Wu Pao Chun is a bakery in Taiwan that is famous because Wu Pao–chun is a Taiwanese baker famous for winning in the bread category of the 2010 Bakery Masters competition held in Paris
As such, he opened two bakeries in Taiwan to share his bread with the rest of the country. There is one outlet in Taipei and the other is in Kaohsiung.
I went to the one in Taipei because that’s where I was living at the time. The bakery is located inside Eslite bookstore on the lower level. When you walk by you can already smell the wafts of freshly baked bread.
If there isn’t a line outside the bakery already, it’s your lucky day.
Once you’re inside you’ll be greeted with more bread options than you can imagine. In the back they have their famous red wine and longan bread. It’s quite pricy at $200NT ($8 CAD) a loaf but it’s worth it!
Their second most popular item is their baguette. It’s long and narrow and perfect for bruchetta.
They also have fresh garlic cheese naan bread!
In addition to their more traditional styled loaves, they also offer creative flavors with Japanese influence.
These are buns with mochi inside!
And these ones have sweet potato and roasted chestnut.
They also come up with new bread flavors every so often. This was their latest creation, the lychee rose loaf. I can only imagine how fragrant the loaf would be.
If you’re a fan of more English offerings, they have scones too. I wouldn’t say they’re a specialty of the bakery but if you have a scone craving you can definitely pick some up while you’re there. They also offer it in matcha white chocolate flavor.
The bakery works like most bakeries in Asia. It’s self serve so you need to pick up a bread tray and tongs when you come into the bakery. Then you just choose the ones you want and pop them on your tray.
At the checkout they will wrap all the buns up for you and even include a pamphlet with heating instructions so you do it right when you get home.
I decided to pick up a few loaves and this is what I thought of each of them.
The baguette wasn’t like any of the baguettes I’ve had in the past. It wasn’t as crispy and chewy as the ones I can pick up back in Vancouver but it could of been due to humidity and the fact that I didn’t reheat it in the oven.
It did however, have great structure on the inside and a nice golden crust.
Next I decided to try the salty Q bread.
I thought it would be chewy and glutinous as indicated by the “Q” but it wasn’t. It actually reminded me of a ciabatta roll and was a bit disappointing to be honest-.
But no worries it wasn’t all disappointment because I loved the pumpkin bread. Yes…they like to put kabocha squash in bread and I like it so much better than the pumpkin you’d find in pie.
You’d expect the bun to be quite wet on the inside since mashed squash can hold moisture but it wasn’t like that at all. It held up well and it was as though you were having a mashed kabocha sandwich. Great!
And last but not least, I had to get the famous red wine and longan loaf. I had to bite my tongue to get this one because it was so pricy. But, it was worth the purchase.
Not only was it filled with lots of pieces of dried logan, but it also had walnuts that added texture to the loaf. The red wine almost heightens the yeast flavors within the loaf and adds a depth of flavor that can’t be achieved with simply using water in the dough. It was truly brilliant.
I actually bought some dried longan the other day so I’m going to try to replicate it at home. I will have to let you all know how it goes but I hope it works out because I am having a craving for it just talking about it!