What is Artisan Bread?

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What is Artisan Bread?

Artisan bread is a type of short shelf-life bread. Usually it is offered in baskets and unpackaged. It’s best to consume it immediately after baking, when it’s still fresh. Usually artisan bread is a bit different from regular bread. Below we explain the main characteristics of artisan bread.

The main characteristics of artisan bread are:

  • Generally made by hand using longer and more traditional processes
  • Absorbs more water than normal bread
  • Lean formulations
  • Pre-ferments are used
  • The fermentation time is usually longer than commercial bread

It’s hard to say what could be defined as ”artisan bread”. There is no absolute definition for this term. The ingredients used can vary a lot depending of the artisan baker. Artisan breads are generally baked in hearth-style ovens.

Origin of Artisan Bread

The term artisan bread comes from the bakers who master their craft, and are called ”artisan bakers”. These bakers shape the bread by hand and mainly use the basic bread ingredients: strong flour, water, yeast, salt and most importantly, time. This type of making the bread has a lot of differences with the industrially-produced bread and the bread you can find the supermarket bread aisle.

Types of Artisan Breads :

Here are some examples of different artisan breads.

1) Bagel: The first type of artisan bread we will discuss is the bagel. It requires simple ingredients such as flour, yeast, water, and salt. It is formed into the shape of a donut; it’s raised, boiled, and baked. Malted barley syrup can be used in boiling water to add flavors.

2) Baguette: This is described as a long, thin loaf of bread that has diagonal slashes, which is usually made with flour, yeast, salt, and water.

3) Batard: This is a unique kind of bread that is usually fat, log-shaped, and its ends are tapered.

4) Boule: The word ‘Boule’ in French means “Ball.” So, as the name suggests, it is in the shape of a ball, fat and round.

5) Brioche: This doesn’t come under the category of “Vegan” bread. The ingredients of this bread include eggs and a mold that has a lot of butter in it.

These are the main types. However, there are other types such as Challah, Ciabatta, Couronne, Epi, Focaccia, Fougasse, Grissini and Kuchen. Of course, these breads all have different origins. Artisan bread can be found all around the world. Some have German origins, some have French origins, while some are from Russia and Italy.

What Makes Artisan Breads Unique?

Artisan Bread does not have any chemical substances, unlike the commercial ones. All the ingredients used are 100% organic, and it is entirely handmade; no industrial technique is used to make this bread. Little to no use of dough conditioners has been used.

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Macy Wilson is a published author and bread baking expert. She is also known as the bread lady, and writes quality content for Make The Bread. When she's not writing, you will find her in the kitchen or playing with her cat.