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

4.42  ·  Rating Details ·  1,143 Ratings  ·  87 Reviews
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.

In Flour Water Salt Yeast, author Ken Forkish demonstrates that high-quality artisan bread and pizza is within the reach of any home baker. Whether it's a basic straight dough, dough mad
ebook, 272 pages
Published September 18th 2012 by Ten Speed Press (first published January 1st 2012)
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Brigid Keely
"Flour Water Salt Yeast: The Fundamentals of Artisan Bread and Pizza," by Ken Forkish, is a book about intense privilege and complicated bread recipes and sweeping statements about what is and isn't the right way of making bread.

I make bread fairly regularly, one of my go-to books being "Beard On Bread" by James Beard. Like a lot of books about bread, Beard emphasizes that most people don't need a stand mixer and can mix by hand, and includes pictures showing different ways one can knead bread w
Feb 17, 2013 Amy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I asked for this book for Christmas after reading and rereading reviews of it. I'm a very experienced baker who has been making bread for nearly 40 years. I've wanted to be able to make a whole grain loaf that tastes like it came from a wood-fired brick oven, but my kitchen doesn't come equipped with such amenities. Today, I tried the Saturday 75% whole wheat bread and Wow!! The crust is amazing; the flavor is incredible, and I'm ready to dive into more of the book, but even if this is the only ...more
Aug 05, 2014 Elizabeth rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It seems a little precipitous to rate a book before reading much more than a few pages.

But after skimming through the entire book, this appears to be a fabulous book for someone just starting to bake bread. (It also appears to be a great one for advanced bakers.)

It's full of wonderful photographs, clear instructions on how to mix, knead, shape, etc. etc.

I wandered into the levain section to read the following:

At Ken's Artisan Bakery, we feed the levain three times a day. There are two reasons
Michele Winship
Dec 31, 2012 Michele Winship rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Unlike many recipe-based "cookbooks," Forkish takes readers behind the scenes and tells the story of his own evolution as an artisan bread baker. He shares the science behind the bread baking processes from around the world that he has adapted for his Portland bakery. His technique appears much more complex than in other bread making books, but being able to create a true levain or poolish to bake from expands the repertoire of the home baker. Gorgeous photos make this a book more likely to be o ...more
Micah Wallace
Oct 19, 2014 Micah Wallace rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I bought this book looking for a solid rendition of the no-knead method. The recipe I've used most so far has been the overnight white bread recipe. And it rocks.

For several years I've been a huge fan of the The Cook's Illustrated Cookbook: 2000 Recipes from 20 Years of America's Most Trusted Food Magazine Almost No-Knead recipe because it is practically foolproof and it lends itself well to adaptation. Want to add garlic and some herbs? Walnuts and raisins? Substitute some whole-wheat flour? N
Aug 28, 2015 Carlos rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: pan, favorites
Me ha encantado. Va un pasito más allá y además de gran claridad en las explicaciones incorpora posibilidades de horarios de ejecución de las recetas (retardando antes o después, jugando con el tiempo de fermentación y temperaturas), así como indicaciones de (oh novedad!) temperatura del agua ideal, y temperatura de la mezcla final. Esto en un libro para el panadero casero es una joya.

Los panes, grandiosos, divididos entre método directo, con prefermento, o con masa madre. Y son panes "sencillos
May 24, 2013 Renee rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: cookbooks
Flour Water Salt Yeast isn’t a basic bread cookbook but rather a recipe and guide book for artisan breads. I’ve been hoping for a book like this, and Ken Forkish explains and shows in detail how to make gorgeous breads. While he uses professional terminology throughout the book, probably some only familiar to fellow bakers, he writes in a way that enables bakers from any skill level to successfully recreate artisan breads at home.

All his recipes use baker’s percentages (which is explained) and f
Dharma Pen
Jun 14, 2014 Dharma Pen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: baking
This is a fast read! Mr. Forkish guides you all the way through his process of creating artisan bread. He uses the first 70 or so pages to introduce you to his methods, then that's it! You're off and running with the recipes.

I've just started my first recipe (Overnight White Bread), and it's so good to get to know your dough. It's not just's creating.

