Shokupan, Japan’s most beloved bread
Bread in Japan was first introduced by accident when a ship with Portuguese travelers drifted ashore of Nagasaki in 1543. European bread, however, was too crusty and lacking flavour for the Japanese taste and it took another 300 years to adapt it to the liking of the general public. It was in 1875, when former samurai Yasubei Kimura created anpan, a sweet and soft white bun filled with red bean paste. It was an instant success and the beginning of Japanese love story with bread.
Motoko McNulty, baker and Happy Sky Bakery owner from London says that the main difference between bread in Japan and the rest of the world is that in Europe bread is usually an accompaniment of a meal, while in Japan it’s more a snack by itself. Moreover, Japanese bread is fluffier and richer. Motoko, who has been living in London for 12 years now, is specializing in shokupan, white, airy squared shaped bread, eaten slightly toasted for breakfast or used for sandwiches.
Shokupan, which means ‘eating bread’, is the most popular bread in Japan. It has a very thin, soft crust, light pillowy texture and, just like a bowl of rice is neutral and never overpowering, yet essential for the meal. Motoko bakes 500 shokupan loaves per day, which she sells to various Japanese cafés, shops and at her little bakery in Shepherd’s Bush in London. Her bread has no preservatives or additives and, without doubts, is the best Japanese bread in London.
Happy Sky Bakery
94 Askew Rd, White City, London W12 9BL
+44 20 3490 1486www.happyskylondon.com/
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