September was a month of bread, and I have Flour Water Salt Yeast to thank for that. I am beyond glad that I picked up this book at Amanda’s recommendation. Where baking bread is concerned, this book may as well be the Bible. There is so much to learn, and Forkish does the job of teaching the novice well. Even I managed to bake with absolute success. I’ve been interested in baking bread all year, and recipes I’ve tried from pinterest and beyond have generally had mixed results. This is not so with what I got out of this book for a few reasons.
The first several parts of the book aren’t even recipes. Forkish guides you through the process of baking bread right from the beginning. From the equipment you need to the way to knead the dough, he leaves nothing out. Some of it is very specific to his methods, but I’m okay with that. I’m more likely to keep using his methods than venture out, so the proofing bowls I bought will continue to have use.
I quite literally use this book every weekend to make book, and while I have tried only two different doughs, I’ve never had a problem. I attribute this less to my own personal improvement and more to the clarity of Forkish’s instructions. There are pictures of his kneading technique, all done in the bowl you mix and proof in, and he’s very clear about how many times you need to do it.
The weight measurements are also very useful. There’s no forgetting how many cups you’ve put in. It’s all right there on the scale. Professional bakers have used measurements for everything for a very long time, and it's obvious to my why now that I’ve done it for these breads. You’ll definitely need a digital scale, but it's well worth it.
Homemade bread is a joy. You can use it for literally anything, and it tastes so much better than what you’d get in store. If you buy just one cookbook all year, this may be the one. There is some buy in expense, such as a dutch oven, digital scale, banneton proofing bowls, and very large commercial mixing tubs. Still, the product that you get out of it will be more than worth the price point of entry.
An idea born in Normal, Illinois, Eating Normal hopes to chronicle the eating Experiences of a Red bird.
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