FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

I’ve enjoyed answering reader questions on our blog since 2007.  Click on any of the questions below– these are the ones that seem to be on a lot of bakers’ minds.  If you’re having a problem with one of the recipes, breeze through these FAQs first. If you can’t find an answer there, click on any “Comments” field adjoining a “post” here on the website (doesn’t have to be related to the content underneath). Tell me which book you’re working from, and which recipe and page number, and ask your question. I’ll answer, right under your question (or maybe a few below), within a day or so. Please understand that I can’t write back directly to you–there’ve been tens of thousands of questions here on the site, and I want other readers to benefit from the conversation. 

And please understand that my publisher would disown me if I put all our full-detail recipes here on the website or in the comment responses. This site is mainly a way of reaching out to readers, and supporting them as they work on recipes that appear in the published books.

If the list of FAQs below doesn’t get you the answer you need, try the Search Bar. On the Home Page, it’s right over the picture of the bread. In narrower displays, it sometimes appears right underneath the orange BreadIn5 logo. Type in the bread style, ingredient, or technique that you’re interested in, and the search engine will show you all the similar posts I’ve ever done on it, with recipes and answers to many questions.    –Jeff

  1. BreadIn5.com is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, BreadIn5 LLC earns an affiliate commission.
  2. Comments policies: I posted a comment to this site but it hasn’t appeared. What happened? Can I put up links to other sites?
  3. Contest and Giveaway Rules
  4. Convection oven: Any adjustment needed?
  5. Dense or gummy crumb: What am I doing wrong?
  6. Flour varieties: Do I need to adjust the liquids when I use different kinds of white flour?
  7. Freezing the dough: Can I do it?
  8. Fresh-ground grains: can I use them with this method?
  9. Gluten-Free Frequently Asked Questions (GF FAQs)
  10. Gray color on my dough: Is there something wrong? Is it mold?
  11. High-altitude baking: How do I adjust the recipes for high-altitude?
  12. Incorporating dried fruit, nuts, or herbs into stored dough: How do I do it?
  13. Larger loaves/multiple loaves: What adjustments are needed?
  14. Left the dough on the counter overnight! Can I still use it?
  15. The scoop-and-sweep method for measuring flour by volume: How it was done when testing these recipes
  16. Missing instructions and missing recipes: Some of the web-based recipes don’t have everything I need to make the bread, and others are missing from the website altogether
  17. Nutrition content: How can I calculate it?
  18. Photographs: Can I post pictures to this website?
  19. Privacy Policy
  20. Refrigerator rise trick: The formed loaves or rolls rise overnight and are ready for the oven the next day
  21. Rising: My shaped loaves don’t seem to rise much before it’s time for the oven.  What am I doing wrong?
  22. Salt: Can I decrease the amount of salt in the recipes?  How do I adjust for different kinds of salt?
  23. Sourdough starter: Can I use it with this method?
  24. Steam alternatives: How do I create a steam environment for a great crust when my oven doesn’t trap steam well?
  25. Stone broke! What did I do wrong?
  26. Storing bread: What’s the best way to do it?
  27. Traditional recipes: How can they be converted to the ABin5 method?
  28. Underbaked! My loaf didn’t bake through to the center.  What am I doing wrong?
  29. Web or other uses: Can I use your recipes on my own website, in my class, or in a publication?
  30. Weighing ingredients instead of using cup measures: How do you do it?
  31. Whole grain flours and vital wheat gluten: How do you use them?
  32. Whole grain flours and doughs without vital wheat gluten: How do those work?
  33. Yeast: Can it be decreased in the recipes?
  34. Health questions posted here over the years

Note: BreadIn5.com is reader supported. When you buy through links on the site, BreadIn5 LLC earns commissions.

Leave a Reply

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

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

3,867 thoughts on “FAQs

  1. Sorry – I am making the No Knead Master Recipe originally found on the Red Star Yeast site. I used Platinum Yeast which is AMAZING. But clearly I did something wrong for all of the proofing “poof” to deflate after I used the first 1-pound loaf of dough. Also the dough didn’t rise at all after the fridge. Maybe I used it when it was too cold?

    1. That’s normal for our method. The question is whether you’re still getting oven spring and a good result when you bake the loaves.

      1. By the time my loaf browns, it is hard as a rock! So hard that my son put it in a giant sling shot and shot it out into the woods behind our place for the critters to eat. I followed the recipe!????

      2. Hi Leslie,

        Well, that sounds like fun, but not super tasty! 😉

        Which recipe are you using and tell me a bit about your oven and set up in the oven? Gas oven or electric? Baking stone or Dutch oven to bake it on? Do you have an oven thermometer? Any details will help.

        Thanks, Zoë

    1. You can unsubscribe by just clicking on the link in what is sent to you. Scroll all the way to the bottom of the email and you’ll see the word “Unsubscribe.” Click on that, and follow the instructions. Unfortunately the way that is set up, we can’t unsubscribe you from our end, you have to do it on your own.

  2. Can I bake your breads on a Silpat mat with a 500F warning? I don’t like the mess of cornmeal or the waste of parchment paper … but I love your breads. (Except the rye … I have epic fails with that)

    1. Karl, you can use the silpat to whatever temperature it’s rated for. The bottom crust won’t be quite as crisp, but the results are still excellent.

  3. I can’t find in your book how to reheat fully baked bread the following day after baking. Can you enlighten me please?

    1. Hi Judy,

      Are you wanted to serve the bread warm? You can just stick it in 325°F oven for about 5-10 minutes, depending on the size and shape. We generally recommend eating bread that has cooled, so it isn’t gummy on the inside.

      Thanks, Zoë

  4. Are u able to tell me the difference in taste between a brioche cinnamon bun & a regular cinnamon bun? (I googled it but can’t get an answer). Thx

    1. Hi Susy,

      I think the brioche cinnamon buns are a bit richer since the dough has eggs it in and probably more butter than most “regular” cinnamon buns.

      Thanks, Zoë

  5. Missed the Yeast! added later, will it be an issue? So… I just mixed up a batch of dough, but as I was setting it aside to sit for 2 hours, I realized the yeast I measured out was still in my measuring container. I then mixed it into the already mixed dough. Is this going to be a problem? The fact that it wasn’t added to the liquid first, but mixed in after the liquid / dry ingredients were all mixed together?

  6. I want to make a 2-pound loaf after refrigerating the dough overnight and use a dutch oven. Can you tell me how long it should rise after it is out of the refrigerator and how long to bake with the lid on then how long with it off? Thank you! Sandy

    1. Hi Sandy,

      Here are directions for a 2-pound loaf. You can bake it in a dutch oven as well. You can let it rest on the counter for about an hour after refrigerator rise.

      Thanks, Zoë

  7. Can you use the master recipe from The New Artisan Bread book to make empanadas? How long do you need to bake for?

    1. Hi Rosa,

      Empanada dough is not typically a yeast dough, but you can certainly shape them similarly using our dough. The baking will be determined by size, thickness and filling.

      Thanks, Zoë

  8. I made your master recipe from the book and have made three loaves. The dough did the rise okay and I refridgerated it for three days. I was careful when shaping it and slashing it, and I still got thin, dense loaves. What else can I try?

  9. When rising the dough on the counter for 2 hours does it double in size or grow bigger? My dough didn’t seem to rise at all.

    1. Hi Marlene,

      The temperature of the water and room can make a big impact on how quickly your dough will rise. If either of those are cool, then it can take several hours to rise. The dough will eventually double in size. If it never rises, then you may want to check your yeast.

      Thansk, Zoë

  10. I love your method that I learned from your book a friend gave to me. I’ve used it to make the whole wheat sandwich bread in the book several times. The taste is very good but the baked bread does not come out of the oven the height of normal sandwich bread and is below the rim of the loaf pan.

    What do I need to do different?


  11. I forgot to leave the dough out for two hours before I put it in the refrigerator. Will this make a huge difference.?

    1. Hi Juanita,

      The yeast will slow way down when it is cold, so it will take a very long time to rise. If it hasn’t risen much, you will want to take it out of the refrigerator and let the dough come to room temperature and rise a bit. Then basically start the process over. If it seems to have risen, then just proceed to making and baking loaves.

