Pa de Sant Antoni (savoury, with sourdough)

The crumb of a plaited Saint Anthony's bread

After my first attempt at a Pa de Sant Antoni and realising that it was sweeter than I remembered it, I decided to develop a recipe for a savoury version.

I was also really determined that it had to be a plaited bread, which inevitably forces you to use a less wet dough so you can handle and shape it without losing your wits.

The result, once baked, has less definition in the plait than I’d like, but I am very pleased with the bread itself nonetheless. The crumb was quite open, and the anise flavour was there to give it the air of an special bread. I also practiced “painting” the surface with water to give it a smoother surface, and it worked! It felt a bit like biting into a brioche. Quite interesting!

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Pa de Sant Antoni (Saint Anthony’s bread)

A pile of Sant Antoni buns and breads

While the Fallas festival in Valencia is quite well-known, the Sant Antoni (Saint Anthony)’s celebrations are less flamboyant, more inward looking. A domestic affair, say, for the locals and by the locals.

Happening around the 17th of January, it is a very unassuming celebration: there is a parade where people bring their animals to church to get a blessing, there will be a small market called “porrat” with stalls selling, amongst other yummy things, delicious nuts, figs and confectionery based on those (which are also called “porrat”), and finally one or more bonfires will burn and light up the dark January night, spreading the aroma of pine wood all around the neighbourhood.

All good things!

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Self isolation, week 8: the known classics, the new classics

We resorted to two types of ‘classics’ this week:

  1. the known classics: the dishes we like and who never disappoint
  2. the new classics: classic dishes we’ve eaten in restaurants, but not made ourselves before

It was a really good break from the extremely anxiety inducing messaging coming from the pinnacle of ineptitude hanging out in number 10…

🙄 *collective eye roll* 🙄

In other news, the local shops seem to have gone back to pre-lockdown and pre-stockpiling stock levels. They even had eggs! And toilet paper! But it is still very stressful to go to the shops.

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