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

Ken Forkish
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
RRP: 30.00
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Book Description

20 Oct 2012
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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Product details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Ten Speed Press; 1 edition (20 Oct 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 160774273X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1607742739
  • Product Dimensions: 25.1 x 21.1 x 2.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 29,981 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
4.8 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best bread making book on the market. 4 April 2014
I purchased this book from another seller. I am working my way through the recipes within this book and so far they have all come out brilliantly. The author gives a list of equipment that he believes is needed for his recipes, but he does state that things like the 12L tub for mixing are his preference & not essential. I for one have no intention of getting one of these and use a 6L mixing bowl. Forkish always makes enough dough for two loaves of bread, I half his recipes and make enough for one at a time. He does not use a stand mixer, nor does he do lots of kneading, as his recipes are slow rise and most take at least 18hrs.. Forkish gives concise instructions and reasons for working the way he does and if you are not sure you can watch his methods on YouTube.

Some say that this book is not for the novice but I would argue why learn to make bread the wrong way, when you can start off as you should go on. I do agree with Forkish that we know far more about the science of bread making and we all have fridges, so why continue making bread the way we have made for over 100 years. We need to learn and adjust. Also if you just want to turn out a loaf of bread that tastes the same as you can buy from any bakers what is the point?

The one piece of equipment that you'll definitely need for his recipes is a Dutch Oven that can withstand very high temperatures.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent book for the home baker 26 Jun 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This is a very good book on true Artisan bread making - Forkish takes you through from the basic ingredients via simple yeasted breads right through to complex levain based (sourdough) breads. His methods are very easy to follow, but are completely different from the typical "leave it to rise for one hour" approach. This is a good thing. Most of his breads rise overnight and have a much more complex flavour because of it. He gives example schedules as well, so you can plan out the baking over a couple of days. This doesn't mean there is lot of work in creating bread here, it just takes a while - most of which time you can easily be out at work or off doing something else.

My favourite recipes are the "Overnight Country Blonde" and the "Pain au Bacon", both of which are stunning!

I have a couple of comments though:

In the levain based bread section, he advises building up an awful lot of levain, then chucking most of it away. I think this is wasteful, but I have had good success building up half the amount he specifies.

Also, to get the best from this book, you will need to either already own or invest in a Dutch Oven or large cast iron lidded casserole that fits into your oven. I use a Lodge Combo Cooker (see link below) which is absolutely perfect. If you don't have such a container, it really is worth buying one as it will take the bread to another level - there's also the benefit of being able to cook other stuff in it too!

Lodge Combo Cooker with Shallow Skillet Lid, 3 qt

Other than the recipes and techniques, Forkish's story is pretty interesting and entertaining.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fun book for serious amateurs 7 May 2014
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I have really only started baking bread properly since our daughter bought me Paul Hollywood's '100 Great Breads' which is a great starting point. I then bought his book 'How to Bake' and that takes you further. This book is much more concerned with you understanding the chemistry of bread-making and then letting you try it. There are aspects which surprise you at first - 3 grams of yeast instead of 20, 12-14 hours fermentation instead of 4, using much less salt and using plain flour instead of strong white flour and last, but not least, baking bread in a dutch oven! I have to say that, if you persevere, you will marvel at just how fantastic bread can taste! The only downside is that you will realise just how tasteless most shop-bought bread really is, even the stuff made by nationally recognised bakers. In a world where quality has been forsaken for efficiency, this book will remind you that less is more and that patience really does bring its own, wonderful rewards.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brillliant! 1 July 2013
I am a new convert to bread making and was somewhat daunted by this book which a friend gave me. I started with the Saturday white bread. I watched nervously as the mix expanded - and expanded - prodded it to see if sufficiently proved then tipped the whole into a le creuset - and 40 mins later it had transformed into the most amazing looking loaf (just like the one on the cover) - which tasted even better. I have progressed to the pizza bases - again wonderful - and am now plucking up courage to try the levain recipes.

I do not have all the equipment he suggests ( do have thermometer and also oven thermometer) so have improvised on a number of points to no apparent detriment. Quantities are given for 2 loaves so are easily scaled up or down as required
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting book but seems complicated 20 Sep 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
It's an interesting book, and I enjoy reading it. But I would say it's different from other cookbook. It doesn't directly tell you how to make a good loaf. You got to read through the book and gain insights of different techniques and skills in order to achieve a successful loaf. It's definitely not a book for beginner. You must be pretty serious about bread for this book readers.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent
Bought for the IPAD Kindle App. Excellent presentation, photos etc.
Well written making good reading, and together with good recipes a useful book.
Published 3 months ago by Richard Mortimore
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent
Best book I have seen on breadmaking

The review system says I need more words to complete, but isn't what I have said enough ?
Published 6 months ago by Geoff Hearn
5.0 out of 5 stars Easy baking Artisan Bread
Great baking bread book! I recommend to anyone, expeciality if you want progress in artisan bread baking. Forkish is very clear with his instructions.
Published 7 months ago by luiza
3.0 out of 5 stars Good artisan bread making book.
It is a good book with a transversal overview of the bread making process. Easy reading and very clear. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Pedro Goncalves
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant book
I borrowed a copy from my mate and read it. I knew then that I had to have one of my own
Published 10 months ago by Mik Jones
5.0 out of 5 stars Its superb
I started with Peter Reinhart, The Breadbakers Apprentice and that was great too, But this book really took my bread to another level. Read more
Published 10 months ago by np
4.0 out of 5 stars Challenging and exciting
Having made my own bread for some years I find this book both challenging and exciting. It is both challenging and exciting to make bread without the normal yeast and 2 rising... Read more
Published 10 months ago by Robert de Wit
5.0 out of 5 stars Changed my baking completely
A truly great book, I have recommended it to many friends and online in forums, I really do rate this book. Read more
Published 12 months ago by Robert Green
5.0 out of 5 stars If you only buy one book this is it!!
If you are serious about baking artisan bread then this is the best I have seen. American, by someone whose approach you immediately respect and who has already been a success in... Read more
Published 13 months ago by kingland20
5.0 out of 5 stars A stunning in-depth book on the art of elemental bread making
Tartine Bread by Chad Robertson brought together everything that I'd picked up myself from working towards the sort of bread I wanted to bake & sell. Read more
Published 13 months ago by Alex
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