Baking your own bread in Thailand

Returning to Australia last year meant having an oven for the first time in a long time. This got me inspired to bake some bread and I had a lot of fun experimenting trying to get it just right. The problem with baking your own bread is the time it takes and the mess it makes.

My Mum is an excellent bread baker but I noticed during my most recent trip to New Zealand that she does not bake in the oven anymore but uses a bread machine.

I used it once and was surprised how easy it was and it got me thinking about buying one and taking it to my house in Thailand as I have no intention of ever putting an oven into my kitchen there.

Relaxing in New Zealand during this time allowed me the time to catch up on some interesting blogs that I follow from people living in Thailand. One of them is called Beyond the mango juice and one of his recent entries was all about eating western food in a Thai village. He wrote about using a bread machine to bake your own bread so I left a comment asking about the possibility of buying a bread machine in Thailand rather then lugging one all the way from New Zealand. He did some searching for me and came across a website I had never seen before.

It was with some trepidation that I clicked on the link as Thailand does not have an online shopping culture and this is reflected by either the complete lack of shopping websites, or if you do find one, they are very poor quality and in a completely non user friendly format. A lot of companies do have websites which show their products but to buy them you have to go and visit their premises or if you are lucky fax (yes fax!) in all your details and then organise a bank transfer. Using a credit card is still quite rare and then only with face to face transactions.

The website recommended was for a company called. Verasu. I was blown away! It was just like you would expect in Australia although this was even more user friendly! No more then five minutes later I had purchased a bread machine and organised delivery to the village. No emails, no phone calls, no forms to sign just in and out the way it should be. They have a lot of great looking products for sale and I know for sure that I will be using them again and again.

The brand I bought was a Severin and it cost 5,900 baht ($190) for the machine and 200 baht ($6.50) for the delivery.

When we arrived in the village it was handed over to me by my sister in law with an excited look in her eye. She had just visited us a few months previously in Australia and had quickly become addicted to my bread with lashings of butter and jam and had already figured out what this new machine was meant to do.

So, to the whole point of this blog entry…. making your own bread in Thailand! For a basic loaf it is oh so simple. Just follow a basic recipe like this.

After adding your water, you need to add your flour. Make sure you use bread flour and not the all purpose flour that you see in many small shops in local villages. If you live in the boondocks like I do, you may have to stock up on some flour when in the big smoke. I bought mine at Tesco in Ubon Ratchathani and then some more later at Tesco in Det Udom.

My Mum adds a little sugar to her bread but my recipe said to use honey so I tried that and was happy with the result. I would have much preferred to use some local Thai bush honey but there is currently none available in the village.

Then add a splash of oil. Don’t use the cheap stuff, spend a little more and get some decent olive oil.

I liked to add some rolled oats for a little extra oomph and texture. I bought these from Tesco as well.

Of course you cannot forget the yeast. I bought this at Macro but am sure it could be found at Tesco or Big C as well.

Once all the ingredients are in, simply turn the machine on, chose the right settings and walk away.

Three hours later and your bread is ready.

This is a loaf I did with with oats.

This is another loaf finished without any oats.

This cut loaf is the one with oats in it.

Of course you can mix and match all your ingredients and make a wide variety of different bread. Wheat and rye bread, onion bread, raisin bread, French bread, oat flake bran bread etc etc. It is also great for getting your pizza dough ready.

Yummy, healthier (then a lot of store bread) and fresh! Your house will never smell so good! I roughly worked out that for a large 1 kg loaf of bread the cost of the ingredients comes to around 30 baht ($1).

A reader asked where to buy flour, especially whole wheat, in Ubon so I have attached a map below showing where Peppers buy their flour from.


View Bakery Shop in a larger map

52 responses to “Baking your own bread in Thailand

  1. Yum – I have taught you well!!

  2. Your pictures and ease of use has inspired me.

    Thanks for this lovely post !

    • Hi Joe,

      If you live a long way away from decent fresh bread then go for it! Thanks for taking the time to leave a message.

  3. Nice pictures, but I don’t understand you say that a 1 kilo loaf of bread cost 30B. Is that the bread loaf in your picture? There isn’t anything to reference the size by, but it doesn’t seem very large to me – about half the size of a normal size Farmhouse bread – which is only 500g.

