Butter Bread, Hougang: Artisanal croissants & hojicha scones by ex-Shangri La chief baker

After I found out that Butter Bread was helmed by an ex-Shangri La chief baker, I knew I had to brush up on my pronunciation of several well-known French pastries. 

Its hole-in-the-wall takeaway bakery is located at The Midtown, a mere five-minutes walk from Hougang MRT. Walking in through the glass doors of the mall, my nose confirmed that I was in the right place before my eyes did — I could smell freshly baked buttered bread, and it made my tummy rumble.

Kwa-son Pan-oo-shoco-lat…”, I muttered under my breath as I approached the quaint shop with its neon yellow signboard.

I was glad I brushed up on my pronunciation though, because I learned that its owner, Andrew Loong, used to be a chief baker at several five-star hotels, including Shangri-La Singapore and Carlton Hotel Singapore, before coming out to start his own little bakery.

With close to a decade’s worth of experience baking for world-class hotels, I knew Butter Bread served the real deal.

Fun fact: The name of the shop was inspired by the croissant, due to its many thin layers of dough and butter.

What I tried

Butter Bread offers a variety of baked goods which are freshly baked every day, but its signature item was the Original Croissant (S$4), so I knew I had to try that first.

Andrew mentioned that they only use special AOP butter imported from France, ensuring that their croissants were authentic to the core.

Hearing Andrew cut into the croissant was ASMR-worthy, and I was glad I whipped out my phone to capture the moment. 

Just looking at the gorgeous cross-section of the croissant was enough to win me over, but biting into the croissant tipped the scales entirely. 

Incredibly soft on the inside with a crispy and delicate exterior, the croissant was like a pillowed nest of toasted butter. I could taste a slight saltiness, which helped to balance out the flavours.

After tons of requests from locals in the area, Butter Bread started offering Ham & Cheese Croissant (S$4.50), which quickly became one of their best-selling items.

Frankly speaking, I was never a fan of ham and cheese pastries because they were so simple that I could even make them at home. 

However, Butter Bread’s ham & cheese croissants were a different story altogether. Sandwiched between fluffy layers of buttered bread is a layer of cheddar cheese and honey-baked ham, which added a salty smokiness to each bite. 

This was easily my favourite item out of the whole menu, and it made me wish I stayed in the area so I could have it for breakfast every morning. Seriously.

I was excited to try its Pain Au Chocolat (S$4.60), because I could already foresee that it was going to be a delightful crispy mess of flaky pastry and melted chocolate.

Cutting into the pain au chocolat, I was slightly disappointed to find that the chocolate was only located at the bottom of the pastry. 

However, I found out that this was the traditional way to make the recipe (instead of the one I’ve come to know of – which is to layer chocolate between the folds of the dough) and that Andrew uses two bars of cocoa berry chocolate to make this pastry.

Biting into the pain au chocolat was an absolute delight. I loved how the creamy chocolate melted together with the soft pastry. Plus, the chocolate was fruity and tangy, and each mouthful was decadent without being overly sweet.

Next, I tried its Egg Tart Croissant (S$4).

Andrew shared that this unique creation came about because he wanted to give his own spin on the traditional egg tart, and decided to combine his signature croissant pastry with it.

While I couldn’t really taste the flakiness of the croissant pastry, I was impressed by how soft the egg tart was. Its texture was smooth and delicate, and to some extent, it reminded me of beancurd. 

I also liked how it wasn’t overly sweet, and Andrew said that it was because they don’t use carnation milk in the egg tart, as it tends to thin and sweeten the egg mixture. Instead, they use whipped cream and fresh egg yolk, resulting in its soft texture.

We decided to try its Hojicha Honey Mochi Scone (S$4.50), which uses Japanese-grade hojicha powder.

It didn’t have that Instagram-worthy mochi pull, which was pretty disappointing, but the taste was fantastic.

The hojicha scone was crumbly and moist, and the taste of the fragrant hojicha came through almost immediately. I enjoyed stumbling onto the little nuggets of chewy mochi, which added a powdery sweetness to each bite. 

My only gripe would be that the scone was a little too dense, and it made me wish I had an actual cup of piping hot hojicha beside me to wash it all down.

The last thing on the menu was its Original Sourdough (S$8).

Impressively, Butter Bread uses its own homemade levain for the sourdough. In fact, Andrew’s levain has been proofing at home for the past 20 years! 

“I’ve raised it since I was young,” he joked.

Despite having a hard exterior, the bread itself was incredibly soft and light. The sourdough was tangy and tasty, and it contained so much savoury flavour on its own that you don’t actually need a spread to go along with it. 

While we tried its original sourdough, Andrew revealed that Butter Bread releases a limited sourdough flavour each month. For March, it’ll be Jalapeno Mozzarella Sourbread. Yes, you heard it here first!

Final thoughts

Don’t belittle its hole-in-the-wall appearance, because Butter Bread’s pastries are the real deal. Not only are they baked freshly by an ex-Shangri La chief baker, they use authentic ingredients such as special butter flown in from France and Japanese-grade hojicha powder.

While its prices might not be the cheapest around, especially considering it’s located in the heartlands of Hougang, I’d say that you’re paying for good quality and that each bake is worth the price. If only it had a dine-in area as well…

Expected damage: S$4 – S$10 per pax

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Our Rating: 4 / 5

Butter Bread

1187 Upper Serangoon Rd, #01-44 The Midtown, Singapore 533971

Price
Our Rating 4/5

Butter Bread

1187 Upper Serangoon Rd, #01-44 The Midtown, Singapore 533971

Operating Hours: 1pm - 6pm (Tues to Fri), 11am - 6pm (Sat to Sun), Closed on Mon

Operating Hours: 1pm - 6pm (Tues to Fri), 11am - 6pm (Sat to Sun), Closed on Mon
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