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 there, click on any “Comments” field adjoining a “post” here on the website (doesn’t have to be related to the content underneath). Tell us which book you’re working from, and which recipe and page number.

And please understand that our publisher would disown us if we put all our full-detail recipes here on the website or in the comment responses.  If we did, there’d really be little reason for anyone to buy our books.  This site is mainly a way of reaching out to our readers, and supporting them as they work on recipes that appear in our published books.

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

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3,204 thoughts on “FAQs

  1. Hello, I am looking at the Danis-ish recipe in Holiday and Celebration Bread in Five Minutes a Day on p. 334-335. It says to repeat the whole process after adding the butter and folding twice. Does that mean you add an additional measure of butter so there are two layers instead of one. The recipe only calls for enough for one pass. I am loving all of your books, thank you!

    1. Michelle, I can see the confusion here. This recipe is Zoe’s baby, and she won’t be on Comments until tomorrow. I’ll ask her to check in and respond here because honestly, I’m not sure!

    2. Hi Michele,

      Can you tell me which number step in the recipe is confusing and I’ll try to help. I think you are referring to the folding, which is repeated 3 times, but you only add butter once.

      Thanks, Zoë

      1. Thank you Zoe, I was referring to the folding steps and adding more butter to the last part of the process.

      2. Hi Michele,

        You only add butter once, then do all of the folding without adding any more. I am sorry if that was confusing.

        Thanks, Zoë

    1. that dough should swap fine for any flatbread or Pizza in our book. The only change I’d make would be not to bake any hotter than 450 despite what the recipe says, because of the pine nuts, which will burn when exposed to the very high heat.

  2. Recommended parchment paper?
    I checked the Kirkland parchment paper i have and it’s only rated to 420F. I’ve looked at a couple of others (eg Reynolds) and it’s the same. Can you recommend one that is rated to 450F?

    1. Hi Mary,

      None of the parchment will say it is rated for anything over 420°F and yet we have used the Kirkland and all others at much higher, even 550°F for pizzas. The paper turns brown or even black at really high temperatures, but it is still fine. If that makes you nervous, then you’ll have to stick to cornmeal on your pizza peel. Just make sure it is parchment and not waxed paper.

      Thanks, Zoë

  3. how to work with hard lumps in dough refrigerated after a week? I have your book, I read it there and now I can’t find it again!! Can you add to your FAQs?

    Thank you,

  4. I have been adding the King Arthur Rye Bread enhancer to my rye bread and wondered if this requires any additional water? I add one Tbl per cup of flour per your wonderful recipe

    1. Hi Marilyn,

      I am not familiar with the product, so don’t know what the ingredients are. However, I would imagine that this amount wouldn’t require much or any changes.

      Thanks, Zoe

  5. I’v been making fresh ricotta and have a lot of leftover whey. Can I substitute this for water in any of the no knead recipes, and store the unused portions in the fridge, as usual? What recipes might work best with this substitute? I’ve got all your books, but let’s go with The New Artisan Bread in Five Minutes A Day, master recipe page 53, though that isn’t necessarily the one I’d chose first. Thanks.

    1. Hi Molly,

      Yes, you sure can. The amount is up to you, but I usually do a 50% whey and 50% water mixture. You can really use it in any dough, but I have never tried it in our enriched doughs like brioche.

      Enjoy! Zoë

  6. Hello, I made the basic brioche dough from the GF Artisan Bread book and it turned out very very lumpy. There was a lot of corn starch in the recipe. I resorted to mixing by hand for a long time to try and “squish” out the lumps but it didn’t really work.

    What did I do wrong?

    Thank You, Kim

    1. Hi Kim,

      Were you mixing in a stand mixer at first and still ended up with the lumps? Did you all of the ingredients at once or added them in stages?

      Thanks, Zoë

      1. I don’t have a stand mixer, so I was mixing by hand with a spoon and then used my hands. I weighed out all the dry ingredients in one bowl and then measured out all the wet ingredients in a separate bowl. I added all the wet at once. The instructions did not specify all at once vs in stages. It says “add the milk, eggs, honey, etc”. Should I have added them in stages?

        I also tried using a whisk to get rid of the lumps but the dough was a bit too thick for it to make a difference.

        Thanks for the reply!


      2. Hi Kim,

        Which dough are you making? In most cases, adding all of the ingredients at once and stirring vigorously is what we recommend. If you don’t have a stand mixer, it does take some effort to get a uniform dough, especially the brioche or enriched. If there are some lumps, they often bake out without notice.

        Thanks, Zoë

  7. Gluten Free challa has been a challenge for me. The dough is too wet to roll into ropes.
    I have just plopped it together. The taste and texture of the loaf is good, but it doesn’t look like a challa.
    Any suggestions?

  8. I have two questions, the storage container, that “seals but is not airtight” ? Does this mean you simply set the lid on top but don’t push it down? Also, I have a heavy duty USA brand 3 pound loaf pan, will it take 3 grapefruit size balls of dough to make one loaf in this pan?

    1. Sure, that’s one approach. Or a soup-pot (non-reactive) with the non-sealing lid sitting right on top where it’s supposed to (that isn’t an airtight seal). About that big pan–it’ll take at least 2#, but that might be skimpy. This’ll take some experimentation. Also the baking time may be more than what we specify for smaller loaves. 15-20% more?

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