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.

If the list of FAQs below doesn’t get you the answer you need, try our Search Bar: We’ve been posting recipes and answering questions on this site since 2007, so if you have a question, there’s probably a post that addresses it somewhere on this website. On our Home Page, it’s right over our pictures. In narrower displays, it sometimes appears right underneath our orange BreadIn5 logo. Just type in the bread style, ingredient, or technique that you’re interested in, and the search-engine will show you all the similar posts we’ve ever done on it, with recipes and answers to many questions.

  1. Comments policies: I posted a comment to this site but it hasn’t appeared. What happened? Can I put up links to other sites?
  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?
  33. Health questions that we’ve received over the years

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3,526 thoughts on “FAQs

  1. Which book is that? I only have your 2007 edition. I was interested in how much water for batch of 1/2 APF and 1/2 whole wheat and how much water for all whole wheat flour batch. Thank you.

  2. I forgot to let the dough rise on the counter for 2 hours before putting it in the fridge – and it looks pretty flat in its tub:(
    Did I ruin it?
    Thanks for a wonderful site!

    1. Nah! Just take it out, let it come to room temp, and then give it the two-hour treatment (or more). This won’t harm things at all.

      1. Great! I went ahead and did (pretty much) just that – and now the bread is cooling. It looks just fine – I’ll try it in the AM for breakfast. Thank you:)

  3. I’m making the soft American style white bread. I’m using it immediately after the first 2 hour rise. Does it need to rest the whole 90 minutes? Also, do these breads need the water in the broiler tray underneath?

    1. You can probably shorten the resting time since the bread isn’t coming from the fridge–60 minutes should be enough. The water is nice if you’re looking for a firm top-crust, but you can omit it, or even brush with oil or melted butter–if you want a soft crust.

      1. Thanks a lot for your respond I love bread making I have problem with no knead bread I used chef John food wishes recipe and it didn’t ask for water in oven but the crust so tough and almost white after 35 minutes in 425 oven

      2. Mimi, we’re not familiar with Chef John’s recipes, ciabatta or otherwise, and we don’t comment on other folks’ methods here on our website, where we support readers of our books.

  4. Hi guys I want to bake 22″ baguettes a day a head for a friend who is having a party the next day. 1. Can I par-bake the loaves without freezing them? 2. Do they need to be refrigerated it they are finished the next morning?

      1. I have all your books I use a variation of the master recipe using strong flour. Doubling the recipe and I am adding some 1.5 Tbs of sugar. I don’t have a page number because it is on my kindle.

      2. Baguettes don’t keep that well, because there’s so much surface area relative to the mass of bread. Refrigeration especially does them harm. Your best bet is to par bake them, and as you suggest don’t freeze them, finishing the baking as close as possible to when they’ll be used

  5. For the mixture #1 in the book Can I use whole grain sorghum flour or does it need to sweet white sorghum flour? I don’t want an off flavor with the whole grain.

    1. We tested with the Bob’s product, which is WG. Probably will work either way but haven’t tested with anything but the Bob’s.

  6. Hello, my question is about your book “Holiday and celebration bread in five”. I live in Spain and I would like to know if you can help me with the equivalence between American and Spanish flours. I have read that American wheats have different characteristics than Spanish ones but I have not found a table with the equivalence in order to know wich flour use in recipes.
    Thank you very much for your attention.

    1. We haven’t tested with European flours, but in general, they tend to be lower in protein than North American ones. That means they might take a little less water, but unfortunately, I have no specific knowledge of the conversion or any tables with these numbers. You’ll have to experiment.

  7. I own your books and have been making your bread for years. I always bake the day I am going to use it – and it is rare there are leftovers. With Thanksgiving approaching, my oven will be busy all day Thursday. If I bake the bread(s) Wednesday will it still be as perfectly delicious? I need to make multiple loaves as my family and friends inhale this bread. Thanks!

    1. No–it won’t be perfectly as delicious–it won’t be bad, but it won’t be the same. This is most acute for plain white bread, and a little better if the dough was well-aged before baking (sourdough is acidic, and the acid’s a natural preservative).

  8. When I took my dough out of the fridge after it sitting overnight (it did rise before putting it in the fridge by 2 or 3 x) the dough was still risen and when I pulled off a piece I wanted for a loaf it broke off in bits/chunks – all around the holes (if that makes sense). There was no holding together (strong dough/gluten dev?). I was able to pull chunks off to make a loaf and then had to let it rise for a couple hours (because I had to knead the dough back together). What would cause this? Too much water? too fast of an initial rise (I did it in a warm oven with light on). I made my loaf with sourdough starter so maybe too wet? Why no gluten developement? The loaf came out with a thick crust and dense despite letting it rise a bit before putting it in the oven.

