Sink your teeth into some of the best sourdough breads you can find in Singapore
Contrary to popular belief, bread making isn’t exactly rocket science.
In fact, the ancient method of sourdough making involves little more than wild yeast, flour and water.
At new bakehouse and restaurant Firebake, we discovered the intricacies of bread making and left with a newfound respect for the popular staple.
Home to the first full-scale woodfire bread oven in Singapore, Firebake specialises in sourdough bread made with all-natural ingredients.
The crown jewel of the space is a pair of hand-built, twin woodfire ovens, which churn out bread and other slow-cooked dishes using European historical techniques of bread making.
Surrounding the ovens are various stations where the bread making process unfolds before one’s eye — from mixing to hand moulding, fermentation and proofing.
From wave to field
As the aroma of freshly baked bread wafts through the air, we tucked into the Firebake’s signature items. The Bread Board ($10), which is a quad of sourdough breads, served with condiments like butter and Greek Olive Oil, was excellent.
With whimsical names like Wave, Field, Valley and Rock — alluding to the flavour origins — the variety of white, wholemeal, rye and fruit loaf offered a good sampling of the bakehouse’s best offerings.
The hearty breads came with lovely thick crusts and fluffy insides. If I had to play favourites, it had to be the fruit loaf with its plump sultanas and apricots.
Not surprisingly, you’ll find that the rest of the menu exists to complement the sourdough breads.
For your dose of fibre, try the Smoked Eggplant, Spiced Hummus, Tomato, Manchego ($15), which features a woodfired roasted eggplant served with spiced hummus, marinated heirloom tomatoes, crunchy barley and topped with manchego cheese and mint.
Cooked till tender, the eggplant yielded easily to each bite, with the toppings adding a wonderful dimension of sweet and savoury flavours.
Another dish worth ordering is the Norwegian Blue Mussel, Lager, Chorizo ($25), which comes with a robust-tasting broth that’s perfect for dipping the sourdough breads in.
Norwegian blue mussels are cooked in a broth of shallots, garlic, chorizo and Kingpin lager, and then finished with butter. In case you’re wondering, the use of lager is by no means a coincidence; it is wheat-based, just like the breads.
An unexpected favourite of mine is the Grilled Pork Belly, Garden Vegetable Broth, Rye Bread ($22), which brims with the comforting flavours of home-cooked food. Despite being served in a housemade vegetable broth, the grilled pork belly retains its crunch.
Steak lovers shouldn’t miss out on the Rangers Valley Striploin 300gm ($38), served with woodfired jerusalem artichoke and chimichurri. The evenly marbled striploin, charcoal-grilled to smoky perfection, is a wonderful dish to share.
On the whole, Firebake takes its breads and dishes seriously, offering diners a slice of history with each mouthful of its woodfired creations.
Level 1, 237 East Coast Road
A Chinese version of the article appeared here.