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.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

3,867 thoughts on “FAQs

  1. I love your Cornell Bread recipe and baked it several times. It was a success, but I have a lot of vegan friends and they can’t try it because of milk powder used in a recipe. Can it be substituted? Can I use soy milk instead of water and omit milk powder?

    1. Yes, but you may need to decrease the water a bit; I’m not sure whether that milk powder absorbs much–but it may.

  2. I recently purchased a Emile Henry Bread Cloche….can I bake the Master recipe in there ? I tried it and the top did not brown…are there any tips for using the dough in the bread cloche….thank you

    1. Well, I haven’t tried that, and I don’t own one. No one’s written in to talk about it, you may find information on the web about baking other homemade bread doughs in an air fryer.

  3. Greetings, I have a 6 qt glass bowl. Is a beeswax cloth cover with a corner left open sufficient for refrigerator storage? My preference is to avoid plastic and silicone. Your recommendations please would be appreciated. Thank you.

    1. Hi Jeanne,

      You can use the wax cloth and don’t need to leave a corner left open. The wax cloth won’t form an airtight seal.

      Enjoy, Zoë

  4. I just found Zoë Bakes on Magnolia channel and made my first batch of dough. What about dinner rolls? Are there recipes for rolls?

  5. I tried your Rosemary Crescent Rolls in your New Artisian Bread in 5 Minutes a Day (pg 91) but used the Light Whole Wheat Bread recipe (pg 131). The Crescents had an almost burnt brown crust but was hard as a rock inside. Is the recipes in Chapter 5 only with the Master Recipe on pg 53?

    Do to a stroke last year my doctor has me on a DASH diet and I’m trying to convert to wheat but I hate the taste so I’m trying to slowly convert until it doesn’t bother me as much. The Wheat Bred recipe was so good as a “peasant” loaf that even my husband enjoyed it. Did I bake too long or was the oven to hot or a combination of factors come into play?

    1. Hi Laura,

      It sounds like you just baked it a bit too long. You can also try tenting the pan with foil to keep them from drying out as they bake.

      Thanks, Zoë

  6. I have been making whole grain breads, no all-purpose flour at all- for over 30 years. I usually just make loaf for loaf as needed. But I really to love your method though, and as it is just the two of us, the smaller loaves I can make fresh daily or even meal-for-meal is just so wonderful. So, I am just getting back into using your books and principles after 10 years away from them.

    I DO have a question though – is it possible to take a lump from this dough, and use it to start a sourdough starter style dough? I don’t want to make the actual liquid starter. The recipes say to only keep the dough 10-14 days in the fridge – is there a health reason for this? I understand the principles of the dough itself not lasting longer because of the yeast becoming what I always called “tired.”

    I am working on an experiment for my ministry that would mimic a story in scriptures. 😉 <3

    Thank you for your time, have a great day!

    1. Hi Judith,

      The dough taken from a previous batch won’t have the strength on its own to create the rise you need. You will either need to add more yeast or a sourdough starter.

      You don’t want to keep dough longer than we suggest if it has anything more than flour, yeast, salt and water, otherwise it may not be safe to eat after a time.

      Thanks, Zoë

  7. 1. About how long do you “mix” using a stand mixer? Use a dough hook? Use a paddle?
    2. Can I proof in the oven. In savannah we have such varying humidity. If I proof in the oven, is it still 2 hours?
    3. I’m using the New Artisan Bread in Five light wheat recipe on page 131

    1. Hi Pam,

      You can use either the dough hook or paddle and mix until everything is combined. The exact time will depend on your machine and which attachment you choose.

      You can proof the dough in the oven, but you don’t want the heat on, but can leave the light on to warm the environment. The humidity is generally a good thing for rising dough. If your oven has a proof setting then it will probably go faster than just leaving it at room temperature.

      Thanks, Zoë

  8. I am working from the book “The Best Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day.” My question is …. when using a 6L Cambro to mix my dough, why is it not rising up as far as I see in all your videos? Also when I pull some out to bake it feels a little more like a stiff rather than a “stretchy” wet dough. My kitchen is on the cooler side how does that effect the rise?

