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Great Bread in Madrid


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After spotting this week's Metropoli review of Pan.Cake http://www.elmundo.es/metropoli/2008/01/03...1199353350.html

a relatively new bakery/pastry shop on Castelló, I stopped by and met Sergi and tried his creations. Good bread is much needed in Madrid and Im happy to say, in my opinion, Sergi is a 1st class chef baker making the real real stuff along with delicious croissants and brioches... on top of it, he's using organic flour.

I still have to try out Maria's pastries and chocolates, but Im sure I won't be disappointed.

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It is really much appreciated.

When Mark Furstenburg was over here, we discussed the need for good bread in Madrid, and how interesting it would be to recover some good traditional breads, such as Galician, Zamoran, Levantin recipes.

I also think Delipanific is above average although they told me their doughs are brought frozen from France, and the baguette is really quite average. I liked their Campagne better the last time I was there, however Pan.Cake is in another league, in my opinion. Their croissants are also the best I have had outside of france.

There is another place off calle mayor, close to plaza Herradores that does good galician hogaza and empanadas, and quadrapanis and Viena la baguette are also above average.

Viena Capellanes featured a very good ancienne type baguette made with a swiss patent, I think it was called pain paillase, but I think they stopped selling it. This was hands down the best baguette I had in Madrid at the time.

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The place near the Plaza Mayor in Plaza Herradores is the Museo del Pan Gallego. Another, more everyday sort of place that I like is La Tahona on c/Humilladero. I really like their chapata.

I lived in DC for a long time and really enjoyed Furstenburgs breads, but lets not kid ourselves... his places aren't at all indicative of the state of bread in the US... And I'm not sure there's much of a market here for a 10 euro loaf of bread. Bread is quite a bit more democratic here. I've had some great bread in unexpected little remote places in Asturias and Leon in little pueblos that still have their original bakeries. Some of the stuff from Leon seems to make its way to little markets/stalls in Madrid.

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I think you are right for the majority of sales, bread is a democratic buy most of the time. However, a lesser % of the time it is a specialty buy, and times are changing over here, you can see that from the amount of specialty shops cropping about. Of course lets see how many of them make it through the first year, and much will be up to the quality and uniqueness of their produce and service.

I wish we got more of the regional breads you mention in Madrid. Whilst a democratic loaf will always be price oriented, I quite welcome some quality competition to the faux artisanal and frozen bread so many of the industrialized bakery chains are offering, some of them not so cheap either. I think there is certainly a growing market for really good stuff, both here and over in other markets like the US, if not ask Sergi, he's had to instigate a croissant quotia (as Mark did with his bread) and he's already thinking of moving the bakery to another location to deal with the demand he's had in the 6 months he's been open for.

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