Baking methods for bread include steaming, frying, and plain popping it into the oven. The Philippines’ well loved pan de sal, of which no breakfast is complete, literally means salt of life. It gets its characteristic taste from being baked off in a pugon or stone oven.
Baking bread is satisfying and fulfilling, and not at all difficult. But what you need plenty of is time, and that is a luxury most busy metro folk don’t have. Thankfully, there are plenty of bakeries in the city that are more than happy and willing to provide Manilans’ various bread needs and wants.
The best breads can be found in the village bakeries. These places are often low-key and inconspicuous, but of course they’re incredibly famous with everyone who lives within their vicinity. One of these bakeshops is Baker Brothers, a place that is barely a month old but has already made a name for itself with its products.
Driving down Presidents Avenue in ParaÃ±aque, it’s difficult to miss the place. With its green motif, glass paneling, and eye-catching signboard, it looks like one of those new bakeshops that you’re more likely to see on a bustling street rather than in a residential neighborhood.
Italian breads and more
So what can you find here? The selection is quite small but in no way limiting. This is often a sign of a good bakeshop ”“ it knows what it produces well and makes the most of it.
First, Baker Brothers is known for their sourdough breads, that American creation made famous in blustery San Francisco. Unlike most sourdoughs available in Manila, this one is soft and slightly chewy, with a distinctive tang. It’s not too big either, and two people can share one large roll.
Next are some Italian breads like focaccia, with olive oil and sun dried tomatoes kneaded into it, producing a tender crumb. It’s then sprinkled with dried rosemary, garlic, and coarse salt, and absolutely divine dipped into a mixture of balsamic vinegar, olive oil, and parmesan cheese. Other selections include the rustic ciabatta, the Italian slipper bread with a heavy crust and dense crumb. Also available are paninis (singular: panino), another Italian flat bread.
Apparently, Baker Brothers has also commanded a following with their ensaymadas, a Filipino version of the French brioche. Here, they are regular in size and shape but they taste somewhere between a cake and a bread ”“ not too heavy nor fluffy-light, which is the drawback of other similar rolls. These would be a fantastic Christmas present, and a small sign entreats customers to place ahead for large orders.
Of course no bakery can do without their French breads and baguettes, of which this bakery has plenty of. Tarts are also available, which if ordered for take away, are packaged in attractive green and gold boxes. And to further enhance the bread eating experience, this bakery also makes available some spreads and dips to go with their quality loaves.
Baker Brothers is located at #12 Presidents Ave., Tahanan Village, ParaÃ±aque. Open Tuesday-Sunday, 7 am ”“ 9 pm. Call 850-8993.