Dessert Comes First

An obsession with dessert and other unabashed opinions of a food writer

Magnum White King
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M.I.Y.O. Monday: What Is Your Favorite Bread?

posted by in MIYO Monday

Or if you prefer, what do you like eating with bread?

M.I.Y.O. Monday stands for Make It Your Own Monday, a question thrown out to DCF readers every Monday to jumpstart the week with lively interaction. I also welcome questions and suggestions for future MIYO Mondays. Email me.

When I’m in Cebu this past weekend, my Bin points out to me that in the Visayas, there’s a profusion of bread shops or panaderias. When I ask why, he replies, “People here really love their bread, it’s what makes their breakfast and merienda.” I think that’s true for Filipinos in general but it’s in Cebu where I notice just how many stores there are that sell bread: from mass market chain Julie’s to smaller mom ‘n’ pop bakeries. They entice me with their golden loaves, symmetrical rolls, and buns stuffed with garish fillings.

I was a fat kid growing up and my dad took it upon himself to arrest my weight gain. Thus, daily exercise for me as early as 8 years old, and I was forbidden from eating rice except on special occasions. I wasn’t really allowed to eat rice regularly until I was about 11. I think this is why that even now as an adult, I prefer bread to rice, and it’s very, VERY rare that I’ll have rice for breakfast.

I love bread: love eating it, love baking it. There are some bread recipes I’ve shared on this website from my ever popular cinnamon rolls to a phenomenal focaccia sprinkled with Hawaiian orange salt. I’ve even mused about bread on occasion.

My favorite bread, the one I love to make and eat is brioche. Reaching massive heights in my convection oven, threatening to reach the top, its fragrance intoxicates. It smells like flour and yeast and a buttery heaven. When I serve it warm to friends, their backs visibly slacken and their eyes roll upwards to heaven. I love feeding people.

Commercially, I adore Ji-Pan’s Monroe bread, an entire loaf is like ripping the insides out of a croissant and just as delicious. I serve this bread with a bowl of my fabada (Spanish bean and pork stew) at Christmas. I also like the putok roll that Fortune Bakeshop sells, although I think they’ve changed the recipe because I don’t remember it being so airy. I like anything too from L’Artizan, and I especially like the English muffins from French Baker.

So tell me: what is your favorite bread? And if you like, what do you like eating with it?

53 Responses to “M.I.Y.O. Monday: What Is Your Favorite Bread?”

  • Dusty, airy, sweet-salty, warm-in-your-hands pandesal. To accompany it, hard boiled eggs. Best served, in my opinion, with warm chocolate. :)

    Some foods are eaten with just utensils. Some foods are eaten with a ritual :)

    [Reply]

    Lori Reply:

    “Some foods are eaten with a ritual.” I agree!

    –lori

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  • dinner rolls! especially when they are warm and soft and served with butter!

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    charmaine Reply:

    i almost forgot, flaky chocolate croissants are the best!

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  • Is bread pudding counted? If it is, then that’s my answer. My friends don’t understand why I love recycled bread, but really good ones are just… well, that. Love.

    If that doesn’t count, I’m split between multigrain bread and croissants. :)

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  • My favorites are:
    -hot pandesal from our neighborhood panaderia
    -wheat bread from French baker
    -banana bread from Banapple and Bag of Beans
    -raisin bread from Bag of Beans and Baguio Country Club
    -cinnamon rolls from Cinnabon

    New on my list: (thanks to DCF!)
    -almond croissant from Java+
    -hazelnut bombolini from Wildflour

    The sight and smell of freshly made breads lined up in bakeshops make me weak in the knees.

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  • Amen to Monroe bread! So good on its own!

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  • Challa! Great for french toast.
    Yummy.

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  • - Pan de Sal
    – Cheese Pan de Sal from Pan de Manila
    – Eggstraordinary from Bread Talk
    – Spanish Bread from any local bakery
    – Gardenia!!!
    – Cheese Streusel from Julie’s Bakeshop
    – Monggo Ensaymada from Julie’s Bakeshop

    :)

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  • My childhood favorite, the mighty BOLING! :D

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    Lori Reply:

    My goodness, what does Boling look like?

    –lori

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  • We love dining at Ji-Pan! I now have to try that Monroe bread you recommended. ;)
    In Cebu, my fave it Cafe Georg’s super moist and dense choco-banana loaf!

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  • My cousin loves the pinagong from rose and grace batangas. And there’s a cheesy loaf bread from tinapayan that’s so good too

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  • sourdough from the bay area- with a nice hearty soup.

    raisin bread from Baguio Country club with butter of course.

    nice fluffy croissants with some nice jam and butter.

    oooh i had some cornbread muffins from kenny rogers. still pretty yummy.

    darn it. im hungry for carbs again..

