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?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.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

2,967 thoughts on “FAQs

  1. Hello to both of you. Just made my first deli rye. It looks like the real deal! Next time I’m going to roll it out and add extra caraway seeds.

    Question: is whole wheat flour and white whole wheat interchangeable? Is white whole wheat truly a whole grain in terms of being told to stay away from anything white?

    1. So glad! They are indeed interchangeable, and WWW is very much a 100% whole grain product. It swaps for regular whole wheat in our recipes, not for all-purpose or other white flours. Love it!

      1. I just purchased your book (The New Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes) and have enjoyed so much reading it and trying your recipes!

        I would like to try the American-Style whole Wheat Sandwich Bread (p. 137) and the Oatmeal Pumpkin Bread (p. 168), but I don’t want to buy a big bag of Rye flour. Could I substitute additional whole wheat flour or all-purpose flour for the Rye flour in those recipes?

        Thanks so much!

  2. Is there a baking time chart available for baking larger loaves using the Master Recipe? How long would you increase the baking time for a 1 1/2 lb. loaf or a 2 lb. loaf?

  3. I have been baking bread 4-5 times per week from the recipes in your 3 books for a couple of years now. My staple is the Oat flour bread with a few adjustments. I bake it as a boule rather than in a pan. I brush the top with water and add seeds (combo of sesame, poppy, flax, etc.) This past weekend I baked it as a ciabatta and learned my family likes the crust. Do you have a suggestion as to how I could bake this as a boule but with a softer crust? I am afraid if I simple reduce the baking time the loaf will not be done enough. Thank you in advance for your response.

    1. Correct! Still needs to bake through. The key is oil or butter, and no steam in the oven. Brush the top with the fat before baking, and consider repeating that when it comes out of the oven.

  4. I’ve tried several of your bread recipes and they have all turned out great! I’ve received many compliments – thanks to you!

    I would like to try making your Montreal bagels but I can’t find malt powder in any grocery or health food stores. Do you order yours online or have another suggestion?

    1. I’ve always gotten malt powder from King Arthur Flour. You can swap sugar (decrease 15%), but the flavor won’t be the same.

  5. I have been baking bread very often since I purchased your book. My only problem lately is that my bread is cracking on the sides during baking. What am I doing wrong? Please help…

  6. Thanks for posting these FAQs. Tried a bread recipe that turned out very dense. But in perusing your FAQs, it turns out I have 2 or 3 items I have uncovered…. High altitude, more rest time, possibly a little more water.
    Thanks from a beginner bread maker!

      1. After a little search, found that vital wheat gluten is a must at high altitude for wheat bread, increased that for high altitude and extended the rising time per your FAQs. All this = perfect bread!! Thanks again and thanks for the FAQs on your blog!

  7. I live in the rural south where unbleached flour is both hard to come by and notably more expensive than bleached. As a transplanted Yankee I prefer unbleached, but I have to watch pennies and also have some Southerners with Southern tastes to feed. Can the Master Recipe be adapted for bleached flour?

    2007, hardback edition. Page 8.

    1. Yes– basically, we’ve since experimented with it, and given modern methods of bleaching, no adjustment is needed, sorry for the confusion.

    2. Just a note for anyone reading the FAQs. I’ve tried several batches of the Master Recipe using bleached flour, both national brands and store brands from several stores, and it has come out very well with no adjustments.

      I will note that I measure the flour by weight in case that makes any difference.

      The crust will, however, be a little paler and the insides a bright white. So I’m saving $1 for every 5lb bag of flour this way (and I’ve never used flour this fast in my life!).

  8. Hi! I recently made the Wisconsin beer and cheese bread from “artisan bread in 5 minutes a day” and I could not taste any beer or cheese. Could I replace all the water with beer and use a much stronger beer like guiness ( I used shiner bock the first time). Also can I use much more cheese (the reciepe calls for one cup, can I use 2?) and if so should I decrease the amount of flour?

