How to Make Pandesal (Salt Bread)

Pandesal is the Spanish term for Salt Bread. This is the bread that people in the Philippines love. Baking pandesal reminds me of home when the smell of newly-baked bread bought from our favourite Panaderia (bake shop) round the corner wafted through our house in the morning.

pandesal

As I grew up, my taste changed or should I say expanded…I went for toasted bread, croissant and the like. I would only have pandesal when there was no other choice.

You know what it’s like when you don’t know what you’re missing till you don’t have it anymore? That’s what happened to me after migrating to New Zealand.  Suddenly, I craved for anything that would remind of my beloved country, the Philippines. The one that I craved the most was pandesal as having it hit two birds with one stone in my storebox of memories – it reminded me of my happy childhood and of home.

There are other Filipinos living in Christchurch who accept orders for pandesal and I used to buy from theem but it was not the same. It was not the same texture, taste and feel as I remembered so left with no other choice, I started the hunt for the perfect pandesal recipe.

I’ve tried a few and they all didn’t taste like the pandesal that I remember until I found this recipe from All Recipes. I had to have a few go’s at it before I perfected it. My good friend, Onie helped me make my first-ever pandesal complete with the tips she learnt so I was set. From this recipe, you can make about 20-3o rolls.

Here’s how to make your own Filipino Pandesal if you are making it without the aid of a breadmaker:

2 cups warm water or 475 ml 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

Directions:

  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 (Stretch the though a bit so it forms a rectangular shape) 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 or a dough cutter, cut each ‘log’ into 1/2 inch pieces.
  5. Roll each piece in breadcrumbs making sure the the whole roll is covered (this is not part of the All Recipes recipe but if you want ‘authentic’ tasting and looking Pandesal, I recommend you do this step).
  6. Place the pieces, flat side down, onto two lightly greased baking sheets. Gently press each roll down to flatten.
  7. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
  8. Cover the rolls with a damp cloth and let rise until doubled in volume, about 30 minutes.
  9. Bake at 375 degrees F (190 degrees C) until golden brown, about 20 minutes.

If you have a breadmaker, here are the directions to make pandesal:

I’ve made an instructional UNEDITED video of how to make the rolls from the dough as voiced over by our daughter, Bea (who is an aspiring TV reporter/newscaster! LOL). Please ignore the side comments from the cheap seats aka as MrG and myself! haha  ;-)


  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 the breadmaker’s pan, pour 60 mls of vegetable oil
  3. Pour in the remaining 15 teaspoons of sugar and then the 1 and 1/2 teaspoons salt
  4. Add the 6 cups of all-purpose flour
  5. Lastly, add the yeast mixture
  6. Place the pan inside the baking chamber of the breadmaker
  7. Turn on the breadmaker to the dough setting and voila, after an hour and a half, you have your dough. No kneading needed! ;-)
  8. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface (Stretch the though a bit so it forms a rectangular shape) 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 or a dough cutter, cut each ‘log’ into 1/2 inch pieces.
    Roll each piece in breadcrumbs making sure the the whole roll is covered (this is not part of the All Recipes recipe but if you want ‘authentic’ tasting and looking Pandesal, I recommend you do this step).
  9. Place the pieces, flat side down, onto two lightly greased baking sheets. Gently press each roll down to flatten.
  10. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
  11. Cover the rolls with a damp cloth and let rise until doubled in volume, about 30 minutes.
  12. Bake at 375 degrees F (190 degrees C) until golden brown, about 17-18 minutes.

Things to remember:

  1. Don’t use warm water from boiled water. It will kill the yeast!
  2. For the vegetable oil, I use Canola oil.
  3. If the temperature inside your house is coolish, the dough may not rise as much so what I do is place the rolls inside the oven (not the one you’re pre-heating). We have a double-oven so I pre-heat one and use the other to let my dough rise. I place half a cup of water inside so the rolls don’t dry out while waiting for them to rise.
  4. If you’re using a breadmaker, make sure the pan is out of the breadmaker when you pour your ingredients to ensure no spillage goes onto the baking chamber.
  5. The ‘official’ recipe says bake the bread for 20 minutes but I find that the bread cooked by my oven is ready by 17 minutes so I turn the oven off.
  6. With the use of the breadmaker, it takes approximately 3 hours to make, ie
    • 10 minutes to make the yeast mixture and 5 minutes to add everything into the bread pan
    • 1.5 hours to make the dough
    • 15 minutes to make the rolls
    • 30 minutes to allow the dough to rise and
    • a total of 30 to 35 minutes to bake the bread (I bake the bread one baking sheet at a time. If you bake 2 sheets in one go and don’t remember to swap the 2 sheets half-way the baking time, your bread won’t brown evenly)

Best eaten straight from the oven (well, make sure you let the bread cool a bit before eating as you might scald your tongue!)

Enjoy!

Comments

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7 Responses to How to Make Pandesal (Salt Bread)

  1. gem says:

    i like your apron! bagay sa iyo. ;-)

  2. Carol de los Reyes says:

    Congrats to your pandesal baking. Masarap talaga!

  3. kiwipinay says:

    I am watching the news right now about the CHCH earthquake this afternoon. I pray you and your family are safe.

  4. Dyes says:

    nice article! i have been looking for this recipe. will try it sometime. thanks!

  5. G. says:

    Thank you for this! I think I’m going to make some for the weekend. =)

  6. I am sorry about another earthquake in New Zealand and hoping your family is okay. Waiting to hear from you.

  7. Pingback: How to bake Foccacia Bread | Life's A Dish

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