ately, I was interested in baking sourdough bread. I had to do some researches to load my brain with information about the bread as much as possible. While I was browsing the internet, I read a recommendation for a book called “Flour Water Salt Yeast by Ken Forkish“. I’ll be honest, the name and the book cover attracted me the most, and without any doubts, I bought the book. After 10 days of waiting, the book had arrived and I started reading. The surprise was that I took only 10 days to read it completely from the front to back cover! It was huge with more than 200 pages, regardless of the heavyweight I was carrying every day to work. What I have found after reading is that this book is the ideal instructor for beginners. If you just started baking bread and you need to have the fundamentals of baking, this is your book!
The book starts to give you a lovely story on how the author, Ken Forkish, started his interests for baking and turned it into a full-time job. Then, it takes you into details, tricks, and science behind a great bread dough. It also has recipes from Ken’s bakery. These recipes still using it in his bakery, and he developed them by himself. The book is divided into 4 parts, each part has 3-4 chapters. Here is the table of contents, if it would help to give you an outline about the book.
– Part 1: The Principles of Artisan Bread:
1: The Backstory
2: Eight Details for Great Bread and Pizza
3: Equipment and Ingredients
Essay: Where Does Our Flour Come From?
– Part 2: Basic Bread Recipes:
4: Basic Bread Method
5: Straight Doughs
6: Doughs Made with Pre-Ferments
Essay: The early Morning Bread Baker’s Routine
– Part 3: Levain Bread Recipes:
7: Understanding Levain
8: Levain Method
9: Hybrid Leavening Doughs
Essay: The 3-Kil Boule
10: Pure Levain Doughs
11: Advanced Levain Doughs
Essay: Making Bread (or Pizza) Dough You Can Call Your Own
– Part 4: Pizza Recipes:
12: Pizza and Focaccia Method
13: Pizza Doughs
14: Pizza and Focaccia
– Metric Conversion Charts
It is magnificently easy to follow. The instructions and steps are very clear. The language and his way of writing are clearly understandable. You definitely can give it to a beginner and he will blow your mind with the results. What I really loved about it is that it doesn’t contain only recipes, it has information and a guideline on how to create and develop your own bread recipes. Additionally, how to manage the baking and fermentation time according to your schedule. The recipes are described in details and has a backup of most of the information in the book. The folding and kneading methods are shown step by step in pictures.
I would definitely recommend this book to anyone neither interested in the baking world nor not. It gives you confidence and makes baking a piece of cake. It’s one of these books that you should have it on your shelf for reference. You can find it on Amazon for $18.99. However, you can purchase a second hand for $14 or less. Click here for the book, and here for Ken’s website.
I hope you enjoyed this brief review!