For most, the word artisan conjures images of artistic efforts that add a decorative quotient to our surroundings. However, such craftsmanship isn’t limited to artistic creations. The word “artisan” can be used to describe a person who produces items using traditional methods, in limited quantities. This term can also be applied to the different foods we eat!
Today, there are so many baked goods produced on bakery lines that do not have any distinctive characteristics worth mentioning. This is why artisan baking becomes an excellent alternative to easily available foods which have ingredients that may be difficult to identify or pronounce even.
The Process is What Makes Artisan Bread Special
The basis of making superior quality artisan baked goods is a detailed and unrushed process. Wholesome, local ingredients are preferred in this type of baking, and the idea is to use traditional methods without any preservatives and additives. The dough is kneaded by hand early in the morning using the old school method.
After this, it will be allowed to rest and ferment slowly. The longer fermentation timeframe allows the flavours to develop naturally, in the dough and the resultant bread is distinctly better in texture and taste. It’s also far healthier than bread which has been baked using processed ingredients.
Slow rising allows all the enzymes in the dough sufficient time to break down the complex carbohydrates while creating lactic acid. Both of these result in bread that’s far easier to digest. The acetic acid produced due to the long fermentation process adds to the delicious natural flavour, while acting as a natural preservative. So you don’t need to add any artificial flavour-enhancing agents to your bread.
Artisan bread is usually baked in a traditional hearth-style oven (with radiant heat as its main source of heat transference). The ovens are designed to exhaust/inject steam from/into the main baking chamber. Artisan bakery products are generally crusty, with an open and large cell structure. They have ornate scoring and/or flour dusting on top which gives them a rustic look.
Some Comparison Points Between Commercial Bread and Artisan Bread
- Flour – Artisan bread uses wheat flours that have lower protein content (10.0 to 10.5% on a 14.0 percent moisture basis). However, superior quality wheat like hard red winter is used to produce an open grain and chewy texture without toughness. In comparison, commercially produced artisan bread often needs higher protein flours to endure dough machinability.
- High Water Content – The doughs have higher hydration and have a slackness and stickiness that can be handled only by specialised equipment or by hand.
- Biochemical Leavening – Wild yeast, Baker’s yeast, naturally-occurring acetic bacteria, and lactic acid, as well as longer fermentation times, provide a unique aroma, flavour & volume development at far lower concentration levels.
- Preservatives – Artisan bread dough is fermented to very low pH levels (4–5) that acts as a natural preservative.
As you can see, there is a distinct difference between commercial bread and artisan bread and not every bakery or boulangerie will have it.
Types Of Artisan Bread
If you walk into an artisan bakery or one that also sells artisan bread, some of the popular varieties you will find include:
- Mediterranean bread
- Organic Brown Bread
- Seeded Stick
- Pane Pugliese
- French Pavé
- Pain de Campagne
- Walnut Cob
- Purple Wheat Walnut
- Rye bread
- Walnut & Raisin bread
- Pain Brioche
At Ganache Patisserie, you will find fantastic breads and delicious croissants, layer cakes, cupcakes, pastries, sourdough and other baked goods for everyday consumption as well as for the holidays. We also have a wide variety of cupcakes for you to indulge in. Come; explore our scrumptious world of goodies.
Thanks for reading,
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