    [Reply]

    Lori Reply:

    Heard that the Kenny muffins are nowhere near what they used to be…

    –lori

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  • When in Manila, pandesal- hands down- tops my list. Both the enormous, pugon-baked ones from pan de pugon/ pan de manila, and the smaller but really buttery ones that our local bakery sells. The latter doesn’t need any more filling, it’s sweet and buttery enough on its own that a mere dunk in freshly brewed coffee would do the trick. The former, I’d say is best paired with either peanut butter (chunky, please!) or herbed cream cheese; or both! ;)

    Over here I love walnut encrusted breads and the ones filled with adzuki beans and custard. The Japanese also do this wicked version of rusks ( the sosyal version of tostadong tinapay, hehe) dipped in white chocolate. Love those with green tea ;)

    [Reply]

    Lori Reply:

    This sounds wonderful, Agatha.
    –lori

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  • I don’t think I’ve ever had the chance to sample Fortune’s putok. But I do love their Spanish bread.

    For Brioche, hmm, I keep coming back to Wildflour for that.

    As for simple delights, I find immense satisfaction in Pan de Manila’s pesto cheese pandesal.

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  • Oh, and Lori, when you drop by Pampanga, may I recommend you try the Spanish and the cheese bread from LA bakery in Sn Fdo? Crazy good when they’re served hot!

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    Lori Reply:

    Thanks Kath, I’ll do that.

    –lori

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  • The beast breads for me are the curry puffs,chicken teriyaki bread and kaya bread in Bread Talk!I also love theasado roll and soft cinnamon roll of French Baker ,and the ciabatta of la coure de france e so good toasted and dipped in alive oil and balsamic vinega!Dont forget the big ensaimada from Diamond Hotel so big and yummy The topping is so generous di ko na makita ang dough ng ensaimada

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  • Hi Lori.
    I will never forget the humble Bonete from Liliw, Laguna.
    Everytime I go there to get my fill of slippers and shoes, I
    always go to this house near the church where they have their Pugon oven and make this the classic traditional way.
    They bake it in mini molds that are generously brushed with shortening; available all day and it is super good!

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  • Because of my perennial weight watching, my daily breakfast is the 100% whole wheat bread from Deli France, I eat it slightly toasted with chunky all natural peanut butter. I learned to love it. For a bit of indulgence, I put it in the sandwich maker with sharp Edam cheese and let the gooey goodness ooze to perfection!

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  • freshly-baked pandesal. i remember, as a kid, hanging out in my tita’s panaderia with my cousins. the first tray of pandesal, which usually came out at 10pm, would automatically go to us. I’d get a piping-hot pandesal (usually too hot to handle with bare hands but I didn’t care) slather it with Dari Creme butter and then Reno liver spread, dip it in coffee (yes, during those days adults didn’t care if their 8-year old child was guzzling down caffeine at 10.30 in the evening) until it became a bit soggy, and then shove it into my mouth, almost slurping it because of the coffee-soaked bread.

    if Tinkerbell would appear before me and sprinkle me with fairy dust, this would be the happy thought that i’d pull out of my memory. :)

    [Reply]

    ria Reply:

    i super agree! and yes, some of these bakeries even sell half of dari creme sticks or cheese (its usually eden. hahahaha) just enough for the pandesal you have. =)

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    Lori Reply:

    Aldwin!
    Thanks for commenting. I enjoyed reading this. Can’t believe you ingesting caffeine at such a young age. But now you’re all grown up and ready to launch your own panaderia, yes? :p

    –lori

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  • I love Baguio Country Club’s raisin or banana bread, Fortune Bakeshop’s spanish bread, Julie’s Bakeshop’s pan de coco, Pan de Manila’s pesto wheat loaf and pesto cheese sticks, and Gardenia’s raisin bread or wheat bread.

    Try Baguio Country Club’s Sovital Bread… my ultimate fave! it’s whole wheat, multi-grain bread with nuts & raisins :) Yummm!!

    I like putting butter (& sugar), kaya/ coco jam, condensed milk (weird right?), Nutella or jam on my bread but peanut butter will always be on top of my list!

    [Reply]

    Lori Reply:

    These toppings sound great alone or in conjunction.

    –lori

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  • Lori, like you, brioche is my favorite bread to eat and make.

    I love it straight up as a loaf or shaped a tete (a roll with a little head on top). I also love it fancied up and shaped as Pain aux Raisins (cinnamon-roll shaped but filled with pastry cream and macerated fruit like golden raisins and dried cherries)and Modane (shaped and slashed like a baguette with the same fillings as Pain Aux Raisins).

    Best of all, I love it with a thick slab of Foie Gras Terrine (which sadly is now outlawed here in CA).

    [Reply]

    Lori Reply:

    Hi Rainie,
    When you come to Manila, I’d like to see how you bake brioche. Have never tried eating this type of bread with foie gras, however. Might it be too rich?

    –lori

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    rainie Reply:

    It would be great to trade brioche tips and techniques with you Lori. Looking forward to it. Just find me some great butter please.

    As to brioche and foie gras together being too rich…that’s exactly the point! :) Actually, I add a little bit of fruit jam or preserve to cut the richness (red or black currant immediately come to mind). A chilled glass of wine with some residual sugar balanced with vibrant acidity would also be great with it…something like a quality Riesling from Germany, an Alsatian Gewurtztraminer, a Tokaji from Hungary, or an Off-Dry Champagne.

