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. I have both books but haven’t got past the master recipe. However, I did the gluten free a couple of times and it always comes out great. So in the loaf shaping question I used the the one where you can put the master recipe in a loaf pan. The recipe is the same just slightly different instructions longer proof, etc. I saw this pic one of your readers posted: http://www.flickr.com/photos/faerygrrrl/5434596801/
    I want so much for my loaves to look like this!!! So I thought I would try a round pan like the one in the picture. It came out like a giant muffin – straight sides and puffy top. I inverted a deep pan over the top to trap steam (commercial convection) but that didn’t even make a difference. The tops did not have that pretty glaze that I get in my oven at home. Once I tried spraying the tops of the loaves before putting them in and then again when I put them into the oven. It sort of worked but not as shiny and it leaves weird tiny specks from the water. I have watched your videos over and over. Aarg!

    1. Hi P,

      Does your dough look like ours? Same consistency, not wetter or drier? It sounds like your dough is still a bit dry. To compensate for this, you will need to let the loaves rest for at least an hour before baking them. This will allow them to be more open and to rise nicely in the oven. How Large are you making your breads? If they are more than 1-pound, then you need to let them rest and bake even longer.

      The round pan in the picture you showed wasn’t touching the loaf, so it didn’t have any effect on the shape of the loaf. She achieved this shape just by shaping the dough into a ball. Did you watch the video on shaping a loaf with wet dough? http://artisanbreadinfive.com/2010/03/08/new-video-shaping-the-ball-from-a-very-wet-dough

      You will need to bake the bread in an enclosed pot or repeatedly spray the loaves to get them shiny in a professional convection oven. Pro ovens leak out the steam, so it is a challenge to get the same result as you do at home.

      Thanks, Zoë

      1. Hi Zoe,
        I hadn’t considered that now that it is much cooler weather they would need more time. Thank you. Should the loaves be double the size. Is that a good rule of thumb?
        May I use the proofer to lesson rise time? I had it set at 70 degrees but would like to increase if it would go faster.
        Also I figured my sandwich loaves were bigger on one side (race car look) because uneven slashing. It was hard to slash in the loaf pan because the knife would hit the side. Maybe scissors would be better? However,this pic doesn’t show slashed bread: http://artisanbreadinfive.com/2010/10/04/loaf-pan-breads-work-beautifully-with-our-method-free-giveaway-of-terrific-bread-pans-and-other-baking-equipment-from-red-star-yeast
        In AB5 it says to slash the sandwich loaf (p43). I noticed that sometimes the instructions vary between the books and the site. Not sure how to choose which one to follow. Thank you so much for your time and attention!

      2. Hi P,

        Not need to slash, unless you want to. You need more resting time and it won’t break open so dramatically. They will not necessarily double in size, but they become giggly, not tight and cold, as they are when you first shape them.

        You can certainly use the proofer, but be sure not to over proof them or they will not have any more rising power to get a nice oven spring. You can raise the temperature to about 80 degrees, but watch the loaves and when they feel giggly, they are ready. What size pan are you using?

        Thanks, Zoë

    2. I own Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day. Have you ever made pancakes from the refridgerated dough? I imagine there’s a way to do it. Just not sure where to start???

  2. Dear Jeff/Zoe,

    I ordered Rye Bread Improver from King Arthur. My question in your Healthy Bread book, when Bavarian Style Pumpernickel Bread pg. 115 and Dilled Rye pg.123 call for Vital Wheat Gluten, can I subsitute a equal amount of the Rye Bread Improver for it since it has Vital Wheat Gluten in it.
    I keep saying thank you for all your help, but again I say thank you for your help and kindness.


    1. Hi Dee,

      Vital Wheat Gluten is just straight protein, which gives the dough extra strength and the ability to rise. The improver that you are talking about has some gluten in it, but it also has other things, which are not necessarily meant to strengthen the dough. Your dough may not be strong enough to store for more than a couple days. If you give it a try, I suggest you try a half batch and see what you think. Please let us know what you think!

      Cheers, Zoë

      1. Zoe,

        Thanks for your help, past reading your reply I am just going to use the Vital Wheat Gluten and not the Improver. You have taught me so much and I appreciate all the help.

        P.S. Your Thanksgiving buns have become a favorite of our family, we make them all the time.

  3. I am wondering what the best way to store 10-20kg of flour. I want to use a crock but can’t find any with lids. It seems I have to use plastic. Any other non plastic ideas?

