FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

Our best inspirations come from reader questions, and we’ve enjoyed answering them since starting this blog to support our books in 2007.  Click on any of the questions below– these are the ones that seem to be on a lot of bakers’ minds.  If you’re having a problem with one of our recipes, breeze through these FAQs first.

If you can’t find an answer in the FAQs, click on any “Comments” field adjoining a “post” here on the website (doesn’t have to be related to the content underneath).  Please tell us which book you’re working from, and which recipe and page number.

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

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2,967 thoughts on “FAQs

  1. Hello!

    My dough doesn’t rise like yours does. I’ve used only your master recipes – one for the whole grain loaf and one for the white loaf. I store my yeast in the freezer. Could that be the problem? That was the suggestion from the manufacturer of the yeast. Anyway, I have still used the dough and it produces great bread but I wonder why it’s not rising. I have been using the paddle in my KitchenAid mixer to mix the ingredients together. Could I be mixing too long? I also store my flour in the freezer. I’m perplexed by this and want to see the dough rise : ) . Thanks in advance for your help.

    BTW, I am delighted with your recipes. I feel it’s a major accomplishment for me to be making my own bread and not to purchase it from the store anymore.

    1. Julie: Frozen yeast is no prob– we always do that. Confused– if you’re delighted with the bread, it must be getting proper oven spring (our stuff gets proportionally more loft from oven spring than rising.

      Which book are you working out of? Have you worked through all the troubleshooting in the early chapters?

      1. Pizza & Flatbread in 5 has a recipe for Bolognese Sauce pg 112. The comments on the top say it is made richer by adding a bit of milk and cheese, but the ingredients list does not show any cheese.

        Love your books and recipes! I’m trying the pizza for the first time tonight. Can’t wait!

    2. Talk to me about the gluten structure of the breads in your 5 minutes a day book for rustic breads. I love your idea for fresh bread everyday but I make a leaven bread that rises over 3 days and have thought that the resulting complex gluten structure and slower digestibility of my bread being more difficult made it a healthier bread. Am I being delusional?

    3. I have a question about a recipe from the book “Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day”, pg. 211, Chocolate Bread.

      In the introduction to the bread, you comment: “The honey is subtle, allowing the chocolate’s…”

      There is no amount of honey called for in the recipe, just 2/3 cup of sugar.

      I made this recipe with sugar and the dough was VERY heavy, didn’t rise much even in the first rising. It was nothing like the other doughs I’ve achieved from other recipes in this book. I’ve baked a piece of it and it smells heavenly, I can’t/shouldn’t cut it for another hour or so, so I don’t know how it has “baked up”.

      Is the sweetening meant to be honey? Is there any remedy for the dough I have left, altho I’m hoping it comes out edible, and choice, not to ask for too much!

      I also want to say I and my whole family love this bread/method/cook-book. We started making our own bread in mid December 2011 and haven’t bought a loaf in the store since.

      Thanks for your grand ideas!


  2. In Laura’s Three Citrus Marmalade do I have to use baking soda as the recipe states, it makes me ill, or can I eliminate it or use something else?

  3. I would like to make a honey wheat sandwich bread. I tried the soft whole wheat on pg 92 in HBin5 but I would rather have an egg free loaf. Can I just add honey to the Master Recipe Dough and then proceed as page 62 suggests? If so, how much honey? Do I need to adjust any other ingredients?

    1. Never mind about the honey question. I just saw the variation on page HBin5 page 80. I will do that and bake it in a loaf pan. Thanks.

  4. Two questions:
    1. In your tips for baking at high altitude using your methods, you do not mention high altitude flour. Do you not recommend using high altitude flour? If I do use high altitude flour, should I make any additional adjustments to your recipes?
    2. You state in Healthy Bread in 5 Minutes a Day that when baking bread in a loaf pan, a pan with a non-stick coating must be used. Would a greased Pyrex loaf pan work, or does it need to be a metal loaf pan with non-stick coating?

    1. Elisa: We’ve never tried “high-altitude” flour, so can’t recommend it one way or the other. All our tips for high-altitude are here on the site.

      You may have decent luck with Pyrex– have not tried that, but I have tried well-greased glazed ceramic, which has a similar finish to glass. Grease well and see how it goes. If sticks can let it sit in pan for 10 min and it will “steam” itself loose.