    1. Hi Klip,

      Are you making the master recipe? The temperature of the kitchen and water will make a difference in how fast the dough will rise. If you are starting with cooler water and the kitchen is cool, the yeast will take longer to rise. You can set the bucket in the oven with just the light on to create a warmer environment. Using warm, but not hot water will also make it go faster.

      What king of flour (brand) are you using?

      Thanks, Zoë

      1. I AM making the master recipe and weighing all ingredients and taking temp on water so it is lukewarm. I am using Gold Medal AP unbleached flour.

  9. Why is there no adjustment based on rapid rise vs typical dry active yeast? Peter Reinhart in The Bread Baker’s Apprentice makes a clear distinction and gives a formula to convert amount. You need less rapid rise vs typical dry active he says. I see where you offer conversion for cake yeast but I was a bit surprised and confused.

    1. Hi Joshua,

      Given our long storage, we have found that all the types of yeast are equally effective.

      Thanks, Zoë

  10. I have tried the Master Recipe from my book “The best Artisan bread in 5 minutes a Day,” and the rise on my dough (I weigh ALL ingredients on my scale) in a 6 Liter Cambro only rises to the 4L mark. I even leave it on the counter for a longer period of time then prescribed and I cannot get the rise on it like i see on you videos. Why would that be?

    1. The more important question is, how does the bread come out when you bake it? Are you getting a good rise? Is the finished bread dense, without hole structure? Our method always has the doe shrinking back, and it may depend on when you’re looking at it. Also, consider using a couple tablespoons more water. It sounds like your dough is a little dry.

  11. I made the dough last week and the dough was not stretchy, it completely pulled apart. I have made it a dozen times before and never had that happen. I was at our beach house and the only think I can think of is I used different flour (white lilly) or my flour had gone bad. What is your professional opinion?

    1. Hi Suzi,

      White Lily is typically a very low protein flour, used for biscuits and pastry and not recommended for yeasted bread. If this is a different product, please give me more information, but that may be the issue.

      Thanks, Zoë

  12. My portable oven only heats to 400 (tested with oven therm) yet dial reads 450. Is there any workaround? Longer time? Thanks.

    1. Right, longer bake time is your only option. That said the cross might be on the fix side, still going to be good… Another option would be to make flat breads which aren’t quite as finicky and where are you don’t expect a crisp crust

  13. I’ve been making your bread for years and love it — thank you! My go-to is your peasant bread, to which I usually add chopped rosemary. However, recently I tried your buckwheat dough from the New Healthy Bread book. Unfortunately I didn’t realize that I didn’t have enough WW flour, so I used about half the specified amount of it, and substituted the remaining weight with some rye flour but mostly with additional All Purpose. The dough came out very loose and wet, almost like a batter, so I scooped in a bit more AP. It rose well but the next day, the dough was way too spready — very hard to get off my peel and into the oven and a huge mess! It came out kind of like a foccaccia — not a total waste with a nice crust, but I’m not doing that again! Does the WW flour really soak up that much more water per gram? And how would you recommend that I use the the remaining dough? I don’t want to throw it away!

    1. First off just mix in some additional flour until it looks about like what you expect, and then let it sit on the counter for a couple of hours before refrigerating. That should correct the moisture. And yes, whole wheat really does absorb much more water than on purpose…

  14. Can I substitute equal portions of Tipo 00 flour in the master pizza or olive dough recipes in place of all Purpose flour? or do I need to reduce the liquid?

    1. Depending on the brand of flour you’re using, you probably will, is these are sometimes lower in protein. Use enough water to match the consistency of my usual dough that you work with.

  15. We love the bread. However, it doesn’t seem to toast well. Using regular settings for our toaster, the bread becomes warm, but is not toast. If we leave it in the toaster long enough to toast the bread (much longer than store bread), the crust starts to burn.

  16. I just bought your book and saw the images of the chess board colored pull apart rolls. The recipe doesn’t include the brown rolls. What do you add?

    1. You need a second, dark-colored dough. Suggestions from the book: pages 123, 133 (“variation-more whole wheat), or 134. Then build the alternating checkerboard.

