Gising na! Wake up! Breakfast time ... that's the current theme of the 7th Lasang Pinoy ably hosted by the early-morning-food blogger Joey of 80 Breakfasts.
The traditional breakfast of Filipinos has been rice or garlic fried rice with either fried/grilled fish, tocino, or longganisa. But in our family, a lot of our mornings are filled with that ubiquitous crusty roll endemic to Filipinos called Pan de Sal (also spelled without the spaces - pandesal) which means literally bread with salt. I could imagine the original pan de sal must have been more on the salty side rather than the sweet one that is common now which is how I have always known what a pandesal should taste. There was a long time in my youth that I could not imagine a morning without a warm pandesal to satiate my hunger. It's very versatile you see, you can spread a variety of things between its fluffy insides such as butter, liver spread (pate), jams, preserves, matamis na bao, peanut butter, pancit, ice cream - you name it. Or you simply dunk it in coffee or tea.
Sometimes even in the evenings when someone in the household comes home late, passes by a bakery then buys fresh-off-the-oven pandesal. You can bet that anyone among us kids will awaken with the fragrant waft of the hot pandesal. Down the stairs we came to partake in the midnight snack. I love it smeared with liver spread. Yum!
This is my very first time to bake pandesal and I had to call my aunt in Cavite to get her recipe which she got from her Home Economics subject when she was studying in Teacher's College about 35 years ago. Yeah that long ago. Now I don't know if I misheard the measurement of the liquids because the dough turned out very sticky and really hard to handle. I don't know if it's supposed to be like this. I think I'll be calling my aunt again in the weekend. Despite the intense stickiness, I managed to knead it (with a lot of help from sprinkled flour) and let it rise. She said it will double in bulk after 2 hours, I think mine tripled that's one reason why I suspect there's too much yeast. Maybe the yeast that I use here is more potent/concentrated. I'll certainly have to play around with the proportions in this recipe later. It was also hard for me to cut it to uniform-sized individual rolls since it's very soft. Thank goodness it came out alright from the oven - fragrant and crusty though somewhat moist inside. I don't know if it's supposed to be like this but it certainly was good enough for my family. :)
Pan de Sal
8 cups plain flour
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup cooking oil
2 1/2 cups cold water
1/2 cup lukewarm water
1 Tbsp yeast
- In a small bowl, combine the lukewarm water, 1 tsp of the sugar and yeast. Let stand for about 15 minutes in a warm area. By this time it will be foamy; whisk well.
- In a big bowl, mix cold water with oil, salt and the rest of the sugar. Stir until sugar and salt are dissolved.
- Add the yeast mixture and 1 cup of the flour. Stir to combine.
- Add the rest of the flour a little at a time. Mix with a wooden spoon until dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl.
- Knead the dough on a floured surface until smooth. If needed sprinkle some more flour to keep the dough from sticking too much.
- Put in a greased bowl and turn to coat the dough all over with oil.
- Cover and let rise in warm place for 2 hours.
- Punch dough and turn out on a floured surface.
- Divide into 4 and roll each into logs. Cut the logs into individual rolls.
- Sprinkle breadcrumbs on the rolls and arrange in greased baking sheets.
- Cover with a damp cloth and let rise for 30 minutes.
- Bake in a preheated oven of 200°C/fan 180°C/400°F for 13-15 minutes.
- Remove from baking sheet. Serve hot or cold.