Spain is a country inundated with traditional bakeries (panaderias). There is at least one on every corner. But the focus of these traditional bakeries is white bread, white flour and exceptionally sweet cakes. You are lucky to find a whole-wheat or whole-grain bread stick, loaf or baguette in most panaderias and supermarkets (and those you do find are marinated in a delightful combination of E numbers that will rape your neurons, turn your mouth inside out and possibly make you change gender).
So if you like your bread made properly, with excellent ingredients and no e numbers, then check out this bakery:
And at Sant Cugat.
Crusto is unforgiveable. A more gorgeous selection of mouth-watering baked goods I have never before seen.
There is a massive choice of breads to start with: from slabs of focaccia with tomato to multifaceted cottage loaves with different seeds on each facet, to wholegrains so whole and grainy they could win awards for wholeness and grainyness. Rustic boulders studded with seeds, crusty rolls, wholegrain ciabattas, sliced organic bread, spelt bread, bread seasoned with onion, with cheese, with olives with nuts. Dark brown round loaves with fascia like the Earth’s crust, and a dozen types of roll, individual quiche and pizzas.
As for the cakes, I don’t think I can delineate the sheer wonder of these creations: different varieties of magdelenas, muffins glazed with hazelnuts and mini meringues, a pear tart so divine and covered in chunks of glazed pear, thick wedges of strudel pregnant with plump sultanas and glistening beneath a sweet glaze and a sprinkle of icing sugar. Different types of coca breads covered with seasalt and rosemary or chocolate chips or sugar crystals. Planks of focaccia bursting with caramelized onion, tomatoes or beneath salt crystals.
My blood sugar just reached critical levels just writing this.
The inside is gorgeous: bright, airy, beautifully laid out and industrious. Old grey and white tiles line the floor and a giant mirror sits against an exposed brick wall. A massive clock is suspended from the ceiling on a chain like a pocket-watch fit for Gargantua.