Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Buh-bye Wonder Bread!

The sandwich bread above is dubbed by my friends here in Moscow as Wonder Bread. Why? Cos even after a few months, the bread remains soft. Imagine how much preservatives go in there. But this has been what I've been feeding the family the past year or so. I did try buying bread with shorter expiry dates, but my fussy pots complained that the bread was too dry/hard, and I ended up tossing the 'healthier' bread cos no one would eat them.

Well, on my latest trip back to Singapore, I purchased the Zojirushi Bread Machine, which my friend Li Ping has been raving about and egging me to buy for months now. I was skeptical at first cos I already own a bread machine which never quite produced the kind of bread we like, ie, soft and fluffy ala Gardenia/Sunshine. The Zojirushi also costs a lot more than my old machine, so I took some time making the decision.

But no regrets at all! The Zojirushi machine works like a dream. It also takes up very little counter top space, is very quiet, and bakes 1 lb loafs, just right for us. Eddie is most fussy about bread, he likes them soft and fluffy, so if he says the bread tastes pretty good, then it's really incredibly good! Nothing to do with my ability at bread-making, it's entirely the machine's magic at work.

I've baked 3 different types of bread so far. The basic white bread using soft course.

Chocolate bread which didn't turn out aesthetically pleasing but which the boys liked enough to take as snack to school. Good by itself or with some Nutella on it.

And something I just baked today. Raisin bread, this one's really good, too bad Sean doesn't eat raisins.

Reviews of the breadmaker here. Retails at Takashimaya and Tangs for S$399 but I got it from Goh Ah Bee near Kovan MRT for S$295 all inclusive.

All in all, a worthwhile investment indeed. For once, I will not be chastizing my buddy Li Ping for making me spend money.


breve1970 said...

A good buy indeed, Lilian. Have been toying with the idea of getting one for years... was wondering if it is as good as I have heard about it. But after reading your entry, I am TOTALLY CONVINCED.

Your breads look so HEAVENLY DELICIOUS:) Hannah is looking at your pictures now and she told me that she can't wait to sink her teeth into the breads. WINK!

Babypowder said...

Wow.. the homemade bread does look soft and fluffy! I'm amazed that the wonder bread has such a long shelf life!! It's scary if you think about it actually! Haha..

But now.. thanks to your new purchase, the wonder bread has just lost one of its loyal customers! You back in Moscow liow? Short trip in SG eh?

Alcovelet said...

Wonder Bread can last a few months?? That's scary! I was already wondering about the Suncshine bread here that can last nearly a week when my Isetan bread doesn't last beyond 3 days. This machine sounds amazing though. I'm gonna check it out, tks!

Hsien Lei said...

I love raisin bread!! Stephen doesn't like raisins either. What is it with these boys?!

bACk in GERMANY said...

Oh... actually I was just complaining to Alan that I can't find the real rye bread here. The pseudo ones from Panetteria is uuurmm still too soft.

When it comes to bread, we are definitely German. Only my kids like the French brioche and Japanese soft, sweet bread.

Hee... can you believe it, Alan and I used to have Abendbrot - literally bread for dinner!?! Oooh... I miss the convenience of getting all sorts of cheese, various bread spreads from the Turkish people, pate, Wurst etc!
I'd rather be eating Abendbrot everyday than eating rice... :(

Lilian said...

Ann: My friend raves about this particular model; her colleagues once bought 6 in one go as a group buy. First, go to Tangs basement, they have demo there. It was there that Sean had a slice of chocolate bread. When he liked it, I knew I had to buy the machine. If you do go to Tangs, ask them which recipe they use for their choc bread hehe, theirs have nice brown streaks, very pretty and light. Delicious too.

Wendy: Yep, I always felt guilty whenever I served Harry's Sandwich bread, knowing what a wonder it is.

Was back for a short trip, just a week. Managed to catch up with the Tans only on departure at Changi Airport. They were laughing a lot when talking about David. Catch up with you during summer hols.

