By Regina Winkle-Bryan
Nancy and I have pondered how Spanish and French women eat so much bread and stay so thin. It must be all the walking and smoking, or maybe it’s some other secret they’re not letting us in on. Whatever it is, genetic, tobacco, exercise or otherwise, I envy them. While I walk or ride my bike everywhere in Barcelona I can’t eat bread all day long and not gain weight. Still, it’s hard to resist the supple loaves they sell at Baluard, the best bakery in all of Barcelona. It is my favorite pastry shop to pick up a loaf of seedy homemade bread and a danish smothered in blackberries.
Time Out Magazine agrees with me and named Baluard as Number Two for the best bread in all of Barcelona. I’d say number one, but we agree that Baluard is fabulous. A small shop open Monday through Saturday, it’s common to find a line down the block coming out of Baluard on most mornings, especially Saturdays. Read: stay clear on Saturday mornings.
I recommend the buttery croissants, double-fudge brownies, and well, pretty much anything else. You really can’t go wrong at Baluard. What’s more, as you wait to be served you can see bakers in their white aprons at work mixing flour and sprinkling dried figs into soft dough. Baluard serves Catalan breads too, and some to sample are:
Pa de Fruits Secs (one of my usual purchases: bread with dried fruit)
Pa de Segol
Pa de Mantega, Llet i Sucre (Butter, milk and sugar bread)
Pa de Cereals (seed bread, another one of my faves)
And the list goes on. In Barcelona there seems to be a bread shop every block but few can hold a candle to Baluard. Your best bet? Head over to Baluard in the morning and grab a couple pastries and then hit a nearby cafe and get a coffee. Or, sit in the park in front of Baluard on a bench and watch market life go by as you enjoy one of life’s great pleasures: freshly-baked bread.
C/ Baluard, 38 – Barceloneta, Barcelona