  5. Loving the Healthy Breads. Trying to make them all.
    In Oatmeal Date Bread, p191, surely the steelcut oats are cooked before adding to the recipe?
    And, in the Olive Spelt, p96, is Greek yogurt okay to use?
    Thanks for your delicious work!

    1. Hi Patricia,

      The oats are not cooked, just the raw oats. They absorb the water from the dough to soften.

      Greek yogurt will be great in this recipe.

      Thanks, Zoë

  6. Hi, ive baked your bread several times with no problems. However, this last time my bread was completely stuck to the bottom of the stone I was using. Its the same stone I’ve always used. I put corn meal at the bottom as usual.. any ideas as to why it would have stuck?

    1. Priscilla: Longer resting time (which gives the cornmeal a chance to absorb water and lose its function as a lubricant)? Less cornmeal used? Inadequately pre-heated stone? Different baking time? Hmmm…

      1. I did leave it to rest longer than usual. I usually only do 1 hour. But this time it was closer to 2 hours. I didn’t realize this would effect the cornmeal. Thanks for your quick response!

  7. This is the third time I’ve posted this comment and I still can’t find a response. Am I posting this to the wrong place? I tried posting to the article regarding Zoe’s collection of buckets and found no response, too.

    Would your method work using two glass bowls in the fridge instead of a huge plastic bucket? I prefer using glass.

    1. Jolene: Glass works fine, no problem. I’m seeing your previous comment under the “Contact” page on March 11, where Zoe responded to you within 3 hours.

      That’s the only other time I find a comment under your name– I’m guessing that the first time did not go through. Jeff

  8. My bread dough formed a hard crust on top while waiting in the refrigerator. Of course I can pick the crust off before making a boule for baking, but I would like to know how to avoid the crust forming in the first place. Thanks!

    1. Hi Hank,

      Did you have your dough covered? It sounds like too much air was getting into your bucket, which is why it formed a crust.

      Thanks, Zoë

  9. Dear Jeff and Zoe,

    I just wanted to send you a huge thank you for a question Jeff answered about my request for a Hard Roll recipe on 3/15. Thanks to the links he sent I made the Thanksgiving Rolls and they turned out terrific. My husband said they are 5 stars!!

    Thank you again for all your time and help.

  10. I tried the Tabouleh bread yesterday and it is super wet. The grain didn’t soak up all the water but the instructions said not to drain. I added more flour and refrigerated it after the initial rise but it is still very wet. It is thick but definitely not something you could handle — much too wet. Is there anything I can do to salvage my bread? I don’t plan on baking the bread till tomorrow. I have the Kindle version of your book. Thank you.

    1. Maureen– go ahead and work in flour until it resembles the moisture level you’re used to in the other recipes in the book (also see our videos tab (click above) to get a sense of what it should look like).

      1. Jeff, thank you so much. I watched the video (several actually) and I think I know what I did wrong. I use K A Organic Unbleached All-Purpose flour BUT I fluffed up the flour and used a spoon to ever-so-gently fill the cup and then leveled it off. I will add flour to my batch; however, I have no idea how much it will take to make it look like the video. Hopefully, it won’t be a total loss. What should I expect after I add the flour? Will it raise again? Do I leave it on the counter or put it back in the refrigerator? Any other adjustments I should make? I really appreciate your help and I can’t wait to make a loaf that looks like yours.

      2. Maureen: After working in flour, let it sit on counter a couple hrs– may rise a bit. Don’t fluff, just scoop and sweep per the video. I won’t say the usual recc re: KAF AP– which is to add a quarter-cup extra water– it’s higher protein and can take up that water- but you’re having the opposite prob– so don’t do it.

    1. Jeff, when I took the dough out of the refrigerator to add more flour, it was almost correct so I left if alone. I guess the bulgar did absorb some of the water. I added a little as I shaped the loaf. It was absolutely delicious. After resting, the loaf did rise a little; but, it spread more than I would have liked.My problem now is, how do I get a higher loaf? You know, something I could use for a sandwich. And, thank you so much for getting me started on this journey!

      1. Maureen: Other than “cloaking” the dough a little more (see our videos), and (possibly), drying out the dough a bit, there’s not any alternative except abandoning free-form loaves and going with a loaf pan– see the book for instructions. Or a covered cast-iron pan (also in the HBin5 book).

