the book

I've been making bread for twenty-odd years, on and off. I've always enjoyed cooking, and anyone who enjoys cooking is bound to want to try making bread eventually. What surprised me, right from the start, was how unpredictable, and how unforgiving, the art of making bread is. The transformations that make an evening meal are relatively simple, and easily observed. This is not so with bread. I quickly felt out of my depth. I realised that making bread involved hidden processes, and that I needed information. So I did the obvious thing and looked for a book on the subject.

There are a lot of books about making bread, and more seem to come into print every year. They are nearly all recipe books, which is no bad thing in itself. Very few of them, however, devote much space to how bread works. Bread is a miraculous thing, and yet there was, and still is, a shortage of books about the science and method that goes into making it. So I eventually decided to write one myself.

Flour & Water is the result. You can download it here. For free. Because I’m a decent chap. The publishing industry hasn’t yet offered me a lucrative publication deal, but I’m open to offers.

Flour & Water is not a recipe book. If recipes are what you’re looking for, they’re easy to find. There are even some on this site. The book, on the other hand, is about the nuts and bolts of making bread. It looks at the techniques and processes used to make it. It looks at the science underlying the transformation from raw ingredients to finished loaf. It even considers the history and social significance of bread and baking.

Although the book has been available for a few years now, it has been subjected to an extensive rewrite. The current download is still not the definitive edition. There are illustrations, an index, a bibliography and cover art yet to be added. I am still researching and expanding the text. Nonetheless, I think it is a significant improvement on the previous version. As always, opinions, ideas and suggestions are all welcome. Contact me at neil@flourandwater.co.uk