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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4,829 thoughts on “Ask a Question

  1. I know in the celebration bread book, you say you can make the challah in the slow cooker. Is it ok to just go ahead and make your regular recipe in the slow cooker? I am confused by the rise times. Which one do you omimt?

    1. You can, with instructions here on the website–type “crock pot bread baking” into our Search Bar above. I think the rise times are pretty clear in there.

  2. AACK! I accidentally added too much yeast to my master dough recipe. I am using packets and I added 4 1/4 tsps of yeast instead of 3 tsp to make a Tablespoon. What should I do?
    Thank you!!

  3. Hi, I have a question and I hope it is not silly! I just got your Healthy Bread in 5 Minutes a Day book, and I am very eager to try it out! My question has to do with something called the Cornell Flour mix. The theory is that adding wheat germ, soy flour, and powdered milk to unbleached white flour can help make up for the nutritional deficiencies in white flour as opposed to whole wheat flour. If I wanted to try this, would it throw off the consistency of the bread? Also, would it be okay to add this to wheat flour, not just white flour, or would that be over the top? Thank you!

    1. Claire, I did a whole post on Cornell–just type “Cornell” into our Search Bar above. I think that post will exactly answer your question.

      1. Thank you for your reply! Your post gave a recipe for Cornell Pita bread, but did not seem to say whether or not the Cornell formula works for regular loaves of bread. What do you think? You said that you decreased the amount of the supplemental ingredients, but I have no idea where to start guessing how to do that. Should I just abandon the concept? I just really want to make sure that the bread I bake is very very healthy so I don’t have to worry about eating/enjoying it. Thank you!

      2. Yes, you can use it for white-flour loaves, sure. That said, the WW will be more nutritious, and I’ve already worked out all the proportions for you! With white flour, it’ll take some experimentation. Starting point: 6c AP, .25c soy, .25c skim powder, .25c wheat germ; skip the vital wheat gluten. Seeds, yeast, salt as written, but decrease the water to 3.0 cups.

        This may be off on the hydration, so adjust as needed…

  4. Breadsmith makes a wonderful Multigrain bread using NO whole wheat flour, just us bleached flour, corn meal, cracked wheat, rye meal, sunflower seeds, salt, oats, and yeast. Do you have any recipes like this or close to this? I have three of your books and make your breads all the time, but this bread is my favoritefor toasting and would love to make something similar. Any thoughts?

    1. Not all in one recipe, but I do something like this all the time, by feel (sorry!). If you’re experienced with our method, you should be able to use the Master recipe from the New Artisan Bread in Five (or its original from 2007), swapping out one cup of the white flour for some mixture of the flours/meals/seeds you’re interested in. Then you’ll have to use more water; if I had to guess, it’d be about a quarter cup more than what’s called for in the full recipe.

  5. My Brioche loaves dependably emerge from the oven with one side sort of split, as if the top had separated from one side. This makes for some oddly-shaped loaves that don’t slice very easily without pulling off the top. Is there a fix for this? Should I be slashing the top of the loaf? Or am I overproofing?

  6. I just got your Gluten Free Artisan Bread book and I’m wondering if you have tested using Bobs Red Mill 1 to 1 flour or equivalent rather than mixing your own all purpose GF flour. It seems like that would be a big time saver.

    1. We tried many of them, and none of them worked, until we tried one in particular… Type “Better Batter” into our Search Bar above for details (this company provided samples of the flour for a giveaway but wasn’t otherwise a sponsor). The other brands didn’t work in our method.

  7. New Artisan, Master Recipe, page 53
    I think I might be able to fit 2 Dutch ovens in my oven. Would that cause any problems with the bake?

    1. Sure, just type “brotform” into our Search Bar above. I’ve written on this in the past and I think you’ll find it helpful.

  8. To be more specific, I am thinking of using two 8-inch Dutch ovens containing 1.8 lbs dough each to speed up the process. My giving list is expanding rapidly during this epidemic crisis.

      1. I just think the preheat time might be longer, and possibly the baking time as well, because of that additional thermal mass that has to heat up. In a large oven, this will be less of a problem. Maybe a 15% increase in preheat and bake? Use crust color as your guide.

  9. I have your original book and want to make a sandwich style loaf of bread. Something that’s soft and easy to cut thin. Any suggestions? Thanks!

    1. Assume you mean our 2007 book, which has loaf breads on page 43 (but it’s crusty), and a much softer one on page 204

  10. Hi there! Thank you for your amazing recipe, I’ve been making bread for years using your methods and can’t go a week without making either a loaf of pizza!

    I do have a question for you- can I use 00 flour in place of the AP? During the quarantine, I’ve obtained several bags from a bakery that will be closed for the time being and thought to use it for my weekly bread.

    I hope everyone is staying healthy and safe!

    1. You can swap… we have a recipe in our Pizza book, on Amazon at (see page 73, there’s a major correction from the all-purpose recipe). Our publisher gets upset with us if we put all our content from the books here on the website!

