FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

I’ve enjoyed answering reader questions on our blog since 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 the 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 me which book you’re working from, and which recipe and page number, and ask your question. I’ll answer, right under your question (or maybe a few below), within a day or so. Please understand that I can’t write back directly to you–there’ve been tens of thousands of questions here on the site, and I want other readers to benefit from the conversation. 

And please understand that my publisher would disown me if I put all our full-detail recipes here on the website or in the comment responses. This site is mainly a way of reaching out to readers, and supporting them as they work on recipes that appear in the published books.

If the list of FAQs below doesn’t get you the answer you need, try the Search Bar. On the Home Page, it’s right over the picture of the bread. In narrower displays, it sometimes appears right underneath the orange BreadIn5 logo. Type in the bread style, ingredient, or technique that you’re interested in, and the search engine will show you all the similar posts I’ve ever done on it, with recipes and answers to many questions.    –Jeff

  1. BreadIn5.com is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, BreadIn5 LLC earns an affiliate commission.
  2. Comments policies: I posted a comment to this site but it hasn’t appeared. What happened? Can I put up links to other sites?
  3. Contest and Giveaway Rules
  4. Convection oven: Any adjustment needed?
  5. Dense or gummy crumb: What am I doing wrong?
  6. Flour varieties: Do I need to adjust the liquids when I use different kinds of white flour?
  7. Freezing the dough: Can I do it?
  8. Fresh-ground grains: can I use them with this method?
  9. Gluten-Free Frequently Asked Questions (GF FAQs)
  10. Gray color on my dough: Is there something wrong? Is it mold?
  11. High-altitude baking: How do I adjust the recipes for high-altitude?
  12. Incorporating dried fruit, nuts, or herbs into stored dough: How do I do it?
  13. Larger loaves/multiple loaves: What adjustments are needed?
  14. Left the dough on the counter overnight! Can I still use it?
  15. The scoop-and-sweep method for measuring flour by volume: How it was done when testing these recipes
  16. 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
  17. Nutrition content: How can I calculate it?
  18. Photographs: Can I post pictures to this website?
  19. Privacy Policy
  20. Refrigerator rise trick: The formed loaves or rolls rise overnight and are ready for the oven the next day
  21. Rising: My shaped loaves don’t seem to rise much before it’s time for the oven.  What am I doing wrong?
  22. Salt: Can I decrease the amount of salt in the recipes?  How do I adjust for different kinds of salt?
  23. Sourdough starter: Can I use it with this method?
  24. Steam alternatives: How do I create a steam environment for a great crust when my oven doesn’t trap steam well?
  25. Stone broke! What did I do wrong?
  26. Storing bread: What’s the best way to do it?
  27. Traditional recipes: How can they be converted to the ABin5 method?
  28. Underbaked! My loaf didn’t bake through to the center.  What am I doing wrong?
  29. Web or other uses: Can I use your recipes on my own website, in my class, or in a publication?
  30. Weighing ingredients instead of using cup measures: How do you do it?
  31. Whole grain flours and vital wheat gluten: How do you use them?
  32. Whole grain flours and doughs without vital wheat gluten: How do those work?
  33. Yeast: Can it be decreased in the recipes?
  34. Health questions posted here over the years

Note: BreadIn5.com is reader supported. When you buy through links on the site, BreadIn5 LLC earns commissions.

3,939 thoughts to “FAQs”

  1. Is it possible to sub out some apple cider for some of the water – or all of it – in the basic recipe? I want to recreate an apple cider bread sold by a local grocery store. Thank you!

    1. Absolutely. I’ve put all kinds of acidic juices into the dough, up to half of the water. I wouldn’t try 100% or it’s going to be too acidic

  2. Have you experimented with using King Arthur’s Pizza Blend flour for your refrigerated dough method? If so, are there any adjustments, or can this blend be swapped out with one of your pizza-friendly recipes?

    Thank you!

    1. No, haven’t tried that particular flour. My guess is that it’s a relatively low protein blend compared to all purpose, so in the master recipe you’d have to slightly decrease the water. That’ll take some experimentation, maybe an eighth of a cup?

  3. I’ve scoured through the book and can find no mention of Tuscan Pane bread. Can the master recipe be adapted to make Tuscan Pane?

    1. I’m guessing you mean the Tuscan no-salt bread? If you leave out the salt from my Master recipe that may approximate it. Or do you mean some other Tuscan bread?

