I woke up this morning and the temperature was a little chilly, the sky was overcast and I was craving for hot Pandesal, a popular Filipino bread roll I remember eating on breakfast or afternoon snacks back in the Philippines.
Looking back, I used to buy hot pandesal at Solomon Bakery, an old Chinese baker’s shop in Tondo (Manila) which was only a block away from the house. At five in the morning, people would start walking from different neighborhoods toward the bakeshop to get their paper pouch bag (or supot) of hot pandesal for the morning meal. When I get there between 6-7am, there would be a long line already. At 8am, the shop was done making hot pandesal. My next chance for a bag would be at 3-4 in the afternoon. Since, Filipinos are not big on bread diet, pandesal is the most common freshly-baked bread roll we consume.
The authentic Filipino pandesal usually doesn’t include egg or milk but only a few simple ingredients: yeast, flour, sugar, butter/oil, salt and water. It is usually served warm with any available spread. I remember pairing them with sautéed sardines, pan-fried Galunggong (hard-tail mackerel or shortfin scad), or sautéed Argentina corned beef…. Wow, this is throwing me down memory lane mouthwatering!
In any bread making process, the challenging part is making the dough rise to double in size. Some people place the dough under the heat of a lamp; others inside a warmed oven while commercial bakeshop usually uses a proofer oven to maintain an ideal temperature for the dough.
I placed my dough inside my oven after I set the dial on warm for 15-minutes. I also propped the oven door by sticking a wooden spoon. To make this recipe good for people who are lactose intolerant, canola or coconut could be used to substitute butter.
Yield: 16 pcs.
* yeast – 2 tsp.
* water – 1 cup (lukewarm)
* sugar – 1 tbsp.
* flour – 3 cups
* sugar – ½ cup
* salt – 2 tsp.
* butter – 2 oz. (4 tbsp)
* breadcrumbs – as needed
1. Preheat oven to 350F.
2. Sprinkle and dissolve yeast in lukewarm water.
3. Add 1 tbsp. sugar and set aside for 5 minutes, then stir gently.
4. In a bowl, mix together flour, sugar, salt and butter.
5. Transfer the yeast water into a bowl.
6. Start adding flour mixture into the yeast water 1 cup at a time. Mix gently after each cup is added.
7. Transfer the dough on a floured surface.
8. Knead the dough by bringing one end toward and fold. Then push with the palm. Keep doing the same stroke for at least 5 minutes or more or until the dough is smooth.
9. Transfer the dough in an oiled bowl and turn to coat the dough with oil.
10. Cover with plastic wrap or damp towel and let it sit in a warm place until the dough doubles in size or at least an hour.
11. When it’s double in size, put the dough back in a floured surface and divide it into two portions.
12. Roll each portion into a log.
13. Cut each log in equal portions and flip the cut portion upward.
14. Roll each cut into breadcrumbs and place in paper-lined baking sheet.
15. Bake the dough at 350F for at least 25 minutes. Serve warm with butter, jam or any spread.
Thank you for reading and happy cooking!