August 26, 2012
大统华面包坊 – T&T Bakery, Richmond BC
菠萝红豆包-港式 (Red Bean Pineapple Bun (HK))
榨菜肉松包 (Preserved Mustard & Dried Pork Bun)
蒜蓉肠仔包 (Garlic Sausage Bun)
全麦香肠包 (Sausage Wheat Bun)
提子条 (Raisin Twist)
菠萝牛角包 (Pineapple Croissant)
One final time getting a bag of mix-and-match buns from T&T Bakery this summer. Actually, Mom got it and I was not there to pick out what I want but she knows. I love it when the bags have mostly what we like and what we have not tried. All in all, buns make me a happy girl.
The 菠萝红豆包-港式 (Red Bean Pineapple Bun (HK)) is one of my all time favourites, regardless of where I get it from. T&T Bakery just makes the best I have ever had. The pineapple crust topping is crumbly yet not very dry. The bread is slightly sweetened, moist, soft, and even quite sticky on the sides where it touches the paper cup. I love sweet and chewy bread too much! The red bean paste filling was also delicious; some beans were blended into the paste so that they still have their original shape and gave it a contrasting texture though they were almost mushy when bitten into. It was a dense but very good quality filling. The whole bun was jut varying levels of sweetness, which is just perfect for me!
I have never tried the 榨菜肉松包 (Preserved Mustard & Dried Pork Bun) before. It was a regular, non-sweetened bun topped with lots of sesame seeds and filled with a blend of dried pork fluff and finely diced Chinese pickled vegetables or pickled mustard greens. The sweet and savoury pork is a favorite of mine and tasted even better when the pickled mustard were added, giving it a slight crunch and the slightly tangy savoury flavour; the two certainly complimented one another. I just wish there was more filling and that the bread was not as dry. To be fair, it was okay, but I prefer moist, sticky dough to give it more of a chew.
The 蒜蓉肠仔包 (Garlic Sausage Bun) was rather disappointing. I could not taste much garlic in the centre even though the green specks made it apparent. The design was pretty to be sure but the sausage pieces were small and slightly dried and hardened. The bread could have been a little sweeter, although it was moist and chewy. The bun tasted good, just nothing extraordinary. With a stronger garlicky aroma, it would have been way better. The ‘petals’ pulled apart easily, pivoting perfect bite-sized portions, each with a thick slice of the normal hotdog wiener. I think T&T Bakery can definitely experiment with gourmet sausages.
The 全麦香肠包 (Sausage Wheat Bun) was also just okay. The wiener in this one was the same but because it was not cut up, it retained its tender texture and moisture. The bread was decent though, being made from whole wheat. It had that whole wheat aroma and the slightly chunky texture. It was not over-baked and so was still soft and chewy.
The 提子条 (Raisin Twist) was a little over-baked. The dough was still soft but it could use more moisture and stickiness. Still, it at least had a pleasant, very light golden colour. The raisins were plentiful, scattered quite evenly throughout. They were quite sour, however, but I rather enjoyed the tanginess rather than just sweetness. It looked pretty but the taste was nothing spectacular.
Finally, the 菠萝牛角包 (Pineapple Croissant) was definitely over-baked. I liked the idea of a pineapple crust topping on a croissant, adding some crumbly sweetness to the buttery, flaky pastry, making it Asian along the way. However, the whole thing turned out very brown and almost burnt. There was no moisture or buttery flakiness that melted in your mouth. The sweetness of the pineapple topping was masked underneath the burnt scent. I do not think I would buy this again, even if it was made well, but when it is not burnt, it would have been a nice pastry nonetheless.
I am quite satisfied with all the buns and bread I have had from T&T Bakery over the past few months. It is always interesting to try some new products but I know there are always scrumptious choices to fall back on. Bread of this quality is certainly hard to find elsewhere in North America and will always be a plus when returning to Vancouver.