Spanish bread used to be pretty dry and hard when I first came to Madrid long ago in the late ’80s – a good workout for the jaw, filling but not really something you’d crave and too hard to eat after a few hours. Things have long since changed beyond all recognition. The quality of bread available now is a much better reflection of the love the Spanish have for their daily loaf. Panifiesto is a fabulous example of the stunning artisanal bakers that have sprung up around the city in recent years.
This place is really no-frills – the bread is stacked up on shelves behind the counter, and beyond that, you can watch the bakers at work. The speciality is the sourdough made with organic flour, water, salt and nothing else – it’s beautifully hole-y and tasty enough to enjoy just on its own. They have baguettes, spelt, rye, wholemeal and wheat bread as well as “pan gallego” which looks like a giant cottage loaf. So just 6 regular bakes to choose from, although they have a special most days – I love the raisin and walnut bread.
Get there early, because there is usually a queue and it’s first come, first served – they will reserve a bread for you though, if you ask!