  4. I have less than 1 lb of dough remaining in my refrigerated batch. Will it work to add another 1/2 batter to it (calculating the proportions based on your Master Recipe, of course!), and let the whole thing rise for 2 hrs out of refrigerator, then bake it or refrigerate?

  5. Hello!
    A couple of years ago I learned, from your book, how to make wonderful bread. I made a lot of good bread, for about a year, and then I read some of the extensive research showing how modern wheat is inflammatory and leads to a host of ailments. I quit eating wheat. Now I have now discovered the ancient wheat called einkorn, and there is a source of it, Jovial Foods, that sells in the U.S. So I am wondering, have you done any baking with einkorn? If so, can your method be used with einkorn flour? If you have no experience with it, I hope you will check it out. It doesn’t provoke the “sick” responses to wheat in celiac disease sufferers that regular modern wheat does…a lot of people are discovering it and it’s gaining popularity.

    1. Hi Diane,

      We have not used Einkorn in our recipes, but have experimented a bit with Emmer and some of the other ancient grains. Einkorn is still wheat and can not be tolerated by people with celiac disease. You may want to consult your doctor before eating it, if you suspect you are suffering from celiac.

      The grains are lower in the gluten forming protein, so they do not absorb as much water, which means you have to adjust the water down in our recipes. It may take some experimenting to get the ratio just right.

      Thanks, Zoë

    1. Hi John,

      Good question, we do it to prevent the dough from sticking to our hands while we are working with the dough. I have also found that adding a tiny bit of flour to the bucket when you are pulling a piece of dough out extends the life of the batch. This may be because that small bit of flour feeds the yeast. You don’t want to add too much or it may have a drying effect.

      Thanks, Zoë

  6. Looking through the 1st book, I don’t see a photograph of the interior of what a proper crumb looks like. I’m not sure how large of air holes I’m trying to achieve. Can you post two pictures–the inside of a slice of bread and the inside of remaining loaf?

  7. Jeff and Zoe,

    No questions, just wanted to wish you both a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year and thank you for all help you have given me this past year.
    With Thanks,

  8. Hi. I am hoping to make monkey bread for Christmas morning. Using the brioche recipe. (page 189 from Artisan Bread in Five Minutes) I was wondering how early can I put it together. Can I make it on Saturday put it in the fridge and bake it Tuesday? Or maybe you have a better suggestion? Thank you.

    1. Hi Sylvia,

      Just use water. That is what I do whenever I want to put seeds or anything else on the loaf. If you are going for a shiny crust, then you can use an egg white mixed with a tablespoon of water and brush a little over the top.

      Thanks, Zoë

  9. Hi,

    I’ve been making the Master Recipe from HBin5 and am having a problem with my dough. In every batch I make, it is not stretchy enough. It always tears when I take a hunk out before I even reach for a serrated knife. The surface also tears when I try to stretch the sides in forming the loaf. It tastes great, but the loaves aren’t very pretty. I’m using 1/4 c. Bob’s Red Mill VWG, Gold Medal WW flour, and Pillsbury AP white flour. Do you have any suggestions?

    Thank you and happy holidays!

    1. Hi Dawn,

      It sounds like your dough may be a touch dry. Try adding another 1/8 cup of water to the next batch and see if that helps. The other issue can be a very cold refrigerator and the dough is just getting tight. If you let the dough sit out for 15 minutes and it relaxes, then you may not need the additional water.

      Thanks, Zoë

  10. #1. I’ve used dough that spent more than 2 weeks in the refrigerator. It tasted fine. Is there a concern about that? A limit to the life of the dough while refrigerated?
    #2. Does the pan of water need to go at the bottom of the oven? Does it matter on which rack it goes?
    #3. I’ve now made 5 loaves, I think, following, more or less, your instructions, and am pleased all around. However, I’m not following all of your instructions – My oven heats to 450 degrees in c. 13 minutes. I’ve put my dough in just a few minutes before temp. reached 450.

    Also, I don’t own an oven thermometer, and don’t find need of one. My oven (Bosch) seems very precisely-calculated.

    1. Hi Lynn,

      As long as the dough has no dairy or fats, it can last beyond two weeks. If you notice any splotchy patches, it may be mold and then it is time to toss it.

      The pan of water can go anywhere in the oven.

      If the bread is coming out the way you like, then why change a thing. The only reason to preheat any longer is to thoroughly heat the baking stone, but it sounds like you are happy with the results, so keep on baking!

      Cheers, Zoë

  11. Hi,
    The AHBin5 has been amazing. The msemmen came out beautifully last night!
    A quick q:
    I see advice on storing cut bread, but is there any insight you can share on baking bread ahead of time? I’m traveling to friends for a weekend and would like to bring a few loaves with me.
    How far in advance can I make them, and how should they be stored?

    1. Hi Eitan,

      It depends which kind of bread you are baking, but if you are going to be traveling with the loaves, you may want to par-bake them and then finish them at your friend’s house. Just bake the loaf for about 90% of the baking time, then let them cool completely. Wrap them well and freeze them or pack them up. When you are ready to eat them, you can finish baking them. That way you have a lovely crust on the bread.

      Thanks, Zoë

      1. Thanks Zoe,

        I was thinking of a free form loaf, a baguette and maybe some garlic knots or msemmen.

        Forgot to mention we’re not going to be in a place that has an oven!

      2. Hi Eitan,

        The more whole grains the better. Breads made with all white flour tend to stale the fastest. If they have whole wheat, fats, and/or sugar they will last a bit longer. The msemmen is a good choice because it is enriched with so much oil.

        Enjoy and happy travels! Zoë

  12. Hi, I was wondering if you have ever tried this recipe using sprouted flour? I just purchased 10 lbs of fresh sprouted whole wheat flour. Appreciate any ideas 🙂 Thanks

    1. Hi Jen,

      I have not, but I would love to know how it turns out if you do try it. I would start with a half batch and see how you like it. Have you tried our method with regular flour? If not, you should watch some of our videos so you know what the consistency should look like.

      Thanks, Zoë

  13. Is it possible to make baguettes or small square loaves of the whole wheat rye recipe? I’m trying to make the small appetizer square breads.

  14. I got your Healthy Bread book for Christmas. I’ve loved making your GF boule bread and I cannot wait to try the other recipes in the book. I was wondering if you have a way of making GF Challah? I noticed you had a couple regular recipes for it, but I wasn’t sure about a GF variation.

    I so appreciate your work and your breads. I’m so excited about what I am/will be able to make for my family!

  15. Easy dough storage in refrigerator

    Thank you so much for the great books! I have been using a plastic 9X13 “disposable” or “takealong” pan for both mixing and storing the dough. If I remix in the same pan when it becomes empty, I never have a mixing bowl to wash. It fits great in the refrigerator, and multiple bins can be stacked. It is also very easy when making loaves to pull out one quarter of the dough. I use a dough scraper and divide the container into fourths by guestimating where the half-way mark is on the long side, then guestimating again on the short side. I usually get pretty close, but you could also use a ruler and use a sharpie to mark the half-way points on the outside of the container. I tend to dust the surface of the risen dough with flour, and cover with plastic wrap if I am not going to make all four loaves at once. That way the exposed edges don’t dry out.

  16. I’d like to incorporate the remaining dough from a previous batch into the next batch. What method do you use to do that to insure the old and new batches are fully mixed without overworking the dough?

    1. Hi Serge,

      I pour the new water over the old dough and then blend them together with an immersion blender, then add the rest of the ingredients and mix as usual.

      Thanks, Zoë

  17. You have conversions (added water) from all purpose to bread flour for white flour, but not for whole wheat. If I want to use whole wheat bread flour, how do I adjust the moisture properly? I love those all-whole-grain recipes in the HBin5 book. My local natural foods store sells great tasting organic ww bread flour I’d like to use.

  18. Can I use kefir in any of the recipes – preferably one for simple, everyday bread? I have both books, no reference in indices. Thanks!

    1. Christine: Sure can, swap it for part of the water or milk in recipes, though you may need a little extra liquid to make up for the lower fluid content.

  19. I am finding HBin5 2-lb loaves to be harder to get consistent (and muhc harder to keep fresh standing on thier side without tipping over :-)) am I able to bake two loaves in the oven at the same, or will they impact each others’ baking times and temps? Are there any adjustments I should make in order to do this well? Thanks!

    1. Eitan: can do 2 loaves at once, same temp, but may need a longer baking time in smaller ovens. 15% more? And may need to rotate them for even browning.

      1. Sweet, thanks for the repky Jeff! If a convection oven would be treated any differently in this situation, let me know, as I have either option on my oven.

  20. I had read that it is best to store soughdough bread in a paper bag, but the AB tends to dry out pretty quickly on me, so I switched to storing it in a plastic bag. It still dries out quickly, but since we toast it doesn’t matter. I would like to know if it is normal for the AB bread to dry out so soon (w/in a day) or is there a way I can keep it moist like the first day?

    Thank you! It is always a pleasure making your bread and reading your books and posts. My kids say, “this is the best bread ever!” every time I serve it to them.

    1. p: Can’t do better than a plastic bag. Fresh bread w/o preservatives does go stale very quickly, so I make it every day.

  21. Hello,

    I am working from your first book (‘Artisan bread…’) and attempting the pumpernickel bread on pg 67. My small oven preheats to 400 degrees temperature in 8 minutes. What kind of adjustments should I make to follow your recipe of preheating for 20 minutes. Thanks for your help!

    1. Dawn: With a stone in place? Surprises me. If you’re omitting the stone (which shortens pre-heat) or your oven’s just fast to preheat, start early.

  22. I’m getting really frustrated. My bread won’t rise properly after its initial mixing, rendering a super dense dough. I’ve tried doubling (and tripling) the wait time, weighing all ingredients carefully, using a different flour, using a different yeast, measuring the temperature of the water with a thermometer, but nothing works.

    Just to be clear, I’m not talking about the rest before baking, nor am I talking about oven spring. Before all that goes wrong, I’m not getting a good swelling and leveling off like your doughs in the videos (which were very helpful at confirming that I was not getting the desired result. Please help!

    1. Kat: Which book are you using (recipe name, page number)? So I can be more specific. Also have you been through the FAQs tab above? Esp the “Dense crumb… ” one.

      1. The Master Recipe from Healthy Bread in five. I used Active Yeast the first time and Rapid Rise the second time. No discernible difference. I have looked at the dense crumb faq, both online and in the book. Also, the dough doesn’t stretch like it does in your videos. I don’t need a knife or scissors to pull some off; it just breaks immediately. The only thing I can imagine is that it’s not “wet” enough, but I’m not sure how much water to add and why my situation is different from the typical.

      2. I should also add that the bread dough does not have a smooth, taut appearance like yours after being pulled off and shaped. It’s more ragged and torn.

      3. KAF unbleached all-purpose, KAF whole wheat, Bob’s Mill Vital Wheat Gluten. I used regular ole Pillsbury bleached all-purpose for my first batch and thought maybe that was the problem. I went out and bought the unbleached, but the difference was hardly noticeable.

      4. That’s not it then. Are you saying you are not getting a doubling of volume before going into the fridge? If not, just wait longer before you transfer.

      5. This answer to Kat: “That’s not it then. Are you saying you are not getting a doubling of volume before going into the fridge? If not, just wait longer before you transfer” made me think of a problem I seem to always have.
        My AB51 pound loaves just seem small. They are 1/4 the size of what you would expect a pound to look like. If it isn’t supposed to be that was I am wondering it it is because I never let it sit on the counter for 2 hours. I always put it in the fridge for a couple of days to get a stronger flavor. I let it rest 40-60 min after shaping, but it goes sideways and then later I slash and what little it did rise falls even though I don’t slash more than a 1/4″. Many times I will get an ugly bubble coming out in a weird place even with proper slashing. I love your bread and bake it frequently, but it is really frustrating that they don’t rise high or even around. Maybe more cornmeal or flour under the loaf to encourage it to go up instead of out? What am I doing wrong? Maybe not shaping it tightly enough? Also, do you have a video where you talk a little bit more detail about shaping properly and how it should look and feel? I have watched the main videos many times and shape it just as I see it done in the video. I use Dakota Maid and the master recipe in AB5. Yeast is Fleschmains Instant Dry and I store it in the freezer. Thank you.
        Here is a little more info if it helps. I tried both the Dilled Rye and Pumpernickle Rye in HB5 using the refridgerator trick for the first time. They rested maybe 30 minutes while the oven preheated. I even had them on the top of the oven to help them get room temp. They still went in cold, though, and didn’t rise barely at all. They looked like large dinner rolls. Aaargh!

      6. P: Maybe you should back in loaf pans and fill them 3/4 full, I think you’ll be happier. Keep in mind that 1-lb loaves are SMALL loaves, so just increase the size (see our FAQ tab above and click on “Larger loaves…”). Also, our stuff is denser than typical American white loaves.

        But I have one other suggestion; try a lower-protein flour than KAF, something like Gold Medal All-Purpose.

        Video on shaping: http://artisanbreadinfive.com/2010/02/16/new-video-how-to-shape-a-loaf-using-whole-grain-dough

        Finally: Try a 90-minute resting time after shaping.

  23. Thanks Jeff – I meant that to be for Kat, hoping maybe we could help her out if that was the issue. Thanks for always being touch on these FAQs! It’s comforting 😉
    Good day

  24. Two quick questions:

    1) Any tips on baking multiple loaves at once? I have a convection option on my oven – does that come in handy or change anything in this situation?

    2) In the original ABin5, the regular white artisan bread does not call for water+seeds like the HAbin5 does, but calls for flour instead. Can I put toppings on a regular white ABin5? Is there a reason for the flour?

    Thanks and good day!

    1. generally no need to increase, but in some smaller ovens you increase baking time by about 15 to 20% if it’s not looking done at the usual time. Convection might help in this case, but may need to rotate the loaves so it’s a pain and I never use mine.

      Just a matter of taste and variety re: seeds vs. flour.

  25. Sorry, I re-read my question and it looked rude. I didn’t mean to imply that your recipes don’t work. I meant that I am frustrated with myself that I can’t do it right. So I will use loaf pans and
    Gold Medal All Purpose. So then I choose the bleached one? They carry both.
    One thing occurred to me it all the jarring that the dough tub undergoes from the kids getting things in and out of fridge. Is there a danger of the dough deflating and losing too of the gas? Thank you and sorry for the badly phrased comment : (

  26. I prefer unbleached and we used to think it made a big difference but not so sure now. Lately I’ve tried it with bleached and it comes out the same.

    I prefer the color of unbleached, and also avoiding the bleaching chemicals. I haven’t had any trouble with deflation due to mechanical jarring of the fridge, don’t think that’s the problem.

    Again, may be a matter of taste if the longer rest time doesn’t help

  27. I am using “Healthy Bread in 5 Minutes a day.
    The Master recipe on page 54 says to use 5 12 cups whole wheat flour. The asterisk says “Can be used interchangeably with White Whole WheatF lour ( See page 10)
    Page 10 says don’t try to substitute it 1:1 for all purpose. However here I am substituting it 1:1 for regular whole wheat. Can I do this? I tried substituting the 5 1/2 cups whole wheat flour with white whole wheat and it was very stiff. i had to add more water. let you know how it tuns out when I bake it.

    1. you can swap WWW 1:1 for WW, not for white AP. I don’t know why your result was so stiff but adding more water was the right move.

  28. Thank you. Your bread technique is fantastic. My bread turned out despite all my mistakes. Another question . How can I convert my bread recipes to your method?

      1. I agree, the books set out how to convert recipes in principle. One thing I struggle with is your use of volume measures and how they convert to ‘absolute’ e.g. weight measures. Water e.g. 1 cup converts OK (237g) but 1 cup of flour can be quite a range, depending on how you scoop the cup, and also the consistency of the flour. Could work out anywhere from 120g to 140g. That’s significant.

        Also, if you could offer some percentages e.g. aim for a hydration of e.g. 72%, that would be a really helpful check.

        Thanks for bringing us AB5 and for all you do on this site — greatly appreciated

  29. In a perfect world, I would test only with weights and not even report on volumes. But since US bakers usually measure by volume, we must. And it’ll vary based on measurement technique, so our weights and how the correspond with volume are completely dependent on measuring into the cup just like we do; see the video at http://artisanbreadinfive.com/2010/04/28/how-we-measure-our-flour-using-the-scoop-and-sweep-method for our technique, and see our FAQs tab above and click on Flour varieties: Do I need to adjust the liquids when I use different kinds of white flour?…

    for some hydration numbers. With our whole grain and VWG doughs, the hyrdration is closer to 95 or even 100%

  30. The Oatmeal bread on page 94 calls for 1/2 cup oat bran and 1/3 cup wheat bran.. I cannot find these ingredients in my grocery store. Can I omit them? If so, do I need to make adjustments in the amount of flour?

    1. Sure– just use a little more flour or a little less liquid (doesn’t matter which). Not sure how much to adjust so experiment. 1/8 to 1/4 cup?

  31. Love the book but have a question about Flour. I’d like to use King Aruther’s European-style flour. This is an artesian flour that is a blend of winter and spring wheat enhanced with a touch of arc orbit acid and white whole wheat.

    How would I handle this flour compared to normal all purpose flour?

    1. James: Depends on protein content– if it’s close to US all-purpose, you can swap it in our recipes that call for AP. If not, see our page on flours at the FAQs tab above and clk on “Flour varieties…”

  32. Hi,

    I have the HBin5 and have tried several batches from the Master Recipe to others… I have an issue with flavor… My current batch is the Soft WW Sandwich bread – the first batch came out well, but the subsequent loaves taste “too yeasty” – like the bread fermented. I experimented with adding extra sugar or honey and other times I used less yeast but can’t seem to get rid of the strong yeast flavor. Any suggestions?

    1. Vicky: your experiencing the development of sourdough character, and that’s inherent to our method. My usual advice at this point is to decrease the yeast (see our FAQs tab above and click on Yeast: can it be decreased in the recipes?

      … but go way down and be patient for a slow rise. The other thing you can do is try venting the container more to allow aromas to escape. Finally, you could stop storing out dough in the fridge– just freeze it instead, in loaf-sized portions.

  33. Hi – Book: Healthy Bread in 5 min a Day, page 249 “Not Rye (But So Very Close) and Gluten Free” I love this bread and it does taste so similar to real rye! Two questions: (1) After the dough has risen 2+ hrs on the counter, do I punch it down before storing in fridge for several days? It did rise a bit over the top of the bowl. (2) What might you suggest in lieu of caraway seeds. Not too crazy about caraway although I know it is typical for rye! Thanks, Lynnea

  34. Crispy Crust: It’s just not happening! Is it possible to put too much water in the pan, so that in an effort to increase steam, I am softening the crust too much…?

      1. Thanks Jeff! The oven is quite precise and holds steam very well – thanks for the input. I’ll stick to just under a cup of hot water. Regards!

  35. Greetings Everyone,
    I read that yeast gives off gasses and bread dough should NOT be in an airtight container. How do you get a tightly closed container (like they sell at King Arthur, etc.)that is not airtight? It seems that the plastic snap-on lids would seal them.

    1. can punch a tiny airhole with a small nail or drill bit in the plastic lid. Or just leave the top cracked open a bit for the first 48 hours, after that there’s little gas production and I usually snap it shut.

    2. I found an airtight container, then removed the rubber thing so it still closes, but it’s not airtight. I had to shop around, though- some of them worked for that, and others didn’t (usually because they wouldn’t stay closed without it).

  36. Do you still rest the shaped loaf on the pizza peel for 40 min even if you just mixed it and allowed the new dough to rise for 2 hours in the bucket (non-refrigerated)? or does the 2 hours in the bucket count as the 40 min of loaf resting?

    1. can decrease the resting time if it’s fresh unrefrigerated dough, can halve the time after shaping in most cases. But some people have preferred longer rest times anyway, can go 60 or even 90 min rather than 40. But again, generally can half that if it’s fresh unrefrig’d.

  37. Re Gluten Free Almost Rye – thanks for your response. I mixed up the dough Friday, and baked it today Tuesday. Gorgeous and fragrant! I used lava rocks for steam method and King Arthur baking stone heated to 500F and then turned down to 450F. Baked to probe temp of 200F. Yum! We didn’t use poppy seeds or sesame but instead at the last minute decided on golden flax seeds and coarse black pepper on one loaf, and chia seeds on the other. (I don’t know why we turn up our nose at traditional caraway or fennel seeds 🙁 I wish I could post a photo – really looks perfect! Thank you so much.

  38. I just purchased your book, Artisan bread in five minutes a day. I mixed up my first batch of dough yesterday, and am putting it in the oven tonight.

    I tested my oven, as you recommended, and found out that my oven doesn’t get to 450 degrees. When I turn it up to 500 degrees, as high as my oven goes, it hits about 430. Yes, I placed the thermometer where the bread will be. It’s an apartment oven, so it’s old and obviously not top of the line, and there’s really nothing I can do to fix it. I knew it heated unevenly (I burn random cookies when I bake them- not on one side of the oven, either- randomly dispersed throughout the pan. One will be underbaked, and the ones on either side will be black), but I didn’t know it wouldn’t get hot enough.

    I’m going to try baking the bread anyway.

    Do you have any suggestions for baking the bread at a lower temperature? I’m using the master recipe. I bought a baking stone, so I’m out a significant (for me) amount of money if this doesn’t work.

    1. It’ll work, though the crust won’t be quite as good. If you can’t get the temp above 430, just anticipate a 15 to 20% longer baking time to develop deep brown color in a 1-pound loaf (start with these small loaves first, especially given your cool oven). And always use the stone.

      One thing: Consider a longer preheat than we specify in the book. 40 or even 60 minutes rather than the quick preheat we have in the book may make a difference in the final temperature.

      1. Ok. Thank you for your help. I hoped it would work like that. I decided to experiment last night 🙂

        The bread turned out ok. I decided to turn the oven on to preheat when I put my dough out the rest (50 minutes) in hopes that would help. That got the temperature up to about 440. Kinda sad, considering it was set at 500. I made the loaf just a little smaller (weighed .8 pounds instead of 1 pound) and baked it for about five minutes longer. There are only two of us, so a smaller loaf wasn’t a problem. It ended up looking about like your photos say it should look 🙂

        I will be so happy when I have a decent oven. Cookies are especially annoying- I’ve learned I have to check them three minutes before they’re supposed to be done, take a third to half of them out, since they’re already done, and leave the rest in for a few minutes longer.

  39. Hello Jeff,
    Thanks for the advice. We made your roasted garlic potato bread. HA CHA CHA….now there’s a fabulous bread recipe. Your directions were followed exactly. This bread is a monster. It continues to rise in the fridge. We going to try a quarter of it as a pizza dough this evening.
    It doesn’t get any better.
    All the best,

  40. I am finally trying out your recipes after receiving ABin5 several years ago. Yeast bread has always intimidated me. Now I’m really enjoying baking bread!

    I’ve had some not great results, but with all the information on your site I’m learning when dough is too dry, too wet and how to adjust. Finally created a pretty European Peasant loaf after the first two loaves burst open into funny shapes. (Solution: Our kitchen is cooler this time of year. Let it rest 20 minutes longer.)

    One question, however. Why am I not able to get 4 loaves out of the Light Wheat and the European Peasant recipes? For the Light Wheat, I had 8-12 oz left over. (Made dinner rolls with it.) But for the Peasant bread, I weighed the dough each time I baked and only had 3 – 1 lb loaves.

    1. … because our recipes make “about” 4 pounds of dough, but really 3.6. So you should be able to get four 0.9 pound loaves, not 1.0. Don’t know why you’re only getting 3 pounds???

  41. I have been using plastic containers that are designed to keep vegetables fresh longer as they have some type of venting system. It fits great in the fridge.

  42. How well do your recipes work with gluten free flour? I know gluten free flour usually soaks up tons of water, how would I go about adjusting the water measurements to still get a nice loaf of bread? Just found out about a gluten sensitivity in our family so trying to adjust.

  43. Hi! I bought the Italian OO flour (from King Arthur) as mentioned in APandFin5 but haven’t used it yet. In looking thru King Arthur’s catalog they have a “relaxer” called “Easy-Roll Dough Improver” that is supposed to helped reduce shrinking when rolling out pizza dough (which I ALWAYS have problems with) – has anyone tried this? Good thing? Bad thing? Thanks!

    1. Hi Sally,

      My apologies, I’m not sure how I missed your question.

      I have used dough conditioners with great success. I always suggest trying the recipe as it is written and then make any changes in the second attempt. This way you know what the dough was intended to be like and which way you prefer it. We tend to write our recipes with as little in the way of ingredients that are not readily available. The dough conditioners are a great product, but many don’t notice a big enough difference to make it worth the cost or effort.

      Let me know what you think. Thanks, Zoë

      1. No apologies needed. I’m constantly amazed at how alive (best word I can think of) are all these posts. You have truly created a dialogue about bread : ) Thank you for your response and I’ll let you know what happens if I buy the conditioner. Thanks again! BTW – another successful baking of the “soft American white” – going to be used for stuffing this weekend : )!

  44. I’ve been baking (and enjoying!) your breads and pizzas for several years now. Question — Do I need to remove my stone and/or empty broiler tray from the oven when I’m using it for baking something other than bread? I’m not sure how they impact the heat distribution. I have been taking them out, but it’s a hassle, especially when I forget until the oven and they are already hot.

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