Long hours of tedious labour and wait….
And a short-lived softness of freshly baked bread…
These are my typical nightmares in bread making.
Now a thing of the past with this tried and tested easy pandesal recipe.
I consider “Pandesal” as the most popular bread from all walks of life in my home country, the Philippines.
It is, no doubt, my favourite Filipino bread.
WHAT IS PANDESAL?
Pandesal is a Spanish word translated as salt bread. The Filipino Pandesal, which is the evolution of the olden salty Spanish Pandesal, has more of a lightly sweet taste than salty flavour to it.
If you have not heard of or tasted this bread, it is a type of bread roll coated with fine bread crumbs.
When you are in the Philippines, there is no need for you to make your own since these lovely bread rolls are abundantly available (mainly in the mornings) from every panaderia (bakery) next door.
HOW TO ENJOY PANDESAL?
It is the perfect breakfast or snack accompaniment to your favourite hot coffee or tea.
I love eating mine warm with a big slice of soft “Eden” cheese and I also enjoy dunking it into hot coffee or Milo drink as long as it does not get too soggy.
These delish fist-sized carbs can be enjoyed with any type of fillings – bacon, egg, hotdog, peanut butter, jams, or just with plain butter.
VARIETY OF PANDESAL
I only knew the plain simple pandesal back in the days. However, nowadays, a lot of pandesal lovers are getting more and more creative by adding interesting flavours to it.
They can come in ube or purple yam, chocolate, strawberry, blueberry, caramel, and matcha flavours to name a few.
The luscious flavoured fillings are ready to ooze out as you bite the bread.
How good is that? Just pure yum…
They can also be fortified by adding moringa dried leaves which is a popular healthy version of this bread.
I will experiment with those flavoured pandesals when my baking smock is ready to tackle that path.
I got inspired to experiment with the perfect pandesal recipe because my family loves good homemade bread.
The lingering fragrant smell of freshly baked bread straight out of the oven is what I am always looking forward every time I bake them.
I remember in our earlier years here in Australia, I have tried making pandesal so many times and they would always come out soft from the oven but will turn rock-hard after a few hours.
Imagine that feeling after laborious bouts of kneading.
I almost gave up and resorted to just buying prepacked pandesal from Filipino shops.
But, I did not stop.
I love the thought of freshly made bread which I can serve the family any time of the day. That is why I earnestly tried and experimented with different pandesal recipes until I finally made the one right for my own and my family’s taste buds.
5-Easy-P-easy-Step Soft Pandesal Recipe
- Stand Mixer
- 600 g bread flour or all-purpose flour approximately 4 and 1/2 cups
- 2 tsp instant yeast
- ⅓ cup sugar
- 1 ½ tsp salt
- 1 ¾ cup lukewarm milk
- 3 tbsp soft butter or margarine
- ¼ cup bread crumbs
the doughIn a large mixer bowl, pour dry dough ingredients and mix.Using a stand mixer with a dough hook running at slow speed, gradually add the wet ingredients – milk and butter.Knead the dough using stand mixer (in #2 speed) for 15mins or more. NOTE: If you wish to knead it by hand using this 5-step recipe, you may do so. However, kneading it by hand may potentially double your time of kneading as the mixture is more on the wet side. So, get those muscles ready!!!
- POKE OR PANE test (Important Step)Just after sufficient kneading (see Note 3.1), you can test the dough if it successfully passed either the:Window Pane Test - stretch a thin layer of the dough which you can see through without tearing.Poke test – poke the dough, if it springs back quickly and the indent disappears, it needs more proofing; if it springs back slowly and leaves a bit of indent, the dough is ready.The dough will be very sticky at first so please resist adding more flour if you are kneading by hand.If it still hasn't passed either of the above tests, you can continue kneading a bit more and re-test.
- PORTION the doughOnce the dough passed the readiness test, portion the dough into 20 equal pieces or to your desired size. You can either eyeball it or use a weighing scale for even baking results. Each of the dough balls in this recipe approximately weighs 55-60g.Roll each piece into a ball by tucking in the edges towards the bottom of the dough and placing the tucked part of the ball on a work surface and gently moving the balls (without squeezing them) in a clockwise motion until they are shaped into smooth round balls. Coat the balls with breadcrumbs and arrange them in a lined 10 x 15inches or larger baking tray. Make sure to position the smoothened part of the dough at the top and the tucked part at the bottom - this will ensure your bread will rise better than flat. Ensure to have gaps in between and cover it with a towel or plastic wrap.
- PROOF the doughLet the formed dough balls rise for about 1 hour or until the dough balls doubled in size at room temperature. (See Note 4)
- PUT in the preheated ovenRemove the towel or the plastic wrap and bake in the middle rack of the oven for 15-20mins in 180degC or 356degF preheated oven or until the tops are golden brown.
- Remove from the oven and enjoy them while they are still hot! (See Note 5)