Baker & Cook (II) and Cut the Mustard

I’m such a boring person. I visit the same restaurants, hawker stalls, cafes, and patisseries all the time. But there’s something endearing about visiting familiar places and being certain that the food I order would meet my expectations.

Baker & Cook has become one of my weekly destinations to pick up bread or to have a decent cappuccino. There is the notable absence of Dean Brettschneider but now there seems to be another lady managing the place and she is usually at the counter interacting with the customers. I like how she exudes confidence and speaks enthusiastically about the products on display (:

The other day I finally bought my first baguette. It was a tough decision between the turkish pide and the baguette but after sampling the former I immediately took the baguette relying just on its shape and scoring. Well, I guess anything (including gardenia bread) would be better than a dry, hard turkish pide right? Perhaps it was because the samples were left in the open and dried out in the process but no way, I’m not risking lunch to try it!

As it turned out their baguette was perfect. One of the better ones I’ve had in SG, and very close to those I had in France.

Don’t you think the aeration is beautiful? A hard, tasty crust that breaks away into soft pillowy insides. This was close to perfection but it wasn’t as fresh as I would have liked it to be. Not stale of course just a little little bit dried out.

Their lamingtons are normal, and tending towards the dry side. Well I guess lamingtons are pretty unexciting to start with being essentially butter cakes dipped in chocolate icing and desiccated coconut. After having the exceptional one at borough market I’ve being having a misconception that I can actually get excited over a lamington.

Surprisingly I liked their canelé. The caramelisation is awesome. I have a soft spot for these things and like macarons, they are one of those tedious-to-make confectionaries that I prefer to buy rather than try to make myself.

I’m on the fence about their cherry tart. Don’t like how they thickened the cherry filling to that artificial factory-made consistency (who knows, it might not be made from scratch). But everything else from the pie crust to the presentation- I like.

Just round the corner from Baker & Cook is Cut the Mustard, a specialty store that I like to pop by after I’m done at the bakery. Unlike other specialty stores the things here are actually reasonably priced. I love their extensive selection of sodas- all the flavours and designs never fail to interest me. Belvoir presses go for I think $2.90 per bottle and I even saw the cordials available. Craft beers are also available for all those interested!

Picked up a very cool root beer bottle for dad. There’s also harry potter’s butter beer which I picked up for the best friend’s birthday last year (non-alcoholic) but it tastes more like ice cream soda to us! Oh well, for novelty’s sake 😉

And another frivolous purchase was made on impulse. A canvas bag from the UK for my baguette! It’s a good thing I’m working. Makes me feel less guilty spending money on these things haha.

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One thought on “Baker & Cook (II) and Cut the Mustard

  1. So glad I found this site, I’m a devoted home chef, but bread had always been my bane due to a habit of improvisation and avoidance of weights and measures. I recently decited to give bread another try and in preparation found this site. I got a couple of sourdough starters going, and made some delicious frisbee like things (I meant to do that, have some cheese!) But the forums and the explanations of baking by weight led me to try an approach other than eyeball (thank you mr diet scale). That helped, but eventually what got me tonight’s two perfect baguettes (poolish recipie, 68% hydration, but being in dubai the humidity means this is equivalent to a somewhat wetter dough) was the constant emphasis on using a wet dough. I did an initial 6 minute knead with wet hands on a wet counter, then strech and fold every half hour during the rise of the dough, again with wet hands and on a wet counter.

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