    I guess it needs to be eaten same day right? I would think without all the conservatives they put in the commercial bread it doesn’t stay fresh very long?

    If the loafs the machine makes are small enough that you can make a fresh loaf every day, that’s of course no problem, but if it’s a 1 kilo loaf, that’d last us 3-4 days by which time I don’t expect it to be eatable anymore?

    • Hi Phil,

      Good questions. Yes, the loaf in the photo is a 1kg loaf. It has 600 gms on flour, 350 ml of water and all the other little bits and pieces. It also has settings for a 750gm and 500gm loaves. You are correct in assuming that if you want to eat fresh feeling bread you need to eat it in the first 24 hours. After that it is better to toast it. Sounds to be like a 500 gm loaf would be more your style.

  4. Andrew the bread looks fantastic, in fact it looks good enough to eat! It really does look a professional bakery loaf. And I’m glad your card transaction with Verasu went sweet as a nut.

    Happy eating and thanks for the link love.

    • Thanks Martyn, surprise surprise it even tasted pretty good! I need to tweak a few things to get it better but slowly slowly I will get there! I was so surprised with Verasu – they were fantastic. Normally it is my wife I have to keep away from the online shopping but I can see this role will be reversed when it comes to that website!!

  5. A cooking blog – who would’a thought!

  6. mmm… yep you make good bread, I know that first hand! Yum!

  7. Got one! Great invention, Great bread. Yes, putting in the water is
    important! Better texture! lol

    • Yes, water for some reason is quite important. Who would have thought it! Thai recipes? One would have to know how to cook good Thai food before doing that but……. I was thinking that when we get back to Australia that I might annoy my wife in the kitchen with a camera and publish some easy to follow recipes to some good traditional Thai food.

  8. Yes, How about some Thai recipes?

  9. Barring the 6000 baht bread machine purchase, one of the many No-Knead bread recipes and an OTTO convection oven works fine. I buy the bread flour and whole wheat flour from the local pastry supply wholesaler. I do not have a kitchen — just a few small electrical appliances all bought in Thailand.

    I also like Verasu — I have bought both the Severin yogurt maker and air popcorn popper from them.

    • Hi jazzbo, never heard of a no knead bread recipe! When I bake my own from scratch I love the kneading part. A cheaper version of a punching bag with the same results!

  10. Well kneading is great when you have the space — I have a one room apartment with no kitchen and no real work area … what I miss is fresh pasta making but as with the bread I would essentially be making it in my bedroom.

    This is one of the recipes I use as a guide: http://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/2011/06/better-no-knead-bread-recipe.html

    • One room apartment with no kitchen? Now I fully understand!! I have never made pasta from scratch, is it easy enough? Will try one of these days for sure. Thanks for the recipe – will have a look now.

  11. BTW without starting or looking for a topic this was my non-golfer’s post from my pre-banishment from ThV days:

    http://www.thaivisa.com/forum/topic/394045-a-golfers-final-resting-place/

  12. My brother suggested I might like this web site. He was totally right.
    This post truly made my day. You can not imagine simply how much time I
    had spent for this information! Thanks!

    • The best thing is that just last night I noticed that their bread machine on that website is on sale for 4,000 baht. That is a real bargain!

  13. Pingback: Roasting potatoes in your bread maker | Family life in rural Thailand & Australia

  14. I heard that bread machines are now available for 3,000 baht in Ubon. I tasted a slice from the machine the other day and it was good. I hope to get one soon. So… You mention buying flour at one of the supermarkets. What size bags would they be? Do they have wholewheat flour? Where did you buy your flour when running Peppers… isn’t there somewhere in Ubon that sells flour (and other ingredients) in large packs for the baking/catering trade?

    • Hi Junglebiker – that is great news about bread machines being available in Ubon and for such a low price. Where did you see them? At the new central or somewhere else? The flour that I was buying from Tesco was just simple white bread flour in 1kg bags for around (I think) 60 baht each. They seem to be available in some of the smaller Tesco stores as well such as Det Udon. I started mixing whole wheat flour recently with the white which I got from John the new owner at Peppers. I did this because I only wanted a small amount to experiment and did not want to buy a big bag which would go to waste as I was only in Ubon for 3 months.
      After posting this comment I will try and upload a google maps to the blog entry showing the shop where we used to buy our flour from and where I know you will be able to buy what you need. Happy Baking! P.S did you see my post about roasting potatoes in the bread machine?

      • I forgot to say that no I didn’t see your post about roasting (or baking?) potatoes in the bread machine. I’ll look it up now.

  15. The machine I saw was belonging to “Mr Coffee” in Paksong. He said he got it for 3,000 baht in “the new shopping mall” in Ubon. Would that be the new Central I wonder – is it open already? By the way, I noticed that his loaf was more squarish than the one you show above.

  16. Yes Central has been open for 6 weeks now so I am assuming that is the place he means. I have uploaded the map I mentioned. The shop doesn’t look like much – more of a place that sells plastic cups, bags and straws etc. They are loan sharks as well! I am 90% sure I got the right position but if not then it is one block west of my marker. I am assuming that he did not use as much yeast as me if his bread was a lot flatter.

  17. Well I finally bought a bread machine yesterday – cost 2,990 baht – made by Cuizimate. It was the only brand/model being sold by Robinson’s at Central Plaza, Ubon. Haven’t used it yet. I did buy my flour, yeast, etc, at the shop you mapped above (I found it easily). But I was disappointed to open the manual this morning and see that the bread recipes include “improver”…?? I just looked up “improver” here: http://www.kitchenfoods.co.uk/gbu0-display/whatisbreadimprover.html So anyhow, I’m not going to drive 200km back to Ubon to look for improver, so I guess at least my first loaf will be made without the improver, so according to the link above it will turn out like a brick…!? The flour shop didn’t sell the wholewheat flour in big bags so I bought a 22.5 kg bag of white flour and some 1-kilogram bags of wholewheat. The shop owner said you have to mix the wholewheat with white flour – cannot use 100%. It was surprised by that and sure enough in the manual there is a recipe for wholewheat bread that uses just wholewheat flour without any white flour. So she obviously doesn’t know how to make bread. She offered me two choices of white flour – one was 400+ baht per bag, the other 500+ per bag. I decided that the more expensive one would be better quality (…?). She said the bread would be “noom” (I think that is “soft”) and I don’t really like the Thai-style soft bread without much “bite”. So then I asked what word would she use to describe bread made from the cheaper flour? She said “yaap” (I think that is the word used to describe tough meat). So then I thought perhaps I would actually prefer bread made from the cheaper flour. I told her I liked bread that was a bit chewy (“neeo”). She said the higher priced flour would produce bread that was “noom” and “neeo”.. ermmm… I’m not sure if she was talking BS or not. Anyway, I guess there is only one way to really find the truth about these things and that is to follow Nike’s advice and “just do it”… and learn as I go along. Another ingredient you didn’t use but which is included in all the recipes in the manual is milk powder – but I do have some of that in hand. By the way, I know now why the bread I saw earlier from this model of machine looked squarer than yours – the loaf is taller than it is long/wide – so I reckon Mr Coffee had laid his loaf on its side and had already cut off and eaten the upper rounder part (I never saw the whole loaf). I read elsewhere that this design of “inner barrel” helps solve the problem of ingredients being left in the corners and not being properly mixed into the dough. Sorry for the log post!

  18. Hi Jungle Biker, so glad you got your machine and found the baker shop without any trouble. Bread Improver is a bit of a Thai thing in my opinion and I have never used it or never needed it so I am sure your first loaf without it will come out fine. With regards to using just whole wheat flower I have found that it is better to mix it with some white flower otherwise it is way to heavy for my liking. I usually go about a 50 50 mix.
    By now I hope you have whipped up your first loaf and would love to hear how it went.

