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.

If the list of FAQs below doesn’t get you the answer you need, try our Search Bar: We’ve been posting recipes and answering questions on this site since 2007, so if you have a question, there’s probably a post that addresses it somewhere on this website. On our Home Page, it’s right over our pictures. In narrower displays, it sometimes appears right underneath our orange BreadIn5 logo. Just type in the bread style, ingredient, or technique that you’re interested in, and the search-engine will show you all the similar posts we’ve ever done on it, with recipes and answers to many questions.

  1. Comments policies: I posted a comment to this site but it hasn’t appeared. What happened? Can I put up links to other sites?
  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? Is it mold?
  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?
  33. Health questions that we’ve received over the years

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3,545 thoughts on “FAQs

  1. My “empty” bucket has been in the fridge since my 14 days were up, for two weeks. The dough still looks moist, smells good, and appears to be “healthy.” Can I still scrape the dough down to add to my next batch?

      1. We never start with a cold oven and have never tested with that. It’ll certainly take longer to bake, but I can’t guess how much longer. And for the whole grain loaves in the book you have, those may be underbaked in the center. So this’ll be an experiment.

    1. Hello. I am just new to your book and your methods. While I see that you suggest a covered cast iron pot is a good alternative to the stone/steam method, what is the baking time you recommend for that? In other recipes with the cast iron, it’s 30 min covered, 20 min uncovered. What is it for your method please? Thanks!

  2. I cannot find traditional yeast anymore, the rapid rise yeast does not rise the same when baked. Have tried shortening the initial rise time and the rise for baking day but doesn’t seem to make a difference, the bread is ok but not the same as with traditional yeast. How should I be using rapid yeast? Have you ever used the rapid yeast?

    1. Yes and we can’t tell the difference with our long stored dough… We use rapid rise all the time. Active Dry Yeast seems to be readily available, at least on Amazon, and that’s more traditional than rapid but but it sounds like you mean fresh cake yEast which, you’re right, is difficult to find now. We’ve experimented with it in the past when it was easier to find and we find it doesn’t make much difference that we can tell in our stored dough.

  3. Hi guys,

    I have recently started using a baguette pan for my Master Bread recipe baguettes. I use your 2013 book, The New Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day.

    Unfortunately some of the baguettes stick to the pan. I think it may have to do with the wash before I put them in the oven, but the sticking appears on the bottom.

    Any tips for keeping the baguettes from sticking?

    I really enjoy all your books and making bread for my family and friends is really rewarding. Especially now that I can find yeast again!


  4. I watched the video about too wet dough, but mine is actually like liquid. i couldn’t even possibly keep it from running through my fingers. I followed instructions completely and the dough looked just right going into the fridge. This is my first go round and am tempted to give up but i’m hoping there is something that i may have misssed??

    1. Hi Kate,

      Which dough did you make? I am sure we can get to the bottom of this and have you baking it into bread.

      Thanks, Zoë

  5. I am not happy with the loaves I have baked using King Arthur bread. The crumb is too soggy and wet. I have let it bake longer, your instructions say increase water with high protein bread – did not work for me. I live in an arid environment – desert-like. I did not decrease the water with King Arthur. However, Today I am using my favorite Montana Wheat flour – with 13.5g protein. I decreased water to 2 2/3 c. Hope that helps. Am I headed in the correct direction? I use the stone/steam method and weigh all ingredients.

    1. Hi Karen,

      I assume you mean King Arthur Bread Flour? Which recipe are you using? How are you measuring your flour, by weights or cups?

      Thanks, Zoë

  6. Can I bake multiple loaves at once? My first Boule came out perfectly! So excited to try more recipes. But can I bake 2 Boule at the same time?

    1. Hi Susan,

      You can bake as many loaves will comfortably fit on your baking stone.

      So glad you are enjoying the bread.

      Cheers, Zoë

  7. I need your help. I’ve just tried to mixup mixture #1 and made a mistake: instead of 1 3/4 cups of tapioca starch I put in 1 3/4 cups potato starch. I have not put In any tapioca starch yet, but all the other ingredients are mixed in quite well. Do you have any suggestions on how I can save all that I have mixed up (besides doubling the entire recipe)? I don’t have enough of all the ingredients or big enough containers to double it. It’s my first time trying to make your gf flour and bread from your Artisan book. I had read and studied it, but somehow messed it up.i hope you can help me. Many thanks!

    1. Hi Rebecca,

      I have done the same thing, so you are in good company. Unfortunately, the ratio is going to be off if you don’t now double the rest of the flours to match the potato starch. You can try adding the appropriate amount of the rest of the ingredients and make a small batch of dough (maybe a quarter batch), to see if you like the results. My fear is that it may be a bit gummier with the increased potato, but it may be worth a try. If that isn’t to your liking, you can get more flour and fix the ratio of the mixture.

      Hope that helps! Zoë

  8. When I lived in Texas I had no problems with the recipes in your book. In fact, I loved them! Now I live in Central America and of course products that I can buy are different. I just can’t seem to get a good dough. I don’t know if it’s the flour, the yeast, or something else. The first rise just never seems to happen. I get lots of bubbles but it doesn’t really rise. I’m going to try to use it anyway but looking for ideas. The dough is VERY WET.

    1. Hi Jan,

      I bet it is the flour, is it a local brand or are you getting something imported from the states? Also, are you at high altitude? Give me a little more detail about the ingredients and your environment.

      Thanks, Zoë

  9. Hello,
    I would like add walnuts and dried cherries to your wonderful peasant loaf dough and refrigerate it. Will the dough will react in a negative way with the add ins? Thank you for your awesome book and your time!

      1. Zoe,…. Deborah and I seem to be on the same path that I have been for the last few years, to use the European Peasant Bread (New Artisan, p. 94) as a base recipe to approximate Costco’s delicious version of a Cranberry-Walnut Bread, usually available during the Holidays. I add a generous amount of dried cranberries and walnuts to the dough . I have been pleased with the proportions but find that the boule is quite a bit heavier than Costco’s, but I love the proportions of the fruit and nuts.

        My thoughts are that the the dried cranberries/cherries, while re-hydrating in the dough, absorb quite a bit of the moisture from the dough during storage (for me, that would be 1 to 2 days before baking), thus throwing off the water percentage in the recipe, thereby baking off a too-heavy loaf.

        So, one/two questions I have are whether to increase the water percentage in the base dough or should we separately toss the dried cranberries/cherries with some water or adult beverage (we can go crazy here!)… for an allotted time before mixing the rehydrated fruit into the dough?

        Sorry to go on so lengthy here. Your Peasant Bread is my absolutely favorite recipe and I have so many lovely food memories of that type of bread that my German immigrant parents served and that I grew up with, which was baked by a German baker in my small town on Long Island, NY. Kudos on you for getting it right!


      2. I think your guess about the berries absorbing water is probably correct, but beware about increasing the hydration on that one–it might be over-dense just from that. Maybe try a small batch with the re-hyrdrated-berry idea–that’d be my first experiment. We didn’t do any of this for our Pumpernickel-date-and-walnut bread (page 127), and never found it too heavy, but as always: this is a matter of taste so experiment away.

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