FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

Our best inspirations come from reader questions, and we’ve enjoyed answering them since starting this blog to support our books in 2007.  Click on any of the questions below– these are the ones that seem to be on a lot of bakers’ minds.  If you’re having a problem with one of our recipes, breeze through these FAQs first.

If you can’t find an answer in the FAQs, click on any “Comments” field adjoining a “post” here on the website (doesn’t have to be related to the content underneath).  Please tell us which book you’re working from, and which recipe and page number.

  1. I posted a comment to this site but it hasn’t appeared. What happened?
  2. Contest and Giveaway Rules
  3. Convection oven: Any adjustment needed?
  4. Dense or gummy crumb: What am I doing wrong?
  5. Flour varieties: Do I need to adjust the liquids when I use different kinds of white flour?
  6. Freezing the dough: Can I do it?
  7. Fresh-ground grains: can I use them with this method?
  8. Gluten-Free Frequently Asked Questions (GF FAQs)
  9. Gray color on my dough: Is there something wrong?
  10. High-altitude baking: How do I adjust the recipes for high-altitude?
  11. Incorporating dried fruit, nuts, or herbs into stored dough: How do I do it?
  12. Larger loaves: What adjustments are needed?
  13. Left the dough on the counter overnight! Can I still use it?
  14. Measuring flour by volume: How we measured when we tested the recipes (scoop-and-sweep)
  15. Missing instructions and missing recipes: Some of the web-based recipes don’t have everything I need to make the bread, and others are missing from the website altogether
  16. Nutrition content: How can I calculate it?
  17. Photographs: Can I post pictures to this website?
  18. Privacy Policy
  19. Refrigerator rise trick: The formed loaves or rolls rise overnight and are ready for the oven the next day
  20. Rising: My shaped loaves don’t seem to rise much before it’s time for the oven.  What am I doing wrong?
  21. Salt: Can I decrease the amount of salt in the recipes?  How do I adjust for different kinds of salt?
  22. Sourdough starter: Can I use it with this method?
  23. Steam alternatives: How do I create a steam environment for a great crust when my oven doesn’t trap steam well?
  24. Stone broke! What did I do wrong?
  25. Storing bread: What’s the best way to do it?
  26. Traditional recipes: How can they be converted to the ABin5 method?
  27. Underbaked! My loaf didn’t bake through to the center.  What am I doing wrong?
  28. Web use: Can I use your recipes on my own website, in my class, or in a publication?
  29. Weighing ingredients instead of using cup measures: How do you do it?
  30. Whole grain flours and vital wheat gluten: How do you use them?
  31. Whole grain flours and doughs without vital wheat gluten: How do those work?
  32. Yeast: Can it be decreased in the recipes?

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2,824 thoughts on “FAQs

  1. Hi, I have a question about the Eastern European Potato Potato-Rye Bread on page 195, the NewAB in 5: I substituted Bob’s Red Mill potato flour for the mashed potatoes, as I had tried the recipe before and wasn’t thrilled with the mashed potatoes. I weigh all my ingredients now, but I couldn’t find a weight measurement anywhere online for the potato flour substitution, so went with 1/2 cup, with no change to the water. Bad move. Ended up with a really dry mix, couldn’t even stir it. Added water, almost a full cup, to be able to mix it, then it was way too wet…

    I almost threw the dough out at least three times, but wanted to see what would happen. Stored it for a day, then tried to shape it. I found the absolute boundary for the wettest dough one could still shape into a loaf. Baked it in my much-revered Emile Henry Cloche, afraid to remove the lid and see what lay beneath. Huge surprise! The loaf baked up beautifully: high, airy, great texture. My family says it’s the best tasting bread I’ve baked yet. Go figure. BTW, I had added 2 teaspoons of herbs, rosemary & thyme to the dough mixture, which worked amazingly well.

    While it was a good learning experience, I’d really rather know a more exact measurement for substituting potato flour in this recipe, if possible. Thanks very much, still baking bread from your books every day.

    1. Well, we’ve never tried that, but our approach to what you did would be exactly the same as yours. When one makes swaps like this, you simply have to experiment. You waste a lot of flour and ingredients when you write a bread cookbook. When we’re not writing one, I often forgo the recipes and informally experiment with swaps like this.

      So glad you succeeded with this though.

  2. Bread wizards,
    Got a trick to baking flexible noncrumbling sandwich bread? Have baked w.w. Tassajara recipe for decades (with endless what’s in the cupboard additions). Love it, but it never works for husband’s sandwiches.. Expectantly with appreciation.

    1. You may find that our wetter dough, from any of our books, slices better when baked–less crumbly. For sandwiches you’d be best off with one baked in a loaf pan.

  3. I’m having a problem with basic Master Recipe breads from Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day. They always taste delicious, but they always crack. I have tried a longer rest and a longer preheat, but I still have the same problem. What am I doing wrong?

    1. Well… they’re supposed to crack, it’s just that that slashing makes the crack more controlled. Go deeper with that slashing, that should help.

      Also, consider a longer resting time–if you’re not already doing 90 minutes, do that and see what you think.

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