The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

A real artisan baker?

@MyLunchTweet's picture

A real artisan baker?

Can you really describe yourself as an Artisan bread maker if you use any form of mechanical mixing device?  @MyLunchTweet

yy's picture

Not sure if this is an actual question or a rhetorical one aimed at publicizing your blog. Assuming the former at the risk of looking like a fool, I'd point you to Maggie Glezer's Artisan Baking for insight. 

jcking's picture

Oh yes I can, can you?

yy's picture


and can you really describe yourself as a craftsman of written words if you use a computer to type them instead of the humble quill? 

Janetcook's picture

Titles and their cumbersome definitions have no meaning for me where baking is concerned. I do not bake a certain way in order to  classify myself or the things I bake.  I bake out of sheer joy and the pleasure it gives me.

GSnyde's picture

The answer is yes.

And you can describe yourself as a schmerkle without having a clue what it means.


tn gabe's picture
tn gabe

so i don't call myself an artisan in the first place. i'm just someone who likes to bake and is lucky enough that people buy my bread!

foodslut's picture

.... according to this definition:  "adjective:  pertaining to or noting high-quality, distinctive products made in small quantities", bread can be artisinal if mixed mechanically, if it's high quality, distinctive and made in small batches.  Also, if an "artisan" is a "person skilled in an applied art", one can be an artisan, say, making cabinets even if you use electric tools.  Therefore, mechanical mixing alone shouldn't remove the "artisan" label.

That said, I'm all for Janetcook's approach:  I bake because I love baking, and I don't care if people consider me "artisinal" or not. 

SweetBrioche's picture

As an apprentice in a bakery, I have to say that artisanal baking has to do with shaping scoring and putting your heart into your bread. I use a oven and I use a big mixer but I know that my bread still has the personal touch when no two scores look alike (though I try). No two breads will ever look alike for various reasons. I may de-gas one more than the other, one may proof a little more or just because the dough is closer to some heat source or I may put more weight in one hand than another, while shaping. When you see that imperfect human touch that gives your loaf personality, it's artisanal. My back and my arms also tell me it's artisanal when I have to carry 50-100lb bags a flour.


In short, if it's a pain in the ass, it's probably still artisanal =oP

Wild-Yeast's picture

Hit builder for a blog site?

Some Hyperbole-

Yes, I grow my wheat, mill it in a water powered grist mill, mix it using wind power, use sea salt evaporated from the ocean and water from an artesian spring, leaven it with wild-yeast and bake it with a dung fired oven. Totally self sufficient article...,

What could be more artisnal than that....,