Spain can now boast another gastronomic feather in it´s already laden cap with the world´s most expensive bread selling at nearly 2,000 US dollars.
Gold and silver are the luxurious ingredients of the most expensive bread, that is sold with a price tag of 1,480 EUR and has fascinated wealthy clients from the Middle East, Russia and China.
This luxury sourdough bread is on sale for EUR 1,480 at the Pan Pina bakery, which is located in the village of Algatocin, which only has 700 inhabitants, and is located in the southern Spanish province of Malaga.
The creator of this exotic bread is Juan Manuel Moreno, 46, who has worked at the bakery for 14 years along with a team of around 10 people, all of them women, after taking over as manager. The bakery was founded by his wife’s grandparents in the 1940s and a few years ago her family were about to close it so he offered to take over.
Moreno explained in an exclusive interview with Metropolitan Press that he came up with the idea of creating this luxury bread when he became aware that the most expensive coffee in the world was being delivered to a shop in Marbella.
So, after years of experimenting with putting gold in the bread, he launched this bread that costs EUR 1,480. He said that it had become a hit with wealthy people who live or visit the Costa del Sol.
But the story behind this bread started back in 2016, when he created his first loaf made with edible gold and spelt – also known as hulled wheat. Hulled wheat was widely used in Europe during the Bronze Age and during the mediaeval era. It has recently known success as a health food and is making something of a comeback with foodies.
The bread went on sale for EUR 117 and that year, they sold 150 loaves.
Moreno explained: “We used edible gold, which is healthy and beneficial when used in the right proportions. In fact, it is said that gold has been consumed since the ancient Chinese dynasties and nowadays it is used in Chinese medicine, as is silver, so it is also healthy.”
A year later, the bakery launched another type of bread, also using gold as an ingredient, but this time it was used on the surface, “giving the bread a 3D appearance”. Without bread, the main ingredients were quinoa and chia.
The bakery then launched a bread for EUR 192 EUR but this time they added silver to the recipe.
And now, Moreno claims that he has created the world’s most expensive bread, again using gold and silver, but this time with a twist. The main characteristic is that it has silver and gold in three different formats: dust, which is like purpurine, in flakes, which is bigger and makes it more beautiful and another one which gives this sourdough bread a 3D appearance. It also has a kind of tattoo done with malt.
According to Moreno, every loaf, which only weighs 400 grammes (14 oz), has between EUR 900 and EUR 1,100 worth of ingredients. All the loaves are made using very high-quality flours, and the cost can vary somewhat depending on the price of gold on the market, although he added that the price for his customers would “always be the same”.
Moreno explained that the investment is worth it but he added that “I did not do it with the goal of turning it into a business, but it has become a business after all. Instead I did it to draw attention to the bakery so that we could talk about traditional bread, which is much better than industrial breads, which is cheaper but much less healthy.”
The cooking process takes around 18 hours. This is also the bakery’s motto: “bread without rush”. There are several steps to making a loaf.
Moreno explained: “First, we take the raw material, without the decoration, and the sourdough starter and we knead it with the most select ingredients.”
The dough goes through three stages of fermentation after having been kneaded for 30 minutes. After the first fermentation process, which takes 30 minutes, the dough is cut into pieces that are then turned into balls, and they are then left to ferment for a further 30 minutes.
Then, the pieces are given their final shape and are then left to rest for another 30 minutes before they are decorated with the gold and silver and imprinted with the malt seal.
After that, the bread is left to refrigerate slow down the fermentation process. This is done so that the bacteria in the bread consume more of the sugar. After 12 hours, the bread goes in the oven for between 40 and 45 minutes.
The baker said that he had sold 96 loaves of this bread in 2020, which he says is a great number considering the lockdowns due to the coronavirus crisis. So far, he has sold six loaves this year.
He said that among his customers, there was a middle eastern prince who had ordered 18 breads for his wedding. But there has also been interest from Russian and Chinese customers.
The only requirement is that the bread needs to be ordered in advance, leaving between 20 hours to 2 days for it to be prepared, because the process is too long to have it ready for customers on short notice.
The bakery also has a special safe where the precious ingredients are kept. Moreno said that he needed the safe to make sure he did not run out of ingredients, which is what nearly happened last summer when demand for his bread soared.
The bakery also has a daily routine providing regular customers with bread – but still without a rush. Moreno said that they sell over 170 different kinds of bread, adding: “They are all linked to health and have been fermented for a long time, as recommended by doctors.”
The bakery’s real star might actually be there buckwheat and quinoa bread, which they sell for EUR 4.2 EUR apiece to the tune of 400 loaves a day.
Moreno said that they are also planning to make it possible for customers to buy their bread online soon.