A lesson in the art of bread making
An Artisan Approach
by Jeffrey Alexander
"An artisan is a craftsman, someone who produces handmade goods using as little machinery as possible. The goal for a craftsman is not making money or attaining a big, glamorous lifestyle. His goal is to deliver an honest product made with honest ingredients and intentions.
"For the artisan baker, these ingredients are flour, water, salt, and a natural starter.
"The craft is a circular process that begins with grain shepherded through harvest and milling, added to natural ingredients that live in our environment, made into a dough by the baker with his knowledge, and baked into something that provides life again. True artisanal bread procedure, made with only the four ingredients, through fermentation and hydration of the grain, can result in hundreds of different breads. Small wonder that in France the artisan baker is held in the same regard as the artisan cheesemaker and the artisan winemaker.
"My artisan breads class is required for students seeking an associate's degree in baking and pastry at the Culinary Institute of Charleston."
For the rest of Chef Alexander's story, see: