The term “artisan” is frequently used these days. From handmade pasta to artisan umbrellas, there’s something for everyone. Frequently, the word adds little value to the product.
This form of bread, however, is not the same as the industrially produced loaves you may be familiar with. And there are compelling reasons to understand the distinction.
You’ll discover a complete introduction on artisan bread baking and the various forms of it in this post.
What Actually is Artisan Bread?
While there is no clear definition of what makes a bread “artisan,” artisan bread bakers often follow a set of guidelines. They’re generally better-tasting and have a more pleasant texture and flavour than industrially produced versions.
Bread that is mass-produced must meet flavor standards that appeal to the widest possible audience. It also needs to be repeatable and efficient in its use of resources. Artisan bread, on the other hand, is prepared by hand using a more traditional method. Gases, dough pressure, time, and ingredients aren’t as carefully monitored.
You don’t need to use dough conditioners or flours with a reduced protein content to make it. It’s important to note that there are no hard and fast rules, thus various bakers may use different ingredients.
Artisan breads include country loaves, sourdough, ciabatta, brioche, and some seeded breads.
In a word, it’s a small-batch handcrafted bread. There isn’t much else to the name that isn’t absolutely necessary. It may seem like a marketing gimmick to some, but it really make a difference in how bread looks, tastes, and feels.
Difference between Artisan Bread and Regular Bread
That takes care of the definition, but it still leaves the question of how it differs from regular bread unanswered.
Consistency is the most distinguishing feature between the two. Every loaf of Wonder Bread you buy will taste and feel the same. Because artisan bread bakers use a less controlled procedure, each loaf will have its own distinct flavour and texture.
Traditional yeast fermentation processes are also commonly used in artisan bread. The benefit of adopting traditional procedures is that the bread is more tasty and has a more nuanced flavour profile than mass-produced bread. If you’re used to the blander, more predictable taste of bread, you may need to adjust for a while before you become acclimated to the artisan version.
There is relatively little fermentation integrated into the process of mass-produced bread, resulting in a more closed-cell structure. Artisan bread, on the other hand, has a much more open and airy appearance due to the fermenting process rather than the kneading process.
Note that this does not necessarily imply that artisan bread is healthier. There are no clinically significant health benefits to eating artisan bread over other forms of commercial bread, according to research.
The fact that this bread is prepared by hand sets it apart from the rest. While most artisan bakers go above and above to make their bread one-of-a-kind, there are no set practices that define artisan bread. You owe it to yourself to try artisan bread if you haven’t before. The more strong flavour and texture may not appeal to you, but it could be the finest bread you’ve ever had.[...]