I’ve been on a Spanish kick the last week or two. I’ve also been thinking that if I’m going to make the 24 loaves I committed to earlier in the year, I need to move on from the perfect baguettes that I’ve been making with the basic AB5 recipe. These two factors directly contributed to me making a truly gorgeous, albeit moon-like, loaf of Pan Gallego Sunday night.
There are many variations on this loaf, but at its heart, this is a rustic, multi-grain bread from Galicia, in the Spanish northwest. This version includes both white and whole wheat flours, with additional flavor and texture coming from pumpkin and sunflower seeds and millet, a tiny grain I’d previously only encountered in birdseed. This was my first truly multi-grain bread, and my first experience trying to knead anything into an already risen loaf. I’m pretty sure that more of the seeds ended up in the bread than spread across the counter and on the floor, but I’m not confident that I achieved a really good distribution throughout the loaf.
I am, however, pleased to report that our $2 paving tile has proved to be a reliable baking stone. Instead of sliding the loaf on and off of a cornmeal-coated baking sheet and moving pans of water into and out of the oven – as recommended in the recipe – I gently transferred the twice-risen loaf to the very hot tile and added a bit of water to the broiling pan that lives in our oven for just that purpose. In under an hour, we had an amazing 2 pound loaf of bread – more than enough for the two of us for a week, but tasty enough that it might not last that long. I’ll definitely be baking this one again.