There is something nostalgically beautiful about the whiff of freshly baked bread with a golden brown crust and the cotton soft texture on the inside.
In the good old days, these parameters were enough to judge the quality of a fine loaf. Bread baking in those days was more or less based on demand rather than today’s mass machine production. Add to this the baker’s personal touch to each loaf, baked to perfection with the best ingredients available locally, making the final product an artisan one.
The association of the term ‘artisan’ to food denotes handmade with the finest ingredients. Baking artisan bread involves more of traditional methods and age-old practices. It is not just the effort it takes; time is also significantly spent into the making of a good loaf.
Artisan bread making is a time-consuming process; from the beginning to the end it can take hours or in some cases even days when compared to the regular ones. It all seems like an alienated process in the world of microwave dinners and fast food joints. But the good thing is, amidst these conveniences, we are fortunate enough to realise the value of sticking to our roots and following at least some of the good old-fashioned eating habits. Thanks to movements such as “support local produce” and “farm to table”, that are spreading awareness about eating clean.
When we choose convenience over health, we are digging our own graves. When food items are produced in bulk, it would barely have any nutritional value or natural flavour to it. Moreover, it will be highly processed as well as loaded with additives to improve its shelf life resulting in poor quality.
On the other hand, if we take a little effort and time we have not only a flavourful and nutritious loaf of bread, and also one which can help improve our health as well. This is not just about bread but any food for that matter.
Today, people are well aware of the harmful side effects of food commercialization, and they are ready to take the needful measures to keep their health unaffected. And, this is exactly what brings us back to our traditional methods of cooking and baking, leaving us to fall in love with the good old artisanal ways.