The Difference Between Artisan Bread & Regular Bread

Some people will only consume artisan bread, while others don’t mind a regular or artisan loaf. Are they really all that different? The simple answer is yes, they’re quite different and have distinguishing factors that set them apart.

Artisan bread is typically crafted using traditional ingredients, including water, flour, salt, and sometimes yeast. They’re generally handmade and require a long fermentation time of up to 24 hours. This combination produces a loaf of bread with more developed and intriguing flavors.

Hello! I’m Michelle, a bread fanatic and self-taught baker. I love bread (as do my kiddos!) – including regular and artisan. I wanted to learn more about the distinct dissimilarities between the two and was surprised at how much these two types of loaves differ.

Keep reading to learn the difference between artisan bread and regular bread.

7 Key Differences Between Artisan Bread and Regular Bread

Artisan bread and regular bread are not one and the same. In fact, they vary greatly, which is why you will notice such a clear difference in price at the local grocery store or bakery. Let’s take a closer look at the top seven differences between these popular types of bread loaves.

1. Made With Natural Ingredients

One significant difference that sets these bread loaves apart is the ingredients. Artisan bread focuses on using four main natural ingredients, including water, flour, salt, and yeast.

That’s not to say that artisan bread can’t have other flavors, though. For example, focaccia is a type of artisan bread that includes seasonings (typically rosemary, oregano, or other Italian herbs).

Regular loaves of bread easily come with double the number of ingredients of artisan bread, if not more.

2. Typically Handmade

Artisan bread is almost always handmade by a professional, highly experienced bread baker. They have the skills and desire to craft the most delicious and intricate loaves of bread, and the “proof is in the pudding” – or should I say an artisan loaf of bread?

This differs from regular bread significantly, as traditional loaves are often mass-produced in factories without the delicate touch of an artisan baker.

3. Long Fermentation Time

All types of bread dough need to rise, whether making artisan or regular loaves. However, while regular dough only needs a few short hours (sometimes a single hour will do the trick!), artisan loaves can be fermented for up to 24 hours.

4. Tastier

There’s a reason why artisan bread is fermented for such a long period of time – it develops more flavor with plenty of depth.

While regular loaves can taste somewhat bland, artisan bread has distinct flavors that are undeniably pleasant. 

The flavor can change depending on the type of artisan bread you’re consuming. For instance, sourdough bread can have a sour taste, while brioche is known for its impeccable sweetness. Others can have a savory or tangy flavor, depending on added ingredients.

Regardless of the type of flavor, you can be confident in one thing – the artisan bread flavors will be distinct and enjoyable from start to finish.

5. Better Texture

If you touch or eat a slice of regular bread, you will notice one thing – it’s really soft, almost sponge-like. 

Artisan bread, on the other hand? It tends to have a crunchy exterior with a perfectly moist and chewy interior. That’s thanks to the large air pockets strewn throughout the loaf. 

6. Price

A lot of hard work and skill goes into making a loaf of artisan bread, while regular loaves are typically mass-produced in a factory with little to no human touch. 

Due to the fact that artisan bread requires more time and hard work, it’s pricier than regular loaves. However, ask anyone if artisan bread is worth the few extra dollars. They’ll answer with a resounding, “Yes!”

7. Potentially Healthier

Nutritionally, there aren’t significant differences between artisan and regular loaves of bread. The only difference is that artisan bread undergoes a longer fermentation, creating gut-healthy enzymes that may not cause a spike in blood sugar like other regular loaves of bread.


There are apparent differences between artisan and regular loaves of bread. Pretty interesting stuff, wouldn’t you agree? I’m sure you have a few more questions on your mind. I hope I can answer them below!

What is meant by artisan bread?

Artisan bread does not have a distinct definition. However, the word “artisan” is defined as a person that creates high-quality products in small quantities by hand using traditional methods. 

So, we can assume that artisan bread is handmade, top-notch bread using traditional ingredients and techniques.

How is artisan bread flour different from regular bread flour?

Artisan bread flour contains more gluten and yeast to create the artisan style of bread. These added ingredients ensure that the loaf has more air pockets and superior moisture compared to regular loaves, which tend to have a tighter crumb.

What are the four main characteristics of artisan bread?

Artisan bread can be broken down into four distinct characteristics: It’s handmade, created in small quantities (rather than mass-produced in a factory like regular bread), does not contain preservatives (all-natural ingredients), and uses traditional techniques.

What is the healthiest bread you can eat?

Whole grain and sprouted grain bread loaves are amongst the healthiest bread you can eat. However, sourdough (an artisan bread) also ranks highly. Again, that’s thanks to the lengthy fermentation that ensures your blood sugar won’t spike after consumption.

Artisan Bread and Regular Bread Are Significantly Different

Artisan bread and regular bread may be sold on the same aisle, but they’re not the same thing. Artisan bread is handmade with natural ingredients and requires a long fermentation time. 

This results in a tastier loaf with improved texture. It’s pricier than traditional loaves due to the skill, patience, and time required to make it.

Do you prefer artisan bread or regular bread? Do you know any other differences that you would like to share?

About Michelle
I have been a lover of sweets since day one. This led me on a self-taught baking journey starting at the age of 13. It's been over 10 years since the start of my baking adventures, and I’ve learned a lot along the way. Now, people rave about my delectable treats, whether it’s a chocolate cake or a strawberry crepe.

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