Monday, December 17, 2012

Manilabake:Traditional baking with a modern Filipino twist

I really missed the Pandesal during the 70's and the 80's where it only cost 25 cents each and the size was as big as a small coconut. Each time my mother served that bread during breakfast, it was so filling that you can skip lunch and still feel full.

Today, the regular bakeries don't served that kind of Pandesal anymore. Though some popular ones are making them, but each cost hundred times over. So, in most days my family and I would resort to the pebble-sizes at P2.00 each. 

Just over a week ago, I was so blessed to be part of a unique tasting event of special breads, including the special Pandesal I used to eat before and more. The pastry house is called Manilabake. It is located at Katipunan Road, just a little over Blue Ridge in Quezon City. 

The person behind this special bakery house is Ms. Gretchen Lim. Ms. Lim shares that the reason why many breads today lost the quality is because much of them are cooked to quickly. In order to produce more, in a short span of time, bakers normally overly dressed their doughs with too much yeast in it, so it can expand more faster, therefore cooking time is shorter. By doing so, most of the good ingredients of the breads are not cooked well and you don't get much of their flavors.

Manilabake's motto is: "good bread comes from good baking". A good baker patiently waits for the dough to rise naturally, then hand-shaped and well-mixed and laid out in a cool place to ferment and to developed to the fullest. After which, a baker will placed them in customized ceramic charcoal fired oven. This way, you allow the bread's sugar to caramelized and fully baked to perfection.

The everyday Pandesal is not the only bread Manilabake serve. Among the best sellers are the Barbeque filled Pandesal, priced at P47 each, Bonete bread at P5, Cinnamon Raisin loaf at P225, Macapuno Pandan cake and much more. My personal favorite is the Calamansi Cupcake which is surprisingly very affordable at P70 each.

The cafe also served some light meal with coffee and desert, like the special Champorado and the Sheperd's Pie la Cubana. It is actually a mashed Camote (sweet-potato) and patato blanketing the meat filling served in a bowl. If  you want something special for the holidays, they also make Queso De Bola cupcake.

Ok, the Pandesal was not as affordable as I thought it would be, but they sure brings me back to the time where the Pandesal was so special it's the best meal of the day.

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