  11. Hi Zoe and Jeff, I am new to GF cooking and bought your new book and have cooked 2 loaves of the crusty white sandwich loaf and need so feedback on the results. I made a batch of the master recipe #1 flour and then a batch of egg dough pg 73. I did forget the sugar. I used Bob’s Red Mill products, quick rise yeast, weighed the flour, stand mixer and all the recommendations. I had egg whites in a carton and used 3 tbls per egg since eggs have a little over 3 tbls of egg/yokes. Should I have used 2tbls/egg? I used a separate thermometer to calibrate the convection oven and cooked the 2 lb loaves at 450 for 45 minutes based on recommendations on pg 74 instead of 425 for 55-60 minutes on pg 87. 1st loaf was after the initial mix and rest of 2 hours and the 2nd one was 9 days later. Both loaves had internal temp of 205 at the end and did not rise much like your picture on 85. The middle of the loaves were a little more moist than the outer parts of the loaves. What should I change? Add the sugar, cut down on the egg whites and change the temp and cook times? Thanks for any feedback.

    1. If the bottom line was that it wasn’t as well-baked in the center as you’d like, it could be that your dough was a little too wet. So you could try cutting the egg white to 2T, that’s reasonable. So might a very slight water decrease–a couple tablespoons. Longer bake time might also help, so long as you’re not over-browning the crust–every oven performs differently.

      But you may be happier with free-form loaves, which have more surface area from which to dissipate moisture.

  12. Hi!
    I watched (and really enjoyed) your recent Instagram video using the bread cloche and have a question about the oven temp for the loaf you baked in the cloche. Your book indicates to bake a Master Recipe boule at 450 degrees but I think that Zoe said to bake at 475 degrees in the video? Was that due to using the cloche or some other reason? I’m about to try baking my first boule in my (new!) cloche (finally used a Williams-Sonoma gift card from Christmas!) and want to not screw this up!

    Thank you for any guidance you can provide!

    1. No, nothing to do with the cloche! Some readers find that they don’t get the rich brown crust unless they do the higher temp. It has a lot to do with your oven’s characteristics, so try both.

  13. because of flour shortages lately, i have a friend who can only get self rising flour. any way to use this to make your bread? thanks

    1. Haven’t experimented with that, because there’s baking soda/powder in there. It wouldn’t need yeast to rise, but I don’t know if that’d be enough rising power to raise bread (it’s intended for cake/cookies). If it’s all you can get, could be worth a try.

  14. Hi –
    I’m wondering what the conversions are if I only had fresh yeast on hand?
    Are you able to provide some conversions on how much to use?

    1. Sure–when measuring by volume, you need twice as much as when you use granulated yeast, in order to get equivalent rising power in a given amount of time. Could also try our low-yeast versions, go to Questions/FAQs/Yeast

  15. Hi y’all,
    Things are crazy and there is a massive flour and yeast shortage. All I could find is bread flour and quick yeast. I am using The Master Recipe:Boule on p.26, Artisan Bread in Five Minutes A Day. Are there any adjustments I need to make for this? I do hope this is doable. I had to buy 25 lbs. of bread flour!
    Thanks for any guidance you can give me.

    1. Quick yeast is great, no adjustment on that. Bread flour takes a little more water… Above, go to Questions/FAQs/Flour Varieties.

  16. Hi,

    As I was scoring my dough, it collapsed. But what do I do after that? Do I wait for it to rise again?

    Thanks in advance.

  17. There seems to be 2 different recipes for the Master Gluten Free Flour Mix. In the “Gluten Free Book”, you have a recipe with white rice, sorghum etc. In the “New Artisan Book, Gluten free section”, you have a very different flour blend using Brown rice flour etc. I am confused. Which one is correct? Are there a different application for each?

    1. Our recipes evolve over the years–as we developed more GF stuff, we grew to prefer the ones in the GF book–use those recipes. It’s just a matter of preference–that’s ours!

  18. Morning! I have a question from “The New Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day”, pages 88 and 89. It feels like a stupid question on my part, but you never know till you ask!
    For soft dinner rolls, it says preheat baking stone as step one. Step four says place baking sheet in the oven. Does it mean I can do either? And I imagine I can just do two at a time instead of five?
    Thank you for your help. I’m very happy with the book. Much easier and less time consuming than sourdough starter that had me a little anxious.
    Have a great weekend!

  19. Many recipes in Artisan in Five call for steam in the baking process. 1 cup of water added to broiler pan steams away about 1/2 way through the baking process. Is this normal or should I add more water?

  20. I love your Bread in 5 Minute book and bake all the time in Los Angeles. I am now in Park City at 7,000 feet. How should I adjust the recipes for the altitude? Especially the basic and challah recipes?


  21. I recently purchased an EH bread cloche, would I still need to place a cup of water (for steam) in the oven with my artisan loaves?

