Monday, 7 May 2012

Hairy Bikers Spanish Pan Rustico - Spain

I've really enjoyed the Hairy Bikers Bakeation TV series for not only the recipes, but the stunning scenery as well.  I have to admit my favourites were the Norway episode and the final one from Spain.  In Norway I just wanted to get straight on a plane and immerse myself in the amazing countryside as well as diving into the drool-inducing breads.  In Spain it bought back fond memories of our brilliant trip to Northern Spain last year and I could still taste some of the Pintxos we got to sample in the town Lekeitio.  You just amble from bar to bar trying the specialities of each place along with a wee glass of wine and then attempt to propel yourself back up the hill to the campsite in the pitch black.......happy days!

Always on the lookout for new bread recipes, I just had to give their Pan Rustico , or Rustic Bread to us, a go!

Its a really slow but simple recipe, a bit like a sourdough in that you make a starter, but has a totally different texture.

You start by making the starter of yeast, flour, sugar and water and leaving it to ferment for 24 hours.  "Midday" is to remind me when to start the second process just in case you were wondering :)

Then the bread ingredients of more water, flour, yeast, sugar and oil get all mixed together with the starter and then kneaded for 10 minutes.

It is a very wet dough, though bizarrely not overly sticky.  This may be due to the oil.  As you knead the texture does change and you feel it becoming more airy and stretchy.  But its still very wet.  The above picture was taken one-handed as I was so gooey!

Then it gets popped into an oiled bowl, covered and left for an hour or so to double in size from this...

to this.....................................

Then its put onto a floured baking sheet and stretched into shape, slashing the top and leaving for another hour or so to rise again

Not the most attractive of loaves, as its quite difficult to shape due to its stickiness.  But it wouldn't be rustic otherwise would it?

Then the loaf is popped into a 240c static oven for 20 minutes until golden brown.

I think next time I will prove it in a basket to hold its shape better and make it a higher rather than flatter loaf, but the outcome is a lovely soft loaf with a very airy texture.  Not like sourdough, which is more chewy, but floofy and great as bread or toast.  I'll definitely be doing this one again!


  1. Yum, that looks lovely. You make it sound so simple! x

    1. But it is so easy! Its all about getting sticky with bread dough and having some fun. Promise me you'll give it a go. Otherwise I'll have to come up and give you a demonstration :-) xx

  2. Ooh, now I've only just realised you replied to me (we've had this conversation I know!). I promise that I will try, perhaps next weekend as I do seem to have all the ingredients. More than happy to have a demonstration though! x

    1. I'll hold you to this Tracy :)
      At least I now know replying to your message doesn't come back to your email address! Oh well.