What it means to be an Artisan Baker

[url=http://www.sourdough.com.au]See news article posted on 26 Feb. 2006[/url]

What does it mean to be an 'Artisan Baker'?

Is it about fementation techniques, use of quality ingredients, skill level or something else?
I would appreciate comments on the following ways we have used (so far) to describe artisan bakers. Is this a sufficient description?

Artisan bakers:

Consider the wellbeing of the people they are baking for
Have skills that connect baker and baking process
Reject synthetic process controls
Seek artisan knowledge
Make artisan bread

See: [url]http://www.artisanbaker.com.au[/url]

Graham

2 comments

[i]artisan[/i] invariably brings up words like 'craft' and 'skill'.

e.g. a skilled worker who practices some trade or handicraft

Operating a Genesis unit (an industrial size breadmaking machine) takes a level of skill. Similarly, there is craft in formulating recipes using sythesised bread chemistry. I think this is partly why the term is elusive, as you pointed out. Artisan can be used in many situations.

Really I am interested in what it means to be artisan [i]in your own situation.[/i] We actually have the opportunity to define our own version of what 'artisan' is. We don't have to settle for anyone elses standard.

Thinking more about this issue, a big part of being an artisan is the creaters motivation to identify with (and be proud of) what they produce. The connection between product and producer is likely to be stronger for 'hands on' bakers rather than food processors in a production line. I'm not wishing to offend food processors...it is incredibly demanding work. A minimum level of personal input and pride would have to be part of being an artisan.

Graham

Hmmmmmm....before we define artisan baker, is it best to define the term artisan? That term seems be a bit elusive from bakers that I have heard the term being define.

Doughman