Cinnamon Roll: Gooey Glory

These days, you can buy cinnamon rolls that have been customized every which way –  pumpkin dough, whole wheat dough, chocolate filled dough, raisins, bananas, walnuts, pecans, caramel, etc. The possibilities are overwhelming. You can also get your hands on them through a multitude of methods – from scratch, in a Pillsbury can, at the Cinnabon counter. The list goes on and on.

The variations in preparation and purchase are understandable – cinnamon rolls are ridiculously delicious and popular, so people want to put their own spin on them, and businesses want to make them as readily available as possible. But why reinvent the wheel? And why eat something that comes from an aluminum tube or that’s been sitting under a heat lamp for an unspecified amount of time? In our bakery, we make fresh, classic, unadulterated cinnamon rolls from scratch every single day. Why trade quality and taste for convenience and cost when you can have it all? In a world where you have to make sacrifices, here’s one time you don’t.

We start our dough  with the basic ingredients – flour, milk, sugar, eggs, margarine, and shortening. Then we give it the “roll” in its name. First, we roll out the dough into a uniform thickness then we roll it up with brown sugar and cinnamon. Finally, we slice up this “log” into individual cinnamon roll pastries and top them all with a rich cream cheese glaze. After a bake in the oven, the cinnamon rolls emerge in all their piping hot glory. The whiteness of the cream cheese contrasts with the golden brown exterior of the dough. The sticky, glistening glaze melts into all the crevices and onto the top of the roll, which now resembles a dome since the central layers puff up above the outer layers.

Then it’s time for the moment of truth. You bring the cinnamon roll closer and inhale its iconic sweet, cinnamon, buttery scent. You take the first bite. The exterior of the dough is slightly crunchy while the interior is flaky, moist, and soft. There are no words to describe the taste – the combination of cinnamon, brown sugar, butter, and cream cheese rock your world. In fact, you’re so far gone, you’ve landed in another world –  the sweet world of sinful cinnamon rolls. Whichever way you eat it – layer by layer or straight through the center (as our friend in the picture is doing), it’s a mind-blowing and delectable experience.

So leave the hard work to us and the delicious part to you. Just pick up a pack of cinnamon rolls from our bakery and stick them in the fridge when you get home. In the morning, all you need to do is pop them in the oven. Within a few minutes, your house will smell like you’ve been baking all morning, and you’ll have hot, sticky cinnamon rolls that taste like you’ve been prepping all night.

Don’t worry – we won’t tell anyone your little secret.

Sourdough: Simple And Sophisticated

It’s hard to believe that something so simple can be so good. Our sourdough bread is made with just a few ingredients – unbleached flour, rye flour, water, yeast, and salt. That’s it. No preservatives. No food coloring. No magic. Just pure, uncomplicated items that you can find in your pantry. And they work together to create something that is so much more than the sum of its parts. After we put together the dough, we knead it with love, let it rise, then place it in the oven. Can we just say something one more time? That’s it. It’s so easy, so simple, and so good.

We make a lot of different sourdough breads to accommodate a variety of needs. We have a sourdough free-form loaf, pan bread, round, boule, and roll. There’s also one of the most popular items – the rustic sourdough baguette. Oh man is it good. Especially hot out of the oven. Our rustic baguette has a fantastic thick, hearty, golden brown crust that’s crunchy, substantial, and satisfying. And the dough – words cannot do it justice. It’s moist, soft, chewy, and just so…doughy. We could eat the crust or the dough by itself for the rest of our lives. The two of them together? We’re pretty sure we’re in heaven. As you savor each morsel, the starch breaks down into sugar, imparting a sweetness that counterbalances the sourness of the bread – what a sophisticated combination.

This bread is out of this world on its own with just a pat of butter or a drizzle of garlic. But, if you’d like it to take on a different role, it can do that too. Step up your Thanksgiving this year – throw out your generic, pre-packaged, preservative-filled stuffing mix, and cook up this unforgettable Mushroom Sourdough Bread Stuffing. It’s worth the extra effort – we promise.

This bread is versatile, and we’ll prove it to you. Check out the following recipes we’ve found online from chefs and fellow foodies. The possibilities are endless.

