What are the differences between artisan and regular bread?

A rose by any other name may smell as sweet, but how about bread? Beyond the name, what is the difference between a regular loaf of bread and a loaf of artisan bread? Some of our readers have the inside scoop about the differences. Keep reading to learn what they are.

What are the differences between artisan and regular bread?

Lauren Allen

Lauren Allen is the owner of Tastes Better From Scratch.

Five Differences between Artisan and Regular Bread

Artisan bread is an excellent way for a new bread baker because it takes just a few ingredients, and you don’t need any fancy equipment. It’s a rough and tumble kind of bread, made by an artisan (you!), and every loaf is meant to be unique.

Artisan bread is different from regular bread in five key ways:

    1. Artisan bread usually has only four ingredients to make the dough: flour, salt, yeast, and water. However, you can add other flavors like garlic and rosemary, your favorite cheese, jalapeno, cranberries, or nuts!

    2. It’s a sticky dough, so don’t be alarmed if the texture is different than the homemade bread you are used to making.

    3. No kneading is required. The wetter dough causes the gluten to form naturally, so you don’t have to build your muscles trying to build it. For this reason, artisan bread is great for a beginner baker.

    4. The crust is extra crispy on artisan bread but with an extra soft and tender inside.

    5. We love to use a cast iron dutch oven with a lid to bake our artisan bread! You heat your dutch oven for 30 minutes before adding the bread. The steam creates the trademark crispy crust artisan bread is known for.

Ingredients and Method

The main differences between a loaf of artisan bread and regularly manufactured bread are the ingredients and methods used to create the bread.

Artisan bread uses cleaner, less processed ingredients and is often handmade, making each loaf unique.

Mass-produced bread often contains more preservatives to help maintain its shelf life and is made by machines on a massive scale.

Each and every manufactured loaf of bread will be identical to each other.

What are the differences between artisan and regular bread?

Sara Bachmann

Sara Bachmann is a vegetarian food blogger who is the creator behind sarasveggiekitchen.com.

What are the differences between artisan and regular bread?

Fiona Lewis

Fiona Lewis, Co-Founder of Notta.

Artisan Bread is an Art

Most artisan bread is made with only four basic ingredients: flour, water, salt, and yeast. The absence of any artificial preservatives or other chemicals in the ingredients list is sure evidence that the bread is actually handmade. Many types of leavening agents, including yeast, are unnecessary in sourdough bread since the loaf is left to rise thanks to culture.

Bread makers who call themselves “artisans” often insist that mass-produced or machine-made loaves don’t qualify. A large number of purportedly “artisan” tiny bakeries insist that their bread can only be made using dough that has been kneaded by hand.

It takes more time to make artisan bread since it uses only natural ingredients.

Artisan bread is distinct from commercially produced loaves in a number of key aspects. The hallmarks of artisan bread include the use of time-honored techniques, strict adherence to the use of all-natural ingredients, extended baking time, inability to be mass-produced, and/or the involvement of a skilled artisan.

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