Adeline: Go to the amazon link and read the reviews for yourself. My friend first told me about it half a year ago, and would write about it in every other email haha :) I took quite a bit of convincing.

Hsien: I love raisin bread too. Would be so much easier for everyone if Sean liked raisin, then I'd need to just bake that most of the time. As it is...

Cindy: My MIL loved German bread too. When she visited us in Frankfurt, I'd take her to the backerei (sp?) every morning. She'd choose those hard sesame/nutty buns, and I learnt to enjoy them a little too. My kids and Eddie wouldn't bite. You really should be born German lah. As for me, rice beats bread anytime.

densar said...

How did you manage to slice your bread so evenly? Don't tell me you own a bread slicer too!

monlim said...

Didn't check your blog for a while, thought you MIA playing with your ipod, hehe.

I must say your bread looks so professional!! Really wonderful. I guess in SG, I don't see the point of a bread maker since we have so much soft bread available, but overseas, this would be a godsend. I remember in Australia, wondering why all the loaves have to be so hard and unappetising. I think you hit on a great buy here!

Lilian said...

Sarah: Nolah, where got breadslicer! Just use perforated knife. Easier to slice the bread once it's cooled down, when it's still warm and soft, it's harder to slice evenly.

Mon: Yalah, if I were in Sg, wouldn't bother. Sunshine and Gardenia so darn soft and delicious. That said, a number of my friends in Sg do make their own bread, they like the smell of freshly-baked bread in the morning, and they can also cut down on the amount of sugar/salt.

Roslyn said...

Now you're tempting me especially where you bought it which is near my mum's place.

Lilian said...

Roslyn, you also gotta think about lugging it back to London. The machine's pretty heavy.

Anonymous said...

Lilian, have you tried the Fourleaves white bread here in Singapore? They are really soft & fluffy. But...there was once when my older daughter needed to do a science project, putting a pieces of moist bread into a plastic bag and waiting for it to turn mouldy. It took the moist bread more than 10 days before we could see some mould spots! I really wonder what had been added to the bread.... Still, my kids only eat fourleaves bread, so I am still buying from them but not as often.

Have been toying the idea of getting a bread machine. Thanks for sharing the great deal for the bread machine. Will zoom to Goh Ah bee this friday.


Anonymous said...

oh, forgot to mention...

Your breads look really soft & fluffy!!


Lilian said...

Chris, you better give the shop a call first before you go down (62888611). When I called, they didn't have stock till the next day.

I tried the fluffy bread from Breadtalk, looks slightly yellowish, and quite expensive about $4 a loaf. There's an artificial feel about the fluffiness of those bread. Oh, at Taka, I even managed to have a taste of the $18.50 Japanese bread, quite yummy but no way was I paying so much for bread!

Let me know if you buy the machine and how your bread turns out. Good luck!

Anonymous said...

Mine is a different brand, but I swear by bread maker. Nothing beats fresh loaf of bread out from oven and it will be consumed within 2 days or even 1 on some days. I used to do it overnight and use timer to bake only near it was wonderful to wake up to the lovely aroma of the freshly baked bread.. *feels hungry now*

It is definitely a worthwhile investment plus you can make the pizza dough easily from the pizza option on the machine. So if you need to do a pizza party for yr kids' birthday, it should be a swift. errr...cracking my head for a con...but seems like none unless price is a consideration? :)


Lilian said...

Yeah, besides pizza dough, can also bake cake! and make jam. I don't think I'd venture into those areas anytime soon though, definitely not jam.

breve1970 said...

Ok... will ask the staff at Tangs about the recipe.

Roslyn said...

Adrian and my bro-in-law will be going back too so maybe I can bribe them into bringing it back for me! :p. Our family consumes lots of bread (packed lunches you see). Right now we eat bread from M&S which in my opinion has the best texture and softness. Thankfully, it expires in 3-4 days only which means not as much preservatives. Having said that, nothing beats freshly home-baked bread.

