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This bread, which has a very special texture, is also sufficiently versatile to use in different recipes. SUR
Churro bread: the unique product baked in the Serranía de Ronda that's proved to be a winner
Food and drink

Churro bread: the unique product baked in the Serranía de Ronda that's proved to be a winner

The Panadería Piña bakery in Algatocín is already known around the globe for making the world's most expensive bread (4,000 euros per kilo) by adding edible gold to its recipe

Javier Almellones

Algatocín

Friday, 31 May 2024, 16:31

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It all started with a request from a hotel for a different type of bread for a club sandwich. "They wanted a honeycombed bread that would suit the sandwich," says Juan Manuel Moreno Piña, head of the bakery in Algatocín that became known around the world for making the world's most expensive bread by adding edible gold and silver.

When he received the request, Juan Manuel had just eaten some churros for breakfast. And that's when the idea struck him like a lightning bolt. "We decided to ferment some dough, then we put it in olive oil and fermented it again", explains this well-known baker. From there, the dough is baked at a high temperature and the atypical, but spongy and tasty churro bread, or panchurro as they call it, emerges.

What is described in a single paragraph above, however, took months to fine-tune. "We did a lot of tests until we got what we wanted," says Juan Manuel. Temperature was essential to achieve the desired product. In his bakery, Panadería Piña, they decided to call it churro bread, because its flavour "reminds us of a churro or fried breadcake", both are popular recipes in the Serranía de Ronda.

Panchurro can be bought in Algatocín as well as in Malaga city.
Panchurro can be bought in Algatocín as well as in Malaga city.

Unlike the fried dough used for the popular churros, the hydration of the panchurro is 60%, twenty points less. "If we were to add the same amount of water, it would be very complicated to handle the dough," he explains.

After satisfying the request from the customer who asked for a bread to suit his club sandwich, orders from other parts of Malaga province and beyond soon followed. "I get a lot of requests from hotels, restaurants and shops, because it is a very special and versatile bread," he says. In fact, they use it for gourmet sandwiches and even add chocolate, which is reminiscent of a churro's best accompaniment for that mid-morning snack. In just a few months they have gone from making just a few to now making between 500 and 700 pieces per day of panchurro - as tasty as it is exclusive - and still made in the charming white village of Algatocín in the heart of the Genal valley.

Panchurro, which could be said to resemble the texture of a bagel but made with extra virgin olive oil, is available to eat in various hotels and restaurants, but can also be bought directly from the Pan Piña bakery in Algatocín. Another option is to buy it in La Mallorquina in the historic centre of Malaga city where they usually stock this and other breads from different parts of the province of Malaga. The most common format is the 80 gram loaf, which is usually sold in a bag of four units at a price of around 3 euros.

One of the bread ovens at this bakery in Algatocín.
One of the bread ovens at this bakery in Algatocín. SUR

Pan Piña is a family bakery in Algatocín, part of the promotional brand Sabor a Málaga, which became famous for making the most expensive bread in the world, a loaf of edible gold and silver bread priced at almost 4,000 euros per kilo. But beyond this loaf, within the reach of very few, this company from Algatocín has been expanding its range of quality products that come out of its ovens.

Therefore you can buy the bandolero bread, a type of mollete (soft bap) that also has a surprising texture, or its old-style bread, which is doubly fermented during the proving process (each stage lasts 18 hours and is kept at a different temperature) and has become one of its star products. "We have it in El Pimpi and the Puente Romano and it is a bread that is also very versatile", declares Juan Manuel.

In addition to the aforementioned, both at its Algatocín headquarters and in its online shop, this family-run bakery has hundreds of different mentions that revolve around the quality of the raw materials and the skills of their artisan bakers when making such breads. Just as it has done since 1940, when the bakery was founded by José Piña and his wife Manuela Corrales.

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