In the town of San Cristóbal de Cea, one of the Spain’s best breads is made, the bread of Cea. This town in Ourense, Galicia, has the honour of having one of the four Spanish breads with a Protected Geographical Indication. A proof of the quality of its ingredients and its long tradition. Today we will make the recipe of the ‘pan de Cea’, a fascinating Galician delight.
The bread of Cea is famous in Carballino, to which the town where the recipe originated belongs. Made from wheat flour, you can buy this bread in many Galician bakeries, and it is usually wrapped in paper. It is characterized by its long shape and its cut in the middle. Its crumb is firm, and its lovers know that it lasts several days in perfect conditions, so it is ideal to eat at home. It is usually prepared to make toasts or to go with typical Galician dishes.
1. First, add all the ingredients in a bowl except the water. Mix them all well.
2. Once they are combined you have to pour the water until it forms a batter.
3. Cover the bowl with a cloth or transparent paper and let it sit in for a couple of hours, even a whole day if you have time. The temperature should be constant, a warm environment.
4. Then, pour a little oil on a smooth surface and fold the dough over several times so that it regains consistency. Then cover the dough again and let it rise for a couple of hours.
5. Preheat the oven to 200ºC with heat up and down. Meanwhile, make a cut in the middle of the bread after having given it an oval shape.
6. One hour will be enough to complete this Cea bread recipe, although since each oven is different, the best thing to do is to keep an eye on it so that it does not burn or remain raw.
7. Let it cool on a rack. The flavour will even be stronger after a whole day.
History of Cea’s bread recipe
The origin of the town of San Cristóbal de Cea and its baking tradition is linked to the history of a Cistercian monastery, Santa María la Real de Oseira, famous for its octopus tradition. The monastery developed the techniques of baking and grinding, while the town of Cea supplied the bread. Due to its location at a crossroads, its fame led it to be known as the “town of good bread”. In particular, the passage of the Way to Santiago by the Silver Way on its branch through Sanabria contributed to this. The antiquity of the bread of Cea’s recipe is 700 years, but it has not lost any of its properties.