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

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Notes about this book

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Notes about Recipes in this book

  • The Saturday white bread

    • jifar on April 15, 2013

      I also found this recipe very successful. Beautiful thin crisp crust and silky texture to the crumb, v. happy.

    • Katti on November 18, 2012

      Dark, flavourful crust and an airy, moist and mild tasting crumb. Yummy :) The recipe was easy to follow, and the total hands-on time was minimal. Time does most of the work for you. I did have to plan my day around the baking schedule though. I've started substituting 15% of the wheat flour with rye flour, which I think improves the flavour

    • twoyolks on January 01, 2019

      This bread produces a great crumb and a good crust but there really isn't much flavor in the bread itself. It's pretty easy but just too bland.

    • MmeFleiss on May 28, 2018

      Totally impressive loaf for so little effort. It made me excited to go back into bread baking.

  • The Saturday 75% whole wheat bread

    • Katti on January 22, 2013

      Light texture for such a high percentage of whole wheat. Tasty crust.

  • Overnight white bread

    • twoyolks on January 03, 2019

      This bread had a great crust and a great crumb. It also developed a decent amount of flavor during its long rise time.

    • Rutabaga on August 29, 2016

      This was my first time baking bread in a Dutch oven, and I have to say it really works. Although I didn't follow Forkish's instructions to the letter (my scale battery had gone out, so I had to measure by volume, I didn't mix the autolyse quite as well as I should have, and I didn't take any temperature readings), the bread turned out crustier, airier, and more flavorful than I could ever have hope to bake at home before. I think I cut into the loaf a little sooner than I should have, which crushed some of the lovely air pockets, but this was a fantastic first try.

  • Weeknight white bread

    • Rutabaga on November 10, 2017

      As expected, this was a wonderful bread, nicely chewy with large pockets of air, just like Forkish states in the recipe intro. The kids are mad for it; my oldest went so far as to say it was the best bread in the world (at six he's prone to hyperbole, but that's still high praise). My crust was a little tough, but that may have been because it sat out on the counter all day before we ate it. Toasting it fixes that issue handily.

  • Overnight 40% whole wheat bread

    • Rutabaga on December 05, 2016

      This was my second bread from this book. It's understandably a little heavier due to the whole wheat flour, but was a great multi-purpose bread, suitable for toast or any kind of sandwich, and a great accompaniment to hearty soups. Compared with artisan bakery breads, the flavor is a little lacking here, but I think you have to move on to leavain breads to really get that hint of sourness I crave.

  • White bread with poolish

    • Rutabaga on December 05, 2016

      I thought this bread was the best of the three I've made so far from Forkish's book. My only complaint was that it needed a bit more salt, but that could have been due to the kosher salt I was using. Since I haven't yet replaced the battery in my scale, I had to use Imperial measurements, so I chose to deliberately go lightly on the flour, then add more as needed when doing the final mixing to get the kind of consistency shown in the book. This technique seems to work pretty well for me. The loaves were airy and light, and the crumb even had a little sheen to it, just like Forkish mentions is a sign of a good bread! I can see how this would be a great dough for baguettes, and look forward to experimenting with it.

    • Rutabaga on January 22, 2017

      I made this again, this time weighing the ingredients. It is indeed a wet and sticky dough, but the flavor is excellent. Oddly, the crust on my second loaf (I have to bake them one at a time) wasn't as firm as it usually is, but the texture of the crumb was still good, so this didn't really bother me. I added 3-4 tablespoons of chopped rosemary and sprinkled the top with Maldon sea salt - delicious!

    • twoyolks on February 21, 2019

      I had good luck with this bread. It has a nicely developed flavor from the poolish. I got a good crust on my bread. The crumb is somewhat tight but still in a good way. I give a slight edge to the White bread with biga in the book merely because of a looser crumb.

    • Katti on January 22, 2013

      Didn't quite live up to expectations, and the dough was very wet and hard to work with. I will try it once more in case I've made a mistake somewhere.

  • Harvest bread with poolish

    • Rutabaga on January 20, 2017

      Another winner! This time I was able to use weights to measure the ingredients as I finally have a working scale again. While made primarily with white flour, the additional flours give it a a nice toasty flavor. Due to timing issues, my final dough proofed for around eight hours, but as it was not a warm day, this did not seem to be too long. We couldn't wait a full twenty minutes after it came out of the oven, and sliced it after only about ten minutes, but everyone loved the freshly buttered warm slices.

  • White bread with 80% biga

    • twoyolks on February 21, 2019

      This had a good flavor from the biga, a very nice, crispy crust, and a more rustic, looser crumb. This has been my favorite recipe so far in the book.

  • Pain de campagne

    • twoyolks on March 12, 2019

      I was a bit disappointed by this bread. The crust and crumb were good but there wasn't as much flavor as I'd like.

  • Field blend #2

    • HalfSmoke on February 20, 2017

      Terrible name, but my favorite bread from this book. The touch of rye and whole wheat flours give it great depth of flavor. One tip -- I find this bread doesn't burst at the seam on it's own like others in this book. I proof it seam side up and then score it with a lame before baking. Works great.

  • Same-day straight pizza dough

    • Rutabaga on February 06, 2017

      This turned out great, even though I didn't have time to let the dough balls rest long prior to baking. There wasn't time for the pizza steel to fully heat up, so I didn't use Forkish's oven/broiler method for baking the pies, but simply kept the oven at 525 F the whole time. The dough had a really nice chew, and good flavor considering it only had about ten hours of rise time. It's ideal when you decide you want pizza for dinner that same night.

    • Lulucooks on May 25, 2017

      I love this recipe. It tastes like old school pizza dough. Nice and crispy.

  • Overnight straight pizza dough

    • Rutabaga on March 19, 2017

      This recipe yields results comparable to the same-day straight pizza dough. Use whichever recipe best fits your schedule, and enjoy great pizza. These recipes are also useful for spreading your pizza-making out over two consecutive days, just don't do what I did this and store the dough balls under a tea towel in the fridge for an additional day. As one would expect, the tops my dough balls developed a dry crust under the towel, but fortunately I was still able to work the dough without too much difficulty. This is one of those cases where plastic wrap really serves its purpose.

    • twoyolks on February 22, 2019

      The dough had a very good flavor. The crust didn't hit the appropriate crispness for a New York-style pizza. The dough had a lot of air bubbles, many of which I popped manually, so the edge of the pizza puffed up considerably.

  • Smooth red sauce

    • twoyolks on February 22, 2019

      Nice, simple sauce that works well for a New York-style pizza.

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Reviews about this book

  • Food52

    ...stands out for its elemental techniques and straightforward instruction in yeasted and sourdough breads and pizzas.

    Full review
  • Baking Bites

    ...instead of giving you a list of recipes and leaving you to your own devices, it gives you a comprehensive course in everything you need to know about baking bread.

    Full review
  • ISBN 10 160774273X
  • ISBN 13 9781607742739
  • Linked ISBNs
  • Published Oct 20 2012
  • Format Hardcover
  • Page Count 272
  • Language English
  • Countries United States
  • Publisher Ten Speed Press
  • Imprint Ten Speed Press

Publishers Text

From Portland's most acclaimed and beloved baker comes this must-have baking guide, featuring scores of 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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