    Thanks, love the book!

    1. You definitely can make your beer adjustment! But– that cheese increase may make the bread dense. If you increase the flour and water, you won’t get more cheese flavor. What you’re asking is whether you can use more cheese relative to the amount of flour and water. I’d give a qualified yes– go up by a quarter cup and see if that makes enough of a difference for you. But again, it may all get too dense. Solution? Make as flat loaves, flatbreads really. 1-inch thick?

  9. Is soft winter wheat flour the same as cake flour (for use in pizza dough)? I see White Lilly soft winter wheat flour here in Florida and it is cheaper than cake flour and I wondered if it would be an equal substitute. Thanks!

    1. Winter wheat is usually a “hard” wheat– that is, high in protein and not appropriate for cake (which requires low protein). So I’m confused by “soft” winter wheat. I’d thought there was no such thing. But if White Lily says it’s soft, it probably is, and it probably will work will as a swap for cake flour in the recipe you’re talking about. Note that there’s an error on page 72 of our Pizza book, see http://artisanbreadinfive.com/2011/11/15/corrections-to-first-printing-of-artisan-pizza-and-flatbread-in-five-minutes-a-day

    1. Yes! Just make sure you do the kneading before the first rise, not after. Otherwise you’ll knock the gas out and we need that extra gas to be preserved so the dough can be stored.

  10. How can I tell whether my yeast is active?
    My first one pound loaf did not rise at all, and had no fragrance. Thanks for a response. Peter

    1. Did the initial mix rise in the bucket (with all four pounds at once)? The individual loaves don’t rise much until they hit the oven (“oven spring”). That may be what you’re experiencing, and if so, that’s normal for our method. The fragrance (sourdough) will develop more noticeably over the storage life of the batch.

      If you got good hole structure in the finished loaf– it expanded, but maybe more sideways than up– more so than we’d like. Can do a little more “gluten-cloaking” to develop shape retention. Tell me which recipe you’re working from (which book, page number)?

      If the yeast is truly dead, it won’t foam when mixed with a little sweetened water (lukewarm) in a dish.

  11. Hi! I was wondering if I could use barley malt syrup instead of non-diastatic malt powder in pretzels and bagels in the water and dough. I’m not sure if the malt powder is kosher; I’m trying to find out. Someone posted on the internet that barley malt syrup can be substituted for the caramel color in pumpernickel bread instead of the caramel color powder. Do you know if that’s true? I do happen to know that the caramel powder that King Arthur carries is kosher, but I was just curious. Thank you!!!

    1. Though I’m not a kashruth expert, I can tell you that the barley malt syrup will work well in the boiling water, but not so much for the pumpernickel. Caramel color imparts bitterness (not just color), and the barley malt will just impart sweetness and malt flavor. Not unpleasant, but I don’t think you’ll find it pumpernickelly.

  12. I forgot about my deli rye dough and left it out overnight I put it in the refrigerator when I woke up but I’m wondering if it’s worth baking it since it was out for at least 17 hours.

    1. Should be OK, see FAQ tab on this above, and scroll down to click on “Left the dough on the counter overnight! Can I still use it?”

  13. I just discovered that I want to make your Proscuitto and Olive Oil Flatbread tonight, but I made a full Boule recipe this morning instead of the olive oil dough. Can the boule dough be used in place of the olive oil dough and what adjustments do I need to make?

  14. Can you please give me instructions for baking a baguette using a baguette pan? I assume that I would use the letter form method to shape the dough? Any suggestions?

    1. Letter-fold always helps hold a baguette’s shape, The baguette pan helps too, so you could try skipping the letter-fold if you have a pan. Basically, form your loaf, and lay it on the pan, which doesn’t need pre-heating. If it’s the type that’s perforated, you don’t need a baking stone since it’s the air circulation under the loaf that’s felt to assist in crust formation.

      1. Thanks Jeff, the pan is perforated and it is a silicone pan. Do I need to use anything in the pan to keep the baguette from sticking? If I am using a 1/2lb. of dough, is the standing time about 20 minutes befor baking? How long do you suggest I bake the baguestte for? If I am baking 2 baguettes (I have a double pan) do I bake for longer?

      2. Just make sure it’s flour-dusty and you should be OK, esp if the pan is non-stick. If not, you can use parchment, but that defeats the purpose of the holes. Correct on the resting time, and the baking time is the same as we specify. Shouldn’t need to increase for two small loaves like this.

  15. Hi!

    I just bought your book because my son has a nut allergy that there are few breads I can buy off the store shelf. I’ve made bread from scratch before, and I LOVE homemade bread. My question is, what ratio do I need to use white whole wheat flour to make the boule? I don’t have any all-purpose on hand, and I’m dying to make some before I can get to the store! Also, what can I use instead of cake flour for the other stuff? I’d love to make bagels, but the KA cake flour is processed on equipment that also processes nuts.


    1. You can use WWW in exactly the same proportion as plain WW. Maybe I’m confused, which of the books are you talking about? And which recipe are you talking about for cake flour (page number)?

      1. I have the Artisan in 5 min book. I’m talking about using WWW in the boule. If the original calls for 6 cups ap, can I use WWW, and how much? I bought a big bag of it, and won’t be able to get the ap til later in the week. As far as the bagels, they are on pg 198, and require cake flour. The only cake flour I can get locally is KA, and they process on the same equipment as tree nuts. So, can I use a different flour for those?

      2. You can’t swap whole-grain WWW or WW (which behave the same way in recipes) for AP white flour. It requires much more water in our method. and in general, our readers have preferred other modifications in that recipe when they want 100% whole grain. The ABin5 book does have a 100% whole-grain recipe, and you’ll see there are a number of other ingredients. If you want to expand your options for 100% whole wheat, our second book, Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day has much more (http://bit.ly/3wYSSN), and here’s a sample recipe from that book: http://artisanbreadinfive.com/?p=1087, and a 100% whole-wheat version: http://artisanbreadinfive.com/2010/07/07/100-whole-wheat-honey-pita-on-the-gas-grill-new-video-michelle-obamas-letsmove-gov-initiative

        As for the bagels, go back and re-check it on page 198– it calls for bread flour, not cake flour, and that’s readily available from many manufacturers.

      3. Haha. Yes, you’re right. I’m just going crazy with all the allergy stuff. Thanks. Since I can’t get your other book right now, guess I’ll be buying ap next time I get to Whole Foods (I only want to use organic and can’t buy from the bulk bins because of cross contamination).

  16. Hi Colleen, can you share what brand you are using? I see some highly-rated ones, but they say not to be used over 400 degrees. Thanks!

    1. The brand of the baguette pan is Mrs. Anderson’s Baking. Doesn’t say anything regarding baking temps. I hope I can use it!

  17. Any suggestions to prevent the dough from sticking? Put parchment paper under for the first 1/3 of baking…? Just plop it in and let it ride? I mean rise? 😀

  18. Is it okay to have condensation in your refrigerated dough container? Sometimes I see condensation on the sides of my container or on the lid. Should I remove it?

  19. Do you have weights for the eggs used in the Challah and Brioche? I have my own chickens and they don’t necessarily lay standard, large eggs.

  20. Hi all, I’m participating in Bread Baking Babes and doing the Chocolate Prune Bread. I have the first version of ABin5 and notices a big difference in the two chocolate breads. My version has a ganache with chocolate, honey, and butter, and the new one only uses cocoa and oil. What made you change the formula? I’d following Jamie’s version as posted on her blog, but would love to know the reason for the update. Thanks!

    1. It was really a response to readers here on the site, who seemed to be asking for a sweeter, more chocolately creation. But really it’s just a matter of taste.

