Bread and Hearth: Bread and Butter letters

Butter. there was butter dredged all over the walls, it enveloped me, luring me into its warm embrace. If you cringe at the smell of this yellow villain, then avoid Bread and Hearth by all means. However, my love-hate relationship with it (referring strictly to my days in the kitchen spent tackling a 25kg block of butter with a really blunt knife) draws me one step closer.  

Bread and Hearth is the newest artisanal bakery to open amongst the playground of F&B riches in the Ann Siang/ Keong Saik neighborhood. Dedicated to using the best quality ingredients to set it apart from its competitors, I was keen to taste a difference.

And I did.

Working within the constantly cool realms of the fastidiously packed kitchen, staff laminate the croissant doughs from scratch. Plowing the natural levain dough, hiding sheets of French butter within, through the dough-break, book-turn after book-turn till the cross-section reveals some mind-blowing layers of alternating dough and butter. Once proofed, these babies enter the mouth of the blazing hot German oven and the water content in the butter blisters, swelling causing the pastry to puff up. There you have it, crisp, flaky pastry, the hinterland of every butter worshipper. 

Here at Bread and Hearth, they take their coffee seriously. One sip of my cappuccino and my coffee nerd consensus attained a quizzical standstill, unable to establish a familiarity with the blend. The owner explains that the coffee beans used for their coffee have been 'blended' in house, a fixed ratio of arabica and robusta beans in order to balance out the tannins, acidity and nuttiness of it. The end result, a smooth, medium bodied coffee which leans ever so slightly to the more nutty side of life. Adding to the pageantry of the fancy coffee art is the subtle fairy dusting of nutmeg powder over the top that works miracles with its rich woody spice.

With a spread of goodies to conquer, we nibble our way around the table. For me, the real strengths are in the Croissant, the Raisin roll and Pain au Chocolat; shedding some light on the dark and depressing state of such boulangerie items in Singapore. Retaining a crisp crust even after the relentless shootings, the butter taste was profound, deliciously rich and salty. The chocolate batons from cocoa barry spilling its hot fudge like melty innards within those flaky layers. Frankly, though, the Matcha Orange soft roll and White Chocolate bun are not particularly tempting with a strange doughy texture.

Part and parcel of any boulangerie spread are tarts. Here at Bread and Hearth, the tart shells are made from scratch, another applaud worthy moment for the hard working folks here. That aside, the result is this strange cookie like crust that screams it's tormenting experience under the hands of an overcompulsive dough maker. The Lemon Meringue Tart, your usual suspect has a lovely bright citrusy note, let down only by the biscuit like dense tart base; whilst the Salted Caramel Tart shows up sweet with sticky caramel, jazzed up with a wee bit of sea salt (could use a lot more in there to warrant the use of the descriptive word 'salty') and nuanced by the simple addition of roasted hazelnuts speckled over the top. With a bit of fine-tuning, this combination has a lot of potential to be the unique selling point of the cafe.

Like every new kid on the block, Bread and Hearth uncovers a mixture of hits and misses throughout its menu. However, with a concise business plan and niche products on offer, this place is set to conquer the hearts and stomachs of croissant lovers with a couple of tweaks. 

For now, I vouch for that Pain au Chocolat. Why not give it a go?

Fundamentally-flawed dined as a guest of Bread and Hearth. However, opinions are strictly her own. Thank you Mapwerkz for the invite.

Bread and Hearth
18 Keong Saik Road
Singapore 089215
T: 6534 7800

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