    [Reply]

    Lori Reply:

    Hi Rainie,
    I appreciate the tasting notes, learned a lot. I agree that a bit of acidity would be the perfect foil to all that richness. And if you ever make your way to Manila, don’tcha worry about the butter, I got that covered.

    –lori

  • I’m a rice person but I do enjoy eating bread once in a while. Right now, the only bread that I can think of as my favorite bread is probably Outback’s bushman bread (and the accompanying butter of course) =)

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  • I love monroe from Jipan too! And Lartizan’s French sourdough. And old school pan de sal. I also like the bread they serve at Mamou :)

    I love bread too…and rice…and pretty much all kinds of carbs! *That’s* my problem!!

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  • Oh oh! And the walnut bread from Santi’s! :)

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  • I love pandesal and cheese pesto sticks from Pan de Manila, the Hot Chic from Breadtalk, garlic pesto bread by Uncle George (which I get to buy only at Sidcor Sunday market), and garlic toast from French Baker.

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  • Of course, sourdough and ciabatta from Lartizan. The breads at Uno restaurant too. But hands down, the supersized, supposedly original pan de sal putok from Kamuning Bakery. I always try to stock up a few pieces in the freezer. A single bun toaster-heated and sliced diagonally like French bread with good butter and jam (or the occasional slice of prosciutto or The Plaza ham!), and cups of black barako… way to go breakfast anytime!

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  • The Spanish bread,pan de coco,pan de mongo,really hot,very soft and melt in your mouth goodness,freshly baked at Panaderia ni Madre Maria in Baclaran.

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  • Focaccia dipped in olive oil+Balsamic vinegar.
    Croissants
    I was able to try this bread in Vienna which looked similar to your picture but had sunflower seeds in it. I don’t know what it’s called but it was so good.

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  • i love all kinds of bread especially if they are warm!
    monroe is always top on my list

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  • 1. Raisin bread, cream bread and premium tasty from Tous les jours; and
    2. Wheat bread and raisin bread from Paul Calvin’s Deli

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  • Definitely the cranberry walnut bread at Wildflour, the croissantwich loaf at Yamato Pan, the croissants at Gerald’s Boulangerie, the French bread at both Lartizan and Paris Delice and the pan de sal at Pan De Amerikano (?) on Makati Avenue….. :)

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  • Warm whole wheat baguette at S&R with century tuna and cheese! crusty in the outside, soft inside!

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  • Wheat pandesal and/or wheat ensaymada from Pan de Amerikana. I like Peter Pan chunky peanut butter slathered on the hot pandesal and cream cheese on the ensaymada, or just have them plain with hot coffee/choco.

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  • I recently fell in love with freshly-baked breads at Cafe by the Ruins in Baguio. I love their Pan De Sal, and the Basil Bread. We ordered peanut butter and honey, carabao’s milk kesong puti with fresh basil leaves, fish roe, and herbed cheese with paprika as the spreads to go with the warm breads. I would love to share a photo of the bread ensemble but I think my browser disabled the upload button, haha ;-)

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  • Spanish bread (2.50 pesos each) from Pande Maria across Kamuning Market.

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  • Try buying freshly baked pan de sal from FIL-MARI’S along J.P. Rizal st, makati. (After the city hall, beside 7-11 and right across the palengke). It’s the best!!

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  • We had a recent discovery in the bread aisle of Landmark supermarket. We were buying the usual Gardenia for breakfast, but on a whim decided to try the French Batard of Village Gourmet. We’ve been hoarding ever since. It’s really good – there’s a bite and chew to it that differs from the usual breads here. We’ve tried the sourdough and rosemary loafs too, though the Batard remains the favorite. It’s quite pricey, but it’s sort of an artisan bread already, albeit available in a supermarket, so for the texture and the flavor, it’s worth every penny.

    I’m sounding like a paid endorser haha. But really it’s just the secret is too good not to share.

    [Reply]

    Lori Reply:

    Ana-
    I tend to gush a lot too when I find something that I like, never mind if I sound like a paid endorser! :p Village Gourmet is one of my favorite bread bakers and their Batard really is superb. Imagine what it would be like if eaten fresh from the oven!

    –lori

    [Reply]

    dee Reply:

    What i love from the Village Gourmet are the mollasses rolls :) From the grocery too recently was the cranberry bread from Gardenia, surprisingly so good, a bit chewy when slightly toasted.

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  • Baguette
    Cibatta
    Crusty rolls from French Baker
    The breads of my youth – Pandesal/monay/pan de coco/kalihim/pan de limon

    I eat my bread with good butter like President. Also with peanut butter, fruit jam, pimiento cheese spread, liver spread, cheese whiz; even with tuyo and tomato.

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  • My favorite bread is rye–like those from French Baker / Lartizan, dark, heavy, and toasted. NOM. Better with cheese!

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  • Oh this is bit late. I love sourdough breads so I learned to make my own using a starter which I feed regularly with flour and water to keep it alive. What’s good about this bread aside from its taste is that it keeps for days without getting spoiled. My all-time favorite breakfast fare is to eat toasted sourdoughs with butter or cream cheese, topped with latundan banana slices and a cup of arabica coffee.

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