Monday, June 1, 2009
I've had a couple people ask me, what is Pan de Sal or Pandesal? I've used it a couple of times on this blog like my Shroomwich and Garlic Bread recipes.
Pan de Sal is the Filipino version of the American dinner roll. You can read the history of this bread via Wikipedia: Pan de Sal. The literal translation means salt bread. When in fact, it's not even salty at all, but rather a little sweet. Not too sweet where it will taste like a cake. It's a really subtle sweetness. It has a nice tender crust with lots of chewy filling inside. It will be one of the softest bread you'll try. What also makes them a little distinctive is that they are dusted with breadcrumbs. I used panko crumbs because that's the only thing I had on hand, but any plain breadcrumbs would do or crumbs from the previous batch of pan de sal would be best.
Here in America, coffee and donuts go together. In the Philippines, coffee and pan de sal are the breakfast of choice when you're on the run. I used to eat these by themselves and did so until I started baking my own bread. Now I can go back to eating them again. Plus, the smell permeates through the entire house. It's a wonderful buttery scent. It's almost intoxicating. I adapted my french bread recipe to turn it into this Filipino treat. Most recipes I found turn out large batches, which would be too much for me, as much as I love my breads.
I made these around the size of a softball. Traditionally, they're smaller than a baseball. Toast them in the conventional oven or toaster-oven and they're great for sandwiches. You can also use a bread machine if you've got one. I, on the other hand, do the traditional way.
This will make 10 softball-sized rolls or 20 semi-baseball-sized rolls.
Pan de Sal
4 c All-Purpose Flour or bread flour
1 package of active dry yeast
6 Tbsp unsalted butter or olive oil
2 c lukewarm water (120˚F-130˚F)
6 Tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt
Combine the yeast and water in a small bowl. Add a teaspoon of sugar and stir once. Let it sit for 5 min.
Combine the flour, remaining sugar, butter or olive oil and salt in a large bowl and add the yeast. Mix it all together until it form into a dough blob.
Remove from the bowl and on a well-floured flat surface, knead the dough for a good 8 min until it feels elastic.
Lightly oil another bowl, place the dough in it and cover with plastic wrap and a towel and place away from light. Roughly 1 1/2 to 2 hrs or until the dough doubles in size.
Lightly grease a baking sheet with olive oil or spray and sprinkle some breadcrumbs over them.
When the dough has doubled, punch down the dough to let the gases out and knead it again for a couple of minutes
Cut into 4 oz or 2 oz sized balls. (10 or 20)
Once all the dough balls are on the baking sheet, cover them again with plastic wrap and let it rest for about 1 hour or until double in size again.
Preheat oven to 375˚F
Remove the plastic wrap and sprinkle breadcrumbs over the rolls.
Bake in the oven: 15 min for large rolls. 10min for small rolls.
Note: to make wheat pan de sal, use 3 cups wheat flour with 1 cup all-purpose or bread flour.