Wednesday, May 22, 2013

#119 Philippines' Pan de Sal

After failing to create Filipino Pan de Leche, I searched for more bread recipes. The next on my list was Pan de Sal, which I easily found the recipe and learned that it would be an easier bread to make. I think I am addicted to baking, one night, while in bed, I couldn't stop thinking about making fluffy Pan de Sal for breakfast- this wasn't me a month ago by the way, I didn't care for breads! Nowadays, I see breads and cakes in a different light, and I get excited at the thought of making bread- eaten once or twice a week at most before, lately it has been  consumed everyday, ever since we started making it from scratch.  We've become  little bread monsters and artisan pastry chef wanna-bes. We will be careful, I know, white flour is not good to binge on; but it is also certainly difficult not to eat more than two, or three, right after we bake these, oh sooo good, fluffy, authentic tasting Pan de Sal, the Philippines' favorite breakfast bread. I use to buy this for the entire family everyday when I was in grade school, starting when I was around 6 or 7 years old, every morning, I would walk 10 minutes to go to the fragrant small bakery, and walk 10 minutes back. Then eat a heavy breakfast (rice, fish, meat, eggs) plus the Pan de Sal, which is always on the table, and then get ready for school.  I haven't had this  in  a long long time, and my reaction after I took a bite of our warm, freshly baked Pan de Sal, was a mix of joy, sadness/homesickness, and a sense of fulfillment- knowing that I am able to make it  from now on. This bread will keep well in the fridge, and I learned that it also freezes well  for up to a month, just heat it up in the toaster or the microwave oven before serving. I made my own bread crumbs to sprinkle on top before baking it. I love it, and I'm excited to share this delicious bread recipe. 
Yield: 36 rolls



2 cups warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
2 teaspoons active dry yeast
1/3 cup white sugar
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
6 cups all-purpose flour

  1. Put the warm water in a small mixing bowl and add the yeast and 1 teaspoon of the sugar; stir to dissolve. Let stand until creamy, about 10 minutes.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the remaining 15 teaspoons of sugar and the oil and mix until smooth. Add the salt, 1 cup of flour and the yeast mixture; stir well. Add the remaining 5 cups flour, 1/2 cup at a time, until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl.
  3. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth, supple and elastic; about 10 minutes. Lightly oil a large mixing bowl, place the dough in it and turn to coat the dough with oil. Cover with a damp towel or plastic wrap and let sit in a warm place until the dough has doubled in volume; about 1 hour.
  4. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and divide into 4 equal pieces. Form each piece into a cylinder and roll out until the 'log' is 1/2 inch in diameter. Using a sharp knife, cut each 'log' into 1/2 inch pieces. Place the pieces, flat side down, onto two lightly greased baking sheets. Gently press each roll down to flatten.
  5. Cover the rolls with a damp cloth and let rise until doubled in volume, about 1 more hour.
  6. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (190 degrees C).
  7. Sprinkle the top with bread crumbs and bake at 350 degrees F (190 degrees C) until golden brown, about 20 minutes.
 Recipe adapted, but I slightly improvised it, from here

After the second proofing and ready to bake in the hot oven.
I don't know what caused the holes? Maybe because I'm baking at high altitude?

The beauties, fresh from the oven.

Our third bread made from scratch. Soft, fluffy, delicious!
We have a long way to go before we can produce perfect bread, every time. We are really lucky to find this recipe. My friend wished me  "happy baking" before I started manually kneading the dough, and it sure was a happy baking day, indeed! :)

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