Breakfast: French Toast With Orange Bourbon Butter and Spiced Pecans

Lunch: Pesto and Brie Grilled Cheese

Snack: Banana and Peanut Butter Sourdough Sandwich

Appetizer: Pomodoro Fresco Sourdough Bruschetta

Dinner: Zucchini and Goat Cheese Crustless Quiche

Dessert: Blackberry Bread Pudding

Is your mouth watering yet? Ours are. Come check out all of our sourdough products today at the farmers market. We’ve always got plenty of samples, so try them all, and tell us what you like best. We’re signing off now – see you at the sourdoughs.

Granola: Healthy and Wholesome

It’s no secret that granola is good for you. It’s also no secret that our granola is both good for you and delicious. We at La Tour Bakehouse believe that any respectable granola should contain three key components - oats, fruits, and nuts. Taste-wise, this trinity always knocks it out of the park. Health-wise, the oats contain high levels of fiber and protein, the fruits provide countless vitamins and minerals, and the nuts deliver healthy fats. Together, these three form a nutritious combination that fuels you up and fills you up.

Good thing we practice what we preach. Our plain granola contains a fantastic mix of oats, cranberries, sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, almonds, pecans, and coconut, all of which is sweetened by a touch of butter, brown sugar, honey, vanilla and salt. This granola is out-of-this-world delicious. Each mouthful is a fusion of tastes and textures – crunchy and moist, salty and sweet. And we forget – did we mention it’s wholesome, too?  With this heart-healthy snack in hand, you can make it through the roughest of days. Heck, you could even climb Mount Everest.

Once you get a taste, you won’t be able to stop. That’s why we have a couple other variations to help you change up your granola routine every once in awhile. In addition to Plain, we have No Added Sugar (oats, walnuts, wheat germ, cranberries, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, dates, prunes, almonds, shredded coconut, oil, apple juice) and Macadamia Nut (oats, cranberries, sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, macadamia nuts, almonds, pecans, butter, coconut, brown sugar, honey, vanilla, salt).

While granola is awesome for snacking, it’s also great with other stuff. Start your morning with the simple, full-proof, and filling fruit yogurt granola parfait. We found a six ingredient berry parfait that’s perfect for the summer. If you’re in the mood for something a little more decadent for breakfast, try out these granola upside down cupcakes from The Cupcake Project. Granola can also serve as a sweet finish to a satisfying meal. Robin Miller has a quick and easy layered pear pizza with ricotta, apricot preserves, and granola that’s a little unusual and a lot delicious. But, if you’re looking for something more classic and all-American, classic, you can always depend on this simple granola apple crisp recipe from Taste of Home.

Granola is really as good as it gets. Not only does it taste fantastic, but it also makes you feel and look fantastic. Sound too good to be true? Maybe. But we assure you that it’s not. Still skeptical? Check it out for yourself. We’ll make believers out of you yet.

Danish: Devilishly Delectable

Though Americans cannot take credit for inventing the Danish (we clearly have Denmark to thank for that!), we still love it nonetheless. And why wouldn’t we? Like palmiers, Danishes are made from laminated dough. That means that we start our Danishes by alternating layers of butter and dough (made from flour, milk, sugar, eggs, salt, yeast, and butter) on top of each other. After we customize the Danishes with some sort of filling (our choices include almond, apple, cheese, cream cheese, raisin custard, sweet potato, and taro), we stick them in the oven then sit back and start salivating.

What will drive you crazy is the aroma. There’s something utterly intoxicating about the smell of sugar and melted butter. It’s the same drool-inducing scent that wafts from every Cinnabon. Try not to hang around the oven for too long – the aroma will start to mess with your mind. You’ll spiral into a Danish-tortured state where you obsess over what the pastry will look like, what it will taste like, etc. Physically, you’ll lose control over your jaw and drooling mechanism. It’s happened to us before. Don’t let it happen to you.

After what feels like an eternity, the pastries emerge with a glistening, sugary glaze that shimmers in the light and beckons to you. They’ve got you in their grip – you’re completely entranced, and your eyes grow large like saucers. You grab one Danish and slowly pull at its edge – the outer layer gives way easily. You put the morsel in your mouth. It tastes just as good as it smells. The sugary glaze immediately cracks and dissolves on your tongue. You don’t even have to start chewing, and the flaky, buttery layers of dough begin to melt. What stands out most for you is how moist everything is. It’s ironic that a treat so sinful tastes so heavenly. The plump devil on your shoulder tells you to inhale all of the buttery goodness in one bite. The slender angel on your other shoulder advises you to walk away. But there’s no contest here. As you work your way outside in, you finally reach the prize – the filling. Whether it’s cream cheese or taro, the smooth, creamy center just pushes the pastry over the top and sends you straight into the Devil’s lair.

Sure, a Danish is not the healthiest thing in the world, but it’s so worth it. We’ll even go as far as to say that you haven’t experienced life until you’ve experienced the Danish. It’s just one pastry. So for just a few moments, forget your health resolutions and your fiber cookies. Take a walk to the dark side. We all know it tastes good to be bad.

Palmiers: Puff Pastry Paradise

It’s hard to believe that palmiers are made from puff pastry. Puff pastry is produced by alternating super thin layers of dough with layers of melted butter. Can you say delicious perfection? Most people typically associate puff pastry with chicken pot pie, beef Wellington, and strudel. In these situations, the puff pastry is simultaneously light, flaky, and crispy on the outside and melt-in-your mouth soft on the inside. Palmiers, on the other hand, have an entirely different consistency – they are crunchy beyond belief. Turns out that if you bake puff pastry in the oven a bit longer, it hardens and takes on completely new characteristics. Thank goodness for that or else we’d be deprived of the joy that is the palmier.

A palmier (which means palm tree in French ) is a sweet, buttery treat instantly recognizable by its beautiful, unique shape – some say it’s a butterfly, others swear they see elephant ears. Whatever it is, it’s a work of art. We make our palmiers from scratch, starting with the puff pastry. After we roll out our dough, we shape it, coat it with crunchy sugar crystals, and bake it in the oven until golden brown.

When you bite into the palmier, it’s like music to your ears. The crunch is so loud, it reverberates in your jaw. After a second, the sweet sugar crystals dissolve on your tongue and the puff pastry melts in your mouth. And then it hits you – the rich, satisfying, and heavenly layers of butter. Its distinctive and comforting aroma and taste completely envelop you, causing you to lose all sense of self, time, and reality. You swear you’re just floating on thin air.

And then you come back down to earth because you just finished the rest of the palmier. It’s so decadent, but you can’t help but grab another one. And another one. And another one. Pretty soon, you’ve finished the bag, so you take a paper towel, wipe the residual butter off your fingertips, and sit back with a satisfied grin, feeling the most content you have in awhile.

Sound too good to be true? It’s not. This transcendent experience could  be yours right now. What are you waiting for?

Where In The World Is La Tour Bakehouse?

We hope you’ve enjoyed reading about our baked goods every day. We also hope that you’ve been wondering, where can I find them? We’re glad you asked. There are many locations you can purchase our breads, pastries, and snacks. Here are just a few of them:

1. Whole Foods Market at Kahala Mall

2. Foodland Super Market

3. The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf

4. Farmers Markets: We sell our goods everyday at different farmers markets around Oahu. Chances are, you live very close to one of them.

Monday

Varsity Building: 1110 University Ave, Honolulu @ 3PM – 7PM

Tuesday

Fort Street Mall: 1032 Fort Street Mall, Honolulu @ 7AM – 2PM

Wednesday

Neal S. Blaisdell Center: 777 Ward Ave, Honolulu @ 4PM – 7PM

Windward Mall: 46-056 Kamehameha Hwy, Kaneohe @ 3PM – 8PM

Thursday

Kailua: 21 South Kainalu Dr, Kailua @ 5PM – 7:30PM

Friday

Fort Street Mall: 1032 Fort Street Mall, Honolulu @ 7AM – 2PM

Momilani Community Center: 715 Hoomoana St, Pearl City @ 3PM – 7PM

U.H. Manoa: 2465 Campus Rd, Honolulu @ 9AM – 1PM (only during the school year)