Lilian said...

Roslyn, if your family are big bread consumers, this breadmaker may not be suitable for you. The loaf that comes out is pretty small, just 1 lb, it's just nice for a family of 3 maybe. So mull over it lots before taking the plunge, it's almost $300, can buy loads of M&S bread with that dough :P

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the contacts Lilian. Will give them a call before I go down. ^_^

Alcovelet said...

I checked out Parisilk, my usual cheap electrical goods outlet. It's a whopping $340 - they probably work off a $50 discount to Best Denki prices, which is still too much. Tks for the tip!!

Lilian said...

Aiyah, I should have told you, I'm Queen of Comparison Shopping, already called Parisilk, they quoted me $325 over the phone, not sure if including GST.

Elan said...

Hi Lillian,
I have been lurking on your blog since following a link from Monica's blog and reading your old posts especially those about Math. Your sons are real Math geniuses, my own Math wonderkid can't even compare!
Anyway, I have been lusting after this Zojirushi machine since reading about it on your blog and reading the rave reviews on Amazon.
My hubby got the hint (rarely does that) when I left your blog page open on the right page on his Mac and keep talking about how he and the boys can wake up to the smell of fresh baked bread in the I received it for my Mother's Day present ;-)
The boys were very excited and have monopolised the machine and they have already made 2 loaves of bread (first loaf last night was devoured without letting it cool down, an hour after a big dinner) and we're planning to try the charsiew bao recipe that it came with this afternoon!
Thanks Lillian for your recommendation.


Lilian said...

Hey Elan, good to see you here! I 'know' you, you're the one with the 2 brilliant boys right?

Whoa, your husband is really A* material! Can get the hint just like that?? Next time leave the webpage open at the Debeers site okay LOL!

Your boys are great lah, they are actually bother to learn to use the machine. Potential A* husband material too! Mine only know how to eat the bread.

Oh, I didn't know there was a charsiewbao recipe, yummy! Let me know how it goes.

See you around again!

elan said...

The charsiew bao recipe came in a separate colourful insert with extra recipes. It was called the Steamed meat bao but I figured it was the same thing. The picture didn't look too appetising actually.
Anyway, I divided the dough into 2 batches and made steamed and baked bao with it. It tasted much better as a baked bao actually.
It was VERY easy to make actually, you should try it but I think in future for steamed bao I will try the one from the recipe on Rasa Malaysia.
You can follow the filling recipe given but I added some honey, to taste, much yummier.
Thanks again for the rec.

Lilian said...

Yes I have that extra insert, have not explored that yet. Did you just use Lee Kum Kee Char siew sauce and some lean meat for the filling?

bACk in GERMANY said...

Hi mommies!

Saw this bread machine on sale at Tangs Vivo City yesterday, going at 290 SGD. So go grab yours! :)

Design is so much cooler than the one I already have.
Don't think my husband will say yes to another bread-maker.

Elan said...

Hi Lillian,
Actually, I had some left over Charsiew which I made myself the day before (always make extra so I can have it with noodles the next day) - 3 tbsp oyster sauce, 2 tbsp dark sauce, 1 tbsp light sauce, 1 tbsp sugar, dash of Hua tiow chiew, dash of pepper and 5 spice powder and lots of honey for basting and used the marinade for the charsiew bao sauce. I have tried the LKK sauce too, its not bad, so you can use that too I think.

Lilian said...

Thanks for the charsiew recipe Elan, sounds simple enough, I should be able to handle that.

Cindy: Wow, that's really cheap, and don't Tangs cardholders get some rebate too?

Anonymous said...

Hi Lilian,
I am interested in getting a Zojirushi Bread Maker too....but am just wondering how long does it take to make a loaf of bread?


Lilian said...

Hi Kwang, it depends on the type of bread baked, but on average it's about 3 hours.