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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3,278 thoughts on “Ask a Question

  1. Zoe
    I have been baking from your “new healthy bread in five” and i love it. I am enjoying pulling bread from the refrig and baking weekly. I’ve mainly been working with your master recipe – this week I venture out to another.
    I have a question I need help with for all breads :
    I just don’t seem to have the height your breads do – I’m not sure what I am doing or what i should do differently. I weigh my ingredients, try to handle gently, add steam to the oven etc…..
    The bread I made today is Betsy’s seeded oat – oh my gosh, so good. But again, fairly FLAT – i’d like it to be more rounded and full. I mixed my dough Sunday, baked Tuesday. I only baked one loaf so will bake again Thursday
    do you have any thoughts or suggestions?
    kind regards

    1. Hi Julie,

      What whole wheat flour do you use? It may be a flour that has lower protein, so it may not hold it’s structure as well.

      It may also just be a matter of shaping the dough and making sure it is in a tight enough ball, so it doesn’t become too slack. Here is a video that might help:

      If you are not getting a good oven spring, you may need to preheat your baking stone a bit longer, which gives the bread the initial rise in the oven.

      Thanks, Zoë

      1. Thank you for your reply Zoe
        I used KAF white whole wheat. – I usually do heat my stone for at least an hour before baking. I will take a look at the video and give it another go.

        I also know I need to get a feel for what the dough should look like when water/liquids are added (before the 2 hour room temp rest – and then refrig) i.e. Should it be tight or loose per different formulas/recipes. Betsy’s was loose/batter like, and i assumed that was do to all the water that would eventually absorb into the oats/grains??.

        thanks again

      2. Hi Julie,

        King Arthur is a high protein flour, so that will not produce a wet dough. How do you measure the flour? Weights or cup measure? If by cup do you scoop and sweep, as opposed to spoon and sweep?

        It may just be the shaping, so take a look at the video I sent and see if that helps.

        Thanks, Zoë

      3. Just made my first batch of the Master Recipe for the NEW artisan bread in 5 book.
        Now it’s in the fridge: I want to make some her flavors rolls for tonight, but didn’t want to flavor the entire batch. Can I add the herbs during the cloaking stage without ruining the rolls?

  2. I have your Artisan Brread in Five Minutes A Day, 2007 edition. Can you tell me the difference in first edition to the lastest. Is there errors in the 2007 edition or more recipes, pictures, etc.

    Thank you

  3. using Artisan flour mix #1. Used 1 C water in broiler pan for steam. Crust is too hard, Flavor of bread good but need to improve the crust.

    1. Hi Sally,

      Are you baking the Master recipe from the Gluten-Free book? If you want a softer crust, you can brush the crust with butter or olive oil as it comes out and cover it with a tea towel as it cools.

      Thanks, Zoë

  4. GF Bagels. I’m trying to make bagels from your GF book. The instructions say to preheat the baking stone. But then later after shaping the bagels the directions say to put on the prepared baking sheet & cover with plastic wrap. Am I supposed to preheat the baking stone and then take it out and let the bagels rest on a hot stone? Won’t the plastic wrap melt?

    1. Hi Jessica,

      When you bake with a sheet try you don’t have to have the baking stone, but if you have one, it will help with the rise and baking of the bagels. You’d just preheat the stone, let the bagels rest on the baking sheet, uncover them and slide the whole sheet onto the hot stone.

      Thanks, Zoë

  5. The first several loaves of my refrigerated dough makes excellent bread, but the last pound in the bottom of the container is overly wet, with some liquid visible in the bottom of the container. This happens whether it has been refrigerated for 3 days or 10 days. I am using “The New AB in 5 Minutes” master recipe with KAF bread flour, with water and flour weighed using a digital scale.

  6. Ok, hubby bought me Diastatic malt powder instead of Non-diastatic….a lovely gesture since he really wants me to make bagels… but HOW do I use in the bagel recipe? Do I decrease amounts? I can’t return since he got it online…hate to waste a 1.5lb bag…

    1. Hi Jamie,

      The good news is that you can certainly use the malt powder he got you in the recipe. But, you only use a tiny bit, so 1-2 teaspoon(s) per batch. That means you have a lifetime supply.

      Cheers, Zoë

  7. Try as I might, I can’t get the dough to slide of the pizza spit. I think I’m putting more that enough cornmeal on the spit but there always seems to be one little spot the holds it up! Help!

    BTW, LOVE the method and the finished product!

    1. Hi Dennis,

      If you have a bench scraper, you can use that to ease the pizza dough up and put more cornmeal under the stuck spot. You can also bake the pizza directly on parchment paper and just peel it off before serving. The parchment paper is insurance for getting the pizza off the peel. This post shows a gluten-free pizza, but you’ll see how the pizza just slides off the parchment:

      Thanks, Zoë

  8. Hi
    I purchesed all of your books and was interested in GF baking recipes, kindly What do i replace Teff flour with in your GF flour mix recipe?

    1. Hi Dan,

      Ciabatta dough is typically very wet, so you may want to take our master recipe and add a few extra tablespoons water, maybe even a 1/4 cup. After shaping, let the loaf rest for a long time to develop the open hole structure.

      Thanks, Zoe

  9. Can you guys look at the old New England “shredded wheat bread” recipe and come up with a 5 minute version? I always seem to have a bunch of stale shredded wheat around here and that whole rise and punch twice thing ain’t happening, now that I’m spoiled. By you!

  10. I’m wanting a “bucket bread” recipe using mainly masa. I have your first and second books. Is there a recipe in one of those books I could modify using the masa flour? Thank you for your assistance. Pam McDonald

  11. Hello! I am a novice bread maker so I know that I have a huge learning curve. I attempted the Master Bread recipe in your new healthy bread book this week. I followed the recipe exactly (whole wheat, white all purpose, and I used the vital wheat gluten) and the bread came out super dense. I had to throw it away. I am wondering if instead of mixing in the yeast with the flour I should put it in warm water first? I did read the directions correct that I should mix the yeast in with the flour correct? I am also wondering if my dough was too dry but am not sure how to tell if it was too dry. I do live in Denver but most of friends say they don’t need to make high altitude adjustments for their bread so I thought I’d try it first without any adjustments. I would love some advice if you have any!!!

    1. Hi Tami,

      Tell me about the flour you are using? What brand is it and how do you measure?

      Did the dough rise well before you refrigerated the dough? Did it rise while it rested?

      Thanks, Zoë

  12. Comment regarding Tami’s post:

    I live outside Denver at 8,500 ft. I use Costco A/P flour, digital scale, etc. I have had no issues since I discovered this book early last year. I use the mixing bowl from my KitchenAid, add water, yeast, salt, and flour (in that order). Of course, taring the scale after each ingredient.

  13. i am a beginner bread making wannabe. i downloaded “The New Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day” to my Kindle. Made the Master Recipe and placed in fridge (plastic bucket) with lid slightly open. Now 4 days later I’ve taken my bucket out to make my master piece and the dough has a “scab” all over the top. What now?

    1. Hi Jackie,

      The dough just dried out on the top a bit. You’ll want to peel that hard dough away and you can use what is under it. Next time you’ll want to make sure not quite so much air is able to get into the bucket, so it stays humid in there. If the skin on the dough is not hard, but just gray, then you can just mix it all together.

      Thanks, Zoë

  14. I am following a lectin free diet. The flour I usually use is cassava. Sometimes mixed with arrowroot would these work in your master recipe? And in what quantities?

    Many thanks!

    1. Unfortunately, there’s no way for me to guess, not having tried these. It’ll take experimentation… But my guess is that it will not work.

  15. Hi,

    I became aware of your method a number of years ago and purchased the 2009 edition of Healthy Bread in ….. Normal life was disrupted by a number of things and my bread baking has been on the back burner for several years. I recently received a blog post from Cheapskate monthly and she was discussing your bread and I realized I has kind of forgotten about the 5 minute a day thing I used to do. So I am getting ready to dive back in, but I see the book has been updated. Just wondering if the New Healthy….. has much more added to it over the 2009 edition. I use lots of whole wheat but not so much in the way of other flours. Thank you.

