Today I was struck by the thought that I haven't covered my absolute favourite shop in Barcelona yet. Very remiss of me as it is the shop that I go into every day almost without fail. It's our local bakery, Baluard, and I can happily say that it's the best bakery I've ever been to.
The owner, Anna Bellsolà, comes from a family of bakers from Girona, and brought her considerable skills to Barceloneta about four years ago. The shop is deceptively small from the outside, hiding a huge baking production behind the scenes, where they work through the night to make sure that there's enough fresh bread and goodies for the ravenous hordes who descend each day. People here eat bread with pretty much every meal so they need to stock up regularly.
The best thing about the bread they bake, apart from the amazing taste, is the fact that it's made using 100% natural flours, some organic, and prepared with yeast in a traditional way. The loaves are rolled out one by one and placed on a linen cloth directly on the floor of the kiln, rather than on a tray, to ensure an even crust. This process carries on throughout the day, so whenever you go in, you're ensured that there'll be something coming fresh from the oven. The smells that come from here, as you can imagine, are divine.There are 20 varieties of loaves available and we've worked our way through them all; I will say my favourite is probably the Pa de Cereals which is packed with delicious seeds and grains, but still really light with an amazing crunchy crust.
There are scrumptious cakes available too. We try to limit those to weekend treats but sometimes we do succumb during the week. The trick is not to look to your left when you're in the bakery as once you spot those magdalenas, pastries and cheesecakes displayed so beautifully, you're done for. I can't believe my luck having this bakery so nearby, I know some people travel from other parts of town to shop here.I'm not so sure my waistline will thank me but I'll just have to make sure I keep up the long beach and mountain walks to make up for it.