    • Yes I made my first loaf a couple of days ago. I don’t think I was worse off for not using improver. Perhaps that is the stuff that makes Thai bread soft and spongy and not as chewy as I like. I went for the larger size of loaf and it swelled up to contact with the window in the lid and then it sank a little in the top centre. No big deal, just a small piece was “spoiled”. Perhaps the recipe measurements were a bit off or I was a bit off. I think next time I’ll go for the medium sized loaf and add some of the wholewheat flour, oats, sunflower seeds, etc. But the first loaf tasted fine so no complaints.
      Just one comment about the machine I bought. When I opened the box and took out the bag of measuring cups, etc from the inner barrel, I noticed a couple of silver specks on the bottom of the barrel. I tried to scratch them off with my finger nail only to realise that it wasn’t specks of something in the barrel but it was a couple of points where the teflon coating had been damaged and was exposing the metal. My fingernail scratched off a tiny bit more of the teflon coating. These were just very small bits of damage and they didn’t effect the removal of the loaf – it came out off the barrel okay – but it indicated to me that the quality of the teflon coating is substandard. Consequently, if I were buying again, I’d go for a more expensive, better quality machine. I can’t find the brand Cuizimate on the web. The manual is in Thai and poor English. No web site address is mentioned in the manual. It does have a 2 year guarantee. Perhaps it is made in China (or Thailand) and Cuizimate may be Robinson’s own brand. I noticed there were a lot more electrical goods with the Cuizimate brand being sold alongside (e.g blenders, coffee makers, etc).

  19. Not worse off not using the improver – much better off if you ask me! No additives that way. You are correct in that it is meant to make the bread softer and fluffier but I believe it also makes it last longer. You will find that the bread you are making is only good fresh the first day and then for toast on the 2nd day.
    A real shame about the teflon already being scratched. That could cause you problems later on getting the bread out afterwards if it gets any worse. Remember – no knives!!
    Enjoy your experimenting and next time I visit I expect a delicious morning tea of fresh bread and a hot cuppa!

  20. Cuizimate is Robinson’s own home brand made and serviced by Nesco Thailand (http://www.nescoproduct.com). I am thinking of getting one so any update on the quality of bread it bakes would be appreciated.

    • Hi JIB, hopefully Jungle biker will get back to us all with an update!

    • Yes i have now baked quite a few loaves and find the device works very well. Also I’d like to mention that what I originally thought was a small defect in the Teflon coating seems to no longer exist – not sure if my eyes had deceived me or what.

  21. @Junglebiker – Thank you for the info. I am baking my first loaf now; a cheddar cheese bread. Does your machine make a lot of noise during the second kneading after the first rest? I have some noise that sounds like noisy gears. Hopefully, not a problem but it does have a two year warranty and I know where the service center is located. Also, my pan had lots of white spots like you mentioned but they all washed off when I washed the pan before use. Bread is rising nicely. Hopefully it will bake nicely also. I bought bread flour and instant rise yeast at my local Makro store.

    Bread

    Bread 2

  22. Dear Junglebiker and JIB

    We are the representative of Cuizimate brand ( Robinson’s house brand),
    which we provide innovative designed products to make your meal easier and modernize your life style.
    First of all, we would like to thank you for being our customers.
    Please be informed that your valued comments are very important for our products and brand’s development.

    For the problem of non-stick coating scratch, please accept our apology for it and we would like to know is this problem still existing?
    If so, please send me the picture so that we can find the solution with our manufacturer.

    In case, there are any problems occur in the future, please do not hesitate to inform us because our first priority is the QUALITY of the products and customer’s satisfaction.
    Here is our email address : Homedifferen@robinson.co.th

    Thank you again and hopefully we can serve you next time.

    Best Regards,
    Cuizimate Team

    • Hi Cuizimate team – I am gobsmacked! I think this is the first time I have ever seen this level of customer service! Well done! I hope that Junglebiker and JIB will make contact with you soon.

      • As I mentioned above on 22 August, I don’t have any scratches in the teflon surface. Replying to JIB’s question of 25 August – no I don’t hear any strange noises during the kneading process. I am very satisfied with the Cuizimate breadmaker.

    • @Cuizimate Team – Your service center scratched my baking pan in many places replacing a seized shaft. The service was fast (I brought it into your shop and it took about one hour) but I am not happy about the service tech scratching up the inside of the pan. They said to get it replaced I would have to send it in again. I think you should just send me an entire new baking assembly with shaft and blade to promote good customer service.