      Thanks, Zoë

  12. For the Ultimate Tender Neapolitan Crust with 00 flour- do I use chilled dough or should I let it go to room temperature after the 3 hour chill? Can I chill it for 24 hours (or longer) like the all-purpose flour version?

    1. Hi Cassie,

      You can use it chilled, but if it resists rolling, you may need to let it rest until it rolls out. Yes, you can chill it the same as the other dough.

      Thanks, Zoë

  13. What are your thoughts about substituting instant yeast for active dry yeast in basic bread recipes? Will it work well to substitute them one-for-one? (If not, what amounts do you suggest?) If you do substitute, does it make a more flavorful bread to dissolve the instant yeast in water before adding it to your recipe? Thank you.

  14. Fridge space. We often find that we run out of space and there’s no room for the bread container. Can we transfer the dough to large ziplock or smaller bags so we use the space more efficiently?

    1. You can definitely transfer into smaller containers but I’d avoid plastic bags. It’s kind of dough will stick to them terribly.

  15. Thanks for this great recipe! I have tried it and I have two questions I can’t find the answer for:

    1) when I wanted to make my second bread of the master dough I made 5 days before, the dough was very cold and wet and difficult to shape. Should I let the dough get to room temperature before shaping it?

    2) is it possible/okay to transfer the master dough to a smaller bucket when I have used part of it after refrigerating or will that harm the dough?

    Thanks in advance!

  16. I’ve been using the master recipe for a few years, and I always make half the amount. I’ve only had success with baguettes, and on top of that the first one of the batch is the only normal- sized one. The round loaf or subsequent baguette batches are always very small and oddly shaped. What am I doing wrong?

    1. Which of our “Master” recipes are you working from, from which of our books, and what page number? Our books have many different “Masters.”

  17. do you hae a recipe for English Muffins? It seems this would be a good dough for them??

  18. I just made two artisan loaves in the oven and forgot to add the steam. I plan to take these to a neighbor this morning so don’t know how this affected the texture inside. They did not rise as much but hope that when sliced the bread is done and edible. I haven’t seen any other posts on anyone forgetting to add the water for the steam.

    1. Hi Jilletta,

      The steam will improve the rise during baking and it creates a shiny crust once it is baked. The interior should still be great, as long as it was baked long enough.

      Enjoy, Zoë

  19. My bread loaves crack horizontally while baking which creates unsightly bulges and gaps. I can send a photo. What causes this?

    1. Hi Cathy,

      Let the shaped loaf rest 30 minutes longer before baking and be sure the slashes in the top are 1/2″-deep.

      Thanks, Zoë

  20. I don’t mean to sound negative but your website has a few problems. One is it’s slow. I’m not a fast typer but apparently I’m too fast for this site.
    Another problem I’m having is printing recipes. On other sites all you have to do is press the obvious “print” button at the top of each recipe, the recipe is formatted & printed. It takes less than 30 seconds. On your site, there is no “print” button. I scrolled & scrolled & finally at bottom of the recipe is a “share” followed by very tiny icons. One, I guess is a printer. I pressed it but nothing happened. I thought maybe the lag time after each pressed button was perhaps a longer lag. I pressed it again & a print screen opened & closed. It shouldn’t be this difficult. If you don’t believe me, go to other websites & see how easy it is to print a recipe. PLEASE check out other sites because I would like to keep looking at what you have but if I can’t print recipes, why bother.

    1. Hi Cherie,

      Thank you for your input, we will take a look at this and see what we can do.

      Enjoy all the bread! Zoë

  21. Help. I bought our original book about 10 years ago when friends were bonkers for it. I gave the method and try and it just didn’t work – the dough didn’t rise much and the bread was very dense,

    I just found the book and tried again. Made the dough in a bucket, slightly more than half (Canadian) all purpose flour and the rest bread flour. Again, initial rise, which I left for well over 2 hours, didn’t get above 3 quarts. After 2 days in the fridge, it was the same. Nonetheless, I grabbed a graprefruit worth and cloaked as instructed. Very little rise in 90 minutes. When I cut the top, it was gummy and didn’t leave a clean cut. Straight on the hot stone, water into pan, baked for about 50 minutes til nicely brown. Loaf is still quite small, so no spring. It’s cooling now.
    Clearly the problem is me, though I’ve made bread quite successfully in the past.

