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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2,967 thoughts on “FAQs

  1. Dear Jeff,
    I got your pizza book from Kobo 🙂 Yes it is fantastic to have it. Thank you.
    I have a question in general: can you specify halfing or doubling recipe formula?
    best wishes
    Tarkan Bulan

      1. Glad I found this post ! I am rising my very first batch of dough from your book and am very excited to bake tomorrow !! I was wondering about the lid being tight or not on the initial rise. Was intimidated by bread making but you have made it seem so easy ! Thanks !

      2. crack it during initial rise (first couple days; after that can close more tightly but don’t screw down a lid on a threaded vessel).

  2. I made the Soft Wheat Sandwich bread from HB5 and it tastes wonderful! I was concerned that it seems a little dense. I know you said your breads don’t rise like “traditional” kneaded breads, but this one still seemed a little denser than I expected. Could I have done something wrong, or is it supposed to be that way? BTW, the brioche bunnies are the cutest thing I have ever seen!!

  3. I bought instant dry yeast at Sams club as it’s cheaper. Does this work with your recipes or do I need to make any changes?

  4. Hi! Any tips on preventing my plastic from sticking to the dough while it rises for 90 minutes? I can peel it off very very slowly, but I worry this is negatively impacting the gluten cloak and the final shape of the loaves. Not covering them creates a strange crust. Thanks!

  5. I have both the bread book and pizza..just got them so maybe the answer to my question is there but I don’t see it yet. I see the master recipe is slightly different..can I make bread with the pizza master dough and vice visa?

    1. Hi Sharon,

      Yes, you can use the Master Pizza recipe to make a loaf, its just a matter of the technique. Some of the other doughs in the pizza book will not make great bread loaves, because they are formulated to be flat and aren’t required to hold up as a tall loaf.

      Thanks, Zoë

      1. Thanks! So I assume I can make pizza from the bread master recipe if its the only dough I have.

      2. Hi Sharon,

        Yes, it makes great pizza and you can just use the techniques from the pizza book!

        Cheers, Zoë

  6. Sorry for another question so soon…pizza in the oven …it is puffed up on the right side..(like a bubble but is doughy dough)…it is very done…so not that.

    Would love a troubleshooting section on this site or book.


    1. Hi Sharon,

      This is usually because the dough isn’t rolled out thin enough. Have you had a chance to read the tips and techniques section of the pizza book? There are some good pointers for getting the kind of crust you desire. Letting the dough rest for a bit after forming the ball will help you roll it thinner.

      Cheers, Zoë

      1. Thanks..what I figured..both myself and my four-year-old granddaughter loved it anyway..and she helped,

      2. Hi Sharon,

        That is fantastic, my kids love making pizza. It is the best way to get them hooked on cooking.

        Cheers, Zoë

  7. There is a lot of talk about people making brick ovens for the back yard. Can we make your bread this way? Would we bake it right on the bricks? I really don’t know much about the brick ovens, but I would like to consider this project if it works with your recipe. I wouldn’t want to build a brick oven but then not be able to bake your AB5 method. Thanks!

    1. Hi P.

      Yes, our dough works great in a wood-fired brick oven. You can bake breads and pizzas in them, both work great.

      Cheers, Zoë

  8. thank you for your quick response. my bread is delicious! my only comment is that it seems to have a ‘wet’ feel although it is done and no gummy matter to it. i must say that i have found that in artisan breads that i have purchased in the bakery. what is the cause of that and what can i do to rid the bread of that. i have never encountered that with regular yeast breads that i have made. this is totally a new experience for me. i am now starting a new batch today. i would like to substitute flax meal for some of the whole wheat flour. do i need to make an adjustment other than reducing the ww or the white flour? thanks again, mumsy

    1. Hi Mumsy,

      You may just need to bake the loaf a little longer and make sure it is cool before you cut into it to dry out the interior a bit. Having said this, our bread will have a slight “custard” quality to the crumb, which is quite normal, and for some, desirable. If you want a drier interior texture, you may want to try the Challah or other enriched dough.