  11. I am using HBin5. I have made both the WW recipe on page 79 with the honey variation and the master recipe with WW and white flour. I am using Hodgson Mill 100% Stone Ground White Whole Wheat. It rises just fine, but it is not stretchy at all. It is just porous. I reach in to get a piece and it just breaks right off. There is very little rise in the pan and the bread is VERY dense and heavy. Is this because it is stone ground? What should I do?

    1. Jenni: HM is a nice flour, but some of our readers found it’s too coarse; others like the dense result– it’s a kind of style that I think HM was going for. If you’re looking for something lighter, try a finer-ground flour like Gold Medal Whole Wheat. The result is very different.

      Short of that, try using extra water with the HM product– maybe a quarter-cup. Also, smaller loaves are less dense, so rolls, baguettes etc. Some posts about rolls are at:

      Kaiser Rolls: http://artisanbreadinfive.com/?p=544
      Thanksgiving rolls/buns: http://artisanbreadinfive.com/?p=443
      Brotchen: http://artisanbreadinfive.com/?p=536
      “Baguette” buns: http://artisanbreadinfive.com/?p=392

  12. So just to clarify, are you saying that I am mis-informed that my leavened sour dough bread is NOT a bread that is harder to digets than a yeast bread made in 1 day? I want the more complicated gluten structre, if there is a difference, so that after I eat my bread my hunger stays satisfied longer.I really like the bread in 5 minutes a day but I wanted to know if it compared to the bread I bake from sour dough that raises over 3 days. Both have chewy crumbs and hard crusts.

    1. Carmella: As far as I understand, there’s not really any good science that confirms the claim of superior “digestibility” with one method or another. So I wouldn’t make that claim.

  13. Thanks for introducing this wonderful method of making bread. It saves my day.
    I tried the plain white bread recipe, and then I tried the wheat recipe. I liked the texture of the white bread, and even though I added the vital gluten, I still find the whole wheat bread a little too dense. What can I do to make it less dense and more fluffy? more yeast? longer time for rising? more water?

    Please advice.

    1. Christabel: There are a number of wheat recipes– which of our books, and which page number are you working off of?

  14. I tried 2 recipes of the healthy bread book: the master recipe p.54, and the olive oil wheat bread p.81.
    Also, I am wondering if I can reduce the amount of wheat flour and use more white flour. How do I adjust the recipe? for example, 1/2 white, 1/2 wheat for the master recipe, or the olive oil recipe.

    1. Hi Christabel,

      It may take some experimenting, but white flour absorbs less water than whole wheat, so you will need to reduce the amount of water slightly.

      Let us know how it goes! Zoë

  15. Hi there,

    I had posted here a couple of weeks ago. I made a batch of the light whole wheat bread from ABin5 and made 3 loaves, one the next day, then 3 days later, then a week from the original day the dough was mixed.

    As time went on, my dough became wetter and wetter and the bread resulted in a gummy texture by the third day.

    I wanted to give you an update. I mixed a 2 lb batch and left it untouched for a week. The resulting dough was very wet and gummy.

    I mixed another 2 lb batch and baked it the next day. The result was a lot better, almost perfect. The next time, I might need another 2 tbsp of flour.

    I’ve given up trying to figure out why my dough gets wetter over time….maybe something to do with my flour or humidity in the fridge?? I purchased a digital scale and weighed my flour, and tripled checked my numbers.

    I was wondering what the best way to incorporate extra flour (if dough is too wet) or water (if dough is too dry) when I’m ready to bake? Is it ok to knead it and give it a longer rest time, or is there a special technique for your type of dough.

    On another topic, I wanted to bake two 1-lb loaves of Brioche in the oven. How long do I need to increase the the baking time? I was thinking of 10 minutes, but didn’t want to over bake it.

    Thanks for any advice you can provide!!


    1. Susan: All stored dough gets wetter over time, that’s normal– a result of the products of fermentation of the yeast. It’s not your flour or fridge humidity. As it gets wetter, use more “cloaking” flour; that’s the best way to compensate for dough that you’re finding two wet when you go to use it. It’s easier to add extra water into the bucket, mix it around…

      But it sounds like you’ll like the method more if you mix a little drier– add 2 to 4 tablespoons extra flour at the original mix.

      2 loaves, depending on oven, may not need any extra baking time. A small oven, maybe.

  16. Hi Jeff,

    It’s strange because when I make the pizza dough, the consistency of the dough is quite good. It’s just the bread dough that always seems to be wet.

    If I add extra flour to the gluten cloak, would that draw the extra moisture out of the inside of the dough, or would it still be gummy inside?

    Would it be ok to feed the dough some extra flour if I store it for several days?


    1. Susan– yes, try that. No surprise about the pizza, the extra surface area conducts away moisture. The taller the loaf, the deeper it is to the center– and the likelier you’ll perceive an overly wet result. Baguettes and flatbread may be preferable for you, with this kind of dough.

  17. how about an english muffin loaf bread? I used to have a recipe for this ..long gone. Any way to do it in 5?

  18. I am still having a very hard time with the Soft Whole Wheat Sandwich Bread in HBin5. It splits on one side during baking every time. It doesn’t seem to make a difference if i use oil or butter, use it fresh, or refrigerated. Should I be slashing it before baking? Recipe does not say to, but would that help? I really want this to work. I have no problem shaping it into a ball, but it is a very wet and sticky dough due to all the honey and oil in it, would decreasing the honey maybe help? It always tastes great, but we can’t slice it reliably well when it splits on the side.

  19. Got the pizza book and made the dough with the 00 flour, doesn’t get as thin as i would like, any suggestions? Also any ideas to avoid setting of my fire alarm when baking on pizza stone in 500 degree oven, have tried using both cornmeal and flour and both burn.

    1. Mary: Follow step 2 on page 43, see if that helps. Consider letting it rest more after you start stretching– if it resists, cover with plastic wrap and come back in 10 min.

  20. Hello to the both of you!
    I have two of your books, both ‘healthy…’ and ‘artisan’… i just wanted to congratulate you both on what a great job you did on your books as well as this amazing website for your customers-thank you!
    i have been so enjoying making all kinds of stuff, and it’s all turned out perfectly! from the pecan sticky buns to challah to pita and zatar, to peasant bread, whole wheat and whites… i’m just having so much fun! here’s my question-after searching through my books, i can’t find a basic white dinner roll. should i just go with the basic boule in the artisan book, and make ’em small, and cook ’em at the same temp? slash ’em? any recommendations? thanks to the both of you, i’m having a blast with this stuff, it’s helping me through my b.a.!

    1. Ker: Basic boule’s a good choice, or something w/mild enrichment like challah or buttermilk dough. Check out our posts on rolls:

      Cloverleaf buns (for St Patrick’s Day): http://artisanbreadinfive.com/2012/03/13/green-four-leaf-clover-broccoli-cheddar-buns-for-st-patricks-day
      Kaiser Rolls: http://artisanbreadinfive.com/?p=544
      Thanksgiving rolls/buns: http://artisanbreadinfive.com/?p=443
      Kaiser Rolls: http://artisanbreadinfive.com/?p=544
      Brotchen: http://artisanbreadinfive.com/?p=536
      “Baguette” buns: http://artisanbreadinfive.com/?p=392

      1. Hello again!
        I have a question regarding the 10 grain bread. I made it the other day, but was halfway in when I realized that the recipe calls for ‘white whole wheat’ which I didn’t have and I don’t think I can get here in Canada. The loaf turned out pretty dense. My question is this-is there a recipe you can suggest that combines the 100% whole wheat recipe with the 10 grain? Would a nice loaf turn out if I subbed some whole wheat flour with the 10 grain stuff? Do you have any suggestions for me?

        Thanks so much!


  21. I received both your “Healthy Bread” and “Artisan Pizza” books as gifts. They both have pizza recipes, yet the recipes in “Healthy Bread” call for 1# of dough to make an 1/8″ thick, 12-inch crust, yet the “Pizza” book recipes state 1/2# dough makes the same. I’m confused; please explain. Thanks!

    1. Lynn: No, HBin5 says “12 to 14 inches,” not 12. It’s much easier to


      get to 1/8-inch when you use 1/2-pound– give that a try as your standard for very thin-crust pizza. One-pound balls will make a thicker crust. None of our readers were getting them thin enough, so we refined the technique for our pizza specialty book.

  22. I’m making Greek Easter Bread this weekend (Tsoureki) and was thinking that maybe I could do it with brioche as a base. Any thoughts. I’ve been loving experimenting with the olive oil dough, making different kinds of foccacia. Love your book!

  23. I’ve been making your breads for about a year now and love them, but I’ve always meant to write that I never get the number of loaves your recipes say I should get. For instance, the Master Recipe (AB in 5) never gave me 4 1-lb loaves, and now I’ve just made the Soft American Style White Bread–which my husband loves–but was disappointed to find that I couldn’t get 3 loaves out of it. I use a scale and got 2 24-oz loaves, but then only had 11 oz left over. I need to use it up tomorrow and am wondering if I should make half the recipe and have 1 larger loaf. For the future, I’m thinking I’ll just have to bake 2 30-oz loaves.

    1. Hi CJ,

      You could also use the dough to make buns or a smaller loaf. It would make great hot cross buns!

      Or you can make more dough to get a larger loaf.

      Thanks, Zoë

  24. I would like to use some of the loaf recipies to make rolls. (i.e. honey whole wheat and honey graham.) Does the 2nd rising time differ if I am making rolls rather than a loaf, and does the baking time decrease with rolls rather than a loaf?

  25. I am working from the Kindle version of AB. The slashes to my bread (basic recipe) fill in when the bread bakes and the crust, although delicious, loses it’s crackle and becomes soft. I have an oven thermometer and a very accurate digital kitchen scale. I used the sweep and level method for the flour but the cup only weighed 4.6 oz not 5 oz. Should I weigh the flour instead? How do I get the slashes to remain and not disappear?

    1. Hi Maureen,

      Try making your slashes a bit deeper, like 1/2-inch deep. You may need to let your baking stone pre-heat longer to fix the issues with your crust.

      Thanks, Zoë

      1. Thank you Zoe. I use a Pampered Chef pizza stone and it heats for approx. 30-45 min. Do I need to heat it longer? Also, since my sweep and level flour only weighs 4.6 oz should I weigh the flour to get the full 5 oz? I use KA unbleached or Bob Mills unbleached.

      2. Maureen: No, that sounds like enough pre-heating, although I’d thought that particular manufacturer says not to pre-heat, to prevent cracking, check the directions. More important, check oven temp to confirm accuracy of oven– often improves results.

        Could weigh, yes– see if that improves. It’s certainly faster if you have the scale.

  26. Hi,
    I’m new to gluten-free baking and want to know if using buttermilk would be a problem with stored dough. Maybe not having milk in those recipes is for those with milk allergies, but using cultured milk helps me with that.

    1. Hi Barbara,

      I think the buttermilk will be just fine in the recipes. You may not be able to store the dough for quite as long, but only by a day or so.

      Thanks, Zoë

  27. I have been using instant yeast that my husband bought because it was cheaper and in bulk. Howevery, following the recipes I seem to get extra large, weird shaped loaves. do I need to change the amount of yeast and add it to the dry instead of the water ????

  28. I made the basic recipe from the Kindle version of AB and made a loaf Sunday which turned out pretty good. I made the second loaf yesterday and, while the crust is okay (not at all crackly though) the inside has such large holes that it’s almost unusable. The taste is fine. I have an oven thermometer, I’ve finally learned how to measure the flour correctly, and I heated the stone, added the water for steam and slashed the bread. The middle of the bread rose up through the slash and made a sort of dome. What did I do wrong to get this kind of open texture?

    1. Maureen: Any chance it sat too long after shaping? Too warm in the room? Any chance you’re at high-altitude (see http://artisanbreadinfive.com/?p=144)? How about your shaping step (see videos on that tab above)? Most important– slash deeper: try 1/2-inch deep, cutting straight down into the loaf with a serrated knife (don’t angle the cut).

  29. I had a terrible time getting it on the stone (bought a new peel and trying to learn how to use it)and the kitchen is, indeed, quite warm. I live in OK so altitude is not the problem and I used a scissor to make rather deep cuts like I saw in one of your videos. I have the Rye Sandwich Loaf dough in the fridge right now and I think I’ll try your suggestion to let it rise in the refrigerator and see how that works. With all of my mistakes, the bread is still delicious.

    1. Hi Maureen,

      Have you tried using parchment under the loaf? This is a guarantee that it will slide off the peel with ease.

      Thanks, Zoë

  30. I bought the Peel that has a sliding piece of cloth and it was my first time using it. I have used parchment in the past; but, I guess I was trying to be more professional. lol Since I’m 77 I think I should leave the ‘new-fangled’ contraptions to the youngsters. I have high hopes for the rye bread since both my parents came from Europe and that’s the kind of bread I grew up on. Thank you for your recipes. It definitely saves me money.

    1. Hi Maureen,

      Oh, part of the joy of baking is all the toys! 😉 I have never tried one of those peels, but it is on my list of things to get.

      Have fun and happy baking! Zoë

      1. I tried the refrigerator rise on the first loaf of rye. It’s the best yet except for the crust. I definitely need to use more dough so the loaf is a little larger; but, shape-wise, this one was pretty good. The crust is nicely browned and I’m sure it will be chewy and delicious; but, I really was hoping for a crackly crust. Maybe the next loaf.
        P.S. Still working on mastering the Superpeel. 🙂

      2. Hi Maureen,

        Are you letting the loaf cool completely? This is important to a crisp crust.

        Cheers, Zoë

      3. Yes, it is cooled completely. Perhaps I’m getting the correct crust but I don’t realize it. It doesn’t sing/crackle when I take it out of the oven; however, it’s awesome anyway!

        I want to make a larger loaf. How do I adjust the resting/baking times and can I par-bake the free-form loaves? I like to make different kinds; but, since it’s only me to eat them, I end up eating the same kind till it’s gone. If I could par-bake and freeze them I could have wheat, rye, white etc. in my freezer. Thanks so much for your awesome recipes. My next try will be the Avocado Guacamole bread. The only disaster I’ve had so far was the carrot bread. It was so bitter I couldn’t eat it; but, I think the squirrels loved it. 🙂

      4. Maureen: About larger loaves, click on our FAQs tab above and read through those, one of the entries starts “Larger loaves…”

  31. Hello –

    Thanks for sharing! For those of us living happily alone in a small apartment with an even smaller fridge, can we make a half or quarter recipe?

  32. I have been dying to try your kumquat confit for some time, so although I had to drive some distance to find a store that had kumquats and that had a star anise, I was finally able to make it last night. I was very disappointed that it did not gel. I even let it simmer longer than the recommended time but this morning I have kumquat syrup. Tastes great but isn’t going to do well spread on my hors d’oeuvres. What to do?

    1. Hi Nina,

      This is not going to set tight like the marmelade on page 96, but it can become quite thick by just reducing it down to the thicken the sugars and natural pectin. It is possible that the kumquats you have are just a bit juicier than the ones I used, so it may take a little more time on the stove.

      Hope that helps! Zoë

  33. I tried your “incredibly easy homemade pizza” from Feb/March 2012 Motherearth news. It was an absolute disaster! I made it per instructions, I had to add at least a half cup of flour to each doughball to have any hope of working it. I dusted the pizza peel with about 1/8″ of flour while I added the toppings & it still stuck!!!! The crust turned out almost as tough as leather.

    1. Hi Jeff,

      Are you using the scoop and sweep method of measuring flour. Sounds like your dough is too wet, and this is often the reason. What kind of flour are you using?

      Are you using a pizza stone and oven thermometer when baking?

      Thanks, Zoë

  34. My house smells divine! I am so excited…I just made bread for the first time without a bread maker. It turns out so much better this way! The crust is so yummy. Thank you.

    I am using your Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day book and noticed the chapter on gluten free breads. My Mom just recently had to start a gluten free diet, and unfortunately she also has a sensitivity to tapioca. It looks like all of your gluten free recipes have tapioca flour/starch. Do you know if there is there anything that can be substituted for the tapioca flour in your recipes?

    1. Hi Kelsey,

      Cornstarch and tapioca seem to behave the closest in our recipes. I suggest you make a small batch and make sure you like the texture and flavor, but I think you’ll have good luck with that.

      Thanks, Zoë

  35. I had already cooked down the “confit” to only 4 cups and it was like a syrup, a bit difficult to spoon onto an hors d’oeuvre. However, I used some as a sauce for stir fried ginger pork and it was very good.

  36. (Not sure if I posted in the right place, so I’m going to post again here):

    Hello again!
    I have a question regarding the 10 grain bread. I made it the other day, but was halfway in when I realized that the recipe calls for ‘white whole wheat’ which I didn’t have and I don’t think I can get here in Canada. The loaf turned out pretty dense. My question is this-is there a recipe you can suggest that combines the 100% whole wheat recipe with the 10 grain? Would a nice loaf turn out if I subbed some whole wheat flour with the 10 grain stuff? Do you have any suggestions for me?

    Thanks so much!


    1. Ker: It’s probably not the swap for ordinary WW, which works fine in this recipe. Problem is that 10-grain products vary; did you use the Bob’s Red Mill product, is that available in CA? Coarser products will yield a denser bread. Same is true for your WW, whether or not it was “white” WW. Use a basic commercial WW for this recipe, not a home-ground or very coarse product.

