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)
1. Bread flour vs Plain flourBread flour (~12-14%) has more protein or gluten content than plain flour (~8-11%). The more gluten the flour has the more gas bubbles the dough can produce during the kneading process. If you are using plain flour, you will have to knead longer to achieve sufficient gluten development or for the dough to pass the "windowpane test". In this recipe application, either of the flour will result to the same looking bread as long as you have kneaded it enough, but the pandesal made out of bread flour will give you a bit of a bite or chewiness. My family prefers chewy pandesal bread hence I often use bread flour for this recipe.
2. Active or instant yeastI always use instant yeast in my bread recipes. Aside from it's much available in the shops, it is very convenient to use. But, you can also use active yeast. Just do the necessary proofing (of the active yeast) with half of the milk (warmed or room temperature) from the ingredients before adding it into the mix.
3. Egg RecipeIf you wish to incorporate the egg into this recipe, you can try replacing ½ cup of milk with 1 x large egg. I tried the egg version, it gave the pandesal a yellowish hint of colour and a bit of an eggy taste. But it was still yummy pandesal.
4. Secret to a soft and fluffy Pandesal bread:
4.1 Sufficient KneadingThe suggested times of kneading for this recipe are a guide only. Test your dough's readiness before moulding them. This was one of my mistakes in my amateurish bread-making attempts. I was timing my kneading like a hawk exactly how the recipe called it without assessing the dough itself. But the secret to fluffy pandesal or any bread, in general, is sufficiently kneading it to achieve the desired consistency of the dough (see windowpane test and the poke test). Kneading is the hard work of making bread but it could be relaxing at the same time if done in a reasonable length of time. However, I would suggest if you have a stand mixer, USE IT. If you don’t have one yet and you are happily fascinated by your newfound love of bread making, then please invest in a good stand mixer. I've been using my KitchenAid mixer for like 7 years now and it still is in great working condition.
4.2 Well hydrationBread hydration rate or Baker's Percentage is calculated by the weight of the liquid divided by the weight of the flour multiply by 100. Theoretically speaking, the more liquid you get to your dough the better the bread, giving it more softness and fluffiness texture. Most standard bread has an average of around 60% to 65% hydration. This recipe has 71% hydration, hence its stickiness. You may wish to decrease the liquid (e.g. milk) of this recipe if you find it very sticky when kneading by hand, see what will work best for you.
4.3 Types of flour usedYou can use any type of flour for this recipe. I have tried normal plain flour, wholemeal flour and bread flour (e.g. Crusty White Bread Mix and Barossa Sour Dough Rye Bread Mix) using this easy 5-step pandesal recipe. To me, bread flour provides a fluffier and chewy texture that we like better in bread. See note no.1.
5. Room TemperatureIf you live in a place where room temperature is tricky during the cold season especially winter, you can let the dough rise inside your oven. Pre-heat the oven to the lowest setting (about 50degC) and switch the heat off once the dough is inside the oven for proofing.
6. Serving SuggestionsYou can eat it on its own or have it with your favourite cheese or spread (butter, peanut butter, jams, liver spread, condensed milk, powdered milk, or anything you desire).
7. Bread Roll or Dinner RollYou can exactly use this simple pandesal recipe to make bread rolls or dinner rolls. Instead of coating the dough balls with bread crumbs, you can just brush the top of the risen dough balls with egg wash (1 egg + 1 tbsp milk or water) before baking.
8. StorageYou can keep them in an airtight container for 3-4 days or in the fridge for up to 7 days or in a re-sealable bag in the freezer for up to 3 months. Just reheat them in the oven when ready to be eaten.
Have you tried this recipe?I would love to hear your thoughts. Please leave a comment below. You can also tag us on Instagram @inspired_kusinaann, we would like to see your yummy pandesal creations.
Download the 5 Easy-P-easy Steps Pandesal Recipe Guide here: