Bread basics on the rise and  ready to go. Photo by Donna Turner Ruhlman.

Bread basics on the rise and ready to go. Photo by Donna Turner Ruhlman.

Taking a bit of a break with Ma in West Palm—Goodbye, Cleveland grays!—but wanted to keep up the culinary inspiration via Donna’s photos. Here a basic bread ratio of 5 parts flour to 3 parts water can be turned into pizza dough, flat bread, or even a braided loaf with kosher salt

My Bread Baking App has more info or watch this video.

Or have a look at these past bread posts: pretzels, multigrain bread, no knead bread, and challah.



What is The Book of Schmaltz? Find out on Vimeo; then win a copy of the app from Edamam’s giveaway on Pinterest.


© 2013 Michael Ruhlman. Photo © 2013 Donna Turner Ruhlman. All rights reserved.



18 Wonderful responses to “Bake Your Own 5:3 Bread”

  • cleek

    i’ve been trying to make a plain ol French bread for the past three weeks. but no matter what i’ve tried, i get the same thing: a greyish, rock-hard crust and an interior that is more like a dense white bread than an airy French bread. i’ve read all kinds of articles on how to do it, and have tried a bunch of the things i’ve read about, but nothing works.

    i think i might as well give what i make a name and just insist that it’s exactly what i intended to make!

      • cleek

        i’m using the one that came with my stand mixer.

        off the top of my head…

        1 packet active yeast
        3.5 cups flour (also tried this by weight … 15.5 oz)
        1.5 tsp salt
        1.5 tsp melted butter
        1 1/4 cups warm water

        add yeast to water in mixer bowl, stir, sit for a minute or so. add everything else. 2 minutes on speed ‘2’.

        1 hour rise in a warm place, covered. punch down, form a loaf. another 1 hr rise, covered. bake @ 450 for 20 minutes. brush the top with an egg white + water mix. bake another 5-10.

        i cut the salt down – way too salty as is. i tried kneading by hand for a couple of minutes after the mix. tried kneading after the first rise. but no matter what i try, the loaf doesn’t rise on the second rise. on one try, i got it to get wider, but it never gets higher (too much water?). i tried adding some water in a pan during the bake – didn’t seem to do anything.

        i’m totally new to bread making.

        • Emilia

          French bread does not have any butter added to it. Try reading Michael’s bread posts for early 2012 or get the bread baking app. The french bead recipe i use I let it sit out overnight.

      • cleek

        got your app. tried three times… the first two times, i couldn’t get a rise out of the dough.

        so, Sunday, on the third try, instead of giving up, i put the dough in the fridge, thinking it might rise overnight. but, within a couple of hours, lo, it had risen. took it out, punched it down, paid attention to forming a nice ball, etc.. and it worked!

        nearly perfect French bread!

        after a few slices, i discovered that it was a little underdone in the middle, so i stupidly popped it directly into the oven. and within five minutes at 450, it was burned. but, i did get four perfect slices!

        i think my problems were: not enough kneading and not shaping the final loaf correctly.


        • Marc B

          OUTSTANDING! One of the things a lot of folks don’t do is give their bread time. Even with instant yeasts and all that goes with, rising dough is finicky stuff. Drafts, highly chlorinated water and not enough mixing all slow rise times. Glad to hear it worked out with even less effort.

  • Chuck

    I want that baking app, but no iDevice. Any plans for an Android version? Help me give you (more of) my money!

    • ruhlman

      was available on kindle, but got glitchy, and i thought it was available on android devices, apparently not. ratio app has basic bread dough ratio and that is available for droid devices.

  • Michael Villar

    Welcome to South Florida! You came at a particularly cold time for us, but it should thaw out the next few days. I made the agnolotti a few days ago and am looking forward to trying out your bread ratio.

  • Paul Kobulnicky

    Wrong ratio for airy crumb or even pizza dough. Try 3.5:5 or if you are really good at handling wet dough then 4:5. Baking bread is all about ratios (see “Baker’s Percentages”) but 3:5 is awfully simplistic for the world of bread.

  • Miss Kim @ behgopa

    I can’t even eat store-bought bread anymore. Nothing beats a fresh out of the oven bread. I’m not a bread snob, but I will only eat the bread on the day that it was baked. It just doesn’t taste the same the next day. And that is when I make croutons out of them.

  • Pat

    i had failures with bread making till someone gave me an old bread machine with recipe book so followed those recipes and basicly its 3 cups flour to one cup liquid plus 1 1/2 tsp salt whatever sugar you want 2 tsp yeast an 2 tbsp oil or butter can play with it all you want but now the bread i make freehand is so good i won’t eat store bought adding teaspoon lemon juice will make your bread keep a week easy just sitting out proof yeast with water an first cup flour an salt kills yeast so be careful when you add it get atleast two rises keep dough moist 350 oven or 375 dont matter really but bread done between 195 an 200 pan of water in oven will keep crust moist ish can add whatever play with flours whole wheat alone will be dense best to mix it with bread flour thing is to play around but from this you can make bread and don’t forget to kneed dough well for first rise 10 minutes ish second just punch it down knead alittle shape it an into the pan use dark steel pan glass or ceramic won’t work well the liquid can be water milk eggs or any combination eggs an 1/2 cup sugar you making a cake bread but will taste great lol slash or don’t slash top brush with egg or butter sprinkle something on top you have whole world of bread to explore 🙂

  • Pat

    I am brand new to making bread. The stuff in the store has way to many ingredients for me, I want to make my own. There is a farm nearby that stone grinds their heirloom wheat flour so I bought some of that. I made bread in my cast iron dutch oven. It never did raise, was very dark and heavy. The taste was really good, but it is not really what I am looking for. Hear is what I did:

    3c unbleached all-purpose flour (but I used 100% w2hole wheat flour)
    1t yeast
    1t salt
    1-1/2c warm water

    In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, salt and yeast. Add water and stir until a shaggy mixture forms (mixture will be loose and sticky; this is what you want). Cover bowl with plastic wrap and set aside for 12 – 18 hours (up to 24). Overnight works great.
    Preheat oven to 450. Place a cast iron dutch oven with a lid in the oven and heat the pot for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, pour the risen dough onto a heavily floured surface (mixture will be sticky) and lightly shape into a round loaf.
    Remove hot pot from the oven and carefully set in the dough. Cover and return to oven for 30 minutes. Then, remove the lid and bake an additional 10-15 minutes. Carefully remove bread from oven and from pot and place on a cooling rack.

    Is it the flour? To much water? I tried their more sifted out wheat flour and the dough did raise a little bit.

    I WILL make my own bread, so any help would be great!!

    • ruhlman

      too much whole wheat. I would only use 30% whole wheat, the rest white. I also posted on multigrain bread a while back.

  • Marc B

    Take Ruhlman’s comment to heart: 30% is good. And as you are using a no knead technique, whole wheat will take even longer. (The bran makes it harder to “inflate”)

    Now, this is an “extra”, but you may want to add Vital Gluten. It does help whole grain bread get a better rise.