A technical definition of artisan breads is proposed, based on the concepts of lean formulations, long fermentations, and the use of process as the primary way to adapt to changing flour qualities. The current status of what constitutes refined flour for artisan bread production is presented and a conclusion drawn that very high protein flours that create very strong doughs are likely not to be optimum. The effect of long fermentations on acidification and its impact on dough strength is also covered as the long fermentations used in artisan production create acidified doughs even if using only bakers’ yeast. The narrative also covers the state of the art in the rapidly changing world of whole-wheat baking at the artisan level where the use of ancient and heritage wheats with weaker dough properties is growing along with the use of recent hexaploid wheats with more conventionally “normal” dough performance. Preliminary data suggesting that whole-wheat sourdough breads respond to different aspects of flour quality compared to straight-dough refined-flour breads is also presented.