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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3,069 thoughts on “FAQs

  1. I’d like to use my Instant Pot to bake my bread, but since I’m not an experienced baker I need directions so I don’t mess it up. Can you help? Thank you.

    1. Hi Sharon,

      I haven’t successfully baked a loaf in the instant pot yet. As soon as I do, I will post it here on the website.

      Cheers, Zoë

  2. After refrigerating half the dough for a day, I find that the dough seems to have shrunk. When I bake the loaves from that refrigerated dough, I find that they are smaller than the first time I baked on day 1. Why would that be? Then I tried to make a batch of dough again and found that it didn’t even seem to rise as much as the first time. I used the same container as I had made the first batch, with a little dough remnants to help the rise along as your book instructs. What am I doing wrong? Thanks.

    1. Hi Val,

      What dough are you working with? It sounds like it may just be a temperature thing. The first time you baked, was the dough fresh and still warm from sitting on the counter, or had you refrigerated it?

      Try letting the dough rest a bit longer before baking it next time.

      If you added cold dough to the new batch, it may just take a bit longer for the yeast to activate, since the temperature of the batch would be a bit cooler. It is still good, just needs a bit more counter time before baking.

      In all cases, I think you just need to let the dough rest longer.

      Thanks, Zoë

  3. I have just bought the book but I live in the UK and wondered what our alternative to “All purpose flour” is? We have plain flour or self-raising flour.

  4. Thanks for your help in the past. I am trying to create breadsticks from the Rye Bread recipe, which is a favorite. Would like any advice on how best to get these to be uniform, evenly baked or any other ideas you could share. Thank you

    1. Hi Marilyn,

      Which book are you using? I can try to lead you to the spot that will help with the technique we use for breadsticks.

      Thanks, Zoë

      1. Two of our books have second editions the basic one new artisan bread, and then new healthy bread. The healthy bread book has two breadstick recipes on page 313 and 293. Unfortunately new Artisan only has a recipe for gluten-free bread sticks which I don’t think you’re going to help you very much if that’s the book you have… But it’s on page 279.

      2. I have had success using the basic rye recipe for bread and rolling it with a rolling pin,
        cutting the breadsticks with a pizza wheel cutter and adjusting the timing . If there is a way to create greater uniformity, I would appreciate any advice. Have also made these with the Light Whole Wheat recipe in your book. Thanks

  5. I live in Britain and my Canadian daughter in law gave me your book, revised edition 2013, but I find using your table of ingredients on page 53 but using your metric equivalents that my mixture is too sloppy. We do not have US all purpose flour. We have plain flour, self raising flour and what we call strong flour which is used for making bread. My daughter in law has no problem with your recipe in Canada. I am sure that you have encountered this before and I would be grateful for your advice.
    Thank you

    1. It should work well with British “strong” flour–which one are you using? If by “sloppy” you mean too wet, you can just adjust down the water…

  6. GF Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day
    I am intolerant of night-shade vegetables, one of which is potato. I read that yu don’t accept any substitution for potato starch, but could you suggest a solution? Should I just use Mixture #2 for all recipes, or is there another starch I could sub?
    Thank you!

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