    1. Main new material:
      1. A natural sourdough chapter
      2. Adjustments for omitting vital wheat gluten
      3. Adjustments for different brands of whole wheat flour.

  16. Thank you for sharing your method for making amazing homemade bread that is simple, quick and literally anyone can make! From my first loaf, even though it didn’t look great, it tasted amazing as has everyone since, thanks to your recipe development.

    My question is about using your master recipe (from The New Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes A Day) when working with not-for-profit groups as a “bread in a bag” type program. Have you ever tried making it in a 2 gallon zip lock type bag (for example) or had others use this method with your master recipe? Also, if using your master recipe in a not-for-profit program like this, what would be the necessary permissions, requirement, etc to you? Thank you for any information you can provide!

  17. Hi! I’d like to make your Soft Dinner Rolls (on pg. 88 in “The New Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day”), but I’m confused. Step 1 says to “Preheat a baking stone…” But then step 4 says to “…place the baking sheet in the oven.” Am I supposed to place the baking sheet on top of the stone? Or place the rolls directly on the stone? Or not put the stone in at all?

    P.S. When leaving a comment on your “Ask a Question” page, there’s nowhere for me to check off “notify me of follow-up comments by e-mail.” Can that helpful feature be added?

    P.P.S. It would be really great if there were a way for readers to search all the comments on your “Ask a Question” page first before sending in our questions. Kinda like the search feature on Amazon’s “Customer questions & answers” section. Would this be possible?

    1. Sorry for the confusion. When using a heavy-duty baking sheet, the stone’s not necessary and this shortens the preheat needed, so feel free to omit the stone.

      I’ll look into fixing the missing “notify” option, but unfortunately WordPress doesn’t support the global search option that you suggest.

      1. Thank you for responding so quickly, Jeff! So, should step 1 just say to preheat the oven to 450 degrees — leaving out any mention of the stone altogether? If so, should the temp still be at 450 degrees, or should it be lower (350 degrees) instead?

        And also, thanks for trying to fix the missing “notify” option. While you’re at it, might I also suggest you try to see if you can list all the most recent comments up on top? That’s the easiest and most logical sequence. As it is now, the most recent comments are at the bottom with the option to see “Older Comments.” Yet there’s also an option up on top to see “Older Comments” above the older comments, too. A bit confusing…at least to me. Otherwise, you have got one remarkable site and a personalized feedback service unheard of in the industry! Kudos to you and Zoe!

  18. Zoe, Excellent post about Baker’s Flour… suggest more gluten is needed…..I do not see a change in the Master Recipe in the post……What am I missing? I would like to try the flour and will buy direct

    1. Ah yes, I see the confusion– the “change” is that the recipe calls for bread flour (higher protein, milled from harder wheat) rather the ordinary all-purpose flour. The proportions are exactly the same. You end up with a dough that’s a little drier and likelier to hold it’s shape.

  19. Hi, I noticed on your site you have the Master recipe posted using Baker’s Field Fresh Flour. You said to bake at 500. In the New Artisan Bread in Five Minutes, you wrote to bake at 450. Why the difference? I have just ordered a EH Bread and Potato Pot to bake in and wondered if that is the difference. I use KA flour

    1. There’s some leeway here and we’ve played around with different temps in different ovens. First off, it has nothing to do with the fresh flour, it’s a matter of how your oven and your pot behave at temperature. If you go too high, it can get overbrowned on the bottom. 450 is our default, but if you preheat the pot to 500, put in the bread, and then turn it down to 450, you may find superior crispness. Or in many ovens and in many pots, you can leave it at 500– just experiment and see what works best.

