Flour Water Salt Yeast: The Fundamentals of Artisan Bread and Pizza

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Ten Speed Press, 2012 - Cooking - 265 pages
From Portland's most acclaimed and beloved baker comes this must-have baking guide, featuring recipes for world-class breads and pizzas and a variety of schedules suited for the home baker.

There are few things more satisfying than biting into a freshly made, crispy-on-the-outside, soft-and-supple-on-the-inside slice of perfectly baked bread. For Portland-based baker Ken Forkish, well-made bread is more than just a pleasure—it is a passion that has led him to create some of the best and most critically lauded breads and pizzas in the country.

In Flour Water Salt Yeast, Forkish translates his obsessively honed craft into scores of recipes for rustic boules and Neapolitan-style pizzas, all suited for the home baker. Forkish developed and tested all of the recipes in his home oven, and his impeccable formulas and clear instructions result in top-quality artisan breads and pizzas that stand up against those sold in the best bakeries anywhere.

Whether you're a total beginner or a serious baker, Flour Water Salt Yeast has a recipe that suits your skill level and time constraints: Start with a straight dough and have fresh bread ready by supper time, or explore pre-ferments with a bread that uses biga or poolish. If you're ready to take your baking to the next level, follow Forkish's step-by-step guide to making a levain starter with only flour and water, and be amazed by the delicious complexity of your naturally leavened bread. Pizza lovers can experiment with a variety of doughs and sauces to create the perfect pie using either a pizza stone or a cast-iron skillet.

Flour Water Salt Yeast is more than just a collection of recipes for amazing bread and pizza—it offers a complete baking education, with a thorough yet accessible explanation of the tools and techniques that set artisan bread apart. Featuring a tutorial on baker's percentages, advice for manipulating ingredients ratios to create custom doughs, tips for adapting bread baking schedules to fit your day-to-day life, and an entire chapter that demystifies the levain-making process, Flour Water Salt Yeast is an indispensable resource for bakers who want to make their daily bread exceptional bread.

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Flour Water Salt Yeast: The Fundamentals of Artisan Bread and Pizza

User Review  - Book Verdict

Forkish—chef and owner of Ken's Artisan Bread and Ken's Artisan Pizza in Portland, OR—is passionate about baking; he's still nurturing a levain he started in 1999. His first book is exceptionally ... Read full review

User Review - Flag as inappropriate

Gathering dust on a back shelf was this 5 qt. Lodge dutch oven my wife got me a few years ago. Never thought I'd use, but I didn't want to toss it either. And then, as a Christmas gift, I received Ken Forkish's book and it changed my life.
Well, it certainly changed how I bake bread. I am now producing "artisan" quality breads - even complex sourdough breads - in my "standard" home oven. Something I wasn't able to do even with my trusted reference "The Bread Bible." Ken's book filled in the spaces that Beth's book just didn't cover to my satisfaction.
Perhaps it is a bit technical, but I'm an engineer and that's the way I like it. Great tips, and recipes - straight forward, and easy to follow. Few "special" tools are necessary, such as the dutch oven and a 2kg scale (he suggests others, but I haven't needed them), but the rest is done with your hands.
For any serious home bread maker, it is well worth owning.


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About the author (2012)

After a twenty-year career in the high-tech industry, KEN FORKISH decided to leave Silicon Valley and corporate America behind to become a baker. He moved to Portland, Oregon, and opened Ken's Artisan Bakery in 2001, followed by Ken's Artisan Pizza in 2006. Forkish trained at the San Francisco Baking Institute, the CIA Greystone, Toscana Saporita in Italy, and l'Institut Paul Bocuse in France.

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