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By Angelica Vidal
September 20, 2020
Growing up as a Filipino-Canadian with no bakers in the house, Pandesal was bought from our local grocery stores and was just some just some typical component of breakfast food for me. It was nothing special even though my dad would always tell me how magical these little bread rolls can be back in the Philippines. But when my parents brought me to the Philippines for the first time in 2012, I finally learned what he meant. My first experience with freshly baked Pandesal from a local bakery in my mom's town (Enteng's Pandesal in Pulilan, Bulacan) is something I'll never forget and from that day forward, I learned that Pandesal was not just some typical component of breakfast food, it was something much more than that. During my trip, I got to see the creators behind my unforgettable morning Pandesal and the reflection of their hard work and dedication through each roll. I also was able to see the gathering of people line up together early in the morning in order to get breakfast for their loved ones. From what I witnessed, it seemed that Pandesal was a symbol of dedication and unity to Filipinos and their community, something so special that I never really got to experience here in Canada. But, I am so glad I decided to take on the challenge of creating Pandesal myself because now through each bite, the memory of witnessing the hard work and strength of community amongst Filipinos emerges in my mind and brings a smile as well as a little piece of the Philippines, to my Canadian mornings :)
Now that's my story with Pandesal! How about you? What was Pandesal like for you? If you're also a Filipino-Canadian, did you have similar experiences or did you get to experience the magic of fresh Pandesal like those in the Philippines? Or are you a reader from the Philippines? What is it like going to your local bakery and getting fresh pandesal for breakfast? Are you a non-Filipino reader? First of all, welcome! What has sparked your interest in Pandesal? Send us a message! I'd love to know and I welcome you all :)
Now as a young adult, I have decided to try making Pandesal and learn the art of this little roll of bread's creation. After trial and error, I feel that I have found the perfect ratio of ingredients and technique that yield delicious, insanely soft and authentic Pandesal. The aroma this Pandesal releases when it's just about 10 minutes away from being ready. The lovely look of the Pandesal fresh from the oven with its golden tops and fluffy sides. And how about the soft pillow-like feel of fresh Pandesal as you take your first bite or rip it in half to dip into your coffee? Just spectacular and unforgettable. Now let's dive right into the recipe shall we?
Welcome back to another blog post by Kwentuhan! Today we are going to be sharing a recipe very dear to my heart, the one and only, Pandesal. Pandesal directly translates to salt bread in Spanish, but Filipino's love everything sweet and this delicacy is definitely much more sweet than salty. But before we start, kwentuhan muna tayo (let's chat first) shall we?
Yeast Mixture (for wet mixture):
2 1/4 teaspoon of dry active yeast
2 tsp of sugar (for yeast mixture)
1 1/4 cup of warm whole milk
4 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour
2.5 tsp of sea salt
2 lightly whisked eggs (room temperature)
1/2 cup of granulated sugar
3 tbsp of unsalted butter (melt and add in at room temperature)
breadcrumbs to top
Yield: 24 pieces
Prepare yeast mixture:
1. Measure and warm milk (Not too hot! Should be warm to touch).
2. Add in yeast and sugar. Stir well and let sit for about 5-
10 minutes or until lots of foam forms.
Prepare dry mixture:
3. Sift flour into a large mixing bowl.
4. Add in sea salt.
5. Mix together very well
Prepare wet mixture:
6. Whisk 2 eggs lightly. Eggs should be room temperature (can leave eggs out for a bit before preparing or can warm mixture in microwave for 10 seconds).
7. Measure 3 tbsp of melted butter (should be room temperature).
8. Add yeast mixture, eggs, butter and sugar into a mixing bowl for a stand mixer and mix at low speed.
9. Have stand mixer incorporate wet mixture together. Once everything is incorporated, continue mixing at low speed while slowly adding in dry mixture one cup at a time.
10. Once all of dry mixture has been incorporated, increase speed to medium. Have stand mixer continue to knead until the dough completely comes together and forms a smooth ball that barely sticks to bowl (around 17-20 minutes of mixing).
11. Transfer dough ball to a greased bowl and cover with plastic wrap or cloth (It's okay if it's a little sticky! As long as it formed a uniform ball in the mixer). Let dough rise for 1 hour at room temperature or until it has doubled in size (Temperature is very important! If your kitchen is too cold, it will affect the rising process).
12. Once dough has risen, gently deflate dough and divide it into 24 equal parts. (I like to cut the dough in half, and divide one half into 12 parts. Make sure to set aside the other half and wrap it back in plastic wrap so it wont dry out).
13. Take a section and gently form a ball by tucking in the sides to the back and sealing it with a pinch (This part is quite difficult to explain but I have this technique filmed in our youtube video! I've provided the video below so you can see how I do that! This technique will ensure the Pandesal has smooth tops and is fluffy due to minimal kneading). Do not over work the dough and try to keep it light and fluffy.
14. After preparing each ball, dip the tops into bread crumbs and place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicone mat (my personal fave).
15. Cover baking sheets with towel or plastic wrap and let dough sit for 25 minutes. Preheat oven to 350F.
16. After 25 minutes, bake for 20-25 minutes or until tops are golden brown!
And there you have it! Delicious, fluffy, and irresistible Pandesal. Pandesal is absolutely delicious eaten fresh but you can also store it an air tight bag for next time! You can pair your Pandesal with absolutely anything! My personal favourite is with peanut butter, goat cheese or pancit canton (instant noodles) with some coffee on the side! Try it out and be creative with the way you serve your pandesal!
Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoy! ♡
See below for the Youtube video: