"Imagine the aroma of freshly baked bread, the soft moist inside of a hand crafted loaf and a nutty crunchy crust. If your only recollection of such an experience is in your grandmother's kitchen, then you probably haven't yet discovered the delights of Artisan bread."
-Mono today magazine 2005-
The Artisan bread movement is bringing back into the bakery the craft skills that have been almost lost by a generation brought up on mass-produced, widely available and limited variety breads. White or brown has been the extent of choice for decades, but that has changed with the emergence of a new wave of local, independent operations that are producing high quality breads and reviving old skill and techniques.
Although Artisan bread has been the daily foodstuff of life in France for generations, the Artisan bread revival has largely been led by bakeries in California, who have discovered a taste for, and the potential of genuine quality hand crafted breads.
This article was published in 2005 in the Mono Today magazine.
'So what is Artisan bread?
Artisan bread isn't so much about the bread as the baker. An Artisan loaf is hand crafted with the same care and skill that a jeweller or furniture maker might put into their work. The end product is the result of a careful blend of the highest quality ingredients, skill, knowledge and experience and using the right equipment.
The Artisan Baker is able to mix, ferment, shape and bake by hand every loaf on his shelves, controlling the fermentation and action of natural bacteria to just the right proportions in order to create the flavour profile he wants. Altering fermentation times to produce flavours that are either light and delicate or deep and rustic produces a range of flavours and textures. Long fermentation develops the full flavour of the dough and hand-moulding means that like snowflakes, each loaf is unique!
Artisan bread usually contains only flour, water, salt, and yeast.
Flavoured breads may include nuts, garlic, herbs or cheese. For centuries it wasn't necessary to add chemical enhancers to bread and in the Artisan bakery it still isn't.
Artisan bakeries are now springing up across the UK as entrepreneurs recognise the potential these types of businesses have to offer.
It is said that you should think of this new breed of breads as Chateaux bottled wines and you will begin to understand the unique nature and potential of Artisan breads.'
After reading it I realised that the author could have been talking about us! This is what has been happening here at Evershot Bakery for over a hundred and fifty years!! To think we do it every day without knowing.
-Steve Crate – Master baker-