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Paan Paan: Bread like you’ve never seen it before!

By David Ebert

If you ever happen to go down Lorenz Road off Duplication Road you’d probably stumble across a quaint speciality bread shop and bakery with quite the logical name Paan Paan. It makes even more sense when you realise that Paan Paan is what happens when two individuals who share a passion for fresh and perfectly baked bread get together to make their shared dream a reality.

Paan Paan recently opened its newest outlet located at the corner of Alfred House Place and Queens Road and that’s where I went to meet the two people behind the dream; Paan Paan Managing Director Abuu Yusoof and Chef and Bakery Specialist Jagath Wijesinghe.

 

The new outlet serves a massive range of Paan Paan’s exotic speciality breads, savouries and sweets (104 in total) and also includes a sandwich bar with a quick and easy order form that customers can use to completely customise their sandwich orders according to preference.

 

Paan Paan Managing Director Abuu Yusoof’s explanation for getting in to the bakery business is simple: “I just love bread. For me it is simply the joy of making good bread. I love the satisfying aroma of good quality bread being baked in the oven just like it should be done.” Yusoof explained that the idea first came to him while he was involved in the bakery ingredients business which was where he met Wijesinghe and the idea was spawned.

 

Yusoof explained: “We have a massive range of the healthiest breads people can have today. We use original ingredients at all times like for example our health bread range which includes a multi-seed bread which is our prime product. It contains ingredients such as pumpkin seeds, linseed, sunflower seeds along with wheat bran, rye and oat flakes. It has a low glycaemic index and hence is ideal for people who need to watch their sugar intakes. They are ingredients that we have to import from countries such as Malaysia and Singapore but that is how we want to make our bread so we will not compromise on quality in any way.”

 

The health bread range also includes brown bread, whole meal bread and the slightly sweet purple corn bread, made from the exotic African purple corn.

 

Paan Paan also offers a range of vitamin enriched white breads as well, including the very much Sri Lankan ‘kadey paan’ and sandwich bread along with the very delicious looking country herb bread, fresh French baguettes and bloomer soft bread. They also have a range called ‘breads from around the world’ which you would be interested in if you’re in the mood for an Italian ciabatta or foccacia, or maybe a Spanish bartusa or a German dark rye bread.

 

Paan Paan’s Chef and Bakery Specialist Jagath Wijesinghe is a 30-year veteran of the hospitality trade, having had stints as a pastry chef both in Sri Lanka and abroad and with 20 of those years spent in five-star hotels. Wijesinghe is credited with creating the entire range and holds firm beliefs in strict quality control for maintaining the authenticity of the ingredients and the process.

“We follow the exact same original methods used in making our bread. It is only when you follow the proper process of mixing, timing and fermentation without any shortcuts that you will end up with bread that is as it is supposed to be.

 

“We had to adapt most of the recipes to suit a Sri Lankan palate by adding slightly more spices, etc. We did a lot of taste tests and experimenting to come up with our sandwich range and through this we have developed a whole range of in-house sauces that we use in our sandwiches such as the honey mayonnaise and rosemary mustard which have been extremely successful when combined with the right filling and most importantly the right kind of bread.”

 

Paan Paan plans to open up new outlets all over the greater Colombo area and the suburbs with a desire to get people to try out a welcome difference in quality bread making and a hard to choose from range to boot.