Pan Basico: Traditional Spanish Bread

White bread

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Prep: 20 mins
Cook: 31 mins
Proof Time: 55 mins
Total: 106 mins
Servings: 8 to 10 servings
Yield: 1 loaf
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
192 Calories
1g Fat
39g Carbs
6g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 8 to 10
Amount per serving
Calories 192
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 1g 1%
Saturated Fat 0g 1%
Cholesterol 19mg 6%
Sodium 327mg 14%
Total Carbohydrate 39g 14%
Dietary Fiber 2g 6%
Total Sugars 0g
Protein 6g
Vitamin C 0mg 0%
Calcium 12mg 1%
Iron 2mg 13%
Potassium 67mg 1%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Bread is never absent on a Spanish table. It is an integral part of any Spanish meal and comes in many different forms. This easy Spanish bread recipe is a very basic white bread that is perfect for a beginner at bread making. Flour, water, salt, and yeast are about all you need to make this delicious homemade bread.

You can form this bread into a baguette (or barra as the Spanish say) or into one large round. If you divide the dough even more, it can make two mini-rounds.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/3 cups (11 to 12 ounces) water, more as needed, divided

  • 1 (1/4 ounce) envelope active dry yeast ( 2 1/4 teaspoons)

  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar

  • 4 cups (480 grams) all purpose flour

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt

  • 1 large egg

  • 1 tablespoon water

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Measure 2/3 cup water into a microwave-safe cup. Heat water in the microwave for a few seconds until it is lukewarm.

  3. Transfer the water to a large mixing bowl. Mix the yeast and sugar into the warm water, stirring constantly until both have dissolved completely.

  4. In a medium mixing bowl, mix the flour and salt.

  5. Using a wooden spoon, gradually stir the flour and salt mixture into the water and yeast mixture. Stir in the remaining 2/3 cup water until a soft dough is formed. Add more water if needed, 2 tablespoons at a time.

  6. Knead the dough for 1 to 2 minutes to form a soft ball of dough.

  7. In a mixing bowl, cover the dough with a wet dish towel. Place the bowl in a warm place away from drafts and allow the dough to rise for 40 minutes.

  8. Knead the dough 5 to 6 times. Form it into one large ball for a single round or divide into 2 pieces and form each into smaller rounds. To make a baguette, divide the dough into 2 pieces and form each into long, thick ropes of about 12 inches. Twist the pieces together and pinch the ends together.

  9. Place dough on a baking stone or parchment-lined cookie sheet. Let it rise in a warm place for 15 minutes.

  10. Preheat the oven to 425 F. In a small bowl, beat the egg with 1 tablespoon water to create an egg wash.

  11. Once risen, score the top of the dough and bake for 7 minutes, then remove from oven and brush with the egg wash to create a shiny crust. Return to the oven and continue baking for about 18 to 24 minutes. The bread is done when it registers 190 to 200 F on an instant-read thermometer inserted in the middle of the bread. It should also be golden brown and have a hollow sound when you tap on the bottom.

  12. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely on a rack.

Tips

  • If you have a banneton (proofing basket) you may use it for the second, shorter proofing. Flour the banneton and shape the bread into a round. Place it in the banneton, top-side down, and let it rise for 15 to 25 minutes. Invert the loaf onto the prepared baking sheet, score it in 3 or 4 places, and bake as instructed. 
  • Adjust to the seasons: It's important to note that the conditions inside your kitchen, such as humidity and temperature, can affect the outcome of any homemade bread. The quantities of flour and water required to make a suitable dough may need to be adjusted. You might also find that these needs change throughout the year as the climate in your home shifts with the seasons.

How To Store and Freeze Homemade Bread

  • Store this fresh crusty bread (lean dough bread) unwrapped at room temperature. Once the bread is sliced, store it in paper. Lean bread is made with little or no fat or sugar, and no preservatives, so it should be eaten within 2 days.
  • To freeze the bread, transfer the loaf or slices to a freezer bag and remove as much air as possible. Alternatively, wrap the loaf in plastic wrap and then in foil. Freeze the bread for up to 3 months for best quality.
  • If you have leftover dried-out bread, use your food processor to turn it into breadcrumbs or make croutons. Freeze crumbs or croutons in airtight containers or bags.

What is the Difference Between Lean and Rich Dough?

  • Bread made with lean dough is low in fat and sugar. Crusty breads and rolls, such as French and Italian bread and no-knead loaves, are generally made with a lean dough.
  • Soft-crust breads and dinner rolls made with rich doughs typically contain fat and sugar, and in many cases, eggs and milk.

Why is Bread Scored?

The gases in bread expand quickly when the loaf hits the hot oven, and that expansion can rupture any weak spots in the dough. The purpose of scoring is to create the weak spots and control the direction in which the bread expands. Use a curved or straight razor blade tool, also known as a "lame," or use a very sharp knife or shears.