    1. Hi Linda,

      What recipe are you using? What kind of flour (type and brand)? How warm was the oven and how long did it rest? Straight sourdough or yeast as well?

      Thanks, Zoë

    1. Hi Candace,

      Yes, freezing is better, because it won’t dry out as much in a deep freeze. Wrap it very well so it won’t take on any flavors in the freezer or get freezer “burned” then let it defrost in the wrapping before eating.

      Enjoy, Zoë

  9. My dough is lumpy. Like, hard lumps. Still cooks fine. Is this due to me not evenly distributing the flour when I made it?

  10. First time making bread, and I am storing the master recipe dough in the dough in the refrigerator. Should it be stored in an airtight container? Thank you.

  11. I’ve been making your bread for a long time and love it. I just got a Combi steam oven and would like to use it instead of the tray method but I’m not having as much success. Do you have a method already worked out for steam ovens?

    1. Hi Shannon,

      I’ve only ever baked with steam in a professional oven and it worked just great with our bread. Can you describe the issue you are having?

      Thanks, Zoë

  12. Can I make hot dog buns using one of your recipes? I have the first Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day. I gifted the Gluten Free one to my granddaughter.

  13. Can I use my stored dough to make waffles? Not as-is, probably, but is there a way to incorporate some of the master recipe dough into a batter? I love overnight/yeasted waffles, but perenially forget to make the batter then night before–being able to use the dough as a kind of sponge the morning-of would be a game changer. Thanks for any wisdom!

    1. My guess is that yes, it would work. But, it’s going to take a lot of experimentation… something like our pate fermentee method in our books. You start with a little bit of fully fermented, aged dough, and dilute it into the eggy pancake batter. See what you think!

  14. Ingredient lists: Clarification on Gold Medal all-purpose flour – are you using the bleached or the unbleached all-purpose flour in your recipes? Thank you. 🙂

    1. We used unbleached because we like the slightly tan result, and we always seek to avoid unnecessary chemicals, and this one is truly unnecessary. But we’ve tested with both and both work fine at the hydration levels we specify.

  15. Can you parbake the loafs then put them in the freezer and take out and complete the baking process? So is there anything I need to know before I do this, ex: do I still put in the water to steam, and what about putting water in again when take out of freezer to finish the baking, and what about the oven temperature, any changes with that? Thankyou

  16. Its your first book, p. 26. I just wanted to know what the internal temp would be if we parbaked it. Also, how long does the bread need to be out after taking it out before baking. Thank you.

    1. We’ve never measured that! Just go till it’s about 90% of the baking time, before it gets brown. Before baking, the time to warm up all depends on how thick the loaf is, I can’t give you an answer. It should not feel cold to the touch.

  17. I saw a recipe on face book using boiling hot water in it for making Artisan Bread but I can’t seem to locate it again…Can you help me. It was baked in the oven in a dutch oven

    1. If you bake in the Dutch oven you don’t need hot water to make steam. Which of our books are you working from, and what recipe and page number?

    1. Hi Jana,

      The Gluten Free book will walk you through the entire process of baking our method of GF bread baking.

      Thanks, Zoë

  18. I use the same dough bucket as in your photos for rising and to store my dough in the fridge. Is that lid considered airtight? Should it be snapped on in the fridge and for the initial rise or left ajar?

  19. Hello. Enjoying the book and bake Vegan and Gluten Free. Can these recipes be converted, changed to be Vegan? I use Chia as my binder in everything. And use coconut milk as the dairy substitute. Please let me know as I am looking forward to baking many of the breads in your book. Thank you!

    1. Hi Dave,

      Which book are you using, the Gluten-Free Artisan Bread Book? If so, most of the breads can be converted to vegan, although I have never tried using egg substitute for the brioche or challah.

      Thanks, Zoë

  20. I am in Canada and can not find Malted Wheat Flakes needed for the Granary Bread page 91 art. in 5 min a day or sub for it,

    1. Hi Shirley,

      When we wrote that recipe King Arthur sold the Malted Wheat Flakes, but they stopped selling them and we haven’t found a great replacement yet. I will update if I find something.

      Thanks, Zoë

  21. According to their website, King Arthur has the Malted Wheat Flakes and I was able to even add them to my shopping cart. It seems that Red Star Yeast Co also makes them, but not sure where you’d get them so you might have to call them. Hope this helps!