      You can add a few tablespoons of ground flax without changing the recipe. Don’t reduce the flour or the dough will be way too sticky.

      Thanks, Zoë

  9. Hi Zoe and Jeff,

    Recently my husband I have started to make croutons when we have leftover bread. Since we make your Artisan bread several times a week, when we have leftovers, we cut it into croutons and season it, trying different spices and tasting the outcome. We have cooked the croutons in the oven and on top of stove. We will not be buying any more croutons from the store. They are delicious on salads, and to snack on to.

      1. Hi Zoe,

        I just looked up some of the salads past your suggestion, and could not believe I had not seen the one for Fattoush, I am first generation Lebanese, and have the spice za’atar in my cabinet. Will be making it this week-end.
        Thank you many times over for all your help and ideas. They are greatly appreciated.

  10. Just got your book. I made the (first) master recipe and followed the instructions to the letter. My loaf turned out bland and the crust was tough and not crisp. The interior was fine with the exception of the bland taste. Do you have any suggestions?

    I have been successfully baking bread for quite some time. I am searching for a fast way to have fresh baked bread on a daily basis without having to go through a two day process.

    1. Hi Everett,

      For the taste, we find that letting the dough ferment for 24 to 48 hours improves the flavor. Just let the bucket of dough sit for a couple of days and then bake the bread, you may prefer the taste. You may also enjoy the flavor of the Peasant loaf more, which has a touch of whole wheat and rye flour.

      The tough crust may be an issue of your stone not being quite hot enough when the loaf goes into the oven, or your oven is leaking away the steam. Is the crust shiny? Try preheating the stone for a longer time, be sure to use an oven thermometer. If you are baking in a Viking or Wolf oven, you may consider using a Dutch Oven: http://artisanbreadinfive.com/2009/03/11/baking-bread-in-a-dutch-oven since those ovens leak steam.

      Thanks, Zoë

  11. Zoë,
    Thanks for the fast response. I will be trying your suggestions. I really want to be successful with this method.


  12. I started making homemade bread again a few months ago, I found your books a few weeks later and am ecstatic that everything WORKS. I was having a lot of trouble with other recipes.

    My problem now is, since I started baking our own bread, my husband has been diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes. We tried the whole wheat bread, which turned out lovely, but it causes his blood sugar to really spike. I want to try multigrain, but the only available recipe in your book is the English Granary bread, and that still has a lot of white flour in it. I intend to make my own flour with corn, barley, rye, flax and whatever else I have in the house, but how do I ensure that it will work out like your other breads? I had considered just substituting whatever I make for the whole wheat flour and following that recipe, but do you have a recipe in any of your other books or any other suggestions? Do I need to change any other parts of the recipe to make it come out ok? I’m not sure what leaving out wheat entirely will do to the bread chemistry.

    Thank you for your help!

    1. Hi Anna,

      If you eliminate all wheat flour, your loaf won’t have enough structure without adding some vital wheat gluten. It is an additive we add to the breads in our Healthy Bread Book. Here is a post you can take a look at: http://artisanbreadinfive.com/2009/10/26/our-new-book-healthy-bread-in-five-minutes-a-day-is-released-tomorrow-get-yourself-some-vital-wheat-gluten-and-make-our-whole-grain-master-recipe

      Hope this helps, but it will take some experimenting.

      Thanks, Zoë

  13. I have read your recommendation to use old dough for flatbread, but I am wondering if old dough (past 14days) would still also work as a “kickstarter” for the next batch? Thank you. Thanks for all the tech support : )

  14. Hi!

    I am so excited because I have just baked my first loaf of bread using the boule recipe from Artisan Bread in 5. We are traveling 3 hours away on Friday and I want fresh rolls for Saturday’s dinner. Do you advise that 1) I bring the dough in a smaller dish (like a covered non-airtight corningware) and put in a cooler or 2) go ahead a make the bread on Friday (eat day old bread saturday). These are rolls that are going to be used for grilled chicken sandwiches.


    1. I always prefer fresh-baked, storing the dough for travel rather than the bread. It’ll just be fresher, but plan B will be more convenient once you arrive!

