Consult our knead-to-know report for the best of bread.
According to Parisian food blogger David Lebovitz, a good baguette should have an “apricot-like” aroma, large irregular holes within its pale-ivory insides and uneven colouration on the crust. And the elongated crust itself should be crispy, naturellement. Enjoy it as a sandwich like the Vietnamese bánh mì, slice it into bruschetta or tear and dip in olive oil.
Pick up fresh loaves at Artisan Boulangerie Co. or Maison Kayser (pictured), both of which have multiple outlets around the city. Mr Baguette Singapore’s Butter Kaya ($3) and French Cheese ($1.20) toasts plus its Chocolate Lava-filled mini baguettes ($1.80 and up) may seem sacreligious, but they’re certainly popular.
NEXT: For bagels →
Jewish in origin, their crunchy exterior gives way to a chewy yet dense interior. Sold plain or topped with sesame seeds, salt, onion, cinnamon, etc., bagels are delicious spread with butter or cream cheese, especially when toasted. Fun fact: Here, an “everything” bagel can’t include poppy seeds, which are banned in Singapore due to trace amounts of morphine.
Singapore’s original bagel shop, Two Men Bagel House serves a range of fl avours and specialty bagelwiches ($2.60 and up). But we’re extra-crazy about new, New York-style bagel joint Schmear. Order its New Yorker ($8, pictured) – with a fried egg, bacon and ooey, gooey cheese – or nab a bag of made-daily bagels to go ($3 per bagel).
NEXT: For chapati →
Also known as roti, this unleavened flatbread is round, fluffy and thinner than its more popular cousin, naan. Rip chapati into smaller pieces by hand, then dredge it through a rich curry sauce like keema (minced mutton curry with peas and potatoes).
Azmi Restaurant (168/170 Serangoon Rd, Singapore 218051) is a nondescript blink-and-you’ll-miss spot in bustling Little India, but it is the best place for a solid dose of chapati ($0.80). If it’s too hot to eat outdoors, head to Jaggi’s Northern Indian Cuisine for a taste.
NEXT: For Asian bao →
A pillowy steamed bun that may be filled with meat, vegetables or sweet fillings, bao is most commonly eaten for breakfast or at dim sum in Singapore.
Tiong Bahru Pau and Snacks (237 Outram Rd, Singapore 169041) has sweet and meat-filled buns to eat immediately, or take home and steam another day. Or, try Wah Lok Cantonese Restaurant’s rendition. Instead of steamed buns, their Barbecued Pork Buns are crisp on the outside and filled with sweet, fragrant char siew (roast pork).
NEXT: For xiao long bao →
One popular variation of bao is is the xiao long bao, which gets its name from the small bamboo steaming baskets (xiao long) in which it’s steamed. Bite into this small, meat-filled delicacy and have a tantalising broth burst from within. It’s usually consumed with a vinegar-ginger dip, at lunch or dinner.
NEXT: For Japanese soft breads →
These are typically white and exceptionally airy and fluffy, including milk bread (pictured) as well as various types of kashi pan (sweet bread) such as an pan (filled with red bean paste) or melon pan (featuring a thin cookie crust top). Most Japanese breads are eaten as a snack or light meal, though it may taste more like “cake” to Western palates.
Tuck into the Hokkaido Milk Bread ($1.90 and up) from Pullman Bakery, or head to Crown Bakery for a classic Ciabatta ($2.50) or Matcha Azuki Loaf, which is made from shizuoka matcha, azuki beans and Japanese wheat ($4.80).
NEXT: For mantou →
A small, cloud-like bun that’s made from wheat flour, mantou, which originated in China, can also be filled with savoury pastes. They are easy to find in Singapore and often served steamed or deep-fried. Mantou are perfectly sized sauce vehicles for dishes like Chilli Crab, and – bonus! – help cut the heat
Buy frozen mantou (from $1.95) at NTUC FairPrice. Or, let the pros do the work at Just Dough, where you can sample Purple Sweet Potato or Steamed Yam options ($1.90 and up, pictured). Talay Thai serves its fried mantou with a sinful chilli crab dish.
NEXT: For hamburger and sausage buns →
What makes a great bun for grilled meats? It’s easier to say what doesn’t work: a bun that’s too soft or squishy, has a distinct sweetness or, alternately, is tough, crumbly or cotton-like in texture. Beyond that, there are different camps, ranging from sesame seed to brioche buns.
Huber’s Butchery as well as Swissbake sell sturdy, flavourful buns (from $3.65 each and $6.90 for a bag of four buns, respectively). (Tip: Huber’s home delivers!) Can’t be fussed with grilling your meats or sourcing good buns? Hard Rock Cafe does American-style burger classics well – their Original Legendary® Burger (pictured) is trademarked!
NEXT: For artisanal loaves →
The opposite of mass-produced sandwich bread, artisanal loaves – whether pumpernickel, rye, multigrain, sourdough, challah or ciabatta – come in varying sizes, colours, flavours and textures. What they have in common: quality ingredients, a long fermentation process and traditional (typically European) technique.
Simply Bread has delish options like pesto ciabatta, rye walnut and white sourdough ($0.85 and up). If you’d rather make your own, pick up an easy-to-use bread mix ($3.10) from German Market Place. Baker & Cook (pictured) offers unique flavours like olive bread, fig and aniseed sourdough and more (from $7).
NEXT: For baguettes →
By Hazel Vincent De Paul, The Finder (Issue 281), April 2017
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