Breadshop Finds a New Home in Kaimukī
The best bread in town has finally arrived.
By the time we reached Breadshop, there were only about a dozen loaves left on the shelf. You could see craft baker Chris Sy crossing the bakery space behind the counter, pacing back and forth between the oven, where there were loaves of bread slowly turning golden, and the large spiral mixer, where he was monitoring the churning dough with a careful eye.
“We’ve been selling really fast,” his wife Shazia said, apologetically. “These loaves are all we have left.”
If you’re a Biting Commentary reader, you know Sy’s story already. He’s a Punahou grad who wanted to become a physicist, then a novelist, and then found his calling in baking. After selling loaves of his famous rustic bread at The Pig & The Lady farmers markets and then at the John A. Burns School of Medicine with The Curb, he launched a two-year venture to open his own shop on Wai‘alae and Eighth avenues. It’s our favorite Christmas gift ever.
Breadshop isn’t like any other bakery in Honolulu. You can’t walk inside and take your pick of the breads. In fact, there isn’t even a door to walk through—just a counter where Shazia will take your order and wrap up your loaves in crisp, brown paper.
And everything is selling out fast. “On Sunday, we were selling something every three minutes,” says Sy. “That’s why we’re hoping to restart the subscriptions slowly early next year, so that we have bread for everybody instead of turning them away. We want people to be happy.”
The country bread ($8.50) is tangy and full, thanks to the use of whole wheat and rye flours. The city bread ($8.50) is milder and lighter, in some ways reminiscent of French bread.
Both have beautiful, dark brown crusts that aren’t overly thick and have enough give, with a chewy, hefty interior. The culmination of textures and flavors makes these breads a joy to eat. Sy says there are also brioche and focaccia breads on the current rotation, but he won’t be adding anything more unless he’s happy with the product.
We enjoy Sy’s bread sliced thick and toasted, with a slab of butter and maybe some jam. The city and country breads have a shelf life of two to three days, if you leave them wrapped on the countertop. For leftovers, Sy suggests slicing and then putting in a zip-top bag to freeze.
His favorite way to eat his breads? “I like them toasted in olive oil or butter, and, after they get old, they make great croutons or bread crumbs,” he says. “It’s that idea of peasant cuisine where nothing goes to waste. Toast them into croutons with olive oil, throw them into kim chee jjigae. There’s also a bread sauce you can make; it’s in Alice Waters’ The Art of Simple Food.”