      1. thanks so much! any tricks to storing it for travel? we have a soft cooler that I can prepare so that its not “air tight”…aside from ice & the non-airtight container I cant think of much more.

        can’t wait!

  15. Just got the book and made my first loaf. It turned out great but it noticed that a dry crust is forming on top of the dough I have stored in the fridge. It’s only been in the fridge for one day. I have it in a large bowl with a lid but not air tight. Is there a way to prevent this or is it something I don’t need to be concerned about?

    1. not a problem– you can keep it in smaller containers as you use it up if this is a problem. Just fold the discolored layer into the loaf.

  16. Anyone have a recommendation for a bread we could slice and use as buns for burgers? (As opposed to making buns?)

  17. I fresh mill my flour (spelt, kamut, etc). How would I adjust the BASIC BREAD RECIPE for these? (The basic recipe calls for 6.5 cups white flour and 1.5 Tbl yeast. Thanks!

    1. Fresh milled flour has different (and unpredictable) levels of moisture compared with commercial flour, so you need to adjust the water level, but it’s impossible to predict how much. See my post on this at http://artisanbreadinfive.com/2009/11/11/using-fresh-ground-whole-wheat-flour-and-some-highlights-from-our-book-tour In that case, I didn’t need an adjustment from our whole grain recipes (though importantly, you are quoting our all-white recipe). Our 2nd book is full of whole grain recipes (http://bit.ly/3wYSSN ), most call for the addition of vital wheat gluten for lightness. Our first book http://bit.ly/cNtfJI has more white recipes but some whole grain as well (no vital wheat gluten). Other samples of recipes from our books:


  18. Can you refrigerate the dough before the initial rise? Better tondo thatvornleave out all night if making before bed?

    1. It’s OK to do that, but it’ll take a long time to warm up and rise next day. No harm, but I wouldn’t do this with egg-based dough.

  19. I am making sticky buns for Mother’s Day. Can I par bake them today and if so how? What do I need to do today versus tomorrow? Thank you.


  20. Hello there,
    First all, great thanks for this wonderful Artisan bread in 5 recipe. After returning to Asia from Europe, I do miss the European bread in a great deal. Honestly, this is truly life-saving. Secondly, we’ve encounter a few technical difficulties and I hope you could shed us some light. We still having problem of getting the bread skin crispy after baking it, and the alcoholic smell in the middle of the bread immediately after baking annoys me a bit. I’d appreciate your tips. Thanks in advance.

    1. Crust: try a longer preheat, maybe 45 minutes, and check your oven temp w/something like http://ow.ly/8CVPU

      Don’t eat the bread when warm, texture and aroma improve when cool and for most people, at that point the alcohol smell can’t be perceieved. Vent your container better to let the gasses escape.

  21. I have not bought the Pizza book yet, but have the other two. Do you recommend pre-baking the crust for a few minutes before applying the toppings?

    1. It’s not essential but some people prefer it that way, espec if you don’t have a stone or your oven doesn’t get that hot. Prick it with a fork and go five minutes.

      1. Jeff, how would the “pre-bake” effect the crust? I use a stone at 550 degrees but I would like to get more of a char. Thanks

  22. 1. On page 76 ,100 % whole wheat sandwich braea,in artisan bread in 5 mi.,Could I add vital wheat gluten and less yeast?

    2.Same book on page 78, whole wheat bread inspired by chris Kimball. Can I omit the wheat germ and /or the rye flour? If so, how do I adjust the recipe?

  23. Hi Jeff and Zoe, thanks for a wonderful book series! I love the bread I’ve been able to make thanks to you.

    Question about gluten-free: can one substitute an all-purpose gluten-free blend (e.g., King Arthur) in place of the brown rice flour, white rice flour, and tapioca starch? Also, can one use masa harina in place of the corn meal?

    1. Daniel: We’re working on that, but if I can generalize from another product (which I can’t name)— then the answer is “probably.” May take some adjustment of the liquid amounts as different flour choices mean different water requirements. The masa should be no problem, though I haven’t tried that swap in GF yet.