  21. My bread comes out perfect on top, brown and crusty, but the bottom stays white.I am using the baking stone and water on the bottom as instructed but I cannot get the bottom to brown; what am I doing wrong?

  22. Congrats on a great book. I picked up on your recipes from an article pre-Christmas published in the Oregonian newspaper and tried it. My wife enjoyed it so much she got me the book for Christmas. We’re going thru the book meticulously and so far have done the Master recipe for ciabatas, batards, baguettes. Have tried the pizza recipe but need to work on our rolling skills a bit. Just did your buttermilk recipe, a half recipe trying to bake it same day. Didn’t get the normal oven spring used to seeing and the 2nd 90 minute rest after putting it in the loaf pan, it rose significantly. Should the 2nd rest be skipped when going from initial rise completion to the oven?

    1. Not sure what you mean by “2nd” 90 minute rest, we only call for one… after shaping the loaf and placing it in a pan. See page 328, maybe I’m misunderstanding you?

      1. What I did was..
        Steps 1-3.
        Step 4.. Dough can be used immediately after the initial rise.
        Step 5. dusted pan et al.
        Step 6. dropped dough in pan
        Step 7. Allow dough to rest 90 minutes. (2nd rest if used immediately).

        I was asking if step 7 should be skipped if you intend to use the dough immediately. I believe you’re saying yes. Correct?

      2. Ah, now I understand. Don’t skip it that rest/rise, even with fresh, unrefrigerated dough. You can half the length though, so 45 min is OK in this situation.

  23. Once the master recipe is mixed and placed in fridge overnight, can I then form a loaf at night and place it in the fridge, then bake it in the morning? If so, would I be able to take the loaf directly from the fridge to oven?


    1. See our FAQs tab above and click on “Refrigerator rise trick: the formed loaves or rolls rise overnight and are ready for the oven the next day”

  24. Do you have any suggestions for halving the recipe when it contains an odd number of eggs? For instance I’d like to try the WW Brioche on p. 275 of HBin5 but don’t think we’ll use a whole recipe’s worth of dough. Thanks for being willing to answer questions!

    1. There’s no way to do it, really. I usually just eyeball it and think, do I want it a little more or a little less eggy? Then I compensate with the other liquids. Alternatively, you could weigh the egg and divide in half. It wouldn’t be easy, it’s not a homogeneous mixture.

  25. I have made your Healthy Bread Master recipe twice. The first time I followed your recipe but felt the flavor was a bit bland. The second time I added 1/2 cup of honey and 1/4 cup of olive oil. Dough was too wet, so I know I need to adjust the water. What I can’t figure out, is after the dough has set for a few days in the refrigerator and I bake a loaf, it seems to have a somewhat bitter flavor. I don’t know if that is the sourdough flavor coming through or? Any suggestions or comments? Thank you!

    1. It is in fact, sourdough character, and it sounds like it’s not to your taste (it’s not for everyone). It’s especially pronounced in whole wheat breads, where we’re used to a sweet-ish bread (which is how commercial bakers make WW more appealing to kids). One thing to try though– blandness in that book is probably a result of the fact that with the “healthy” moniker, we leaned toward less salt. You can use as much as 1.5 tablespoons of coarse (kosher) salt in that recipe. Might take care of the blandness problem, and even address the flavor problem you’re having.

      If it doesn’t, consider mixing less and storing for shorter periods. Or freeze at the threshold where you’re not crazy about the flavor.

  26. Hi, Jeff and Zoe, Thanks as always for conducting this ongoing conversation with bread bakers.
    I’ve been using your master recipe since you came to Portland OR last fall and the local paper carried a feature on your “New” book. My wife and I like the bread I’ve baked but I’ve decided to try to increase the flavor. To that end, I’m going to bake the European Peasant loaf from pp. 94 in New with 1/2 cup each of whole wheat and rye flours. I notice the recipe does not call for Vital Wheat Gluten. Why not? Won’t not using VWG result in a loaf that does not rise as much?

