Artisan Breads are created by a skilled craftsperson with the knowledge and understanding of how to properly blend, ferment, form and bake traditional loaves of bread. With careful study and research, the secrets behind the chemical reactions of the ingredients and the proper environment for the bread to develop yield the most flavorful results. You can easily spot the difference between a true Artisan style bread, and one that is mass-produced. The first clue is in the ingredients kefir grains. Traditional Artisan Bread recipes call for flour, water, yeast, and salt. Some recipes do not even require salt as part of the formula. Some sourdough varieties do not use yeast in the ingredients. Other varieties of Artisan Breads may contain specialty ingredients in order to change the flavor or style of the bread – some of the more popular additions include: nuts, fruits, herbs or cheese. Some specialty types of Artisan Breads like Brioche use milk and butter and sometimes eggs in the mixture. Overall, the ingredients listed in a true Artisan Bread recipe are natural, familiar items used in baking. These ingredients should be devoid of chemicals and preservatives in order to fully enjoy the flavor of the final product.
Artisan Breads are often created in small bakeries by hand. The irregular shapes and sizes add character to the finely blended ingredients, as opposed to the typical homogenous assembly line fare you commonly see in a supermarket chain. Bakers use skill and intuition to understand the conditions of their surroundings and modify their recipes and baking times to consistently produce the best bread based on their environment. A factory merely churns out bland, lifeless slabs of processed bread no matter the temperature or conditions.