  24. Hi! Looking at your two versions of Garlic potato bread in each of your books. I realize there are other differences, but one that stands out is the first book uses cooked/mashed (skin on) potato. The second appears to use raw 1/4 inch diced skin on. Assuming the smaller dice allows the potato to cook during the time it is in the oven? I have scrubbed the potato, but is there any concern about growth of anything from the raw potato in the flour/water/yeast mix sitting on the counter and in the fridge for 3-4 days? This one just seemed to puzzle me. Thanks in advance.

    1. Correct, a large dice might leave you w/hard pieces of potato in the bread. You can test with a larger dice, please let us know result. I’m not concerned about the potato sitting; remember it’s under refrigeration anyway, and then going into a sterilizing hot oven anyway.

    1. Just use thishttp://artisanbreadinfive.com/2009/01/16/homemade-soft-pretzels … but shape them as rolls. Details in http://bit.ly/cNtfJI We’re also working on a “stronger” water bath for a future book.

  25. I just bought Healthy Bread In Five and tried making the Crusty GF Boule. Despite careful measuring I landed up with batter. I know something must be wrong. Of course Its in the fridge… and its massive. I tried adding in more flour (a little of each and some more starch in an effort to keep it balanced) but no joy. I stiffened it but there is no way you could ‘use wet hands’. You can pour it however it is thick! What on earth happened? my edition lists four eggs and 2 2/3 warm water?

    1. Alexis– just add flour till it’s workable. What brands of flour did you use? Unfortunately, the various flours are not yet standardized and different brands produce different results. Did you use xanthan gum?

      1. Bobs Red Mill flours…. Can I work more flour into it in the pan even now? I baked half in a loaf tin as a batter bread, ran the oven high, watched it and turned it down to stop the crust burning…. It’s toastable. not great but a decent edible salvage. I did not use xanthan because I can’t tolerate it… I expected it to be slack but this was pretty close to pancake batter. Tasty even messed up. I’ll weigh it all out and try again 🙂

      2. It’ll be a lot easier if you work it into the dough before it hits the pan. Yes, weighing will give more consistent results.

  26. Am enjoying your book alot. How do I go about making the slashes on the bread when it is sticky or damp? thanks

      1. Hi Jeff. On the same topic of slashing: what about if I’ve brushed the loaf with water and topped it with seeds already?

  27. Hi! I have two questions regarding naan bread (and check both in FAQs and in the book first) – to pre-bake the books says to prick the dough for pizza – but I’m guessing you don’t need to do that for the naan? And, this is the 1st time I made the naan dough and it was INCREDIBLY sticky – I had cut the recipe in half….could this have caused the stickiness or is that normal? I ended up using a lot of flour to be able to work the dough. Thanks!

    1. Oops – never mind regarding the pre-baking….I just reread the instructions for baking the naan and see that you DO prick the dough….for some reason I was thinking you didn’t…I know – read the instructions. Sorry. But about the stickiness? Thanks!

  28. Hello –

    I’ve enjoyed making bread from your recipes for almost a year. It’s been great and we’ve stopped buying baguettes almost entirely.
    Recently my lives have begun to split on the underside, causing trouble when slicing. I can’t figure out what’s causing the bread to split like this.

    Any suggestions????


    1. Which recipe/which book/page number? Probably under-resting, try a longer rest? Or deeper slashes. Real question is why suddenly starts now.

  29. Yes, why suddenly now? I’ve been using the master recipe and generally let it rest for an hour, although it varies. But always more than 40 minutes…

  30. I am a bit confused with measuring cups.
    I have two sets of these: metric European, where cup is 250ml (4,23 fl oz) and the other I think is British, because on the cup it says 236ml, which is 4 fl oz.
    What is the capacity of the standard cup you use?

  31. Eitan on May 24, 2013 at 12:16 pm said:
    Hi Jeff. On the same topic of slashing: what about if I’ve brushed the loaf with water and topped it with seeds already? What’s the best way to prevent stickiness during slashing at that point ? Thanks!

