Most of us will agree that there are few aromas more deliciously enticing and evoking than freshly baked breads. It’s one of the tricks real estate agents use when marketing their clients’ homes: pop a loaf of focaccia or a tray of croissants in the oven to trigger a happy mood. Supermarkets inundate their aisles with the smells of baked goods so shoppers are encouraged to spend more. Companies tap on the power of scent marketing to launch their product campaigns.
Apparently the impact bread has on consumers goes beyond influencing purchasing decisions. One study, published in the Journal of Social Pyschology, purports that the lingering aroma of baked bread can make one a kinder person as it put strangers in a more positive and altruistic mood. Call me a hopeless optimist, but if that is indeed true, Mother Earth would certainly be a friendlier and safer place to live in. Why break bones when you can break bread?
As a die-hard carbs fan, one of the first things I look out for when I’m dining at a restaurant is the bread basket. It’s rare to find chefs in Singapore who lavish the same attention on breads as they do on their degustation menus. Whether it’s due to issues of kitchen and space constraints, labour efficiency or low margins, many establishments have stopped baking their own breads. For variety, Tablescape Restaurant & Bar in Grand Park City Hall impresses with 14 types of bread, all baked in-house; guest choose four kinds along with an option of salted or unsalted butter. Vianney Massot, a protege of Joël Robuchon, whose establishments are known for their bread trolleys, continues this time-honoured tradition at his namesake restaurant in Hong Kong Street. Comté cheese bread, mini croissants and crusty mini baguettes fill a classy black and gold trimmed, three-tiered bread trolley accompanied with fleur de sel and the piece de resistance –Beillevaire butter. (The family-run French producer still makes butter from raw cream in wooden churns.)
Whether you are a baking enthusiast looking to improve your craft or a bread lover searching for your next slice of heaven, I hope you can find plenty to love about our Brilliant Bakes-themed issue.
When it comes to the art and science of breadmaking, few are as zealous as Dean Brettschneider, founder of Baker & Cook.
Vianney Massot Restaurant
Tablescape Restaurant & Bar