February 6, 2008

A Visit to A Family Bakery #1

On my last trip to Argentina, I had the honor of spending a few hours at Al Pan Pan, a  family-owned bakery in Bowen, where many of the locals buy their bread fresh daily.  The bakery is owned and operated by Raul Faur and his daughter, Leyla.  (This is Raul below proudly displaying one of his gorgeous loaves of   bread.)

                            Dsc02830

All of the bread there is made by hand every day.  This amazes me, since so much of the bread we have available here is made in a factory, bagged in plastic, and shipped out to supermarkets.  Mr. Faur employs 2 assistant bakers, and another assistant who helps with the front and with deliveries.  Fresh bread can be delivered to your door daily! 

Mr. Faur attended a trade-school program in bakery arts.  His parents were immigrants to Argentina from Lebanon, and he bakes  ‘Pan Arabe’ (Pita Bread) on request.

The most popular thing he sells  are  rolls and loaves of bread that are crusty outside and chewy inside –usually set out on the table at every meal, and perfect for sopping up any rich sauce on your plate.   The bread is also delicious with jelly as an afternoon snack, and perfect for making into breadcrumbs a couple of days later (if there’s any leftover!)

The dough for the bread is prepared by one of the assistants making the dough…

When the dough is ready, it’s cut into long strips.  The strips are torn apart by hand and fed into a machine that flattens the dough and then rolls it into a spiral dough ball…

Then the dough is either set as is (for roll sized bread) or put together in threes (for a real loaf).  The dough is set out on wooden boards lined with damp canvas cloth to rise…

Dsc02789Dsc02797 Dsc02792

And then put into the  oven to bake…

Dsc02787 Dsc02786

And when it’s all done, it’s taken out…

Dsc02818Dsc02817Dsc02819_2

Don’t these look amazing?

I wish I had an Al Pan Pan right down the street-how lucky I would be!  These photos make my mouth water-if there’s a bakery like this near you, first, count your blessings, and then leave a comment and tell me about it!

I hope you enjoyed your little tour of Al Pan Pan, more to come in the next installment!

5 Responses to “A Visit to A Family Bakery #1”

  1. Looking forward to the next post — this was really fun to watch.

  2. I miss so much walking those few blocks from my parent’s house to this bakery to get our fresh bread for the day…or perhaps I miss even more the irresistible impulse of eating some of that steamy bread (or medialunas!) on the way back?…Good job Rebe!

  3. Glad you enjoyed it! Doesn’t the bread look delicious?

  4. Do Argentines rip the miga out of the bread and eat just the crust the way the Chileans do? My Chilean friends told me that it is the miga that makes you fat. Not too many calories. Not the crust slathered with butter or manjar. The miga.

  5. BTW, BEHIND the WINE is not a good place to hide anything…