    1. Nothing to do– it generally doesn’t stick in that situation. You can’t now dust. Serrated bread knife works best, cut perpendicular to the loaf surface.

  32. Ref: Healthy Bread in Five – pg. 23 Caramel Color. I just made this (KA was sold out online anyway) and it seems to be perfect! Easy (although tested the limits of my attention span watching it closely to avoid burning!) For my mom, I am going to make pumpernickel p. 115, which calls for it. Since I normally bake gluten free, I am wondering if the caramel color would be appropriate to add a couple T to your “Almost Rye” (teff) recipe…? Btw, your gluten free bread recipes are a Godsend. Thank you!!!

    1. Glad the GF work for you. There should be no problem with adding some of the caramel liquid to the GF recipe; just decrease the water by that amount. That said, we haven’t tried this, but I can’t see why it wouldn’t work.

  33. I’ve been working with the Master recipes from both books, and making baguettes. My whole wheat baguettes seem to stick to the baguette pan! Is greasing this pan the best way to go? Is this normal? Thanks!

  34. Using Healthy breads (2009)and finally trying Vollkornbrot. I am a little mystified by the use of the stone with dough that is in a loaf pan. Perhaps you have responded many times before, but I would like to know the rationale for this.

    1. Hi Martha,

      You don’t have to use a stone when baking in a loaf pan, but the stone always helps to conduct and retain heat in the oven, so it helps baking in or out of a pan.

      Thanks, Zoë

  35. Makes sense to me and is what I suspected. Thanks for being in touch, and for giving me and a lot of other people confidence about making bread.

  36. I need to make bread gluten free, but soy is worse for me than gluten! Some recipes have soy flour as an ingredient: what would be the best substitution for soy flour in recipes that call for it?

    1. Hi Janet,

      We added soy to the doughs to add a bit of protein to the bread. You can substitute another bean flour (garbanzo) if you’d like to maintain some protein.

      Thanks, Zoë

  37. I followed the instructions in your website and the bread turned excellent. The only issue I had was that the crust was very hard. What adjustments should I make such that my breads turn out with soft crusts?

  38. Question on the use of the olive oil. Do you add it after heating the water or put the oil in before heating. I have your book and used it for sometime. Have to get back to the baking as I don’t want High Fructose Sugar in my food. Thanks

  39. I have my first loaf of whole-wheat bread rising on the counter, and I noticed when I took the grapefruit-sized mass of dough out of the container that it wasn’t very stretchy. In fact, it came away from the rest of the dough easily so I didn’t even need to use a serrated knife or shears as suggested in the recipe.
    Should I be worried about this? I prepared the batch of Healthy Bread Master Recipe dough about three days ago and I’ve been storing it in a large glass bowl, covered with plastic wrap, in my fridge.

    1. Hi Sara,

      This can be caused by a dough that is slightly too dry, or too cold. If your refrigerator tends to run cold, the dough will seem a little brittle when you pull it from the bucket.

      Let us know how it bakes up. Thanks, Zoë

      1. Wow, thanks for the quick reply! It baked up pretty well, just didn’t “spring up” as much as I thought it would.

      2. Hi Sara,

        Because your dough may be a touch cold or dry, I’d try letting it rest for an additional 15 minutes and see if you get more spring.

        Thanks, Zoë

      3. I will try that–thank you! I was going to bake another loaf tonight since we’ve already eaten the one I made yesterday. It was on the small side, so that makes it okay, right? 🙂

  40. Question about using clarified butter in Soft American-style white bread. I buy in bulk so instead of buying regular butter I purchase canned clarified butter can I use this and how do I measure it? Thanks

    1. Hi Edna,

      Because most of our recipes will work with either butter or oil, you can just use the same amount of clarified butter as you would regular butter in that recipe.

      Thanks, Zoë

  41. Hello,
    I have been making Bread in 5 a number of times now, reusing the same container without washing it to get a nice flavor as suggested.
    The last batch of dough came out funny. A lot of water separates on top, is a little brown in color and has little bubbles. All the ingredients I use have always been the same.
    I still baked a first loaf which came out ok.
    Do you think it went bad though? it smells a little.

