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Pan de agua (Water bread)

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Pan de agua (Water bread)
Electus
Servings:1 large loaf
Ready in:16 hours10 minutes
Preparation time:15 hours 10 minutes
Cooking time:1 hour
Difficulty:Average difficulty
This recipe needs advance preparation!

This recipe is based on one by Xavier Barriga from his book Pan (ISBN 8425343267). My version below uses a different method and also requires you to start this the evening before the day you want to bake it.

It is an extremely wet dough (120% hydration) and I would advise you to mix it using a food mixer with a beater or whisk (the mixture is too wet to benefit from using a dough hook). If you have a Kenwood Chef / Major, the flexi-beater is ideal.

Ingredients

Method

  1. Dissolve the yeast in the water.
  2. Pour into a bowl and add 250g of the flour.
  3. Mix well, cover in clingfilm and leave overnight at room temperature.
  4. The following morning add the remaining flour and the salt.
  5. Mix for about 5 minutes on the second slowest speed.
  6. Cover and leave to rest for 2 hours.
  7. Grease a 900g loaf tin with oil - groundnut oil is best as it has a high smokepoint.
  8. Pour the dough into it (it should come up to about three-quarters of the tin.
  9. Allow to prove for 1 hour, covered.
  10. Meanwhile, place a tray or pan of boiling water in the bottom of the oven.
  11. Switch on the oven to its highest temperature.
  12. When the dough has finished proving, sprinkle with flour, put it in the oven and reduce the temperature to 190° C (375° F - gas 5), [fan oven 170° C & reduce cooking time by 10 mins per hour].
  13. Bake for 60 minutes.
  14. Once baked, turn out onto a cooling rack and allow to cool.
  15. If the bread is a little soft on the bottom, turn it over, place on a baking tray and return to the oven for 10 minutes or so until crisp.

Serving suggestions

Good toasted and rubbed with garlic, tomato and olive oil.

Chef's notes

As this is a wet dough, I would recommend that you line your bread tin with Bake-O-Glide, or something similar.
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