  17. Crust is too crunchy, I have to work real hard with serrated knife in order to slice it. I’ve used both cast iron and stoneware. Any help will be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

  18. Thanks for responding, the recipe is the Gluten-free master recipe. I did not use the recipe with egg white. Thank you again.

    1. Oven may be running cool (or hot), so check with something like this: http://ow.ly/8CVPU If it’s too cool, the baking time becomes prolonged in order to achieve browning, then the crust gets dried out and hard. If too hot, something similar happens, but with scorching. If that’s not it, you can soften the crust by brushing with oil or melted butter before baking. And even repeat when it comes out of the oven.

  19. Hello! I have King Arthur 00 flour that I’d like to use up. How much extra water would you recommend I add to the master formula?

    1. It’s the opposite, you need to decrease the water. Try 2.5 cups, adjusting is needed. Let me know how that works out

  20. My Parchment paper says it is only good to 425 degrees. You want your bread baked at 450. Since I have a convection over I choose the 425. The bread was good but what should I do about the paper? Go to 450 or stop at 425?
    My dough was very wet. I used a new digital scale with tare weight for the flour. Should I add flour because it is too sticky to form after 3 hours of resting? For the rest of the dough should I mix in more flour?

    1. I like your solution with your particular paper, 425 with convection should be good. If the dough was too sticky to work with given the directions in my recipes, you could add in a little more flour, but let it rest a few hours before using. Much of this depends on which of my recipes, from which of my books are you using?

    1. Only thing you can do is to use a bit of old dough in the new batch. if you have one of the books, I can direct you to where to look

    1. In my books, I have people making enough for four pounds, then storing the dough to use over time–that makes four loaves. To make one, decrease the ingredients- Divide by four. Or two, if you want a very large loaf.

  21. how would I adjust the amount of white flour and water in the master recipe if I wanted to use sourdough starter? Thanks for the help

  22. Can I use the folding process with your dough? Can I use the “dutch oven” technique? Easier than slipping the dough into the peel and adding steam, Your book was my gateway to bread baking; I have them all and still use them but have strayed into other techniques as well. I’m getting big beautiful boules with those other techniques but disappointing crumb so I want to use your technique but add the slap and fold, AND baking in a closed contained. I’m not intimidated by wet dough — thanks to you. I still do your basic bread every week. Do you notify by email when you post an answer?

    1. Glad you’ve enjoyed the books! You can use the fold technique, and to see about how to use the Dutch oven, just type Dutch oven into the search bar.

  23. First of all I want to thank you for all of your fabulous recipes they are fantastic and I use them frequently. My question is I’ve been experimenting with the Tangzhong. However I’ve only been using it with established recipes I have been really impressed with the use of this idea and have been very happy with the results. It has been recommended not to use this product with crusty Breads. However a few of the recipes I have found include brioche and soft rolls and I was wondering if you have tried it with any of your recipes. Thank you

  24. Jeff, it’s been a long time since I’ve received regular emails from the Q&A. I’ve garnered so many tips from that feature and it’s nice to keep tabs on what folks are baking. I couldn’t find a link to sign up for these mailings.

    1. Hmm, looks like it’s only possible from a desktop (computer-based) version of the website, not from the smartphone version. On the right-hand side, click on “Subscribe” under “BreadIn5.com Newsletter.” That should do it, but keep in mind that I don’t send out a lot of these lately.

  25. My Challahs are not rising as much as I would expect. I make 4 loaves, I tried different yeast, check proofing times, and added more flour. Any suggestions?

    1. Hmm. I have a lot of different challah recipes, which recipe are you using, from which of my books, and what page number?

  26. Hi

    My daughter is deadly nightshade free – can I substitute anything for the potato starch please? I bought your lovely artisan bread book 🙂 its fabulous but I can only use one of the basic recipes right now ! – Thank you
    Kay – Christchurch, NZ

    1. The tested substitutions which actually worked well are all on page 61 of “Gluten-Free Bread in Five Minutes a Day.” So not a lot of help. The only thing I could suggest is that you have to start from scratch… The options are to try proportionally increasing the other flours in the recipe, or try one of the flours on page 62.

