If the Philippines had a national bread, it would be pandesal. What is pandesal exactly?
It is a bun characterized by the coating of fine bread crumbs. Despite its name (pan de sal is Spanish for salt bread), pandesal is sweet. Next to rice, it’s everyone’s favorite breakfast.
For residents of the Philippines, there’s always easy access to pandesal anytime of the day. Even in the dead of night, in fact, as there are bakeries that are open 24 hours a day.
But for many Filipinos who have migrated elsewhere, the craving for pandesal is hard to satisfy because it is not a staple in bakeries abroad. The most logical solution, of course, is to bake pandesal at home.
It’s a daunting project for many but, take it from someone who knew next to nothing about baking until a couple of years ago, it’s not that hard. As with anything else, it takes practice but pandesal is not something delicate like souffle so perfecting the art of pandesal baking can be more easily learned.
- stand mixer
- Whisk the flour, sugar, salt and yeast in the mixer bowl.
- Make a well at the center and pour in the water and oil.
- With the speed on LOW, start kneading until the mixture is no longer wet, about one minute.
- Turn up the speed to MEDIUM-LOW (speed #3 on Kitchenaid) and continue kneading until the dough forms into a ball and leaves the sides of the bowl, about ten to 15 minutes.
- Brush the inside of a bowl with oil and dump the dough in it, rolling the dough around to coat the entire surface with oil.
- Cover the bowl with cling film and leave to rise until double in volume, about an hour.
- Preheat the oven to 350F.
- Sprinkle flour on your work surface and dump in the dough. Flatten with your fingers and sprinkle the top with more flour.
- Flatten the dough to half an inch thick and roll into a log.
- Cut the log into 16 equal portions.
- Roll each portion in bread crumbs.
- Arrange the dough, cut side up, at least an inch apart on a baking tray and leave to rise for ten minutes.
- Bake at 350F for 25 to 30 minutes or until nicely browned and lightly crisp.
- Serve your pandesal while hot.