I don’t eat much bread. I love it, but it’s something I reserve for weekends and special occasions. When I do eat it, I want something as healthy and tasty as possible. Bread quality in Barcelona is on the up but the typical barra is tasteless stodge and pa de pages can be a hit-or-miss affair.
Recently I’ve been making my own bread quite a lot, with varying degrees of success the further I venture away from the basic white or nearly white loaf. I tend to make big 1kg loaves, so there’s enough to make breakfast sandwiches for my family who can’t get enough of the stuff.
To help me push on to the next level of
incompetence, I’ve been browsing this excellent forum which is packed with links and good advice. Check it out.
Another recent acquisition is Ibán Yarza’s very good book Pan casero (Larousse – Libros Ilustrados/ Prácticos – Gastronomía).
It’s written for home cooks not professionals and helpfully explains how to get good results in a domestic kitchen. And yes, that’s an Amazon affiliate link so if you fancy buying the book, please do so after clicking through!
I’ve found baking bread to be a very satisfying process but getting good flour can be a chore. In the UK there seems to be a heritage stone mill with organic everything around every wind of a country road but in Barcelona it’s more difficult.
So far I’ve been to Jaime J. Renobell on Ps. Picasso, next to Ciutadella park and el Born. This is a slightly chaotic treasure trove, a visit to which includes taking a ticket and plunging into the throngs of elbow-swinging restauranteurs who shop there, but it’s sorth the effort to get some top quality flour.
Other shops that I’ve read are worth visiting to buy flour but which I’ve never visited include Baltá Farinetes (Sants 115) and La Graneria del Poblenou (Pujades 188, local 2).
A recent article in Cuina magazine on Catalan mills featured la Garbiana, whose flour certainly seems like the kind of stuff I’d want to use. I plan on trying it after my summer holidays and I’ll report back.