What Is Artisan Bread?

Bread has always been a staple food in our lives? From sandwiches to toast, we eat it every day.

What makes bread special is its ability to absorb moisture from the air, creating a soft texture. This quality also allows us to enjoy bread at room temperature without having to refrigerate it.

Baking bread is a complex process involving several steps. There are two main types of bread: white and whole wheat.

But what’s so special about Artisan bread? And what is artisan bread? Let’s find out below!

What Exactly Is Artisan Style Bread?

Artisan-style bread actually is traditionally defined as bread produced without the aid of industrial machinery.

So, to answer the question of what is artisan bread, it is often referred to as ‘true’ artisan bread because it is made using traditional methods and natural ingredients.

However, many people now associate the term with bread sold in supermarkets. Probably because of the dense bread and other bread reputations such as sourdough bread.

Bread rises differently depending on the baking time and fermentation process.

Many artisan bakeries use a baking pan to make crusty bread with a chewy texture. As well as specifically a baking sheet and sometimes a dutch oven.

In fact, some pizza stone ovens work great too for chewier bread using the easiest recipe yet.


The word ‘artisan’ is derived from the French artisane, meaning ‘craftsman’.

Artisan bread itself is typically baked in small batches and uses natural yeasts, salt, water, flour, and sometimes eggs.

  • It is usually made in a slower fashion than industrially produced bread, resulting in a richer taste and a softer texture with a crispy crust. That is why we love homemade bread and artisan bread so much.
  • Why not try adding shredded cheese or chopped nuts to the dough for a more robust flavor? But be careful not to add too much flour.
  • This bread is even better than French bread and Italian bread as the bread flour produces a great taste overall to make artisan bread.

What Is So Great About Artisan Bread?

What Is Artisan Bread?

Artisan bread is widely variable in appearance, but overall it’s hard to argue against the superiority of artisan bread over mass-produced bread.

Bread flour is what makes artisan bread a great homemade bread, as well as giving you a great homemade bread recipe.

In fact, there are many reasons why artisan breads are superior to mass-production breads out there like the round loaf and bread recipes that use whole wheat flour.

First off, artisan breads rely on the natural fermentation of yeasts or cultures, allowing for greater flavor development.

This is because the instant yeast needs air to grow, and without it, the bread won’t rise properly.

Additionally, some types of yeasts produce compounds that give bread its characteristic smell and taste.

What Do Artisan Bakers Do That Makes This Bread So Great?

Artisan bakers often add complimentary spices or herbs to their dough to further enhance flavor and aroma.

These ingredients include garlic, onion, rosemary, thyme, oregano, sage, basil, cumin, fennel, nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves, and ginger.

This is what makes a great homemade bread recipe using the best wheat flour for a worthy artisan loaf.

Some artisan bakers even use whole grains such as rye, barley, wheat, oats, millet, corn, quinoa, buckwheat, amaranth, teff, sorghum, etc. This is what makes an artisan bakery so great.

The final reason that artisan breads are superior is their texture.

Because artisan bread relies on natural fermentation, the bread will have a softer, more tender crumb, with more air holes and larger pores.

Baked bread should be using great quality bread dough that artisan bakeries specialize in.

Where Does Artisan Bread Come From?

Artisan bread is bread that meets certain standards of quality, including being baked in small batches, using natural ingredients, handcrafted techniques, and/or traditional methods.

The term for artisan bread alone can include heretofore unknown breads like hearth breads (baked without pans).

How Is Artisan Bread Baked And Made?

What Is Artisan Bread?

Artisan bread is characterized strongly by its lean style formulation (low fat and sugar level), limited use of dough style conditioners except for certain enzymes used for specifically strengthening the dough and softening the crumbs, and low or high hydrations depending on the spread and shape desired by the bakers.

In addition, there is usually a lack of gluten development because of the absence of fermentative activity due to the low protein content, and thus, the resulting product does not require long fermentation times.

We like to loosely cover our artisan bread with plastic wrap to let the dough sit and thaw overnight, as this makes the best artisan bread recipe known to artisan bakers! Bread flour is a must too.

How do you like your artisan bread?

How Does It Compare To Other Artisan Bread?

Artisan bread is those baked by small bakers who make their own recipes and do most of the work themselves.

They are usually sold directly to consumers and tend to be less expensive than mass-produced products.

Although some people refer to artisan bread as “boutique,” it is really just another name for what we call “handmade.”

Artisan bread is truly unique for being homemade.

Where Does The Name Originate?

The term “artisan” is used to describe something that is handmade or homemade because of its high quality and craftsmanship.

In recent years, many people have begun calling bread “artisanal” simply because they like the taste better, although the term does not necessarily mean that the bread was made by someone who spent long hours working alone.

In contrast to artisan bread, commercial bakery loaves of bread are typically made by large companies that buy ingredients from suppliers and assemble them into loaves under strict guidelines set by the manufacturer.

What Do You Need To Make It: Artisan Bread Recipe

Typically, you’ll want a sharp knife, measuring cup, tin foil, instant yeast, rye flour, a sheet pan, a wire rack, and high-quality ingredients to make the best bread ever using traditional techniques.

Artisan bread is made primarily from natural sources, including flour, water, salt, and sometimes eggs, milk, butter, sugar, honey, molasses, olive oil, and fruit juices.

Unlike commercially manufactured bread, artisan bread cannot contain chemical additives or preservatives.

What Bread Flour Is Used By Artisan Bakers To Make The Bread?

Most artisan bread is made with soft white wheat flour, though some are made with rye, barley, buckwheat, corn, oat, millet, sorghum, and even sweet rice flour.

Some artisan loaves are gluten-free, while others contain up to 20 percent added gluten.

Final Thoughts

Bread is a staple food that has been enjoyed since ancient times. The type of artisan bread you choose depends largely on your personal preferences and budget.

If you want to enjoy fresh bread at home, you can easily find artisan bread that is available at local bakeries, grocery stores, and specialty shops.

Picture of Kathryn Sewell

Kathryn Sewell

Hi! I'm Kate and I have been baking and cooking for as long as I can remember. I like to share the most interesting tips and recipes I try here on What Kate Baked for you to enjoy. If you have a favorite recipe you'd like to share send it over on social.

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