15 April 2009

taiwanese sweet breads

I may be going to France, but I definitely, definitely have not forgotten about Taiwan! My heart longs for it every day, for my family and friends, but also because… I just love the bread. I covered some savory breads a while ago, and now here is a short introduction to some of their sibling, the sweet breads!

these breads are often eaten for breakfast or for a snack, you'll rarely see anyone munching on these for a real meal or at night. though in my case, i'd happily munch any day, any time!

and a side note, the ingredient list were just copied down from whatever was on the tag when I bought the bread. they are pretty inaccurate as they leave out a ton of stuff that I know for sure is in the bread, so think of them more as guidelines. I suppose the laws over there are not so stringent as the US ones for ingredient lists!

yellowdotbreadName

奶酪麵包 / nai3 lao4 mian4 bao1 / cheese bread / pain fromage

Ingredients:

麵粉 / mian4 fen 3 / flour / la farine

雞蛋 / ji1 dan4 / egg / les œufs

鮮 奶 / xian1 nai3 / fresh milk / le lait frais

奶油 / nai3 you2 / butter / le beurre

糖 / tang2 / sugar / le sucre

Description

Unlike Western breads, where if they have the word “cheese” in the title, the cheese dominates the bread and there is no way you’d miss it. However, in Asian bread, just because this bread has the word cheese it, doesn’t mean you may realize it! It’s used subtly because the Taiwanese are not so crazy about cheese. This bread has a very light cheese stuffing in the middle, and I’m not entirely sure what it’s made of. As for the topping, they had a bit of crunch to them, and I’m going to assume they’re cheese related as well.

price:

26NT = .78USD = .58EURO

bolobreadName

菠蘿麵包 / bo1 luo2 mian4 bao1 / pineapple bread / pain aux ananes

Ingredients:

麵粉 / mian4 fen3 / flour / la farine

菠蘿包 / bo1 luo2 bao1 / pineapple “skin” / la peau d’ananes

雞蛋 / ji1 dan4 / egg / les œufs

乳酪粉 / ru3 lao4 fen3 / cheese powder / poudre du fromage

Description

The standard! You will see this bread everywhere in Taiwan, each one tasting and looking slightly different because each bakery has their own little secrets. It may be called pineapple bread, but it has nothing taste-wise to do with it. Because of it’s crusty golden color and criss cross pattern on top, it slightly resembles a pineapple, so the name just stuck. It’s composed of a soft chewy bread made of eggs, flour, milk, and butter and topped with a skin that is crunchier and more cookie-like made of sugar, butter, flower, vanilla extract, milk, and eggs. Sometimes you might even find it with a sweet filling, but you never know.

price: (I bought a mini bolo bread)

12NT = .36USD = .27EURO

sesamebread

Name

黑芝麻麵包 / hei1 zhi1 ma2 mian4 bao1 / black sesame seed bread / pain aux graines de sésame noire

Ingredients

麵粉 / mian4 fen 3 / flour / la farine

雞蛋 / ji1 dan4 / egg / les œufs

鮮 奶 / xian1 nai3 / fresh milk / le lait frais

奶油 / nai3 you2 / butter / le beurre

黑芝麻餡 / hei1 zhi1 ma2 xian4 / black sesame seed stuffing

Description

A soft and chewy bread with sesame paste spread throughout. So good. Sesame paste and coconut paste are the peanut butters of the asian world, they’re pretty common and people often use it spread simply on a piece of a toast. So of course it would find itself mixed in with lots of bread as well! I think it just gives this bread a lovely pop of unexpected color and contrast.

price:

20NT = .59USD = .45EURO


greenonioncake

Name

香蔥肉鬆蛋糕棒 / xiang1 cong1 rou4 song1 dan4 gao1 bang4 / green onion cake stick / bâton à l’oignon vert

Ingredients

香蔥 / xiang1 cong1 / green onion / oignon vert

肉鬆 / rou4 song1 / pork floss / ?

沙拉醬 / sha1 la1 jiang4 / mayonnaise / mayonnaise

白芝麻 / bai2 zhi1 ma2 xian4 / white sesame seeds

Description

A sweet cake. With some savory. Even I am not sure how to approach this one. It’s a rolled cake, like your typical Swiss rolls. Except it has green onion, pork floss, and sesame seeds baked into it. And then it has a super thin layer of light sweet mayonnaise. It didn’t taste bad, but I think it takes some adjusting to if you are coming in with Western taste buds since we are trained to think that cakes are sweet only. How I love the Taiwanese for making up such interesting and different breads!

price:

35NT = 1.04USD = .78EURO


and a bonus that wasn’t part of the original set:

redbeanbread01redbeanbread02

My grandma bought this, so I’ve no idea what it’s called. But it is a normal piece of that delicious chewy Taiwanese bread that has that “pineapple skin” on top twhich I talked about in the 2nd bread for this post. And it is also sprinkled with black sesame seeds, which is nearly always an indicator that there is a filling, and that filling is almost always red bean. So there’s a sweet red bean paste stuffed inside this odd shaped bread.

7 comments:

x said...

yum these look tasty. i love how the recipes were tri-lingual, i got to practice my pin yin and francais! =)

i bake for you :) said...

Mmm.. I love Asian bread! :D

Viv said...

Taiwanese bread is quite hard to make and they're definitely a pretty well kept secret too. Luckily, the San Francisco Bay Area has some very big Asian communities and a few decent bakeries can be found either in Milpitas, CA or Cupertino, CA (aka, where Apple headquarters is). Although admittedly the Taiwan ones are still better, the California substitutes will have to do for now until my next trip.

cathy said...

Hello hello! I'm glad you enjoyed them!

Viv: They are a secret, but not by choice I think. Just because not enough people have been to taiwan to experience the amazingness! Hopefully that will slowly change, as I think everyone deserves a chance to fall in love with the bread.

Coffee and Vanilla said...

This sweet bread with chocolate reminds me something from my childhood :)

Have a wonderful day and don't forget to check out chocolate-making kit giveaway on my site :)

Margot

Lizzie Chen said...

Oh my gosh! Those look so good! My dad is actually bringing me some Taiwanese bread back from Houston today! :) So excited!

cathy said...

@coffee and vanilla: thank you!

@lizzie how exciting! lucky you, yum yum :)