French connection…

Long, long ago, our lives were very simple. We did not have much of anything beyond our basic needs. Yes, we had bread and buns but I only came across this…

…in 1973 when I went over to Singapore.

They called it “French loaf” and it was hard and crusty. They served it with sup kambing (mutton soup) at the Indian shops or with their celebrated Singapore chili crab at their seafood restaurants at places like Bedok. We dipped the slices in the soup or gravy to soak and to soften and ate.

I only got to know its other name…

…more recently, not that long ago.

The guy at this bakery doesn’t use that name – he calls it a French loaf. I guess if he uses baquette instead, some customers may have a problem pronouncing it and will come out with their own peculiar versions. Have you heard the one about the guy who went to a restaurant and ordered a quiche? LOL!!!

Personally, I feel that the ones from that bakery are slightly harder and a bit more crusty than this one that I bought from here, not like the ones in the good ol’ days in Singapore – those were so hard that it could be used as a lethal weapon. LOL!!! I don’t know if it is available at the other bakeries in town but I sure am glad that these two do not come across as regular bread made in that longish cylindrical shape and are a little bit like the baguette that I used to know.

Now, how do I usually eat it? For one thing, we can cut it into short lengths, cut slits in them and stuff them with whatever filling we fancy to make our own Vietnamese banh mi. but usually, I will just slice it diagonally and toast the slices and eat it just like that or with any bread spread I fancy and not too long ago, I made some sprinkle toasts with it.

The other day, my girl made these garlic toasts…

…for her breakfast. She applied butter on the slices that I had cut, sprinkled chopped garlic, cheese and parsley on top and put them in the oven to toast till the cheese had melted and had turned into a lovely golden colour…

Yes, she enjoyed it done this way.

As far as I know, the guys here get theirs by special order, done the way they like them (I think they come in shorter lengths) for their toasted garlic bread served with their very nice chicken sauce…

They do not cut the loaf diagonally like I do so theirs are round, not so long.

What about you? How do you usually enjoy yours?

Author: suituapui

Ancient relic but very young at heart. Enjoys food and cooking...and travelling and being with friends.

8 thoughts on “French connection…”

  1. For sure I am one of them that doesn’t know how to pronounce the word “baguette”😂😂. So I would call it French loaf. I like those garlic toast made by Melissa. Since I love garlic bread, my daughter asks me to look for garlic spread which they had over in KL. I prefer the loaf to be cut diagonally not round.

    We have garlic butter here too. I think we bought at places like Ta Kiong. We do not buy anymore these days – we prefer to just use freshly chopped garlic and butter, nice when toasted like what my girl did.

  2. We had it dipped with lamb curry – delicious!

    Yes, bread in curry sure is a delight! My mum would serve her awesome curry during our Chinese New Year open house with slices of bread…but of course, we only had those sandwich loaves back in those days.

  3. French loaf is definitely much easier to pronounce the “baquette”. I usually cut them diagonally, spread them with home made garlic butter spread (adding minced fresh garlic with butter) before toasting them. I will also dip them in curry or mushroom soup if available. Sometimes, I will just toast the slices and spread with whatever jam I have if there is no garlic butter spread.

    Yes, I guess we more or less will do the same things when eating baguette. So far, I’ve only had it with sup kambing or Singapore chili crab in Singapore, nowhere else.

  4. I seldom eat bread these days. Even if I do, I usually have brown bread. They say brown bread is better than white, it keeps you feeling fuller for longer.

    I think they give you Chinese mantou (kosong filling pao) to go with chilli crab now.

    1. We get those mantou, deep-fried or oven-baked for a crusty exterior, with Vietnamese freshwater (big head) prawns at some restaurants here. Some places may give their own-baked bread, very nice.
      Brown bread? I buy wholemeal sometimes – that’s brown…and also the low GI bread at a bakery here.

  5. I have been really thinking of learning to bake French breads using sourdough starter. We’ll see if this is the year.

    Good luck! I’ve a cousin who is into baking sour dough – it sure looks like a lot of work but she does seem to enjoy it a lot!

  6. Gosh, I am a self-confessed carb addict. I love crusty bread (but it also has to be spongey in the middle). Wholewheat sourdough is my jam.

    Me too, crusty on the outside, soft inside. Yet to go and buy the sourdough here, dunno nice or not.

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