      That said, the 10-grain recipe is a dense one– you may prefer the recipes without the additional grain.

      And no, you’re going to fine 10-grain added to 100% WW recipes even denser…

      1. I did use Bob’s yep. So, to be clear, can I sub the white whole wheat with ww, or should some more of it be white?

  37. I have the Kindle edition of both the AB and HAB and I want to know if it would be possible to use the Guacamole recipe from the HAB as the dough for the Calzone recipe in AB and, if so, would I need to make any adjustments.

    Thanks you

    The Deli Rye came out fabulous!!

    1. Hi Maureen,

      Yes, you sure can and I bet it will be great. You will want to watch that dough to make sure it isn’t getting too dark as it bakes. If it looks like it is browning too quickly, you can turn down the heat or tent it in a bit of foil.

      Thanks, Zoë

  38. I hav tried your rye bread recipe… bff lovrd the taste and said it was far better than store bought, but i thought the crust tho hard and crunchy was tough. Any suggestions?

  39. Your wholewheat sandwich loaf that appears in Healthy Breads in Five Minutes calls for oil and honey which adds a lot of calories to the recipe.
    Is it possible to substitute applesauce for the oil with favorable results?

    1. Harry: Haven’t tried it but I’m sure it would work. For the most austere WW loaf, try our recipe “Whole Wheat, Plain and Simple” in the same book. No oil or honey.

      1. Jeff: I just wanted to let you know that substituting applesauce for the oil in the Soft Bread recipe works great. Readers will not notice a difference. I was able to get one large loaf and two smaller ones using 3.5X4.5X8 inch loaf pan and an 8.5X4.5X2.5 inch pan. Bread was moist, the rise was not affected and it baked great. I used a 350deg oven for 50 minutes on all sizes. I would recommend using it within three days as the batch was getting wetter in the fridge.

  40. Thanks Jeff. I have tried it and it is a great recipe but for sandwiches the other is great. Just trying to reduce some of the calories.

  41. Hi, Jeff and Zoe,

    Do you think applesauce or apple butter could be at least a partial substitute for the oil or butter in the soft whole wheat bread recipe? I made a modified version of the apple strudel bread, using butter. I didn’t have raisins so I used dried cranberries. I also used walnuts, but no apples. It’s very tasty.
    Reference Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day, pages 92-93 and277-278.
    Pam McManus

    1. Hi Pam,

      I have not tried this personally, but I know that other readers have been experimenting with using applesauce with success. I don’t think anyone has reported back about substituting 100% of the butter, but I think 50% worked.

      If you do try this, I would make a half batch. Please let us know how it goes.

      Thanks, Zoë

  42. Can I make soft puffy bread by adjusting master dough? I thought the focaccia recipe will do but it is not quite the way I’m used to. Any advice will help and thanks. I like bread with more air holes and do not concern with crust as much.
    –beginner baker
    (love ur pizza recipe btw. I can’t believe how good it turns out)

      1. Olivia: Believe it or not, increase the water a bit, and maybe use the dough a little older in its batch life. Consider shortening– oil, melted butter, that tenderizes, and maybe a tablespoon of sweetener (sugar, honey, maple syrup, or agave syrup).

        Whether or not you’ll be happier with still-wetter dough depends in part on whether you’re doing this in a loaf pan– otherwise it might spread sideways.

  43. Love your method, have been successfully making tasty, healthy whole grain bread for a couple of years now. Even bought a grain mill from a German/Austrian company that gives me fresh, warm flour to go right into the bowl.

    If anyone is considering this: just weigh out the whole grains (I mix them up – hard red wheat, soft white wheat, spelt, sometimes buckwheat or rye) and grind them to go right into the mixer bowl. Very fast method, am enjoying it immensely.

    Also, after reading other posts, here’s another idea for people who don’t want to invest in additional gadgets: My pizza peel is too small to use for the bread rise. I put some parchment paper onto a flat cookie sheet (has no side walls at all, just flipped up on one side to grab onto), cover and let rise, then prepare (wet, sprinkle & slash) all on the parchment. I then slide the whole thing off the cookie sheet onto the pizza stone. The cookie sheet acts as a peel. It’s easy enough to use my small peel to remove the firmed up loaf from the oven.

