I believe I’ve mentioned it here already more times than you care to hear but yeah, I am going to say it again: I am not much of a baker. Sure, I am comfortable with pie crusts, even as far as dabbling in a mini eggpie business a couple of years ago. Sure, I’ve had reasonable success with simple and uncomplicated Filipino macaroons, cheese cupcakes and banana pandan bread. BUT! Yeast-raised loaves? No, oh, no. Baking with yeast scares the heck out of me.
Pandesal is THE classic Filipino bread. These salt-bread rolls are widely enjoyed throughout the day, they are almost synonymous to rice in Filipino meals. They are such a part of the Philippine cuisine that to have a Filipino food blog and not have a recipe for pandesal is nothing short of sacrilegious. So today, I faced up to my ignorance. As long as I fear my weakness, I am stronger than when I trust my strength. I sought out to make the best homemade pandesal and found it at Lisa’s Salu-salo. Other than my starting with 1/4 cup less flour (a suggestion I read in the comment thread), adding a bit more salt to suit my taste and baking them straight at 350 F, her recipe was my competent guide in this baking adventure. I have to say, the resulting light brown, crumb-speckled bread buns I pulled blazing hot from my oven were out-of-this world wonderful. As I tore through their crusty shells to make way for soft, spongy centers, I was transported back to memories of my youth, of me sitting on our porch after siesta, enjoying a pandesal messy and dripping with Chez Whiz or Lily’s peanut butter. Delicious moments, indeed.
- ¼ cup warm water
- 1 (1/4 ounce) package active dry yeast
- 1 cup lukewarm milk
- 2 ounces butter, room temperature
- 2 eggs, beaten
- ½ cup sugar
- 1-1/2 teaspoons salt
- 4-1/4 cups flour and ¼ to ½ cup more for kneading
- ½ cup fine breadcrumbs
- In a large bowl,, combine water and yeast. Allow to sit for 10 minutes until mixture becomes bubbly. Stir well.
- In a small bowl, combine milk, butter, eggs, sugar and salt. Stir together until incorporated.
- Add milk mixture and 2 cups flour to yeast mixture. Using an electric mixer, beat to combine. Gradually add the remaining 2-1/4 cup flour in ½ cup increments and continue to combine all ingredients.
- On a lightly-floured surface, turn over dough and knead, lightly adding flour as necessary, for about 10 minutes or until smooth, supple and elastic.
- In a lightly-oiled large bowl, place dough. Cover with film and allow to rise for about 1 to 1-1/2 hours or until double in size.
- On a lightly-floured surface, transfer dough and divide into 24 pieces. Shape each piece into a ball and roll on breadcrumbs to coat. Arrange balls about 1-inch apart on a lightly-greased baking sheet. Cover with a cloth and allow to rise for about 1 to 1-1/2 hours or until double in size.
- Bake in a 350 F oven for about 15 to 20 minutes or until golden brown. Serve hot.
Tools/Supplies You Need for this Recipe (disclosure: affiliate links)
Artisan Non-Stick Silicone Baking Mat – 2 Pack