I'm looking forward to tomorrow and my first finished loaf with this method.

Mr. Forkish's introduction and explanation of Baker's Perc
Jun 14, 2013 Daisy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: cookbooks, bread
Comprehensive and thorough with just enough variety for a bread-baking nerd. Easy recipes and challenging ones. Lots of information and well-organized. Why am I writing in incomplete sentences?
He says two of the most important ingredients are temperature and time.

Even though I thought I'd become a sourdough snob, the other day we needed bread and my levain wasn't ready, so I made the The Saturday White Bread (with some whole wheat). It's the simplest recipe in the book, the first one, and it tur
Nov 08, 2012 Megan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: cooking
I learned to bake from Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day: The Artisan Revolution Continues with Whole Grains, Fruits, and Vegetables, which is still the book I'd recommend for beginners. It's a simpler, easy-to-store recipe that doesn't require exact attention to details, like measuring the flour by the gram or taking the temperature of the final, mixed dough, like this book does.

But, as someone who already has some experience baking, I enjoyed this book. It introduced me to the idea of poolis
Alice Bert
Feb 10, 2014 Alice Bert is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
Ken Forkish shares his non-traditional no-knead method of making artisan bread. I have found that much of the French bread available has a rubbery crumb--this method produces a very light crumb. The method requires that the flour be moistened longer than usual and uses much less yeast than in traditional recipes I have used. The dough is baked in Dutch ovens at very high heat (475 degrees). I have now made four or five of the recipes and was delighted with the results in all but one case. That o ...more
Sep 24, 2014 Samuel rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excellent and clear bread baking book, especially for beginners. If no-knead is bread 101, this is bread 201 with a lot of excellent recipes. Ken Forkish, of course, is the owner of Ken's Artisan Bakery as well as two other restaurants in Portland, OR. He's taken the most important aspects of breadmaking and distilled them into easy lessons. His web site also has a series of videos worth viewing.
The recipes in this book are for advanced bakers. I don't fall into that category, so I probably won't be trying any of these recipes even though they sound really good. The author clearly knows what he's talking about. The first few sections are really informative and I learned some phrases I never knew before. Even though I won't be using the recipes, I'm glad I read this book because it was informative.
Nov 20, 2012 Erin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a bread book I would not mind owning someday. The author explains the science of bread baking in an understandable way, especially for those new to bread making at home. I would recommend this to someone who enjoys Jeffrey Hamelman's Bread book.
Jodi G.
Overly complicated, seems designed for the professional bread baker. If you don't want to open an artisan bakery, just bake some nice bread for everyday eating, there are far easier (and just as tasty) bread recipe books out there.
Daniel Lyons
Dec 27, 2016 Daniel Lyons rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love this book! I learned how to make really, really good bread with a fairly sane amount of effort. My one criticism is, I expected this book to really go into more breads. As it is, you're basically making the same boule with lots of different recipes. This book helps you make the best boule in town, definitely. This book is basically one big elaboration of Jim Lahey's No-Knead Bread recipe from a few decades ago—adding back in all the bread fundamentals of folding, shaping, pre-ferments and ...more
Eduardo Balbinot
Ok. The author is a bit not-scientific on some of his approaches and it barely scratches the surface of what true bread making actually is.

It is a good first introduction to bread making, but too snob to be enjoyable.
Jan 07, 2017 Kristy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: food, cookbook
Includes great descriptions of techniques and terminology. However, there's a lot of equipment involved, especially a Dutch oven. Probably not the best option for a beginner who hasn't had an opportunity to build up their baking collection over time yet.
Jan 09, 2017 Cody rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Enjoyable to read, very informative, and filled with inspiring photos. I've only made one recipe so far but it turned out great!
Dec 03, 2016 Rhonda rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great method cookbook for beautiful looking bread.
Oct 31, 2016 Tomek rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The ultimate bread book. Clear, thoughtful, beautiful...delicious!
Ben Labe
Jun 09, 2016 Ben Labe rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I can hardly imagine a better book for introducing oneself to the basic techniques of artisan bread baking than this one. Instead of presenting the reader with a random plethora of recipes, as most bad cookbook authors are wont to do, Forkish begins with an overview of the techniques behind mixing, autolyzing, fermenting, shaping, proofing, and baking bread dough. For each stage, he begins by explaining its chemical and gastronomic justification and then follows up with instructions and photogra ...more
Sarah Eiseman
Jan 15, 2013 Sarah Eiseman rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: cookbooks
I’m not sure how anyone can be on a low/no-carb diet. I tend not to trust people who don’t eat bread. So when I was reshelving books at the library recently, I came across this book by Ken Forkish on making artisan bread. Ken is the owner of Ken’s Artisan Bakery in Portland, Oregon. We used to live just down the street from this bakery when it first opened, so I can tell you with a great deal of certainty that this dude knows his bread.

Who knew this type of bread-making could be broken down so w
Terri Ann
Jun 03, 2014 Terri Ann rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: cookbooks, essays, 2014
Oh my gracious! This is the perfect book for cook/book nerds that love to read cookbooks. It is also THE most intense "cookbook" I've ever read. It goes deeper in to baking bread than I ever thought possible. Mr. Forkish is a bread mensch. It is amazing how deep into bread he has gone and how exacting he is. I loved the specificity in the recipes. I am quite the home cook and rarely say this, but this book is intimidating! I will eventually try his methods, but he forgot to mention that you shou ...more
Mandie Kok
If you have any interest in artisanal bread, this is the book for you. The book has a lot of depth and detail about the process of baking, but it is not necessary to memorise all of it to be able to bake good bread. You need a few tools to bake the best bread possible (a scale, thermometer and Dutch oven), but alternatives are provided until you can purchase everything you need.

The recipes are clear and easy to follow. The book also includes recipes for pizzas, sauces and even a bonus cookie rec
Kathy Blomquist
Feb 17, 2016 Kathy Blomquist rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I checked this book out of the library, and was hesitant to tackle the methods. I love weighing ingredients, as a more accurate way to get someone else's recipe right. so I began with the easiest breads first. I bake for my husband and self, so I needed to adjust all the recipes down in size, by half. I have loved every loaf so far, including the ones I have made from my own levain, that I again made half of, following Kens guidance. I have ordered my own copy of the book, I simply don't want to ...more
Jan 03, 2015 Natalie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've sampled the overnight white bread made by others several times and had great results on my first attempt at pizza margarita using the overnight straight pizza dough. I followed his recipe for a sauce with San marzano tomatoes and it was amazing! I'm looking forward to trying an overnight wheat bread tomorrow. It does seem complicated at first but he does a good job breaking it down, even showing pictures of how to work the bread. I also appreciate the tips for manipulating the schedules so ...more
Melisa Blok
Jan 09, 2016 Melisa Blok rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In this cook (bake?) book, Ken Forkish generously extends his pro baking recipes, methods, techniques, and stories to anyone who wants to make artisan bread from a home kitchen. His method uses a cast iron Dutch oven and a few other simply supplies. He discusses different ways for leavening bread, explains the factors that affect the taste, rise, and texture of various loaves, and explains his methods clearly and well. Also, there are many beautiful and enticing photos! I'll start my first attem ...more
Sylvia Crawford
Jan 18, 2015 Sylvia Crawford rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love this book

I have made bread in loaf pans the old fashioned way. I also have made bread in loaf pans based on new recipes they were more simple to make and tasty. However, this book with the artisan breads remind me of the bread I ate when I was a little girl in Germany. I have shared this with fellow workers were her husband is now as addicted as I am to this method of bread making. She tells me her husband bought the book and all the tools and he makes bread for his family and neighbors.
Nate Jenson
Jan 22, 2016 Nate Jenson rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a great book!

I once bought a cookbook thinking it would give me everything I needed to make great food, but it was just a bunch of recipes and I, being a novice in the kitchen, lacked the context to make most of them work.

This book gives about four chapters of method and how the ingredients react together and equipment needed. I took the time to read those chapters and once I got to the recipes, I started making the best bread I have ever tasted. I thought I would make good bread, but it
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