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Old 09-11-2004, 04:57 PM   #1
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what's "artisan"

I see the term "artisan" used to describe (yeast-rising) breads or bread making techniques. What does this actually mean? TIA

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Old 09-12-2004, 01:16 AM   #2
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ar·ti·san [ ärt-zn, -sn ]
n.

A skilled manual worker; a craftsperson.


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[Probably French, from Italian artigiano, from Vulgar Latin *artitinus, from Latin arttus, skilled in the arts, past participle of artre, to instruct in the arts, from ars, art-, art; see ar- in Indo-European roots.]

Maybe a tradesmanlike approach to breadmaking

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Old 09-12-2004, 02:07 AM   #3
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To put it into cooking terms, artisan means handmade rather than machine produced.

Seeeeeya; Goodweed of the North
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Old 09-12-2004, 10:38 AM   #4
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Artisan is a term that's being applied to 'cooks' of all areas, who believe in preserving the craft of the food they're making. So 'artisan bakers' use old, time-proven methods of baking bread, sometimes using natural airborne yeasts, or fermentation processes. The bread they produce is very special - if you haven't tried it, I recommend you do!

On the same line, there are artisan cheesemakers, winemakers, etc. It's all part of a 'going back to the roots' of food production, in an attempt to bring food back to the way it should be, instead of the mass produced glop we've all gotten used to.

If you're interested, there's a whole movement, if you will, which supports not only artisan food producers, but sustainable agriculture development in third world countries. They're called 'Slow Food'; here's their website -

http://www.slowfood.com/
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Old 09-12-2004, 10:51 PM   #5
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That slow food site is a hoot.
Another well worth a visit is:
http://www.theartisan.net/

Unfortunately my trade (electrician) doesn't qualify for an artisan tag. Nothing artistic or creative about it.

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Old 09-13-2004, 08:31 AM   #6
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thanks to all for the links - I also did a little googling so I'm now more informed. I originally thought it referred to a type of bread but now I see it's an approach to bread-making + a philosophy + (alas) an advertising term.

Seems best defined by what it excludes - e.g. not mass produced. Guess that means all us home breadmakers are artisan bakers.
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Old 09-14-2004, 08:39 PM   #7
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Egads, Broosky! I saw that site several months ago and lost it. I've never seen so many incredible bread recipes before! Thanks a bunch! (I've book-marked the site now!)
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