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Monday, March 09, 2009

Lasang Pinoy, Sundays: Bread-y or Not

"You know... you're making it wrong."

"The book said this is how you're supposed to make it."

"Trust me. The book is wrong."

Pan de sal is the Philippine bread roll. The name (translated: salt bread) is deceiving, since the bread most people are accustomed to is sweet. Before going to the Philippines, the only Pan de sal I ever had was from the Philippine bread house. Great right out of the oven, airy, slighty sweet, and covered in bread crumbs.

On my first trip to PI, my dad and I would walk down the road and buy a boxful of pan de sal to bring back for breakfast. Unlike their American counterpart, these looked more like dinner rolls, and half the size I was accustomed to. They were still soft and had just a hint of sweetness.

I decided to try making these rolls on my own. I borrowed a Filipino cookbook from the library and followed the recipe right down to the letter. I mixed all the ingredients together until it formed a ball of dough and kneaded until it was elastic. Placed the dough in a lightly oiled bowl, covered with a damp cloth, and gave it to hours to double in size.

Two and a half hours later, I was still waiting for it to double.


Bad yeast, what can you do? Chuck the dough and try again. This time, I opened a jar of yeast I had lying around (I had used envelope yeast before) and proofed it before continuing. Ten minutes later it had tripled in size so I decided to try again. Because I followed the proofing directions on the jar, I had to alter the measurements a bit (original recipe posted below). I'm never sure how long to knead dough, but it seemed like forever. I let it rise for 4+ hours and it had tripled in size. WIN!

I floured my surface and as the book directed, I took out my rolling pin and rolled to 3/4 in thickness. Which brought about the conversation above. What I learned was that after the first rise, you shape it into a log and then roll in bread crumbs. You then cut them up into pieces and let it rise one more time before baking. My rolling it out I think made for a more dense roll. Oh well.

In the end, it did not resemble pan de sal. At first. Right out of the oven it had a definite sour taste to it, but as it cooled, and when eaten the next day, it became sweeter. I baked the bread on Friday and the rolls are still soft, unlike the bread I buy at PBH that hardens after a day.

I suggest you try it.

Pan de Sal (from the book Fine Filipino Food by Karen Hulene Bartell)

2 teaspoon dry yeast
1/3 cup plus 1 teaspoon sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
6 cups flour
1/4 cup dry bread crumbs

Add yeast to 2 cups lukewarm water and 1 teaspoon sugar. Let stand for 6-7 minutes.

In a bowl, mix the remaining sugar, salt and 1/4 cup oil. Add 3 cups of flour and the yeast mixture. Blend well, adding the rest of the flour gradually. Continue mixing until the dough no longer sticks to the sides of the bowl.

Transfer dough to a floured board and knead for 8-9 minutes, or until the dough is elastic and has a stain sheen. Placed in a lightly oiled bowl and with the reamining tablespoon of oil, brush the surface. Cover with a damp cloth and place in a draft free spot for two hours, or until the dough has doubled in size.

Punch down. Roll out on a floured board to 3/4 inch thickness, and cut into 1 1/2 inch strips. Sprinkle with 1 tablespoon bread crumbs. Let rise for another 15 minutes.

Cut dough into 1 1/2 inch pieces. Arrange on a lightly greased cookie sheet, cut side up, about 1 1/2 inches apart. Sprinkle with the remaining 3 tablespoons breadcrumbs. Let rise for 30 minutes more, or until the dough doubles again in size.

Preheat over to 375. Bake the pan de sal for 12-15 minutes, or until light brown.


TheOzSys said...

Congratulations! I swear I have neither the talent nor skill to even attempt to bake pan de sal - hahaha!

cesAnciano said...

woohoo! as the saying goes try and try until you WIN! lol! i'll come back here to try this recipe! and thanks for playing rochelle!:) hope to see more from you:)

Jescel said...

not bad for a first try.. i will try this recipe.. thanks. check out mine. :o)

Unknown said...

Homemade is always the best.Smell so good.The bread looks gorgeous :)

JMom said...

wow! your pandesal looks pretty good to me. I have never attempted to make pandesal. Afraid to be disappointed. I should just jump in and do it, huh?

My LaPiS entry is on my other blog.

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