Bread remains a much-loved food in the world, with billions of loaves sold each day. Today, there are different kinds of bread available, from crispy baguettes to soft ciabatta and flaky croissants.
However, not all food being sold in bakeries and supermarkets these days are created equal – some use healthier ingredients while the others contain artificial additives. So to make sure that you always have the most delicious and healthiest bread on your plate, consider taking up artisan bread making classes in your location.
The art of making bread is not as easy as it may seem; you have to learn and master a number of techniques to transform simple ingredients like flour, yeast, salt, and butter into something sumptuous and extraordinary. Undergoing some formal training is valuable; this way, you will better understand the processes involved in creating great bread.
3 Reasons to Take Artisan Bread Making Classes Now
1. Learn and Understand the Process of Making Artisan Bread
Artisan bread is superior when it comes to appearance, texture, aroma, and taste as opposed to its mass-produced counterpart. The bread products made using large, complex machines are designed for a wide range of palates, but are often created with little direct care and more additives. The process involves a minimal fermentation period, which dramatically affects the character and flavor of the end product.
On the contrary, artisan bread is made by hand and involves longer traditional processes, allowing for greater flavor development. The key ingredients of artisan bread are yeast, salt, flour, and water. The bulk fermentation process involves mixing together these ingredients to form a dough and leaving it to ferment for up to three hours. It is during the fermentation process that the dough transforms from a short dense mass into an elastic form. The fermentation time is usually defined by the quantity of yeast and the dough temperatures you intend to use.
Undergoing artisan bread making classes will help you understand the critical role of dough temperature and accurate calculations to create the best-tasting bread. Yeast and bacteria can thrive at different temperatures through the spectrum. But if temperatures cool suddenly, the timetable of the dough or the ambient temperature must be adjusted immediately. And this is an important takeaway you can get from these formal classes.
An artisan bread making class in Dubai, for instance, can be completed in just four days. The best thing about enrolling in this class is that you get hands-on practical training where you can learn and master the different techniques of baking, mixing, proofing, and scoring a wide variety of bread.
Here are some of the types of bread you can learn to bake:
- Baguette – This is a long, narrow, flaky, golden-brown French bread with crust on the thinner side. The crumb has huge irregular holes and is airy and light.
- Ciabatta – This Italian bread has a wetter dough. Thus, it has a very moist, spongy crumb. Also, it has a thin, crispy crust.
- Focaccia – Like ciabatta, this bread has a wet, soft dough and thin, crispy crust. However, it has lots of variations depending on the recipe used.
- Grissini – Otherwise known as breadsticks, grissini are pencil-sized bread with an uneven, rustic appearance as a result of the hand-stretched process. This makes the perfect snack or appetizer.
- Calzone – This is an Italian folded pizza stuffed with several toppings that can include pepperoni, onion, mozzarella cheese, and fresh bell peppers.
2. Reap the Benefits of Baking Your Own Bread
If you are health conscious, there is no better way of guaranteeing that you only eat healthy and tasty bread than by baking it right in the comforts of your own home. Mass-produced bread is often unimpressive in terms of nutrition because most of them contain high calories from starch and are low in protein and fiber. But if you make your own bread, you can guarantee that even a single slice can keep you full for up to two hours as it has high protein and fiber content.
Another perk of consuming home-baked bread is that you save money. By buying the ingredients of artisan bread, you will realize that you can save about half of the price of the bread you buy from grocery stores or bakeries.
The best benefit of baking your own bread is that you can customize it to suit your unique preferences and needs, especially if you are on a special diet like gluten-free, low-carb, or vegan. Though you might find several stores selling these kinds of special bread these days, you may need to pay a higher price for them. But if you choose to bake the bread you eat, you can definitely come up with bread that satisfies not just your palate, but also your dietary needs, at a reasonable cost. Most importantly, you can enjoy the bread at its freshest — right when it is fresh out of your oven.
Baking your bread at home can provide lots of benefits and enjoyment. Nothing beats the feeling of pulling artisan bread out of your oven, knowing that you made it with your own hands. And having your house fill up with the yeasty, mouthwatering smell of freshly baked bread is definitely a pleasure that your family can share.
3. Start a Home Bakery Business
Finally, starting your own bakery business or becoming a bread supplier is not an easy endeavor, especially with today’s highly competitive market. You need to have a unique selling point to attract customers to line up for your bread each time you open up your home store. Certainly, there is no better way of staying on top of the competition than knowing and mastering how to make great artisan bread. And this can only be made possible if you take bread making lessons from the experts.
Baking from scratch may take a lot of effort and time. But with a bit of planning and expert help, this can become a part of your daily or weekly routine. You may buy bread at supermarkets and bakeries that are also nutritious, but you’ll surely pay a hefty price for these. By making your own bread, you don’t have to compromise between nutrition, taste, and cost.
While taking up baking classes and professional barista courses in Dubai might entail a considerable investment of your time, effort and resources, it will surely help you gain the right knowledge and skill to transform your bread-making passion into an income-generating habit.
Shanaaz Raja is the Course Director at International Centre for Culinary Arts – ICCA Dubai.