    Thank you for giving me the power of bread at home!

    1. Hi Manou,

      Did your dough sit for a couple of days before you baked it? It just sounds like the dough has been fermenting, which is normal and typical for a dough that is untouched for a couple of days. One way to minimize the alcohol smell is to poke a small hole in the lid of your bucket, or just leave it open a tiny bit, to allow the gas from the yeast to escape.


      Thanks, Zoë

  42. Made my first loaf using Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day. I used slightly more than a pound (18 ounces). There was not much rise, perhaps just a bit. When cooked, the loaf increased in size and measured 7 inches long by 5 inches wide by slightly over 3 inches high. Would this be a typical size for one of these loaves? Seems smaller than some other bread recipes that i have tried. I presume i could double the amount of dough to make a larger loaf?

  43. Hi 🙂

    I have a few questions from baking several times now with “Healthy Bread in 5”. Recently I made caramel color per your instructions and made a full batch of pumpernickel for my mom. Raised two hours and then rested the dough covered in the fridge (not airtight) for four days as I like full development of flavor (almost like sourdough?).
    Removed the dough and formed a freeform loaf with half the dough to allow to rise (on KA parchment and KA peel) for 90+ min. Baked on a preheated KA stone, with lava rocks in a broiler pan on lower rack – into which I poured a cup of water for steam and quickly closed the door. After a half hour or more, I use a probe thermometer to test for doneness (about 200F interior temp). The flavor was wonderful, but the crust was EXTREMELY difficult to cut and to chew. I saw your link re making larger loaves and wonder if I ended up with a tight skin on the loaf before baking?? I did not get a lot of oven spring either.
    (copy: “For the larger loaf we have to let it rest longer, so we don’t want it to form a tight skin or it won’t rise as well.”

    I also read in your book that you recommended a brotform as your doughs are very soft. I can see why this is recommended so I now have a brotform (found online and rec’d yesterday). So I am anxious to try the brotform next time! (It is 8 1/2″ so I will try using half the full recipe of dough?) I like larger loaves anyway…

    Final question: I most often make gluten free bread and love your “Almost Rye/Teff” bread. It’s amazing – betcha I’ve made it ten times so far. I am looking at the brotform and wondering if there is any way it would work with the gooey mass of GF dough ???? Lots of flour, of course. Any chance? I have been baking them freeform, same method described above for pumpernickel. I let it rise on KA parchment on a KA peel and slide it into the oven easily.

    Thanks as always!~!
    Lynnea in central WA

    1. Hi Lynnea,

      G-F dough in a Brotform works well, if you flour it like crazy, so the sticky dough doesn’t glue itself to the basket. I’ve done it with success. So glad you like the Almost Rye, it is one of my favorites and I rarely hear of people making it!

      The loaf with the tough crust:

      Did you cover it with plastic wrap as it rested on the counter?

      Are you using an oven thermometer to make sure your oven is true to temp?

      How thick is the KA stone and how long did you let it preheat?

      Thanks, Zoë

  44. Hi Zoë,

    I can’t recall if I may have covered the loaf during rising with a light linen towel (like Grandma always did). I do always cover my dough crock tightly with plastic wrap but then poke several holes in the plastic with an ice pick for the two hour rise and then four days rest in the fridge. I’ll try plastic over the rising formed loaf next time 🙁

    Yes, oven temp is accurate…

    KA stone is 1/2″ — this one:

    I not only preheat the oven for at least an hour but also have the old broiler pan filled with lava rocks so also have all that mass heated long ahead so it makes good steam.

    This way:

    Hurray – love your answer re the brotform for GF baking!! I am so looking forward to trying the brotform with the Almost Rye. Set the dough yesterday so will probably bake Sunday or Mon. Btw, I had been trying to grind my own teff flour with an old coffee mill (Bob’s Red Mill teff) but I recently ordered 5 lb. teff flour from nuts.com as they commented how difficult it is to grind it yourself as the grain is soooo tiny! Truth! Theirs is much finer than I could achieve.


    1. Hi Lynnea,

      Try covering the loaf with plastic as it rises and see if it prevents the skin from forming and see if you get a better crust as a result. Our dough is so wet that it may just stick to a cloth towel and never separate itself. Are you letting the loaf cool completely before cutting it? The crust does soften a bit once it is totally cool.

      Oh, one last thought, do you bake with a gas oven?

      Thanks, Zoë

  45. Hi Zoë,

    I will be sure to use plastic to cover the rising loaf next time. Is it OK to spray the plastic with cooking spray to avoid it sticking?

    Oh yeah, LOL. I chain myself to a post before slicing bread. Too tempting! I do wait until it is cold.

    I love hearty crust, but I must have done something wrong on this one as it is not hearty, it’s just tough. I made a sandwich for the carpenter working here today. He left the crust 🙁 (told him it was ok!)

    Oven is electric. I love my range. Five gas burners on top, two electric ovens below. I use the larger oven for baking conventionally. It does have convection option, but I don’t think that would be the right thing to do with the steam method, would it?

    Thanks so much for all your thoughts!


    1. Hi Lynnea,

      Yes, you can spray the plastic with cooking spray if you’re nervous about sticking.

      Let me know how it goes!

      Thanks, Zoë

  46. I’ve been making this bread for a while now – mainly the 100% whole wheat master recipe and the white master recipe. I love both of them, the flavor is amazing. One thing I’ve noticed though, the white in particular, but both types of bread seem to flatten quite a bit in the oven. I don’t recall this being an issue at first, though I did use a round loaf and switched to oblong. I don’t wash the containers, per your suggestion – and they smell very fermented. I love the flavor that it gives the bread, but could it be helping the loaves break down faster somehow causing them to lose their shape? I did also lower the temperature of my oven to 425 because I was having a problem with the crust getting over done but still under done inside. The loaves do rise, they just spread quite a bit more than I’d like, – creating biscotti like slices, kinda hard to use for a sandwich. Any suggestions?

      1. Hi Zoe,

        I finally got a chance to watch the video (PS, it doesn’t work in Firefox). I think my dough looks like that when it’s made, and I am pretty sure I am shaping in the same way. I elongate my loaves into a oblong shape for easier slicing. Do you have any other suggestions?

      2. Anna: I looked back to your first comment, and there’s a clue in there– you’re liking the effect with old dough and an unwashed container (me too). Your guess is correct– that by-products of fermentation (especially acids) break down gluten structure and allow the spreading you’re seeing. Solutions:

        1. Consider loaf pans to contain spread (http://artisanbreadinfive.com/2011/09/12/the-best-school-lunches-start-with-homemade-bread), or a round cast-iron container (http://artisanbreadinfive.com/?p=552 — but a smaller one).

        2. Increase the flour slightly in your initial mix. 1/8 cup? 1/4 cup?

        3. Consider incorporating extra flour late in the fermentation. Day 5 or so?

        See if that helps…

  47. Hi Zoë 🙂

    By yesterday the gluten free “Almost Rye” dough had been in the fridge for four days, so it was time to try the new brotform! I used approx 2 lb. of dough, and there was still plenty of room in the brotform so I can see why you say it’s worth looking for 6 1/2″ ones (mine is 7 1/2″ inside diam) but it worked fine. I coated the form with a ton of regular white flour (that much wheat is ok for me) and let it rise for 90 min. Gently tipped it out onto parchment on the peel. In spite of lots of flour, it did stick in one little spot and broke the pattern. But OK – it’s rustic! Baked to about 203F interior probe temp in about 45 min. Crust and flavor are awesome! I used the brotform again with the rest of the dough, this time using Mochiko sweet rice flour to dust the form. Worked the same as regular white flour so will use rice flour in future to maintain GF.
    Don’t know if this link will work for you, but I am pasting a Picasa link below that shows my various teff bread loaves, incl the brotform one, as well as your GF Olive Oil bread (and that dough DOES make awesome thin-crust pizza!!). You can see the brotform one has probably too much flour but not sure how to overcome the sticky of GF dough otherwise:


    Thanks again for all your help!!

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