FAQs

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 there, click on any “Comments” field adjoining a “post” here on the website (doesn’t have to be related to the content underneath). Tell us which book you’re working from, and which recipe and page number.

And please understand that our publisher would disown us if we put all our full-detail recipes here on the website or in the comment responses.  If we did, there’d really be little reason for anyone to buy our books.  This site is mainly a way of reaching out to our readers, and supporting them as they work on recipes that appear in our published books.

  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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3,239 thoughts on “FAQs

  1. Hello, I am looking at the Danis-ish recipe in Holiday and Celebration Bread in Five Minutes a Day on p. 334-335. It says to repeat the whole process after adding the butter and folding twice. Does that mean you add an additional measure of butter so there are two layers instead of one. The recipe only calls for enough for one pass. I am loving all of your books, thank you!

    1. Michelle, I can see the confusion here. This recipe is Zoe’s baby, and she won’t be on Comments until tomorrow. I’ll ask her to check in and respond here because honestly, I’m not sure!

    2. Hi Michele,

      Can you tell me which number step in the recipe is confusing and I’ll try to help. I think you are referring to the folding, which is repeated 3 times, but you only add butter once.

      Thanks, Zoë

      1. Thank you Zoe, I was referring to the folding steps and adding more butter to the last part of the process.

      2. Hi Michele,

        You only add butter once, then do all of the folding without adding any more. I am sorry if that was confusing.

        Thanks, Zoë

    1. that dough should swap fine for any flatbread or Pizza in our book. The only change I’d make would be not to bake any hotter than 450 despite what the recipe says, because of the pine nuts, which will burn when exposed to the very high heat.

  2. Recommended parchment paper?
    I checked the Kirkland parchment paper i have and it’s only rated to 420F. I’ve looked at a couple of others (eg Reynolds) and it’s the same. Can you recommend one that is rated to 450F?

    1. Hi Mary,

      None of the parchment will say it is rated for anything over 420°F and yet we have used the Kirkland and all others at much higher, even 550°F for pizzas. The paper turns brown or even black at really high temperatures, but it is still fine. If that makes you nervous, then you’ll have to stick to cornmeal on your pizza peel. Just make sure it is parchment and not waxed paper.

      Thanks, Zoë

  3. how to work with hard lumps in dough refrigerated after a week? I have your book, I read it there and now I can’t find it again!! Can you add to your FAQs?

    Thank you,
    Gloria

  4. I have been adding the King Arthur Rye Bread enhancer to my rye bread and wondered if this requires any additional water? I add one Tbl per cup of flour per your wonderful recipe

    1. Hi Marilyn,

      I am not familiar with the product, so don’t know what the ingredients are. However, I would imagine that this amount wouldn’t require much or any changes.

      Thanks, Zoe

  5. I’v been making fresh ricotta and have a lot of leftover whey. Can I substitute this for water in any of the no knead recipes, and store the unused portions in the fridge, as usual? What recipes might work best with this substitute? I’ve got all your books, but let’s go with The New Artisan Bread in Five Minutes A Day, master recipe page 53, though that isn’t necessarily the one I’d chose first. Thanks.

    1. Hi Molly,

      Yes, you sure can. The amount is up to you, but I usually do a 50% whey and 50% water mixture. You can really use it in any dough, but I have never tried it in our enriched doughs like brioche.

      Enjoy! Zoë

  6. Hello, I made the basic brioche dough from the GF Artisan Bread book and it turned out very very lumpy. There was a lot of corn starch in the recipe. I resorted to mixing by hand for a long time to try and “squish” out the lumps but it didn’t really work.

    What did I do wrong?

    Thank You, Kim

    1. Hi Kim,

      Were you mixing in a stand mixer at first and still ended up with the lumps? Did you all of the ingredients at once or added them in stages?

      Thanks, Zoë

      1. I don’t have a stand mixer, so I was mixing by hand with a spoon and then used my hands. I weighed out all the dry ingredients in one bowl and then measured out all the wet ingredients in a separate bowl. I added all the wet at once. The instructions did not specify all at once vs in stages. It says “add the milk, eggs, honey, etc”. Should I have added them in stages?

        I also tried using a whisk to get rid of the lumps but the dough was a bit too thick for it to make a difference.

        Thanks for the reply!

        Kim

      2. Hi Kim,

        Which dough are you making? In most cases, adding all of the ingredients at once and stirring vigorously is what we recommend. If you don’t have a stand mixer, it does take some effort to get a uniform dough, especially the brioche or enriched. If there are some lumps, they often bake out without notice.

        Thanks, Zoë

  7. Gluten Free challa has been a challenge for me. The dough is too wet to roll into ropes.
    I have just plopped it together. The taste and texture of the loaf is good, but it doesn’t look like a challa.
    Any suggestions?

  8. I have two questions, the storage container, that “seals but is not airtight” ? Does this mean you simply set the lid on top but don’t push it down? Also, I have a heavy duty USA brand 3 pound loaf pan, will it take 3 grapefruit size balls of dough to make one loaf in this pan?

    1. Sure, that’s one approach. Or a soup-pot (non-reactive) with the non-sealing lid sitting right on top where it’s supposed to (that isn’t an airtight seal). About that big pan–it’ll take at least 2#, but that might be skimpy. This’ll take some experimentation. Also the baking time may be more than what we specify for smaller loaves. 15-20% more?

