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The Tooth Grinder "cynical realist" (Surrey, UK)

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Flour Water Salt Yeast: The Fundamentals of Artisan Bread and Pizza
Flour Water Salt Yeast: The Fundamentals of Artisan Bread and Pizza
by Ken Forkish
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £20.40

14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent book for the home baker, 26 Jun 2013
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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.

All in all, it's a good read, a good recipe manual and a good book on the art and science of bread baking.

One final point....if you get hooked on this approach to baking, it is well worth buying good quality flour and salt. The yeast you can create yourself if you follow his advice on creating a sourdough starter. If you are in the UK, Shipton Mill produce fantastic flour for online ordering....
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Aug 5, 2014 1:12 PM BST

The Easy Guide to Solar Electric: For Home Power Systems
The Easy Guide to Solar Electric: For Home Power Systems
by Adi Pieper
Edition: Paperback

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Absolute Rubbish, 20 Sep 2007
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This book is a total waste of time and effort.

It deals poorly and almost exclusively with off-grid systems while the vast majority of Solar PV requirements today are grid-connected. It is also written in a very conversational style, with the author trying to make solar systems easier to understand by using ridiculous analogies such as trees and goats.

Mr. Pieper's humour is also rather poor. He tries to be funny, but falls flat on his face.

If you really are interested in designing and installing your own Solar PV system, I would advise staying well clear of this pathetic book.

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