  4. Why are different egg washes used on different loaves? I’ve seen whole egg, egg yolk, and egg white washes.

    1. Each of those gives slightly different effects. The egg white just gives shine but doesn’t create a rich brown effect. The egg yolk is brownest, but then you have to figure out what to do with the whites! Whites! The whole egg is a middle ground. I’ve actually stopped deleting it with water as I used to because that takes away from the browning

  5. I have been baking your breads for 10 years now. Love it!
    It just occurred to me I could probably make mini boule loaves for soup/bread bowls. Duh! Do you have resting/baking times? Thanks!

  6. Have gone back to your book (bought about 17 years old). I have a little problem not answered in your FAQ. My crust is too hard. ? Can you advise. Thank you. Km

    1. Are you using steam in the oven? Also, if you’re not doing it now, cover the loaf with plastic wrap or an overturned bowl, while it’s resting. Some people have found it dries out during the resting… Leading to a hard crust. If nothing else works, paint it with a well before it goes in the oven. Or melted butter.

      1. Ok. It looks dry in container and when formed. I will add more water and cover. Your method is so easy to do. Thanks.

      2. Hmmm. I wonder if you’re having some errors in measurements or something like that, and you just need more hydration in the initial mixture

      3. My top crust comes out fine using your recipes and methods, but the bottom is on hard. Any suggestions?
        Thanks, Bill

  7. I love your gf artisan bread book and have been using your master recipe for 7 years. My question is do you have a Portuguese Sweetbread recipe or scone recipe?

    1. I haven’t seen Portuguese sweet bread, but I’m guessing it’s similar though to holla or brioche. And about scones, that’s not a yeasted product. I’m guessing you can use mixture number one with a good recipe that you find elsewhere.

  8. Hi Jeff, I’m making my first recipe of bread from The New Artisan Bread in Five Minutes A Day book. I’m using the master recipe for Brioche to make cloverleaf rolls and instead of melting 3 sticks of butter I misread and melted and incorporated 1 & 1/2 sticks of melted butter into dough. Dough looks okay but this is my first time making Brioche so what do I know. Lol. I will bake a few rolls tonight to see if they bake properly and if not, I will probably make biscuits or something. Is it possible to ìncorporate another stick and a half into dough? If so hoŵ, please?
    Thank you Julia

    1. I can’t think of a way to incorporate the butter other than melted. The whole thing back in the stand mixer, and use a little more flour to counter the extra liquid. But if the dough doesn’t look super dry, I think you can just use it as is. It won’t be as rich as brioche but it might still be good

  9. Can I substitute almond or oat milk for milk in the “100% Whole Wheat Sandwich Bread with milk and honey” recipe?

    1. It should be fine, but the hydration requirement may change, and you won’t get the tenderness that cow’s milk provides. It’ll make a good bread though.

  10. My bread has been almost gummy after being baked, what am I doing wrong. I have made your breads for years and have never had trouble.

  11. I have all of your books and have recently started using this method after watching Zoë’s class on Craftsy.

    My preference is weighing ingredients so that’s what I’ve been doing. So far, I haven’t tried more than a couple of the basic doughs, but I’m planning on branching out.

    But I’m concerned about the inconsistencies I see in the metric weights. Across recipes and books, even for the same volume of All-P flour, there are different gram weights given (presumably in the US ones as well but those aren’t as precise) in different recipes. Further, those weights differ from what the King Arthur website tells me is the correct weight for one cup.

    So I’m not sure who or what to believe. And the errata pages don’t seem to address this.

    This is not just true for flour but also salt and yeast and liquid too. When i reference baking sites and calculate they aren’t the same.

    Even if the weights were incorrect it would be fine if they were consistently incorrect. But they aren’t. Am i going to have to recalculate every dough recipe for myself? Were the recipes tested by the weights actually in the books or were they subsequently miscalculated?

    Before i make a dough with 8 eggs and a mess of butter, I would like to have a standard.

    So, in summary: there are both weight measurements that don’t match the volumetric measurements given. In some cases they are off by 100 grams, or more.

    Additionally, in different recipes, for the same volumetric measurement given of a particular ingredient, different gram weights are given.

    Even further, the recipes from the class, purportedly from the book, have slightly different ratios for the master dough. The possibility for that one might be that the class reflects the recipe from the first edition whereas the book I have is the revised/newer version.

    For everything else, especially for inconsistencies within the same book, I need some definitive guidance on how to proceed for accuracy.