    1. Nope, don’t need it. See Zoe and I have both posted on using a cloche with our recipe; Zoe’s post is specifically with the EH product while mine is with the bare-ceramic Sassafras product. They both work great:


  22. In the New artisan Bread in five mins a day, buttermilk bread, can I substitute plain Greek yogurt? For buttermilk? I looked up subs on google and plain yogurt was mentioned. Or I also have milk, I could thin the Greek yogurt out a bit.

    Thanks for your help. Made some of your master recipe a few days ago. Delish!!!!

    1. Closest would be thinned-out Greek yogurt; yes some milk will help because Greek Y has the water strained out and it might throw off the hydration

  23. can i substitute coconut sugar for granulated sugar in your recipes such as the bagel dough recipe? trying to bake with no refined sugars.

  24. Hi, I noticed that sometimes, when a dough requires a rollout, the tends to snap back to where I started. Recently, I was rolling out circles for the Raspberry Star Bread and I had a lot of issues. I did try to let it rest a bit in ball form. I also rolled a little, let it rest, then rolled again, to varying results. Some were more flexible than others. Instead I just used the pizza dough method of stretching to get it to the size I needed. Is there something that can help with this issue?

    1. A few things that may help:
      1. Letting the dough warm to room temp before rolling out
      2. Increasing the resting time between roll-out attempts (cover with plastic wrap while it’s resting)
      3. If you’re using bread flour–go back to A.P.

      There’s nothing wrong with the pizza dough method…

  25. Hello Zoe and Jeff,

    Nice to e-meet you. I am reaching out to know if you can share a recipe for an eggless Challah bread?

    I look forward to hearing from you.

    Thank you,

  26. I am wondering how many cups of Whole Wheat flour I can substitute for the white AP without changing the integrity of the dough for the Master Recipe

  27. For your bread recipes, specifically the master recipe, if i wanted to make half the quantity outlined, is it as simple as cutting all measurements (weight) in half? Thank you.

    1. Which Master Recipe are you working from, in which of our books, and what recipe and page number? We have many “Master” recipes. But you can always cut the measurements in half.

  28. The new healthy bread in 5 minutes a day. Pumpkin pie brioche recipe has 2 water ingredient lines. First one is 2 cups after the vital gluten. The second one is after the spices 1 1/4 cups? What does this mean?

  29. I’m puzzled by how to use both starter yeast. As in how much to use for making bread.
    and I’m puzzled on whether or not I can use quick rise yeast in place of regular yeast for making bread.
    I have looked online for days and I can’t seem to get a clear answer. Yeast is hard to find these days and I don’t want to use it incorrectly.

  30. I put together your Brioche dough last night. I want to make a plain old brioche loaf of bread – but, I ordered your book online, but with things the way they are it will be a bit before I receive it. So, my question is, to do a brioche loaf, are we talking 1 lb of dough? 1 1/2 lb? approximately.
    I don’t see a recipe on your website for that, but I’m thinking there will be one in the book once I receive it. But wanted to try some out sooner!
    Also, I just set 1 1/2 lb of the dough aside to make the brioche blueberry buns tomorrow morning. Excited to try it out.
    Thank you

    1. Our standard size for brioche is 1.5 pounds. Frankly, though, you can make it any size at all–adjust baking time accordingly.

    1. Let me check with Zoe and get back to you hear (if I haven’t answered by Tuesday, please post the question again, the website has wild traffic right now!).

  31. I made the Challah dough to try the cinnamon buns. Definite win, we’ll do those again.

    I would like to know if I can make a standard loaf of bread with the Challah Dough. There’s only variations on braiding in the recipes i’ve seen.


    1. Sure can, but use the challah over temp, not the loaf-bread temp, or it’ll over brown. That said, the baking time will increase, depending on how tall a loaf you make.

  32. Hi- I have ordered your new book, but it won’t arrive until at/or around April 24th. I have been working from recipes I see as a result of watching IG Live sessions with Zoe.
    I have a Wolf Steam oven and LOvE it but
    still learning how to use the setting and adjust cooking times. As well as finding the exact right setting- Auto Bake Steam etc. any suggestions on cooking with a steam oven is appreciated.

    1. We have not been fortunate to test those, I’m afraid (Wolf company, are you listening?). What I can tell you is that you want steam only for the first third of baking or so. My guess would be that this is what the Auto setting is giving.

  33. I have been using the plain Master Recipe in the updated “Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day.” Flour is Pillsbury All Purpose. Yeast is Fleishmann’s Active Dry. Beginning with the first day in the refrigerator, the top 1/4 inch or so starts “drying out” and becoming “crunchy” over time. The dough seems denser as well. This has not happened every time I have made the Master Recipe. Just curious if anyone has ideas on what I’m doing wrong.

    1. It’s drying out in your fridge. If this is harming the baked result, you can beat it by transferring to smaller containers as you use up the dough.

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