  22. Do you have a list of recipes that can be made from each of the master dough recipes? I have The New Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day book and want to make up 3 or 4 “batches” of dough and would like to have a list of several breads that I can make from each one.


    1. We don’t, but basically, the Master can be used to shape any of the breads in the book except for the challahs and brioche-based ones. It goes with any seeds or add-ins, and will work as free-form boule, batard, focaccia, flatbread, or pizza.

  23. I just baked my first loaf from your recipe book. I love the book and your mission to create easy and tasty gluten-free bread. BUT…I have just learned about the concern over arsenic in rice. And rice products. How are you dealing with this? I would love to see another book or more recipes for bread without rice flour. I know you spent lots of time to get to where you are today with your five minutes a day cookbooks but this arsenic thing sounds like a real problem for those on a gluten-free diet who may be consuming most of their bread and cracker items from rice flour.

    1. My most recent outreach to the folks at Bob’s Red Mill yielded a response that they source their rice from California, not from the American South, which is where, they claim, most of the arsenic was used in this country. When I went to the Bob’s site today, their white rice flour page states that it’s sourced from California, but their brown rice flour site doesn’t say anything about crop’s origin. I don’t know what to make of this, and more to the point, I can’t independently confirm the claim about California origin versus other states. And we didn’t have luck eliminating rice from our stored-dough GF stuff. You can see the swaps we were good with (on page 61). As you know, the US FDA hasn’t raised a health issue about this, but if you’re worried about arsenic, your only option would be to try to proportionally increase the other flours in our mixture, consider swapping in something else for at least part of the rice, adjust the water as needed, and see if you can succeed where we didn’t. If you’re willing to setting for thin flatbreads, you may find it easier–these don’t have to rise, really, and sometimes that was the problem in our experiments.

  24. I was recently back in Minneapolis for a vacation and purchased Kowalski’s multigrain loaf. It’s delicious and I’d love to replicate it. I’m wondering if your healthy bread book had something like it.

    Ingredients:Unbleached unbrominated wheat flour, (which apparently is wheat flour malted barley flour), whole wheat flour, flax seeds, cornmeal, oats, honey, cracked wheat, rye meal, sunflower seeds, wheat bran, salt, yeast

    1. Hi Michelle,

      I will have to get a loaf and try it, but it sounds a bit like “Betsy’s seeded bread” in our New Healthy Bread book.

      Thanks, Zoë

    1. I bake 2 lb. loaves in a 6 qt. dutch oven with good results. The loaf does not touch the sides, so the dutch oven just traps the steam. Other cookbook authors have suggested 4 qt. as a means to get vertical height on the loaf. I can’t speak to whether that would be better.

  25. Hi,
    I have Crohn’s Disease and am now gluten-free. I saw your suggestion for altitude baking – switching flours to one with more gluten. I live in Santa Fe, NM and the altitude here is 7,200′. What do I need to do to bake gluten-free with success? I just got the book called “Gluten-Free Artisan Break in Five Minutes a Day”. Thanks for your help!


    1. Have you baked anything yet and found it didn’t rise well? We really don’t have much experience or feedback from GF readers who are baking at high altitude. And the only testing we ever did was at Denver, a much lower altitude than yours, using wheat-based doughs. That altitude has no particular effect. The more consistent effect seems to come in at much higher altitude, although the exact cut off, we can’t say.

  26. I left my home ground whole wheat flour out on the counter in a freezer bag for approx. 2 weeks. It doesn’t smell rancid, no smell at all. I know the nutritional value is low, but is it harmful to eat the bread?

  27. I’ve previously had great success with your method. I’m not sure what I did wrong this time, but the bread has come out too dark, very solid and hardly risen at all. Haven’t had that problem before – any suggestions?

    1. Hi Carol,

      What recipe are you using and were there any changes in the ingredients used since the last time you baked the bread? Any details may help figure out what changed.

      Thanks, Zoë

  28. Can you just bake the bread on parchment paper or will it affect the bottom crust? Is it better to not bake on parchment paper?

    1. Parchment is a great non-stick option, though you do get a slightly less crisp crust than when you bake directly on a hot stone. Really simplifies clean up though.

  29. I am using the olive oil dough for focaccia . I want to
    Make it a a half sheet pan. How much of the recipe will I need to do this
    Thank you

  30. I live alone and don’t seem to ever get through an entire loaf of bread. So many recipes and methods seem to assume the need to feed a big family…. Could you please address how to do smaller portions, and how to keep going when you are baking less frequently?

    While I love to bake bread, I don’t eat much and I hate wasting.

    Got going with sourdough during the pandemic. But, during the hottest months of the summer, my desire dropped off. My starter is in the fridge and doing okay… and the occasional urge is back… but I really want to find a lower maintenance method for keeping going….

    Might be a great idea for a new book, since so many of us are getting up in age, have smaller families, and eat less baked goods…

    1. All you need to do is cut the quantity of all ingredients in half, or even quartered, and when you bake from the batch, make only half pound, or quarter pound size loaves. You’ll adjust the baking time down. Which of our recipes are you using, from which of our books and page number?

  31. Good Heavens, Pam! I am in the same situation as you. I make bakes using 2 pounds of dough. I slice off and freeze what I’d like to personally use for a couple of weeks and give the rest to neighbors or a local charity or a homeless person that I am aware of. You will be the hit of the day!

    Do you live close to me by any chance? 😉

  32. Question: i dont have room in refrigerator for 6 qt bucket. Can I break down the dough into smaller u its and store in smaller plastic bowls in refrigerator?

  33. Hi, Just got your Gluten free bread making book and I am looking forward to try your recipes.
    I already have some flours, and the following are not mentioned in the book:
    Garbanzo flour – Quinoa flour – Potato flour.
    Can I use them as an alternative (until I run out of them)?
    For each one: alternative to which flour?
    In which proportion?
    I am French and love good bread, unfortunately I cannot eat gluten anymore.
    I have a bread machine (does not make great breads even if they are better that the ones you can buy).
    Looking forward to hearing from you,

    1. Hi Martine,

      Garbanzo and quinoa have a strong flavor, so if you try them in the recipes, do so in small proportions. They seem to behave most like sorghum flour. Potato flour doesn’t absorb as much water as potato starch, so it doesn’t swap well for the flour. If you try swapping any of your flours, try it with a small batch, to make sure you like the results. You may want to try one swap at a time.

      Thanks, Zoë

  34. Love your books and techniques! Would there be any benefit to incorporating stretch and folds into the room temp rise before refrigeration? Thanks –

    1. Hi Angela,

      I do when making the sourdough bread, but it really doesn’t have the same impact with the regular yeasted bread.

      You can try it and see if you prefer the results, it’s just an extra step.

      Thanks, Zoë

  35. My stove has a proof setting. Last time I made the challah recipe, I found it really worked well. Before that, my dough never rose much when sitting on the counter. My question is: I am planning to made the master recipe this time. Do you think I can use the proof setting after I do the cloaking?

    1. Hi Suzan,

      If it worked well for the Challah, I would think you’ll also have good luck with the master recipe.

      Thanks, Zoë

      1. Thanks, I guess I wasn’t clear. I didn’t put the challah in the proof setting of the oven because I wasn’t sure it was a good idea. But, I’d like to try it with this batch I just put up.

        So, you think it would be ok to cloak, put it in the pan, cover with saran wrap, and stick it in the oven on the proof setting until it doubles?

      2. Hi Suzan,

        Yes, you should try it, but keep an eye on the dough, since it will rise faster than if it is on the counter and you don’t want it to over proof and collapse. Each proofer is different, so it may take a couple of loaves to really get a sense of the timing.

        Thanks, Zoë

  36. The New artisan Bread in five minutes a day, revised and updated with new recipes.
    Page 88, soft dinner rolls says to place baking stone in oven and preheat to 450 degrees. So I assume the parchment lined baking sheet with the dough rolls is placed on top of the stone to bake for 25 minutes?
    Thank you!

    1. Hi Richard,

      Yes, exactly. The stone isn’t mandatory for recipes you are baking on a sheet, but it does help to conduct an even bake.

      Thanks, Zoë

  37. My bread recipe requires that I mix flour, yeast and water and allow fermentation overnight. I have ended up leaving it on the counter for 6 days. The mixture smells fermented but good. Is it safe to proceed with bread making using this mixture? Thank you in advance for your advice.