    Thank you

    1. A lot to consider here, and first off, I have questions for you…
      The inconsistencies are due to interest in keeping relatively “round” numbers as the final numbers in recipes. So giving a metric weight equivalent, we generally scaled the recipes up or down so the numbers were easier to deal with. All of the recipes will work as written, assuming you are using flours like the ones we tested with (U.S. standard all-purpose and other U.S. flours). When you say “all the books,” which ones do you mean, and from which years (there are 8 in the U.S., and 6 overseas)? Which recipes do you want to start with? Once I know that, I can more carefully evaluate the inconsistencies you’re seeing. Another thing to consider–we definitely changed some of the recipes over the years these books were published (2007 to 2021), as people expressed preferences. How do you intend to measure ingredients, by volume or by weight? If by weight, will you use lbs/oz, or metric (I always recommend metric). And maybe most importantly, which recipe(s) have you already baked, and how did the bread turn out?

  12. Hi,
    Could I substitute gluten free all purpose flour bought on line to make the #1 master recipe instead of using the 4-5 different flours noted in your gluten free Artisan bread book?

    1. I haven’t had success with any commercial GF flour blend, which is how the custom blend, based on several flours– came to be. Seems that the commercial blends are optimized for cakes and cookies, not bread.

  13. The oil or butter brushed on the crust prevents the crisping and browning that steam promotes so it’s usually not worthwhile in this situation, in most ovens. If you are not getting good browning, steam might help.

  14. Hi there – I have been using the book and the Light While Wheat bread recipe for a year now and love it! I want to do baby led weaning and need a low salt bread due to babies kidneys not tolerating the salt – is it possible to make that recipe salt free or low salt? Thank you so much for your time.

    1. You sure can, but a few things will be different. Number 1, the flavor; it’ll be bland, but for a baby, this is just fine. Second, it won’t brown as well, but again, that’s probably not a big deal. And it will probably lead to less dough “strength;” the bread may be kind of flat. But it works–I’ve done it. You can go all the way to zero salt.

  15. Apparently my stove can’t heat to 450 my smoke alarm starting going off during preheat. Every time I cook that high it does that. Is it possible to cook at a lower temp?

    1. Sure! It’ll take a longer time to bake, and you won’t quite get the crisp and brown crust we’re looking for. But check your oven temp with something like this: https://amzn.to/3Zl7Ozg I bet your oven is running hot. Or, there may be something baked onto the oven wall that’s smoking at 450F, could try scraping down anything you see in there.

      1. I made sure I had the recommended equipment and I did use that exact temperature gauge in my oven. It was actually reading 25 degrees lower. I did look to see if something was burning, but I will give it a good clean and brave it again. I think something was coming off my stone. Thanks for your help troubleshooting. I ended up putting it in my smoker as a last ditch effort. It worked okay buts it’s not very easy to keep the heat constant. Thanks for your help.

  16. I love your books. The recipes are magical. However, I need to eat a low carbohydrate diet and cannot give up bread. Have you developed a keto/low carb recipe?

    1. My 100% whole grain loaves are very slightly lower in carbs, but not significantly, and certainly not at the keto level. Peter Reinhart has something like this, see https://amzn.to/3tNYxPX . Probably also not at the keto level, but I know he’s experimented with nut flours and legume flours (which I haven’t done significantly). Maybe check it out of the library first?

      1. Hi Jeff,

        I was wondering about switching out the oat flour in gf master mix 2? I am also highly allergic to oats as well as wheat.

        The book mentions swapping sorghum for oat or amaranth. Can I swap oat for either of these?
        Thank you,

      2. Unfortunately, the only switches that I can vouch for are the ones on page 61… you can try your own experiments with the swap you suggest, but I think it’s a long shot.

  17. Can any of your recipes be adapted to make Stecca? I searched the website and see no mention of it. I’ve read it is similar to focaccia but the Stecca I buy at a local market while visiting family ( Swamp Rabbit Grocery in Greenville SC) may have a few similar characteristics, like you definitely taste the olive oil and there is flaky salt on top but it’s more of a pointed end baguette that holds it shape a little better than what I imagine focaccia dough shaped like a baguette would be like. I found another no-knead bread version of Stecca online but I much prefer your method so I can have it fresh when I want it and it seems best eaten the same day. Thanks for your help!