    1. Hi Jon,

      Which dough are you using? Some doughs can be used right after the initial rise and others have to be chilled before they are firm enough to handle.

      Thanks, Zoë

  22. Hello, enjoining both of your books, The New Artisan Bread and The New Healthy Bread book, using more the last one. Could you please advise how to change the recipes using non brand products from two whole chapters #9 and #10 to vegan? Every single recipe in both chapters is using eggs…. Thank you

    1. In “New Healthy,” Chapter 9 contains gluten-free recipes for stored dough. We found that it was much easier to succeed here when eggs were part of the recipe. This was especially true when we used whole-grain GF flours. In a follow-up book containing only gluten-free recipes (Gluten Free Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day), we went a little broader, including some recipes that were egg free (though not many). It’s challenging to succeed that way, and we don’t like to include recipes that are questionable in our books.

      Chapter 10 of the book you referenced is really just brioches and challahs made from whole-grain dough–those styles (especially brioche) are defined by their egginess. They just don’t make sense to us without eggs–it defines the flavor. You could experiment with egg substitutes, but the flavor’s going to be very different.

  23. My loaf did brown nicely. It’s pale in color. It baked all the way through. Oven thermometer says temperature is correct. The bread is very good but color is pale. What went wrong?

    1. If you used white flour only, those are difficult to deeply Brown, especially in large ovens. Be sure you use steam and that it’s trapping well in the oven, but there’s nothing you can do about it if it isn’t. Gas ovens are worse on this score than electric.

  24. Given the situation, my refrigerator is full. That said, I’ve got a chilly basement at 40~50°F, which is higher than refrigerator temp, but still cold.

    Have you looked at the ability of the dough to last in slightly warmer conditions?

    1. I’ve tried this, and it works… sort of. It over-sours relatively quickly. You probably won’t appreciate the flavor after 3 days or so. The colder the better–keep it covered/closed well without sealing, or you may get vermin…

  25. Have you ever used Einkorn flour in your master recipe? I have The New Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day book but didn’t see it referenced in there at all. Just wondering if it is possible to use Einkorn flour and, if yes, what variations to the master recipe would need to be made.

    Thank you

    1. That’s a wheat variant we haven’t experimented with it, but my guess is that it can substitute for whole wheat flour in our recipes (not white flour, not all-purpose flour). That said, my understanding is that it has lower gluten protein than regular whole wheat, and depending on brand, it may be coarser (or finer!) than the typical supermarket whole wheats we tested in our recipes. So, the baked loaves’ density, and the dough’s requirement for water are both unknown to us–you’ll have to experiment if you swap Einkorn for whole wheat in our recipes.

  26. When I am making a sourdough starter can I use different kinds of flour, whole wheat one day, white the next? And what about potato flour?

    1. For wheat flours, it doesn’t matter whether you choose white or whole wheat, and you can mix or alternate. I’ve not tried this with potato flour, but my guess is that it’ll ferment, but not be great for leavening. I bet it’ll work though if you give the various steps more time and feed it into a mostly wheat dough (potato has no gas-trapping gluten).

  27. I have let dought prove at room temperature. I am making naan bread and I am not ready to cook it yet. I will cook in 3 hours time. Is this too long for the bread to prove? If so, how do i stop the prove?

    1. For the same level of yeast content, you have to use twice the volume of fresh, compared with any of the granulated (dried) yeasts, including instant and Active Dry.

  28. Hi! today I watched Zoe on her Instagram profile do some pizza, some bread and a braid.. however in the MASTER RECIPE she used there was no oil. So can you let me know, which one is the best and I live in a very high place 12thousand ft above sea level, would you suggest me tweaking the recipe for high altitude, or just going with the real one? thanks so much. be well!

    1. First off type “high altitude” into our Search Bar above, for some suggestions at your altitude. Oil isn’t a big deal–my go-to pizza recipe is the Master…

  29. I’ve been doing your master recipe from the new ABin5…love this process!! Wondering how important it is to let the baked loaf cool completely before slicing? My husband wants to cut into it the minute it comes out of the oven, and I’m such a rule follower that it kills me to allow him to do it. But I do, and he devours it with google eyes…

    1. With the quick-cut, it can be gummy, that’s the only problem. If it’s not bothering you or him, cut away! The smaller the loaf (the flatter, really), the less this is a problem.

