9 Things I Hate About Artisan Bread Bakers
If you’re in the routine of a baking video binge on YouTube, here’s my top reasons on what drives me mad.
Over the years I’ve spent hours, probably days in fact trying to learn recipes, techniques and philosophies to do with bread. There’s some great stuff, whilst there’s some stuff destined for the skip button too!
Why watch bread bakers on YouTube?
There’s only so much you can learn from the tutors and bakers that you come in contact with.
From these people you’ll learn what you need to know, but what if you want to push the boundaries and understand other bread making cultures whilst finding out what breads are in trend at the minute too.
Watching YouTube videos about baking bread is possibly the best way to reach these people without the cost of travelling to see them.
With the system being free, it’s an amazing tool but sometimes these videos do get on my nerves!
Here’s my frustrations on YouTube videos about making bread.
Some Vloggers describe themselves as experts yet, they don’t know anything about baking bread? Yep it’s true!
As soon as I hear “tepid water” I tend to hit the skip button unless curiosity gets the better of me and want to see what it comes out like -usually very amateur!
The faffing around
It should be a pre-requisite that to be able to teach baking on YouTube the Vlogger must have worked as a professional baker at some point. Many of these quite clearly have not ever even had a Saturday job sweeping the floor in a real bakery. Ok- I get it it's not going to happen, but hey, I'm just saying it would be nice.
This is shown in the amount of messing around they do to try and get one loaf looking correct -seriously if they take that long to mould one loaf they would run out of time to complete the bake of the worlds easiest production run! It's not the characteristics of a real artisan baker.
YouTube translate kinda sucks
Pretty harsh words, but the best bread baking videos I’ve found are from other countries, usually France or Italy. Watching them really opened my eyes when it comes to hand kneading techniques for the dough and recipe creation for authentic breads. The downside to this is that they often don’t see any need to pay for a proper translation service so I can’t really watch. Well, I watch the techniques put on shown but I have no idea what nuggets they are sharing verbally.
Phrases such as “feed fat to the mother” or “life is slaughtered in the fire” ended up in a very confused face for a bake video alternatively laugh in stitches to myself -I have no one else that will watch with me!
I can’t really complain to google/ YouTube as it’s a free service and to be honest it is pretty darn clever for what it does. It just doesn’t work all that well.
Pro bakers trying to be "too" artisan
I’m not sure if it’s due to a lack of respect from their customers or they think adding pointless techniques really helps them get the edge on other producers. For all the work that goes into creating an amazing loaf of bread there are things that are necessary whilst there’s quite a few things I see in videos that add no value.
Teaching baking bread with things like..
- Whisking yeast in water to evenly disperse it, then mixing the dough for 20-30 minutes anyway.
- Adding the flour in two stages (this is BAD for the bread dough!)
- Telling watchers the only way to make good bread is to get locally milled flour- or even worse buy a mill to do it at home.
I dread hearing these things, they make me angry!
Making themselves special in the bread baking world
We all hate a know it all and I remind my partner of this daily, some of these (wannabe) artisans baking celebrities try to sound like they are the only ones in the whole world capable of baking bread. It's simply not true!
There’s many amazing bakers that can bake real good artisan bread around, true there’s not that many that understand the whole process or can teach it and go on YouTube to present it.
But guys, please don't kid yourself!
Who can possibly say they devote their entire life to maintaining one pizza dough? If saying these things is trying to "wow" people, my personal "wow" is "wow this guys got NO friends/life/small brain"
It’s just not true.
Using the wrong techniques to create a bread
Ok, this reason is a bit techy. But there’s certain basis that you learn in the baking world, rules that aren’t supposed to be broken. Yet some tubers seem to ignore them (or they’ve never learnt them!). I appreciate the bread probably does taste ok, but I could be much more authentic.
A baguette should be made in 4 hours, there is no need to but a high amount of yeast in a dough before proofing in the fridge to slow it down.
A bit of a rant today, but I felt it had to be said. These are the reasons I wanted to start this website and create a bread baking course. See my first ever post here, I probably wasn't as open then!
There’s certain things here that bug me, and perhaps depending on where you are in your bread baking journey you’ll possibly find the same frustrations. The industry should be supporting baker beginners to grow by making it easy and teaching skills that are accurate.
That’s why I get frustrated. I just want people to realise how easy it can be to learn to bake breads from across the world by putting in a bit of effort and learning the skills from an accurate person.
But then anyone can be anyone they like for a few moments online. There’s no cv check up or interview.
Are there any good YouTube baking videos?
There are many great baking videos on YouTube, unfortunately there are lots of wrong stuff muddled up too! I've found the most interesting videos are the foreign bakers who teach their rustic techniques.
I often think, wow, that's not how I would do it. That said...
Watching bakers from across the world can really open your eyes into trying new breads and understanding what you can do to achieve different characteristics in bread.
Written by Gareth
"I'm sharing my love of artisan bread baking with others"