Similar in shape and flavor to regular toast bread, Danish toast bread is richer than its ubiquitous sibling, mainly because of how it is made, with alternating layers of dough and butter braided into a loaf.
Separating layers of dough with butter results in the feather light pockets of air that are trademark pastry, like those found at the delicate center of a croissant.
Danish toast bread was once a treat that one had to make an effort to enjoy by visiting spots like Kyoto Marble, which specializes solely in such bread.
Now, given the increasing number of spots selling it, including bread behemoth Paris Croissant, it looks like the decadent toast is gaining traction.
Also, more spots solely devoted to making such bread have been popping up lately, like the newly minted 88 Bread.
“We only wanted to focus on one product,” said 88 Bread brand consultant Yoo Young-ji.
“Since we are only selling Danish bread, we created different flavors,” Yoo said.
|88 Bread’s Jeju Island is crafted from matcha -- pulverized green tea leaves -- and red bean paste. (Photo credit: Park Hyun-koo/The Korea Herald)|
There are currently over 10 flavors available at 88 Bread, which opened in January near Garosugil, Seoul.
Boasting floor-length windows, high ceilings and a long communal table, the spot is not your run-of-the-mill bakery, explained Yoo.
“We are a lifestyle concept store,” Yoo said, pointing to the communal table and the do-it-yourself corner as examples of how 88 Bread functions as a gathering spot for its customers.
Even before noon, there are customers chatting at the table, moving back and forth from the DIY corner, where potent coffee is sold for 1,000 won a cup and one can slice one’s bread.
Aside from the good and affordable coffee, one of the greatest perks of grabbing a seat at 88 Bread are the three steam-oven toasters that can be used by the customers.
The high-end toaster ovens from Japan have been creating a buzz among bread fiends around the world for rendering slices of bread crisp on the outside and melt-in-your-mouth soft down the center.
|88 Bread -- a bakery that specializes in “Danish toast bread” -- opened in January in Sinsa-dong. (Photo credit: Park Hyun-koo/The Korea Herald)|
The opportunity to take good bread, put it in a good toaster and enjoy it with a good and very affordable cup of coffee is hard to pass up, especially with all the beautiful flavor combinations that can be enjoyed at 88 Bread.
Even if toasted in a regular toaster oven, or just sliced up and eaten on the spot, the bakery’s Jeju Island -- a blend of pulverized green tea and red bean paste -- is delicious.
“We use lots of matcha in the dough for that bitter flavor and the red bean paste with the skins on goes in between the layers of butter and dough,” said Yoo.
The intense flavor of green tea, elegant in its bitterness, complements the sweetness of the small chunks of bean paste scattered throughout the bread for a satisfying slice of bread that tastes like dessert, needing no accoutrements.
Earl Grey flavor is delicate and fragrant, heightening the buttery richness of the bread itself, which, according to Yoo, boasts 88 layers of buttery, doughy goodness.
“We aim to eventually release 88 flavors, though not all at once, but more on a seasonal basis,” said Yoo.
Yoo added that the team is currently working on new flavors for spring and that the bakery is slated to open a store in Shanghai this summer.
|88 Bread specializes in over 10 flavors of the multilayered, buttery pastry loaves called “Danish toast bread.” (Photo credit: Park Hyun-koo/The Korea Herald)|
1F, 566-3 Sinsa-dong, Gangnam-gu, Seoul
Open from 8:08 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily
Bread costs 8,800 won to 15,800 won for small, medium or large loaves
By Jean Oh (firstname.lastname@example.org)