    Reason for posting: When I use plastic wrap for the rising time, it sticks terribly to the dough. When I carefully pull it off, my formed loaf already starts to deflate. Since it’s whole grain and doesn’t rise all that much anyway, we find this disappointing. Just wondering – does this happen to others, too? Any reason that you can think of, why this is happening? I’ve started inverting a large mixing bowl over my loaf, instead of using plastic wrap. Works fine, but if I’m making rolls or baguette, oddly shaped stuff, I often have to resort to plastic. Same thing happens. (Also sticks to white flour baguette). Not enjoying the way it mis-shapes my loaves. Any tips?

    1. Heidi: Odd that it’s sticking so much, I don’t get this– which of our books are you using (which recipe and page number)? If you use plastic with a long rest, try dusting very heavily with flour before you cover. You can use a pastry brush to (gently) sweep away the excess before slashing.

  44. My usual recipe is from Healthy Bread, the master recipe p. 54. But it also happens when I make the basic recipe from Artisan Bread for baguettes, etc. I live in central NJ, which isn’t particularly damp. My dough is sometimes wetter, sometimes drier – as you describe in the books. I know enough now to experiment with that.

    I’ll try dusting with flour and see if that helps. Planning on making something baguette-ish in the next day or so, & will report back. Thx.

  45. Well, we were out of bread so I shaped up a whole grain loaf (Healthy Bread book master recipe). I decided to try dusting it with flour and using plastic wrap again — it worked. The crust looks the way it usually does, but the loaf didn’t become misshapen or deflate when I removed the plastic. We’ll cut it for breakfast, so can’t report on the inside yet.

    Just for environmental reasons though (not using so much plastic and having as little contact between food & petrochemicals as possible), I’ll probably continue to use the inverted bowl for my round loaves. But I’m looking forward to a nicely shaped baguette tomorrow, if this works for that, too.

    Will report back on the stickiness of the white loaf, but meanwhile, Jeff, consider yourself a genius. Thx.

    1. Hi Heidi,

      So glad the flour helped with the sticking, it should also do the trick with the baguette!

      I’ll be sure to give Jeff the message of his brilliance! 😉

      Thanks, Zoë

      1. So, all of the breads (whole grain regular loaf and light whole wheat w/ sourdough baguette + 3 rolls) turned out fine. Sprinkling a lot of flour onto them doesn’t adversely affect the crust, in my opinion. Still don’t understand why the plastic wrap sticks so much, but am happy to have a solution.
        And Jeff, I know that you were excited about promotion to genius status. Had I known to call you, I surely would have. Don’t want to beat a dead horse, but this was in another email I received today, so have to include it. Made me giggle.

        Only mediocrity can be trusted to be always at its best. Genius must always have lapses proportionate to its triumphs. -Max Beerbohm, essayist, parodist, and caricaturist (1872-1956)

  46. Hi Zoe and Jeff,

    I have been having trouble with the ‘healthy’ breads. I have both books and have made the 100% WW from AB5 and Carrot Bread from HB5 and with both recipes (both are loaf pan methods) I am finding that if I use the fresh dough without refrigerating it, the dough rises and seems to deflate and then doesn’t get the oven spring that the free form loaves get. I thought maybe it was because I am letting it rise too long on the second rise but I am following the times in the book (though the AB5 doesn’t have a second rise time for fresh). Any suggestions?

    1. Hi Kerri,

      I agree, it does sound like your dough is over proofed, which is from letting it rise too long. Is your kitchen pretty warm or is the dough in a warm spot in the kitchen for that second rise? This would accelerate the rising and you would need to let it rest for a shorter time than we specify. Maybe give that a shot and see if it helps.

      You may also want to throw a little of the VWG into the 100% whole wheat bread from ABin5, which will give it more structure to rise. Add a tablespoon more water for tablespoon of vital wheat gluten.

      Thanks, Zoë

  47. Hi, I’ve just recently tried to make you basic recipe from Artisan Pizza and Flatbread in Five Minutes a Day and love it. Thank you so much for a great book! I was wondering if you can substitute whey for water in the bread recipe. I have a bunch of whey from making yogurt and know that one way to use it is replace the liquid in baking but I’m worried it won’t work well or will go bad if you keep the dough in the fridge for 2 weeks. Do you have any experience with this?

    1. Hi Chrissie,

      I have done the very same thing and it is great. I usually mix water and whey in equal parts. If you do straight whey, the dough will break down faster and not last as long.

      Thanks and enjoy! Zoë

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