    1. Sorry, can’t really give any advice here! (sounds like you’re looking for a health recommendation–not comfortable with that). Are you using our recipes?

  38. Hi, I love your master recipe round loaf style and make it in my Dutch oven. My question is, I’d like to make a bunch of bread as holiday gifts. Maybe even par-bake and freeze so they can finish in their oven and have hot bread. Any ideas on the logistics of making many loaves? And particular shape of bread you’d recommend using the master recipe? Or any other recipes you think would be easier for this? Thank you!

    1. We have instructions for parbaking in the books, which one do you have? That’s a reasonable option for sure. I’d stick with the boule-shape. I haven’t tried freezing after parbaking but I’m guessing it’ll work, so long as you let it completely defrost before finishing the bake. One problem you may run into is that your gift-recipient won’t get quite the nice crust color and crispness because they’re not finishing in the Dutch oven.

  39. We love your Oatmeal Maple Bread but every time I make it, the consistency is crumbly. Very difficult to slice as it crumbles at the top. What am I doing wrong?
    Thank you!

    1. A couple of things to try: 1) Could decrease the oatmeal a bit, maybe 10 or 20%, see if that helps. You may need a water adjustment to keep the dough about what you’re used to, but maybe not–the extra moisture may help it hold together. 2) Could try just increasing the liquid a bit, keeping all else the same. May need to increase baking time.

  40. I am wondering if your gluten free artisan cook book is vegan as well. I can’t do eggs and most gluten free recipes call for eggs. I love the sound of the book but want to know if they are mostly recipes with eggs?

    1. Hi Meaghann,

      We have some vegan recipes in the book, but as you suggested many gluten-free breads are improved by the additional protein in the eggs to give them a lighter texture. I know many of our readers have had success with egg substitutes, but I have not personally tested them in our recipes.

      Thanks, Zoë

  41. Have tried every GF recipe for any yeast bread and the results are always the same. I got your book for Christmas and same story. Book GF Artisan Bread in five minutes a day. Basic recipe did not rise at all, cooked anyway, hard as a rock. Challah recipe to make the pull apart rolls. Tried 4 times now. I used Pillsbury GF flour, tested my thermometer for accuracy, Fleischmann’s bread machine yeast 3 times, once I used the rapid rise. No rising of any dough, still formed and baked all hard as a rock, very dense and unable to eat.( I even tried putting the dough under some heat, after the 2 hours and no rising, still did not rise) For 2 years I have tried, I am hoping you can help me. I have wasted a lot of money and time on trying to figure this out. The only thing left that I see from your book is to spend quite a bit for making a custom flour. I have no confidence that it will work because I have tried in the past, King Arthur, Premium Gold and Pillsbury GF flours. Please help if you can.

    1. Hi B,

      I fear the problem with your attempt at our recipes is the flour blend you are using. I tested every premade GF all-purpose flour blend on the market (at the time of writing this book) and couldn’t find one that produced a good bread. Mostly they just came out dense and gummy. That is why I ended up formulating my own mix. The only prepackaged mix that was even close is called Better Batter. If you can tolerate eggs, I suggest you try the master recipe, with our flour blend and the egg version, which seems to be the lightest result. https://artisanbreadinfive.com/2010/01/05/gluten-free-crusty-boule/

      Thanks, Zoë

  42. Can you help me with a link to find caramel color powder for the pumpernickel bread? I know you gave instructions to make the liquid version, but I’d much prefer the powder. I looked on King Arthur website and can’t locate it. Thanks so much!

    1. Well, just went to their website and they clearly have dropped that powdered product. It’s the only place I’ve every gotten it, so you’ll have to do some web-sleuthing

  43. Will the dough freeze? Specifically the rye dough recipes.

    FYI – I made the stollen whole wheat recipe again this past Christmas and served it to many compliments. I’m “experimenting” to determine how long I can let it age as I used a great many more spices (German spices, in particular) and aging does wonderful things to the taste. Have y’all had any experience in aging the stollen?

    My compliments for a wonderful, useful and useable whole grain cookbook.

    1. Sure, sounds like you have “The New Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day” –see the freezing directions on page 63.

Leave a Reply

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

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