    1. Seems to me that the olive oil dough (maybe with 2T sugar or honey), shaped as a flattened baguette and baked at 450 or even 475F… is going to create the effect you’re looking for. Final thickness after shaping 3/4-inch? 30 minute rest? (Skinny things tolerate a short rest, but you may prefer the more open crumb at 60m).


  18. Apologies for the duplication of my question but I can no longer find my original post with Jeff’s response. Can “00” flour be used in place of AP flour in the Master recipe and if so, what adjustments should I start with? I have Molino Grassi Italian 00 Organic flour (soft wheat). The protein content isn’t listed on the package and I’m not sure how to calculate it. Nutritional facts show 3g protein in 30g flour. Thanks for your help!

    1. Because of rounding error (posted numbers are to the nearest whole gram), this doesn’t mean much). My guess is that you’re going to have to decrease the water slightly–esp since it’s said to be “soft” flour. Try two tablespoons less for starters, increase as needed so it looks like my usual does in the videos.

  19. I am having so much fun trying out your recipes! I’ve realized I do NOT like 100% WW and am trying out the WWW 50/50 next. But I wondered, can I add eggs to that dough (flatbread or loaf) to increase nutrients for my children? In the New artisan book I think there’s a loaf with eggs and sugar and oil- can I also use that as a flatbread on the stovetop? Also, do you think it’s possible to change the hydration of a small (lemon size) chunk of dough overnight by adding water to the dough in a separate container, to get it into the consistency of crumpets and add baking powder?

    1. As I read your note, the answer to all the questions was “yes,” until I got to the last one, when the answer is clearly “I just don’t know!” It’s liable to work, and you’re just risking a lemon-sized piece of dough, so why not?

  20. I have a large oven and would like to bake multiple loaves simultaneously. Shoul I increase the steam by the number of loaves I wish to bake?

    1. Hmm. If you’re getting a great crust for one loaf, you won’t need to increase just because you have many loaves in the oven. Some of this depends on how well your oven seals in steam; all ovens vent it out to some extent. Gas ovens vent the most, and have the hardest time generating a great “steamed” crust. If you do increase, you probably don’t have to increase proportionally, and overdoing it might leave you with a high-moisture situation during the entire baking time, which you don’t actually want.

  21. Hi there! I’m not getting a good oven spring with my bread. 🙁 it’s delicious but it’s too flat. Am I over proofing? What makes it spring in the oven? Do I need more water? Help!

      1. If you are responding to me, just the master recipe! I’m trying it now with a shorter resting time after shaping. I was doing over 1.5 hours, not keeping an eye on the clock.

    1. Or could it be that my slashing is not deep enough? The slices are just too small, I need more height on the boule. I am doing a very generous sized dough ball

      1. I don’t think either of these are the explanation. Can you tell me what brand of flour are you using, and how are you measuring flour and water? Lower-protein flour will do this, or faulty measuring. If using volumes rather than weights, be sure you’re using my method for scooping the flour (see video at https://artisanbreadinfive.com/scoopandsweep). Finally, which recipe are you using, from which book and page number?

    1. My whole wheat recipes taste great, and they’re slightly lower in carbs than white-flour breads. But breads made from the wheat grain can’t really be described as low-carbohydrate. If you really want breads made without high-carb grains, check out Peter Reinhold’s book on Amazon at https://amzn.to/3QB6u8S

  22. I’ve been baking your basic bread recipe for a number of years. For some reason, the corn meal on the peel method is not working for me, in transferring the dough to the stone, for baking. I’ve tried additionally dusting the bottom with flour, but it still sticks. Any suggestions? Thank you!

    1. Hmmm. Either your dough is too wet, or you aren’t using enough cornmeal. How are you measuring your flour and water? For which of my recipes? If all else fails, switch to parchment paper.

  23. I have a question about the gluten-free sticky caramel rolls. Would it be possible to make them in advance the night before (step 1-5) and bake them the next morning (step 6-7)?

    1. Definitely, that should work, but let them warm up the next morning. An hour is better than 20 minutes…

  24. I use Cambro containers; for rising and storage should the lid just be placed on the container and not “secured?”

  25. Hi,
    Tried out the master recipe from your gluten free book (still waiting for it to cool enough to try it!) but it looks and smells great I did have one question though:

    When I did the initial rise, in room temperature, the dough expanded tremendously. However after refrigerating it over night, when I revisited it to bake today, the dough had shrunken considerably in size. It was a similar size to what I started with initially. Is this normal?

    1. Yes, that’s typical. With this method. You’ll find there’s decent oven spring… You’ll know in a little bit

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