    John Gram

    1. Yes– but we’ve found it’s not usually neccesary unless you push the whole grains higher than about 50%, as in our second book, Healthy Bread in Five (http://bit.ly/3wYSSN ). If you add it, you’ll need to increase the water, not sure by how much.

  27. Can you tell me why the crumb of my Master Recipe from the New ABin5 is tan instead of white? Could it be my unfiltered tap water or that I used Fleishmans yeast food bread machines?

    1. Tan’s what we get when we use unbleached flour, which is what we prefer. It’ll work fine with bleached, and the crumb will be white, but you get some unnecessary chemicals. Definitely not the water or the yeast brand.

  28. Hello Jeff and Zoe
    I have anither question, I had used Fleischmanns Rapid Rise yeast up to now> I now have Fleischsmanns Instat Dry Yeast( I took advise in book ABin5 and 2×1# pkgs @ Sams)cheaper than jar yeast.
    What changes if any do I have to make iin recipes Package says “Liquid 120-130f” your book says 90f
    Thank you a struggling newbie

      1. Hi Kay,

        You will want to pick the breads that have some kind of fat, dairy and/or eggs. The fat in the dough prevents a hard crust. Which book are you using, I’ll help you pick one to try. You can also try brushing the top of the loaf with butter before and after it bakes. Also reducing the heat and eliminating the steam can help, but you’ll have to bake a bit longer if you reduce the heat.

        Thanks, Zoë

  29. I am new to your method and have just bought the book. I am single and it is easier for me to make bread in loaf pans and I see you have provision for this for the master recipe. I would like to do the buttermilk bread and the deli rye in loaf pans. Is this doable?

    If I halve a recipe, can I use a smaller (4 qt) container for the rising and refrigeration?

    Thanks, Karen

  30. I live alone and need to make smaller loaves as I prefer “same day” bread. How long should it bake for maybe a 3/4 pound loaf?
    My New AB book arrived last week and I have been having fun with it but I think I overbaked the last loaf I made as it was pretty dry. Have Light Whole Wheat dough in frig now but haven’t tried it yet. Thank you for a great method.

  31. Made the master recipe from your book, and it was excellent! My question is this: I got a 1 lb of compressed Saf yeast with my couche. How do I use compressed yeast? Do I just hunk off a piece? Is 1 TB of compressed yeast equivalent to 1 TB of Red Star dried yeast? Should I store the remaining yeast in a ziploc in the fridge? Thanks for such a great book!

      1. Hey, Zoe! Thanks for the quick reply. Let me say that the book is great, and you are quite beautiful to boot!

        I definitely think that it is vacuum sealed. It it Saf-Instant. Does not say anywhere on the package, but it feels like 1 solid brick of yeast, and I’ve never seen anything like it.

        Also, while I have you here. The bread was a bit dense. Was that because I used King Arthur bread flour without adjusting up the water to account for the higher protein? And finally, I read a couple places that the additives from tap water can effect the yeast. I live in a large city. Should I have used bottled water? Thanks. BTW, just bought your pizza flatbread book from Amazon.

      2. Hi Jon,

        It looks like you’ve gotten great advice from John and Eitan. I agree, open it carefully and you can store it in the freezer. I store it in one container and use it straight from the freezer.

        The dense crumb is likely due to the extra protein in the King Arthur Flour. You’ll want to add a bit more water in the next batch. Here are some other suggestions for a dense crumb: http://artisanbreadinfive.com/2008/02/10/qa-dense-crumb

        I’ve always used tap water, because it is what I drink. If you are willing to drink the water, then it is probably fine to bake with. The town where my folks live the water has a lot of minerals in it and I use bottled water when I bake there.

        Enjoy all the pizza! Zoë

      3. Thanks for the follow-up! Yeah, they gave some great advice. One final question. Can you use the yeast directly from the freezer? I’ve always heard that you have to bring it up to room temp.

