Mom came home with a small surprise. When she brought back the Longan Purple Glutinous Rice Bread the other day, she said there were two other loaf breads that were new products for T&T Bakery. Today, she saw pre-packaged day-old deals of two different specialty loaves. Surprisingly, these new breads were in those packages, as well as some of the old varieties. Thus, she brought back three – two new to round out the new items, and one old.
The first new bread was the 红米桂花方包 (Red Glutinous Rice Bread). This one did not particularly appeal to me. The red glutinous rice was sticky, but not very sweet. I could barely taste the osmanthus, which I believe was just used to flavour the syrup used to mix the rice into the bread. This was definitely quite bland for me. It was not over-baked, although the outside was slightly dry for me. The inside was soft, chewy, and moist, which was good. The bread needed more of the filling. It had many layers rolled into it, but each layer barely had any rice in it, so in a bigger bite, it was barely distinguishable. This bun was also the least visually appealing of the three new kinds and was my least favourite.
The 薏仁紫薯方包 (Coix Seed Purple Yam Bread), the third new item, was slightly better. It definitely looked prettier, in the three rolls with the dark rich purple colour of the yam. There was a decent amount of yam and yam paste, but it was not sweet enough for me. I have never to my knowledge tasted coix seeds, or Job’s tears, and it was definitely not a highlight of the bun, as I still cannot taste it at all. In fact, I would not even know it was there if I did not know the name. It tasted like they barely added anything to the yam before it was rolled into the dough. It was still soft and moist after a day, and tasted quite fresh. I certainly could have used both sweeter dough and a sweeter filling. It was somewhat on the bland side for me. The yam also does not add much to the texture aspect. Only the dough was commendable, but that should be a given.
Finally, although not a new product, the 香兰椰丝核桃方包 (Coconut Walnut Pandan Bread) was my favourite of the three today and one of my favourites at T&T Bakery in general. This is another way that I eat my coconut and actually enjoy it quite a lot. Mixed with the pandan with a pretty shade of green, the shredded coconut was a distinct part of the sweet filling. The texture was like shredded coconut mixed with a dry, sugary, crumbly paste. The chopped walnuts inside added a slight crunch for a better texture. It was not too sweet, but had enough sweetness that the coconut was not too overwhelming. The filling was plentiful, although I can use more. I can eat the filling by itself since it is so good. The bread was nicely baked, soft and chewy. I like my bread slightly under-done, which this was for the most part. More care could have been taken when slicing the loaf, but the slight deterioration in shape could be attributed to the fact it is a day-old loaf, having sat around for some time.
Sometimes, new products are just not as good as the old ones. I think T&T Bakery’s new breads, while quite good with perhaps better ingredients, did not stand out. Not that they are bad, it is just that they do not seem to be extra special. I still might opt for some of the old varieties, especially since the old ones are somewhat considered to be comfort food. They seem to be making more of the gourmet types of baked goods, with osmanthus, glutinous rice, yam, and longan, which can detract from the comfort food factor. Even with these ingredients, however, there needs to be enough filling. Otherwise, I would choose the ones with plain old red bean paste just because it is so much more flavourful and sweet.