Sunday, February 22, 2009

Sliced Bread, Singapore Style

From left: Koptiam Bread and Pandan Bread

I don't eat much bread, so it took me a number of years after living in Singapore to finally discover this stuff. But I kinda liked it...the green one on the right anyway. It was pandan-leaf flavored, and its mildly sweet fragrance reminded me a bit of King's Hawaiian bread - one of the few forms of bread that I do enjoy, next to baguettes and sourdough.

The white-colored one on the left, on the other hand, was more amusing than it was tasty. Basically, it was packaged bread that already had the crusts removed. Man, if only we had that when we were kids - I would have actually eaten the entire PB&J sandwich without having to throw away the crust!

I was told later that they cut off the crust because it comes out of the bakery all dark and unattractive, which shot down my original theory: that this was the fourth bacheloresque thing I'd seen in Singapore next to sliced ice cream, Mamee Monster Noodle Snack, and Milo Dinosaur. Anyway, this stuff is called Kopitiam Bread - presumably since it's used in local kaya toast and sometimes to mop up the sauce in chili crab.

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

We would use the one on the left to make "mould" in elementary school science experiments. Be careful, it gets mouldy very quickly. There would be "leaves" of shaven bread skin on the table of the mom and pop shop where they had fresh deliveries everyday.

Funnily enough, it tasted pretty awesome as bread for ham sandwich. Haha.

Glad you like Bonjour bread. It was the brand which changed my mind about sliced bread. The founder was a disgruntled ex- exec with Gardenia who founded this company and he sold it off back to his ex company later. I would think he modified the recipe to great results. =)

The pandan flavour is fantastic with kaya or chocolate spread as a treat for the little ones! It also goes well with ice cream, something uniquely sgp. On a hot day, just a tub of simple vanilla or chocolate ice cream and a loaf of bread gets the munchkins chomping away.

The milk bread and 12 grain ones are pretty good too. If you ever attempt french toast, I found that the wholemeal one gave a pretty substantial bite rather than the normal white.

I do adore bagels, where in your opinion would be the best (in the world) you've ever ate? I find it difficult to get good bagels (texture and taste).

Kathy said...

Oh forgot to add this: if you want to keep the smell of the bread fresh, put it in the freezer. It may be a little difficult to pull apart, but a little time in the toaster is all you need.

A couple of other quick "recipes":
The bread also goes pretty well with pesto or basil + mozarella + tomatoes. Or canned tuna & sweetcorn mixed together.

If you have sliced cheddar, smear a little pasta sauce on toasted bread, add a sprig of basil, then add a slice of cheddar -- pop into the microwave for 12 seconds. Pizza toast!

Anonymous said...

Bonjour pandan bread goes very well with (salted) SCS butter.

Anonymous said...

As always, thanks for your efforts, sir. You know, you can buy premade frozen pbj sandwiches now, sans the crust ( which I have always liked, but then, I like apple skins and potato skins, texas pete, and unsweet tea - I try not inflict my tastes on others). I can't see paying that now, but I guess they would be handy to throw in the kid's lunch or your own, when running late. I cringe at the price of convienience, though. ( you can bet the crsts will turn up in prepackaged croutons, or stuffing). Hope you don't mind your blog being turned into an ask and answer site, but I gotta ask - What is pandan. Also canned tuna and corn? We eat canned tuna and mac and cheese ( box type), but that sounds interesting. Do you use canned corn, cream style or frozen kennel, and what else? Like in a salad or casserole? Everyone can some fresh ideas, when we are all trying to conserve a buck or two. Right now, I don't throw nothing out. ( Including bread heels; saved in the frezzer and used for hamburger buns. ;-)
Tom

ClearTear said...

the old school white bread use to be hand knead and bake in old oven, causing the surface to be sometimes so dark brown that should not be eaten. But the inside of the bread is so soft, that just slightly toasted, with kaya and cold butter, its so fantastic.

Go to - whampoa balestier area, upper thomson or upper paya lebar, i hope its still there, if not see the video that i have done with a friend.

Jie Bakery & Confectionery
123 Upper Paya Lebar Road
62811377

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bSH3C98Mp7o&feature=related

ClearTear said...

oh forget to recommend this coffee shop that serve this kind of bread, very nice!!! Junction of Keong Siak and Teck Lim Street.

The signage says Dong Ya, old old shophouse ground floor which i hope they will never ever renovate hehe. Their bread with coffee or tea is our favourite at our tea time cos my office in chinatown.

Anonymous said...

Singapore has the " kopitiam bread " since you were young!

't gezwets said...

Green bread...
Why not...

CHUS said...

my friend is raving about Buono bread. It's from Japan and she says it's really delicious

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3298/3329533349_715956caa3_b.jpg

Anonymous said...

hei, they are not from Japan as they claimed. They are made in Johore Bharu by local people with local ingredients and is sold at rm25 per loaf. better buy from the original one at RM18 only. The latter is most talked about by netter. I think the name is "gion" bread. Check it up!

Anonymous said...

hei, it is definitely not from Japan, not even the igredients. I bought original one "gion" from careffour Mid valley in KL at only RM18. The latter is the most talked about bread in the net. Check it up !