        I read your posting about King Arthur and added a 1/3 cup extra to my Mark II recipe. I also had some left over shallots and garlic, so I food processed them and tossed them in during the blend. Keep you posted.

      4. Hi Jon,

        Yes, I use it straight from the freezer. It takes no time at all for them to come to room temperature given how tiny they are.

        The shallots and garlic should be delicious, let me know what you think! Zoë

  32. Jon Weimer on February 5, 2014 said, “I got a 1 lb of compressed Saf yeast with my couche.”

    Joe, I think I have the same yeast I bought from a local Portland OR retailer, Cash and Carry grocery. It’s a vacuum packed brick of granulated yeast that will become loose once you open the package. It should have a “best by” date on the spine. Much more economical than the small packages of Red Star or Fleishmans. At Jeff’s suggestion, I split my pound into three baggies and froze two for later use.

    1. Thanks. I didn’t really “buy” it; it came with the couche, and I was like . . . wtf? I’ve never seen yeast packaged like that and when I felt it, it was hard as a rock. Do you use the same measure as with regular yeast?

      1. Careful when you open it – it feels like a brick but it’s just lose yeast granules packed very tightly…the kind which will go everywhere once you puncture the vacuum.

  33. Hi Jeff and Zoe,
    I keep all of my flour and yeast in the freezer. I’m assuming that it ok because I’ve made several different types of bread and some of them aren’t as attractive as I might want but they’ve all been delicious!

    1. Hi Shelda,

      Storing the ingredients in the freezer shouldn’t effect the outcome of the bread. What is the issue you are having with the look of the bread?

      Thanks, Zoë

  34. Yep; once you cut the package open, it will be like Red Star packet yeast, loose granules that pour right into a bowl for weighing. Or you can use the less accurate method of measuring with a teaspoon although with yeast it won’t make that much difference.

    1. Thanks guys! That’s been a big help. Still have 2 envelopes of Red Star, left so I’m using that for version 2. I’ve increased the water by 1/3rd cup, because I noticed I was using King Arthur European. I also tossed in 2 left over shallots and 4 cloves of garlic. Going to try this one in a Dutch oven. Keep you posted. Thanks for all the help.

  35. I would like to add oat bran to the oat flour recipe. How do I do that? That is, do I reduce the flour or increase the water? Also, if I add oat bran, how do I determine how much to add?


    1. Hi Sandy,

      You can add about 1/4 cup to the recipe without having to really change anything else. If you’d like to add more, you’ll want to add just a touch more water.

      Thanks, Zoë

  36. I made my dough yesterday and it seemed to do all the things it was supposed to do in my ABin5 book. I opted for the overnight refrigeration time. This morning I opened my tub to discover very wet dough sitting atop a puddle of liquid. As my dough isn’t old and I bought all new fresh ingredients before I began, I wonder if I can just add flour and try rising again. The wet dough on top was too loose to form at all.

    1. Hi Trisch,

      The dough became this soft after just one day? I wonder if the dough was too wet to begin with? Did you measure the flour with the scoop and sweep method? If you spoon the flour into the cup you’ll end up with a very wet dough. Did you seal the dough container?

      Thanks, Zoë

      1. Thank you kindly Zoe, for your response.

        I think the dough must have been too wet to start with. Following the book, it seemed to be looking as it should have before I refrigerated it. I did use the scoop and sweep method (Growing up, my mom always did that too…)
        I did not seal the tub before placing it in the fridge. I used the fridge in my garage, which tends to be very cold in winter, so I wonder if it was too cold?
        I decided to try and add flour, just to experiment, and the dough has risen quite a lot, since I wrote my inquiry. I will use the kitchen fridge and see if the results are better tomorrow.

  37. It’s not as attractive as I’d like it to ve sometimes. I think it’s an artistic thing. Usually happens with the challah

    1. Hi Shelda,

      The challah can take a bit of practice. I know Jeff has been working on a video about shaping the challah, so look for that in a couple of weeks.

      Thanks, Zoë

      1. It’s just like braiding hair. Pinch the 3 strands together and then do over and under and then pinch together at the other end. Admittedly, doing a 5 strand is a bit of a black art.

      2. Yeah, but that’s not fair! You’re Jedi master of baking. 😉

        BTW, the Mark II turned out really runny and would not hold it’s form. Since it’s King Arthur European, I increased the water by 1/3rd cup. However, I think the moisture from the 2 shallots and 4 cloves leeched into the dough. Thoughts?

        It tasted great and doubled in size, but it was really runny and did not hold its form. It oozed into a ciabatta shape and was slightly underdone.

      1. According to the wife of the local Hassidic Rabbi, who taught me to braid, you do it just like a cinnamon roll. I watched her do it, but never tried it myself.

      2. That’s because instead of using multiple strands, you just roll out 1 long strand and then simply keep wrapping it in a spiral like a giant cinnamon roll. Now the dough we used was fairly stiff and held it’s form. When it baked, the layers peaked slightly like whipped cream. It was very beautiful. I did not personally make the dough, she did and provided it to us, because she was teaching us the different braiding techniques and the symbolism. So I did the braid, the spiral, and the tic-tac-toe. I’m embarrassed to admit that I forgot the symbolic distinctions.

  38. Hi, I’ve just put my 1st loaf into the oven but found the shaping process very difficult due to the consistency of the dough. Your basic recipe in the Five Minute Bread book calls for 900g flour and 750ml water which is a moisture ratio of 83%. Looking on the website and Youtube videos it seems to be 6.5 cups (975g) flour and 3 cups (720ml) water gives 74% moisture, which would be easier to shape. Should I be aiming for 74%?

    1. Hi Richard,

      We just converted all of our recipes to metrics for our US edition and our numbers are a bit different than the British edition. This may be a difference in the type of flour you have available, but it sounds like you may have better luck using our numbers?

      Master recipe
      720ml water
      910g flour

      Here is a video that may be helpful when working with our wet dough: http://artisanbreadinfive.com/2010/03/08/new-video-shaping-the-ball-from-a-very-wet-dough

      Thanks, Zoë

  39. If I want to use the Master Recipe in your new book and want to make a loaf of French Bread using a French Bread Pan 16x8x2, how much dough (weight) would you recommend? Any recommdations on what brand pan to purchase?

      1. No, not gluten free. I must have posted incorrectly, sorry! I want to make a loaf of French Bread using the Master Recipe in your new book. French Bread would be a larger loaf than a baguette. Just wondering how much dough to use to make a loaf and I would like to use a french loaf pan to create a better shaped loaf.

      2. Hi Colleen,

        Sorry, I was just showing you the gluten-free post because it has the pan I think you are referring to. If this is the style pan, then you can use an 8-ounce piece of dough. If this is not the pan, then maybe you can send me a link so I know what it looks like.

        Thanks, Zoë

      3. Hi Colleen,

        I’d use 1 pound of dough and elongate it like a wide, short baguette.

        Keep in mind that slipping a loaf into a plastic bag will make the crust soggy. You may be better off finding paper bags that fit the loaf.

        Thanks, Zoë

  40. I would like to make the Pumpernickel Bread from The New Artisan Bread … but am not sure what carmel color is or where to find it. Also, what would the difference in flavor be using instant expresso vs. instant coffee powder?

    Thank you,


    1. I haven’t been able to find the carmel color either. I will try Whole Foods on Saturday and if they don’t have it I will make my own from the directions on page 125

    2. Hi Carole,

      You can buy caramel color at sites like king arthur flour and probably amazon. There is also a recipe on page 125 in a side bar if you’d like to make it yourself.

      You can use the espresso powder or coffee powder interchangeably, with little difference in flavor.

      Thanks, Zoë

Leave a Reply

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