Saturday

Kapiolani Community College: 4303 Diamond Head Rd, Honolulu @ 7AM – 11AM

Kaiser High School: 511 Lunalilo Home Rd, Hawaii Kai @ 9AM – 1PM

Sunday

Mililani: 95-1200 Meheula Pkwy, Mililani Town @ 8AM – 11AM

Hale’iwa: Kamehameha Hwy and Joseph P. Leong Bypass Rd, Hale’iwa @ 9AM – 1PM

Just as a note – sometimes you’ll find our products marked as “Ba-Le.” Don’t be alarmed – that’s us! Our old name was Ba-Le Bakery, and only recently did we relaunch under the name La Tour Bakehouse. Potato, potahto – Ba-Le Bakery, La Tour Bakehouse. Not the best analogy, but you get the idea. Bottom line? Two names, one high-quality product.

Next time you’re out and about town, look for our many baked goods. You might be pleasantly surprised where you find us! Also, please come by any farmers market any day and say hello. We’re always happy to see old friends and make new ones.

Banh Mi: The Vietnamese Sandwich

Almost every single culture in the world has its own version of the iconic sandwich. In the Middle East, they have shawarma, a delicious combination of grilled meat, vegetables, tabouli, and hummus, all soaked up with pita bread or lavash bread. Greece also relies on pita bread for their gyros, which feature roasted, shaved meats topped by tomatoes, onions, and sauce. The Italians layer meats, cheeses, and vegetables and press them into the ultimate crunchy, gooey sandwich known as the panini.

Vietnam is definitely no exception. The traditional sandwich found here is called banh mi (pronounced ben me), which is composed of a crusty French baguette, meat (options range from turkey and chicken to pork and ham & pate), pickled carrots and daikon, cucumber, and cilantro. While these fillings may seem strange or even unpleasant to the untrained banh mi connoisseur, let us assure you that this sandwich rocks. It’s time for you to open your mind, cast away your doubts, and dive into the pickled vegetables – we promise you’ll never go back to Subway again.

Lucky for you, it’s cheaper and easier than ever to get your hands on banh mi. You can grab them for less than $5 at a number of Vietnamese shops and restaurants all over the state (our personal favorite is Ba-Le Sandwiches). Or, if you’re feeling adventurous, you can make them at home with little effort. This way, you can experiment with different fillings and ratios of meats to vegetables in order to make your own version of the ultimate Vietnamese sandwich.

The first step is finding the ingredients. You can purchase the star players – the baguette and pickled vegetables – from La Tour Bakehouse.  We’ve been making these items for over 20 years, so we’re pretty confident that our versions are really delicious. Our demi-baguette is incredibly crunchy on the outside but moist, soft, and chewy on the inside. Our pickled daikon and carrots are crisp, juicy, and bursting with flavor – they’re guaranteed to wake up your taste buds. As for the rest of the ingredients, just stop by your local supermarket and pick up some meat (cold cuts, chicken, pork – whatever strikes your fancy), cucumbers, and cilantro.

The next step is assembling the sandwich. Don’t worry – it’s as simple and easy as 1, 2, 3.

1. Split open your baguette lengthwise and toast until golden brown.

2. Fill up the bread with a few ounces of meat, a wedge of cucumber, a sprig of cilantro, and a generous pile of pickled vegetables.

3. Customize your sandwich. If you like it a bit saltier, drizzle some shoyu over the top. If you like it hot, add a few slices of jalapeno peppers and a squirt of Sriracha hot sauce.

And just like that, you’ve got yourself banh mi. Take a big bite and bask in the crunchy glory of the bread crust and vegetables and chewy magnificence of the bread dough and meat. The layers and layers of flavor from the pickled daikon and carrot, fresh cucumber, and green cilantro pack a welcome punch. It’s healthy but substantial, simple but sophisticated. What more could you ask for from a sandwich?

Carpe diem! Go out and grab these goodies today and every Tuesday from 7am to 2pm at the Fort Street Mall market .