Pandesal or Pan De Sal is the most popular choice of bread for breakfast here in the Philippines. Almost every bakery you find from the corners of the most quiet streets in barangays to the busiest avenues in cities, there’s no doubt that you will find this bread sitting right in front of you.
And since it’s so popular, it has become the staple substitute for people who try to minimize their intake of rice during the mornings.
So here in this article, we’re going to help you make the most out of your mornings by teaching you this Homemade Pandesal Recipe! There’s nothing more wonderful than to start the day with a fresh and special breakfast made by yourself.
What is Pandesal?
Pandesal–to put it simply–is a bread roll which is soft and slightly hollow on the inside.The word pan de sal is a Spanish word which literally means “salt bread”.
But despite its name, it is actually rather sweet and is also similar to the Mexican bread, bolillo. It’s almost like a tradition to eat pandesal for breakfast and you’ll usually associate it being sold fresh during the early hours of the day.
A lot of Filipino people would say that if the country were to consider a national bread, pandesal would be it.
Although the Filipinos more commonly eat rice for breakfast prior to the Spanish colonization, pandesal became a common replacement for rice as the generations went by. Of course, as mentioned earlier, this is obviously because of the Spanish influence in the country’s history.
It is believed that the use of wheat became popular here in the Philippines because of the need of sacramental bread or ostia in Catholic churches.
Ensaymada is another famous Filipino bread you can try, we also have a recipe for it.
How To Make Pandesal?
Making bread can be quite tricky if it’s your first time, but don’t worry–you’ll get the hang of it in no time. There are two things in particular that you have to keep an eye on when making pandesal.
First is the management of the amount of salt. You have to remember that more salt will result in a more compact bread, in case you want to adjust the saltiness.
Second, is the management of the consistency of the dough. In order to have the perfect pandesal, 3 ½ cups of all-purpose flour and 1 ¼ cup of water is a nice ratio (you can also use 1 cup milk, and ¼ water).
You can combine them slowly to minimize the chances of making an error, and you can adjust accordingly to what you want to achieve.
Here are some tips that can help you on different scenarios while baking:
- Sprinkle some flour if the dough is too wet.
- Sprinkle a little bit of water if your dough is too dry.
- Reduce salt to 1 tsp if you want your pandesal less salty.
- Add 1/2 tbsp sugar if you want your pandesal sweeter.
Notes On Ingredients
The type of flour we use in this recipe is all-purpose flour. Different kinds of flour usually need a different flour-to-water ratio so you have to keep that in mind when choosing what flour you want to use.
A general indicator of this is when the flour has higher protein or gluten content, the more water it requires.
You can also use bread flour but this will result in a more chewy and soft pandesal. You may use equal parts but take note that you may need to adjust the water since it absorbs more liquids
Butter is the preferred choice for this recipe but alternatives like margarine or even vegetable oil would still result in a delicious pandesal.
Pairing and Palaman
The good thing about pandesal is it is really a flexible bread, you can combine it with almost anything. A common pairing you might want to try to make your breakfast more delicious is pandesal and hot coffee. You can also pair it with milk if you want it to be sweeter.
Common palaman you can use with pandesal is peanut butter, or fruit jams (coco jam, strawberry jam), cheese slices or cheese spread. You can also stuff it with hotdogs, spam, corned beef, or eggs. There’s really no limit to what you can pair with pandesal, your imagination is the limit!
For a quick reference about this recipe, see the recipe table below:
Homemade Pandesal Recipe
- Mixer (Optional)
- 3 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 ¼ tsp salt
- 3 tbsp white sugar
- 1 ¼ tbsp instant yeast
- 2 tbsp unsalted butter, softened
- 1 cup milk
- ¼ cup water
- ½ cup bread crumbs
When a using mixer:
- Combine the flour (2 ½ cups only, reserve 1 cup for later), salt, sugar, and yeast in the mixing bowl of your stand mixer.
- In another bowl, combine the milk and water then mix well. Microwave for 60-80 seconds on medium power. (You can also heat using your stove until lukewarm.)
- Add the milk mixture and softened butter to the dry ingredients, mix until combined.
- Attach the dough hook attachment and the mixing bowl to your mixer.
- Turn on mixer on low-medium speed and gradually add-in the remaining 1 cup of flour. Knead the dough for 5 to 8 minutes or until smooth.
For manual kneading:
- Combine the milk and water in a bowl then mix well. Microwave for 60-80 seconds on medium power. (You can also heat using your stove until lukewarm.)
- Combine the flour (all 3 ½ cups), salt, sugar, yeast, butter, and lukewarm milk mixture in a large mixing bowl.
- Mix the ingredients well until it forms a dough.
- Dust the table or a flat surface with flour then knead the dough here for 10 to 15 minutes or until elastic.
- Transfer dough into a greased bowl. Grease hands and shape the dough into a round shape.
- Grease the surface of the dough. Cover with a cling wrap and let it rest for 30 to 40 minutes, until the dough has doubled its size. Do the poke test. If the dent remains, the dough is ready.
- Grease hands and flatten the dough with your knuckles.
- Portion the dough about the size of a golf ball. You will make 12 pieces.
- Grease hands again and shape the dough into round shape
- Coat with bread crumbs.
- Place the pandesal in a baking pan and cover with a cling wrap or moist cheese cloth or katsa.
- Rest again for 45 minutes, until it has doubled in size.
- Preheat the oven at 175 C or 350 F for 10-15 min before your pandesal has finished resting so they are ready to bake when done.
- Bake the pandesal for 17 to 18 minutes. (Tip: If browning too fast at 12 minutes of baking, cover with foil and bake for another 10 to 11 minutes.)
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Residual heat is important in this recipe to have that perfectly done fluffy pandesal. Serve and enjoy!