Pandesal rolls are the favorite bread of the Philippines. In fact, they are THE bread of the Philippines for breakfast, snacks and lunch, and are usually filled with cheese, pancit (noodles), and even spread with condensed milk. While they are not served at dinner in the Philippines, I think the bread would make amazing dinner rolls. They’re incredible straight from the oven and slathered with butter. Personally, I think they would also be perfect for hamburger sliders!
I checked with my friend Pie Rivera, a travel and food blogger from the Philippines who writes the blog Eat To Your Heart’s Content, and she wrote back confirming that pandesal is a favorite breakfast food. “We love rice in the morning, but Pinoys love pandesal even more. Even in hotel breakfast buffets, pandesal is always present.”
I write stories about the bread that I post after doing a fair amount if research in cookbooks and on the Interwebs, and sometimes I cross my fingers hoping that what I’m saying is true. Thank you Pie for your help! Visit her blog for more information on Pinoy food.
While the name, derived from Spanish, means “salt bread,” these rolls are actually very sweet, similar to Portuguese bread. Evidently, they became popular at a time when rice became very dear.
These rolls are super light and fluffy. What makes them distinctive is that they are rolled in bread crumbs prior to the second rise.
Normally, I would point out a couple of other recipes that I’d like to try, but with Tara’s blog, it’s different. I want to try everything!!!
Pandesal (Filipino Bread Rolls)
1/4 cup water, 105 to 115 degrees F
2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
1 cup milk, 105 to 115 degrees F
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
2 large eggs
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
4 1/2 cups (19.13 ounces) unbleached all purpose flour
1/2 cup fine bread crumbs for coating
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with the dough hook, add the water and sprinkle with the yeast. Stir and let sit for about 10 minutes.
- Add the milk, butter, eggs, sugar, and salt and whisk until combined.
- Add three cups of flour and mix with a wooden spoon or dough whisk until combined. Move the bowl to the mixer.
- While mixing with the dough hook, add the flour, 1/2 cup at a time, until the dough comes together. I used all of the flour, minus 1/4 cup.
- Knead the dough with the dough hook for about seven minutes.
- Place the dough in an oiled bowl and turn to coat. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise until doubled, about 2 hours.
- Line a half sheet pan with parchment paper and pour the bread crumbs onto a plate.
- Divide the dough into 24 even pieces and roll each into a ball. Roll each ball in the bread crumbs and place them evenly on the half sheet pan (4 by 6). Use oiled plastic wrap to cover the dough you are not yet working with, as well as the rolls that you have already formed.
- Cover the rolls with oiled plastic wrap, and let rise for about 2 hours. At the one hour mark, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- When the rolls are puffy, remove the plastic wrap and bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until golden.
- Serve hot.
These can be reheated in the microwave for 15 seconds. Leftovers should be frozen after being individually wrapped in plastic wrap and placed in a freezer bag.