Bread

I bring my bread-making things with me to Spain. My sourdough starter, tenderly nurtured over the last couple of years in Teddington, makes the journey, carefully fed before we set out and gently stowed in the boot of the car along with a cast-iron casserole well past its prime but still a perfect vessel for baking. As I set out last night to commit another 18 hours to creating a loaf, I contemplated what it is about the process of bread-making that captivates me. A few things come to mind. For instance, there’s the language that attaches to making bread. When bread...

On fiesta day, Lubrin is full of colour. Every first floor balcony is adorned with a flag in either green and white or red and yellow stripes, alternating in perfect harmony along the main streets, displaying a high degree of neighbourliness or an ironfisted local mayor with an eye for design. Red is the colour of St Seb, presumably relating to the frequent spilling of his blood. Triangular scarves of red are sold together with little brooches made of hardened dough, like tiny loaves with a piece of red ribbon attached. These are the symbols of the festival, and locals and...

As I counted down the weeks and days to setting out from London bound for here, I contemplated the culinary opportunities that a long stay in a country rich in markets and produce would offer. In particular, I decided I’d get down to some serious experimentation – and after some deep and meaningful conversations with a certain Tom (you know who you are) I had sourdough in my sights. So, I dreamt I would make bread. Picture it if you will. All those weeks with a nice little sourdough starter fermenting quietly in the corner; all that ritual of feeding it...