Flour Water Salt Yeast Book Review
I just found and read the most amazing bread book from the Library the other day. Its called “Flour Water Salt Yeast: The Fundamentals of Artisan Bread and Pizza” by Ken Forkish. I have yet to find a more scientific bread baking book. I am so happy to read this book and learn about the fine details of proper bread making.
Ken explains every detail. I was slightly overwhelmed at first reading about levians, poolishes, starters, biga’s, and the Autolyse method, but after thoroughly reading the book, page by page, I am not lost anymore. Doesn’t help when you read the book backwards, but I did accidentally. The recipes in the middle and back were so exciting I read them first before reading the explanations of methods at the beginning. But now after sitting down and reading the first intro chapters, I am hooked. I am going to bake bread for the rest of my life and this book is the starting stepping stone.
I am extremely grateful to have studied this book this morning. I am in the process of making and using my own poolish so I am really excited to read some expert tips. My neighbor just gave me some sourdough starter the other day and I am working on understanding what to do with it, now that I have this book. The intro chapters in the book explain everything that the author has learned about bread making and how he has had the privilege of learning it. Reading about baking internships that he did while he was learning bread, makes me want to go to the local bakeries here and volunteer my time just to learn from a real baker like he did.
This book covers old school baking methods that have been around for the last 5000 years. Basic flour, water, salt and yeast is mostly what you need for the recipes he gives in this book. He covers basic bread with white flour, breads with whole wheat, how to make pizza dough and even the basic focaccia bread.
Without telling you the whole book, I will share some of the chapter titles with you, so you can get an idea of how scientific the book gets. I feel like I am reading an encyclopedia of knowledge of baking here.
The book is comprised of 4 parts. The first part covers the principals of artisan bread making. The details of the execution techniques of making great bread and pizza and the equipment and ingredients you will need. As you can see, reading this part first, helps. The second part explains basic bread recipes and all the in’s and out’s of dough. He even gives a special section here where he explains the day of a bread baker, hr by hr, in his bakery. Its a great look into the process.
Part 3 covers levian. The basic of understanding levian, a method of levain, and even some hybrid levaining dough recipes. He breaks the process down so well, I am sure I will have to read that chapter again, because there is a whole lot of information there. Part 4 covers pizza dough and focaccia bread. I have made a few pizza’s lately and this part was priceless for my foodie knowledge.
I would share more, but you should just go get the book and enjoy learning how to make your own bread and pizza dough. I made my first sourdough yesterday and I am looking forward to putting all this research to work from this book to make a whole lot more breads and pizza’s to come, but before I even can do that I am starting the book over and taking vigorous notes on everything. I got this book from my local library, so I will have to return it soon.