Artisanal delights – the bread from Pão Gigante is now available at Baptista Supermarket

At a time when more and more people are developing healthy living and eating habits, the bread from Pão Gigante is a welcome addition to the shelves at Baptista, which has always aimed to provide customers with products of the highest quality, often from local suppliers. Made with artisanal values, the bread keeps its lightness, texture and flavour just like in the old days. The name translates to Giant Bread, but it is also a play on the owners’ surname, Gigante.

At the Pão Gigante bakery, the artisanal process begins with the ingredients used: the flour from Alenquer is ground in stone, which allows for a slower grinding and preserves the nutrients throughout the process, ensuring a more homogenous with flour and water three times a day. After mixing and kneading the ingredients, the dough goes into boxes to rise.

Since the temperature isn’t artificially controlled, the time it spends there varies depending on the weather outside. After the first rise, the dough is ready for the worktable and is divided and moulded into 1kg balls, which are then peacefully fermented for a bit longer. Finally, the dough takes on its final form and is placed in small round or oval wicker baskets, which are placed in the cold fermentation chamber overnight. “A lot of people complain that the bread they usually buy, which is not artisanal, weighs heavy in their stomach and some say they find them hard to digest, and end up removing it from their daily diet. This happens because that bread isn’t given the proper time to ferment and ends up doing it in our stomach,” says Manuel Gigante, one of the partners at the bakery, who grew up amongst flour and yeast alongside his father, who has been working in the business for a long time. “Our bread ferments in the bakery for 24 hours so that it doesn’t happen inside our body.”

To finish the process, all that’s left is to bake the bread. Pão Gigante uses a firewood oven, where the temperature is controlled not by a thermometer but by the experience and watchful eye of Manuel and Alexandre, who proudly show off their freshly baked bread with a crispy and perfectly caramelised crust.

All you need now is a bit of olive oil for dipping, which, much like Pão Gigante, can also be found at Baptista.

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