads at the local Farmer’s Market.
    I would like to know how many loaves I can bake at the same time with the recipes.
    I would like to bake at least 8 loaves at a time.

    Thank you, Beverley.

    1. Hi Beverly,

      You can bake as many loaves as will comfortably fit into the oven. This will depend on your oven, the shape and size of the breads.

      Cheers and enjoy! Zoë

  14. Hi, Jeff and Zoe. I just made pizza with your half wheat/hald white recipe from the original Artisan in Five book and realized, once it was in the oven, that I was so preoccupied while preparing it that i forgot to make the gluten cloak before rolling it out. (I have been using your books for a couple of years and never did that before!). I just measured the dough, made a rough flour-covered ball, and rolled it. It came out of the oven looking beautiful, but haven’t tasted it yet (waiting for my guests to arrive). Should I be nervous? Thanks!

    1. Hi Laurie,

      The gluten cloak only effects your ability to roll it out into a neat round, so it will still taste just as great.

      Hope you enjoyed it! Cheers, Zoë

      1. That is really good to know, and it did taste great! Thank you so much, Zoe! I love your books. I never had the confidence before to make bread or pizza, and now, thanks to your books, I do it all the time.

  15. Hi, In any of the recipes in any of the books (I have the earlier 2), can I use sprouted wheat flour 1:1 when it calls for whole wheat flour? Thanks!!

    1. We tested with the Arrowhead Mills brand of sprouted whole wheat, and found that it took about a quarter cup more water in the master recipe in the second book (Healthy Bread in 5 Min/Day, or the new edition that book at More details in that second edition.

  16. I asked this earlier in June but never saw it posted here, so here goes again….

    I would like to purchase the book IF it includes (or has a recipe that I can substitute for) Einkorn wheat flour. Can you let me know if I would be able to use Einkorn with any of the recipes?

    Thank you

    1. we’ve never tested with einkorn so I just don’t know how it’s going to behave. It’s going to be something like whole wheat flour and you can probably swap it but I bet it’s going to need a water adjustment.

      1. Thanks Jeff, and there are recipes that use whole wheat flour? Do you think more water will ne needed possibly? (I am not a baker! lol)

      2. in the new healthy bread in five minutes a day there is lots of whole-wheat! In our first book the new artisan bread in five minutes a day much less so. in general my guess is it’s going to take more water, but again I haven’t tested with it so you’re on your own. Maybe tricky since you haven’t baked before

      3. Is there a NEW “Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day”/. I have had another one by that name since 2014.


      4. There is a new edition with weights and explanations of how to use different whole grain flours. There is also about 30% new material in the book, it’s significantly larger than the original. The new healthy bread in five minutes a day came out in 2016.

  17. Hi, would the peasant recipe from your “The New Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day” be the same as the one in your first book? If so, I was wondering if you could tell me how to reduce the whole grains to about 10-15% . I am math challenged and don’t have an idea of how to do this. I’ve purchased many bread books and am looking for a lighter version of whole grain bread. Thank you for any help that you can provide….math challenged and new to bread making.

    1. It is the same recipe. Just decrease the Rye and whole wheat to 1/4 cup each. then increase the all-purpose white flour to 6 cups.

  18. Can you discuss European bread flours vs US flours ??…. A family member could eat bread in France but not in the USA. Is there any equivalent available in the USA

    1. I’ve read things like this on the web and haven’t seen a legitimate medical explanation, so I’m afraid I can’t help here. Other than ordering from France, I can’t think of a way to get this.

      1. Hi:
        I think the problem with the wheat we are growing is that it has far to many chemicals
        associated with it. In fact it is said that they spray the wheat with roundup when it is
        ready so that the plant dies and puts more production into the wheat seeds.
        I have heard of people who can eat the bread etc. in Italy. I know of “00” (Farina) flour
        and it is low in gluten but not gluten free. I have found on the internet that in Spain
        they have invented a flour that is in the confines of gluten free ratio. The patent has
        been sold but i have not heard of the flour being produced yet. I am anxiously waiting !
        The ’00’ flour can be usually found in Italian stores & in Canada now – Superstore carries
        some. I believe alot of people use this flour for pizza dough.

      2. ATI’s of hybridised wheats different from older varieties. Makes a difference to those with histamine issues. This is why some tolerate European better… (but also may be due to baking – no baking improvers perhaps?)

    2. Probably the ATI’s in the modern wheat. There are differences between modern hybridised wheat and older wheats. The ATI’s are different and this will affect those with histamine or mast cell type issues. The easy solution is to use older grains – spelt, khorasan wheat, kamut… May be worth the person involved finding a medical practitioner with experience in this area to work through possibilities and/or elimination diet. (Won’t show on standard allergy tests as not a true allergy)… the mast cell issues – well you need to find someone who understands the newer wider scope mast cell problems not reading the text book from when they qualified that describes only pretty extreme variants. There are allergy centres that work on this in my country – but USA tends to run a different medical care system. Look around.

  19. I have Gluten- Free Artisan bread in 5 Minutes a day.
    the only question I have is can i substitute cassava flour for the tapioca flour.

    1. we haven’t tried that. It might work, but it’s probably going to take a lot of experimentation. We found that even slight substitutes created major changes in the way that Dough behaved so we really can’t make any promises here.

  20. Working from “Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day”, The Master Recipe on page 26, my dough rose beautifully. But, when I placed it in the refrigerator it collapsed and didn’t rise when baked and the “crumb” was very wet. Any idea what went wrong? Thank you!

    1. when do you say “didn’t rise” do you mean that the bread was solid without any air holes? Or did it simply spread sideways with reasonable air holes? One thing you should know is that our dough is wetter and our bread is denser than commercial breads. Also what flour did you use and how did you measure it?

    2. also, the collapse is normal with our method but you should get a decent oven spring. one other thing I thought of is that your oven is the wrong temperature. did you check the temperature with an oven thermometer?

  21. I just made the Pumpernickel bread yesterday. I followed the recipe tasted great, the rise was good. My question is how can I make it darker? The bread baked to a light chocolate color, but I would like it darker. Thank you in advance for your response.

    1. Did you use a commercial Pumpernickel powder? Or did you use our liquid equivalent? Either way, you can simply increase the Pumpernickel coloring / Carmel but it’ll be easier to get it darker with the powder.

  22. I have a great recipe for a grain bread. However it rises in the mixing bowl and rises again in the bread pans. However when I take it out of the oven after baking the centre falls. Am I doing something wrong??

    1. Which of our recipes are you using (from which book and page number)? We have many “grain” recipes, from many of our books and they’re all a little different.

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