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What are the differences between an artisanal bakery and an industrial bakery?

Quelles sont les différences entre une boulangerie artisanale et une boulangerie industrielle?

Let's face it... No feeling can compare to that of setting foot in a small neighborhood bakery in the morning and breathing in the sweet scents of fresh bread!

But beyond that, what are the differences between an artisanal bakery and an industrial one? How does artisan bread stand out in terms of its ingredients, its preparation and its nutritional qualities?

Let’s dissect this together!

High quality flours

A first aspect that differentiates artisanal bakeries from their industrial counterparts is the type of flour used in the making of the breads.

In the last 20 to 30 years, manufacturers have turned to the use of hybrid flour varieties, more resistant to pesticides and higher gluten levels.

The diversity of flours used has also decreased in the manufacture of bread, making the offer less attractive. Additionally, they are often bleached with additives, simply to give it a more uniform color.

Artisan bakers, for their part, use flour from ancestral, local and sometimes organic wheat varieties in the making of their breads. They know the origin and properties of each flour, and know how to work with them to highlight them.

A more rigorous method

Artisanal bakeries also use fermentation and baking methods which give the bread better taste and nutritional qualities.

Jean-Sébastien Béraud, owner of the La Mie Bretonne bakery in Cowansville for around thirty years, has worked using such methods.

Formed according to French tradition, for him, bread dough must be fermented cold, for a minimum of 14 hours. This can be even longer, depending on the particularities he seeks to give to the bread.

Fermentation allows for a sort of “pre-digestion” of the dough. This makes it easier to digest, even for people who tolerate gluten less well (excluding people with celiac disease of course).

Fewer ingredients for a better product

If you compare a list of ingredients for an industrial bread to that of an artisanal bread, you will inevitably notice a big difference in the length of the lists.

While breads from artisan bakeries are made simply from flour, water, sourdough and salt (with occasional fruit or nuts), industrial breads contain lots of preservatives, sweeteners or fats.

For what ? Since the industrial method favors quantity and speed rather than quality, it is necessary to add these ingredients to give flavor to the bread.

Artisanal bread is, on the contrary, even tastier without the need for these superfluous ingredients.

Do you want to discover the secrets of artisanal baking?

Are you interested in learning more about the secrets and methods of an artisan baker in Quebec? Come meet Jean-Sébastien Béraud and discover his bakery La Mie Bretonne during the “ Discover Brome-Missisquoi – The solidarity terroir ” excursion!

You will also have the opportunity to meet other fascinating producers from the region!

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