  23. Dear JIB

    We are really sorry for that. In order to find the solution for you, kindly send me the picture of your baking pan and please advise me which store that you bought the breadmaker from?
    After got the detail and picture, we will discuss with our manufacturer and get back to you with the solution.

    Best regards,
    Cuizimate Team

  24. @Cuizimate team – The scratches are numerous, but small. Very hard to photograph. I will email you directly and hopefully you can simply send me a new baking pan assembly. That is what a company in a Western country would do.

  25. Dear JIB,

    We already asked the service center to send you a new baking pan which it was delivered to you on Tuesday.
    Moreover, here is the maintenance for the baking pan.
    First of all, please follow the cleaning instruction in the manual and kindly revolve the steel spindle which located at the bottom of the pan during cleaning process in order to avoid bread crumb stuck at the pan’s bottom. After finished the cleaning, please capsize the baking pan until it completely dry.
    Hope you enjoy with the Cuizimate breadmaker!

    Best Regards,
    Cuizimate Team

  26. Dear sir,

    I would like to check when the new stock for the bread maker will be arriving at robinson central plaza param 9? I have been asking the promoter over there but she says she has no idea. Pls advise me, thanks.

  27. @Suzanne. Any luck on buying your machine yet? You can call Nesco Thailand, the supplier of Cuizimate appliances to Robinson stores, and ask them where there is stock remaining. Their phone is 02-363-7757. You can also check with Robinson Sukhumvit (not far from the Rama 9 locations) or Robinson Chaeron Krung.

  28. JIB,

    Very good customer service.They arrange the bm for me and to pickup from the branch i want…Thanks 😉

    • So exciting to read stories like that in a country like Thailand! When i start my next business in the Land of Smiles I am going to try and pinch this person called ‘Cuizimate Team’!

  29. I live in a tiny village in Surin, I had just about given up on good bread outside of BKK and Pattaya. So I was over the moon to read about your Breadmaker. The website link was great, easy to use. I have just ordered one and shall be waiting for the postman in his delivery Buffalo every day. Thanks a million mate.

    • Hi Steve Grace (nice name by the way – a great Australian country music signer shares the same!)
      I really want to say thank you for your message. Many people read this blog but only some leave comments. Of those, many have an axe to grind so it is always refreshing to receive such positive feed back. Please let me know how you get on once the machine arrives and make sure you give the buffalo a scratch behind the ear!

      • Thanks for the reply. I didnt know about my namesake country singer in Oz, But I do have distant relatives north of Kalgoorlie, and also in Christchurch NZ.
        I am for Manchester in the UK and came to Thailand to research a great uncle who died as a prisoner of war building the Thai Burma railway and is buried in Kanchanaburi.

        Re the bread machine, It came in less than 3 days, although I went into Surin to collect it from the delivery guy as our village is not on a map….. Great service, good packaging, and it is making a basic loaf as I type this.
        Just one thing, I take it I just halve a large bread recipe when using the 2 500 gram tins?
        Cheers.

        PS The buffalo looked bad tempered so I just waved from a distance.
        Steve

  30. North of Kalgoorlie? Most isolated part of the world!! Are you writing a book about your great Uncle? Would make for fascinating reading. I have traveled to the Thai Burma railway many times and it always impresses me what those blokes did back then. Amazing stuff.
    Yes, just half the recipe no problems. Don;t forget to try some baked spuds in it as well – just keep them away from the buffalo.

    • Sadly I know too little about my uncles upbringing before the war, and although I have spoken to his best friend in the regiment In Kanchanaburi I only really know he fell ill due to lack of vitamins and died through neglect by the Japanese. I go there at least once a year usually ANZAC day to visit.

      I shall give the spuds a go, However instead of my lovely breadmaker saving me money, I went to Robinsons and bought a Cuizimate 70 litre oven.
      This was because after I mentioned making my own bread to a few pals here, there suddenly arose a great need for Pita bread, Naan bread, hot dog roll and burger buns!!! You never know they may eventually pay for themselves…..
      At least i can huddle around the oven these cool mornings to keep warm.
      Have a good day pal
      Steve

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