  20. I have been making your wonderful bread recipe and am working my way through the newest edition of your wonderful Baking Book. I do a program for homeless 7th and 8th graders in Phoenix , Arizona. All are food insecure and as part of the program , I bake a fresh bread, protein cake, cookies etc for every day’s class. The kids also have a baking business called Cookies for Change. My their uniques and delicious cookies and brownies, which they sell, they have money for food on the weekends and learn to operate a small business. We will have occasion to be in altitude this summer and I wonder what adjustments you recommend to your current bread recipe to ensure it is as delicious and uniform as in the original? Thanks for sharing any ideas which I, will then, teach to these special kids

    1. Absolutely–and thanks for your work with these kids. Assuming you have The New Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day, the altitude tips are on page 46, but I think we were too conservative there–we’ve since tested in Denver and we needed no adjustment to the basic recipe. The revised altitude discussion:

      Check out our FAQ on altitude baking, at

      More FAQs are at

  21. I’ve got the proportions down and using 2 pounds by weight all purpose flour-
    I use a Kitchen Aid mixer combining the yeast, salt & water
    First batch kneaded it with the machine and got a nice satiny texture to the dough and after initial rise and next morning the dough seems to have lost any elasticity and does not stretch and just breaks off
    Second batch need a basic mix and still get the same results-
    Crumb is very dense and somewhat gummy –
    I’m at 2,500 foot above sea level
    What adjustments should I make?
    Using WhiteLily flour /pre-sifted/soft winter wheat/enriched/bleatched

  22. Hey Guys,

    I am a fan. I started baking bread using your system. It was great while it lasted. Then, I adopted a keto diet and was unable to make bread any more. Recently, though, I’ve learned that there are folks out there making keto style bread. I am really interested in learning how you do this, if you do. Could you please let me know with the following caveat below.

    Now, what I like about your system is it’s simple. You use flour, water, and a few other ingredients. All the keto bread recipes call for eggs. I’m hoping that I can find a recipe that is keto and vegan, as that’s the diet combination that I’m currently in during Lent. Once I’m out of Lent, I can incorporate eggs. So, if you could provide your system for (1) keto and vegan and (2) keto only without the vegan restriction.

    Finally, please note that when I say keto, this means that approximately 5% of the daily calories comes from carbs. Now, the carbs can be net of dietary fiber – that’s fine. So, whole wheat flour, for example, has 21 grams of carbs for each 1/4 cup of flour. So, a 2 cup loaf of bread will have 168 grams of carbs. Now, 3 of those carbs are dietary fiber, so if you subtract that then it’s 144 grams of net carbs (21-3=18 times 9 = 144).

    I am aware of almond flour and flaxseed flour. Maybe there’s more but when I tried both of these without eggs, it was horrendous.

    If you don’t want to put this up on your blog for whatever reason, could you please, kindly answer me nonetheless. Even if the answer is you don’t currently have a keto vegan/non-vegan recipe.

    Thanks so much.

    1. I’m afraid we don’t. And you have a tall order. No eggs and almost no carbs. You’re left with nut flours, and I think it’s going to need the eggs. Peter Reinhart’s book on very low carb bread may be a closer fit for you–but I bet there are eggs.

  23. I want to bake several loaves from the master recipe at the same time. Do I need to adjust the cooking time or amount of water that I add to the broiler pan?

  24. I am going to jump into making my own bread because I want good quality whole wheat in my diet. I need your advice on a couple of things before I start.
    1. Recently moved to CO (6500 elevation) from sea level – suggested adjustments for bread making
    2. I want to order flour from your farm source (whole wheat) but not sure which type of four to order from their website for bread making
    3. Also, do you recommend any all purpose flour that is freshly milled as the whole wheat?
    I am such a newbie to all of this even though I have been cooking for 1,000 years it seems. Your book and website have inspired me. I have been Paleo for a year and recently was told my R.D. to add whole wheat into my diet (don’t need to be gluten free) and looking a yummy bread seems good to me! Thank you for any help or suggestions!

    1. Some of our books have the high-altitude instructions–which book do you have and what page/recipe are you working from?

      The one they label as “bread flour” is the one Zoe tested with, so start with that. As for freshly-milled white (all-purpose) flour, afraid I can’t name one.

  25. I have been making many kinds of bread from your first book for years and have had great results. Lately, I have gotten into baking with a sourdough starter. The starter is healthy and I’ve baked a loaf at a time. Now I would like to branch out into stirring up several loaves at a time like your books do. In your ” The New Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day” on page 389 you give the recipe for whole wheat bread using a sourdough starter. I’d like to use white flour for my first time doing this. Could you please tell me how many cups of Gold Medal or King Arthur Flour White flour to use with the activated levain? Love your books. My friends never cease to be impressed by the bread I bake since using your books.

