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

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?

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