  30. Hi Zoe,
    I have a starter that I started a few years ago and I have been feeding it every 2 weeks and keeping it in the refrigerator. I want to use it again to bake some bread. How do I “restart” it so I can use it in bread recipes? Thank you. Kathleen

    1. Just “expand” it, per instructions in The New Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day (on Amazon at http://amzn.to/1NdVkgj) or see a mini-version of that here on the website– type “easy sourdough starter” into our Search Bar above.

  31. When Zoe used her Danish dough whisk in her IG live, she used two different versions. In one video, the whisk had what looks like one “loop” in the middle and in another video, the whisk had two “loops” in the middle (side by side like eyes). Is there a difference between the two Danish whisks? Thank you

  32. I made the Master recipe from the website. I let it ride 2 hours on the counter and it looked great. I put it in the fridge for a day and it deflated as expected. Today when I went to pull a piece out to bake it the bulk dough seemed to have large lumps in it. Is this OK?

    1. If they weren’t dry lumps of flour, you’re OK. If they’re flour-y, you didn’t mix well–may be salvageable by mixing better now.

      I’d just try baking it.

      1. I did bake it and family said best bread I ever made. Hubby said he didn’t need to buy white bread anymore. Trying the pizza with the dough I have left plus have the next bucket in my Fridge to make bread Saturday. Thank you so much.

  33. For egg or dairy allergies, will your recipes work with substitutes? If yes, do certain substitutes work better with than others?

    1. We haven’t tested any of the commercial egg substitutes. The only place we’ve experimented is in our gluten-free recipes, where we’ve used a flax-water slurry– type “egg free” into our Search Bar above. I’m not excited about it, and not convinced it gives a flavor anything like eggs, and you’ll have to experiment if you try it with anything other than the recipe at the link you’ll find.

  34. Hi! I LOVE your book and making your bread; it’s my husband’s favorite. However, he went to the store the other day, first thing after they opened, and all they had was self-rising flour (I’m happy they had any at all!)… Any suggestions for using this in the recipes instead of all-purpose or bread flour?

    1. Many questions on this and I’ll probably post to our FAQs page. We haven’t tested this, and these flours tend to be lower-protein, which isn’t great for bread–it’s for cookies and cake. Might not support a nice rise with the stout bread structure. Also, it has baking soda and/or powder, and I’m not sure how that’ll go with yeast. Worth experimenting with, I suppose. Small batches though.

  35. I’m hoping to make some recipes from the enriched bread chapter from Artisan Bread in 5 but need to make them vegan for a kiddo with allergies. Can I substitute the boule dough in them? I know the flavor would suffer but would it structurally work? Any other dough substitutions from that book?

  36. I have a hard time with the oatmeal bread from the original book. It rises OK, but when I bake it the top caves in or sinks down. It sort of looks like the surface of the moon It also crumbles when you cut it. You can’t get a whole slice. The top of the slice falls apart. Tastes really good, but you have to eat it in crumbles. I use Gold Medal unbleached. Am I not cloaking it properly? I don’t use whole milk, but I didn’t think that would make a difference.


  37. Hello,
    With the flour shortage, is there a way to substitute all purpose flour for bread flour? Perhaps adding vital wheat gluten?
    Thank you!

    1. Yes, though I’m guessing that’ll soon be in short supply to. Another option is just to adjust the water; go to our FAQ page above, and select “Flour Varieties.”

  38. In The New Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day in the directions for the N0-Knead Artisan Free-Form Loaf, step #9 says to “Cover the oven windows with a towel, pour 1 cup of water into the broiler tray, and close the door. Would you please give more details about covering the oven window? Does this towel hang inside or outside the oven? Is it held by hanging over the oven door before it closes? I’d love to try this recipe but am hesitant to try this before I have a clear understanding of this procedure with the towel. Thank You!

    1. The towel is used on the inside–you’re just covering the oven window-glass during the period of time when you might drip water onto the hot glass. In some older ovens that didn’t have tempered glass, the oven-glass could shatter. After you pour the water into the pan, you remove the towel and close the door.

  39. Is it possible to make only half if the master recipe for both the enriched dough and the boule dough? It would take my family too long to go through a full master recipe. Thank you.

  40. Hi! I made your sour dough starter and realized you don’t have us discard starter each day. I love that but how can you do that when so many others do not?
    How do you store your starter on day 7 once it is made? Thank you!! I use your original healthy bread in 5 book daily.

    1. We don’t see the point when you’re trying to expand the amount. If you’re over-expanding, you should start throwing out some. After D7, if you’re not using it, add flour until it’s kind of dry, and then it’ll stay for a month or so in the fridge, or longer in the freezer. You have to re-activate when you start up again.

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