Home Lifestyle Delicious artisanal breads to make from home

Delicious artisanal breads to make from home

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Fresh from the oven, these artisanal breads embody tradition and quality.

Focaccia is a type of Italian yeast bread baked in flat sheet pans. Picture: Pexels/Jonathan Borba

BREAD has been a staple food in cuisines all around the world for thousands of years.

The art of bread baking is a balance of ingredients, science, patience and artisanal skills. The ingredients, cooking methods and ovens vary, resulting in a huge range of bread products. These products are devoured daily in all cultures.

Below, we take a look at some of the delicious artisanal breads you should try at home beyond sourdough.

First things first, what is artisan bread? Artisan breads are known for their distinct yeasty flavours and unique look.

In fact, it’s challenging to define artisan bread simply because there are so many different kinds. If you’ve ever made a loaf of bread from scratch, you could call it artisan bread.

Artisan bread is superior in taste, texture, appearance, aroma and health benefits to its mass-produced counterpart. The process of making artisan bread can take up to 24 hours.

Whereas mass-produced bread is made with chemicals to speed up the yeast fermentation process, artisan bread bakers allow the dough all the time it needs to ferment naturally.

Artisans have a wide knowledge of the bread-making process and make certain choices on how it is made.

This process is focused on producing a unique, beautiful product, whether it is a sourdough, sandwich bread, or flatbread.

Explore these four must-try artisanal loaves and enjoy their rustic beauty.

Focaccia. Picture: Pexels/Plants and Graphics

Focaccia

Focaccia is a type of Italian yeast bread baked in flat sheet pans. Its dough is flavoured with olive oil and sometimes topped with herbs and other vegetables.

It is a magnificently versatile bread that can be enjoyed in plenty of ways. First off, as you might expect, Focaccia can be eaten as it is, straight out of the oven. You can also serve it with soup or stew.

Rye. Picture: Polina Tankilevitch

Rye

Rye is simply bread made from rye flour that comes from rye grains. Wheat and rye come from different plants, but they are related (and both grains contain gluten).

While the rye is used to make a host of grain-based products – including liquors – bread is by far the most popular way to utilise it.

Rye has an earthy, slightly sour flavour that is somewhat comparable to sourdough but is denser and more coarse. What to eat with rye bread? It is a great choice for foods that have strong flavours themselves and can rise above the more hearty, toothsome quality of the rye.

For example, smoked salmon and cream cheese go great with rye bread, and so do a variety of deli meats such as corned beef or pastrami.

Ciabatta. Picture: Pexels/Jovanvasiljevic

Ciabatta

Ciabatta is a white bread loaf, notable for its hard crust and soft, porous interior that resembles a slice of Swiss cheese. The name comes from the Italian word for slipper, a nod to the overall look and shape of the loaf.

You would think ciabatta bread has been around for centuries, millennia even. No; it was created in 1982 by an Italian baker named Arnaldo Cavallari.

He was sick and tired of the French baguette coming into his town of Rovigo in the Italian region of Veneto and taking over as the dominant sandwich bread. Full of Italian pride, he toiled away in his bread laboratory until he produced ciabatta bread and, thus, a legend was born.

The loaf’s popularity soon spread through Italy and the world, resulting in several regional variations but all staying true to the hard crust original.

Brioche. Picture: Pexels/Nadin Sh

Brioche

Brioche is a soft, lightly sweet, rich bread that works in sweet and savoury dishes alike. The reason brioche is so light and tastes so rich is because it’s made with an enriched dough, which gives it that soft texture and amazing taste.

Brioche is enjoyed around the world as an upgraded substitute for ‘normal’ bread – subbed in for sandwiches, toasties, burgers, and more. You can use brioche in dishes like bread and butter pudding, French toast, club sandwiches, and plenty of others.

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