  27. Hey there! I’ve just begun my “Healthy Bread in 5” journey and am wondering if you guys have any experience using Einkorn flour (whole grain and/or all purpose) with it? Specifically the master recipe that uses Levain. Any changes or tips that I need to know to use it with the master and other recipes? Thanks so much!

    1. Well… this is going to take some experimentation on your part, because I didn’t test with Einkorn. I have to guess it behaves like a low-gluten whole-grain flour, which means it might come out a bit dense in my method. Much more on whole grains in this book: https://artisanbreadinfive.com/healthy, which has the levain recipe, which you can also find in this book as well: https://artisanbreadinfive.com/BestOfArtisanBread. Or here on the website at http://www.artisanbreadinfive.com/2009/11/30/sourdough-starter-in-our-recipes https://artisanbreadinfive.com/2020/04/20/easy-sourdough-starter-with-new-troubleshooting-tips/

  28. I see that you posted a link for a nutrition calculator, but it’s just a general calculator for food. Can you post the breakdown of each bread for those who are calculating macros?

    1. Unfortunately, I’m not set up for that at the moment. To do a large number of the recipes from the books which are available here on the website—would be enormously time consuming. Search around on the web. There are probably better recipe nutrition calculators then the one I posted.

    1. First question, is there nice whole structure even though it doesn’t seem to “rise”? Or is it a dense brick. My guess is that it’s just spreading sideways, and if that’s the case, there are ways of dealing with that, but first things first

  29. Can you substitute white whole wheat flour for regular whole wheat flour?
    Any adjustments required?

    1. Sure can, and no adjustments are needed. But you can’t swap it for white all-purpose flour without adding more water.

  30. Hello, do you have any suggestions with using sourdough started in place of the yeast? If so, how much starter and water would you us in your recipe?

  31. Hi there,
    Love your book!
    I’ve been making my own bread with 3 cups of Whole Wheat Flour, 1 cup of Wheat Bran, 1/4 cup of ground flax, 1/4 cup of Wheat Germ, 1 tsp. salt, 2 cups warm water.
    Mix the dry ingred.
    Add the water.
    Knead for a few seconds till it comes together and if too dry add a couple of tablespoons.
    Oil the top and the bowl so the dough doesn’t stick.
    Cover and proof in over for 1 hour.
    PAM a loaf pan.
    Drop the dough into the pan.
    Let rise a second time for 1 hour (or two if I forget)
    Bake at 390 for 1 hour.
    I get a nice dense loaf that’s delicious and amazing when toasted and lots of fibre (which I need).
    I noticed you use vital wheat gluten – WHY and am I doing something unhealthy not using it.

    1. VWG is definitely optional and it appears in some of my recipes because some readers prefer their whole-grain loaves to have a little more airiness. It does require more hydration if you use it. Nothing to do with health!

  32. Absolutely love making this recipe, however, I made small rolls and they are beautiful… except as they cooled they were no longer crusty! What did I do wrong?

    (I used the hot water in the pan while baking)

      1. It’s from the Zoe Bakes season 1 – easy breads episode. I looked it up online. “The New Artisan Bread in Five Madter recipe” back to basics-uodated

      2. Didn’t use a stone? Very humid environment? Measured in correctly? (If it’s too wet, it won’t crisp). Using a very low protein flour? Something like White Lily? Didn’t bank long enough? Wasn’t brown enough?

  33. Hi, I have made your master recipe dozens of times, and it never yields 4 even loaves. I have weighed them
    … I get 3 1-lb pieces and 1 10-oz loaf fairly consistently. I use Gold Medal All-Purpose Flour and a 1-cup and 1/2 cup measuring cups. 6oz short just seems a huge variation. What am I doing wrong?

    1. You are correct and not doing anything wrong–most of my recipes make four loaves of approximate weight 1 pound (probably should have said “approximate” in the books and here on the website). Really, it’s more like 0.9 pounds–pretty much exactly what you’re getting. The typical recipe in the books will weigh in at 3.6 pounds, not 4.0. You can scale up the quantities to yield any amount you like.

  34. Hello, love your book and have made a few recipes. They are great but I need to go low carb so I’m wondering if you have any suggestions on proportions of using almond flour, coconut flour, arrowroot flour etc. I did see the gluten free master recipe so I’m wondering if that’s the recipe to try to modify. Please advise

    1. As you’ve noticed, most of my stuff is based on wheat and rye flowers, and it’s definitely not a low carbohydrate food. I wasn’t crazy about the results with my method, using store dough, when I used bean or other non-grain flowers. There’s a great book by Peter Reinhart, specifically on what you’re looking for, just Google him

  35. I am going to bake ciabatta “rolls” tomorrow in a new ciabatta roll pan there are 8 slots. I always use 1/2 the basic recipe for this bread as a loaf.do you think making 8 small rolls with 1/2 recipe is the right amount and should I adjust the baking time?

    1. Doing the math, that gives you rolls that will be about 3.6 oz each, pretty much perfect. But all of this depends on exactly how this roll pan is configured, so I can’t say for sure

  36. Hi!
    I’ve been making the Brioche bread and, after letting it cool I cut it. When I cut it, it’s really crumbly and the bread will fall apart. I tried cutting it thicker and made French toast and it fell apart.
    Any suggestions?

    1. You sure can, I do it all the time, and should have mentioned that. I bet I’m talking about the same thing. You are, the stainless steel bowl that comes with the KitchenAid and it’s plastic lid.

  37. I’m using Gluten-Free Artisan Bread cookbook, page 71. I would rather not buy a cooking stone and a peeler. I have a 12” and an 10” iron skillet I want to use. I’m not sure of efficient way to remove parchment paper mid way during cooking process without loosing so much steam.
    I have a Bosch steam oven which is convection. Can that be used and how?
    It will feel so wonderful once I get this right and I can eat good bread again. Not fun having to eat GF. So glad for this cookbook!

    1. It’s not such a big deal about losing the steam, because you only need it at the beginning of the baking time. You can either do it the old fashioned way, or use your new ovens steam function. I have recently gotten the Miele steam oven, and I’m pretty pleased with the results. You have to experiment though, every one of these is different, and try their various modes and see which gives you the best crust result

      1. Which mode seems to work for you? I wasn’t sure if the oven would produce too much steam.
        Thank you.

      2. I have the Miele range that has the electric induction stovetop; no idea if these are applicable to yours. I’ve tried “Automatic,” with decent results, and also “Manual,” with three bursts of steam at the start, at four minutes, and at eight minutes (approximately). Not sure if I can tell the difference. Neither produced too much steam; if anything, I’d have liked a little more. I don’t know what the system delivers when you choose “Automatic.”

  38. Hi, I’m using the New artisan bread book and have made the master recipe a couple of times now. I saw that I’m supposed to be able to use the master bread recipe to make ciabatta and baguette, both of which I have tried and failed in the past. How can a boule dough recipe reproduce the taste and texture of a ciabatta when the water to flour ratios are so much higher in those recipes? Scientifically speaking, if the only real difference is changing the size and the shape of the dough, how could it possibly have any other flavor or texture than the original boule? I’ve been searching for a quality ciabatta recipe that I can replicate at home for years now. I would be so excited if this is true, but I just can’t understand how it’s possible.

    1. If you want great authenticity in the ciabatta, just increase the water to about a 80% hydration ratio (my standard recipe in Chapter 5 of that book is 75%, which is clearer when you look at the grams version of the recipe in the chart–750 gms of water, 1,000 gms of AP flour). Just use 800 gms of water. About the baguette, I don’t agree about the hydration. Traditional baguette is less hydrated than 75% with AP flour— more like 70. If you increase the hydration on the baguette, it won’t hold the baguette shape.

  39. Hello. Wanting to know why I am getting odd shaped loaves. I live in Canada so I did add the extra 1/4 c water. Baking at 450 as in recipe. I slash tops but it looks like too much oven spring? Not sure but the loaves look pretty before going in the oven then puff way up during baking.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.