Everytime I eat the one-dollar ice cream sandwiches from the street side vendors along Orchard Road, I feel a tinge of nostalgia. These ice cream sandwiches were a major part of my childhood. As cheesy as it may sound, no artisan ice cream or gelato can bring me the same kind of childlike happiness.
If you’ve been living in Singapore all this while, you would be no stranger to these lovely ice cream sandwiches. Some people like theirs served with the crispy wafer biscuits, while others prefer the fluffy rainbow bread. Either way, the experience is filled with fun… after all, where else can you eat ice cream by the block?
I’m lucky to have an adorable ice-cream uncle who makes rounds around my neighbourhood fortnightly. Every time I hear the familiar ring of the bell, I literally drop whatever I’m doing and run about the house squealing the great news “Ice cream uncle! Ice cream uncle!” You may think I’m weird, but hang on… my equally excited younger sister contributes with similar squeals of excitement, and soon the whole house is filled with a buzz of activity. Our parents can hardly hide their excitement too, as they fumble about for loose change so that we can run out to buy ice cream for everyone. My parents have been enjoying this icy cold treat since they were kids, and now that they have kids, I’m pleased to say that nothing has changed. Yes, this scene repeats itself every time the ice cream uncle turns up.
Well now that I have a loan set of the Panasonic SD-P104 Breadmaker…
Well, what better way than to recreate my family’s happiness than with Homemade Ice-Cream Sandwich Bread? Some people call it Rainbow Bread but its not really rainbow, if you want to be technical, since the bread is only made up of uneven hues of pink and green. I omitted the pink hues in this case, since I wanted to make a Pandan flavored Milk Loaf to pair with the ice-cream.
I honestly can’t wait to use the machine to try out more treats, especially since the breadmaker has 13 different menus available. From french bread, to bread dough and even chocolate! The possibilities are endless.
For me, and I’m sure any homebakers out there, user-friendliness is key. Well, if someone like me (I’m not exactly a tech geek) can operate this breadmachine, you easily can. Now, I don’t want this to sound like an impersonal marketing ad, so I’m going to go on to show you how the machine works and what kind of results it produces. (Of course, everyone is only interested in how easy a product is to use, and how awesome the results are… I’m a consumer too, I know what you are thinking! 😉 )
For my first recipe, I’m starting out with something simpler… A fluffy loaf of Pandan Milk Bread to make the ice-cream sandwich with.
RECIPE: (Made using Panasonic SD-P104 Breadmaker)
250g Bread Flour
2 tbsp Granulated Sugar
70ml Cold Milk (or 1 tbsp milk powder)
1 tsp Instant dry yeast
1/2 tsp Pandan Extract
Few drops of green food colouring (Optional)
1) Install the blade into the bread pan
2) Add in all the ingredients, except for the instant dry yeast
3) Add Instant Dry Yeast into the yeast dispenser
4) Adjust the settings
-Menu: 3 (This is for soft bread)
-Crust: Soft (You could choose medium if you prefer)
-Timer: 4h 20 min from when you started (the time was already set)
(Sigh…Isn’t it wonderful how you can walk off and do all your errands and return a few hours later to a fluffy freshly baked loaf of bread?)
5) Press stop when you hear the BEEP.
6) Let the loaf cool before you remove it from the pan.
WAIT… what?? That’s all?!
Yes, that is all. I was shocked too, since I tried making bread without a bread machine previously, and it took a lot more effort. All the more reason to love Panasonic. Even a tech-noob like me could figure out how to operate it!
Note: Do set the correct time on the bread maker before you start, and also remember to wash the loaf pan!
PRESENTING… THE FINAL PRODUCT!
I chose a light crust, so the loaf isn’t too browned around the sides, just how my family likes it.
After slicing it, I was ecstatic to find a super soft and bouncy interior. It was so fluffy! Not to mention, the smell of freshly baked bread escaping with every slice I cut. Ahh… heaven.
I may not be very good at slicing bread, but I assure you, looks don’t matter in this case. The texture of the bread makes up for everything!
I wish I could invite you all into my house to taste some of the bread, or at the very least get to feel the bread. It is completely different from those store-bought loaves which are loaded with preservatives.
OH hang on, I have one more thing to tell you.
To make things even more interesting, I managed to get my hands on a block of Raspberry Ripple from the cheery old ice cream uncle. $7 for a whole block sure beats an overpriced pint of branded ice cream any day.
Those colours. The pink stands out so brilliantly against the light green pandan bread. Words fail me… it’s so awesome how one can find beauty in such simplicity.
HAPPINESS CAN COME CHEAP You should have seen my family’s faces.
So, what do you say? Why don’t you join me in recreating such simple joys from your childhood for your family today? With a small investment in a bread machine like Panasonic’s, you can get the results with minimal effort. You don’t have to break out into a sweat kneading the dough, just sit back, relax and let the magic unfold. (Gosh, the ice cream sandwiches must be getting to me, I feel so poetic today)
You don’t have to let go of the nostalgic memories from the past, all you have to do is recreate them, and share the experiences with the generations to come!