  26. I recently purchased “The New Artisan Bread in …..”
    I mixed up “Olive Oil Dough” on page 214 then realized the instructions end at #4. There are no instructions for resting time, baking temperature, baking time, etc.
    Now I have 4 pounds of dough in the fridge and no certain way to bake it. I realize I could use it for pizza, etc., but really just wanted to try a plain loaf as I am becoming acquainted with the basics right now.

    Thank you

  27. What is the benefit of a cornstarch wash vs. using just water? I’m on the deli rye recipe from the most recent version of AB in 5.

      1. Jeff,
        I have the “Healthy Bread in five minutes a day” and “Artisan Bread in five minutes a day”. I looked in my daughter’s copy of the New Healthy Bread, and Artisan Pizza and Flat Bread, couldn’t see a recipe for almond flour and coconut flour in them.
        Thank you

      2. Ah… The nut flour recipes are in the gluten free book (on Amazon at, but these only use a little nut-flour. They’re mostly comprised of high carb flours,(tapioca, cornstarch, rice flour) etc. And I’m guessing that like most folks who want to use nut flours, you’re trying to avoid carbohydrates.

  28. Hi,
    I am having trouble with the GF sandwich bread! I don’t know what I’m doing wrong. All the other baked goods have come out great. I’ve tried the sandwich bread 4-5 times and I’m frustrated! I’m making it out of the GF AB in 5 (2014 ed). I’ve been making GF bread on my own for many years using my own recipe. I’ve been GF for over 17 years. I like the fact that I can make this dough ahead of time, so I keep trying to do it. I can’t get it to rise enough–gummy and too dense too. I’ve made the egg and egg-free versions, and I’m weighing the ingredients. My dough looks like your video, so I know the consistency is correct. Today I increased the rest and proof time and used the oven to proof (my house tends to be cold). I tried the peasant and baguette loaves with the same low-rise result, so it can’t be that there’s too much in the pan. Any other thoughts? Thanks!

    1. Are you swapping brands? We tested with Bob’s Red Mill brand, and found that swapping a different brand required modifications in the hydration that were completely unpredictable and required lots of experimentation. Another consideration–are you mixing with a stand mixer, or by hand? The it’s possible to mix by hand, it’s much harder to get the mixture to emulsify when mixing by hand, and that definitely puts you at risk for inadequate rise.

      Have you been through all the tips at ?

  29. I have just read “The New Healthy Bread in Five Minutes” and and want to make 100% Whole Wheat bread, p. 91 but do not have any of the mentioned flours as I use hard(strong) organic flour. I do not know if the flours listed are all- purpose or hard flours.

    1. Impossible to say how yours will absorb water, since it’s not just the protein content–it’s the bran content and the fine-ness of grind. You’ll have to just experiment. If I had to guess, it’ll be on the higher end of the water requirement, but I have no way to know for sure. Like the top three flours listed on page 92’s table.

  30. Jeff,
    Yes. You guessed it. Trying to avoid carbs. The recipes I’m seeing on line all use coconut and almond flour.
    I was really hoping you would have a low carb 5 min Bread.
    Now there is a challenge for you.


    1. I’m fairly certain that the dough would not store–that it’d become impossibly dense with storage. Peter Reinhart’s book has much more nut flour and he wrote it to decrease his carb intake, on Amazon at

      But I’m guessing that the dough isn’t storable at all.

  31. I love your books and bake bread using your method for several years. I thought there was a recipe using graham flour either in New Artisan Bread in 5 or in New Healthy bread in 5, but I can not find any. I bought the flour and now wonder if I can use it as regular whole wheat or any adjustments needed? What would you recommend?

  32. Do you have a process for baking your bread, Master Recipe, on a heat source like a stove top or grill, in a Dutch Oven? I am wanting to make bread while camping.

    1. Yes, you can do it, but it’s hit or miss and depends on the even-ness of the heat on your grill. My own experience was that I was most successful making flatbread in a covered cast-iron skillet when using a camping stove. See my post on that at

      Another resource:

      Which of our books are you using, which page number/recipe?

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