  9. I am hoping you can help me modify some of your gluten free bread recipes. I just ordered all of the flours to make the gluten free master and the gluten free whole grain seeded bread. The day after they arrived my daughter’s food allergy testing results arrived. She needs to remain gluten free, but she is allergic to amaranth, teff, chia, cinnamon, cranberry, egg whites, nutmeg, oats, sesame, sunflower seeds, walnut, and yeast, (and many more that will not matter with bread recipes.) I have been using The New Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day for years. I was even lucky enough to meet Beatrice Ojakangas at the Waseca Minnesota Public Library. I don’t expect perfect tested recipe ideas, I am just hoping for yeast and egg possible substitutes.
    Thank you for reading and and maybe some possible recommendations.

    1. It’s a tall order… Sorry to hear about all these allergies. But I’ll cut to the chase: whatever you come up with in your testing, I’m guessing that the result will be denser than what we finally got to in that book. Given that, my 1st recommendation is that you aim for flatbread, not tall loaf bread. So that means a different kind of sandwich. And omitting everything on your list… Well, we haven’t tested anything like that, and I just wouldn’t know how to advise you.

      But about yeast allergies… Can you use naturally occurring yeast? Like a natural sourdough?

  10. The basic recipe calls for 1 1/2 Tablespoons of yeast for 3 loaves, which means 1/2 Tablespoon per loaf. You say that ! 1/2 Tablespoons equals 1 1/2 packets of yeast, but each yeast packet is 2 1/4 teaspoons. So 2.25 teaspoons x 1.5 = 3.375 teaspoons. A Tablespoon equals three teaspoons, so 1 1/2 Tablespoons really equals 4.5 teaspoons.

    Please explain this discrepancy

    1. First… Go to our FAQs page under “Questions” above, and click on the last entry (Yeast…). Much more about this in our books.

  11. Help! In Holiday and Celebration Bread in 5 min/day, pg173 the ingredient list calls for 3 cups lukewarm water. In the mixing instructions it calls for milk and no mention of water. Which do I use?

    I love your books – have 3 of them and use them all the time.

    Thanks in advance.

    1. Hi Susan,

      Apologies for the confusion, it was written to be made with water, but honestly, milk would also work.

      Enjoy!

      Cheers, Zoë

  12. I imagine this is almost sacrilegious to you, however are any of your recipes able to be used in a bread making machine?

    1. Hi Tom,

      I have never tried it, but many of our readers have, with success. I imagine they had to scale the recipe down, since our recipes make such a large batch.

      Enjoy, Zoë

  13. Loving this concept for making breads. Every recipe I’ve tried turns out great! Do you have a recipe recommendation for English Muffins?

  14. My daughter bought me a large kloche
    how do I use it with the master recipe instead of a pizza stone? Do I heat it the same way? Will taking the top off to place bread dough on bottom plate and then cover it make the temperature drop too much. And do I cook it the same length of time?

  15. I’ve made brioche dough twice and both times there are small hard clumps of flour in the dough when I go to roll out the dough for cinnamon rolls. I use a mixer with a dough hook, all the flour is well incorporated, then I stop mixing to avoid overmixing. Do I need to run the mixer longer?

    1. Hi Jana,

      Try switching to the paddle attachment and it should take care of the lumps. Our dough is a bit wet for the dough hook to work really well.

      Thanks, Zoë

  16. I’m just starting out using your book, although I’ve baked bread for almost 50 years. I’m 70, so I’ve been baking a LONG time! This is a completely new way of baking bread for me, but we love Artisan Bread and I want to perfect it. Could you please explain to me why there is no kneading required? The science behind it? I’m looking forward to buying your new book on Healthy Bread as I’ve always baked with my own freshly ground whole wheat flour. I want to continue with whole grain bread.
    Thank you

    1. Hi Bonnie,

      The proteins will align themselves (as they do when you knead dough) if they are in a high moisture environment, so there is no need to knead them. This is why no-knead recipes tend to be wetter dough than traditional recipes.

      Thanks and enjoy! Zoë

    2. Bonnie – I love “trying” to bake bread with freshly ground grains. Still haven’t achieved the perfect sandwich or artisan loaf yet!!! I’ve only been at it about 8 years. Do you have any words of wisdom? Any tips or recipes you’d be willing to share????

  17. Love your book! I bake a boule everyday in my cloche. But I bought a 3in one metal tray for baking baguettes. How would I prepare this to bake the original dough recipe into baguettes?

    1. Hi Sandra,

      Here is a post that will show you how to bake in a baguette pan. It is a GF dough, but all else is the same.

      Thanks, Zoë

  18. hello, if one wanted to make the basic bread in a very large batch can one put it in those commercial rectangle plastic containers and cover with plastic wrap, and if yes, do you need to not cover it totally? also why not store it in a metal container. Thank u.

    1. Everything you suggest is just fine. I’d recommend stainless steel if you use metal, as opposed to something that could be reactive, like bare aluminum

  19. When does one actually make the “x” on the bread, when you start to preheat the oven or right before you put the bread in the oven? Thank u.

  20. Is there something we need to know about baking the basic recipe in a commercial oven, someone is thinking about making it for the homeless.

  21. Loving your book and the concept of having dough in the fridge ready to pull out to use. What can I substitute for the rice flour? It turns out my husband is both gluten and rice sensitive. I tried a combo of cassava, oat and buckwheat to make up the rice flour portion of the recipe without much success. Now I understand that there is no such thing as a gluten free oat…..please help?

    Thank you.

    1. Only difference… If you’re measuring by volume, you need about double the amount of dried yeast for an equivalent rise. And we generally don’t recommend Dwayne yeast because it’s too small of an amount to be reliable.

  22. My bread (no matter the loaf type) is in the oven for the specified time but doesn’t darken in color at all. Most recently, I had a baguette on pizza steel at 350 for 25 minutes and it still looks very pale in color. What am I doing wrong?

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